Introduction

Since the passing of the first amendment to the United States Constitution, historians have debated the influence of Baptists upon religious liberty in America. A question remains regarding the extent of homogeneity among Baptists regarding religious freedom, and specifically the relationship between the views of Isaac Backus and John Leland regarding the separation of church and state. The purpose of this paper is to explore the potential distinctions between two important Baptists’ views of religious freedom, and specifically, the relationship between the church and state. This paper will prove that the views of church and state expressed by two influential eighteenth-century Baptists were distinct, with Isaac Backus representing evangelical separatism and John Leland representing enlightenment separatism.  The research provides an analysis of John Leland’s and Isaac Backus’s background, theology, and views of church and state, followed by a brief practical application and exploration of opposing views.

John Leland

Background: A Political Pastor

John Leland’s life began in Colonial America, and it flowered into an influential life of ministry and politics. Leland was born in the town of Grafton in 1754 just west of Boston.[1] Leland’s inauspicious introduction to religion came at age four when the terrified young lad took off down a hill and tripped just before having the “blood scrubbed off” in preparation for the “baptismal water.”[2] However, by the age of eighteen, Mark Scarberry explains that Leland had a religious experience that led to an acceptance of Christ approximately two years later.[3] Leland began preaching soon after his conversion in 1775, and he unwaveringly devoted his life to ministry.[4] After a preaching tour of eight months, Albert Wardin explains that Leland married and returned to Orange County, Virginia in 1778, the county of James Madison’s residence, after a bring stint in South Carolina.[5]

During Leland’s tenure as a preacher in Virginia, he became involved in politics. In 1786, the Baptist General Committee appointed Leland to join Reuben Ford and represent the Baptists at the next Virginia legislature session.[6] At issue was that Baptists, at times, did not qualify for tax exemptions under current law, which could result in property seizures for nonpayment of taxes, that supported the established religions in Virginia, the Anglican and Episcopalian churches.[7] Two year later, according to Joe Coker, Virginia was in the midst of determining whether to support the ratification of the Federal Constitution, and the two candidates that emerged as potential representatives for Orange County were John Leland and James Madison.[8] Leland opposed the ratification of the Constitution with ten enumerated points, with the final point stating, “What is clearest of all – Religious Liberty, is not sufficiently secured.”[9] Madison feared he may lose the election due to his support of the Constitution’s ratification.[10] Many historians believe that the disagreement between Leland and Madison led to a meeting that would eventually solidify religious liberty in America. Although no first-hand accounts remain of the meeting between the two men, L. H. Butterfield claims “there can be no question” that it was an “actual occurrence.”[11] After the meeting, Leland withdrew from the race and Madison became an influential defender of the Bill of Rights, which guaranteed religious freedom.[12] Accordingly, Leland’s legacy was sealed as an integral player in America’s journey to religious freedom.

Leland continued his involvement in ministry and politics after his tenure in Virginia. Leland moved back to his birth place of New England in 1791, where he remained until his death in 1841.[13] In New England, Leland preached thousands of sermons, wrote essays, and baptized over a thousand new believers.[14] Politically, Leland helped frame Connecticut’s state constitution, led an initiative to end Massachusetts’s support of state religion, became a member of Massachusetts’s state representatives, and famously gifted a 1,235-pound block of cheese to President Jefferson.[15] The intersection of ministry and politics stretches beyond the practical outworking of Leland’s influence, and as will be explored next, his theology significantly informed his politics, and specifically, his views of religious liberty.

Theology: Jeffersonian Influence

Leland’s approach to religious liberty emerged from his theology of soul liberty. Brandon O’Brien explains that the original Colonists perceived freedom through the lens of certain privileges, such as the freedom to hunt, but eventually through Puritan influence, a “freedom of conscience” emerged that broadened the concept of liberty.[16] Leland addresses this newly formed concept of freedom or “soul liberty” by asking the following question: “Does a man, upon entering into social compact, surrender his conscience to that society, to be controlled by the laws thereof; or can he, in justice, assist in making law to bind his children’s consciences before they are born?”[17] Leland replies to both questions with an unequivocal “no” and provides a number of reasons for his conclusion. Leland claims that the government cannot answer for man on the day of judgement, but man must answer directly to God.[18] Furthermore, a man’s mind must be open to the Spirit’s conviction, thus binding a child’s mind prior to birth is evil because the “rights of conscience are considered inalienable,” and “religion is a matter between God and individuals.”[19] The concept of soul liberty applied not only to Christians, but also to non-Christians. Leland asserted that a government that required citizens to follow Christ is unbiblical, because nowhere in the New Testament did Jesus Christ or his followers suggest that civil powers had the authority to force individuals to embrace the gospel.”[20]

