Page images
[blocks in formation]


And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every

ereature. HE THAT BELIEVETH AND IS BAPTIZED, shall be saved ; bắt he that believeth not, shall be damned.............

....Mark xvi. 15, 16. And the eunuch said, See, here is water, what doth hinder me to be baptized ?.......

If thou believest with all thine beart, thou mayest........ I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.........AND THEY WENT DÒWN BOTH INTO THE WATER, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him ....... AND WHEN THEY WERE COME UP OUT OF THE WATER, &C.... .........................Aets viii. 36-59.






[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]





DELAWARE became an independent State in 1776; it contains three little counties, Newcastle, Kent, and Sussex; in the first there was a Baptist society as early as 1703; they settled near Iron Hill; from them, their sentiments took a spread northward, as far as Loudon Tract, in Pennsylvania; northeast, to Wilmington, east, to Bethel ; west, to Elk river, in Maryland; southward, to Duck creek in this State; and to the Pedee river in South-Carolina.

This society was from Wales, and about the year 1733, eight or ten families more, from the same country, made a settlement at Duck creek, in Kent county, from whence their sentiments spread to Cowmarsh, and Mis pillion, and to Georgetown in Maryland.

About the year 1788, Elijah Baker and Philip Hughes, who had been labouring on the eastern shore of the Chesapeak Bay, in Maryland and Virginia, came to the county of Sussex, and made many proselytes, and planted two or three churches.

Delaware, at present, contains seven or eight churches, and one small association, which bears the name of the State.

The histories of three of the churches, viz. Welsh Tract, Duck Creek or Brynsion, and Wilmington, will be related.

The Welsh Tract church is thus distinguished from a large tract of land of the same name, surrounding the place of worship in Pencader, county of New-Castle, The house is a neat brick building, 40 feet by 30; it was erected in 1746, and is situated 42 miles, in a southwestern direction from Philadelphia.

To come to the history of this church, we must cross the Atlantic and land in Wales, where it had its begin. ning in the following manner. “In the spring of the year 1701, several Baptists, in the counties of Pembroke and Caermarthen, resolved to go to America ; and as one of the company, Thomas Griffith, was a minister, they were advised to be constituted a church; they took the advice; the instrument of their confederation was in being in 1770, but is now lost or mislaid; the names of the confederates follow: Thomas Griffith, Griffith Nicholas, Évan Edmond, Joha Edward, Elisha Thomas, Enoch Morgan, Richard David, James David, Elizabeth Grif. fith, Lewis Edmond, Mary John, Mary Thomas, Elizabeth Griffith, Tennet David, Margaret Mathias, Tennet Morris ; these sixteen persons, which may be styled a church emigrant, met at Milfordhaven in the month of June, 1701, embarked on board the good ship William and Mary; and on the 8th of September following, landed at Philadelphia. The brethren there treated them courteously, and advised them to settle about Pennepek; thither they went, and there continued about a year and a half; during which time their church increased from 16 to 37. But finding it inconvenient to tarry about Pennepek, they, in 1703, took up land in NewCastle county, from Messrs. Evans, Davis, and Willis, (who had purchased said Welsh Tract from William Penn, containing upwards of 30,000 acres) and thither removed the same year, and built a little meeting-house on the spot where the present stands."

This removal left some of their members near Pennepek, and took some of the Pennepek members to Welsh Tract, yet neither would commune with their neighbours, on account of a difference about laying-on-of-bands; for the church of Pennepek had grown indifferent about the rite ; but that at Welsh Tract deemed it a pre-requisite to the communion of saints. To remedy this in. convenience, the churches appointed deputies, to the number of twenty-four from both, to compromise matters as well as they could; who met for the purpose, June 22, 1706. The following history, translated from the Welsh Tract church-book, will give" the reader a view of this whole transaction, and the happy termination of these disputes.

“We could not be in fellowship, at the Lord's Table, with our brethren in Pennepek and Philadelphia, because they did not hold to the laying-on-of-hands, and some other particulars* relating to a church: true, some of them believed in the ordinance, but neither preached it up, nor practised it; and when we moved to Welsh Tract, and left twenty-two of our members at Pennepek, and took some of their members down with 'us, the difficulty increased : we had many meetings in or. der to compromise matters, but to no purpose till June 22, 1706 : then the deputies, who had been appointed for the purpose, met at the house of brother Richard Miles, in Radnor, and agreed, that a member in either church might transiently commune with the other; that a member who desired to come under the laying-onof-hands, might have his liberty without offence; that the votaries of the right might preach or debate upon the subject with all freedom, consistent with brotherly love. But three years after this meeting, we had reason to review this transaction, because of some brethren, who arrived from Wales, and one, among ourselves, who questions whether the first article was warrantable. But we are satisfied that all was right, by the good effects which followed; for from that time forth, our brethren held sweet communion together at the Lord's Table; and our ministert was invited to preach and assist at an ordination at Pennepek, after the death of our brother Watts. He proceeded from thence to the Jersey, where he enlightened many in the good ways of the

Some of those particulars are said to have been church covenants, ruling elders, &c.

Thomas Griffith.

« PreviousContinue »