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Baptists In All Ages: Chapter X PDF Print E-mail
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It is a well known fact to many that the Baptists in Wales, Ireland, Poland, Germany, France, Holland. England and Switzerland were Calvinistic in sentiment and often fraternized with each other, and from these different countries and different groups of Baptists, fundamentally the same, the Baptists or Anabaptists, as they were called by their religious opponents, began to emigrate to North -America. There was some unsoundness in doctrine and practice introduced into at least some of the different groups of Baptists before they left their home land. Davis, in his history of the Welsh Baptists, tells us of certain preachers coming over to the Baptists froth the Pedobaptists who advocated a general atonement and conditional salvation, which caused disturbance among the old Welsh Baptist churches as well as the Old Baptist churches elsewhere. When this new kind of preachers made their appearance among the old; apostolic Baptists. they had some new and hitherto unknown things to present, and this must be done in a way not to create suspicion so that a departure from the, original faith would be discovered.

It is claimed by the New School Baptists that in England "the English Baptists were greatly reduced in numbers by certain undermining influences in the early part of the eighteenth century, but since then the current has greatly changed." It is said by Armitage. p. 579, that "Andrew Fuller's 'Gospel Worthy of all Acceptation' had had much to do in awakening this zeal. This treatise was aimed directly against that Hyper-Calvinism which denies all duty to God in the unregenerate, and refuses to call them to repentance and Christ. Fuller's book kept him in warm controversy for twenty years, but moderate Calvinism triumphed completely, and was followed by an awakening of the missionary spirit, chiefly under the labors of William Carey and Andrew Fuller. The first Baptist movement in foreign missions was made at a meeting of the Northhampton Association, in 1784." It is true that the first movement by the Baptists in modern missions was made in 1784, which movement was 1784. years to,, young to be of divine origin. The Baptists that Andrew Fuller was in "warm controversy with fm twenty years" were Primitive Baptists. The editor of the Baptist Reflector said, "There are four different sets of Baptists in England, the Hyper-Calvinists, like our Primitive brethren." The above statement was followed by the following remarks: "The Hyper-Calvinists of England answer to our Primitive brethren of the United States." Andrew Fuller, while pastor of a church at Kettering, England, in 1783 said, "The prevailing system of doctrine among Baptist churches at this period was Hyper-Calvinism." Hyper-Calvinism is only another name for the doctrine John Gill of England preached and the Baptists believed before Carey, Fuller and others began to remodel the system and doctrine of the ancient Baptists.

Benedict, in his "Fifty Years Among the Baptists," p. 101, says, "Forty years ago large bodies of our people were in a state of ferment and agitation, in consequence of some modifications of their old Calvinistic creed, as displayed in the writings of the late Andrew Fuller, of Kettering, England. This famous man maintained that the atonement of Christ was general in its nature, but particular in its application, in opposition to our old divines, who held that Christ died for the elect only." On the same page we have this language, "Dr. John Gill, of London, was, in. his day, one of the most distinguished divines among the English Baptists, and as he was a noted advocate for the old system of a limited atonement, the terms 'Gillites' and 'Fullerites' were often applied to the parties in this discussion. Those who espoused the views of Mr. Fuller were denominated arminians by the Gillite men. while they (the Fullerites), in their turn, styled their opponents Hyper-Calvinists."

I have before me a copy of Pendleton's work on the atonement, and on page 110 he says, "It is said by some that Gillism is on the increase in the Baptist denomination. It is to be hoped that they labor under a mistake. Sad would be the day, for our churches and for the world, if there should ever be, on the part of our ministers and people, anything like a general adoption of Dr. Gill's views. May God spare the denomination from such a calamity."

The views of Carey and Fuller on the atonement were absolutely a departure from the doctrinal sentiments of the Baptists before their day. It was the introduction of the general atonement system by Fuller and others that disrupted the Baptist churches in England as well as in this country.

