Errors in “The Trail of Blood’? | The Puritan Board

Errors in “The Trail of Blood’

E

Jash Comstock

Jash Comstock

Puritan Board Freshman
I recently picked up a copy of the notorious “Trail of Blood” booklet by J.M Carroll. I read through it cursorily and it seemed like propaganda or something. Anyways, I was wondering if anyone could give me some examples of the errors in it, so I can read with discernment. What are the errors in it? I know that it is untrue, but I don’t have evidence to refute it.

cajunhillbilly53

Puritan Board Freshman
well for instance the Cathri and albigsinsie or whatever were gnostic heresies not Baptists in disguise. also the Waldensians were closer to the Reformed thatn the anabaptists and actually joined the Reformed church after the Reformation.

jogri17

Puritan Board Junior
Also you have a huge gap between from the late patristic period to the Waldensians, so you still don’t close the gap.

cajunhillbilly53

Puritan Board Freshman
Any one who actually knows church history sees this booklet as a joke. It is an effort to refute the charge that theology is derived from the Anabaptists of the 1500s. It claims that credoBaptists have always existed. And may be some did. But the history presented in this booklet is just plain wrong. Also the only difference between the Catholic church and the Donatists and Novatians at that time was whether to allow the lapsed, who denied Christ during persecution, back into the church. They did not practice “believer’s baptism”. I think it is a big farce.
Marrow Man

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
The problem is that the so-called “Trail of Blood” is taken very seriously by some Baptists, even some of those of the Reformed stripe. I ran across a copy of the Trail in a Lifeway Christian bookstore of all places a couple of years ago. And there is a whole chapter in McGoldrick’s book dealing with the false claim that St. Patrick was a . That sounds silly, until you realize that a Reformed Baptist website like The Reformed Reader still has the text of the sermon “St. Patrick was a Baptist” on its website. If you check the sources for the latter, you will see that one of them is indeed from J.M. Carroll’s Trail of Blood.

JML

Puritan Board Junior
That sounds silly, until you realize that a Reformed Baptist website like The Reformed Reader still has the text of the sermon “St. Patrick was a Baptist” on its website. If you check the sources for the latter, you will see that one of them is indeed from J.M. Carroll’s Trail of Blood.
Pilgrim Standard

Pilgrim Standard

Puritan Board Sophomore
What are the errors in it?

It begins with the assumption of apostolic succession in protestantism, then attempts to go about proving it historically.
The book “or idea” is guilty in the premise of its very own existance.
It is basically bringing a piece of the Romish view of the Church into protestantism.

bug

Puritan Board Freshman
The problem is that the so-called “Trail of Blood” is taken very seriously by some Baptists, even some of those of the Reformed stripe. I ran across a copy of the Trail in a Lifeway Christian bookstore of all places a couple of years ago. And there is a whole chapter in McGoldrick’s book dealing with the false claim that St. Patrick was a Baptist. That sounds silly, until you realize that a Reformed Baptist website like The Reformed Reader still has the text of the sermon “St. Patrick was a Baptist” on its website. If you check the sources for the latter, you will see that one of them is indeed from J.M. Carroll’s Trail of Blood.

It’s not mentioned in the footnotes as a source;

Encyclopedia Brittanica, Vol. 17, Copyright 1946, P. 383. 
Smith, J. Lewis, Patrick of Ireland Not a Romanist, Associated Printing Co., Stockton, Calif., 1924, P. 10. 
Ironside, H. A., The Real St. Patrick, Loizeaux Brothers, , Pp. 13-14
Stoddard, John L., Stoddard’s Lectures — Ireland, Geo. L. Schuman & Co., Chicago, Copyright 1901, P. 148. 
And there is also a lot of material on that site that contradicts baptsit sucessionism – perhaps there is a reason Sam put it up, perhaps it is more to do with the significance of the sermon, rather then the content. I don’t know, but before we start with the ‘wow who own that site’ perhaps the benefit of the doubt should be given to owner, after all, “love believes all things.”
Marrow Man
Marrow Man

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
And there is also a lot of material on that site that contradicts baptsit sucessionism – perhaps there is a reason Sam put it up, perhaps it is more to do with the significance of the sermon, rather then the content.

I don’t know about that. On the homepage of the Reformed Reader site, he states (first sentence), “Throughout the ages, Baptists have been known by different names… .” Then, below that, he includes the following Spurgeon quote: “We that the Baptists are the original Christians. We did not commence our existence at thereformation, we were reformers before Luther or 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.” (Note: the quote on the page is much longer). At the very least, that makes it sound like he has bought into the whole “Trail of Blood” myth, even if he has not.

If he is your friend (you refer to him by first name), then why not contact him and him? The only reason I know about the website is that I have seen thoughtful, knowledgeable Baptists link to it on St. Patrick’s day. In the end, it winds up perpetuating the whole “Trail of Blood” silliness. It’s like suffering from some sort of inferiority complex. Baptists have their own history, with many fine Christians in the last few hundred years. They don’t need to go back and falsely drag Patrick into their family tree.

