University of Tasmania
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Spurgeon's men: the resurgence of Baptist belief and practice in Tasmania 1869-1884

posted on 2023-05-26, 03:38 authored by Rowston, LF
This thesis seeks to explain why a number of men from Spurgeon's College, London, started arriving in Tasmania in 1869 to begin a new phase of Baptist work. It considers their impact on the lives of previously established Nonconformist churches and the ramifications of their association of churches formed in 1884. This thesis argues that a rebirth of the Baptist life and conviction began with the influx of these men from the Pastors' College in London. The work of the Strict and Particular Baptists had begun in the 1830s, but the churches under the care of the Rev Henry Dowling were sectarian in their outlook and made few gains. Their decline, to a certain extent, mirrored the eclipse of the Hyper-Calvinist Baptists in England. The arrival of Alfred William Grant in July 1869 was the first of many from the Pastors' College. A further influx of men from the College, which began in earnest at the end of 1879, was assisted greatly by the visits to the colony of Spurgeon's son, the Rev Thomas Spurgeon. By now their renewed Baptist theology and their rediscovery of mission broke free from entrenched patterns. They consolidated what they saw as their gains in 1884 with the formation of the Baptist Union of Tasmania. The venture was significantly assisted over three decades by the Gibson family of Perth. This thesis seeks to assess the decline of the Particular Baptists in Tasmania and the rise of the evangelical Baptists under the Spurgeon banner.


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