Sayfadaki görseller

its pastor. It does not appear that any | against none was it more furious than farther correspondence was ever main against Elder Farley. The settlers on the tained. Elder Corp and his church met a Mohawk river were mostly Dutch, and, decided opposition, but nevertheless the passionately devoted to the Dutch church, little vine grew and flourished. Mr. which had then had little more than the Nicholas Northrup, who had been a sailor, name to live. They called him John the and was now a member of this church, Baptist, and took every means to annoy

commenced preaching; and finally was, and oppose him. Finding their efforts Hi at the request of the church, ordained by vain, and that the work of the Lord spread

Elder Corp without assistance. Thomas rapidly, they applied to their minister to Talman who had been one of Burgoyne's put him down; but he wisely kept in the soldiers, was converted, joined the church, distance. At length Major Cassler, Col. commenced preaching, and was ordained Bellinger, and Judge Rosecrants were in. by Elders Corp and Northrup. Both of duced to meet him in a public disputation, these men, as well as Elder Corp, were but being effectually silenced, they soon active and very efficient ministers. quit the contest. He travelled consider.

About this time a church was organized able, and revivals followed him wherever in Florida, (now Ames) Montgomery Co., he went. As the result, churches were N. Y., and George Elliott ordained its pas- organised in Litchfield, Minden, (now Dator. In 1797 Elder Corp settled in Russia, nube,) Whitmontown, Burlington, StarkHerkimer Co., and in 1799 a most power- ville, and subsequently several others. ful reformation resulted from his labors. He still lives, but has been disabled from A church was formed in June, 1800, by preaching for a long time, by an affection Elders Corp and Elliott, over which Elder of the throat. Corp remained pastor, until his decease in The churches had become so numerous 1838. He however travelled considerable, that a general meeting

conference was and assisted in many ordinations and orga- held in 1803 composed of delegates from nizations of churches. He was a very the several churches. Some say one was useful preacher, much beloved, distin- held as early as 1801. This conference guished for his tenderness of spirit and afterward continued to meet annually, when power of appeal, and died full of years and the best means of promoting the cause of usefulness. Northrup remained for many Christ were discussed, and strength gained years the efficient pastor of the church at by uniting in religious services. Devotion Stephentown, and Talman raised up seve- seems to be one of the prominent objects ral churches in Canada which were after- of these meetings, although the conference wards gathered into a conference. Both licensed and ordained ministers at the redied in faith.

quest of the churches of which they were Another church was gathered in Rich- members, and attended to such matters of field, Otsego Co., over which John Straight general interest as came before them. They was settled as pastor. Elder Straight disclaimed any power to revoke the deci. proved to be a corrupt man, and the church sions of individual churches. Councils, finally became extinct. Before this how. with advisory powers, were also appointed ever a society was gathered in the adjoin- to deliberate in matters of difficulty. The ing town of Plainfield, Oct. 8th, 1822, which name of Free Communion Baptists had still remains a permanent and efficient already been adopted. church. About this time a church was From this time, their principles spread organized in Worcester, and Ezekiel Carr and their number rapidly increased. In ordained, but Elder Carr dishonored the 1806, churches had been gathered in cause, and the church lost its visibility. Canada, Vermont, and Pennsylvania ; and

John Farley, a member of the Richfield a correspondence opened with some Genechurch, commenced preaching in 1801, and ral Baptists in Virginia and the Carolinas. was ordained in 1803. He was a young This correspondence was, however, soon man of vigorous intellect, and proved emi- after interrupted. Many new and efficient nently successful. During all this time preachers were raised up, while the opposition and persecution ran high, but I churches were continually strengthened

[ocr errors]


and many new ones gathered in the ad- In the mean time the cause gained ground, joining towns and counties. There were and churches multiplied, many having been churches among the Indians at Brother collected north of the Mohawk river; as town and Stockbridge. These tribes were well as in Brookfield, Sherburne, Nelson, mostly from the state of Rhode Island, and Columbus, McDonough, Lebanon, and have now nearly dwindled away, and the several other places south of it. Thirtychurches which were subsequently united, five churches were represented in 1825, have become extinct. They had two or when a division of the conference was three preachers among them, one of whom, made; the river being the dividing line. Elder B. G. Fowler, is still living in Wis. These were all in the state of New York, consin.

the other churches having ceased to reproElder Nathaniel Dickerson from New sent themselves to this body. The two Jersey, visited the conference in 1811, and bodies were called the Northern and stated that there were about 400 in con. Southern Conferences. The ministers, nection with him, who were similar to the not before mentioned, who during this Free Communion Baptists; but from some time had been most active and efficien!, unknown cause the correspondence was were Elders Caleb Easterbrooks, P. W. not long continued. Like all other deno. Lake, William Hunt, Russell Way, Benminations, they had their trials,-their jamin Rowland, Amasa Dodge, Bennett scenes of adversity, as well as of prospe. Hart, and others. rity. Not the least among these, was the Of these, perhaps none were more elli. defection of some of their ministers, and cient than Elders Easterbrooks and Hunt. the consequent dispersion and extinction The former was truly a foster father to of several flourishing churches. Not- the churches, possessed of considerable withstanding this they increased in num- talent, extensive influence, and universally bers and influence, so that in 1820, twenty- beloved. His death, in 1831, was five churches were represented, containing severe blow to the churches, from which 2142 members. The Canada and Ver- they hardly recovered. The latter still mont churches were not represented, and lives, (1847,) but he is one who has come it is probable that others were not. down to us from another generation. His

