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374
BAPTISTS


the unity and virility of the denomination. A still stronger evidence to the same effect was given by the Religious Census taken in 1904. While this only applied to London, its results are valuable as showing the comparative strength of the Baptist Church. These results are to the effect that in all respects the Baptists come second to the Anglicans in the following three particulars:—(1) Percentage of attendances at public worship contributed by Baptists, 10.81 (London County), 10.70 (Greater London); (2) aggregate of attendances, 54,597; (3) number of places of worship, 443.

2. The Continent of Europe.—During the 19th century what we have called the modern Baptist movement made its appearance in nearly every European country. In Roman Catholic countries Baptist churches were formed by missionaries coming from either England or America: work in France began in 1832, in Italy missions were started in 1866 (Spezia Mission) and in 1884 (Baptist Missionary Society, which also has a mission in Brittany), and in Spain in 1888. In Protestant countries and in Russia the Baptist movement began without missionary intervention from England or America. J. G. Oncken (1800-1884) formed the first church in Hamburg in 1834, and thereafter Baptist churches were formed in other countries as follows:—Denmark (1839), Holland and Sweden (1848), Switzerland (1849), Norway (1860), Austria and Rumania (1869), Hungary (1871), and Bulgaria (1884). Baptist churches also began to be formed in Russia and Finland in the 'fifties and 'sixties.

3. British Colonies.—In every colony the Baptists have a considerable place. There are unions of Baptist churches in the following colonies:—New South Wales, Victoria, S. Australia, Western Australia, Queensland, New Zealand, Tasmania, Canada (four Unions) and S. Africa. The work in S. Africa is assisted by the Baptist South African Missionary and Colonial Aid Society, having its seat in London.

The Baptist World Alliance was formed in 1905, when the first Baptist World Congress was held in London. The preamble of the constitution of this Alliance sufficiently indicates its nature: "Whereas, in the providence of God, the time has come when it seems fitting more fully to manifest the essential oneness in the Lord Jesus Christ, as their God and Saviour, of the churches of the Baptist order and faith throughout the world, and to promote the spirit of fellowship, service and co-operation among them, while recognizing the independence of each particular church and not assuming the functions of any existing organization, it is agreed to form a Baptist alliance, extending over every part of the world." This alliance does in fact include Baptists in every quarter of the globe, as will be seen from the following statistics:—

  Churches. Members.
United States—
    National Baptist Convention 16,996 2,110,269
    Southern Baptist Convention 20,431 1,832,638
    "Disciples of Christ" 11,157 1,235,798
    Thirty-five Northern States 8,894 986,821
    Fourteen other Bodies 7,921 414,775
Australasia 270 23,253
Canada 985 103,062
S. Africa 52 4,865
United Kingdom 2,934 426,563
Austria Hungary 37 9,783
Denmark 29 3,954
Finland 43 2,301
France 28 2,278
Germany 180 32,462
Italy 53 1,375
Mexico and Central America 58 1,820
Netherlands 22 1,413
Norway 39 2,849
Rumania and Bulgaria 5 374
[1] Russia and Poland 131 24,136
S. America 63 3,641
Spain 7 245
Sweden 567 43,305
Switzerland 8 796
West Indies 318 42,310
Ceylon 25 1,044
China 137 12,160
India 1,215 121,716
Japan 40 2,326
Palestine 1 106
Philippines 4 425
Congo 21 4,673
West Africa 10 629
          Total 72,681 7,454,165

In 1909 the comparative totals were roughly:—72,988 churches; 7,480,940 members. In both sets of figures the Disciples of Christ (U.S.A.) are included.

Literature.—Thomas Crosby, The History of the English Baptists (4 vols. London, 1738-1740); D. Masson, Life of John Milton in Connexion with the History of his Time (6 vols. 1859-1880, new ed. 1881, &c.); B. Evans, The Early English Baptists, i. ii. (1862-1864); H. C. Vedder, A Short History of the Baptists (London, 1897); A. H. Newman, A Manual of Church History (Philadelphia, 1900-1903); R. Heath, Anabaptism (1895); C. Williams, The Principles and Practices of the Baptists (1903); E. C. Pike, The Story of the Anabaptists (1904); J. H. Shakespeare, Baptist and Congregational Pioneers; J. G. Lehmann, Geschichte der deutschen Baptisten (1896-1900); G. Tumbült, Die Wiedertäufer (Bielefeld, 1899); The Baptist Handbook (annually); The Baptist World Congress, 1905; The Religious Census of London (1904).  (N. H. M.) 

4. United States of America.—The first Baptist Church in America was that founded in the Providence settlement on Narragansett Bay under the leadership of Roger Williams (q.v.). Having been sentenced to banishment (October 1635) by the Massachusetts Court because of his persistence in advocating separatistic views deemed unsettling and dangerous, to escape deportation to England he betook himself (January 1636) to the wilderness, where he was hospitably entertained by the natives who gave him a tract of land for a settlement. Having been joined by a few friends from Massachusetts, Williams founded a commonwealth in which absolute religious liberty was combined with civil democracy. In the firm conviction that churches of Christ should be made up exclusively of regenerate members, the baptism of infants appeared to him not only valueless but a perversion of a Christian ordinance. About March 1639, with eleven others, he decided to restore believers' baptism and to form a church of baptized believers. Ezekiel Holliman, who had been with him at Plymouth and shared his separatist views, first baptized Williams and Williams baptized the rest of the company. Williams did not long continue to find satisfaction in the step he had taken. Believing that the ordinances and apostolic church organization had been lost in the general apostasy, he became convinced that it was presumptuous for any man or company of men to undertake their restoration without a special divine commission. He felt compelled to withdraw from the church and to assume the position of a seeker. He continued on friendly terms with the Baptists of Providence, and in his writings he expressed the conviction that their practice came nearer than that of other communities to the first practice of Christ.

In November 1637 John Clarke (1609-1676), a physician, of religious zeal and theological acumen, arrived at Boston, where, instead of the religious freedom he was seeking, he found the dominant party in the Antinomian controversy on the point of banishing the Antinomian minority, including Mrs Anne Hutchinson (q.v.) and her family, John Wheelwright (c. 1592-1679), and William Coddington (1601-1678). Whether from sympathy with the persecuted or aversion to the persecutors, he cast in his lot with the former and after two unsuccessful attempts at settlement assisted the fugitives in forming a colony on the island of Aquidnek (Rhode Island), procured from the Indians through the good offices of Williams. By 1641 there were, according to John Winthrop, "professed Anabaptists" on the island, and Clarke was probably their leader. Robert Lenthall, who joined the Newport company in 1640 when driven from Massachusetts, probably brought with him antipaedobaptist convictions. Mrs Scott, sister of Mrs Hutchinson, is thought to have been an aggressive antipaedobaptist when the colony was founded. Mark Lucar, who was baptized by immersion in London in January 1642 (N.S.) and was a member of a Baptist church there, reached Newport about 1644. A few years later we find

  1. The figures for Russia include only the German-speaking Baptists. It is impossible to ascertain the numbers of properly Russian Baptists. Estimates have been made which vary from 60,000 to 100,000.