The New International Encyclopædia/Baptists
BAP'TISTS (Gk. βαπτίζειν, baptizein, to dip in water, baptize). A name first given in 1644 to certain congregations of English Separatists, who had recently restored the ancient practice of immersion. These congregations were the first in modern times to maintain that immersion is essential to valid baptism: other bodies had practiced immersion, but without such teaching. The prominence assumed by the doctrine of baptism among the Baptists was due to the opposition of the other English churches to their practice. Immersion was denounced as newfangled, unnecessary, immodest, dangerous to health, etc. Naturally, Baptists retorted that immersion was indispensable. When the Continental Anabaptists had practiced immersion, no one had opposed their practice vehemently, and they were not tempted, therefore, to give special emphasis to its necessity. In general characteristics of doctrine and polity, the English Baptists were agreed with the more sober and evangelical groups of Anabaptists, and with the Mennonites. They held that loyalty to Christ and His teachings is the supreme duty of Christians; that these teachings are contained in the Scriptures, which are thus the sole and authoritative rule of faith and practice; that the religion of Christ is spiritual, and none can enter the kingdom of heaven, or should enter the Church on earth, unless he has been born anew of the Spirit of God; that only those should be baptized, therefore, who make personal profession of faith in Christ and give credible evidence of regeneration; that a true Christian Church is the fellowship of such baptized believers; that each Church has Christ as sole Head and Lawgiver; that no secular power should interfere with the spiritual interests of any believer or of any Church. These tenets are not accidentally associated, but constitute a logically compact series, each member of which is necessary to the full validity of the rest. All Baptist churches have been and are agreed in holding them, whatever their differences on other points.
From the first there were two main bodies among the English Baptists, distinguished by their adoption of the theology of Arminius or of Calvin. The Arminian or General Baptists originated first. About 1606 a congregation of Separatists at Gainsborough fled to Holland to escape persecution, and established themselves at Amsterdam. Their leader, John Smyth, had been a clergyman of the Church of England; now his contact with the followers of Arminius and with the Mennonites led him to the adoption of many new opinions. He became convinced that infant baptism is not warranted by the Scriptures, and he therefore baptized himself, no doubt by affusion. Several of his followers joined him, and a new church was organized, practicing the baptism of believers only. Smyth soon withdrew from the Church, but others held to their faith, and, returning to England in 1611, established the first General Baptist Church in London. By 1626 there were 5 such churches in England, and by 1644 they had increased to 47.
The Calvinistic or Particular Baptists sprang from a congregation of Separatists, established in London in 1616. In 1633 some members of this congregation, who opposed the baptism of infants, peaceably separated from the main body, a part of them receiving a new baptism; and soon afterwards John Spilsbury became the pastor of this new congregation. In 1640 a further division in the original Church occurred by mutual consent, and some of those composing one of the new congregations soon became convinced that immersion is the true Scriptural baptism. Knowing none in England who practiced such baptism, they sent one of their number, Richard Blount, to Holland. There was at Rynsburg a Collegiant Church of Mennonites, who had adopted immersion in 1610 (probably having received it from the Polish Anabaptists, who had possibly derived their practice from some of the Swiss Anabaptists). Having been baptized by them, Blount returned to England, and began the administration of the new baptism in 1641. The Spilsbury people seem to have disliked this method, which they considered a vain search after a baptismal ‘succession,’ and about the same time adopted the practice of immersion de novo. As their pastor pithily remarked, “Where there is a beginning, some must be first.” In 1644 seven churches of the Calvinistic order united in a Confession of Faith, being joined also by one French congregation, in which baptism was for the first time defined as ‘dipping’ or ‘plunging.’ The General Baptist churches gradually adopted the same practice, though some of them continued the use of affusion as late as 1653.
