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Most of the articles on these WebPages have been written by godly men with a central belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as with most of us, they may have different beliefs concerning some particular doctrines. These articles have been made available for the purpose of “gleaning the good” where good can be found. I do not necessarily endorse all that is written by others, anymore than I expect others to endorse all that I write.


Fifty Years Among The Baptist

by David Benedict


Table of Contents



CHAPTER 1. — Prefatory Remarks. — Five Decades, or Periods of Ten Years Each. — My Travels and Extensive Acquaintance with Baptist Ministers in Early Times. — Summary View of the Baptists about 1800. — No Periodicals. — Old Baptist Magazine. — Mite Societies. — But Few Educated Ministers. — Rise of Benevolent Institutions.
CHAPTER 2. — A Brief Account of My Early Efforts for the Collection of Materials for a General History of the Baptists in all Ages and Countries. — Baptist Ministers of Distinction in the Different States.
CHAPTER 3. — Biographical Sketches of a Few of the Ministers Mentioned in the Preceding Chapter. — Stillman, Baldwin, Gano, Sharp, Cornell, Stanford, Parkinson, Williams, Staughton, Rogers, Jones, J. Richards, J. Healey, Furman, Bottaford, Fuller, Marshall, Mercer.
CHAPTER 4. — On Extempore Preaching. — The Support and the Neglect of Ministers. — Comments on their Various Habits and Conditions.
CHAPTER 5. — Missionary and Other Agencies. — Houses of Worship.
CHAPTER 6. — On the Changes in Baptist Customs in the Course of Fifty Years. — In Church Affairs. — Associations.
CHAPTER 7. — On the Popular Prejudices Against the Baptists in Former Times. — Their Unwise Policy in Some Things. — Baptist Publishers. — No Baptist Press. — Old-Fashioned Pulpits. — Modern Platforms.


CHAPTER 8. — Judson and Rice Become Baptists. — The Triennial Convention. — The Missionary Union. — Rice Becomes an Agent. — The Columbian College, Difficulties About Missionary Money. — Death of Rice.
CHAPTER 9. — The Early Correspondence of Mr. Rice Pertaining to the Foreign Mission Cause, and My First Acquaintance with Him. — Surprising Changes Throughout a Large Part of the Baptist Denomination on the Subject of Missions. — The Anti-Mission Party. Mr. Rice’s Correspondence with Marshman and Judson in India. — Letters andJournals of Mr. Hough. — On the Hindoos, by Mr. Ward. — Languages of the East.
CHAPTER 10. — New Phases in the Doctrinal Creed of the Baptists. — The Fuller System Comes into Vogue. — On the Changes which Followed.
CHAPTER 11. — Unitarianism among the American Baptists. — My Investigation of the System. — My Conferences with Some of our Men who Adopted it. — Also with Dr. Kirkland of Harvard University, Dr. Freeman of Boston and others. — General Remarks on the System. — My Conclusions against it.
CHAPTER 12. — On Customs now Generally Abolished, which Prevailed More or Less among the Baptists in Former Times; as Laying On of Hands. — Washing Feet. — Devoting Children. — Ruling Elders.— Decline in the Use of Brother and Sister, and Elder. — Seven Deacons the Gospel Number for a Full-Grown Church.


CHAPTER 13. — Quiet Condition of the Baptists Generally. — Agitations about Free-masonry and Southern Slavery. — The Troubles which Followed. — The Division of Churches. — The Removals of Ministers. — The Name of Stayshort Applied to Many.
CHAPTER 14. — The Old Triennial Convention. — The Meeting in New York in 1826. — The Board Removed to Boston. — The Columbian College. — The Home Missionary Society Formed. — Dr. Going. — Dr. Peck. — State Conventions.
CHAPTER 15. — The Manner of Settling Ministers in Former Times, and of Supporting them. — Imperfect Support of them. — Revivals. — New Measures.


CHAPTER 16. — A New Baptist Register, by I. M. Allin. — A List of Small Literary Institutions. — Manual Labor Schools.— American and Foreign Bible Society.
CHAPTER 17. — The Southern Baptist Convention Formed. — The Causes which Led to this Measure. — New Methods of Conducting Associations. — Comments on the Agency System.
CHAPTER 18. — The Old Triennial Convention Assumes the Name of the Baptist Missionary Union. — Diversities Between the Two Bodies. — Some Objectionable Things. — Too Little Freedom for Speakers. — TooLittle Time. — Too Many Young Speakers Take the Floor, Too Often. — Too Long.
CHAPTER 19. — Some Account of My Publications. — Old Baptist History. — By Whom Published. — Difficulties in Circulating it by the War. — Other Works. — All Religions. — Interview with Leading Men of all Parties. — The Shakers of New Lebanon.
CHAPTER 20. — Authorship Continued. — Interviews with Catholics in Boston and Elsewhere. — With Scotch Seceders. — The Lutherans and Others in New York. — With the Moravians. — The Result of these Visitations. — My Last Baptist History. — Post Office Matters.
CHAPTER 21. — Authorship Continued. — My Compendium of Ecclesiastical History. — Motives for Undertaking the Work, to Make a Book for the People; To Give the Framework of Church History; To Bring out More Fully and Favorably the History of the Donatists and Other Reputed Heretics. — On the Term Puritan. — Miscellaneous Matters.


CHAPTER 22. — Changes in Meeting-House Fixings and Comforts. — Changes in Church Music. — Organs. — Titles of Ministers. — My Efforts for Ministerial Education. — With Others.
CHAPTER 23. — A Review of all Collegiate Institutions among the Baptists in the United States. — A Review of their Theological Seminaries. — Theological Departments in Connection with our Universities and Colleges, to a Needful Extent, Recommended in Preference to Separate Schools.
CHAPTER 24. — On Religious Newspapers in this Country and among the Baptists. — Difficulties at First. — Too Numerous at Times. — Their Secular Character. — First Sunday School. — On the Rise and Management of our Benevolent Institutions. — On the Death of Correspondents and Familiar Friends.


CHAPTER 25. — On Church Organizations. — Arguments in Favor of the Early Christians Copying, in Substance, the Model of the Jewish Synagogues.
CHAPTER 26. — On the Baptist Deaconship. — The Original by Howell and Others Something Wrong in Our Deaconship. — The Scripture Qualifications — Crowell on Limited Appointments. — My Four Years' Rule. — Deacon Jones in the Sunny Side. — Arguments. — The Number 7. — Proofs from Antiquity. — Dialogue Between a Pastor and Deacon.
CHAPTER 27. — Preaching, Preachers and Pulpits. — The First Preacher. — Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses. — The Prophets. — Ezekiel, Ezra — The First Pulpit.
CHAPTER 28. — Preachers, Preaching, Pulpits and Clerical Manners. — Preachers under the Christian Dispensation. — John the Baptist. — Jesus Christ. — The Apostles. — The Early Fathers. — Chrysostom, Augustine, and Others. — Claude, Doddridge, etc.
CHAPTER 29. — On Church Discipline. — The Discipline of the Dutch Anabaptists, so called. — My Early Advisers. — My own MS. on Church Discipline. — A. Fuller on the Discipline of the Primitive Churches. — Five Works Come Out Near the Same Time by Baker, Walker, Johnson, Howell, and Crewell. — Remarks on the Eighteenth of Matthew, on Councils, the Despotism of the Majority, and on Baptist Usage.
CHAPTER 30. — On Various Matters Connected with the Business of Preaching and Pastoral Duties. A Letter to a Young Minister.
CHAPTER 31. — On a Model Church and a Model Pastor.
CHAPTER 32. — Recapitualation.