Was C. Spurgeon a Baptist Successionist?

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Stargazer65

Puritan Board Freshman
I found this quote recently attributed to Spurgeon which also identified him with Baptist Successionism (BS):

"We believe that the Baptists are the original Christians. We did not commence our existence at the reformation, we were reformers before Luther and Calvin were born; we never came from the Church of Rome, for we were never in it, but we have an unbroken line up to the apostles themselves. We have always existed from the days of Christ, and our principles, sometimes veiled and forgotten, like a river which may travel under ground for a little season, have always had honest and holy adherents."

I was kind of surprised because I consider him to be reformed, whereas I thought BS was a sort of aberrant view of church history subscribed to mostly by rabidly Anti-Calvinistic Anti-Paedobaptist Baptists. C. Spurgeon is often called "Heir of the Puritans" and often speaks highly of them even though most are Paedobaptist.
 

JML

Puritan Board Junior
First off, I am no "Trail of Blood" reader but wouldn't it seem odd if a Baptist believed that the Apostles didn't baptize professing Christians by immersion. If a Baptist didn't believe that, then why would they be a Baptist? If I thought the Apostles were paedobaptists, then I would be a paedobaptist. However, admittedly, I am not completely familiar with what you mean by Baptist Successionism. Do you mean Landmarkism? If that is the case, Spurgeon was no Landmarker (thankfully).
 

SolaSaint

Puritan Board Sophomore
I think like CHS thought as a Baptist. I believe we can trace believers back to the first church. The Reformation didn't resurrect a forgotten faith, it brought it to light and shined the Gospel light upon the errors of the RC church. I'm not saying Baptists only can be traced back to Peter and Paul. I feel many geniune Christians held to true doctrines throughout the ages regardless of the denomination they were in. It is what we call the invisible church that has been alive since Christ built His church.
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
I found this quote recently attributed to Spurgeon which also identified him with Baptist Successionism (BS):

"We believe that the Baptists are the original Christians. We did not commence our existence at the reformation, we were reformers before Luther and Calvin were born; we never came from the Church of Rome, for we were never in it, but we have an unbroken line up to the apostles themselves. We have always existed from the days of Christ, and our principles, sometimes veiled and forgotten, like a river which may travel under ground for a little season, have always had honest and holy adherents."

I was kind of surprised because I consider him to be reformed, whereas I thought BS was a sort of aberrant view of church history subscribed to mostly by rabidly Anti-Calvinistic Anti-Paedobaptist Baptists. C. Spurgeon is often called "Heir of the Puritans" and often speaks highly of them even though most are Paedobaptist.

It's not "chain link succession" (which is basically a Baptist version of apostolic succession) but this does appear to be an assertion that there has always been some kind of baptistic church on earth throughout all ages. You're correct that this strikes us as being somewhat of an unusual statement considering CHS's associations and other statements and actions that were favorable toward Reformed paedobaptists despite their disagreements. However, Baptist Perpetuity was once a very popular teaching among Baptists, especially in the 19th Century. It doesn't necessarily equate with Landmarkism, but I don't think very many Baptists other than Landmarkers will be found making a strong argument for Baptist Perpetuity today.

There are Landmark Sovereign Grace Baptists and Hyper-Calvinist (and perhaps more conventional Calvinistic) Primitive Baptists who affirm Landmark type teachings.
 
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Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
I personally think that the fact that no denomination can honestly trace their roots directly back to the apostles, that includes you Catholics, is God's commentary on the concept of denominations in general.
 

Stargazer65

Puritan Board Freshman
Thanks for the replies. Looking back at this again, I see some possibilities:
He was expounding on his agreement with Baptist doctrine in the context, not giving a history lesson. He likely overstated his position in his zeal. Everybody does this at some time, and later has to clarify what they meant. Considering his high regard and respect for other Godly persons in non-baptist and even non-calvinist denominations, I think it is unlikely that he would agree with the "Trail of Blood" theory if he were around in the present day.
 
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