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2. The principally strict communion counties were DURHAM, YORK, NORFOLK, SUFFOLK, STAFFORD, SALOP, MONMOUTH.
Average Average 1763 1775 1790 1843 members. each in 1843. 30 45 291 100
10$ The following observations are offered upon these results ; and whilst the advancement of scriptural views should be the chief concern, there should be no shrinking from a fair grappling with the subject, as to causes and consequences.
The comparative results of the two modes of church communion are further enlarged upon in a work already quoted :
“During the fifty-three years, from 1790 to 1843, it appears that the churches in the first counties increased to twice, thrice, four, five, and even nine times their previous number ; but those in the latter counties to three, four, five, eight, thirteen, and even twenty-six times their previous number; that those in the former list increased, between 1763 and 18 13, to five times their previous number, while those in the latter list increased to between nine and ten times their previous number. But besides this, it appears that the strict churches were larger, on an average, in 1843, by one-fifth, than those of which a considerable number practised mixed communion, so that supposing the two classes of churches were of the same size in 1763, when they seem to have been both in about the same state, those of the latter class have increased to between eleven and twelve times their previous size, according to the number of their members ; while the former, supposing them always to have been as large as they are now, have increased to only five times the former number of their members; the second class thus more than doubling the rate of increase in the first. Still further, it appears that their superior rate of increase in 1843, though somewhat less than this, was as 10% to 64; that is, that they added 168 for every 100 added by the former churches. Great as these disproportions are, it must be remembered that several of the churches of the first list have now independent pastors, and are, in reality, independent churches; they have been included, however, in order the more fully to test the effects of mixed communion, not only as to the ordinance of baptism, but as to the general extension of truth. Without these the disproportion would be somewhat greater. What, then, becomes of Mr. Hall's assertion, that strict communion is
an obstruction' to the progress of our sentiments as to the ordinance of baptism, and extremely injurious to the general interests of truth ?' Surely evidence can scarcely be more decisive than that which it has
pleased the great Author of salvation to furnish in the history of these churches, of the utter groundlessness of such a charge.”
“ The number of churches in England, according to the Report of the Baptist Union for 1843, is 1310; so that the 545 churches included in this examination, comprise nearly half the churches in England; nor can it be said that the period through which the examination extends is too brief to be satisfactory; for it not only extends to eighty years, but the last fisty of them (the results of which are so decisively in favour of strict communion,) constitute the chief era of the denomination, three-fourths of the whole number of these churches having had their origin in that period; the number of Baptist churches in England in 1790, being only 326.”—Ivimey, vol. iv.,
“In Wales there were, in 1790, forty-one churches (Rippon's Reg. p. 14); in the seven counties, sixty-nine. In 1843, the former had increased to 260, the latter only to 234; the former to six and onethird, the latter only to three and one-third times their former number. But the former have an average of 113 members each; the latter of only 79. Every new church, therefore, has increased the disproportion as 7 to 5 ; from which it appears that the Baptists in Wales have increased, in the last fifty years, nearly three times as fast as in the counties where mixed communion prevails.”+
This subject might be pursued at much greater length; but this brief notice will be enough to give the comparative bearings of the question, and its important relation with regard to the increase and prosperity of the Baptist churches. I
It is an admitted axiom that “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church;" so it was found that the persecuting spirit which drove so many good men from this country, from Wales, and from the continent of Europe, laid the foundation for the diffusion of their religious principles, which so extensively prevail in America at the present day. “On the opening of the New World, numerous whole churches," says Dr. Howell, “ were transplanted from Wales, as well as from the continent of Earope, to America; the labours of whose ministers and members have been the chief instrumentality of the amazing advance of our (the Baptist) denomination in the United States.” In 1790-92 there were 891 strict Baptist churches, containing 65,345 members.
* Dr. Howell on “ Communion," p. 268.
4 Ibid, 322. 1 For a more extended view of the results of the adoption of open communion in Baptist churches, the reader may refer to “Dr. Howell on Commanion."
* In 1843 there were 8,758, containing 689,736 members—and it is said, all strict Baptists; so that in America they have increased to more than ten times their former number of members in the same period during which the churches in the free communion counties of England have increased only to three and a third times, and those in all England to only four times their previous size—the latter being, in 1790, 326, and in 1813, 1310;" from which facts it is maintained that close communion is not incompatible with the increase of strict Baptist principles.
Drs. Reid and Mathieson, from the Congregationalists body, and Drs. Cox and Hoby, from the Baptist body, as deputations to America, have severally published the result of their visits—their inquiries and examinations, in 1835 and 1836, as to the state of religion in the United States. In the Appendix to Mr. ANGUS's Essay on "The Voluntary Principle," an interesting table is formed, shewing the relative numbers of the different bodies of professing Christians—a table which, it is said, has been carefully prepared from statistics in the works of the deputations before mentioned. The following is the order of the various sects :
MINISTERS. CHURCHES. BAPTISTS
4664 8076 642,209 EPISCOPAL CHURCH
2290 2817 275,850 CONGREGATIONALISTS
935 1079 130,600 LUTHERANS
627 59,787 METHODISTS
150 30,000 Such are the products of the tables furnished. Another authority, however, presents a somewhat different aspect at the commencement of the list of the respective sects.
