Sayfadaki görseller

only their minutes and circulars, with adopted a policy particularly calculated to occasional sermons, were published. Af increase their numbers. They would terward, for several years, Buzzell's Maga- have numbered thousands of communi. zine, a Freewill Baptist Register, and cants more than they now do, but for their other periodicals, were published ; and uncompromising anti-slavery position ; occasionally such books were printed as having withdrawn connection some years the wants of the connexion demanded. since from four thousand in North CaroFor some twenty-two years last past the lina on account of their being slave-hold“ Morning Star,” the principal organ of ers; and having refused, on the same the denomination, has made its weekly principle, to receive into the connection visits among them with an extensive cir- some twelve thousand from Kentucky and culation, and has accomplished for the vicinity, who sent a delegation, four years cause a great amount of good. Though since, to the General Conference for that they regard the Holy Scriptures as their purpose. As a denomination, they have only rule of faith and practice, they have no connection whatever with the horrid found it to their great advantage to pub- system of slavery; the General Conferlish, some years ago, a Treatise of their ence, Yearly, and Quarterly Meetings, Faith, which combines, summarily, the having taken a strong and decided antidoctrines and usages of the connection. slavery ground. Thence the reason why Standard hymn-books, works on the Free. there are no more Freewill Baptists in the dom of the Will, General Atonement, slave-holding states. The General BapDivinity of Christ, Free Communion, tists of England are in their sentiments Baptism, Ministry, etc., memoirs of Ran- and usages with us, and a correspondence dall, Colby, Marks, etc., have been pub- and exchange of publications, have been lished, and a complete History of the carried on for many years; and their Freewiil Baptists is now printing; and Foreign Missionaries, and ours, in Orissa, there is lately issued from the press a in part, co-operate together. Our contheological volume, by the principal of nection have warmly espoused, and are their Biblical School. Works and authors, zealously supporting, the various religious though not numerous, are increasing enterprises of the age. Finally—The among them. Though the Freewill Bap- Freewill Baptist denomination considers tist ministry generally are not so learned itself a humble branch of the great Chris. as it were desirable, many of them having tian Church, a lesser tribe of the true to pick up much of their biblical know. Israel of God; but purposes to do all it ledge as they preach, there is now in the can for the salvation of immortal souls, ministry quite a number of liberally edu- and the extension of the Redeemer's king. cated men, and this number is yearly in- dom among men. creasing. They have one Biblical School and several flourishing academies; and it

II. DOCTRINE AND USAGES. may be safely said, that their ministry is becoming better and better educated. The Scriptures.—The Holy Scripturcs,

The Freewill Baptists have arisen, essen- embracing the Old and New Testaments, tially, by religious revivals; by conversions were given by inspiration of God, and and accessions from such as were “ with constitute the Christian's perfect rule of out,” rather than by secessions from other faith and practice. denominations. Protracted meetings, and Of God.— There is only one true and their quarterly and yearly associations, living God, who is a spirit, self-existent, have been blessed of God, as well as the eternal, immutable, omnipresent, omnis. ordinary means of grace. In 1841, about cient, omnipotent, independent, good, wise, two and a half thousands of * Free Bap- just, and merciful; the creator, preserver, tists in the State of New York united with and governor of the universe; the rethem. The Freewill Baptists have never deemer, saviour, sanctifier, and judge of

men; and the only proper object of divine More generally known as Free Commu- worship: He exists in three persons, nion Baptists. See succeeding article. offices, distinctions or relations,-Father,


Son, and Holy Ghost, which mode of ex- | again, born of the Spirit, passing from istence is above the understanding of finite death unto life. The soul is then justified

with God. Of Christ.—The Son of God possesses Sanctification is a setting apart the all divine perfections, which is proven from soul and body for holy service, an entire his titles : true God, great God, mighty consecration of all our ransomed powers God, God over all, etc.; his attributes : to God; believers are to strive for this eternal, unchangeable, omniscient, etc., with all diligence. and from his works. He is the only in- Perseverance. -As the regenerate are carnation of the Divine Being.

