James Spinti sent along a copy of this brilliant collection of essays which I am more than a little happy to commend to your attention. It is made up of 10 essays by as many contributors:
1- The Changing Pattern of Baptist Life in the Eighteenth Century – John Briggs.
2- Benjamin Keech: Tailor Turned Preacher – Austin Walker.
3- Stogdon, Foster, and Bulkeley: Variation on an Eighteenth Century Theme – Stephen Copson.
4- James Fanch: The Spiritual Counsel of an Eighteenth Century Baptist Pastor – Karen Smith.
5- Gilbert Boyce: General Baptist Messenger and Opponent of John Wesley – Clive Jarvis.
6- Benjamin Beddome: His Life and His Hymns – Michael Haykin.
7- David Turner and a Theology of the Church Universal – Paul Fiddes.
8- Andrew Fuller and The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation – PJ Morden.
9- Calen Evans and the Anti-Slavery Question – Roger Hayden.
10- Martha Gurney and William Fox: Baptist Printer and Radical Reformer, 1791-1794 – Timothy Whelan.
The volume includes an index and an introductory essay by the editor as well as brief bios of all the contributors.
Especially engaging is the essay by Jarvis. I never knew that Wesley had such opponents. Perhaps he deserved them. And especially eye-opening is Smith’s essay on Rev. Fanch. If you think you’ve served a cantankerous and miserly church, wait till you read of his adventures at Romsey (England). It amazes me that he remained in the ministry at all. His modern counterparts would give up without blinking.
You’ll learn much about Baptists in the 18th century from this little collection. So, with Richard Picard, I say that this book ‘is a must read’.