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mouths; no sourness or moroseness dis | bishop is to be ordained, or when any graces their religion : and whatsoever they member who holds an office in the church believe their Saviour commands they prac. is to be excommunicated. As some of tise, without inquiring or regarding what the congregations have no bishops, it is others do."

also the duty of the bishop in the adjoining Though they in general maintain the congregation to assist in keeping an oversame principles at this present time, yet sight of such congregations. An elder they themselves confess there is not that among them is, in general, the first or same degree of vital piety cxisting among eldest chosen teacher in the congregation them that there was at the close of the where there is no bishop; it is the duty eighteenth century; owing, as they think, of the elder to keep a constant oversight to the circumstance of many of them hav. of that church by whom he is appointed ing become very wealthy, and of their in. as a teacher. It is his duty to appoint termarriage with others.

meetings, to baptize, to assist in excomThe German Baptists, or Brethren, munication, to solemnize the rites of mahave now dispersed themselves almost trimony, to travel occasionally, to assist through every State in the Union, more the bishops, and in certain cases to per. or less; but they are most numerous in form all the duties of a bishop. It is the Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio, duty of their teachers to exhort and preach and Indiana. It would be a difficult task at any of their regular stated meetings ; to give a regular statistical account of these and, by the request of a bishop or elder, people, as they make it no part of their to perform the ceremony of baptism and duty to keep an exact account of the num rites of matrimony. ber of communicants. Some of their It is the duty of their deacons, (or, larger congregations number from two to as they are sometimes called, visiting three hundred members; each congrega brethren,) to keep a constant oversight of tion has from two to three preachers, and the poor widows and their children, to 1 some more. In travelling and preaching render them such assistance as may be there are in general two together; and necessary from time to time; it is also very frequently one speaks in German, their duty to assist in making a general and the other in the English language, to visit among all the families or members the same congregation. None of their in their respective congregations, at least ministers receive any pecuniary compen- once a year, in order to exhort and comsation for any services they perform per fort one another, as well as to reconcile taining to the ministry; they preach, offi- all offences that may occur from time to ciate at marriages and funerals among all time. It is also their duty to read the who call upon them, without respect to Scriptures, to pray, and even exhort, if it persons: though their ministers will not may appear necessary, at their regular perform the rites of matrimony, unless meetings of worship. they can be fully satisfied that there are The general order of these people has no lawsul objections in the case of either been to hold their meetings for public of the parties to be married.

worship at dwelling-houses; but in some Their teachers and deacons are all of their congregations they have now chosen by vote, and their bishops are erected meeting houses, or places exchosen from among their teachers, after pressly for worship. Some of them are they have been fully tried and found faith built very large, without a gallery or a ful; they are ordained by the laying on pulpit. of hands and by prayer, which is a very They, as yet, have but one Annual solemn and affecting ceremony. It is the Meeting, which is held every year about duty of the bishops to travel from one con- Whitsuntide, and is attended by the bishops gregation to another, not only to preach, and teachers, and other members, who but to set in order the things that may be may be sent as representatives from the wanting ; to be present at their love-feasts various congregations. At these meetings and communions, and, when teachers and there is, in general, a committee of five deacons are elected or chosen, or when a l of the eldest bishops chosen from among

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those who are present, who retire to some cerning their doctrines, &c., we will only convenient place, to hear and receive such add, by way of conclusion, that they becases as may then be brought before them, lieve that God is no respecter of persons, by the teachers and representatives from but in every nation, he that feareth him the various congregations, which are (or and worketh righteousness, is accepted at least the most important of them) after with him; and that God so loved the wards discussed and decided upon, and world that he gave his only begotten Son, then those several queries with the con- that whosoever believeth on him should siderations as then concluded, are recorded not perish, but have everlasting life: and and printed in the German and English that God sent his Son into the world, to languages, and sent to the teachers in all seek and to save that which was lost, bethe different congregations in the United | lieving that he is able to save to the utterStates, who, when they receive them, or most all that come unto God through a as soon as convenient, read them to the crucified Redeemer, who tasted death for rest of their brethren. By this course of every man, and was manifested to destroy proceeding, they preserve a unity of sen- the works of the devil. And although it timent and opinion throughout all their has herein been testified, that they hold congregations.

general redemption as a doctrine, still it Some of their ministers manifest a great is not preached among them in general, deal of zeal in their Master's cause; and as an article of faith. It has probably although some of them are poorly circum- been held forth by those who felt them. stanced in the world, yet they, at their selves, as it were, lost in the love of God; own expense, leave their families for seve- and, perhaps, on this account, they have ral weeks in succession, and some even been charged with holding the sentiments longer, to preach the Gospel to others. of the Universalists, which they all deny. They have had a general revival amongst They conceive it their duty to declare the them within the few last years past; whole counsel of God, and therefore they many have been convicted and converted feel themselves bound to proclaim his under their preaching, and the cause of threatenings and his judgments against the religion seems to be progressing among wicked and ungodly; yet in accordance them; and what might seem strange to with their general principles, which are some, is, that they baptize by immersion, Love and Good Will, they are more freand that at any season of the year. quently led to speak of the love and

In connection with what has been said goodness of God towards the children of in the commencement of our account, con

men,

HISTORY

OF

THE ENGLISH SEVENTH DAY BAPTIST S.