placed in a state of trial during life, their Of the Holy Spirit.—He has the attri. future obedience and final salvation are butes of God ascribed to him in the neither determined nor certain ; it is how. Scriptures; is the sanctifier of the souls ever their duty and privilege to be steadof men, and is the third person in the fast in the truth, to grow in grace, perse. Godhead.

vere in holiness, and make their election Of Creation.—God created the world sure. and all it contains for his own glory, and Immediately after death, men enter a the enjoyment of his creatures; and the state of happiness or misery, according to angels, to glorify and obey Him.

their character. At some future period, Of man's primitive state, and his fall. known only to God, there will be a resur. -Our first parents were created in the rection both of the righteous and the image of God, holy and upright and free; wicked, when there will be a general but, by yielding to temptation, fell from judgment, when all will be judged acthat state, and all their posterity with cording to the deeds done in the body; them, they then being in Adam's loins; the righteous be admitted into eternal and the whole human family became ex. happiness, and the wicked assigned to posed to temporal and eternal death. eternal misery.

Of the Atonement.--As sin cannot be These are the Freewill Baptist views of pardoned without a sacrifice, and the blood the principal points of Bible doctrine. of beasts could never actually wash away

T'he Church, Ordinances, Ministry. sin, Christ gave himself a sacrifice for the A Christian church is an assembly of persins of the world, and thus made salvation sons who believe in Christ, and worship possible for all men. Through the re- the true God agreeably to his word. In demption of Christ man is placed on a a more general sense, it signifies the whole second state of trial; this second state so body of real Christians throughout the far differing from the first, that now men world. The church being the body of are naturally inclined to transgress the Christ, none but the regenerate, who obey commands of God, and will not regain the gospel, are its real members. Bethe image of God in holiness but through lievers are received into a particular the atonement by the operation of the Holy church, on their giving evidence of faith, Spirit. All who die short of the age of covenanting to walk according to the accountability are rendered sure of eternal Christian rule, and being baptized. The life. Through the provisions of the atone ordinances* of the church are two, Bapment all are abilitated to repent of their sins and yield to God; the Gospel call is * « Washing the Saint's feet.-At our fifth to all, the Spirit enlightens all, and men General Conference, held at Wilton, Me., in are agents capable of choosing or refusing. October, 1831, this subject was considered ;

and, after it had been harmoniously discussed, Regeneration is an instantaneous reno. vation of the soul by the Spirit of God, was made, viz:

the following memorandum and agreement whereby the penitent sinner, believing in Whereas, the subject of washing the Saint's and giving all up for Christ, receives new feet has produced no small excitement among life, and becomes a child of God. This Christians of our denomination, some churches change is preceded by true conviction, have sufficient evidence from the New Testa

and individual members believing that they 1. repentance of, and penitential sorrow for, ment, to warrant the practice as an ordinance '| sin; it is called in Scripture, being born of the gospel, while other churches and indi

[ocr errors]

tism and the Lord's Supper. Baptism is | by unanimous vote, but may be excluded an immersion of the candidate in water, by vote of two-thirds. Churches hold in the name of the Father, and of the Son, monthly conferences, and report once in and of the Holy Spirit ; the only proper thrce months to the Quarterly Meeting by candidate being one who gives evidence of letter and delegates. Though the New a change of heart. Communion is a Testament is their book of discipline, they solemn partaking of bread and wine in have usually written covenants. Some commemoration of the death and suffer. churches commune once in three months, ings of Christ. The Freewill Baptists are others once in two months, others monthly. free communionists, extending an invita. Quarterly Meetings are composed of tion to all members of regular standing in several churches, varying in number acany of the evangelical denominations. cording to circumstances. Their sessions The officers in the church are two, elders are four times a year, continuing two and and deacons. The duty of elders, bishops a half days. The members of a Quaror ministers, which office by either of these terly Meeting are ministers and such names includes pastors and evangelists, brethren as the churches may select. In is to preach, administer the ordinances, these associations, preachers are appointed and take the pastoral care of the church. to supply, in part, destitute churches, canMinisters are to consecrate themselves didates for ihe ministry examined and wholly to their calling, and to be sustained licensed, councils appointed to attend to by the churches. No grade is acknow. ordinations, &c. A Ministers' Conference ledged in the Christian ministry. The is held in connection with the Quarterly province of deacons is to attend to the Meeting. Yearly Meetings are constituted pecuniary concerns of the churches, assist of several Quarterly Meetings, associated the minister in church labors, supply the in the same manner as churches are in communion-table, bear the elements to the the formation of a Quarterly Meeting. communicants, and take the lead in social The Yearly Meetings do something at meetings when necessary.