The Pennsylvania Conference, which head is frosted for the grave, and soon its was principally located in Susquehanna embrace must hide him from our sight. and Wayne counties, and then numbered But he goes like a shock of corn fully ripe. 700 members, soon began to decline; and Very many will rise up and call him the remnants subsequently united with the blessed, for but few men have been the Freewill Baptists, before the union of the instruments of the conversion of more main body. The churches in Massachu- sinners than he. Way, Rowland, and setts and Vermont organized a conference, Dodge are also still living. which soon after represented itself to the After cxperiencing the mutations inci. Freewill Baptist General Conference. dent to such bodies—the successes and They do not appear to have ever had reverses which are the lot of all, thirty. any very close connection with the con. one churches were represented in the two ference in N. Y. Nə very regular cor. conferences in 1835. Delegates were respondence was maintained with the con- also, at the same time, appointed by them, ference in Canada. In 1837, it had 11 which met and formed a General Conferchurches, 8 ministers, and 426 members. ence of the whole body, which likewise Some of these have since joined the Free assembled annually. In 1836 the two will Baptists in that province, and of the conferences were each divided, making rest, the writer has little knowledge. four Annual Conferences, representing

A delegation from the Freewill Baptists themselves to the General Conference. attended a conference at Brothertown in These conferences were farther sub-divided 1821, with the proposition of a union of into ten Quarterly Meetings, which held the two bodies. For some reason this their sessions four times a year; while was entirely unsatisfactory, and the at the Annual Conferences, which were still tempt was not renewed for several years. held, were composed of delegates from the

Quarterly Meetings, instead of directly, have ranked among the best educational
from the churches, as heretofore. This institutions in the country.
sub-division took place in 1838.

The Free Communion Baptists also took Many of the churches, especially in a bold stand in favor of the various bene. the Southern Conference, were accustomed volent operations of the age, such as Anti to leave out the term “Communion” in Slavery, Temperance, Moral Reform, Sabtheir name; and the second General Con- bath Schools, and Missions. The rum ference in 1836, voted to expunge it alto- drinker and the slave holder or their apogether, although many churches continued logists were refused admission to their to use it. Hence they are sometimes churches, pulpits, or communion. Re. known under the appellation of Free spectable sums were raised for foreign and Baptists. The term “Open Communion” domestic missions. One of their ministers, was also used for the same purpose. Jeremiah Phillips, of Plainfield, N. Y., was These names are all indicative of the same sent out to Orissa, a province in Hindoospeople,

tan, under the patronage of the Freewill Their statistics were as follows, in 1840. Baptist Board of Missions, but they contriA General Conference, 4 Yearly Confer- buted most of his support. He is still laences, 9 Quarterly Meetings, 51 churches, boring, with a native church under his and 2,470 communicants. A few indivi- charge at Balasore, but as he has learned dual churches in the Northeastern part of the language of the Santals and reduced the state had recently united with the it to writing, he will probably soon be Freewill Baptist Quarterly Meeting, and transferred to a mission among that peothe German Q. M., including seven ple. The Santals are a people living in churches, had been expelled from the the same country, but having a different connection the year before for mal-prac- language, customs, and religion from the tice, Some of these churches have since Hindoos. been gathered up, and the rest have lost They also generally take a strong stand their visibility.

against Secret Societies.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]


In these respects they were so similar
Most of the ministers were men who to the Freewill Baptist, that little need be
had not enjoyed extensive literary and added. (See last article.) In the early
scientific privileges. A few, however, history of the F. C. Baptists they gene-
were well educated, and the need of the rally held to the so-called doctrine of the
aid of education was early felt. No final perseverance of the saints; but they
school under their charge, existed for soon regarded it with less tenacity, and
some time, and such of them as obtained finally abandoned it altogether. They also
more than a common school education had written covenants and articles of faith,
were either self-educated, or were indebted which some of the Freewill Baptists once
for it to the schools of other denominations. discarded. They would not commune
At length a systematic effort was made, with anti trinitarians, nor does it appear
and a Seminary, of the higher grade, was that they ever regarded washing feet as a
established, under flattering prospects, at Gospel ordinance.
Clinton, Oneida Co., N. Y. The build. Their church government was strictly
ings were soon found too straight for them, congregational, and the power of their
and the trustees disposed of their location conferences, councils, etc., was only ad-
and property here, and purchased the visory, and had no authority to revoke
commodious buildings of the Oneida Insti- the decisions of churches. A rule was
tute, at Whitestown, which had become adopted that, “ If any elder in our con.
private property. This was in 1844. In nection be expelled for perjury, habitual
the same year the Freewill Baptists located drunkenness, theft, fornication, or adulte.
their Theological Seminary at the same ry, he shall not be restored to his official
place, since which time, both departments station."