During the period of the Civil War and the Commonwealth, the Baptist churches received a practically full toleration, and increased with great rapidity. This was especially true of the Particular Baptists, who were in closest sympathy with Puritan movement. At the time of the Restoration (1660), the General Baptists claimed to have 20,000 members, whence it may be fairly estimated that there were fully 50,000 Baptists in all at that time. The services of these churches to the cause of English liberty, civil and religious, were heartily recognized. Several of Cromwell's highest officers were Baptists; some of the most popular preachers of the time were of the same faith; others, like John Milton, avowed Baptist sentiments, but never were connected with the churches. A few so far forgot their principles as to accept livings in the Established Church, and were even members of Cromwell's Triers, or commission of visitation for the setting in order of the parishes. The great majority, however, remained faithful to their contention, from the first, that the Church as a spiritual body should be entirely separate from the State, and that complete religious liberty should be given to all, even to Roman Catholics and Jews. It required two centuries for England to approximate the adoption of this Baptist programme. After the Restoration the Baptists were severely persecuted, the Conventicle and Five-Mile acts being strictly enforced against them. The well-known prolonged imprisonment of John Bunyan is the most conspicuous instance. Some proved more pliable than he, and by promise of silence obtained their release; some, like Hanserd Knollys, were in prison many times; others, like William Kiffen, enjoyed the royal favor and escaped with comparative immunity. Under these persecutions the Baptists declined in numbers, and the Revolution (1688) found them greatly depleted and discouraged. The Act of Toleration secured them from further persecution, but for a whole century thereafter their progress was very slow. A convention of the Particular Baptists, held in 1689, and representing over 100 churches, published what remained for generations their recognized standard of doctrine and practice. It was in the main a readoption of the Westminster Confession, and differed from the Confession of 1644 chiefly in being silent on the question of baptism (immersion) before communion. Until the great Wesleyan revival, in the middle part of the Eighteenth Century, there was no further progress among the English Baptists. Among the Particular churches a form of hyper-Calvinism was common, which prohibited more than the preaching of the law to the unconverted, and discouraged all direct appeals to men to accept Christ as their Saviour. The result was paralysis to most churches, and death to not a few. Among the General Baptists, Socinian views made rapid progress, and in the end a large part of their churches became Unitarian. The Wesleyan revival greatly affected the Baptist churches. A more evangelical type of preaching was revived in both wings of the denomination. Under the leadership of Dan Taylor, a converted miner, the New Connection of General Baptists was organized, and became a flourishing and influential body. But the most important result of this new quickening of spiritual life was the undertaking of work in foreign missions, under the leadership of William Carey. The English Baptist Missionary Society was organized October 2, 1792, and the following year Carey was able to begin his labors in India. At his death, in 1834, not only had many converts been made, but versions of the Scriptures had been issued under his supervision in 40 different dialects, spoken by one-third of the people in the world; and 212,000 copies of these versions had been printed. The great increase of the modern missionary cause is directly traceable to the work of Carey and the English Baptists. The reflex influence of this missionary enterprise upon the English Baptists themselves is equally remarkable. More than 100 new churches were organized in the last two decades of the Eighteenth Century — nearly equaling the increase of the entire century preceding this time — while in the first half of the Nineteenth Century 700 new churches were constituted. The most important step in the unification of the English Baptists was the formation of the Baptist Union, in 1832. Into this all the various societies for missionary and educational purposes have been merged; and, finally, in 1891, the long-separated General and Particular Baptists became one body. Of the men whom these churches have produced during the last hundred years three stand forth preëminent: Andrew Fuller (1754-1815), Robert Hall (1764-1831), and Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-92).
The first Baptist church in Wales of which record remains was formed at or near Swansea, in 1649. The growth of Baptists in that principality was greatly promoted by the labors of Vavasor Powell, who was baptized about 1655, and thereafter preached throughout the land, establishing 22 churches, some of which had several hundred members. The progress of Baptist churches in Wales was steady but slow until 1800. Of the 821 Welsh churches now in existence, 640 were founded in the Nineteenth Century. Until lately these churches have belonged to the strict communion wing; in recent years, some of the city and town churches have adopted ‘open’ principles.
The first Baptist church in Scotland was founded in Caithnesshire in 1750, but progress was very slow until Archibald McLean and the Haldane brothers began their work as evangelists — the first quarter of the last century. Scotland is naturally Presbyterian, and the growth of Baptist churches has been very slow, an average of 10 to the decade for the last hundred years. Ireland has also been an unpromising field. The oldest church dates from 1653. Two-thirds of the existing churches have been established since 1850.
