The source for many of the works transcribed here is the Early English Books Online (EEBO) project. English books from long ago have been scanned and deposited in EEBO repository. Unfortunately, the EEBO repository is not available to the public, however, many universities subscribe to the project and you may be able to access EEBO from a local university library. I have the privledge of being able to access EEBO through my association with the University of Sydney.
These titles are transcriptions, and therefore, most of the original old English spelling and misprints have been preserved. The titles transcribed here are not in any particular order of significance or merit. Some of these works are by English Puritans, others were written by those who were subscribers to the 1677/89 Baptist Confession of Faith.
The works are listed below in chronological order. You can find a list in an list by author here.
1597 - A Golden Chaine, or The Description of Thologie, Containing the order of the causes of Salvation and Damnation, according to Gods word by William Perkins. PDF
William Perkins has been called by some, "the father of the Puritan movement in England".
1623 - The Ten Commandments by Edward Elton. PDF
Dr Robert Martin (Emmanuel Reformed Baptist Church, WA and Reformed Baptist Seminary) says of Edward Elton. "All the volumes by Elton are of interest to me. What I have read is rich material,"
Works by Baptists
A Special Thanks to Dr James M. Renihan of The Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies (http://irbsseminary.org/) for his assistance in rendering the Greek and Hebrew present in the original text in these works.
1672 - Baptism Discovered Plainly and Faithfully According to the Word of God, by John Norcott, First Edition. An incomplete version of this first edition is available from the Angus Library and Archive, Regent’s Park College, Oxford. This text was transcribed, with their kind permissions, from PDF files in the Angus Treasures. This version is completed by supplying the missing portion of the final chapter with that from the 1675 edition.
Norcott was pastor of the Wapping Church that met at Old Gravel Lane prior to Hercules Collins. The work was popular and reprinted ten times over the next 200 years. The last publication was by C.H Spurgeon. It appears Hercules Collins, used this book as the basis for his work Believers Baptism from Heaven, and of Divine Institution. Infants Baptism from Earth, and Human Invention (1691). PDF, EPUB, MOBI, AZW3
1675 - Baptism Discovered Plainly and Faithfully According to the Word of God, by John Norcott, Second Edition. This version was the last published while Norcott was alive. There is no substancial difference between the 1672 and 1675 editions, apart from some minor differences in spelling and punctuation. PDF, EPUB, MOBI, AZW3
1676 - A Summons to the Grave or, The Necessity of a Timely Preparation for Death. Demonstrated in a Sermon Preached at the Funeral of that most Eminent and Faithful Servant of Jesus Christ Mr. JOHN NORCOT. Who Departed this Life March 24. 1676, preached by Benjamin Keach. The publshed Sermon also includes a letter to the Church in Old Gravel Lane Wapping, where John Norcott ministered for 25 years and a letter to the reader. It also included an Elergy and Epitaph written by Keach which were published separately.
John Norcott was about fifty five years of age when he died. Keach was nearly 20 years younger than John Norcott and would not have presumed to preach Norcott's funeral sermon, had it not been "to fulfil the desire of
the deceased". The two seemed to be close friends, with Keach making several references to Norcott as a "dear Brother" and "dear Friend".
I undertook to transcribe this sermon of Keach to find out more about Norcott. Some of the most important sources of biographical information often comes from their funeral sermons. However, this was not the case for Norcott. Keach provides little biographical information concerning Norcott in this sermon. PDF, EPUB, MOBI, AZW3
1680 - An Orthodox Catechism: Being the Sum of Christian Religion, Contained in the Law and Gospel. Published For preventing the Canker and Poison of Heresy and Error by Hercules Collins. An Orthodox Catechism is a Bapist version of the popular Heidelberg Catechism of 1563. This was Collins' first known published work and was written just three years into his 25 year pastorate at Wapping. The catechism was primarily developed for the Wapping Church, as in the preface it is addressed to "the Church of Christ, who upon Confession of Faith have bin Baptized, Meeting in Old-Gravil Lane London". The Wapping Church was first situated at Old Gravel lane.
An Orthodox Catechism was recently published in 2014 by Haykin and Weaver.1 Haykin and Weaver chose not to print sections from the original which dealt with the laying on of hands after baptism and the appendix which adresses hymn singing. These were excluded to make their printed version more useful to the modern reader. These sections are available here in this version. Collins' addressing hymn signing in the apendix to An Orthodox Catechism was nearly a decade in advance of those publications which constituted the Particular or Calvinistic Baptist controversy. However, it was several years after Benjamin Keach first published on the subject.