[merged small][ocr errors]

UNION OF THE FREEWILL BAPTISTS. I was finally mutually compromised by

For some time after the unsuccessful agrecing that each church should adopt attempt at union with the Freewill Bap- either name as it saw fit; and that Free tists in 1821, little correspondence was Communion, Free, and Freewill Baptists

, kept up with them. But eventually, as should be significant of one and the same acquaintance became more intimate, the people. prejudices, differences, and local difficul- | Thus the union was finally consumties, measurably wore away, and it was mated in 1841, but a few churches and gradually revived. After a little, there ministers refused to assent to it. Most of was several exchanges of ministers, which these have since joined, although the greatly hastened a union. Several com church in Russia, which Elder Corp or. mittees were respectively appointed by the ganized in 1800, still stands aloof." All General Conferences of the two denomina- the others that have not joined are well tions, to investigate the matter, and not a nigh, if not entirely, extinct. So the Free little discussion and excitement was eli- Communion Baptists are now known only cited by it. Various reasons induced as an integral part of the Freewill Bapseveral Free Communion Baptist ministers tist denomination. to strongly oppose the union, but the great It should be noted that at the time of majority were decidedly in favor of it. the origin of the F. C. Baptists, neither Considerable opposition arose to a change they nor the Freewill Baptists were aware of name on both sides, and the matter of the existence of the other.





The Old School Baptists hold themselves | than break fellowship with those whom we a separate church, as distinct from the had been used to recognize as brethren. New School, or Mission Baptists, and from But at length, we becoming wearied with the Reformed Baptists, or Campbellites, as the continued increase of those humanly from other denominations.

devised institutions, with the corruption in Formerly our churches and associations doctrine, which they fostered, the spirit of stood in connection with what are now the the world, which they brought into the Mission Baptists. When modern mission churches, the confusion and contentions, ism and its kindred institutions began to be which they occasioned in the associations ; brought in among us, about 1813, some of and further, being more sensibly convinced, our churches and associations would have as we trust, by the teachings of the Spirit, nothing to do with them, some in a limited and from a comparison of those institutions measure countenanced them; others stood with the Scriptures, that they are entirely neutral, trying to bear with them rather diverse from that simplicity of order insti. tuted by our Lord, and declared in the predestination and special atonement, by New Testament as the law of his kingdom, those who thought themselves wiser, in and by which he would keep his people having learned in Fuller's new school, that constantly mindful, that, in the building up system which suspends every thing touchof his churches, in the giving to them pas- ing salvation, on conditions to be complied tors and teachers, and in the gathering in with by the creature, and opened the floodof his elect, the excellency of the power is gate for letting in all those contrivances in of God, and not of us, a determination to religion, as though the bringing of the seperate began to be manisested, corres. many sons unto glory depended on human pondence was had with brethren in different effort. We thus use the appellation be. sections of our country, and then a meet- cause, as an opprobrious term, it was first ing was held of brethren from different as given to those who held the doctrine for sociations and states, and an address pub- which we contend,—not as approving of lished in 1832, setting forth the reasons scholastic religion. why we could not longer give countenance I am not furnished with data to give to any of that mass of institutions and so- correct statement of our numbers. There cieties which had been introduced among are but few States or Territories in the us, nor fellowship to those who should con- Union, in which there is not an association tinue to adhere to them.

of churches of our order, and in most of This brought brethren, churches, and them there are several associations. Some associations that had been groaning under adhere to the former order of associations, the burdens of human inventions and im- that, of churches uniting to form a compositions in religion, to separate themselves, pound body by articles of constitution. some sooner and some later, from the Other churches simply agree to hold meetwhole mass of the popular religion and ings together, yearly, or oftener, for keepreligionists, and to take a stand, as a dis- ing up a correspondence among them, tinct people, upon the old baptist standard, rejecting the idea of such compound bodies the holding of the Scriptures as the only being connected with the church of Christ, and a perfect rule of faith and practice, and all constitutional compacts among and Christ as the Foundation, the Head, churches, believing that the love of the and the Life of the church, the only source brethren will have a sufficiently binding and medium of salvation.

influence. This separation occasioned the splitting There are several periodicals published of several associations, and many churches. by Old School Baptists, the oldest of which,

We took, as a distinguishing appellation, and the one most extensively circulated, is the name, “Old School Baptists." This “The Signs of the Times,” published by name we considered appropriate to us, not Elder Gilbert Beebe, at New Vernon, only as going back to the ancient order of Orange county, N. Y. By our opponents Baptists, but also from its having been given we are called Anti-mission and Anti-effort to such as adhered to the old doctrine of Baptists, &c.

« ÖncekiDevam »