Baptists in America. There were among the early colonists those who held Baptist views, but the first church established was at Providence, R. I. Roger Williams, a minister of the Church of England, but an advanced Puritan, on coming to the Colony of Massachusetts, became almost at once a disturbing element there, by his advocacy of notions that the authorities of that colony were not disposed to tolerate. He was condemned to banishment, October 8, 1635, and, to escape being deported to England, made his way through the wilderness in midwinter, bought land of the Narragansett Indians, and founded the Colony of Providence, on the principle of complete civil and religious liberty. His study of the Scriptures convinced him that only believers are fit subjects of baptism, and others of the little colony had come by March, 1639, to hold similar opinions. No minister being within call, this little band of twelve believers decided to originate baptism; one of their number, Ezekiel Holliman, baptized Williams, and he baptized the rest. In the following year, probably, another Baptist church was formed in the neighboring Colony of Newport. A company of Welsh Baptists emigrated in 1665 and established themselves in the Colony of Massachusetts, settling after some vicissitudes at Rehoboth, in 1667. A Baptist church was formed in Boston in 1655, and in spite of severe persecutions succeeded in maintaining itself there. Until 1691 the Baptists of Massachusetts experienced repeated and severe persecutions — fines and imprisonments and whippings — and it was not until 1833 that they ceased to be taxed for the support of a State Church. Up to the Great Awakening (1750), there were but eight Baptist churches in this region.
A group of churches, established a little later than these in the New England region, became the most influential centre for the propagation of Baptist ideas. In 1688 a Baptist church was formed at Pennepek, or Lower Dublin, now a part of Philadelphia, and in the same year another church was organized at Middletown, N. J. Twelve such churches were in existence by 1770. The constituent members of these churches were English and Welsh Baptists, of the Calvinistic wing, and the establishment of the Philadelphia Association in 1707 made them the most compact and influential body of Baptists in America. Most of the churches of New York Colony, as they were constituted from 1712 onward, sought admission to this association, which also contained members in Virginia and the Carolinas, as far south as Charleston. The adoption of a Confession before 1742, ever since known as the Philadelphia Confession, furnished a standard of doctrine that has endured to the present day, and multiplied the influence of this association.
From these two centres the extension of Baptist churches slowly proceeded until the Great Awakening, when new life and vigor was infused into the movement, and the progress of Baptists in all the colonies became relatively rapid. This progress was not seriously checked even by the Revolution, save in certain localities. There were probably no more than 10,000 members in the Baptist churches existing at the outbreak of that struggle; but a careful estimate made in 1792 (an enumeration, in large part) put the number of members at 35,000, and at the close of the century the Philadelphia Association stated the number at 100,000, distributed among 1200 churches. The great westward movement of the population after the Revolution was the opportunity of the Baptists, and they promptly improved it. The churches and associations on the borders of the new country sent missionary preachers into the new settlements, and gradually local societies were formed for this work. This led to the organization of State missionary conventions, and in 1832 to the formation of a national organization, the American Baptist Home Mission Society, which now sustains over 1000 workers at a cost of more than half a million dollars a year. In 1813 a society for foreign missions was formed, called ‘The General Convention of the Baptist Denomination in the United States,’ which continued to be the general agent of the churches for this work until 1845, when differences between the Northern and Southern churches concerning slavery produced a division. The Southern churches formed ‘The Southern Baptist Convention,’ which has continued until the present time to be their missionary agency; while the Northern churches organized ‘The American Baptist Missionary Union.’ The American Baptist Publication Society — beginning merely as a tract society in 1824, but since 1840 a great denominational publishing agency — completes the national organizations.
