Books Finished In May

(3 paper books, 1 ebook, 3 audio books)

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James H. Linsley’s Baptism

In January/February 1811, James Harvey Linsley (1787-1844) of Connecticut, who would later become the father-in-law of S. Dryden Phelps, became convinced that he needed to be baptized. At that time he also came to see baptism as only properly administered when done by immersion. He observed in his journal that “it requires some self-denial, situated as I am in the family of a Congregational minister.”

On February 17th, Linsley observed a baptism of eleven converts and was convicted by what he saw and heard preached. He felt “much condemned that [he] had not joined them.” On April 12, 1811, he was baptized at the age of 23. It was a fast day in North Haven. The pastor of the Baptist Church in North Haven, Joshua Bradley (1773-1855), had the sermon with Matthew 5:45 as the text.

After the sermon, James was asked to deliver his testimony. Eight other candidates were baptized with him “at the river side” on a “very cold blustering day” which featured occasional snow. In his journal, Linsley noted that his “soul was in exstacy of love and gratitude to that blessed Jesus, who set me an example in this ordinance, and has given a promise that He will be with His children even unto the end of the world.” To him it was “the happiest day [he] ever saw.”

Almost immediately, James would be impressed with a desire to preach the gospel and within a week or two after his baptism, he became a student at the Wallingford Academy.


  • Memoir of the Rev. James H. Linsley, 38-39, 42-43.
  • “Joshua Bradley” in William Buell Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit (1860), 6:400.
  • “James¬† Harvey Linsley” in William Buell Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit (1860), 6:795-801.

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Thoughts for Keach’s Warrior Children: Confessionalism

Today, The Decablog has featured my previous blog post, Thoughts for Keach’s Warrior Children: Confessionalism.

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James Harvey Linsley’s Reading

James Harvey Linsley (1787-1843) was a Connecticut Baptist pastor and, after having to step down from the ministry due to health reasons, a prominent naturalist. He is also the father-in-law of S. Dryden Phelps, whom I’ve written about before.

In November 1837, he wrote to his mother from Stratford, Connecticut. He mentions giving her a Jonathan Edwards book and also reading a Richard Baxter book. He said “I give Bro. J. ‘Edwards on the Affections,’ and I hope some of these long winter evenings may be occupied by hearing it read aloud around the family fireside, where you and your children may many of htem surround it. It is a searching and interesting work. I wish it could be read in every family in the nation, that can understand the language and spiritual distinctions. I have recently read ‘[Richard] Baxter’s Dying Thoughts,’ but have no room to speak of them. They are excellent.” Memoir of the Rev. James H. Linsley (Hartford: Robins and Smith, 1845), 151.

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Books Finished in April

(2 paper books, 6 ebooks, 2 audio books)

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Tom Carson Defending Freedom of Religion

Theologian D. A. Carson wrote a memoir about his father (Canadian Baptist pastor Tom Carson) and recounts how he stood up for religious freedom:

“there was a rather celebrated court case in Montreal against some Jehovah’s Witnesses. A great deal of public opinion had been stirred up against them. Tom wrote to the editorial page of The Montreal Star supporting the constitutional right of the Witnesses to freedom of religion. Tom had worked out the separation of church and state to his own satisfaction, and he saw that however much he disliked the theology of the Witnesses, defense of their freedom was part and parcel of the defense of freedom of all religious persons. His letter was picked up by the national press and printed across the country.” – D. A. Carson, Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Reflections of Tom Carson (Wheaton: Crossway, 2008), 44.

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“An Eloquence in Nature’s Voice” The Pastor-Poet S. Dryden Phelps (1816-1895)

As an offshoot” of my research on J. Newton Brown, I’ve been doing some research on the 19th century Connecticut Baptist poet, hymn writer, travel-writer, and pastor, S. Dryden Phelps. I’ve posted a draft of a paper I’ve written on him, “An Eloquence in Nature’s Voice”: The Pastor-Poet S. Dryden Phelps (1816-1895). It’s just over 30 pages and probably needs some more work, however I think it is dealing with a neglected figure who is worth exploring.

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S. D. Phelps: Travel Writing to the Glory of God

I am doing some research on the Connecticut Baptist Sylvanus Dryden Phelps. I hope to complete a paper on him some day, but in the mean time here is a shorter, more informal preview S. D. Phelps: Travel Writing to the Glory of God over at Kuyperian Commentary.

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