BY W. B. GILLETT,

PASTOR OF THE SEVENTH DAY BAPTIST CHURCH, PISCATAWAY, N, J.

EVERY denomination is proud of tracing | says, “ That there were forty-four Jewish its origin back to its founder. But not so Christian churches in Rome, which must with the Seventh Day Baptists. They have been in the latter part of the second have no authentic records by which they century.” What is required to constitute can ascertain their origin, other than the a Jewish Christian Church, in Mr. RobinNew Testament, Neither would they son's opinion, is evident from what he pretend that they can trace their existence says of the Council of Bishops, in 517. back through the dark ages to the Apos- He calls them, “African Jewish Christies; yet they are bold to say they can tians.” The charge alleged against them do it with as much, or with more certainty, is, that in one of their canons they had than any denomination now in existence. done something towards regulating the

The sentiments to which they hold, and keeping of the Sabbath. It is probable the principles that distinguish them from that those forty-four churches in Rome, the religious world, they think, they are were guilty of the same offence, able to show, were taught by the Apostles, Mosheim gives an account of a sect in and practised by the early Christians. the twelfth century, in Lombardy, who That the seventh day Sabbath, was ob- were called Passagenians, or the circumserved by the Church, until the decree of cised ; they circumcised their followers, Constantine, profane history abundantly and celebrated the Jewish Sabbath. The shows; and very soon all the Roman do- account of their practising circumcision is minions felt the effects of God's law being doubtless a slanderous story ; and, because made void by human traditions.

they observed the seventh day, they were Although the mystery of iniquity began called, by way of derision, Jews. to work before the Apostles left the stage, There were Seventh Day Baptists in it had not shown itself supported by the Transylvania. Francis Davidis, first secular arm, until, under the pretence of chaplain to the court of Sigismund, the doing honor to Jesus Christ, God's law prince of that kingdom, and afterwards was set at naught, and human laws, superintendent of all the Transylvania unjust and cruel, enacted in its stead. churches, was a Seventh Day Baptist.

In Chambers's Dictionary of Arts and (Bened's Hist. vol. ii. p. 414.) Sciences, he says, “ In 321, the seventh As these Eastern churches have uniday was observed in Rome, and the enact formly practiced immersion for baptism, ing of Constantine's laws, relative to the these extracts show that there have been observation of the first day, shows, that it Christian churches from the earliest ages was not regarded as holy time.”

of Christianity, who agree in sentiment Robinson in his History of Baptism I with the Seventh Day Baptists in America. But it is uncertain whether the English | a clergyman who had professed great Seventh Day Baptists orignated from these friendship for Mr. Stennett. Mr. Stennett Eastern churches, or whether they were knowing that no proof of those charges by led to embrace their views from the Scrip- those witnesses, could be made justly, he tures only; their views have ever been resolved to traverse it. Various circumthe same as those entertained by the stances occurred that were all in his earlier Christians, who have observed the favor ; so that when Mr. Stennett came to seventh day of the week. At what time Newburg, neither prosecutor nor witness the Seventh Day Baptists first made their appearing against him, he was discharged. appearance in England, is uncertain. It After this he was confined a long time in is apparent that the Anglo-Saxons in their prison. early settlement of Great Britain, were Many of the Seventh Day Baptist minmany of them Seventh Day Baptists. isters were taken from their families and But the same tyranny that affected the congregations, and were cast into prison. Church at Rome, spread its baneful influ. Among the number was Rev. Joseph ence over the island of Great Britain. Davis, who was a long time prisoner in Dr. Chambers says,

“ There was a Oxon Castle. Francis Bamfield was one sect arose in the sixteenth century, but of the most eminent ministers of his time. we have no particular account of their He was educated at Oxford, and was a churches until about 1650.” In 1668 number of years a minister of the estabthere were nine or ten churches, besides lished church. In the time of the civil many scattered disciples in different parts wars he was against the Parliament, and of the kingdom. About this time there opposed to the Protector's usurpation; he was much debate upon the subject of the suffered much on that account. At what Sabbath, and the controversy became time he became a Baptist is not known, sharp; there were engaged in it, on both but on the restoration of Charles, he was sides, men of learning and ability, and treated with unrelenting severity. In one some of their works are still extant, prison he was confined eight years. After