The progress of American Baptists during the Nineteenth Century was very rapid, in spite of many controversies and schisms that divided their forces and lessened their numbers. The most serious of these schisms was that resulting in the establishment of the Disciples as a separate body, beginning about 1815 among the churches of western Pennsylvania and Ohio. This controversy extended throughout the region of the Central West, and had disastrous effects. Less serious was the division among the Eastern and Southern churches from 1835 onward on the issue whether missionary societies, Sunday-schools, and other similar agencies for Christian work are authorized by the Scriptures. The establishment of the Old School or Primitive Baptists was the result. Aside from their rapid numerical progress, the educational work of American Baptists is the most striking feature of their history. Their first educational institution was an academy at Hopewell, N. J., which began in 1756, but was brought to an end by the Revolution. The Philadelphia Association began to plan for a college as early as 1750, and to the efforts of this body was due the chartering of Brown University (as Rhode Island College) in 1764. Waterville (now Colby) College was founded in Maine in 1818, and a literary and theological institution (now Colgate University) was begun at Hamilton, N. Y., in 1820. From this time on the number of colleges and theological seminaries multiplied, at times far in excess of the needs of the denomination or its ability to support them, until the closing century saw the Baptists in possession of 7 theological schools, 105 schools of collegiate grade, and 90 academies. These schools possess property valued at $44,000,000, of which fully half is productive endowment.
Baptist Theological Seminaries. In the order of their foundation, these are as follows: (1) The Hamilton, established at Hamilton, N.Y., in 1819, by the Baptist Education Society of the State of New York, as ‘The Hamilton Literary and Theological Institution.’ In 1846 the literary department was chartered as Madison University (since 1889 Colgate), and in 1893 the university took control of the seminary. (2) The Newton Theological Institution, established at Newton Centre, Mass., in 1825, by the Massachusetts Baptist Education Society. (3) The Rochester, established at Rochester, N. Y., in 1850, by the New York Baptist Union for Ministerial Education. A German department was added in 1852. (4) The Southern, established at Greenville, S. C., in 1859; interrupted by the Civil War, the sessions were resumed in 1865, and in 1877 it was removed to Louisville, Ky. (5) The Divinity School of the University of Chicago, established in Chicago in 1867 by the Baptist Theological Union for the Northwest, as the ‘Baptist Union Theological Seminary’; in 1877 removed to Morgan Park, and in 1800 returned to Chicago and consolidated with the new university. In 1873 a Scandinavian department was added. (6) The Richmond, established in 1867 at Richmond, Va., by the American Baptist Home Ministry for the education of negro young men for the ministry. (7) The Crozer, established at Upland, Pa., in 1868, by the family of John P. Crozer.
The Baptist Church in Other Countries. The earliest Baptist churches in the Canadian Provinces were formed of settlers from New England. A church was founded at Horton, Nova Scotia, in 1763; but this and many of the earlier churches were of mixed membership, composed equally of Baptists and Congregationalists. The preaching of Henry Alleine, an evangelist of great gifts, resulted in the founding of many churches from 1775 onward. Baptist preachers from Vermont began soon after the Revolution to make converts and form churches across the line; and in a similar way, churches sprang up along the shore of Lake Ontario, in Upper Canada. A considerable number of Scotch immigrants settled in the Ottawa region, and the churches there trace their origin to the labors of the Haldane brothers. The first association was formed in 1800 by the churches of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and a missionary society was formed as early as 1815 in the same region. Other societies followed, but in 1888 they were all consolidated in the ‘Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec.’ Five boards conduct the various branches of work that were formerly apportioned among as many different societies. In proportion to their number and means, Canadian Baptists have also been active in educational work. Acadia College was founded in 1838, Woodstock College in 1860, and McMaster University, at Toronto, in 1880. The latter institution was begun as a theological school, but soon afterwards an arts department was added, and later still Moulton College, for young women, was affiliated with it.
The Baptists in France owe their origin to a mission established in that country in 1832 by the Triennial Convention of American Baptists. Progress was slow for many years, owing to persecutions and other difficulties; but in later years growth has been steady and sure. The establishment of a theological school in 1879, by the aid of their American brethren, has done much to promote the welfare of French Baptists. For many years the work has been left wholly to native preachers.
