Thanks to Chris Hanna, I recently obtained an e-copy of Customs of Primitive Churches by Morgan Edwards (Philadelphia, PA: 1768). Edwards (1722-1795) was for many years clerk of the Philadelphia Baptist Association,and compiler of Materials Towards a History of the Baptists in the United States. Customs of Primitive Churches is a fairly rare and hard-to-find book, though several libraries have it in microform. The information in Edwards's "Advertisement" suggests why it is hard to find -- that it was printed in limited quantity. I intend to try to post some excerpts from the book for your historical enjoyment and elucidation. Following below is the "Advertisement" on page 2 and the "Contents" on page 110. It seems that it was intended as a sort of church manual. The book can be hard to read and decipher at times. I am using brackets [ ] to set off words of which I am unsure. Also trying for the most part to retain original spelling, but with correction of some typos. Advertisement THE publisher of the following piece knows that a thing of the kind requires much care and a multitude of counsellers in order to render it useful and unexceptionable. He means no more by the publication than humbly to engage his brethren to join him in a design of serving the churches this way, and to offer his mite towards the accomplishment of that design; therefore he intends to print but a few copies, and to let none go out of his hands but to the ministers of the philadelphia association, and some others; with an earnest request that each of them will consider the plan; mend it; or propose a better; correct what is wrong; retrench superfluities; supply defects, particularly texts more apposite to the propositions than some of those cited; and after all meet in a body to compare their thoughts together, and contrive the best method to put them forth, as was the case with regard to our Confession of faith in the year 1689. (page 2) Contents (Page 110) Of the word church Of the distinctions of a church Of the definition of a church Of the constitution of a church Of the officers of a church Of a minister Of his qualifications Of his election Of his ordination Of his instalment Of elders Of eldresses Of deacons Of deaconesses Of a clerk Of missionaries Of the right of church officers to pay Of church censures Of rebuke Of suspension Of excommunication Of admission to the church Out of the world Out of another church Of restoration of the suspended Of the excommunicated Of the ordinances of the church Of baptism Of the Lords Supper Of laying on of hands Of the right hand of fellowship Of the love feast Of washing feet Of the kiss of charity Of anointing the sick Of collecting for the saints Of fasts Of feasts or thanksgivings Of devoting children to God Of burying the dead Of marriage Of public worship Of the sabbath Of a church judicature Of decissions by suffrage Of the subjection of women Of the business of a church Of the duties of church members to their ministers Of their behaviour towards one another Of their behaviour towards their church Of their duties as men, women &c Of their duties towards the world Of the duties of a church towards itself and other churches Of an association After the customs book contents page, there are 6 pages of information about the churches of the Philadelphia Baptist Association.