Smyth and a majority of the church soon be came dissatisfied with their introduction of a new baptism and sought admission into the Men nonite fellowship. Helwys, Morton and others adhered to the principle on which they had acted and returned to England in 1611 to propagate their views there. These also cultivated the fel lowship of the Mennonites and like the latter be came strongly Socinian in their views. About 1626 there were five small congregations in dif ferent parts of England. From 1614 to 162o they published several able pleas for liberty of con science. It is probable that they had increased to some extent by 1640. It is not certain that any member of this party (afterwards to be known as General Baptists) practiced immersion up to 1640.
In 1616 Henry Jacob, who had been pastor of an exiled congregation of English dissenters at Middleburg. Zeeland, returned to London and organized a church at Southwark. Out of this church, through successive withdrawals and re divisions, there arose, from 1633 to 1644, seven an tipedobaptist congregations that were afterwards known as Particular (Calvinistic) Baptist churches. Part of these became convinced (about 1640) that baptism "ought to he by dipping the body into the water." They were also disinclined to introduce the apostolic form independently. So far as they knew, "none" had "then so prac ticed in England to professed believers." Being informed of an immersionist body in Holland, they sent over one of their brethren to receive the ordinance. He returned baptized, and large numbers were immersed early in 1641 or 1642. These Baptists published a confession of faith in 1644, which embodies the views of the great mass of modern Baptists.
The principles of Baptists may he summarized as follows: Supreme authority of Scripture (this excludes from doctrine and practice whatever is without Scriptural warrant) : regenerate member ship; democratic government, with recognition of the headship of Christ and the universal priest hood of believers ; believers' baptism (immersion alone being regarded as true baptism) ; absolute liberty of conscience; separation of church and state.
(2) Historical Outline. The first in America to advocate Baptist principles., so far as we are informed, was Roger Williams. Born about 1600, educated at Cambridge (B. A. 1627), he became an ardent non-conformist and at great personal sacrifice emigrated to New England to escape the persecuting measures of Archbishop Laud. He was immediately invited to supply the pulpit of the Boston church, but he declined because it was "an unseparated church." and he "durst not officiate to" it. Ile incurred the ill will of
the Massachusetts authorities at this time by de nying the right of the magistrate to punish any sort of "breach of the first table," such as idol atry, Sabbath-breaking, blasphemy, etc. During his pastorate at Plymouth he spent much time among the Indians, mastering their language and seeking to promote their moral and spiritual wel fare. As pastor of the Salem church (1634-35) he became involved in local controversies and in controversies with the Massachusetts authorities. Apart from his opposition to the Massachusetts churches as "unseparated" he objected to the char ter, which involved recognition of the right of kings "to take and give away the lands of other people ;" denounced the administration of oaths to the unregenerate as involving blasphemy, and the freemen's oath of allegiance in general as involv ing usurpation of Divine prerogatives on the part of the government, and at last disfellowshiped the other churches for refusing to discipline their representatives in the court for unrighteous con duct and his own church for refusing to join him in this action. As advocating opinions dangerous to the common welfare he was banished in 1635. He made his way amid winter's hardships and per ils to Narragansett Bay, where he was joined by a number of Massachusetts sympathizers and founded a colony on the basis of soul-liberty, which, with the cohperation of John Clarke and others, was developed into Rhode Island. His de fense of the principle of liberty of conscience in "The Bloody Tenet of Persecution" and "The Bloody Tenet Yet More Bloody," was the most clahorate and complete that had ever been made and was epoch-making. This principle was de fended with equal ability by John Clarke in his "Ill News from New England." By 1639 Williams had become convinced that infant baptism was unwarranted by Scripture and a perversion of a Christian ordinance, and with eleven others introduced believers' baptism, and formed at Providence the first American Baptist church. Coddington. who was on Rhode Island at the time, accused Williams as at one time insisting on iinincrsion and as Williams remained with the Baptists only a short time. it is natural to apply his remark to the time of the introduction of believers' baptism. This church, after Williams' withdrawal, continued for years in an exceedingly weak state. The General Baptist type of teaching, with insistence on the laying on of hands as an ordinance of Christ, came to prevail by 1652, and the opponents of this view withdrew to form a new congregation.