Late 18th Century American Baptist Missionary Work in Canada

In the late 18th century, the following American Baptist missionary organizations were doing work in “Upper Canada” (which was essentially present-day Southern Ontario):

  • The Shaftsbury Baptist Association of Vermont, New York, and Massachusetts
  • The Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Society
  • The Lake Baptist Missionary Society (renamed to the Hamilton Baptist Missionary Society, which merged with the Baptist Missionary Convention of the State of New York)
  • The New York Missionary Society (joint Baptist and Presbyterian)
  • The New York Baptist Missionary Society
  • The Black River Baptist Association (New York state)

Source: Stuart Ivison and Fred Rosser, The Baptists in Upper and Lower Canada before 1820 (Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1956), 9.


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John Peak (1761-1842), Calvinistic Baptist – “The Scene Is Wonderfully Changed”

Here’s an interesting little segment from a memoir of the 18th/19th century New England Calvinistic Baptist, John Peak. The memoir comes with an endorsement from Henry Jackson, who was a friend and early ministerial influence on John Newton Brown:JohnPeak

“Formerly our [Baptist] denomination was taxed for the support of preachers of other sects. But the scene is wonderfully changed. We now have liberty to worship where we choose, and pay our money where we please. Now instead of fines, prisons, whipping and banishment, some Pedobaptist churches seem to esteem it a great acquisition, if they can persuade a single Baptist to join their communion…In some of their churches they hold members in full communion who renounce infant baptism altogether, and consider it to be nothing more than a human invention…Surely a milder day has dawned upon the Baptist church. We have nothing to fear from any arguments which will ever be produced by people of such accomidating principles, and such latitudinarian practices here noticed.” – John Peck (1761-1842) in Memoir of Elder John Peak (Boston: J. Howe, 1832), 189.

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Books Finished in October

(2 paper books, 1 e-book, and 1 audio book)

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Out And About (2014/10/30)

It’s been a while since a did an “Out And About” segment, but here we go.



Civil Liberties


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“Remind me of my heavenly birth”: John Newton Brown’s Doctrine of Regeneration

Last night I posted a paper I wrote, “Remind me of my heavenly birth”: John Newton Brown’s Doctrine of Regeneration. The title is pretty self-descriptive. After having completed two biographical papers on Brown (hopefully to be published soon), this is a first stab at a paper on his theology.

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Anne of Green Gables’ Catechism

(a reference to the Westminster Shorter Catechism from book 1 chapter 7)

“I never say any prayers,” announced Anne.

Marilla looked horrified astonishment.

“Why, Anne, what do you mean? Were you never taught to say your prayers? God always wants little girls to say their prayers. Don’t you know who God is, Anne?”

“God is a spirit, infinite, eternal and unchangeable, in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth,” responded Anne promptly and glibly.

Marilla looked rather relieved.
“So you do know something then, thank goodness! You’re not quite a heathen. Where did you learn that?”

“Oh, at the asylum Sunday-school. They made us learn the whole catechism. I liked it pretty well. There’s something splendid about some of the words. `Infinite, eternal and unchangeable.’ Isn’t that grand? It has such a roll to it–just like a big organ playing. You couldn’t quite call it poetry, I suppose, but it sounds a lot like it, doesn’t it?”

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How I Finally Got My Inbox Down To Zero

nonewmailI had an inbox problem. For years now, my personal e-mail account inbox has been quite full, usually containing somewhere between 400 and 800 e-mails.

This week, I finally conquered it. It’s down to 0.

Here are some strategies/principles/insights that I used. None of them are particularly ground-breaking, but perhaps they will be useful to you too:

  1. With a good search feature, folders/labels are often overrated and unnecessary. For the amount of time we spend labeling/foldering e-mails over the years, how often do these categorizations actually help us? This is especially true when our e-mail client (in my case, gmail) has exceptionally powerful searching options. I have not given up on labels completely and I’m not saying they are useless. Just don’t let it bog you down. Don’t let category indecision cause e-mails to linger in your inbox. Just archive them. If you can’t find them based on subject, recipient, date, or content, you may never be aided by the fact that they reside in a folder/label with some two thousand others.
  2. Use It’s a way to store online articles to read later. They also have a nice text-to-speech option. This service will allow you to delete those myriads of e–mails which are basically just so-hey-here-is-a-neat-article-you-should-check-out. Often you do legitimately want to read the articles eventually, but don’t have time at the moment. This is a way to defer the reading of the article without having it clog your e-mail/inbox.
  3. Don’t use your inbox as a todo list. Delete/archive the e-mail, and then add the todo item into some other service.
  4. If you insist on working from your e-mail as though it is a todo list, then create a ‘someday’ escape hatch. What I mean is this: Make an “Eventually” folder/label. It can hold those e-mails waiting for a “slow day”. They are the sort of e-mails that would be nice to get to in the next year, but really could also slip through the cracks with no headache. Don’t use it for anything that has a deadline or will hurt you if it doesn’t get addressed soon, though!
  5. If you have a full inbox and are working on downsizing it, try not to just delete/archive one message. If you find an email that can be nuked, search for similar ones by subject/sender/etc. Chances are it isn’t a loner, and by finding its cousins, you can reduce your inbox by 5, 10, 15, or 100 rather than one at a time. With some creative searching, it’s amazing at how many e-mails you can eliminate at once!
  6. There are important account information e-mails that you need to keep in the event you lose a username or have other issues. However, the vast  majority of registration confirmation and mailing list confirmation e-mails actually contain precious little useful information and can be archived with little thought.

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An 18th Century Baptist on Delighting In Doing Good

Humphreys Burroughs was a messenger to the 1689 London Baptist Assembly on behalf of the Pennington Street Particular Baptist Church. His son Joseph Burroughs (1685-1761) was a minister, though an Arminian,General Baptist. Sadly, it appears that Joseph may have fell into seriously unorthodox opinions late in his life.

Nevertheless, on March 2nd, 1742, Joseph preached a sermon to a society for the relief of the widows and orphans of dissenting ministers. The sermon was titled: “The blessedness of a benevolent temper” and was based on Acts 20:35.

In it, Burroughs argues that taking pleasure in doing good is not only allowable, but important. It is “so far from being evil, that it highly becomes us.” He argues that it is a way we can imitate God, “who is the most happy of all beings”. When we do good to another person, we are “in the place of God towards them.”

“The man who relieves his distressed brother” is, in Joseph’s mind, not only partaking in another man’s joy, but taking a high delight of his own. And this delight can be pure and need not be mixed with pride.

Joseph also noted that those that pretend that God’s glory is the ONLY end and our happiness means nothing are reasoning in opposition to “the very nature of things, ” and God “never taught us to reason or to act after [that] manner.”

Joseph then concludes with a word of encouragement, stating that that “it is not the quantity of our contributions, which render them acceptable [to God]..but the delight it self in doing good, and the sincere gratitude of the heart, in remembrance of that goodness to which we stand indebted.”

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