1. Michael A. G. Haykin and G. Stephen Weaver (Eds.), Hercules Collins An Orthodox Catechism, Being the Sum of Christian Religion, Contained in the Law and Gospel (Palmdae, Californica, Reformed Baptist Academic Press, 2014).
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1682 - Some Reasons for Separation from the Church of England, and the Unreasonableness of Persecution Upon that Account, Soberly Debted, in a Dialogue between a Conformist, and a Nonconformist (Baptist.) by H(ercules) C(ollins) On line, PDF, EPUB, MOBI, AZW3.
1684 - A Voice from the Prison or, Meditations on Revelations III. XI. tending to the Establishment of Gods Little Flock, in An Hour of Temptation by Hercules Collins On line, PDF, EPUB, MOBI, AZW3.
For most of the 17th Century, to be a Baptist was illegal and it was not uncommon for our Baptist forefathers to be imprisoned for their preaching or writing.
1684 - Counsel For the Living Occasioned from the Dead or A Discourse on Job III. 17, 18. Arising from the Deaths of Mr. Fran. Bampfield and Mr. Zach. Ralphson by Hercules Collins. PDF, EPUB, MOBI, AZW3
On the front page of this work, Collins has next to his name as author, "their Fellow Prisoner in Newgate". It appears that Hercules Collins had met, come to know and appreciate Francis Bamfield and Zachariah Ralphson while he was imprisoned with them for their Faith in Newgate prison. Collins was released, but it seems Bamfield and Ralphson died in prison. Steve Weaker says that along with Counsel for the Living and A voice from the Prison, are two of Collins most devotional writings.
1689 - A Narrative of the Proceedings of the General Assembly of Baptized Churches, 1689. PDF EPUB MOBI AZW3
1690 - A Narrative of the Proceedings of the General Assembly of Baptized Churches, 1690. PDF EPUB MOBI AZW3
1690 - Mountain of Brass: or, A Discourse upon the Decrees Of God. From Ephes. 1. 11. by Hercules Collins. PDF EPUB MOBI AZW3
It appears that this work was originally preached by Collins at the Devonshire Square Church pastored by William Kiffin. Kiffin write in the Epsitle Recommendatory, "the Subject treated of, hath More largely been insisted on by many Learned and Worthy Men; but being Printed with other Subjects, or else so amply handled, that many fearing God, have neither Money to purchase them, nor time to read them; I judge this small Piece may not be Unacceptable, nor without its Use; forasmuch as it comprehends those large Treatises with great clearness, proving from the Scriptures of Truth, That all we have and hope for, is the Fruit of the Counsel of God’s own Will, our Calling being a Fruit of Election; and where he effectually calls, doth endow the Soul with all saving Grace, which can never die."
1691 - Believers Baptism from Heaven, and of Divine Institution. Infants Baptism from Earth, and Human Invention. by Hercules Collins On line, PDF, EPUB, MOBI, AZW3.
This provides, at least one 17th Century Calvinistic Baptist's view of the Ordinance of Baptism. It also shows some of the common arguments against beleiver's Baptism that were being used at the time and how Collins addresses them. While Collins does not address the modern covenant theology arguments for infant baptism, his strong biblical arguments still hold true.
1691 - A Narrative of the Proceedings of the General Assembly of Baptized Churches, 1691. PDF EPUB MOBI AZW3
1692 - The Life and Death Of That Old Disciple of Jesus Christ, and Eminent Minister of the Gospel Mr. Hanserd Knollys Who Dyed In the Ninety Third Year of his Age. On line, PDF, EPUB, MOBI, AZW3.
This is Hanserd Knolly's autobiography covering the first seventy years of his life. While it seems, he did write more, it has been lost. It was published posthumously by William Kiffin, who added the preface. Attached to this work is Knolly's last letter to the Church he had pastored for nearly 50 years.
At the end of this publication is a list of other titles published by the printer, John Harris. It is historically interesting, cataloging some of the literature circulating at the time. It also deomonstrates the relationship of Knolly's and Benjamin Keach; with Knolly's, as a School-Master, recommending Keach's book, "Instructions for Children".
1692 - Animadversions Upon the Responses of the Athenian Mercury, to the Questions about Infant-Baptism by Hercules Collins. . An animadversion is an action or an act of turning the attention to a subject; the observation or consideration of something. Oxford English Dictionary, online.
