Blood. . . .
Following the Christians Down
Through the Centuries . . .
The History of Baptist Churches
From the Time of Christ, Their
Founder, to the Present Day
By J. M. CARROLL
THIS LITTLE BOOK is sent forth for the
purpose of making known the little-known
history of those FAITHFUL WITNESSES of
the Lord Jesus, who, as members of the
CHURCH JESUS BUILT, "overcame him [Satan]
by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of
their testimony; and they loved not their lives
unto the death." Rev. 12:11.
I'd appreciate hearing from you--and may I
ask your help in getting these messages to our
young people and others. Tell them about the
wonderful facts of history brought out in this
book. Urge them to order it. It would be most
helpful to study it as classes in the BTU, WMU,
and other organizations.Address:
Ashland Avenue Baptist Church
163 N. Ashland Avenue
Lexington, KY 40502
·February, 1988--1,760,00 Copies COPYRIGHT 1931
ASHLAND AVENUE BAPTIST CHURCH
First Period A.D. 30-500
Second Lecture 600-1300
Third Lecture 1400-1600
Fourth Lecture 17th, 18th, 19th Centuries
Fifth Lecture--Religion In The U.S.
Some After Words
By CLARENCE WALKER
Dr. J.M. Carroll, the author of this book, was born in the state
of Arkansas, January 8, 1858, and died in Texas, January 10,
1931. His father, a Baptist preacher, moved to Texas when
Brother Carroll was six years old. There he was converted,
baptized, and ordained to the Gospel ministry. Dr. Carroll not
only became a leader among Texas Baptists, but an outstanding
figure of Southern Baptists, and of the world.
Years ago he came to our Church and brought the messages
found in this book. It was then I became greatly interested in
Brother Carroll's studies. I, too, had made a special research in
Church History, as to which is the oldest Church and most like
the Churches of the New Testament.
Dr. J. W. Porter attended the lectures. He was so impressed he
told Brother Carroll if he would write the messages he would
publish them in a book. Dr. Carroll wrote the lectures and gave
Dr. Porter the right to publish them along with the chart which
illustrates the history so vividly.
However, Dr. Carroll died before the book came off the press,
but Dr. Porter placed them before the public and the whole
edition was soon sold. Now, by the grace of God, we are able to
present this 60th edition of 25,000. I want to ask all who read and
study these pages to join me in prayer and work that an ever-
increasing number shall go forth--"to make all men see what is the fellowship of the
mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been
hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the
intent that now unto the principalities and powers in
heavenly places might be known by the church the
manifold wisdom of God...Unto him be glory in the
church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without
end. Amen." (Eph. 3:9-10, 21.)
It was wonderful to hear Dr. Carroll tell how he became
interested in the history of the different denominations--
ESPECIALLY THEIR ORIGIN. He wrote the book after he was
70 years old, but he said, "I was converted unto God when I was
2 THE TRAIL OF BLOOD
just a boy. I saw the many denominations and wondered which
was the church the Lord Jesus founded."
Even in his youth he felt that in the study of the Scriptures
and history, he could find the church which was the oldest and
most like the churches described in the New Testament.
This research for the truth led him into many places and
enabled him to gather one of the greatest libraries on church
history. This library was given at his death to the Southwestern
Baptist Seminary, Ft. Worth, Texas.
He found much church history--most of it seemed to be about
the Catholics and Protestants. The history of Baptists, he
discovered, was written in blood. They were the hated people of
the Dark Ages. Their preachers and people were put into prison
and untold numbers were put to death. The world has never seen
anything to compare with the suffering, the persecutions, heaped
upon Baptists by the Catholic Hierarchy during the Dark Ages.
The Pope was the world's dictator. This is why the Ana-Baptists,
before the Reformation, called the Pope The Anti-Christ.
Their history is written in the legal documents and papers of
those ages. It is through these records that the "TRAIL OF
BLOOD" winds its way as you find such statements--"At Zurich, after many disputations between Zuinglius
and the Ana-Baptists, the Senate made an Act, that if any
presume to re-baptize those who were baptized before (i.e.
as infants) they should be drowned. At Vienna many Ana-
Baptists were tied together in chains that one drew the
other after him into the river, wherein they were all
suffocated (drowned)." (Vida Supra, p. 61)
"In the year of our Lord 1539 two Ana-Baptists were
burned beyond Southwark, and a little before them 5 Dutch
Ana-Baptists were burned in Smithfield." (Fuller Church
"In 1160 a company of Paulicians (Baptists) entered
Oxford. Henry II ordered them to be branded on the
forehead with hot irons, publicly whipped them through
the streets of the city, to have their garments cut short at
the girdles, and be turned into the open country. The
villages were not to afford them any shelter or food and
they perished a lingering death from cold and hunger."
(Moore, Earlier and Later Nonconformity in Oxford 12.)
