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"Amazing" and "edifying" are words that I must use to describe Thomas Helwys' proclamation of the Truth. Helwys makes no mention of the title of "Baptist", but he does repeatedly mention "the Church of Christ". He speaks of how the multitudes are aware of the churches of Christ as Thomas Crosby's history refers to dozens of congregations like this in England. Just like the churches of Christ today, Helwys affirmed autonomous church government by the scriptural qualifications of church elders and he opposed clergy titles and hierarchies including presbytery conventions. He teaches free-will and that baptism is necessary for salvation being for the forgiveness of sin quoting from the Geneva translation. Helwys also opposed many Roman church inventions and traditions carried into the church of England like the use of musical organs in worship, infant baptism, and churchings. There are some minor differences between Helwys and churches of Christ now. The churches of Christ do not all affirm that the Roman church is the false prophet and the Pope to be the Beast and the Anti-Christ, and also the churches of Christ do not all practice appointing elders by laying on hands and fasting as Helwys encouraged. Thomas Helwys still shows how the Baptist church emerged from the churches of Christ.
Helwys' words are powerful for religious liberty and opposition to man-made religion that would try to place men as equals with God. I think his words will have more lasting influence now that these have been published again.
I found that editor, Richard Groves, did a great work and service service. I thoroughly agree with his very conservative updating of the text.
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