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amongst the thirty-seven names appended to it will be found many who knew what it was to endure bitter persecution, even to bonds and imprisonment, for the maintenance of its principles and tenets; and which thirty-seven ministers and messengers, who subscribed to it, desired "that the members of our churches respectively would furnish themselves therewith."

The address to the "judicious and impartial reader" will sufficiently explain the reasons for the publication of the Confession of Faith of 1689, which may be considered as a concise body of divinity, with the various views of Scripture truth, in support of which Scripture texts are copiously given.

A few historical notices will tend to show the estimation in which this Confession of Faith has, at different periods, been held by Christian churches. Preliminary to that notice it may be well to remark that, at an earlier date (1643), the Baptists put forth a Confession of Faith, editions of which were published in 1644 and 1646-one of these was licensed by authority. The address prefixed to it was-To the Right Hon. the Lords, Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses in Parliament assembled; and was signed in the name of seven congregations, or churches, in London. It is stated that this Confession was put in the hands of many members of Parliament, and produced such an impression, that some of the greatest adversaries of the Baptists (including even the bitter and inveterate Dr. Featly) were obliged to acknowledge that, excepting the articles against Infant Baptism, it was an orthodox Confession.

It was in 1677 that it was agreed to set forth a Confession of Faith, said to have been "done by the elders and brethren of many congregations of Christians baptized upon a confession of their faith, in London and in the country." The Confession, printed in that year, underwent some revision, and was prepared for the Assembly of 1689 by Dr.

Nehemiah Cox and Mr. William Collins, who were joint pastors of a Baptist church in London.

In the address introductory to the Confession of Faith of 1689, the Confession of 1643 is adverted to. In that address it is stated that "divers impressions of the same had been dispersed abroad, convincing many who had entertained different views that the Baptists were not guilty of those heterodoxes and fundamental errors which had been so frequently charged upon them, without ground or occasion on their part."

The Confession was constructed in imitation of that of the Assembly of Divines, "for the most part without any variation of the terms." It was found desirable, as far as agreement would permit, "to make use of the same words for them both." But though the method and manner of expressing the sentiments of the Baptists in the Confession differs from that of the Confession of 1643 which had previously been circulated, the substance of this matter, says the address-the Confession of 1689-is the same. Identical views may be expressed, with regard to the similarity of the Baptist Catechism with that of the Shorter Catechism of the Assembly of Divines, and which is described as "a brief instruction in the principles of the Christian religion."

At a General Assembly held in London in June, 1693, it was resolved, that the Confession of Faith of the Baptist churches, of the last impression (1689), be translated into Latin with all convenient speed; and it is also written :—

"The former, your Confession of Faith, as published to the world, WILL BE A STANDING MONUMENT TO YOUR HONOUR FOR AGES TO COME; as in this age it hath much taken away your reproach amongst all sorts of Protestants."

Upon its doctrinal peculiarities Joseph Ivimey observes: "The spirit and principles of the Confession of Faith of .1689 are equally removed from the Arminian and Anti

nomian creeds. It secures all the glory of salvation to the riches of distinguishing grace, and teaching those who have believed to be careful to maintain good work."

In 1789, the late Dr. Rippon-then Mr. Rippon-published a reprint of this Confession. There is the following notice of it in his Annual Register, 1790: "John Rippon, London. A Confession of Faith put forth by the elders and brethren of many congregations of Christians-Baptized upon a confession of their faith-in London and the country. Printed in London in 1689." There is added to this edition (what was never before given) the places where they all laboured.

In 1790, such was the interest excited in Wales for its diffusion that a motion was made for reprinting, in Welsh, the Confession of Faith of 1689; and that, at associations held at Hengoed, at Swansea, and at Salem, numerous copies were subscribed for the use of the members of the churches.

In 1809, an edition of the Confession of Faith was published, in London, and a notice of it is given in the following terms: "This work will be found to contain, in thirty-two articles, a concise and comprehensive view, both of the doctrines and practice inculcated in the Word of God, with numerous references to the Scriptures in support of each article, furnishing those who wish to defend the truth with the strongest arguments in support of evangelical doctrine and practice; while it will greatly assist the serious inquirer after the paths of holiness, and establish the weak and wavering Christian in the great and glorious doctrines of the everlasting gospel."

Such are some of the leading characteristics of the Confession of Faith of 1689; and to the writer it has been a source of no ordinary satisfaction to find-and which he was not aware of when he entered upon his work-that, in his publication of that Confession, he has but followed, in a

somewhat more extended form, the example of his former venerable pastor, Dr. John Rippon, who published his edition in 1790.

This work, with all its defects, prepared amidst many interruptions, is affectionately commended to the Baptist denomination; and he would fain express a desire that every member of every Baptist church may possess an exposition of those principles, in an adherence to which and in their maintenance so much was suffered by THE FOREFATHERS of the denomination.

To the general reader, who has any regard to Christian principles, it is presumed the work will not be without its interest, and may meet with some acceptance. Such will see that, in the Confession of Faith of 1689, there is but little to condemn, and much to approve.

There are those who are opposed to all Creeds and Confessions of Faith, as standards of belief and practice of human composition. Let it be understood that by the publication of the Confession of Faith of 1689 it is not intended to convey the idea as to what only is to be believed and only to be practised, but as embodying, in a compressed form, those doctrines believed, and those guides for practice more particularly maintained, by that section of professing Christians from whom it emanated, with the desire that it may lead the serious reader and intelligent inquirer to the one only true standard, in its most comprehensive form -THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.

A passing allusion may be made to the history of the Baptists. The writers recognized by that denomination, as containing the fullest information, are THOMAS CROSBY and JOSEPH IVIMEY. Mr. BENJAMIN STINTON, the pastor of the Baptist church in Goat-street, Horse-lie-down, London, had collected a large mass of material relating to Baptists; which was compiled, with additional matter, by one of his

deacons, Mr. Thomas Crosby, and published in four volumes -the first in 1738 and the last in 1740. In relation to Baptists, it embodies much that is interesting; but the work is rarely to be met with. Mr. D. NEALE had previously published his "History of the Puritans," and gives a brief notice of the Baptists. Of the manner in which Mr. Neale had executed his task, Mr. Crosby thus writes,-" Now though many, even of the learned, and so late an author as Mr. Neale, from whom we might have looked for more Christian treatment, have made it their business to represent the Anabaptists, as they are pleased in contempt to style them, in odious colours, and to write many bitter things, even notorious falsehoods concerning them, nay, to fasten doctrines upon them, which they never approved; yet, as shall be shewn in the sequel of this history, no one sect of Christians in this kingdom have merited more the favour and good esteem of their governors and Christian brethren, by their peaceable carriage and behaviour towards them, than they have done. What sect of Christians have shewed the like contentedness under the deprivations which the legislature has seen needful to lay upon the Dissenters in general, than they? Who have been more content with the liberty allowed them by law than they?"*

In 1811, Mr. IVIMEY's first volume of the "History of the English Baptists" appeared; the three other volumes came out at succeeding intervals, and the work was completed in 1830. Mr. Ivimey has drawn largely upon Crosby's History; but has added up to the later date given much that is interesting in relation to the history of the Baptist churches; with also notices of several Baptist ministers of the more recent period, who were distinguished for their learning and usefulness. It has, however, been considered that Mr. Ivimey's history might have been better digested and arranged.

*Vol. i.-Crosby's Hist. of the English Baptists-"To the Reader."

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