At this point, the distinction between Leland and Isaac Backus begins to emerge.  Coker observes that Leland’s theology appears to diverge from the eighteenth-century Edwardsian Calvinism espoused by Backus.[21] O’Brien notes that Leland clearly understood his depravity and need for salvation, but epistemologically, Leland was more Cartesian than Calvinistic.[22] In other words, Leland avoids Calvinistic determinism, and instead, asserts a more optimistic epistemology where the conscience of individuals will believe what is right when rightly informed.[23] It is this divergence from a strict Calvinism that underpins Leland’s understanding of ecclesiological reach.

Leland’s understanding of epistemology and freedom combined to inform his ecclesiology. According to Coker, Leland’s soul liberty and optimistic epistemology de-emphasized the role of organized churches, creeds, confessions, inter-church associations and missionary societies.[24] For example, according to O’Brien, Leland rejected infant baptism, not on grounds of belief, but on the grounds that it usurped the child’s conscience or soul liberty, and furthermore, Leland believed communion was optional due to the individual’s same freedom to choose.[25] Importantly, Leland’s soul liberty did not usurp the word of God, but trumped the control of human institutions, thus Leland asserts, “Conscience is not the rule of life, but the word of God. Though the conscience should be free from human control.”[26] Accordingly, Edwin Gaustad compares Leland’s ecclesiology with a Jeffersonian democracy by stating, “Government is best which governs least, Jefferson had argued, and Leland seems to have had similar sentiments with regard to ecclesiastical organization.”[27] It is within this Jeffersonian framework of organizational theory that Leland’s perspective of church and state materializes.

Church and State: Enlightenment Separatism

Leland’s soul liberty, epistemological optimism, and low ecclesiology sets the stage for a strict separatist view of church and state. Leland’s opponents asserted that Christianity was necessary to the formation of a civil society, thus the intermingling of church and state was deemed appropriate. However, Rosalie Beck explains that, according to Leland, an individual could be a good citizen without being a Christian, thus a civil society does not require the influence of Christianity.[28] This does not suggest that Leland believed a civil government was not necessary. According to Leland, a civil government is “a necessary curse, in this fallen state, to prevent greater evils.”[29] However, for Leland, the necessity of government to prevent greater evils neither suggests that government is necessary to create a good citizen, nor that government should control a man’s “indefensible right to believe what is not true,” or “perform worship that is hypocritical or delusive.”[30] Accordingly, since Christianity is not necessary to the formation of a civil society, and the purpose of civil government is to prevent greater evils, the intermingling of church and state does more harm than good by undermining the rights of the conscience.

Based on Leland’s belief that civil society does not rest on the integration of church and state, he can now logically move into a strict separatist position. Leland confirms this position by stating, “Government has no more to do with the religious opinions of men, than it has with the principles of mathematics.”[31] An important Leland distinctive is the extent by which he pushed the separation between church and state. Coker explains that Leland’s views opposed the deeply held European convictions of the church and state, which continued to exist within the Christian community of his contemporaries.[32] John Witte illuminates Leland’s distinctiveness by recognizing two forms of church and state separatists – the evangelical separatists and the enlightenment separatists.[33] Evangelical separatists did not desire a strict separation between church and state, but continued to urge the state to respond to the initiatives of the church, whereas enlightenment separatists or two-sided separatists insisted that neither the church nor the state could aid each other.[34] Accordingly, Leland’s background, theology of soul liberty, epistemological optimism, low ecclesiology, understanding of citizenship, and strict separation of church and state lands Leland squarely in the camp of the enlightenment separatists. Next, an exploration of Isaac Backus’s contrasting view of religious liberty will further highlight the distinct nature of Leland’s views.