While they were permitted to enjoy that he was released, went to London, and their privileges peaceably, they prospered, gathered a church that still exists as a notwithstanding the influence of the pul- Seventh Day Baptist Church; after that pit and the press. In 1668, Mr. Edward he was again imprisoned, and there died Stennett, a Seventh Day Baptist minister, in 1683. and pastor of a church in England, writes Robert Spaulder and John Mauldin, to his friends in America, and says, the were Seventh Day Baptists, and much churches here have their liberty, but we persecuted ; and Spaulder was even taken hear that strong bonds are making for us. out of his grave by his persecutors. And it was this good man's lot to bear a (Bene's Hist. vol. ii. p. 417.) But the part of the persecutions of that day. For most barbarous and cruel acts of persecuthe Conventicle Act forbid them to meet tion were practiced upon John James, the on the Sabbath for worship at any rate. minister of a Seventh Day Baptist Church If they met on the Sabbath, they had to in London ; he was put to death in a most do it by stealth; whilst their enemies cruel manner in 1661. To take away his were ever watchful, to find, if possible, life was not enough to satisfy his enemies, some accusation against them. Mr. Sten- but after being hung at Tyburn, he was nett was arrested under pretence that he drawn and quartered, his quarters were held meetings in his house, which meet- carried back to Newgate on the sledge ings he had held in his hall for a long that carried him to the gallows; they were time, but they were managed with so much afterwards placed on the gate of the city, discretion, that it was impossible for those and his head was placed on a pole, oppoinimical to them to be admitted, so as to site his meeting house. He went to the appear as witnesses against the persons gallows as an innocent man, and died in who met there. At length a neighboring a joyful manner. This is a brief narraclergyman, resolved to suborn witnesses, tive of the prosperity, trials, and sufferings but in this he was defeated. And he was of the early Seventh Day Baptists in Eng

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land. Some left the country, others still | Newport have felt the disadvantages atadhered to their peculiar views; even to tending them in a city, and for years they the present day there are a few small have been on the decline; since many churches in England. There are two in have removed to different parts of the London, one at Shoreditch, one at Mill State, and some made their way into the Yard, but their numbers must be small; far West, where they have been the means and there are some scattering individuals of establishing churches, some of which throughout the kingdom, and some in are large and Aourishing. But this event Scotland.

has not terminated in extinguishing the In 1665, Mr. Stephen Mumford, a little light; although the mother church Seventh Day Baptist, came from England has become very weak and almost extinct. to Newport, Rhode Island, and soon Mr. This church has had a succession of Samuel Hubbard, a Baptist, embraced his worthy ministers, the most of them were views; there were others who soon em- born, ordained, and preached, and died, braced the same sentiments, but they con- members of that church. tinued to travel together in the same The church at Hopkinton, R. I., was church, until 1671. Mr. Hubbard has established by brethren from Newport, in left a manuscript journal, in which he 1708. For a number of years this church gives an account of their separation. numbered nine hundred members, but Soon after this (alluding to their embrac- several churches have since been constiing the Sabbath,) many hard things were tuted in the vicinity, by members from said to the Sabbath-keepers by their breth- this church. They still number over five ren, that they had gone from Christ to hundred members, having two ordained Moses; that the gentiles had nothing to ministers, and an elegant meeting-house do with the ten commandments. And in on the banks of the Paucatuck river. 1681, they came to an open separation, From this church there have been sent when these brethren and sisters entered out many ministers, who have been lastinto church-fellowship together, and be- ing blessings to the cause of truth. There came the first Seventh Day Baptist Church, are now in Rhode Island seven churches, in America. This little church being thus six ordained ministers, and not far from constituted, William Hiscox became their one thousand communicants; and from first pastor; but a hostile spirit was soon these churches the tide of emigration has raised against this little band, and laws taken hundreds into the western country. were enacted severe and criminal in their In the State of Connecticut there are nature. John Rogers, a member of this but two small churches, which probably church, was sentenced to sit a certain time number one hundred communicants, and upon a gallows with a rope about his neck, but one ordained minister. to which he submitted.

The Seventh Day Baptists in New JerThere were many other severities prac. sey arose from different circumstances. tised upon the Sabbath-keepers in New One Edmund Dunham, a First Day BapEngland, while the Baptists were perse tist member, became convinced that he cuted for their baptism. The Seventh and his brethren were in an error as it Day Baptists met with opposition from all, regarded the Sabbath of the Lord. He and as far as the civil laws would permit, presented his views to his brethren, and they suffered the dire effects arising from about twenty of his brethren and sisters this state of things.

came out with him in sentiment. They From these and other causes the pro- separated from the First Day church, and gress of the Seventh Day Baptists has entered into covenant together, to walk been very much impeded. Their history together as a gospel church, in 1705, and details no remarkable revolution in their sent Edmund Dunham to Rhode Island to favor. Worldly honors, interest, influence receive ordination, and he was chosen their and convenience are against them, and pastor. have always been opposed to their perse- They are located in the county of Mid. verance in the observance of the Sabbath. dlesex, Piscataway township, thirty miles The members composing the church at | from New York city, and six miles from

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