The founder of the German Baptist churches, Johann Gerhard Oncken, had come by study of the Scriptures to such views of doctrine and practice as are everywhere held by Baptists, without any knowledge on his part that there were such people in existence. In 1834 he and six others were baptized at Hamburg by Rev. Barnas Sears, an American Baptist then pursuing studies in Germany, and so the first German Baptist church was established. In spite of severe persecutions, the progress of this work was rapid almost from the first, and has gone on with ever-accelerating momentum. A publishing house was started in 1828, and a theological school was opened in 1880; both have been and are flourishing institutions. In 1849 the associations previously existing were combined to form the ‘German Baptist Union,’ which, not content with fostering the work at home, has been an active missionary body. Germans have preached and gathered converts in Denmark, Finland, Poland, Holland, Switzerland, Russia, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Africa, until the numbers in these missionary churches equal those in Germany itself.
The work of Baptists was begun in Sweden by two sailors, natives of that country — Gustaf W. Schroeder, who was baptized in New York in 1844, and Frederick O. Nilsson, baptized at Hamburg by Oncken in 1847. Andreas Wiberg was a worthy third in this field. Opposition by the State Church and repeated fines and imprisonments did not deter these preachers from carrying on their work, and the progress of the Baptist churches was rapid. The numerical results would be much larger but for the fact that a good proportion of the converts made have emigrated to the United States. A theological school established in 1866 has done much to further the work of the Swedish Baptists. From Sweden the work has extended into Norway also.
With one exception the Baptist churches of Africa are of missionary origin. The Baptists of the Cape colonies owe their beginnings to English Baptist immigrants, and their earliest church was formed in 1820. For another half-century their progress was very slow; but the last two decades have seen a great advance, 18 of their 25 churches having been constituted since 1880. A missionary society sustains 4 mission stations among the natives, and a Baptist Union, formed in 1877, promotes the interests of all the churches. In Central Africa, in the Congo region, American Baptists have a flourishing mission with 8 stations. The English Baptists maintain a similar work on a still larger scale, having 12 mission stations. The Southern Baptist Convention has a mission with 5 stations on the West Coast.
The Baptists in Asia are wholly of missionary origin. The oldest mission is that begun by Carey and the English Baptists in India proper, and since extended to Ceylon. The Australian Baptists have joined in this work, and have taken Eastern Bengal as their especial field. American and Canadian Baptists maintain missions in Southern India, among the Telugu people. The oldest American mission; however, is that in Burma, and gradually the work has been extended to Assam, Siam, China, and Japan. The Southern Baptists have a mission also in western China. The Asiatic missions of the various Baptist societies have been the most fruitful in the history of modern missions.
The last century has produced considerable change in the doctrines and practices of Baptists, but most of these are such as they have shared with all other bodies. They are no longer rigid Calvinists, though the general type of theology is distinctly Calvinistic. Strict communion is yet the prevalent theory among them, but there is little enforcement of it in practice, except in the Southern States, though there is also little direct encouragement of ‘open’ communion. Baptist churches have never had a heresy trial, and for more than 50 years a schism has been unknown among them. In polity they are Congregational.
Baptists began the Twentieth Century with the following membership, including only what are sometimes called the ‘regular’ Baptists: In the United States, 4,376,666; in Canada, 100,264; in the Spanish-American countries, 3877; in Great Britain, 365,300: in Europe, 123,569; in Asia, 119,795; in Africa, 6700; in Australasia, 19,261. Altogether they number over 5,000,000. Increase during the last decade throughout the world, 1,219,802.