Isaac Backus

Background: A Pastor in Politics

Although older than John Leland, Isaac Backus and Leland were contemporaries in the eighteenth century, who both fought for religious liberty. Like Leland, Backus’s background set the stage for his influential life of ministry and politics. According to Backus’s biographer, Alvah Hovey, Backus was born in Norwich, Connecticut in 1724 and educated in both the Christian doctrines and civil liberty.[35] Under the influence of Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield during the Great Awakening, the revival reached Norwich in 1741, and Backus had the opportunity to repent and accept Christ as his Savior.[36] The following year Backus joined the Congregational Church in Norwich.[37]

Within a few years, Backus moved into ministerial work. Albert Wardin explains that three years after joining the Congregational Church, Backus began meeting with a group of Separatist individuals who limited participation to the regenerate.[38] In 1748, Backus began serving as the pastor for a Separatist church in Massachusetts, and he began publicly opposing religious taxation.[39] During the same year, William Sprague records that Backus spent a short time in prison due to his tax protest .[40] In 1751, Backus was immersed in baptism, and he established a Baptist church in Middleborough, Massachusetts in 1756, where he finished his career.[41]

Backus’s ministerial efforts were significant, but his contribution to religious liberty was his legacy. W. Morgan Patterson explains that in 1773 Backus began fighting certificate laws, laws that required Baptist churches to file certificates with the government to qualify as tax exempt.[42] In response to the certificate laws, Backus argued, “Because the very nature of such a practice implies an acknowledgement that the civil power has a right to set one religious sect up above another…it is a tacit allowance that they have a right to make laws about such things which we believe in our consciences they have not.”[43] Patterson reports that during the following year, Backus was appointed the leader of the Warren Association to represent Baptist views at the upcoming Continental Congress.[44] During this meeting in Philadelphia, Backus influenced the legislatures to assist in furthering religious liberty, and then in 1775, Backus continues fighting for religious liberty by opposing taxation without representation.[45] The impact of Backus was so far reaching that William McLoughlin claimed that Backus was one of the most effective evangelical writers in support of religious liberty, and deserves to be recognized with  such figures as Roger Williams and Thomas Jefferson.[46]

Theology: Lockean Influence

Like Leland, Backus’s background influenced his theology, which formed his views of church and state. Stanley Grenz suggests that Backus’s theology was an amalgamation of the philosophies of John Locke and Jonathan Edwards, and he summarizes Backus’s perspective with three key doctrines.[47] First, emerging from the influence of Edwards was the doctrine of the sovereignty of God, which was absolute and to whom all governments must appeal.[48] In Backus’s words, “No government could ever be established among themselves without appeals to Him for the truth of what was asserted.”[49]

Second, Backus’s anthropology emerges from the influence of Locke. According to Grenz, unlike the pietistic tradition, which bifurcated the will and intellect, Backus assumed the intellect controlled man’s faculty.[50] In other words, for Backus, freedom was not a freedom to act, but a freedom to choose, where choice determines man’s will.[51] Although Backus’s freedom of choice resonates with Leland’s soul liberty, it is not as optimistic. Leland asserts that for Christians and non-Christians, the conscience ultimately prevails if rightly informed. However, Backus believed a depravity exists within man that is influenced by two external forces, reason from God and evil imagination from the enemy.[52] Accordingly, Backus parts company with Locke by suggesting that reason goes beyond humanity, thus reason must be mediated by divine influence through Scripture against evil imaginations.[53] Ultimately, the focus remains on the individual, who chooses between the two influences, which informs Backus’s final emphasis.

The third doctrinal emphasis pertains to Backus’s ecclesiology. Grenz explains that Backus agreed with the Congregational notion of a twofold church, the visible local congregation and the invisible church of all elect, but differed from the Congregationalists by affirming a believing membership, which meant the exclusion of infants from membership.[54] It is here that Backus’s anthropology informs his ecclesiology; the merging of a believing membership with the freedom to choose led to the conception of church as a voluntary society, which caused Backus to contend, “Since religion is ever a matter between God and individuals, how can any man become a member of a religious society without his own consent?”[55] It is from his doctrines of God’s sovereignty, freedom of choice, and voluntary ecclesiology that Backus’s perspective of church and state now emerge.

