"TRAIL OF BLOOD"
The history of bible-believing Christians is impossible to tell without at the same time telling the history of dissent and non-conformity to the Roman Church. The following is a summary of The Trail of Blood by Dr. J. M. Carroll.
Summary of "Trail of Blood"
1. During every period of the "Dark Ages" there were in existence many Christians and many separate and independent Churches, dating back to the times of the Apostles, which were never in any way connected with the Catholic Church. They always wholly rejected and repudiated the Roman hierarchy and some their doctrines not found in scripture. This is a fact clearly demonstrated by credible history.
2. These Christians were the objects of bitter and relentless persecution. History shows that during the period of the "Dark Ages," about twelve centuries, beginning with A.D. 426, there were about fifty million of these Christians who died martyr deaths.
3. These Christian were called by many different names, usually given to them by their enemies. These names were sometimes given because of some specially prominent and heroic leader and sometimes from other causes. The result was that the same kinds of believers were called by different names in different localities, when in reality they were essentially the same bible-believing type Christians. Amid all the many changes of names, there was one special name or rather designation, which clung to at least some of these Christians, throughout all the "Dark Ages," that designation being "Ana-Baptist." This compound word applied as a designation of some certain Christians was first found in history during the third century; and a suggestive fact soon after the origin of Infant Baptism, and a more suggestive fact even prior to the use of the name Catholic. Thus the name "Ana-Baptists" is the oldest denominational name in history.
4. A striking peculiarity of these Christians was and continued to be in succeeding centuries this: They rejected the man-made doctrine of "Infant Baptism" and demanded re-baptism for all those who came to them that were previously baptized in infancy. For this peculiarity they were called "Ana-Baptists."
5. This, special designation was applied to many of these Christians who bore other nicknames; especially is this true of the Donatists, Paulicians, Albigenses and Ancient Waldenses and others. In later centuries this designation came to be a regular name, applied to a distinct group. These were simply called "Ana- Baptists" and gradually other names were dropped. Very early in the sixteenth century, even prior to the origin of the Lutheran Church, the first of all the Protestant Churches, the word "ana" was beginning to be left off, and they were simply called "Baptists."
6. Into the "dark ages" went a group of many churches which were never in any way identified with the RCC. And, out of the "dark ages" came a group of many churches, which had never been in any way identified with the Roman Church.
The following are some of the fundamental doctrines to which they held when they went in: And the same are, the fundamental doctrines to which they held when they came out: And the same are the fundamental doctrines to which they now hold.
1. A spiritual Church, Christ its founder, its only head and law giver.
2. Its ordinances, only two, Baptism and the Lord's Supper. They are typical and memorial, not saving.
3. Its officers, only two - Pastors and Deacons; they are servants of the church.
4. Its Government, a pure Democracy, and that executive only, never legislative.
5. Its laws and doctrines: The New Testament only.
6. Its members - believers only, they saved by grace, not works, through the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit.
7. Its requirements - believers on entering the church to be baptized, that by immersion, then obedience and loyalty to all New
8. The various churches - separate and independent in their execution of laws and discipline and in their responsibilities to God--but cooperative in work.
9. Complete separation of Church and State.
10. Absolute Religious liberty for all.