History of the Baptists
by John T. Christian
John Tyler Christian (1754–1825) was a Baptist preacher, author and educator. Christian served as a pastor in Kentucky and Arkansas, and was professor of Church History at the Baptist Bible Institute, New Orleans, Louisiana (renamed the "New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary" in 1946). He played a major role in the controversies surrounding the restorations views of Baptist history taught by William Heath Whitsunday in the Southern Baptist Seminary of Louisville, writing extensive rebuttals to Whitsunday's works and eventually publishing a history of the Baptists written from a secessionists perspective.
The John T. Christian Library of the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary is named in his honor. According to the Seminary, "The basic collection came from the library of the outstanding church historian, John T. Christian, who was the first librarian of the seminary. He gave the school his personal library of 18,000 volumes when he joined the faculty in 1919."
His personal papers are housed in the Archives at the John T. Christian Library, on campus at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (Wikipedia Encyclopedia)
or, access the book by chapters below:
Chapter 1 - The New Testament Churches
The New Testament Churches.
The Great Commission—A Definition of a Church—A Voluntary Association—A Church Not National or General—The Officers of a Church—The Ordinances—The Proper Subjects of Baptism—The Form of Baptism—The Lord’s Supper—The Ordinances as Symbols—The Churches Missionary Bodies—The Continued Existence of the Churches.
Chapter 2 - The Ancient Churches
The Ancient Churches.
Early Conditions—Isaac Taylor—Epistola ad Diognetum—The Beginning of Dangerous Heresies—Baptismal Salvation—Metropolitan Bishops—Gregory the Great—The Baptism of Believers—The Fathers—The Early Councils and Infant Baptism—The Baptism of Adults Who Had Christian Parents—The First Law and The First Rule for Infant Baptism—The Testimony of Scholars—The Form of Baptism—Six Rituals on the Subject—The Christian Monuments—The Catacombs—The Baptisteries—Clinic Baptism—Religious Liberty— Tertullian, Justin Martyr and Lactatius—Constantine the Great Issues an Edict—Theodosius the Great Enforces Religion by Law.
Chapter 3 - The Struggle Against Corruption
The Struggle Against Corruption.
Incorruptible Churches—The Testimony of Bunsen—The Montanist Churches—The Anabaptism—The Spread of the Movement—The Novatian Churches—Robinson Traces Them to the Reformation—They Were Called Anabaptists—The Donatist Churches—Their Origin—Rejected Infant Baptism—Benedict—Lincoln—Augustine—Liberty of Conscience—Neander—Their Attitude Toward Liberty—Their Protest.
Chapter 4 - The Paulician and Bogomil Churches
The Paulician and Bogomil Churches.
The Sources of Information—The Greeks, The Armenians—“The Key of Truth.”—The Apostolic Origin—They Rejected Other Communions—The Story of Constantine—The Connection of the Mohammedans—The Sabians—The Numbers of the Paulicians—Religious Liberty—The Free State of Teprice—Among the Albigenses in France—Persecuted—Conybeare on Baptist Succession—Justin A. Smith—Widely Scattered in Europe—the Paulicians not Manichaeans—Their Doctrines—The Synod of Arras—A Confession of Faith—The Adoptionists—The Form of Baptism—Macarius—The Oriental Church—The Bogomils—Brockett—Their Persecutions—The Form of Baptism.
Chapter 5 - the Albigensian, Petrobrusian, Henrician, Arnoldist, and Berengarian Churches
The Albigensian, the Petrobrusian, the Henrician, the Arnoldist, and the Berengarian Churches.
The Origin and Spread of These Churches—Prof. Bury—Their History—Their Good Character—Their Writings Destroyed—They Were Not Manichaeans—Two Classes of Believers—In Southern France—The Crusades Against Them—Their Doctrines—Rejected Infant Baptism—Peter of Bruys—His Opinions—The Petrobrusians Accused of Being Anabaptists—Henry of Lanusanne—His Great Success—Held the Opinions of the Anabaptists—Arnold of Brescia—The Testimony of Otto Freising—The Arnoldist—Berengarius—His Troubled Career.