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The Athenian Mercury published two articles on questions put to them concerning Christian baptism, coming down on the side of infant baptism. Collins, in this article calls attention to these articles and seeks to rebut them. Benjamin Keach also wrote a response to the Athenian Mercury's articles, Pedo-Baptism disproved Being an Answer to Two printed papers (put forth by some Gentlemen Called the Athenian Society, Who pretend to Answer all Questions sent to them of what nature soever) called the Athenian Mercury, One put forth on November 14. the other November. 28, 1691. In which Papers they pretend to answer eight Queries about the lawfulness of Infant-Baptism. Likewise delivers Queries sent to them about the true Subjects of Baptism, &c
Dr Stephen Weaver writes about Keach and Collins' interaction with the Athenian Mercury in his book, G. Stephen Weaver, Jr., Orthodox, Puritan, Baptist: Hercules Collins (1647–1702) and Particular Baptist Identity in Early Modern England (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015), 58. Available on Amazon .
"During this same period, Keach and Collins would each engage in debate with paedobaptists in the pages of the Athenian Mercury. This periodical was published by a group of scholars known as the Athenian Society which sought to interact with various questions of interest in a public forum. It was edited and published by the London bookseller John Dunton from 1691 to 1697. In 1694, Keach would come to Collins’ defense in print against Gyles Shute in an extended debate about baptism."
In the November 14, 1691, edition of The Athenian Mercury, the editors replied to questions related to infant baptism, arguing for its validity. Sometime between November 14 and November 28, 1691, Collins responded in print in H. C., Animadversions Upon the Responses of the Athenian Mercury, To the Questions about Infant-Baptism (London, 1691). This work is often listed as having been published in 1692, probably because it has an advertisement for Collins’ Believers-Baptism from Heaven “lately printed,” which is known to have been published in 1691. However, since Collins is responding in his Animadversions to the November 14th issue of the Athenian Mercury and the November 28th issue is a response to Collins’ critique, it had to have been published during the two week window between those two issues.
Benjamin Keach responded to The Athenian Mercury in three separate publications: Pedo-Baptism Disproved (London: John Harris, 1691), The Rector Rectified and Corrected; or, Infant-Baptism Unlawful (London: John Harris, 1692), and An Appendix to the Answer unto Two Athenian Mercuries, Concerning Pedo-Baptism (London: John Harris, 1692).
For a contemporary history of the society, see Charles Gildon, The History of the Athenian Society: For the Resolving of all Nice and Curious Questions (London: James Dowley, 1692).
Berry, Gender, Society and Print, 6. For more on the publishing history of the Athenian Mercury, see Berry, Gender, Society and Print Culture, 18–25.
Benjamin Keach, A Counter-Antidote, To Purge Out the Malignant Effects Of a Late Counterfeit Prepared by Mr. Gyles Shute, An Unskilful Person in Polemical Cures (London: H. Bernard,1694). This work was published in response to Shute’s own Antidote To Prevent the Prevalency of Anabaptism Clearly Vindicated From that Foul Aspersion Of Being A Counterfeit, and the Aspersors Totally Confuted (London: J.R., 1694), which was itself a reply to Collins’ The Antidote Proved A Counterfeit: Or, Error Detected, and Believers Baptism Vindicated (London: William Marshall, 1693). This 1693 work by Collins was, in turn, a response to Gyles Shute’s An Antidote To Prevent the Prelavency of Anabaptism, Or Infants Baptism Vindicated By Way of Query and Answer (London: J.R., 1693). This work by Shute, at first published anonymously, was directed against Collins’ Believers-Baptism from Heaven, and of Divine Institution. Infants-Baptism from Earth, and Human Invention. Proved from the Commission of Christ, the great Law-giver to the Gospel Church (London: J. Hancock, 1691). And this initial work by Collins on the subject was, in part, a rebuttal of Thomas Wall, Baptism Anatomized (London: G. Croom, 1691), and a catechism by Daniel Williams included in his The Vanity of Childhood & Youth, Wherein The Depraved Nature of Young People is Represented, and Means for their Reformation Proposed (London: John Dunton, 1691).
The following articles from Wikipedia and a Blog suggest that one of the Athenian Society, the one designated to addressed theological matters, was Samuel Wesley, the Father of John and Charles.
1692 - A Narrative of the Proceedings of the General Assembly of Baptized Churches, 1692. PDF EPUB MOBI AZW3
1693 - The Antidote Proved a Counterfeit Or Error Detected, and Believers Baptism Vindicated Containing An Answer to a Nameless Author's Book, Entituled, An Antidote to prevent the Prevalency of Anabaptism, by Hercules Collins. On line, PDF, EPUB, MOBI, AZW3.
