Charles Waters Banks was born in 1806 in Ashford, Kent. Hisfather was a Baptist, but Banks was brought up by his Anglican grandfather, andwas trained as a printer. He was converted and baptised by immersion atCanterbury, and began preaching when in 1831 the visiting minister atLittlebourne was taken ill and Banks was told he must take his place. Banksmoved to London about 1840 and became pastor of a church in Southwark in 1844,subsequently pastoring several London churches.
In 1845 Banks printed the first issue of The Earthen Vessel;he was sole editor. The number of copies printed rose rapidly from 200 of thefirst issue, to over 6,000 by 1852. The magazine was designed to encourage‘vital godliness’. It was not a theological journal, initially containingmainly letters; sermons, book reviews, devotional pieces and church news weresoon added. Banks allowed open debate, a policy perhaps unwise; the magazinebecame embroiled in controversy. Banks himself was a conciliator, who sought tospread and establish Strict Baptist principles with kindness of heart. He wasstill giving instructions for The Earthen Vessel from his bed when he died inMarch 1886.
For further reading:
Dix, Kenneth Strict and Particular, BHS & SBHS,2001. pp. 184-188