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instead of the purple, put on the white robe of the neophyte; and about noon of the 22d day of May, 337, before Constantius, the son who was nearest at hand, had reached the place, he died, in the 64th year of his age, and the 31st of his reign.* His body was conveyed to Constantinople, and buried with great pomp, in the Apostles' church."
* We select from the appendix of Manso's work, a few dates from his elaborate chronological essay.
Age of A. D. Constantine. 274. Feb. 28. In Aurelian's reign, Constantine born. 284. 10 years. Diocletian made emperor. 285. 11 " Maximian made casar, and in 286, associated in the empire. 292. 18 Constantius and Galerius made' cæsars. The measure was agreed
upon at Milan, in 290. 296, 22 "
Diocletian and Constantine in Egypt. 303. 29
The Diocletian persecution commenced at Nicomedia. 305. 31
Diocletian and Maximian resign, Constantius and Galerius become
emperors, and Severus and Maximin, casars, Constantine escapes
from the court of Galerius. 306.
Constantius dies, Constantine becomes cesar, and Maxentius and Max
imian, emperors in Italy. 307.
Constantine's marriage with Fausta, Licinius made emperor. 310.
Maximian put to death, after having resided two years at Arles. 311.
Galerius stops the persecution, and soon dies. 312. 38
Maxentius slain and Constantine monarch of the western empire. 313. 39
Licinius married to the sister of Constantine. The Edict of Milan,
Diocletian's death at Salona, and Maxiniin's at Tarsus. 314. 40 "
First war between Constantine and Licinius ; battle of Cibalis. 316. 42 Constantine II, born ; 317, Constantius II ; 323, Constans, all sons of
3:24, and put to death 325. 325. 51 "
The council of Nice; the Arians banished. 326, 52
Crispus and Fausta put to death. 330. 56 "
Constantinople finished and dedicated. 335. 61 "
Constantine resolves on the division of the empire. 336.
Preparations for the Persian war. 337. 63
May 22. Constantine's death at Nicomedia.
NEW YORK BAPTIST MISSIONARY CONVENTION.
An Historical Sketch of the Baptist Missionary Convention
of the State of New York, embracing a Narrative of the Origin and Progress of the Baptist Denomination in Central and Western New York, with Biographical Notices of the Founders of the Convention, foc. By John Peck and John Lawton. Utica, N. Y. Bennett & Bright.
This book, though published some months since, has but recently fallen into our hands. Its preparation for the press was undertaken in compliance with the request of the Baptist Missionary Convention of the State of New York, at its annual meeting in 1836. Its respected authors are men of extremely modest pretensions, though their production is by no means destitute of literary merit. Like most of their contemporaries, they entered the ministry with very limited literary qualifications for so important, and so responsible a calling; and yet, with many of their compeers, who entered the sacred office under similar disadvantages, they have attained to a happy eminence, as good ministers of Jesus Christ. If they possessed less learning than some of their junior brethren, they certainly had other qualifications for this undertaking, of surpassing value. They have, indeed, but recorded, for the most part, the things which they saw and heard.
It affords us sincere pleasure to witness the attention which is beginning to be paid by the Baptist denomination in the United States, to collecting materials for its own history. Though essentially one in sentiment and practice, and identified in the same general objects of benevolence, our territory is so vast, and we are so naturally separated into distinct communities by State lines, that a large number of centres are formed, at which only, the materials for history can be collected. Hence, autographs, like the work before us, are almost indispensable to the
VOL. IV.—NO. XIV.
general historian. Our brethren in the State of New York, by these narratives, have certainly made a good beginning. The only regret we felt, after having completed this unpretending volume, was, that it is so limited. Instead of a narrative of the “rise and progress of the Baptist denomination in central and western New York,” we could wish it had embraced the whole State; we could wish, also, that the narratives had been more complete, and that the dependences of the facts stated had been more fully traced.
In 1790, the number of communicants in the Baptist denomination, in the State of New York, did not exceed 4,000. The first church in western New York was formed in 1789. At the present time, the entire number of communicants in the State is 70,825 ; of which number 48,728 are found in western New York; that is to say, in other parts of the State occupied by the Baptists in 1790, they have increased in about half a century from 4,000 to 20,000 and a fraction; while a single church, in western New York, consisting of thirty members, has increased to more than five hundred churches, numbering, in all, about 50,000 communicants. From these facts it is manifest, that our churches in western New York have enjoyed an uncommon degree of prosperity. We believe that their increase, as thus exhibited, is, in point of numbers, without a parallel in the history of any denomination in these United States; and we think we shall be able to make it appear, that this growth has been of a healthy and permanent character. Before we proceed to investigate the causes which have produced these extraordinary results, or to take any notice of the institutions of our brethren, the beginnings of which are described in these narratives, we shall make a few observations upon the progress of the denomination in other parts of this State, and upon the Baptist denomination generally.
