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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15

Was Saint Patrick a Baptist?

W. A. Jarrell

The year of St. Patrick 's birth is variously assigned to the years 377 and 387, the latter being the more probable date. His original name is said to have been Succat Patricus, being the Roman appellative by which he was known. The exact place of his birth is uncertain. It was somewhere in Britain.

In the sixteenth year of his age, while on his father's farm, with a number of others, he was seized and carried by a band of pirates into Ireland, and there sold to a petty chief. In his service he remained six years.

At the expiration of this time he succeeded in escaping. He was "brought up in a Christian family in Britain, and the truth which saved him when a youthful slave in pagan Ireland was taught him in the godly home of Deacon Calpurnius, his father, and in the church of which he was a member and officer." On his escape from Ireland he was twenty-one years of age.

Being a stronger Christian the Lord soon called him back to Ireland as the missionary for that blinded country. About this time, or before it, a missionary named Coleman, established a church in Ireland. Some think that "in the south of Ireland, from some very remote period," "Christian congregations had existed."

Usher puts Patrick's death at A.D. 493 - making his life a long and useful life, and his age, at the time of his death, over one hundred years.

The Bellandists make his death earlier - A.D. 460. According to accounts of his Irish biographers, he, with his own hands, baptized 12,000 persons and founded 365 churches.

Within the last few years scholars have succeeded in stripping his history of much of the Romish fables.

The more this has been done, the more he stands out as a Baptist:

1. At the time of St. Patrick the Romish church was only an embryo.

2. In St. Patrick's time the authority of the bishop of Rome was not generally recognized.

3. There is no history to sustain the Romish claim that Patrick was sent to Ireland by "Pope Celistine". Throughout his life Patrick acted wholly independent of Rome.  

Patrick was a Baptist:

(1) He baptized only professed believers.

(2) He baptized by only immersion. Dr. Catchcart says: "There is absolutely no evidence that any baptism but that of immersion of adult believers existed among the ancient Britons, in the first half of the fifth century, nor for a long time afterwards." In St. Patrick's "letter to Crocius" he describes some of the persons whom he immersed as "baptizedc captives," "baptized handmaidens of Christ," "baptized women distributed as rewards" and then as "baptized believers."

(3) In church government St. Patrick was a baptist. Though this appears in the note to this page, I will add proof to it. "Patrick founded 365 church-es and consecrated the same number of bishops, and ordained 3000 presbyters." "If we take the testimony of Nennius, St. Patrick placed a bishop in every church which he founded; and several presbyters after the example of the New Testament churches. Nor was the great number of bishops peculiar to St. Patrick's time; in the twelfth century St. Bernard tells us that in Ireland bishops are multiplied and changed...

(4) In independence of creeds, councils, popes and bishops Patrick was a Baptist. "Patrick recognized no authority in creeds, however venerable, nor in councils, though composed of several hundred of the highest ecclesiastics, and many of the most saintly men alive. He never quotes any canons and he never took part in making any, notwithstanding the pretended canons of forgers."

(5) In doctrine Patrick was a Baptist. He says Christ who "gave his life for thee is He who speaks to thee."

(6) In the later or Romish meaning of the term, there is no indication of Monastacism in Patrick 's writing or in the history of the first Irish church. "Monastacism, in the proper sense of the word, cannot be traced beyond the fourth century".

Cathcart: "It is difficult to fix the date when the first monastery was established in Ireland. It is certain that Patrick was long in his grave before it took place."

Thus, first, Irish Monasteries were originated after Patrick's death. Thus, in only believer 's baptism; in only immersion; in church government; in salvation by only the blood; in justification by faith only; in rejecting penance; in knowing nothing of transubstantiation; in giving both the bread and the wine to the laity.

In being independent of Rome, St. Patrick was a Baptist and the first Irish churches knew nothing of priestly confession and priestly forgiveness; of extreme unction; of worship of images; of worship of Mary; of the intercession of Mary or of any departed saint; of purgatory; of persecution of opposers of the church - nothing of any of the Romish distinguishing peculiarities.

Were Patrick not turned to dust, and were the body able to hear and turn, he would turn over in his coffin at the disgrace on his memory from the Romish church claiming him as a Roman Catholic.