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Rhode Island District. BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the 21st day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand elght hundred and seventeen, DAVID BENEDICT, of North Providence, in the County of Prov. Idence, in said District of Rhode Island, deposited in this Office, the title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as Proprietor, in the words following, viz.
« THE HISTORY OF BAPTISM. By Robert Robinson, Edited by David Benedict, A. M." In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled “ An Act for the encourngement of learning by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the authors and Proprietors of such copies during the time therein mentioned :") And also to an Act, entitled * An Act for the encourageinent of learning by securing the copies of maps, charts and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the time therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the Arts of Designing, Engraving, and Etching Historical and other Prints.
N. R. KNIGHT, Clerk R. I. District
THIS volume, though it may be considered as a complete and distinct work, was put to the press by Mr. RobINSON with the view only of exonerating the History of the Baptists, which he was writing, of the subject of Baptism. Had the Author lived, he would have published two, three, or more volumes of ecclesiastical history under the title of the History of the Baptists. From the researches which he had made into the authentic records of Christian antiquity, he flattered himself that he should be able to exhibit the history of a class of men, whose title to be denominated the disciples of Christ was infinitely better founded, than that of those who have hitherto proudly and exclusively assumed to themselves the name of the church. In this work, Mr. ROBINSON took great pleasure, and prosecuted his inquiries with such intense application, as is thought to have impaired his health, and to have brought on the fatal disorder of which he died.
The MSS. which Mr. Robinson hath left on this subject are voluminous; but they are neither arranged nor finished.
The following is a sketch of them :
1. A general view of the Roman Empire at
Pages the birth of Jesus Christ,
7 2. A general view of Judea at the time of Jesus, 13 3. Cautions necessary to a Reader of Ecclesiastical History,
16 4. The Greek Church,
80 5. The Church of Rome,
60 6. Africa,
60 7. Italy,
100 8. Spain,
104 9. Navarre and Biscay,
80 10. Vallies of Piedmont,
50 11. Poland,
70 12. Transylvania,
17 13. Livonia,
6 14. Moldavia and Wallachia,
4 15. Hungary,
6 16. Bohemia,
36 17. Moravia,
50 18. Austria,
6 19. Germany, Munster,
These are all closely written large quarto pages. It is the intention of MR. ROBINSON's family to submit them to the inspection of some of his learned friends, on whose approbation the publishing of them will depend. MR. ROBINSON had also made great collections for the Histories of the German and English Baptists, which he proposed to write next winter ; and he had prepared some materials for the History of the Dutch, American and other foreign Baptists.
MR. ROBINSON wrote very little during the last twelve months. The whole of the present volume, except the preface and the recapitulation was finished before that time. Though the reader may wish the Author had retouched some parts, he will still find in it an ample fund of improvement and entertainment; and the noble spirit of liberty, which it breathes, cannot fail of recommending it to the liberal men of every sect.
For the errors of the press, the Author hath made an apology in the preface, which we trust will be accepted.
MR. ROBINSON had engaged himself in the spring to preach the annual sermons for the benefit of the Dissenters' Charity-School at Birmingham, and he promised himself great pleasure from an interview with Dr. PRIESTLY, and other gentlemen of that place. The physician did not disapprove of the journey, though he wished it could have been deferred a week or two longer, and his family flattered themselves that the exercise and company would have the most beneficial effects on his health and spirits. On Wednesday, June 2, he set off from Chesterton with his son, in an open carriage, and travelling by easy stages arrived at Birmingham on Saturday evening, apparently not at all the worse for his journey. On Sunday he preached twice, in the morning at the new meeting-house, and at the old meeting-house in the afternoon. On Monday evening his friends were alarmed for him from an excessive difficulty of respiration, under which he laboured for some time, but on Tuesday he revived, and entertained the company the greater part of the day and the whole of the evening, with all that ease and vivacity in conversation, for which he had ever been remarkable. He retired to rest about twelve o'clock, and probably died without a struggle soon after he got to bed; for on Wednesday morning he was found nearly cold, the bed clothes were not discomposed, nor the features of his countenance in the least distorted. It was always his desire to die suddenly and alone.
Mr. Robinson departed this life at the age of fifty four years and eight months, in the house of WILLIAM RUSSELL, Esq. at Showel-Green, near Birmingham, and was interred by this gentleman with every possible mark of respect in the Dissenters' burying-ground. Dr. PRIESTLY and several other dissenting ministers paid the due tribute of respect to the remains of our much esteemed friend.
We intend to publish an authentick biographical account of Mr. Robinson in a short time.
July 14, 1790.