Bibliography. T. Armitage, History of the Baptists (New York, 1887); H. C. Vedder, Short History of the Baptists (Philadelphia, 1892; 2d ed., 1897); W. Cathcart, The Baptist Encyclopædia (Philadelphia, 1880); T. Crosby, History of the English Baptists, to reign of George III. (4 vols., London, 1738-40); J. Ivimey, History of English Baptists, to 1820 (4 vols., 1811-30); B. Evans, Early English Baptists (2 vols., 1862-64); A. Taylor, History of the General Baptists (2 vols., 1818); I. Backus, History of the Baptists in New England, to 1795 (3 vols., Boston, 1777-96); D. Benedict, History of the Baptists, (2 vols., 1813, 2d ed., 1845). A, H. Newman, History of the Baptist Churches in the United States, contains excellent bibliography (New York, 1894); H. S. Burrage, History of the Baptists in New England (Philadelphia, 1894); H. C. Vedder, History of the Baptists in the Middle States (1898); J. A. Smith, History of the Baptists in the Western States (1896); B. F. Riley, History of the Baptists in the Southern States (1898); E. F. Merriam, History of American Baptist Missions (1900); J. Culross, Hanserd Knollys (London, 1895); D. Davies, Vavasor Powell (1896); G. Smith, William Carey (London and New York, 1885); E. Judson, Life of Adoniram Judson (n. e. Philadelphia, 1898); O. S. Straus, Roger Williams (New York, 1894); R. A. Guild, Chaplain Smith and the Baptists (Philadelphia, 1885); The American Baptist Year-Book (Philadelphia, annually); A. J. Ramaker, Geschichte der deutschen Baptisten (Cincinnati, 1900); G. W. Sehroeder, History of the Swedish Baptists (Brooklyn and New York, 1898).
Baptist Church of Christ. A denomination that originated in Tennessee, where the oldest congregations were formed about 1808. They have spread to six other States, all of them in the South. Their belief is a modified Calvinism, which makes room for a general atonement; they practice feet-washing as a religious ordinance. The census of 1890 gave them 152 churches and 8254 members.
Baptists, Free-will, correspond in doctrine and practice to the General Baptists of England, but originated in this country. There are two distinct bodies known by this name. The older arose in North Carolina, and formed an association in 1729. Some of these afterwards joined the regular Calvinistic churches of the region, and those who remained true to their first principles were popularly called ‘Freewillers.’ This nickname was finally accepted by them; but later, to distinguish themselves from others, they took the name Original Freewill Baptists. They differ from the regular Baptist bodies mainly in practicing feet-washing and anointing the sick with oil. In 1890 they had 167 churches and 11,864 members, found only in the two Carolinas.
The larger and better-known body arose in New Hampshire. Benjamin Randall, a convert of the Whitefield revival, was practically though not formally excluded from fellowship because he did not believe and preach the doctrine of election. A church believing in free grace was organized in New Durham, N. H., in 1780, and Randall was ordained to the ministry. The strength of the denomination has from the first been in New England, but it has made considerable progress in the Central West. In 1827 a general conference was formed, at first meeting biennially, but of late years triennially. In 1841 the Free Communion Baptists (a body that originated among the Separates, or churches that sprang up as a result of the Whitefield revivals) united with them. The Freewill Baptists bore emphatic testimony against slavery, especially in 1845; and declined overtures for union with certain Baptists of Kentucky, because the latter defended slavery. The Foreign Mission Society of the denomination was organized in 1833, and a home mission society in 1834. They sustain a college at Lewiston, Me.; Hillsdale College, Michigan; theological seminaries at Lewiston, Me., and Hillsdale, Mich., and several academies. The official name was changed some years ago to Free Baptists, and the older name is going out of use. Overtures have been made for the union of the body with the regular Baptists, and also with the Disciples, but thus far nothing has come of them. They now report 1318 churches and 86,255 members, having slightly increased in membership during the last decade. See Stewart, History of the Freewill Baptists (Dover, N. H., 1862); J. J. Butler, Christian Theology (1861).
Baptists, Old School or Primitive, also known as Anti-Mission, and popularly called ‘Hardshell.’ A denomination whose members claim to be the original Baptists, from whose principles and practices all others have departed. In fact, this body originated about 1835 in an organized opposition to missionary societies, Sunday-schools, etc. This opposition really grew out of the hyper-Calvinistic theology held by some of the Baptist churches, and these human societies were held by them to make the salvation of men depend rather upon human effort than on divine grace. They do not believe in a paid or educated ministry, and sustain no colleges or theological seminaries. They were at one time quite numerous in the Middle States, but are now strongest in the mountain districts of North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. It is difficult to say whether they are decreasing or diminishing, since adequate statistical information is not to be had. The census of 1900, the first and only careful enumeration of them, gave them 3222 churches and 121,347 members.