This book is a response to a work called, An Antidote to prevent the Prevalency of Anabaptism or Infants Baptism Vindicated By Way of a Query and Answer: Together with A Few Reflections upon some Remarkable Passages I lately met with in a book intitled, Believers Baptism from Heaven and of Divine Institution: Infants Baptism from Earth and Humane Invention. Which is itself was a rebuttal of Collins' earlier work recently transcribed and available here. The Antidote to Prevent the Prevalency of Anabaptism is published as being written by H.C. of Wapping. Which is an attempt to insinuate that Hercules Collins recanted and published against his own work, Believers Baptism from Heaven. This is why, the title of this new work by Collins is The Antidote Proved a Counterfeit. Unfortunately, in EEBO, the Antidote to Prevent the Prevalency of Anabaptism is wrongfully attributed to Hercules Collins. A list of Collins' genuine works can be found at https://herculescollins.com/works-of-hercules-collins/.
Many arguments used in The Antidote Proved a Counterfeit are similar to those in Believers Baptism from Heaven. However,in this latter work Collins more directly demonstrates why Infants In-covenanting, and the priviledges Children once had with their Parents, repealed, or why the argument of Christian Baptism being based upon circumcision and a covenant theology associated with it is false. He also addresses the matter of Infants being baptised based upon what he opposing authors calls "Habitual Faith".
1694 - Baptism Discovered Plainly and Faithfully According to the Word of God, by John Norcott, Third Edition. This version was published after Norcott's death and with the approval of his widow. This third edtiton was edited by William Kiffin and Richard Claridge. The editors assert in this third edition "there are few material Alterations or Additions, the Author’s own Phrase,and Method being generally preserved". They added "an Appendix by another Hand". One wonders if this "other hand" may not have been that of Hercules Collins. In some places Kiffin and Claridge's edits removed entire paragraphs or sections and these have been identified in the footnotes of this transcription. PDF, EPUB, MOBI, AZW3
1695 - The Sandy Foundation of Infant Baptism Shaken: or, An Answer to a Book, Entituled Vindicić Fśderis, Published by Mr. Mence, by Hercules Collins.
The title page explains; "Whose Arguments have been weighed in the Ballance of the Sanctuary, and found too light to prove all the Children of Believers in the Covenant of Grace: And on the contrary demonstrating, that none but the Elect, and all true Believers are in that Covenant".
The preface to this book is by Richard Claridge, who also supplies an Appendix, containing, I. The Pedigree of Infants Habitual Faith. 2. The Judgment of Learned Men against it. Collins also includes; a full Answer to Mr. Michael Harrison of P's P. his Book, Entituled Infant Baptism God’s Ordinance. Together with a Narrative, which contains the Foundation of the Controversie.
Many of the themes in Believers Baptism from Heaven and The Antidote Proved a Counterfeit are repeated and expanded in this later work.
This text was transcribed from PDF files downloaded from and used with the kind permission of the Angus Library and Archive, Regent’s Park College, Oxford (see Angus Treasures).
Read the On line version, or download the PDF, EPUB, MOBI, AZW3
1695 - Truth And Innocency Vindicated or, An Impartial Account of the late Proceedings between Mr. Mence and Mr. Collins,concerning the Salvation of Infants by the Imputation of Christ's Righteousness. Intended for the Information and Satisfaction of the Godly about Wapping, or elsewhere. by Hercules Collins.
This is a short companion work to The Sandy Foudation of Infant Baptism Shaken. IT is Collins' account of the prceedings between himelf and Mr Mence over misinterpreted statments he made in his book, Believers Baptism from Heaven. Beccause of Mr Mence's writing and preach on this matter, in the town of Wapping in which it appears both men lived,, Collins seems to have been maligned and the general populace would quip him as he walked down the street saying, "There goeth Mr. Collins,who holds the Damnation of Infants". In this work Collins sets out the proceedings and the interactions between he and Mr Mence on this matter, so that all the town would know that he was not the antagonist in this intercahnge.
This text was transcribed from PDF files downloaded from and used with the kind permission of the Angus Library and Archive, Regent’s Park College, Oxford (see Angus Treasures).
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1696 - The Marrow of Gospel-History: or, a Diversion for Youth at their spare Hours. Being a POEM on the Birth, Life, Death, and Resurrection of our most blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. This is essentially the same as the third book in Three Books below.
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1696 - Three Books: viz.
I. The Scribe instructed unto the Kingdom of Heaven.
II. Mountains of Brass: or, A Discourse upon the Decrees of God.
III. A POEM on the Birth, Life, Death, Resurrection and Ascension of our Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST, by Hercules Collins.
