The writings of David Crosley and Baptist identity in the eighteenth century Article - 2014

Anne Dunan-Page

Anne Dunan-Page, « The writings of David Crosley and Baptist identity in the eighteenth century  », Baptist Quarterly, 2014, pp. 260-283. ISSN 0005-576X

Abstract

This article examines the writings of the northern minister David Crosley. An itinerant preacher active in Yorkshire and Lancashire before being called to the pastorate of the Cripplegate congregation in London, Crosley is often considered, with his cousin William Mitchell, to have been the principal disseminator of Baptist principles in northern England, in the post-Toleration years. And yet his excommunication from Cripplegate on the charges of excessive drinking, adultery and lying ensured that his name remained tainted with suspicions of Antinomianism. This article provides the first attempt to reassess Crosley’s life and career by taking into account his printed work as well as his manuscript correspondence and tracts. It will argue that far from being an Antinomian, Crosley was not only an orthodox Calvinist concerned with Church order but also a reluctant controversialist seeking to promote dissenting interest, godliness and discipline away from the sectarian partisanship that tore apart the early eighteenth-century Churches.

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