Church and State: Evangelical Separatism

Backus’s background and theology now merge seamlessly into a coherent philosophy of church and state. First, Wardin recognizes that Backus’s Puritan background led him to support the concept of a close cooperation between church and state.[56] Next, Backus’s theological emphasis on the sovereignty of God meant that all of creation is subject to and agents of God, which included the government. Backus believed that God utilizes the government by allowing authorities to make and enforce laws, because society disobeys God’s law.[57] However, Backus’s emphasis on the sovereignty of God does not undermine freedom of choice.

Backus’s focus on the freedom of choice that solidifies the church as a voluntary society further crystallizes his understanding of the relationship between church and state. For Backus, although cooperation is necessary, the church and state are two very distinct entities.[58] Forcefully, Backus addresses the risk of the state involvement in church by stating, “Those who use secular force in religious affairs, violate the divine command both ways; they obstruct discipline in the church, and invade the rights of conscience and humanity in the State.”[59] In sum, Backus held firm to both the sovereignty of God, which encompassed both the church and government, while simultaneously holding firm to the freedom of choice that divided church and state.

The distinction between Leland and Backus now emerges with clarity. In contrast to Leland’s two-sided enlightenment separatism, Backus asserts that “civil rulers ought to be men fearing God, and hating covetousness…and ministers ought to pray for rulers, and to teach the people to be subject to them, so there may and ought to be a sweet harmony between them.”[60] Gaustad contrasts Backus with Leland’s Jeffersonian underpinnings by identifying the former’s perspective as a liberty with limits, which culminates in a Protestant state that emerges from Backus’s understanding of man’s depravity.[61] Unlike Leland, who believed a democracy could survive without religion, Backus believed, “Religion is as necessary for the well-being of human society…as light is to direct our ways.”[62] Witte labeled Backus’s accomodationist perspective of church and state as evangelical separatism, a one-sided separatism, where the church’s influence on the state was acceptable, but not the reverse.[63] Based on Backus’s background, theological emphasis on God’s sovereignty, freedom of choice, voluntary ecclesiology, and accomodationist view of church and state, it appears that Backus lands squarely in the camp of evangelical separatism.

Practical Application

The practical implications of the Leland-Backus distinctives are highly significant. During the twentieth century, several Supreme Court decisions addressed religion, prayer, and Bible study in public schools. Wardin notes that a serious division remains within the Baptist community as some, such as the Baptist Joint Commission, support Leland’s perspective of enlightenment separatism by encouraging a strict separation of church and state, and thus, oppose religious engagement in public schools.[64] Alternatively, the Southern Baptist Convention supports Backus’s perspective of evangelical separatism by encouraging the cooperation of church and state, thus supporting religious engagement in public schools.[65] Baptist history provides support for both perspectives and may assist in providing an important backdrop for both understanding and reconciling differences.

Opposing Views

Scholars do not all agree that the views of Leland and Backus are distinct. While admitting some overlap, Robert Handy places both Leland and Backus into the category of dissenters or enlightenment separatists.[66] Handy appropriately highlights Backus’s strong distinction between the church and state, but appears to miss the influence of Edwardsian Calvinism upon Backus that moves him into accomodationism between church and state.[67] Alternatively, Witte places both Leland and Backus into the category of evangelical separatists.[68] It appears that Witte may have assumed that since Leland and Backus were both Baptist ministers, they would naturally land in the evangelical separatist camp. However, Witte appears to miss Leland’s theological perspective of soul liberty that pushed against Edwardsian Calvinism. Without understanding the amalgamation of the two religious leaders’ theological and political views, scholars risk inappropriately communicating a homogenous history of Baptist thought that could undermine a diversity of views necessary to move the current debate forward in a meaningful and productive way. Finally, Coker goes too far in asserting that Grenz places Backus into the same enlightenment separatist camp as Leland.[69] Although Grenz does recognize the importance of Backus’s church and state distinctives, he clearly communicates Backus’s accomodationism by noting that, for Backus, the church and state are both “God’s institution,” and “a harmonious relationship ought to exist between them.”[70]

Conclusion

John Leland’s background, theology of soul liberty, epistemological optimism, and low ecclesiology, understanding of citizenship, and strict separation of church and state provide adequate evidence to support the assertion that Leland represents the views of an enlightenment separatist. Isaac Backus’s background, theological emphasis on God’s sovereignty, freedom of choice, voluntary ecclesiology, and accomodationist view of church and state provide adequate evidence to support the assertion that Backus represents the views of an evangelical separatist. Although opposing scholarly views exist, when the background, theology, and political perspectives of Leland and Backus are synthesized, the research has proven that the views of church and state expressed by the two influential eighteenth-century Baptist leaders were distinct. The distinctions between Backus and Leland presents a relevant example of diverse Baptist beliefs during the eighteenth century. Accordingly, from a practical perspective, the research provides an opportunity for Baptists to acknowledge different church and state perspectives within a rich Baptist history, which can encourage amicable discourse and debate on multiple fronts around the topic of religious liberty.