sustaining evangelists or itinerating minUsages of the Denomination.-Gov. isters; transact the relative business of ernment among the Freewill Baptists is the Quarterly Meetings, and adopt other not episcopal, but independent or residing measures for the spread of the gospel. in the churches. Each elects its own The General Conference is composed of pastor, exercises discipline over its own a delegation, most of which are ministers, members, and is not accountable to the from all the Yearly Meetings in the conQuarterly Meeting only as a church ; that nection. It is now held once in three is, Quarterly Meetings cannot discipline years, its sessions continuing some nine church members, but churches only. or ten days. Its design is to promote unity, Churches are organized, and ministers scriptural holiness, Bible doctrine, and ordained, by a council from a Quarterly discipline, throughout the whole denomi. Meeting; and a minister, as such, is sub nation. The General Conference has no ject to the discipline of the Quarterly powers except such as are committed to Meeting to which he belongs, and not to the delegates by those bodies which arthe church of which he is pastor. Be- point them. It proposes and recommends, lievers are admitted as members of the but makes not laws for the connection. It church upon baptism or by letter, always is its proper province to deliberate on all

such points of doctrine and practice as vidual members have no evidence that satisfies may be referred to it by the Yearly Meet. their minds, of its having been practiced by ings, or proposed by its own members, and the Apostles; • Agreed, therefore, that all persons in connection with us, have a free and give such advice as they think the Scriplawful right to wash their feet or not, as may tures warrant, and the welfare of the conbest answer their consciences to God; neither nection requires. Also to recommend the performance or neglect of which should such measures as may promote God's canse a breach of Christian fellowship.' Free glory and the denomination's interest ; will Baptist Faith. p. 111.

It is not now generally practised, though not such as, Home and Foreign Missionary entirely in dessuetude.

Societies, book concern, and printing estab. lishment, seminaries of learning, and such ( resources this Society has been very

effecother benevolent institutions as are neces- tive. sary for the prosperity of the church. The “Freewill Baptist Education So

ciety," sustains a Theological Seminary

at Whitestown, N. Y., in connection with III. PRESENT STATISTICS. the Whitestown Seminary. The present

number of students in attendance, is 33. REVISED BY THE REV. A. D. WILLIAMS.

Tuition, Room Rent, Library, &c.; free; The Freewill Baptist denomination and it is equally open to students from all now extends into most of the United denominations. The “ Freewill Baptist States, Upper and Lower Canada, and the Sabbath School Union,” keeps a deposi. provinces of Nova Scotia and New Bruns. tory of Sabbath School books at Dover, wick. According to the best information N. H. Most of our churches have Sab. on hand, its statistics in June, 1846, were bath Schools. There are also other beneas follows -114 Quarterly Meetings; 26 volent associations, particularly in the Yearly Meetings; 1197 Churches ; 806 causes of temperance and anti-slavery. Ordained Preachers; 209 Licensed Preach- Literary Institutions. The following ers; and 55,232 Communicants. This is institutions are under the control of the however known to fall short of the real Freewill Baptists. Michigan Central Col. number; not including several conferences lege, at Spring Arbor, Mich., Whitestown in the Slave States, with whom we hold no Seminary, Whitestown, N. Y.; Geauga connection, on account of their connection Seminary, Chester X Roads, Ohio ; Smith. with Slavery.

