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Baptists In All Ages: Chapter IX PDF Print E-mail
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More thoughts.

I wish to call attention to the doctrine held to by the churches composing the Norfolk and the Suffolk Associations of England, recorded first by Dr. Rippon in his Baptist Register and copied by Rushton, pp. 44, 45, 46:

"We are kept by the power of our covenant God steadfast in the great and glorious truths of the everlasting gospel--the God-honoring, soul-enriching, and heart-warming doctrines of a Trinity in the God-head--of the sovereign, eternal, and immutable love of the Triune Jehovah, centering in Jesus, and resting, with all its unfading glories and unnumbered blessings, upon the sons of God--the eternal election of some of the human race to everlasting life and glory in Christ Jesus, proceeding from and directed by the absolute, uncontrollable sovereignty of Jehovah's will--the eternal and indissoluble union of all the chosen in Christ, who was set up from everlasting as their federal Head and glorious representative; in whom their persons were accepted in love--their predestination to the adoption of children, as God the Father's act proceeding from the boundless love of His heart in His Son, and designed for the praise of the glory of His stupendous grace--the eternal, gracious, and infinitely wise covenant transactions of the Holy Three, relating to the salvation of offending mortals--the transfer of all the sins of the elect from them to Christ, and the full condemnation and punishment of them in Him--the complete atonement made for them by the one glorious and all-sufficient sacrifice of Christ's spotless humanity, presented to infinite justice upon the altar of His divinity, in all the flames of His transcendent love--the personal and all-perfect obedience of our great Immanuel to the holy law, performed in the room and stead of His people, accepted for them, and imputed to them by the God of all grace; and their free, full, and everlasting justification by it in His sight--the glorious redemption, perfect cleansing, and full pardon, of all the vessels of mercy, through the precious blood of the cross--their regeneration, effectual calling, and conversion, by the glorious, almighty, and irresistible operation of God the Holy Ghost--the life of faith they live upon the fullness of Jesus, and the good works they perform in love to the Trinity in covenant, for the honor of discriminating grace, and the glory of the Triune Jehovah--in fine, their preservation by the power of the Almighty, through faith, to that glory to which they were destined by electing love before the foundation of the world. These sublime truths we consider as the glory of the Bible, the soul of Christianity, the ground of a sinner's hope, and the source of a believer's joys; and we can say in truth that we esteem them beyond the riches of the Indies. Nor are we yet possessed of a sufficient degree of modern candor to treat them with cold indifference, or to view them as non-essentials, but think ourselves bound to maintain them to the utmost of our ability, and to reject all assertions inconsistent with them."

This lengthy quotation contains the gist of the doctrine our people believed then. and was the doctrine Fuller found in the Baptist Church when he joined them. The above extract contains the doctrine the Fullerites called "Hyper-Calvinism" and "Antinomianism" over in England, and they are to this day in our beloved United States charging the same upon the Primitive Baptists and in doing so. They recognize the Primitive Baptists as being identical with the Hyper-Calvinists of England, Poland, Wales, and other countries in doctrine.

Our people in England were not only opposed to Fuller's views on the atonement as well as modern missions, but they were opposed to schools for the purpose of preparing "pious young men" for the ministry. From J. M. Crump, a Missionary Baptist historian, p. 438, we are told that the Bristol College was founded in 1770, and was the only college the Baptists in England had at that time, "But afterward, when Christianity became corrupted, nominal conversions took the place of regeneration, and the kingdom of the clergy began to rise.

The nations professing Christianity had no love for the truth, and as for the Spirit, they knew Him not. The simple gospel was exchanged for a scholastic theology, founded on the philosophy of this world and the wisdom of Aristotle. Then were universities instituted, that by them men might be fitted for the Christian ministry. These have been the nurseries of the clergy in all ages, vomiting forth their anti-Christian divinity like the smoke of the bottomless pit out of which a carnal priesthood, like locusts, have proceeded and overspread the earth."

Says our author again, "Schools of learning considered simply as a means of knowledge, are good, but when they are employed to invade the prerogative of Jesus Christ, when they are instituted to accomplish what none but the Spirit can effect, they become an engine of Satan and are abominable to God. --Rushton. pp. 120, 121

It is surely commendable to have schools in the natural family in order to prepare the children of that family to intelligently serve in that family. That kited of school cannot prepare men for the ministry.

Preaching the gospel is not a profession, but a divine vocation. "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called."--Eph, iv. I. On the account of the Primitive Baptists opposing schools for the purpose of qualifying or preparing men for the ministry, they are charged by the Fullerites and other Arminians of being opposed to education.

