Item Number: bk0046

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Baptists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries lived in two worlds. In one world, established churches were the norm and persecution was the means by which such churches and the civil governments dealt with religious dissenters. Baptists also lived in another world in which the Bible, not the sword of Caesar, ruled. When these worlds collided Baptists chose to go to prison rather than violate their consciences. They knew they could avoid prison if they yielded to the pressure of civil authority to conform, However, Baptists considered such yielding as a retreat from their cause and God, believing that retreat would have been spiritually fatal. They chose instead to move forward in their faith, although it might cost them dearly. Thus Baptists advanced, some to prison and then back to freedom, others to jail and then to the grave. All did so because, like Thomas Hardcastle, they knew that, "There was no armor for the back." Baptists who graced numerous prisons and jails did not remain silent for they continued to preach, write letters, poems and books. They stated their cases without self-pity and interpreted their persecutions as the natural consequences of professing their faith in Christ. This book acquaints the reader with representative Baptists and their prison writings from the 1600's through the 1700's both from England and America.

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