The Scribe's full title is, "The Scribe Instructed unto the Kingdom of Heaven, Under Variety of Temptations, or, Things, New and Old, brought out of the Housholder's Treasury of the Heart. Published for the Comfort of all the Lord's People; but especially the more solid and grave, tempted and experienced Christian". The main thesis of this book is, there is great blessing in seasons of temptation, testing and God's chastening when they are accompanied with "Divine Teachings", that is, when we learn spiritual lessons from them. Collins says, "many of the Lord’s people can tell you, from the advantage they have had from the rod, that they know not which affliction they could have been without; and so have been made to conclude, that it’s better to be preserved in brine, than rot in honey; and that sanctified adversity, is better than unsanctified prosperity".
Mountains of Brass, it's full title being, "Mountain of Brass: or, A Discourse upon the Decrees Of God. From Ephes. 1. 11" is a book on God's Eternal Decree and is republication (with very little difference) to the same work published six years earlier in 1690.
Of these first two books Collins says, "Some of those Experiences contained in the first and second Books, were felt and begun upon my Heart about seven and twenty Years ago, and ever since carried on under variety of Afflictions and Temptations, some from God, some from Satan and the World, and some from a deceitful Heart". So these books are what one of the Puritains called "felt truth" as far as Collins was concerned.
The third book is titled, "The Marrow of Gospel-History: or, a Diversion for Youth at their spare Hours. Being a POEM on the Birth, Life, Death, and Resurrection of our most blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. With some Thoughts on the Apostate Angels, and fallen Man: The former under an irrecoverable Estate, having no Object of Faith for Salvation: And the latter restored by the Death of Christ". This third book had percolated in Collins soul for over tweleve years and had been sparked by a "publick Discourse" he had given to the Church "which contain'd an Historical Account of the Life and Sufferings of our most blessed Lord and Saviour". It was a work born out of the heart of a pastor with a particular concern for "the youth" of this congregation. It was intended for the "re-creating" of their spirits in their "spare hours".
1702 - The Temple Repaired. OR, An ESSAY to revive the long-neglected Ordinances, of exercising the spiritual Gift of Prophecy for the Edification of the Churches; and of ordaining Ministers duly qualified. With proper Directions as to Study and Preaching, for such as are inclin’d to the Ministry by Hercules Collins.
This was the last of Hercules Collins' works and was published in the same year as his death (he died in October 1702). In the Temple Repaired, Collins advocates the local Church should be the place where those who have the budding gift of preaching should be identified and nurtured. He provides some practical helps to those desiring to preach and outlines the biblical qualfications a local church should look for when choosing a minister, along with the churches responsibilities to their monister. Dr Stephen Weaver in his PhD Thesis suggested that in The Temple Repaired "Collins outlined a vision of the church as a place of theological training for future ministers".1. Furthermore Weaver says the 20 Cebtury historian H. Leon McBeth declared The Temple Repaired "set the tone of Baptist emphasis upon education" and suggested that "Collins is normally seen as representing a turning point in Baptist life from an uneducated ministry to a learned one".2 (p5) Download PDF EPUB MOBI AZW3
1. G. S. Weaver, Hercules Collins: Orthodox, Puritan, Baptist, 2013. PhD Thesis, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. p 54.
2. ibid. p 5.
1714 - A Funeral Sermon Occasioned by the Death of the Reverend Mr. William Collins, Late Minister of the Gospel in London; Who died the 30th of October, 1702. Preach by John Piggott and part of a book, Eleven Sermons Preach’d Upon Special Occasions (London: John Darby, 1714).
William Collins was the Pastor of the Petty France church. He one of the men to subscribed to the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith at the General Assembly in 1689. He is believed to be one of the be co-editor (along with Nehemiah Coxe) of the Confession of Faith.
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The Singing in Worship Controversy
The following writings are from a controversy that arose among the Calvinistic Baptists in the late 1600s which related to the introduction of congregational singing in worship services. Today we might find such a controversy strange. However, we should seek to learn lessons from the past. This controversy raises questions that need to be addressed in all debates of this nature, such as: is this a matter of doctrine or indifference? Is there a truly Biblical basis for this practice? How should we conduct ourselves towards brothers with an opposite view on the matter?
1691 - An Answer To A Brief Discourse Concerning Singing In the Publick Worship of God In The Gospel-Church, By I.M in. 1690. By H(anserd) K(nollys). On line PDF.
1692 - A Serious Answer To A Late Book Stiled, A Reply to Mr Robert Steed’s Epistle Concerning Singing Wherein The Chief Scriptures and Arguments are Examined, and the Weakness thereof Shewed. By William Kiffin, George Barrett, Robert Steed & Edward Man. On line PDF.