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Baptist Convictions in the 1600’s

In 1637, Henry Jessey (1601-1663) became pastor of an independent church in London, England. This church was established in 1616 as the first Congregational church in England. "The year after his settlement with this congregation, several persons left it and joined the Baptists. In 1639, and some following years, a much greater number followed their example. This put Mr. Jessey upon studying the controversy. The result was, that he himself also changed his sentiments; though not without great deliberations, many prayers, and frequent conferences with pious and learned men of different persuasions. His first conviction was about the mode of baptism; and though he continued two or three years to baptize children, he did it by immersion. About the year 1644, the controversy with respect to the subjects of baptism was revived in his church, when several gave up infant-baptism, and among the rest Mr. Jessey. He would not, however, absolutely determine the point, till he had consulted some learned and judicious ministers, as Dr. Goodwin, Mr. Nye, Mr. Burroughs, Mr. Cradock, etc. but these giving him no satisfaction, in June, 1645, he submitted to immersion, which was performed by Mr. Hanserd Knollys."