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Introduction.

The following is a verbatim reproduction, line for line, page for page, of the only known copy of the Confession of Faith of Early Baptist Churches, printed in the year 1651. The Confession was, perhaps, issued first by itself, and not until afterwards as an integral part of a curious theological work, entitled :

The Creation and Fall of the First Adain reviewed ; Shewing what he was by Creation, and other Accommodation, and what he lost by Degeneration. Also Nature's Vindication, pleading that it is neither sinfull, vile, nor corrupt : And many Objections answered. With a distinction betwixt the Humane and Divine Nature, Natures inability to spiritual Attainments without the free gift of God ; and the excellent use of Natures Vindication, in point of Prayer, Preaching, Magistracy, Warr. By Capt. Robert Everard Whereunto is annexed the Faith and Order of thirty Congregations by joynt consent.

This work was printed in 1652, the Confession was printed in 1651. The only copy yet discovered is bound at the end of Captain Everard's book, with separate pagination as in this reprint.

The reproduction of “ The Faith and Practise" executed under the personal supervision of the late Mr. John Taylor, of Northampton, who obtained for the purpose

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the courteous loan of the original tract from Chilwell College Library, Nottingham. The reprint was made more than twenty years ago with the scrupulous carefulness and invariable accuracy which marked all Mr. Taylor's historical publications. He bestowed, if possible, additional care upon this tract, for it was the aspiration of his life to issue an ambitious historical work on Confessions of Faith.

This early local confession to be the chief of an exhaustive collection of Confessions of Faith from all parts of the world, and was to be the basis for biographies of the signatories, and histories of the churches they represented. In pursuit of these objects, Mr. Taylor, disregarding expense and trouble, ransacked public and private libraries in both hemispheres. The mass of information collected during a period approaching forty years is so great, that though nearly one hundred pages are in type, it is to be feared that no one will be found with the ability and leisure to prepare the remainder for publication. It has, therefore, been decided to issue “ The Faith and Practise " without addition, in the hope that at some time in the future a worthy student of Nonconformist history will arise to complete the work so conscientiously begun.

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“Preference being given to works in the

Intellectual and Moral Sciences.”

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