Bibliography

Backus, Isaac. “A Door Opened for Christian Liberty. Boston, 1783.” In Isaac Backus on Church, State, and Calvinism: Pamphlets, 1754-1789, edited by William G. McLoughlin. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1968.

———. “A Fish Caught in His Own Net. Boston, 1768.” In Isaac Backus on Church, State, and Calvinism: Pamphlets, 1754-1789, edited by William G. McLoughlin. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1968.

———. “An Appeal to the Public for Religious Liberty. Boston, 1773.” In Isaac Backus on Church, State, and Calvinism: Pamphlets, 1754-1789, edited by William G. McLoughlin. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1968.

———. “Policy as Well as Honesty. Boston, 1779.” In Isaac Backus on Church, State, and Calvinism: Pamphlets, 1754-1789, edited by William G. McLoughlin. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1968.

———. “The Doctrine of Particular Election and Final Perseverance. Boston, 1789.” In Isaac Backus on Church, State, and Calvinism: Pamphlets, 1754-1789, edited by William G. McLoughlin. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1968.

———. “The Sovereign Decrees of God. Boston, 1773.” In Isaac Backus on Church, State, and Calvinism: Pamphlets, 1754-1789, edited by William G. McLoughlin. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1968.

———. “Truth Is Great and Will Prevail. Boston, 1783.” In Isaac Backus on Church, State, and Calvinism: Pamphlets, 1754-1789, edited by William G. McLoughlin. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1968.

Backus, Isaac, and David Weston. A History of New England with Particular Reference to the Denomination of Christians Called Baptists. 2nd ed. Vol. II. Newton, MA: Backus Historical Society, 1871.

Barber, T., and John Leland. “John Leland to T. Barber, February 28, 1788.” The James Madison Papers at the Library of Congress. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Accessed November 12, 2017. http://www.loc.gov/item/mjm023243.

Beck, Rosalie. “John Leland: The Consistent Separationist.” Baptist History and Heritage 47, no. 3 (September 2012): 65–75.

Butterfield, L. H. “Elder John Leland, Jeffersonian Itinerant.” Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society 62 (1952): 155–242.

Coker, Joe L. “Sweet Harmony vs. Strict Separation: Recognizing the Distinctions between Isaac Backus and John Leland.” American Baptist Quarterly 16, no. 3 (September 1997): 241–50.

Gaustad, Edwin S. “The Backus-Leland Tradition.” Foundations 2, no. 2 (April 1959): 131–52.

———. “Religious Liberty: Baptists and Some Fine Distinctions.” American Baptists Quarterly 6, no. 4 (December 1987): 215–25.

Grenz, Stanley J. “Church and State: The Legacy of Isaac Backus.” Center Journal 2, no. 2 (1983): 73–94.

Handy, Robert T. “The Magna Charta of Religious Freedom in America.” Union Seminary Quarterly Review 38, no. 3-4 (1984): 301–17.

Hovey, Alvah. A Memoir of the Life and Times of the Rev. Isaac Backus. Cincinnati: Gould and Lincoln, 1858.

Leland, John. “Events in the Life of John Leland: Written by Himself.” In The Writings of the Late Elder John Leland Including Some Events in His Life, 9–40. Edited by L. F. Greene. New York: Forgotten Books, 2012.

———. “Short Sayings.” In The Writings of the Late Elder John Leland Including Some Events in His Life, 572–82. New York: Forgotten Books, 2012.

———. “The Rights of Conscience Inalienable.” In The Writings of the Late Elder John Leland Including Some Events in His Life, 179–92. New York: Forgotten Books, 2012.