ville Seminary, North Scituate, R. I.; Benevolent Institutions. The “Free. Parsonsfield Seminary, Parsonsfield, Me.; will Baptist Foreign Mission Society” was and Strafford Academy, Strafford, N, H. organized some twelve years ago, and has The “Freewill Baptist Printing Estabnow three stations in Orissa, a province lishment,” is a chartered association locaof Hindostan; three missionaries and their ted at Dover, New Hampshire, where wives, assisted by a female school teacher most of their books and periodicals are and three native preachers ; a school at printed. Its Trustees are appointed by each station; and a small church at each the General Conference. The “ Morning of two of them. Other missionaries have Star,” a weekly newspaper; the “ Gospel been accepted by the Board, and will sail Rill," a monthly missionary paper; the soon, when it is expected that a mission “Myrtle," a semi-monthly Sabbath School will be established among the Santals, a paper, are issued here; and the “ Biblical people essentially different from the Hin. Expositor and Review," is about to be doos, although living in the same country. issued in the place of the Quarterly Ma

The “ Freewill Baptist Home Mission gazine. Society," was instituted about the same REFERENCES. Life of Randall ; Buztime, and has a larger number of mission. zell's Magazine ; Life of Colby; Freewill aries in the field. At present it has several Baptist Treatise; Memoirs of David important stations in our large cities, un Marks; Freewill Baptist Register; Smart's der its charge; as well as several mis. Biblical Doctrine; Morning Star; Quarsionaries, at the West. Compared with its terly Magazine ; and the Review.







Union Conference,” which in 1790 numAt the close of the seventeenth century, bered 10 churches, 9 ministers, and 1521 two pernicious errors had crept into eccle. communicants; besides four churches and siastical matters in some parts of New Eng. three ministers which were not then conland. The first was that experimental nected with the conference. religion was not deemed absolutely indis

In the midst of the discussions and difpensable to the candidate for the ministry ; ficulties of this division, a church was and the second, which measurably grew organized in the town of Westerly, R. I., out of this, was a spirit of intolerance April 4th, 1750, and Mr. Stephen Babcock toward those who differed from the domi- ordained its pastor by Elder David Sprague nant church. To so great an extent was a Baptist, and a Mr. Solomon Paine, a Pedo. this carried, that the arm of civil power baptist minister. This church was one of was brought to the aid of the clergy, to the ten which belonged to the Groton Con. compel men to sustain and attend their ference. Ail of these churches were Cal. ministrations.

vinistic, and, gradually adopting the prac. As a consequence, true godliness de- tice of close communion, were merged into clined, and when the eloquent and devoted the Stonington Union Association of close Whitefield sought to resuscitate it, he was Baptists, except the Westerly church, which bitterly opposed, and denounced from the bad previously espoused Arminianism and high seats of learning, and from the pulpit. withdrawn from the conference, It still But the work of God was not thus to be exists, but without any connexion with stayed. In spite of persecution and deter- other churches. mined opposition, revivals followed him, and although he himself did not organize

GENERAL HISTORY. societies, yet the opposition and errors of the ministry and church induced many to

Just before the close of the eighteenth come out from it and establish separate century, one of the members of this Westmeetings. Many of these were converted erly church, a Mr. Benajah Corp, who had under the instrumentality of Whitefield, commenced preaching, removed to Stephenand took the name of “ Separates.” Dur- town, Renssalaer Co., N. Y. A revival of ing the first half of the eighteenth century, religion soon resulted from his labors there, a number of these societies were formed and a number were found who desired to in Rhode Island and Connecticut. Some be organized into a church. A council of them soon, and all finally, became Bap- was called from Rhode Island and Con. tists, without, however, practising close necticut, consisting of Elder Babcock of communion. In 1785, these churches Westerly, and an Elder Crandall, who united in an association called the “Groton organized a church and ordained Mr. Corp

« ÖncekiDevam »