Marrow Man

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
OTOH, the website author does include this section under the page “A Primer on Baptist History” (not written by him):
Bill The Baptist

Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
I don’t think too many Baptists take The Trail of Blood to be historically accurate anymore, maybe some of the KJV only crowd, but most do not. I took Baptist history at an SBC seminary, and I can tell you that we were not taught the things contained in the trail of blood as being a and accurate. We were taught that modern day Baptists most likely came from the English Baptists, who were themselves offshoots of the Puritans. Many different Christian groups claim to be directly descended from the apostles including Catholics and Orthodox. In truth, their claims of apostolic succession do not hold up any better than the Baptist claims. Regardless, it is that there were always Christians who were not part of the Catholic church and these Christians did have an influence in one way or another on Baptists as well as all protestants
Marrow Man

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
Bill, I am glad to hear that. Sadly, when some incorrect theory is popularized, it is very hard to undo. The Trail of Blood is but one example. Or consider the influence of Left Behind theology in our day. Another example (lesser known) took place in Mississippi in the 1800s. A Presbyterian minister was responsible for popularizing the so-called “Curse of Ham” doctrine that was used to justify slavery (I’m not sure that originated with him). His sponsoring presbytery was up in Ohio, and ordered him to stop publishing the pamphlets about this, but I don’t think he listened. And in some sections of Mississippi (I know from personal experience) you still hear people regurgitating that same doctrine today.
Jerusalem Blade

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
Tim, thanks for that McGoldrick book link. I’ve collected a number of books on the Waldenses (Wylie, Allix, Faber, Wm Jones), and I find it’s mostly scholarly Baptists that desire to reprint these books. There is scholarly debate as to whether the Waldenses / Vaudois were credo or paedo (I think paedo but am not sure). I am sure the Apostles were paedo!
Marrow Man

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
Steve, I have a paper copy of the book, but it was kind of expensive (> $30-40 for a paperback book). But now a good bit of it is available for free on Google!
GulfCoast Presbyterian

GulfCoast Presbyterian

Puritan Board Junior
Bill, I am glad to hear that. Sadly, when some incorrect theory is popularized, it is very hard to undo. The Trail of Blood is but one example. Or consider the influence of Left Behindtheology in our day. Another example (lesser known) took place in Mississippi in the 1800s. A Presbyterian minister was responsible for popularizing the so-called “Curse of Ham” doctrine that was used to justify slavery (I’m not sure that originated with him). His sponsoring presbytery was up in Ohio, and ordered him to stop publishing the pamphlets about this, but I don’t think he listened. And in some sections of Mississippi (I know from personal experience) you still hear people regurgitating that same doctrine today.

I heard it often in rural Baptist churches as a child (early 1970’s) in north east Mississippi.

recosby

recosby

Puritan Board Freshman
I wrote a two papers on the Waldenses while in seminary at Westminster California. One focused on the issue of their relationship to Baptist Successionism, and the other focused on their relationship to the Reformed. I believe that the question as to whether the Waldenses were Paedo or Credo is an illegitimate question all actual evidence points to the fact that they themselves did not baptize, but for the most part went to the Roman church for both the supper and baptism. Their primary thing that they did outside of the Church was hear confessions and prescribe penance. They believed that the Roman priests were too corrupt to properly do that. Wylie, Allix et. al. have a heavy theological ax to grind and base all of their work on the faulty research of Samuel Moreland a Puritan that assembled most of the extant material that we have on the Waldenses. The question with Moreland was whether he was just a poor researcher or intentionally dishonest. which ever is the case he misdated most of the papers attributing papers written after the reformation to the Waldenses much earlier.Most notable the “The Waldense Confession of faith” which he dated to 1120, was in fact written by Martin Bucer. Euan Cameron, one of the for most medieval/reformation scholars of our day wrote his dissertation on the Waldenses. He argues that the Waldenses were not absorbed by the reformation, so much as converted. In the end The Waldenses have more in common with the Franciscans than they do either Baptists or Reformed. By the way they are not the only two groups that try to claim the Waldenses, Both the 7th Day Adventists and the Plymouth Brethren claim them as well. There are probably more that do as well, but those are two prominent ones that I have found.

for the long post, but this is a hot topic with me and having been raised around many of those who claim them as baptists it is a hot topic for me.

Marrow Man

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
Wow, Rob, that was a fascinating post on the Waldenses. Thanks for the info.
Beau Michel

Beau Michel

Puritan Board Freshman
Amen Marrow Man.Baptists share a common history with all their Reformed and Puritan brethren.Many of the groups in the Trail of Blood have little in common with modern Baptists.Mennonites,Quakers Amish,and Anabaptists would more likely be the descendents of many of these groups in the Trail of Blood.Modern Baptists as we know them came out of Puritan England. Beau Michel-Reformed Baptist

rrors in “The Trail of Blood’

Source: Errors in “The Trail of Blood’? | The Puritan Board

No tags assigned.

Related