———. “The Virginia Chronicle.” In The Writings of the Late John Leland Including Some Events in His Life, 92–124. New York: Forgotten Books, 2012.

McLoughlin, William G. “Introduction.” In Isaac Backus on Church, State, and Calvinism. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1968.

O’Brien, Brandon J. “From Soul Liberty to Self-Reliance: John Leland and the Evangelical Origins of Radical Individualism.” American Baptist Quarterly 27, no. 2 (2008): 136–50.

Patterson, W. Morgan. “Contributions of Baptists to Religious Freedom in America.” Review & Expositor 73, no. 1 (1976): 23–31.

Scarberry, Mark S. “John Leland and James Madison: Religious Influence on the Ratification of the Constitution and on the Proposal of the Bill of Rights.” Penn State Law Review 113, no. 3 (February 2009): 733–800.

Sprague, William Buell. Annals of the American Pulpit: Baptist. 1860. New York: Robert Carter and Brothers, 1860.

Wardin, Albert W. “Contrasting Views of Church and State: A Study of John Leland and Isaac Backus.” Baptist History and Heritage 33, no. 1 (1998): 12–20.

Witte, John Jr. “Theology and Politics of the First Amendment Religion Clauses: A Bicentennial Essay.” The Emory Law Journal 40, no. 2 (1991): 489–508.

[1] John Leland, “Events in the Life of John Leland: Written by Himself,” in The Writings of the Late Elder John Leland Including Some Events in His Life, ed. L. F. Greene (New York: Forgotten Books, 2012), 9.

[2] Ibid., 10.

[3] Mark S. Scarberry, “John Leland and James Madison: Religious Influence on the Ratification of the Constitution and on the Proposal of the Bill of Rights,” Penn State Law Review 113, no. 3 (February 2009): 745–46.

[4] Leland, “Events in the Life”, 18.

[5] Albert W. Wardin, “Contrasting Views of Church and State: A Study of John Leland and Isaac Backus,” Baptist History and Heritage 33, no. 1 (1998): 13.

[6] Scarberry, “John Leland,” 754–55.

[7] Ibid., 748–49.

[8] Joe L. Coker, “Sweet Harmony vs. Strict Separation: Recognizing the Distinctions between Isaac Backus and John Leland,” American Baptist Quarterly 16, no. 3 (September 1997): 243.

[9] T. Barber and John Leland, “John Leland to T. Barber, February 28, 1788,” The James Madison Papers at the Library of Congress, accessed November 12, 2017, http://www.loc.gov/item/mjm023243.

[10] Coker, “Sweet Harmony,” 243.

[11] L. H. Butterfield, “Elder John Leland, Jeffersonian Itinerant,” Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society 62 (1952): 188.

[12] Coker, “Sweet Harmony,” 243–44.

[13] Wardin, “Contrasting Views,” 13.

[14] Rosalie Beck, “John Leland: The Consistent Separationist,” Baptist History and Heritage 47, no. 3 (September 2012): 66–67.

[15] Coker, “Sweet Harmony,” 244.

[16] Brandon J. O’Brien, “From Soul Liberty to Self-Reliance: John Leland and the Evangelical Origins of Radical Individualism,” American Baptist Quarterly 27, no. 2 (2008): 139.

[17] John Leland, “The Rights of Conscience Inalienable,” in The Writings of the Late Elder John Leland Including Some Events in His Life (New York: Forgotten Books, 2012), 181.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Ibid., 181.

[20] Ibid., 187.

[21] Coker, “Sweet Harmony,” 244.

[22] O’Brien, “From Soul Liberty,” 142.

[23] Leland, “The Rights of Conscience,” 180–81.

[24] Coker, “Sweet Harmony,” 244–45.

[25] O’Brien, “From Soul Liberty,” 143–44.

[26] John Leland, “The Virginia Chronicle,” in The Writings of the Late John Leland Including Some Events in His Life (New York: Forgotten Books, 2012), 122.

[27] Edwin S. Gaustad, “The Backus-Leland Tradition,” Foundations 2, no. 2 (April 1959): 144.

[28] Beck, “John Leland,” 72.

[29] Leland, “The Virginia Chronicle,” 103.

[30] John Leland, “Short Sayings,” in The Writings of the Late John Leland Including Some Events in His Life (New York: Forgotten Books, 2012), 580.

