Cathcart's Baptist Encyclopedia
David Benedict D.D., Baptist historian, was born in Norwalk, Conn., Oct. 10, 1779. His love for historical reading and investigation developed in itself in early life. At twenty he made a profession of his faith in Christ. Religion did for him what is has done for so many thousands of others, --quickened his intellectual nature, and made him aspire after something elevating. He entered Brown University, where he graduated in 1806. Soon after he was ordained as pastor of the Baptist church in Pawtucket, R. I., where he remained twenty-five years. During all this time he had been busy in gathering, from every part of the country, the materials out of which to form a comprehensive history of the Baptist denomination, and had sent to press several volumes relating to the subject of his investigations. After retiring from his pastorate, he gave himself with great diligence to the work of completing the task he had undertaken. He felt it to be his special vocation to do this work, and he made everything bend to its accomplishment. Among his published writing are the following: "History of the Baptist," 1813; "Abridgment of Robinsons' History of Baptism," 1817; "Abridgment of History of the Baptists," 1820; "History of all Religions," 1824; "History of the Baptist Continued," 1848. "Fifty Years among the Baptist," 1860. He wrote also a history of the Donatists, which was completed just before he was ninety-five years of age, and which, since his death, has been printed. All through his life he was in the habit of writing much for the public press. He took a leading part in the founding of various religious organizations in his denominations, in promoting the cause of education, in the formation of new churches, etc. He carried the habits of hard work, which he had formed in the maturity of his years, down to the close of life. He was remarkably favored with good eyesight, and his vision was unimpaired to the last. At the time of his death he had been the senior member of the board of trustees of Brown University for sixteen years, and had been in the corporation for fifty-six years. Dr. Benedict died at Pawtucket, Dec. 5, 1874, having reached the great age of ninety-five years one month and twenty-five days.
David spent his life collecting voluminous works on Baptist history, among which are:
"History of the Baptists," in 1813
"Abridgement of Robinson's History of Baptism," in 1817
"Abridgement of History of the Baptists," in 1820
"History of All Religions," in 1824
"History of the Baptists continued," in 1848
"Fifty years Among the Baptists," in 1860.
He then wrote "History of the Donatists" which he completed at age 94 and was printed shortly after his death.
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