Bye-Paths in Baptist History


A Collection of Interesting, Instructive and Curious Information, Not Generally Known


Concerning the Baptist Denomination


by J. J. Goadby


originally published in London in 1871 by Elliot Stock







CHAPTER I. Early Traces of Baptists in Britain.

Inference from Tertullian and Mosheim

Austin and the Monks of Bangor

The Law of Ina

Lanfranc's Opposition to the English Waldenses

Gerard and his Companions

The Lollards

Wycliffe's opinion on Baptism

The Bible-men

The Chesterton Separatists


CHAPTER II. Ancient Baptist Churches in England.

Hill Cliffe, near Warrington

Eythorne, Kent

Bocking and Braintree, Essex


CHAPTER III. Origin of the Baptist Denomination.

Smyth and the General Baptists

Spilsbury and the Particular Baptists

The Six-Principle Baptists

The Seventh-day Baptists

The Scotch Baptists

The New Connexion of General Baptists


CHAPTER IV. The Baptists and Liberty of Conscience.

Honourable Position of Baptists in the History of Religious Freedom

Religious Peace; or, a Plea for Liberty of Conscience. By Leonard Busher

Persecution for Religion judged and condemned

A Most Humble Supplication

The Necessity of Toleration in matters of Religion


CHAPTER V. Persecution of Baptists in England.

Baptists persecuted by every Dominant Party

Henry the Eighth (1509-1547)

Edward the Sixth (1547-1553)

Mary (1553-1558)

Elizabeth (1558-1603)

James the First (1603-1625)

Charles the First (1625-1642)

The Civil War (1642-1649)

The Commonwealth (1649-1660)

Charles the Second (1660-1685)

James the Second (1685-1688)


CHAPTER VI. Baptist Confessions of Faith.

Confessions were Expositions, or Apologies

Smyth's Confession

The London Confession ("Faith of the Seven Churches")

Grantham's Confession

The Orthodox Creed

The Confession of the Assembly (of Particular Baptists)

The Somerset Confession

Articles of Religion (General Baptist, New Connexion)


CHAPTER VII. Public Disputations on Baptism.

Why they arose

Dr. Daniel Featley, in Southwark

Baxter and Tombes, at Bewdley

Tombes, with Vaughan and Cragge, at Abergavenny

Denne and Gunning, in London

The Portsmouth Debate


CHAPTER VIII. Local Associations and General Assemblies.

What led to the idea of Association

The Somerset Association

The Midland Association

General Baptist Assemblies

The Caffynite Controversy

The General Association

The First Particular Baptist General Assembly

The Second and Third Particular Baptist Assemblies

The Fourth Particular Baptist Assembly

The Fifth Particular Baptist Assembly

The London Association


CHAPTER IX. Officers of Baptist Churches.

Elders, or Ministers

Messengers, or Apostles

Deacons; Helps in Government



CHAPTER X. Church Discipline.

The Basis of it

Strictness of Discipline

The Treatment of Heretics




Marrying out of Society

Domestic Life



Money Matters

Miscellaneous Charges

Dr. Wall's Commendation


CHAPTER XI. Customs of the Early English Baptists.

The Imposition of Hands


Washing the Feet of the Saints

Anointing the Sick

Casting Lots


Maintenance of the Poor

Marriage Service

Burying the Dead


CHAPTER XII. About Singing.

Early Notices of Singing

Outwitting Persecutors by Singing Psalms

Grantham on "The Duty of Thanksgiving"

Mr. Keach introduces Singing at Horsleydown

Keach's Defence of Singing

"The Leader of the Opposition" Isaac Marlow

Marlow's Strictures on Allen's Essay

E. H.'s "Scripture Proof"

Dr. Russell on Allen's Essay

Allen's "Vindication"

Claridge's Reply to Allen

General Baptists and Singing


CHAPTER XIII. Miscellaneous.

Ministers' Clubs

Quaint Items about Ministers and Deacons