I read this post from O. S. Hawkins about a sermon, an address by the legendary W. A. Criswell, St. Patrick was a Baptist Preacher. Good read at http://www.wacriswell.com/index.cfm/FuseAction/Search.Transcripts/sermon/1282.cfm
Here is an excerpt:
“He went out at the call of God, and in these confessions he speaks with greatest loneliness of mind. He refers to himself as being rustic and untaught and not being able to write in fine, fine language. And the confessions are like that. They are crude, and rude, and rustic, and ungrammatical, just like the preaching of Dwight L. Moody. But God was in him, and he crossed over into Ireland and began that incomparable ministry.
Now, I wish I had three or four or five hours. As he landed there, he must have had a tremendous presence. The fire and the glory and the fever of God must have burned in his soul. When the Druid priests came to slay him, they were like men standing in the presence of the Son of God. When he landed, Dicul, the king, came down, thinking it was a pirate, to destroy him. Patrick stood there, and in the unction and the power of the Holy Ghost, preached the gospel to Dicul. And there, about fourteen miles southeast of Ireland, he built his first church; and possibly about fifty years later, he died there and was buried in the realm and in the kingdom of Dicul.
I referred a while ago that the central kingdom was named Meath. The capital of the kingdom was Tara. And the king’s residence had in it a great banquet hall. It was seven hundred and fifty-nine feet long. It was ninety feet wide, and it had fourteen entrances. And Patrick went to Tara and preached the gospel there to Laoghaire, the king of all Ireland!
He had a missionary, strategist intuition. If he could win the king and the chief and the head of the clan, he’d win the whole country! And this is exactly what Patrick did. He went to the king’s court, he went to the chief clansman, he went to the head of the tribe, and he preached the gospel in power, and they were converted! And all through the life of Patrick, there are recorded baptisms by the thousands and the thousands and the thousands!
Now, in just the few seconds that I have left, may I describe his Baptist principles? And then I’m through. “What makes you think he was a Baptist? What makes you think he was a gospel preacher?”
All right, first because of his appeal to the Word of God, He never appeals to canons. He never appeals to ecclesiastical authorities. He never takes orders from some hierarchy, but he stands there preaching the Word of God!
Now, you look at this. In those little, brief pieces that I have read, all of the work extant from his hand in the little brief pieces, he quotes from the Old Testament sixty-one times, from eighteen different books; and he quotes from the New Testament one hundred sixty-one times, from twenty-two books of the New Testament. And when he’s not quoting a passage of Scripture, his language is the language of the Bible. He was like Apollos; mighty in the Word of God. And his appeal always is to the Book. What does the Book say? What does the Bible say? What does God say?
All right, second thing about him; when he organized churches, he organized them exactly like this church is organized and like all of our other Baptist churches are organized. He organized himself more than three hundred sixty-five churches, and they ordained their own pastors. No outside hierarchy. They ordained their own pastors. And each church had a bishop, they called him; had a pastor. And when Patrick died, there were seven hundred churches in Ireland with seven hundred bishops, seven hundred pastors. And they had a population of about two hundred thousand. What would you do with seven hundred modern bishops in a population of two hundred thousand? Each church had its own pastor, and they called him a bishop.”
Pray that the Lord would continue to call out our best and brightest to preach the Word of God to our nation and that a spirit of repentance and faith would sweep our land.