Chapter 6 - The Waldensian Churches
The Waldensian Churches.
The Alps as a Hiding Place—Peter Waldo—The Preaching Tour—Origin of the Waldenses—The Name—Roman Catholic Historians on Their Origin—Rainerio Sacchoni—Preger—The Statement of the Waldenses—The Noble Lessons—The Reformers—Beza—Later Writers—The Special Historians of the Waldenses—Faber—Moreland—Claudius Seisselius on Their Character—Their Manners and Customs—Their Principles—Infant Baptism—Their Change of Views in Regard to the Practice—Adult Baptism—Immersion.
Chapter 7 - The Origin of the Anabaptist Churches
The Origin of the Anabaptist Churches.
The Anabaptist Movement—Mosheim—Sir Isaac Newton—Alexander Campbell—Robert Barclay—Von Usinger—Sacchoni—Cardinal Hosius—Luther—Zwingli—Anabaptism no New Thing—They Were Found in Many Lands—Different Leaders—Kinship to The Waldenses—Limborch—Keller—Moeller—Lindsay—The Waldenses and The Anabaptists Found in the Same Places—Waldensian Preachers Found Among the Anabaptists—Points of Agreement—The Anabaptists Claimed a Succession From Earlier Times—The Antiquity of the Netherland Baptists—The Swiss—Moravia—The Picards—Erasmus—Sebastian Frank—Schyn—Abrahamson—Ypeij and Dermout.
Chapter 8 - The Character of the Anabaptists
The Character of the Anabaptists.
Called by Many Names—Anabaptist—Catabaptists—The Popularity of the Movement—Not a Turbulent People—Lovers of Peace—Bayle—Cassander—Pastor of Feldsburg—The Swiss Baptists—Erasmus—Persecuted in Every land—Religious Liberty—Hubmaier—Their Appeal to The New Testament—The Baptismal Question—A Spiritual Church Their Aim—Hast—Infant Baptism—The Form of Their Organization.
Chapter 9 - The Reformers Bear Witness to the Baptists
The Reformers Bear Witness of the Baptist.
The attitude of the Reformers to Infant Baptism—The History of Immersion in Germany, North and East—The Saxon Confession—Melanchthon—Pomerania—Sadoleto—Luther—John Bugenhagen—Zwingli—The Catabaptists—Erasmus—Melanchthon—William Farel—Martin Bucer—Baptisms in a Tub—Calvin—Baptism Not an Especial Discussion Between the Baptists and the Reformers.
Chapter 10 - Baptists in the Practice of Dipping
The Baptist in the Practice of Dipping.
The Testimony of Fleury—“The Sum of the Holy Scripture”—Conrad Grebel in Switzerland—A Moravian Chronicle—Its Doubtful Authority—Some Roman Catholic Converts May at First Have Practiced Sprinkling—Kessler—Ulimann Dipped in The Rhine—The Dippings at St. Gall—The Baptistery—The Baptisms in the Sitter River—Persecutions on This Account—The Dippings at Appenzell—John Stumpf—The Decrees Against the Baptisms of the Baptists—The Persecutions at Zurich—The Strong Arm of the Law—The Famous Decree of Zurich—Gastins—Felix Manz Drowned Because he Practiced Dipping—The Baptists in Vienna—The Italian Baptists
Chapter 11 - Baptists of Germany and Moravia Practise Dipping
Other Baptist Churches in the Practice of Dipping.
The Church in Augsburg—Hans Denck—The Leaders all in the Practice of Dipping—Baptisteries in the Houses and Cellars—Sender—The Augsburg Historian—Urbanus Rhegius—The River Lech—The Church at Strassburg—Melchior Hofmann—The Baptisms at Emden—Tubs Used for Baptismal Purposes—Dr. Winkler—Obbe Philips—The Words of Keller—Melchior Rink—“The Ordinance of God”—The Moravian Churches—Baithasar Hubmaier—His Character and Work—Denies Infant Baptism—Adopts immersion—Zwingli and Hubmaier—Capito—Farel—John Fabricius—The Books of Hubmaier—Peter Reidermann—Erhard.
