A ‘conspiracy to undermine our holy faith’

Michael R. Watts

in The Dissenters Volume III

Published in print March 2015 | ISBN: 9780198229698
Published online April 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780191744754 | DOI:
A ‘conspiracy to undermine our holy faith’

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  • History of Religion
  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter describes the acceleration of the process of liberalisation. While Baptist ministers loyal to Spurgeon's legacy continued to preach hell-fire sermons, the Baptist Union, in adopting a new Basis of Union in 1904, rejected any attempt to impose a doctrinal test on its constituent churches. Although the Wesleyans remained, at least officially, theologically conservative, by the 1890s leading members of the Connexion were openly repudiating parts of the traditional teaching. Among Quakers the process of liberalisation proceeded apace. The Evangelical Friend Henry Hipsley complained in 1880 that ‘taking away the terrors of the world to come’ was sapping the Quakers' spiritual zeal, and six years later Edward Worsdell rejected eternal punishment in his Gospel of Divine Help.

Keywords: liberalisation; Baptist Union; Wesleyans; Quakers; religious beliefs; eternal punishment; Henry Hipsley; Edward Worsdell

Chapter.  5785 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion ; Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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