My main object in preparing this small volume has been to collect and preserve such portions of Baptist history as could not be conveniently inserted in my former writings on this subject. Although most of the incidents here recorded are of a very common character, yet they may be interesting to some of our people, who would like to review the doings of their brethren for the period they embrace; they may also afford aid to our future historians.
In the second part of this work, called the Appendix, I have given my comments on the model of the early Christians, in the construction of their churches, on the deaconship, on preaching, preachers and pulpits, and on church discipline generally, embraces the substance of my notes and comments on these matters for many years past.
As I have outlived most of my cotemporaries, and having from my youthful days cultivated a somewhat familiar acquaintance with all Baptist people, in all parts of the country, now in the evening of life, I leave for their perusal a few sketches of my experience and observations among them, for the last fifty years. The form of Decades, or periods of ten years each, is a plan of my own, as I thought it would be more convenient, both for myself, and my readers.
PAWTUCKET, Rhode Island, November 12, 1859.
[David Benedict, Fifty Years Among the Baptists, 1860; rpt. 1977. -- jrd]
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