[31] Leland, “The Rights of Conscience,” 184.

[32] Coker, “Sweet Harmony,” 247.

[33] John Witte Jr., “Theology and Politics of the First Amendment Religion Clauses: A Bicentennial Essay,” The Emory Law Journal 40, no. 2 (1991): 494–95.

[34] Ibid.

[35] Alvah Hovey, A Memoir of the Life and Times of the Rev. Isaac Backus (Cincinnati: Gould and Lincoln, 1858), 31.

[36] Ibid., 33–37.

[37] Ibid., 42.

[38] Wardin, “Contrasting Views,” 15.

[39] Ibid.

[40] William Buell Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit: Baptist. 1860 (New York: Robert Carter and Brothers, 1860), 55.

[41] Wardin, “Contrasting Views,” 15.

[42] W. Morgan Patterson, “Contributions of Baptists to Religious Freedom in America,” Review & Expositor 73, no. 1 (1976): 27.

[43] Isaac Backus, “An Appeal to the Public for Religious Liberty. Boston, 1773,” in Isaac Backus on Church, State, and Calvinism: Pamphlets, 1754-1789, ed. William G. McLoughlin (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1968), 333.

[44] Patterson, “Contributions of Baptists,” 28.

[45] Ibid.

[46] William McLoughlin, “Introduction,” in Isaac Backus on Church, State, and Calvinism (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1968), 1.

[47] Stanley J. Grenz, “Church and State: The Legacy of Isaac Backus,” Center Journal 2, no. 2 (1983): 75.

[48] Ibid.

[49] Isaac Backus, “Truth is Great and Will Prevail. Boston, 1783,” in Isaac Backus on Church, State, and Calvinism: Pamphlets, 1754-1789, ed. William G. McLoughlin (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1968), 402.

[50] Grenz, “Church and State,” 76.

[51] Isaac Backus, “The Sovereign Decrees of God. Boston, 1773,” in Isaac Backus on Church, State, and Calvinism: Pamphlets, 1754-1789, ed. William G. McLoughlin (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1968), 297.

[52] Backus, “An Appeal,” 310–11.

[53] Isaac Backus, “The Doctrine of Particular Election and Final Perseverance. Boston, 1789,” in Isaac Backus on Church, State, and Calvinism: Pamphlets, 1754-1789, ed. William G. McLoughlin (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1968), 451.

[54] Grenz, “Church and State,” 78.

[55] Isaac Backus, “A Door Opened for Christian Liberty. Boston, 1783,” in Isaac Backus on Church, State, and Calvinism: Pamphlets, 1754-1789, ed. William G. McLoughlin (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1968), 432.

[56] Wardin, “Contrasting Views,” 17.

[57] Isaac Backus and David Weston, A History of New England with Particular Reference to the Denomination of Christians Called Baptists, 2nd ed., vol. II (Newton, MA: Backus Historical Society, 1871), 321.

[58] Backus, “The Doctrine of Particular”, 468.

[59] Backus and Weston, A History, 74.

[60] Isaac Backus, “A Fish Caught in His Own Net. Boston, 1768,” in Isaac Backus on Church, State, and Calvinism: Pamphlets, 1754-1789, ed. William G. McLoughlin (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1968), 190–91.

[61] Edwin S. Gaustad, “Religious Liberty: Baptists and Some Fine Distinctions,” American Baptists Quarterly 6, no. 4 (December 1987): 220.

[62] Isaac Backus, “Policy as Well as Honesty. Boston, 1779,” in Isaac Backus on Church, State, and Calvinism: Pamphlets, 1754-1789, ed. William G. McLoughlin (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1968), 371.

[63] Witte, “Theology and Politics,” 494–95.

[64] Wardin, “Contrasting Views,” 18–19.

[65] Ibid., 19.

[66] Robert T. Handy, “The Magna Charta of Religious Freedom in America,” Union Seminary Quarterly Review 38, no. 3-4 (1984): 306–8.

[67] Ibid.

[68] Witte, “Theology and Politics,” 492, note 9.

[69] Coker, “Sweet Harmony vs Strict Separation: Recognizing the Distinctions Between Isaac Backus and John Leland,” 248.

[70] Grenz, “Church and State: The Legacy of Isaac Backus,” 82.