Chapter 12 - The Practice of Dipping in the Netherlands, Poland, Lithuania, and Transylvania Baptist Churches
The Practice of Dipping in the Netherlands, Poland, Lithuania, and Transylvania Baptist Churches.
The Waldenses in Holland—Religious Liberty—Remhrandt—Learned Men—Simon Menno—His Views of Baptism—“A Handful of Water”—Luther on This Phrase—The Doop—Roman 6:3—Anabaptist Literature on The Subject—1 Corinthians 12:13—The Practice of Meno—Immersion in the Netherlands—Bastingius—Boltens—Dooreslaar—Stark—Schyn—The Change of Practice Among the Mennonites—The Collegiants of Rhynesburg—Poland and Silesian Baptists—Immersion—Sandius—Bock—The Unitarian Baptists—Their Great Learning and Culture—Peter Gonesius—Gregory Paulus—Their Numbers and Spirit—Socinus—Martin Czechovicus—The Racovian Catechism—The Lord of Cracow.
Chapter 13 - The Peasant Wars and the Kingdom of Munster
The Peasant Wars and the Kingdom of M?ster.
The trouble between the Peasants and the Nobility—Thomas M?zer—The Twelve Articles—The Battle of Schlatchtberg—Thomas M?zer Never a Baptist—The Responsibility of Luther—Grebel and Manz Disavow M?zer—His Views on Infant Baptism—The M?ster Tumults—Largely a Political Affair—The Desire for Liberty—Polygamy—Marriage Sacred—The Anabaptists Did Not Originate the Tumults—The Leaders Were All Pedobaptists—Fair Minded Historians—Keller—D’Aubigne—Ypeij and Dermout—Arnold—The “Common Man”—The Act of Baptism at M?ster—“The Confession of Both Sacraments”—The Form of Baptism Dipping—Jesse B. Thomas—Keller—Heath—Cornelius—Rhegius—Fischer—John of Leyden.
Chapter 14 - The British Baptist Churches
The British Baptist Churches.
The Statement of the Historians—Thomas Crosby—B. Evans—Adam Taylor—Robert Barclay—David Masson—The First Churches in Britain—Missionary Work—The Persecutions—The Early Britons Baptists—Crosby—Davis—Immersion—Richards on the Welsh Word—Bede and Other Historians—St. Patrick in Ireland—Immersion and The Lord’s Supper—Austin—The Saxons—An Attempt to Convert the Britons to Roman Catholic Views—The Differences—Infant Baptism—The First Instance of Infant Baptism—Laws Enacted on the Subject—The Paulicians in England—Hill Cliffe Church—Goadby—Walter Lollard—John Wyclif—His Views on Baptism—Thomas Walden—The Opinions of the Lollards—William Tyndale.
Chapter 15 - The Baptists in the Reformation Period in England
The Baptists in the Reformation Period in England.
Henry VIII.—The Persecution of the Baptists—The hatred of the King—The Opinions of the Baptists—Alice Grevill—Simon Fish A—Royal Proclamation Against Strangers—The Coming of the Dutch—The Baptists Burnt—Stowe—Froude—A Sensation—The Baptists Increase Daily—Their Numbers—Their Churches—Immersion—The Sum of the holy Scripture”—Immersion Among the Baptists—The Donatists—Fuller—Featley—Edward VI—The Baptist Increase in Numbers—In London—In Kent and Elsewhere— In Essex—Baptists Burnt—The Influence of John Calvin—Joan of Kent— The Practice of Immersion—The Baptism of Adults—J. Bales—Giles Van Bellen—Robert Cooke and Dr. Turner—Queen Mary—She attempts to Reestablish Romanism—Philip II of Spain—Bishop Gardiner—Edward Bonner—The Baptists were Numerous—Shoals of Them from Abroad—immersion—The Martyrs—Queen Elizabeth—The Name Baptist—Their Churches—The coming From Over-Seas—The Heavy Hand of the Law— More Baptists Burnt—The Independents—Learn their Ideas From the Baptists—Immersion the Rule—Immersion Among the Baptists—James I—The Baptist Not Numerous in His Reign—The Burnning of Edward Wightman—A Petition to the House of Lords—An Humble Supplication to the King—An Appeal for Liberty of Conscience—Mark Leonard Busher.
