By the early sixteen hundreds, groups of seventh day sabbath keepers began
to surface throughout Britain. An article entitled "Sabbath" in "Chambers'
Encyclopedia " tells us that in England during this time
conscientious and independent thinkers advocated the seventh day.
Sabbath keepers now commonly came into historical
In Britain, which was no longer under domination of the Roman church, these
sabbath and commandment keeping Christians enjoyed a moment of rest in
the sun, so to speak, but in 1661 an incident involving John James, a minister
of a sabbath keeping congregation, changed all that.
One day while preaching to his assembly the police broke up the sabbath
meeting by literally dragging James from his pulpit. He and thirty
other members of his church group were taken into custody. Those
who refused to pledge an oath of allegiance to the King of England, who
is also the head of the Anglican church, were sent to prison. James
himself, who was charged with treason, was sentenced to be "hanged, drawn
and quartered". After he was hung, his heart was cut out of it's
cavity and burned, his quartered body was hung on the gates of the city
and his head was set on a pole outside the church group's place of
The handwriting was on the wall
True Christians once again had to seek safety from persecution, this time
- across the ocean to a "New World", where they hoped they would find a
land where they could finally worship in freedom.