Cotton Mather?s windmill was one that he remembered or had heard of in Holland. It had run so fast in a gale as to set itself and a whole town on fire. Leonard Bacon, Genesis of the New England Churches, vii, says of Baptist churches: ?It has been claimed for these churches that from the age of the Reformation onward they have been always foremost and always consistent in maintaining the doctrine of religious liberty. Let me not be understood as calling in question their right to so great an honor.?
Baptists? hold that the province of the state is purely secular and civil, religious matters are beyond its jurisdiction. Yet for economic reasons and to ensure its own preservation, it may guarantee to its citizens their religious rights and may exempt all churches equally from burdens of taxation in the same way in which it exempts schools and hospitals. The state has holidays but no holy days. Hall Caine, in The Christian, calls the state, not the pillar of the church, but the caterpillar that eats the vitals out of it. It is this, when it transcends its sphere and compels or forbids any particular form of religious teaching. On the charge that Roman Catholics were deprived of equal rights in Rhode Island, see Am. Cath. Quar. Rev., Jan. 1894:169-177. This restriction was not in the original law but was a note added by revisers, to bring the state law into conformity with the law of the mother country. <150822>Ezra 8:22 ? ?I was ashamed to ask of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen...because...The hand of our God is on all them that seek him, for good? ? is a model for the churches of every age. The church as an organized body should be ashamed to depend for revenue upon the state, although its members as citizens may justly demand that the state protect them in their rights of worship. On State and Church in 1492 and 1892, see A. H. Strong, Christ in Creation, 209-246, esp. 239-241. On taxation of church property, and opposing it, see H. C. Vedder, in Magazine of Christian Literature, Feb. 1890:265-272.
B. The sole object of the local church is the glory of God, in the complete establishment of his kingdom, both in the hearts of believers and in the world. This object is to be promoted:
(a) By united worship including prayer and religions instruction,
(b) by mutual watch care and exhortation,
(c) by common labors for the reclamation of the impenitent world.
<581025> Hebrews 10:25 ? ?not forsaking our own assembling together, as the custom of some is, but exhorting one another.? One burning coal by itself will soon grow dull and go out, but a hundred together will give a fury of flame that will set fire to others. Notice the value of ?the crowd?
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