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on the Sabbath, they had to do it by stealth ; whilst their enemies were ever watchful, to find, if possible, some accusation against them. Mr. Stennett was arrested under pretence that he held meetings in his house, which meetings he had held in his hall for a long time, but they were managed with so much discretion, that it was impossible for those inimical to them to be admitted, so as to appear as witnesses against the persons who met there. At length a neighbouring clergyman, resolved to suborn witnesses, but in this he was defeated. And he was a clergyman who had professed great friendship for Mr. Stennett. Mr. Stennett knowing that no proof of those charges by
. those witnesses, could be made justly, he resolved to traverse it. Various circumstances occurred that were all in his favour; so that when Mr. Stennett came to Newburg, neither prosecutor nor witness appearing against him, he was discharged. After this he was confined a long time in prison.
Many of the Seventh Day Baptist ministers were taken from their families and congregations, and were cast into prison. Among the number was Rev. Joseph Davis, who was a long time prisoner in Oxon Castle. Francis Bamfield was one of the most eminent ministers of his time. He was educated at Oxford, and was a number of years a minister of the established church. In the time of the civil wars he was against the Parliament, and opposed to the Protector's usurpation; he suffered much on that account. At what time he became a Baptist is not known, but on the restoration of Charles, he was treated with unrelenting severity. In one prison he was confined eight years. After that he was released, went to London, and gathered a church that still exists as a Seventh Day Baptist Church ; after that he was again imprisoned, and there died in 1683.
Robert Spaulder and John Mauldin, were Seventh Day Baptists, and much persecuted; and Spaulder was even taken out of his grave by his persecutors. (Bene's Hist. vol. ii. p. 417.) But the most barbarous and cruel acts of persecution were practised upon John James, the minister of a Seventh Day Baptist Church in London; he was put to death in a most cruel manner in 1661. To take away his life was not enough to satisfy his enemies, but after being hung at Tyburn, he was drawn and quartered, his quarters were carried back to Newgate on the sledge that carried him to the gallows; they were afterwards placed on the gate of the city, and his head was placed on a pole, opposite his meeting house. He went to the gallows as an innocent man, and died in a joyful manner. This is a brief narrative of the prosperity, trials, and sufferings of the early Seventh Day Baptists in England. Some left the country, others still adhered to their peculiar views; even to the present day there are a few small
churches in England. There are two in London, one at Shoreditch, one at Mill Yard, but their numbers must be small; and there are some scattering individuals throughout the kingdom, and some in Scotland.
In 1665 Mr. Stephen Mumford, a Seventh Day Baptist, came from England to Newport, Rhode Island, and soon Mr. Samuel Hubbard, a Baptist, embraced his views; there were others who soon embraced the same sentiments, but they continued to travel together in the same church until 1671. Mr. Hubbard has left a manuscript journal, in which he gives an account of their separation. Soon after this (alluding to their embracing the Sabbath,) many hard things were said to the Sabbath-keepers by their brethren, that they had gone from Christ to Moses; that the gentiles had nothing to do with the ten commandments. And in 1681 they came to an open separation, when these brethren and sisters entered into church-fellowship together, and became the first Seventh Day Baptist Church in America. This little church being thus constituted, William Hiscox became their first pastor; but a hostile spirit was soon raised against this little band, and laws were enacted severe and criminal in their nature. John Rogers, a member of this church, was sentenced to sit a certain time upon a gallows with a rope about his neck, to which he submitted.
There were many other severities practised upon the Sabbathkeepers in New England, while the Baptists were persecuted for their baptism. The Seventh Day Baptists met with opposition from all, and as far as the civil laws would permit, they suffered the dire effects arising from this state of things.
From these and other causes the progress of the Seventh Day Baptists has been very much impeded. Their history details no remarkable revolution in their favour. Worldly honours, interest, influence and convenience are against them, and have always been opposed to their perseverance in the observance of the Sabbath. The members composing the church at Newport have felt the disadvantages attending them in a city, and for years they have been on the decline; since many have removed to different parts of the State, and some made their way into the far West, where they have been the means of establishing churches, some of which are large and flourishing. But this event has not terminated in extinguishing the little light; although the mother church has become very weak and almost extinct. This church has had a succession of worthy ministers, the most of them were born, ordained, and preached, and died, members of that church.
The church at Hopkinton, R. I., was established by brethren from Newport, in 1708. For a number of years this church numbered nine hundred members, but several churches have since been constituted in the vicinity, by members from this church. They still number over five hundred members, having two ordained ministers, and an elegant meeting-house on the banks of the Paucatuck river.
From this church there have been sent out many ministers, who have been lasting blessings to the cause of truth. There are now in Rhode Island seven churches, six ordained ministers, and not far from one thousand communicants; and from these churches the tide of emigration has taken hundreds into the western country.
the State of Connecticut there are but two small churches, which probably number one hundred communicants, and but one ordained minister.