Chapter 16 - The Episode of John Smyth
The Episode of John Smyth.
He Was an Unusual Man—The Material for his Life Rare and Complicated—Lincoln—Gainsborough—The Crowle Documents—Animosity Against Him—He is Baptized—His Great Ability—The Anabaptists in Holland—Baptist Succession—The Question of his Sec-baptism—The Position of Baptist Writers—His Own Words—His Immersion—No Difficulty to Obtain Immersion in Holland—Ashton—The Mennonites—B. Evans—Muller—Robert Barclay—P. B.—R. B.—Thomas Wall—Giles Shute—Crosby—Ivimey—Taylor—Masson—Bishop Hall—Clyfton—Baillie—J. H .—Mark Leonard Busher—Helwys—John Norcott—John Morton—I. Graunt—Smyth His Own Witness—Excluded From the Baptist Church—He Differs From the Mennonites—The Testimony of Helwys—Helwys Returns to England.
Chapter 17 - Origin of the Particular Baptist Churches
Origin of the Particular Baptist Churches.
The General Baptists Numerous—Calvinistic Views Among Baptists—The Rise of the Particular Baptists—The Independent Church of Henry Jacob—Crosby—Underhill—Crosby Sometimes Misleading—The Opinion of Lewis—The MS. of William Kiffin—The Sending to Holland for Baptism—The Statement of Hutchinson—John Spilsbury—The Right to Begin Baptism—The Administrator of Baptism—The Continuance of Baptist Churches—William Kiffin—Daniel King—A Notable Introduction—Henry D’Anvers—The Confession of Somerset—Thomas Grantham—Joseph Hooke—Samuel Stennett—The Baptist Magazine—Thomas Pottenger—James Culross—The Story of Blount Going to Holland—The Mistakes of the So-called Kiffin Manuscript—Two Kiffin Manuscripts—The So-called Practice of Sprinkling—Hanserd Knollys—The Jacob Church Often in Trouble on The Subject of Dipping—The Practice of Spilsbury—Of Eaton—Of Kiffin—Of Henry Jessey—The Church of Hubbard—John Canne—The Broadmead Church—Samuel Howe—Paul Hobson—Thomas Kilcop—The Practice of Dipping Called “New”—The Answer of the Baptists—Samuel Richardson—Thomas Collier—Hanserd Knollys—John Tombes—Jeffrey Watts—The Confession of 1643—The Form of Baptism Dipping—Jesse B. Thomas—The Practice of the General Baptists—Masson—Featley.
Chapter 18 - The Great Debate on Baptism
A Great Debate on Baptism.
Charles I. Brought Disaster—William Laud—The Prevalence of Baptists—Persecutions—Search For The Baptists—Lord Robert Brooke—The High Commission Court Destroyed—The Boldness of the Baptists—The Church of England Tries to Enforce Immersion—Articles to he Enquired of—Baptisteries—Thomas Blake—Walter Craddock—Daniel Featley—Denne—John Floyer—Schaff—Greek Lexicons—The Edinburgh Encyclopedia—William Wall—The Westminster Assembly—John Lightfoot—The Action of Parliament—The Book of Vellum—The Beginning of the Great Debate—The Practice of the Baptists—W. H. King—George C. Lorimer—Joseph Angus—Daniel Featley—Thomas Collier—Lewes Hewes—Thomas Lamb—John Goodwin—Edward Barber—William Jeffrey—Clem Writer—Goadby—Featley and Four Particular Baptists—Tombes and Henry Vaughan and John Cragge—William Russell and Samuel Chandler.