The first Baptist church in this State was constituted in the city of New York, 1724. It was gathered under the ministry of Mr. Nicholas Eyres, a licentiate, and was recognised by Messrs. Valentine Wightman, of Groton, Ct., and Daniel Wightman of Newport, R. I., who also ordained Mr. Eyres as pastor of the church. This church is said to have been Arminian in sentiment. It continued only for about eight years. In 1753, some of its members
New ylewell"; M: 1762
having embraced Calvinistic sentiments, were constituted, with others in that city holding similar doctrinal views, and who had been baptized on a profession of their faith, into a branch of the church in Scotch Plains, N. J., then under the pastoral care of Benjamin Miller. It became an independent church, 1762, and settled the Rev. John Gano, as their pastor. Mr. Gano was a member of the church in Hopewell, N. J., but previously to his settlement in New York, had spent several years as an itinerant preacher in some of the southern States. Under his ministry, this church, now known as the Gold Street Church, and from which most of the earlier churches in that city originated, enjoyed, for a long period, under the ministry of Mr. Gano, a high degree of prosperity.
In 1766, a Baptist church was formed in Warwick, on the west side of the Hudson, fifty-four miles north of New York city, by the labors of Mr. James Benedict, of Ridgefield, Ct., who became its pastor, and continued in that office until his death. From this church several others were soon after formed in the neighboring townships. Still farther north, on the east side of the river, in Duchess Co., we find several Baptist churches, of an earlier date than the last mentioned. In Fishkill, a church existed previously to 1745 ; for, at that date, they are mentioned as having a Mr. Holstead as their pastor. We have no certain knowledge of the origin of this church. In 1752, the Rev. Joshua Morse, of New London, Ct., became their pastor, and served them two years, when he returned to the people of his former charge. In 1755, William Marsh, an elder from New Jersey, gathered a church in the township of Dover. Mr. Marsh was succeeded in the pastoral office, 1758, by Samuel Waldo, who continued to serve this church for thirty-five years. Mr. Waldo was from Mansfield, Ct. His parents were Pedobaptists, but subsequently became Baptists. Simon Dakin, originally a New Light, but who, for several years, had been pastor of a Baptist church, formed from a church of that order, was the means of gathering a church in Northeast. Mr. Dakin is said to have served this and his former church fifty years. He departed this life while pastor of the church in Northeast, at the age of eighty-three. He was a native of Concord, Massachusetts.
On the eastern borders of the State, still farther north, between Hudson and Albany, Elders Comer Bullock and
Jacob Drake, about 1779, gathered churches, which became flourishing, and branched out into others. Mr. Bullock was from Rehoboth, Mass., and was ordained by elders from Rehoboth and Warren, R. I. Drake was from Windsor, Ct., and, for eight or nine years, was pastor of a Pedobaptist church, of the New Light order, previously to his embracing Baptist sentiments. Most of his church followed the example and instructions of their pastor. In Berlin, a township twenty miles east of Albany, a church arose, in 1785, under the ministry of Justin Hall, which, in 1812, had increased to six hundred members. Some of the original members of this church were from Exeter, R. I. In Cambridge, thirty-five miles northeast of Albany, in Washington county, a church was planted, in 1772, by William Wait, an elder from Rhode Island. In Granville, in the same county, a church was gathered, in 1783, under the ministry of Richard Sill, from Connecticut.
We have thus rapidly glanced at the history of the denomination in those parts of the State not embraced in the treatise before us, that we might trace, if possible, the connection between the churches thus early planted, and those of a more recent origin, in the western part of the State, and to which God has given so abundant an increase. The churches in both sections had a common origin, but were placed in very dissimilar circumstances. The churches in southern and eastern New York were planted, as has been shown, by brethren from Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, but chiefly by brethren from Connecticut and Rhode Island. They date their origin about half a century earlier than the others. They are located, principally, on the eastern borders of the State, in townships contiguous to the States of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont. From 1780 to 1790, there was a rapid increase of churches in regions north, south west and west of Albany, and which border directly on central New York.
The brethren, whom the Lord honored as the instruments in gathering those ancient churches, seem to have been borne thither on the tide of emigration; and it is not improbable that their course was somewhat accelerated by the iron hand of persecution, which, in those days, pressed heavily upon them, in most of the New England States. The State of New York, at the period of which we speak,