Prior to Fuller's and Carey's day the Baptist Church believed that the atonement was made for the elect only, that all who were chosen in Christ were redeemed from all iniquity by Christ, and all He redeemed were predestinated unto the adoption of sons. In just a few words let me tell you that before Carey's day the Baptists believed that the work of God the Father, the work of the Son of God and the work of the Holy Spirit made the eternal salvation of all that will ever be saved absolutely certain. Carey and Fuller did not believe this kind of doctrine, and the New School Baptists of our day do not believe it; hence, they are the fallen away party and, therefore, not the: original Baptist Church. If the doctrine and practice of the Primitive Baptists of the twentieth century unchurches them, then for at least 1784 years they could not have been the church. On the other hand, if the Missionary Baptists are the original Baptists, they became the original Baptist Church by denouncing what the Baptists had been preaching for 1784 years. It is claimed by Missionary Baptists that William Carey is the father of modern missions on two continents. The father, then, of this Ishmaelite stayed in the Old Baptist Church forty years, not as a peace-maker, but as a peace-breaker. Ishmael was born out of wedlock through an effort made by Sarah, Abraham's wife. to help the Lord fulfill His promise, just as the mission cause was born to help the Lord save sinners. Ishmael was born in the house of Abraham, just like modern missions was born in the Old Baptist Church, but Hagar was its mother and Carey its father. This foreign missionary effort was conceived by the Catholics and later adopted first by twelve Baptist ministers and then by some Baptist churches.

William Carey was born August 17, 1761, at Paulersbury, England. and in 1783, at the age of twenty-two, he was immersed in the river New by John Ryland, Jr. After this he taught school, but in this he did not succeed. It is stated that the church did not give him enough money to pay for his clothes worn out in their service. Armitage tells us, page 580, that "While teaching school, he reveled in Cook's 'Voyages Around The World,' and closely studied geography. He made a globe of leather, and traced the outline of the earth upon it for his classes. Then the thought flashed upon him that four hundred millions of people had never heard of Christ, and that moment, surrounded by a handful of Northamptonshire urchins, with his eye on that russet globe, the great Baptist missionary enterprise was born." From Moulton. England, Carey removed to Leicester, England, where he served as pastor and predecessor to Robert Hall. Armitage informs us that Carey, while there, "determined to do something for the heathen and wrote on the subject. His 'Inquiry into the Obligations of Christians to use Means for the Conversion of the Heathen' was published in 1792. but found few readers and produced little effect. To most of the Baptists his views were visionary and even wild, in open conflict with God's sovereignty. At a meeting of ministers, where the senior Ryland presided, Carey proposed that at the next meeting they discuss the duty of attempting to spread the gospel amongst the heathen. Fuller was present, but the audacity of the proposition made him hold his breath, while Ryland. shocked, sprang to his feet and ordered Carry to sit down, saying: 'When God pleases to convert the heathen, He will do it without your aid or mine.'" .Soon after this Carey felt encouraged on finding that Fuller, Sutcliff. Pearce and young Ryland had very recently held to his views on foreign missions, while Stennett, Booth and others stood aloof. The association met at Nottingham, May 31, 1792, when Carey preached his great sermon from Isaiah liv. 2, 3. It is said by the friends of this foreign mission enterprise that this sermon of Carey's settled the question, and the churches were seized with a sense of criminal neglect, and Carey seized Fuller's hand and demanded that the first step be taken on the spot. His heart, it is said, was breaking, and his sobs compelled the assembly to stop. "It was resolved, that a plan be prepared against the next ministers' meeting at Kettering, for the establishment of a society for propagating the gospel among the heathen.' Such a meeting was held October 2, 1792, and at its close twelve men met in the parlor of Mrs. Wallis, a widow, and formed the first Baptist Missionary Society."

On page 114 of this same history we find this statement: "An exact likeness, therefore, of the apostolic churches should be sought at the outset, as the test to which every position and fact in the whole investigation must be brought back and tried. We never can be wrong in following the pattern found in the constitution of the apostolic churches."

On page 116 the same historian says, "Yet, He has given His law in the Bible, and every form of church life that is not in accordance with that taw, directly sets it aside. So then, in a very important sense, it partakes of disloyalty to say that Christ has not made sufficient provision for His Churches in the Scriptures, in everything that affects their well-being."

On page 117 we have this language: "Yet, this fact is perfectly clear,,, namely: That the New Testament contains all that entered into the faith and practice of the apostolic churches. Whether it contains little or much, it covers all that they had, and all that we have, which has any claim on the churches of Christ. * * * The question of time merely has nothing to do with authority. When the line is drawn between the close of inspiration and all aftertime, what follows stands upon another and a lower level."

As the New Testament Church did not have a Sunday school, a theological school or foreign missionary society, and as the Primitive Baptists have nothing of the kind, how exactly alike are their churches and the New Testament Churches. It is absolutely impossible for our New School Baptists to get back to the apostolic churches with all of their improvements; and if this could be done, how unlike the New Testament Churches theirs would be!

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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.