Chapter 19 - The Rise and Progress of Baptist Institutions and Customs
The Rise and Progress of Baptist Institutions and Customs.
Baptist Associations—They Originated With the Particular Baptists—The General Baptists the First to Organize—J. M. Davis—The Great Authority of the Association—Business—Number—Date—The Custom of Appeal—The Office of Messenger—The Organization of the Particular Baptists—A Letter From Ireland—The Midland Association—The Circular Letter—Objects of the Union—Support of the Ministry—Education—Hebrew, Greek and Latin—Bristol College—Mile End Academy—Pastor and Deacons—The Permanency of the Pastoral Relation—The Support of the Ministry—Ordination—Discipline—Amusements—Marrying—Laying on of Hands and Anointing of the Sick—Singing.
Chapter 20 - The Achievements of the English Baptists
The Achievements of the English Baptists.
Opportunity for Growth—Robert Baillie—Thomas Edwards—Daniel Featley—An Epitome of the Period—William R. Williams—The High Attainments of the Baptists—Dr. Hawes—Mackintosh—Hugh Price Hughes—Chalmers—The Price of Human Liberty—Persecutions—An Act of Parliament — The “Gag Law”— The Cruelty of Infant Baptism —Oliver Cromwell—Prominent Baptist Preachers in Prison—Cromwell Casts His Influence Against the Baptist—Liberty of Conscience—Confession of the Particular Baptists—Of the General Baptists—John Milton—John Bunyan—William Kiffin—James II.—William and Mary—The Baptists Brought Liberty of Conscience—John Locke—Price—Charles Butler—Herbert S. Skeats—Phillip Schaff—A Time of Paralysis Antinomianism—John Gill—John Rippon—Baptist Publications—Abraham Booth—John Howard—Andrew Fuller—Moderate Calvinism—The Missionary Movement—William Carey—Joseph Hughes and the Bible Society—Sunday Schools—Robert Raikes—W. Fox—The Relation of the Baptists to the Young—Regents Park College—Great Authors and Able Preachers—Hymn Writers.
Chapter 21 - The Origins of the American Baptist Churches
The Origin of the American Baptist Churches.
The Date of the First Baptists in America Uncertain—Many of the Early Settlers Baptists—Cotton Mather—Plymouth—Roger Williams and Samuel Howe—The Fear of Anabaptism—A Disturbance on Account of Immersion—Governor Winthrop—Governor Bradford—A Debate on Baptism—President Chauncey—Scituate—The Lathrop Church—Henry Dunster—Hanserd Knollys—The General Court of Massachusetts Takes Part—Weymouth—Lady Moody—Painter—Persecutions—Roger Williams—At Salem—At Providence—The Form of His Baptism Immersion—Richard Scott—William Coddington—Williams Himself Testifies—Joseph B. Felt—George P. Fisher—Philip Schaff—Williams Separates From the Baptists—Apostolic Succession—The Baptists Do not Derive Their Baptism From Williams—The First Democracy—The Provisions For the Charter of Rhode Island—Religious Liberty—Arnold—Hough—Bancroft—Judge Story—Gervinus—Straus—The Persecutions of the Baptists in Massachusetts—John Clark—Obadiah Holmes—Virginia a Battle Ground for Freedom—Severe Laws—Sir W. Berkeley—The Destruction of the Establishments—The Testimony of Hawks—James Madison—Thomas Jefferson—Bishop Meade—George P. Fisher Sums up the Case—The Revolutionary War—William Pitt—Fox—Burke—Robert Ryland—No Tories Among the Baptists—The Continental Congress—The Philadelphia Association—A Memorial to Congress—The Baptists in the Army—The Chaplains—James Manning—John Hart—Thomas Jefferson—John Leland—Safe-guarding the Liberty of the Land—The First Amendment to the Constitution—The Eulogy of the Baptist by George Washington.