Baptists, Seventh-Day, as their name indicates, are distinguished from others mainly by their observance of the seventh day instead of the first as the Christian day of worship. They hold that the literal observance of the Fourth Commandment has never lost its obligation, and maintain that the early Christians observed the Sabbath. The first church of this order was founded in the Mill Yard, London, in 1676, by Rev. Francis Bampfield, a graduate of Oxford, and prebendary of Exeter Cathedral. This church still survives, but others founded in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth centuries have become extinct. The first American church had an independent origin, being founded by Stephen Mumford, at Newport, R. I., in 1671. In this country they have increased steadily though not rapidly, and are active in the propagation of their principles through tracts and books. In 1842 they formed a foreign missionary society, which has its headquarters at Westerly, R. I., and they support a tract and publishing house at Plainfield, N. J. They have a college at Alfred Centre, N. Y., and another at Milton, Wis., besides an academy at Salem, W. Va. They report 115 churches and 8991 members, distributed through 24 States — a decrease of about 1000 members in the last decade.
Literature. — J. Bailey, History of the General Conference (Toledo, Ohio, 1866); Seventh-Day Baptist Memorial; A. H. Lewis, Sabbath and Sunday (Alfred Centre, N. Y., 1886); and A Critical History of Sunday Legislation (1888).
Baptists, German Seventh-Day. A body confined to Pennsylvania, where it originated. The first church was founded at Germantown in 1728 by Conrad Beissel, and was an offshoot of the Dunkards. Under the leadership of the founder they established a colony at Ephrata, near Lancaster, where they lived a very austere community life. They spread to several of the adjacent counties, and there are now six congregations of this order. For the early history, see the Chronicon Ephratense.
Baptists, Six-Principle, originated as a separate body in 1690, when five London churches, dissatisfied with the Baptist Confession of the previous year, met and formed an assembly of their own, on the basis of the six principles enumerated in Heb. vi. 1-2: Repentance, faith, baptism, laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, eternal life. In fact, they differed only on the question of laying hands immediately on all baptized persons. They were composed of both Calvinistic and Arminian Baptists, but the former withdrew after a time, and the remainder became absorbed into the General Baptists. Six-Principle Baptists existed in Rhode Island from the foundation of the first Baptist church in Providence, some of the founders having been of that persuasion. This church was divided on this issue in 1653, and the Calvinistic half became extinct. In 1771 the surviving Six-Principle wing, which until then had been Arminian in belief, was persuaded by Rev. James Manning, then its pastor as well as the president of Rhode Island College, to adopt a Calvinistic Confession. The churches of this order are confined to New England, and are gradually becoming extinct. There are no statistics later than the census of 1890, which assigns them 18 churches and 937 members.
Baptists, United. The name taken on their union by Baptist churches in the South once known as ‘Old Lights,’ and ‘Separates’ or ‘New Lights.’ The division arose in consequence of the Whitefield revival, and was common to several denominations in the seaboard States. Most of the United Baptists came into full fellowship with other (regular) Baptists, with or without dropping the name; but in five Southern States they still maintain not only the name, but a separate organization. They have 204 churches and 13,209 members, according to the census of 1890, the latest statistics available.
Baptists, Two-Seed-in-the-Spirit, a small body, extremely Calvinistic, owing their rise to certain theological vagaries of Elder Daniel Parker, a Baptist preacher of Tennessee from 1806 to 1836. It was sought to explain the doctrine of election by speculation of a Manichæan nature, the gist of which was that some of Eve's offspring were the seed of God, and so elect to eternal life; while some, corrupted by Satan, were his seed and foreordained to the kingdom of eternal darkness. They incline toward Antinomianism, object to a paid ministry, and agree with the Primitive Baptists in reprobating ‘modern institutions.’ Their strength is in Kentucky, Arkansas, and Texas, though they are found also in 21 other States. In 1890 they had 473 churches and 12,851 members.