The Seventh Day Baptists in New Jersey arose from different circumstances. One Edmund Dunham, a First Day Baptist member, became convinced that he and his brethren were in an error as it regarded the Sabbath of the Lord. He presented his views to his brethren, and about twenty of his brethren and sisters came out with him in sentiment. They separated from the First Day church, and entered into covenant together, to walk together as a gospel church, in 1705, and sent Edmund Dunham to Rhode Island to receive ordination, and he was chosen their pastor.
They are located in the county of Middlesex, Piscataway township, thirty miles from New York city, and six miles from New Brunswick. As a church, they have been called in years past to pass through many severe trials, but God sustained them; yet for a few years past their history has been more favourable. They have now a neat and elegant house of worship, and a parsonage farm on which their pastor lives. At present they number 170 communicants.
The church at Plainfield was formed of members from this church in 1838. They have a beautiful house of worship in the village of Plainfield; numbering about 70 communicants,—at present without a pastor.
A few families removed from Piscataway to Cumberland county, forty miles below Philadelphia, at an early day, and a few families of Welsh extraction settled there from the State of Delaware. They were constituted into a church in 1737. Jonathan Davis was their first pastor. They are situated in a pleasant country, at the village of Shiloh, where they have an ancient brick meeting-house, adjoining to which is their graveyard, where a number of generations have
been deposited to wait until the resurrection morn. Among this multitude is a number of worthy ministers, who have finished their work and have gone to rest, and the place where they lie is marked to the stranger by the large marble monument, on which we read a brief history of their lives. The church now numbers 226 communicants.
The church in Salem County, New Jersey, was formed by members from the church at Shiloh, in 1811. Jacob Ayars, since deceased, was their pastor. They are well situated, but a few miles from Shiloh. They have a comfortable house of worship, and number near 100 communicants.
In the State of New Jersey there are four churches, four ordained ministers, and about 560 communicants.
There are a number of families in the city of New York of Seventh Day Baptists; they have not been constituted into a church, but they hold meetings Sabbath days at their own houses. The Seventh Day Baptists in the State of New York first moved from Rhode Island, and settled in different parts, so that at the present they are more numerous than in any other State. There is in this State as follows:
In Rensselaer County two churches-Berlin, 223 communicants; Petersburgh, 142 communicants.
Madison County-Brookfield, three churches; first, 309 communicants; second, 143 communicants; third, 136 communicants ; De Ruyter, 145 communicants.
Chenango County-Preston, 72 communicants; Otselic, 36 communicants.
Otsego County-Lincklean, 122 communicants.
Jefferson County-Adams, 218 communicants; Houndsfield, 44 communicants.
Lewis County-Watson, 45 communicants.
Oneida County-Verona, two churches; first, 113 communicants; second, 20 communicants.
Cortland County-Truxton, 78 communicants ; Scott, 181 communicants.
Erie County-Clarence, 157 communicants.
Allegany County-Alfred, two churches; first, 448 communicants; second, 165 communicants; Amity, 32 communicants; Scio, 35 communicants; Independence, 100 communicants; Friendship, 133 communicants; Bolivar, 58 communicants; Genesee, three churches;
first, 159 communicants; second, 47 communicants; third, 54 communicants.
In the State of New York are twenty-seven churches, three thousand four hundred and ninety-one communicants, nineteen ordained ministers, and a number of licentiates.
In the early settlement of this country there were five churches established in the vicinity of Philadelphia, but there were not more than thirty members in them all, but they have been long since extinct. In Fayette County, Pennsylvania, is a small church, not exceeding 20 communicants. In Potter County, Pennsylvania, there is a church numbering 41 communicants, but no minister. And in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, there is a church numbering 75 communicants. They have a meeting-house and pastor.
In Pennsylvania there are three churches, 136 communicants, and but one ordained minister.
The Seventh Day Baptists in the State of Virginia emigrated first from New Jersey, and constituted a church in Harrison County, at New Salem, 1745; they now number 58 communicants. Lost Creek, 61 communicants; South Forks Hughes River, Wood County, 20 communicants; North Forks Hughes River, 15 communicants. In Virginia there are four churches, two ordained ministers, and 154 communicants.
The Seventh Day Baptists in Ohio emigrated from Virginia and New Jersey, and settled in Clark County, Pike, and constituted a church in 1824; they number 30 communicants; Port Jefferson, 46 communicants; Sciota, 20 communicants; Jackson, 38 communicants; Stokes, — communicants. There are in Ohio five churches, three ordained ministers, probably 200 communicants, as there is a number of settlements where churches will soon be formed.
There are numerous settlements of Seventh Day Baptists in Illinois, although there is but one small church; there is also a small church in Iowa Territory. There is a number of settlements in Michigan, but no church. In Wisconsin Territory there is a church numbering near 100 communicants, and two ministers. Besides these, there are scattered families in every State, and in almost all our cities.
There are in the United States about fifty churches, forty ordained ministers, and about six thousand communicants. They are divided into four associations. The Eastern Association includes the churches in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Jersey. The Central Association includes the churches in the State of New York, east of the