Customs of Primitive Churches, by Morgan Edwards

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Customs of Primitive Churches, by Morgan Edwards

Postby Rvaughn » Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:58 pm

Morgan Edwards (b.1722-d.1795) was the clerk of the Philadelphia Baptist Association for many years. He may be best know as the compiler of Materials Towards a History of the Baptists in the United States. On the other hand, his church manual, Customs of Primitive Churches, is a rare item. Last year I got ahold of an electronic copy and have been transcribing it as time permits. I'm mulling over the idea of a small print run. In the meantime I am posting some of the transcriptions in the history section at BaptistBoard.com. Since the "Baptist History and Heritage" forum is one of the least used (and apparently least read) here, I'm not inclined to re-post them here. I decided it would be simpler to just give links and let you go there if you want to read them. So here goes, what is available up to 7 Feb 2017.

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Re: Customs of Primitive Churches, by Morgan Edwards

Postby Haruo » Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:34 am

I think posting the links like this is a good way to go on this. I look forward to reading them.
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Re: Customs of Primitive Churches, by Morgan Edwards

Postby Haruo » Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:41 am

In the first thread, the commenters' concern over "eldresses" is very baptistic, as is Edwards' inclusion of them.
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Re: Customs of Primitive Churches, by Morgan Edwards

Postby Rvaughn » Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:41 am

No. 4 contains his article on deaconesses -- which seems to have found much more acceptance than elderesses -- and after that I started naming the threads by topic rather than numbering them. So you will see one there titled elderesses.

It is hard to know for sure how well Edwards's points represented the thinking of the Regular Baptists of the Philadelphia and corresponding associations, and how much was his own views not shared by others. In searching the minutes of the Philadelphia Association (1707-1807), I found the book mentioned twice, using two different search engines. I might have missed something. Here are the two mentions.

1773. The following books may be had of Mr. Samuel Davis, Hatter, at the corner of Christ Church Alley, in Third street. viz. "Baptist Confessions of Faith," 1s. 1d.; "Norcott on Baptism," 4d.; "Catechisms," 3d.; "Materials towards a history of the Baptists," 4s., unbound, 3s. "Customs of Primitive Churches," 3s. 9d.; "Stennett's Sermons," 20s.


1774. After deliberations on some queries from the church at Welsh Tract, it was finally agreed, that our brethren Abel Morgan, Isaac Backus, Isaac Stelle, and Samuel Jones, form a minute to answer them, which being done and approved, is here inserted:
"Whereas a book was published, entitled, 'The Customs of the Primitive Churches,' which the author proposed should be altered, amended, and corrected, by his ministering brethren, and then re-printed for the use of the churches, which was never done; and whereas, we have reason to think, that it is under-stood by many abroad to have been adopted by us in its present form, as our custom and mode of church discipline and practice; it is therefore thought meet, that we should thus publicly testify to the contrary, as it is not, nor ever has been adopted by us, or by any of the churches belonging to the association."


I would add that it is possible that modern readers may read too much disagreement into the latter statement, whereas the main intent is to disabuse the idea that there was any official endorsement.
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HARDSHELL

Postby Stephen Fox » Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:17 pm

What's he say about Hardshell Baptists and how they got that name?
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Re: Customs of Primitive Churches, by Morgan Edwards

Postby Rvaughn » Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:26 pm

Nothing that I'm aware of, Stephen. I'd guess Edwards's book was about 60 or so years before that name was popularized.
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