Chronicles of the Baptist Heritage
Did you know that Baptists are not Protestants, despite the efforts of many modern historians to claim it so. Until modern historians began identifying them as Protestants, Baptists have always made the claim that their history went well back beyond the Reformers, reaching back to the New Testament period itself.
Indeed, in Religious Denominations of the World, 1871, Vincent L. Milners says, "The Baptists claim their origin from the ministry of Christ and the Apostles... in proof of which they appeal to the highest authorities in church history, such as Mosheim and Neander ...they claim to be able to trace their history in a succession of pure churches, under various names, (from the time of the apostles) down to the Reformation of the sixteenth century."
In the History of the Reformed Church of the Netherlands, 1819, Drs. Ypeig and Dermout, Protestant theologians and historians, said, "We have now seen that the Baptists, who were formerly called Anabaptists, and in later times Mennonites, were the original Waldenses, and have long in the history of the church received the honor of that origin. On this account the Baptists may be considered the only Christian community which has stood since the days of the Apostles; and as a Christian society which has preserved pure the doctrines of the Gospel through all ages."
Johann Mosheim (1694-1755), a German Lutheran church historian, who the Westminister Dictionary of Church History called the father of modern church history, was said to be learned, critical, and impartial. In his Ecclesiastical History From the Birth of Christ to the Present Time, 1726, he said "The true origin of that sect which acquired the denomination of anabaptists, by their administering anew the rite of baptism to those who came over to their communion, ... is hid in the remote depths of antiquity, and is of consequence, extremely difficult to be ascertained. Before the rise of Luther or Calvin, there lay concealed in almost all the countries of Europe, ...many persons who adhered tenaciously to the following doctrine, which the Waldenses, Wickliffites, and Hussites had maintained, ...'That the kingdom of Christ, or the visible church He had established upon earth, was an assembly of true and real saints, and ought therefore to be inaccessible to the wicked and unrighteous.'" Mosheim further writes, "Many of the Paulicians (Baptists in belief and practice, and predecessors of the Waldenses, Albigenses, and Anabaptists) left Bulgaria and Thrace, and formed settlements in Italy, and later almost all the provinces of Europe, and formed gradually a considerable number of religious assemblies who had adhered to their doctrine, and who were afterward persecuted with the utmost vehemence by the Roman pontiffs(popes)."
That most famous Baptist preacher of the 1800's, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, said, "We believe that the Baptists are the original Christians. We did not commence our existence at the reformation, we were reformers before Luther or Calvin were born. We never came from the Church of Rome, for we were never in it, but we have a unbroken line up to the apostles themselves. We have always existed from the very days of Christ." (From the New park Street Pulpit, Volume VII, Page 225.)