The number of communicants of the several religious bodies in the United States in 1850 are given in the American Almanack for 185). The churches and the communicants of the different sects range in the following order for numbers:-*
CHURCHES. COMMUNICANTS. METHODISTS
14,561 1,007,633 PRESBYTERIANST
4,173 451,370 CONGREGATIONALISTS
1,971 197,196 LUTHERANS
1,604 163,000 PROTESTANT EPISCOPALIANS 12,32
* Unitarian Baptists, Churches 607, Communicants 3040, are not included in the Baptist Statistics.
+ For respective sections, see Appendix K.
It will be observed, by comparing the two statistical accounts, that in the tables furnished by the Nonconformist deputations, that the Episcopal church ranges second on that list. In the second list, they are placed the lowest in numbers. In the American Almanack, the numbers comprising the return of Methodists constitute the following sections of that body :-Episcopalian Methodists, 1,112,736 ; Protestant Church Methodists, 64,313; Reformed Methodists, 3,000 ; Wesleyan Methodists, 20,000. To the four last sects of Methodists no numbers of churches are given. German United Brethren Methodists, 1,800 churches and 15,000 communicants ; Albright Methodists, 600 churches, 15,000 communicants. By a cursory perasal of these numbers, it will be evident that the compiler of the returns for the Almanack has included under the head of Episcopalian Methodists a large number that should have been placed under that of the Episcopal church. In that case the Baptist denomination would have been in the second, as in the first list, the leading denomination.
Dr. Baird, in his work, entitled “Religion in the United States," and published in 1843, supplies, in a all compass, interesting information with regard to the increase of three of the religious bodies during 60 years :CHURCHES. MINISTERS.
9-FOLD. MORE THAN 13-FOLD. PRESBYTERIANS
.84-FOLD, 12-FOLD. NEARLY 9-FOLD. EPISCOPAL CHURCH Not given. 5-FOLD. NEARLY 5-FOLD). By these estimates the members of the Baptist churches appear to have increased 44} per cent, more than the Presbyterians, and 160 per cent. more than the Episcopal church. Dr. Baird does not refer to the comparative increase of other sects for the same period.
With regard to Baptist-COLLEGIATE and THEOLOGICAL Institutions, and the relation which the Baptist denomination has with The Press of America. There are 9 THEOLOGICAL INSTITUTIONS and 20 COLLEGES, viz.:
BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL INSTITUTIONS.
THEOLOGICAL DEP. Madison UNIV.... George W. Eaton, D.D.
Francis Wayland, D.D. MADISON UNIVERSITY
Stephen W. Taylor, LL.D. WATERVILLE COLLEGE
David N. Sheldon, D.D. COLUMBIAN COLLEGE...
Joel S. Bacon, D.D. GEORGETOWN COLLEGE
J. L. Reynolds, D.D. RICHMOND COLLEGE
Robert Ryland, A.M. GRANVILLE COLLEGE..
Silas Bailey, D.D. MERCER UNIVERSITY
John L. Dagg, D.D. SHURTLEFF COLLEGE
N. N. Wood, A.M.
John B. White, A.M.
J. H. Eaton, A.M.
S. S. Sherman, A.M.
Henry L. Graves, A.M.
C. P. Grosvenor, A.M. UNIVERSITY LEWISBURG
Howard Malcolm, D.D. WILLIAM JEWELL COLLEGE
E. S. Dulin, A.M. UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER
Hon. Ira Harris, LL.D., Ch. OREGON COLLEGE
George C. Chandler, A.M. There are THIRTY-SIX PERIODICALS—19 weekly, 1 semi-monthly, 14 monthly, and 2 quarterly. These details are given with a view of shewing the position occupied by Baptists in THE UNITED STATES.
Some extracts have been made from Dr. Godwin's Discourse on “ The Present Position and Duties of the Baptist Denomination." From the lengthened standing of Dr. Godwin, as a pastor, and also his former relation to one of the Baptist Collegiate Institutions, as its theological tutor, his sentiments are entitled to respectful consideration, and it is proposed to conclude this historical sketch with the remarks made by Dr. Godwin as to his connection with the denomination, and his valuable observations upon THE PRINCIPLES AND DUTIES OF BAPTISTS—with some FRATERNAL CAUTIONS.
“ It is now more than forty years since I entered the ministry in connection with it. I have had my difficulties and trials; but still I do not regret, with all its disadvantages, the connection which I formed, nor the course which I have pursued. Since my retirement from the pastoral office I have had leisure calmly to reflect upon my past position; and I now say deliberately that if, with all the experience I have gained, I had to begin life anew, I see not, throughout the religious world, any denomination whose principles appear to me so scriptural, or with which I could so conscientiously identify myself.”
“OUR PRINCIPLES, struggling for ages with immense difficulties, slandered by the vilest calumnies, crushed by the severest persecution, driven with fierce animosity from place to place, at length found a home in the Baptist denomination, and have now full scope for their