This book is one of four substantial volumes designed to demonstrate the range of interests of the several Protestant Nonconformist traditions from the time of their Separatist harbingers to the end of the twentieth century.
In this volume we are concerned with the eighteenth century. It was a period in which Old Dissent--the Congregationalists, Baptists, Presbyterians, and Quakers--had to face challenges from Enlightenment thought on the one hand and Evangelical Revival enthusiasm on the other. Largely in their own words, though with introductions contributed by the editors, we enter into the philosophical world of Isaac Watts, Richard Price, and others; we overhear doctrinal disputes over the doctrine of the Trinity; we meet such new arrivals on the religious scene as the Moravians, Sandemanians, Swedenborgians, and Methodists (Calvinistic and Arminian). We consider the Nonconformists' views on the Church, the ministry, and the sacraments; on Church, state, and society; and on Christian nurture, piety, and church life.
From philosophical tomes to hymns, from sacramental questions to prison reform, from the most strait-laced Presbyterian to the most enthusiastic Jumper, this volume will remind scholars of the intellectual excitements, the practical witness, and the worship of the eighteenth-century Nonconformists.