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Title: The origins of the Baptist Union of Scotland 1800-1870
Author: Talbot, Brian Richard
ISNI:       0000 0000 3910 801X
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 1999
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In the period 1800 to 1827 there were three streams of Baptists in Scotland: Scotch, Haldaneite and 'English' Baptists. Scotch Baptists were distinguishable by their belief in the plurality of elders and a desire for unanimity in doctrine and practice. Haldaneite Baptists were a network of churches that came into being, in the period 1808 to1810, after Robert and James Haldane adopted Baptist principles in 1808.1laldaneites, like the 'English' Baptists who had close ties to English Particular Baptists, normally held to a 'sole pastor and deacons' model of church leadership. A strong commitment to home evangelisation brought these three bodies closer together, leading to a merger of their home mission societies to form the Baptist Home Missionary Society for Scotland (B.H.M.S.). The B.H.M.S. was a marked success, with workers over much of rural Scotland, especially the Highlands and Islands, leading some Scottish Baptists to view the society as a 'Baptist Union' prior to 1869. The majority of Scottish Baptists, however, felt the need for a separate union of churches, but disagreement over the aims and objectives of a union led to three unsuccessful merger attempts. The first Baptist Union was an exclusively Calvinistic body, but it foundered due to personal conflict between its leaders. The second attempt, 1835 to 1842, attracted only a small proportion of churches, mainly small Highland congregations. The next Baptist Union, 1843 to 1856, began on an inclusive basis and prospered until 1847. Its leader, Francis Johnston, influenced by militant Morisonians, moved to an exclusive Arminian Union by 1850, excluding the majority of the churches. Failure was inevitable, and acknowledged as early as 1852. The successful union, formed in 1869, was preceded by an association of individual Baptists which rebuilt trust between the church leaders. The decisive factor, in the late I 860s, that ensured the completion of this vision, was the presence of a large number of ministers trained in Spurgeon's College, London. They had seen the success of the newly formed London Baptist Association and inspired their colleagues in Scotland to form a similarly practical and inclusive body. The 1869 Baptist Union prospered in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Baptists Scotland History ; Baptist Union of Scotland