THE TRAIL OF BLOOD 3
The old Chronicler Stowe, A.D. 1533, relates:"The 25th of May--in St. Paul's Church, London--
examined 19 men and 6 women. Fourteen of them were
condemned; a man and a woman were burned at
Smithfield, the other twelve of them were sent to towns
there to be burned."
Froude, the English historian, says of these Ana-Baptist
martyrs--"The details are all gone, their names are gone.
Scarcely the facts seem worth mentioning. For them no
Europe was agitated, no court was ordered in mourning, no
papal hearts trembled with indignation. At their death the
world looked on complacent, indifferent or exulting. Yet
here, out of 25 poor men and women were found 14, who by
no terror of stake or torture could be tempted to say they
believed what they did not believe. History has for them no
word of praise, yet they, too, were not giving their blood in
vain. Their lives might have been as useless as the lives of
most of us. In their death they assisted to pay the purchase
of English freedom."
Likewise, in writings of their enemies as well as friends, Dr.
Carroll found their history and that their trail through the ages
was indeed bloody:
Cardinal Hosius (Catholic, 1524), President of the
Council of Trent:"Were it not that the Baptists have been grievously
tormented and cut off with the knife during the past twelve
hundred years, they would swarm in greater number than
all the Reformers." (Hosius, Letters, Apud Opera, pages
The "twelve hundred years" were the years preceding the
Reformation in which Rome persecuted Baptists with the most
cruel persecution thinkable.
Sir Isaac Newton:"The Baptists are the only body of known Christians
that have never symbolized with Rome."
Mosheim (Lutheran):"Before the rise of Luther and Calvin, there lay secreted
4 THE TRAIL OF BLOODin almost all the countries of Europe persons who adhered
tenaciously to the principles of modern Dutch Baptists."
Edinburg Cyclopedia (Presbyterian):"It must have already occurred to our readers that the
Baptists are the same sect of Christians that were formerly
described as Ana-Baptists. Indeed this seems to have been
their leading principle from the time of Tertullian to the
Tertullian was born just fifty years after the death of the
Baptists do not believe in Apostolic Succession. The Apostolic
office ceased with the death of the Apostles. It is to His churches
that He promised a continual existence from the time He
organized the first one during His earthly ministry until He
comes again. He promised--"I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall
not prevail against it." (Matt. 16:18.)
Then, when He gave the great Commission, which tells what
His churches are to do, He promised--"I am with you alway, even unto the end of
the world." (Matt. 28:20.)
This Commission--this work--was not given to the Apostles
as individuals, but to them and the others present in their church
capacity. The Apostles and the others who heard Him give this
Commission were soon dead--BUT, His Church has lived on
through the ages, making disciples (getting folks saved), bap-
tizing them, and teaching the truth--the doctrines--He com-
mitted to the Jerusalem Church. These faithful churches have
been blessed with His presence as they have traveled the TRAIL
This history shows how the Lord's promise to His churches
has been fulfilled. Dr. Carroll shows that churches have been
found in every age which have taught the doctrines He com-
mitted unto them. Dr. Carroll calls these doctrines the "marks" of
New Testament Churches.
"MARKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH"
1. Its Head and Founder--CHRIST. He is the law-giver; the
THE TRAIL OF BLOOD 5
[local] Church is only the executive. (Matt. 16:18; Col. 1:18.)
2. Its only rule of faith and practice--THE BIBLE. (II Tim.
3. Its name--"church", "churches." (Matt. 16:18; Rev.
4. Its polity--CONGREGATIONAL--all members equal.
(Matt. 20:24-28; Matt. 23:5-12.)
5. Its members--only saved people. (Eph. 2:21; I Peter 2:5.)
6. Its ordinances--BELIEVERS' BAPTISM, FOLLOWED
BY THE LORD'S SUPPER. (Matt. 28:19-20.)
7. Its officers--PASTORS AND DEACONS. (I Tim. 3:1-16.)
8. Its work--getting folks saved, baptizing them (with a
baptism that meets all the requirements of God's Word), teaching
them ("to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded
you"). (Matt. 28:16-20.)
9. Its financial plan--"Even so [TITHES and OFFERINGS]
hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should
live of the gospel." (I Cor. 9:14.)
10. Its weapons of warfare--spiritual, not carnal. (II Cor. 10:4;
11. Its independence--separation of Church and State. (Matt.
In any town there are many different churches--all claiming
to be the true church. Dr. Carroll did as you can do now--take the
marks, or teachings, of the different churches and find the ones
which have these marks, or doctrines. The ones which have these
marks, or doctrines, taught in God's Word, are the true churches.
This, Dr. Carroll has done, to the churches of all ages. He
found many had departed from "these marks, or doctrines."
Other churches, however, he found had been true to these
"marks" in every day and age since Jesus said,"I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall
not prevail against it." (Matt. 16:18.)
"I am with you alway, even unto the end of the
world." (Matt. 28:20.)
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