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Browsing: Legal Papers of John Adams, Volume 2

This note contained in document ADMS-05-02-02-0003-0002-0002
14. “Dr. Green” is not the plaintiff here, but Rev. Thomas Green (1699–1773), pastor of the First Baptist Church in Leicester, who was actually a medical doctor. See Estes, “Historical Discourse” 31–38. “Mr. Southgate” is undoubtedly Elder Richard Southgate (1714–1798), who preached to a Baptist society in Leicester which “was never organized as a corporate religious society; and, after the death of Elder Southgate, seems to have been merged in other societies.” Washburn, Historical Sketches of Leicester 115. “Strict Communion,” apparently the doctrine of these two societies, was the principle that no one should be admitted to communion who had not been baptized as an adult by total immersion. Opposed to it was “mixed communion,” under which those baptized by sprinkling in infancy were also admitted. The difference was a major cause of dissension among Separates and Baptists. See Goen, Revivalism and Separatism 229–232, 258–264. Compare note 932 above. “Strict Principles” perhaps means strict adherence to Calvinism. Thomas Green's church, of which he had been pastor since its founding in 1738, was strongly Calvinistic. He was apparently on good terms with the Leicester Congregationalists; the town had remitted his taxes in 1741. See Estes, “Historical Discourse” 22, 36; Goen, Revivalism and Separatism 237. The evidence thus seems calculated to cast doubt on Nathaniel Green's bona fides as a minister.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018.