Dr. Mather, in 1681, accused the Baptists of the sin of Jeroboam. who made priests of the lowest of the people, "in which," said Mr. Russell, "we easily understand what he means." Backus, Vol. 1, p. 395, says, "Our evil in this respect, is our calling to office those who have not been bred up in colleges, and taught in other languages, but have been bred to other callings. It is not because we are against learning, for we esteem it and honor it in its place; and if we had such among us who were, together with that, other ways duly qualified for the work of the ministry, we should readily choose them. But we do not think the Spirit of God is locked up so in the narrow limits of college learning, that none are to be called to office in a church but such, nor that all such are fit for that work, be they never so great scholars; neither do we think that all those who have not that learning, are to be accounted the lowest of the people. Indeed, the priesthood was bounded to the tribe of Levi. by divine institution, but we cannot find that the Lord hath, by divine institution, given the work of the ministry to men of such learning only. Whom He will He fits and qualifies for that work: neither are we left without a plain rule in the New Testament to direct us in this matter. In these plain gospel sentiments have the Baptists, on both sides of the Atlantic, persevered to this day."

The first Baptist college the Baptists ever had anywhere was founded in the bounds of the Philadelphia Association. in our beloved United States, in 1762. In proof of the above statement I will quote from Vedder's History of the Baptists of the Middle States, p. 212: "In all this the Baptists of America were a unit. and they of the Philadelphia Association were chiefly instrumental in the founding of the first Baptist college in the world." In 1804 the name of this first Baptist college was changed to Brown University. According to the charges made by the modern Missionary Baptists against the Primitive Baptists the Baptists were opposed to education for 1762 years. From the same source came the charge that the Primitive Baptists are opposed to preaching the gospel to every creature. This charge, is made solely for the reason that the original Baptists refused to acknowledge as scriptural the new things introduced by Carey and Fuller. If the Baptists, to be right, must have colleges, then the Baptists were wrong for 1762 years, and they made themselves right by getting up a college in 1762, and since that time they have been getting more right, and therefore more and more scriptural.

If the modern Missionary Baptists are the original Baptist Church, then they became so by departing from the faith and practice of the Baptist Church when Fuller and Carey joined them. William Carey joined the Baptists in 1783 and was baptized by John Ryland, Jr. "While Carey was quietly doing his work in India, Great Britain was kept in a ferment by war on the mission, which drew many of its ablest pens into the conflict, not only in the reviews, but by the pamphlet and newspaper press."--Armitage, p. 582.

It is not a hard task for the Mission Baptists to trace their so-called Baptist Church back to Andrew Fuller and William Carey; but when they reach Fuller's day they find the Baptists without a missionary board. Sunday school or theological school. They find them believing that all Christ died for will be saved; they find them earnestly contending for a limited atonement; for personal election, and for salvation by sovereign, irresistible grace. If the Church was with the Baptists while they held to the above views, and had none of the
modern inventions that the modern Missionary Baptists now have, why is it that the Primitive Baptists are censured for claiming to be the original Baptist Church? If the Church was not with the Baptists when Fuller said they were Hyper-Calvinistic and Antinomian in doctrine, will some Missionary Baptist tell us where it was?

I have before me a copy of the Hardy-Wallace debate, and I wish to quote from page 61 to prove that the Baptists in 860 held the same views they did when Carey and Fuller joined them. Wallace was a Missionary Baptist and Elder J. B. Hardy was a Primitive Baptist. "I will read from here (Mosheim, p. 227) a clause of the articles of faith, and the belief of the Baptists as they were in the year 860, over one thousand years ago, 'That God did not desire or will the salvation of all mankind, but that of the elect only; and that Christ did not suffer death for the human race, but for those persons only whom God has predestinated to eternal salvation.'" Mr. Wallace admitted, p. 301, this was Old Baptist doctrine. Brother Hardy said, "Please notice the words 'much more' here. What is meant? Does it mean all having been redeemed some will be left to perish? No; that is not the truth of the Bible. 'Much more, then, being justified by His blood, we shall be saved.’ I take the position that everybody justified by the blood of Christ alone shall be saved. Is that Old Baptist doctrine or not?"

Mr. Wallace: "O, we all know that."
   Mr. Hardy: "Then why don't you acknowledge it?"
   Mr. Wallace: "That is Old Baptist doctrine, I mean."

Yes, indeed it is, and that is the doctrine the Baptists maintained from the days of Christ until now. Elder Hardy, in his debate with Wallace, said, p. 1, "I shall set up the truth as we profess to believe it, and our system, of which we are not ashamed; and I shall then trace that people from the days of the apostles down to the present time (1880), as having always believed the same thing."

Orchard, Vol. 1, p. 62, says, "A council was convened at Aries, and at Lyons, 455, in which the views of the Novatianists on predestination were controverted, and by which name they were stigmatized." Those calling said council were Arminian in doctrine and did not agree with our people on the subject of predestination. Four hundred and five years after this, or in 860, the Baptists believed in a definite atonement, or that all Christ died for will be finally saved. Jones' Church History, p. 347: "Pope Pius II declares the doctrine taught by Calvin to be the same as that of the Waldenses." Orchard, Vol. 1, p. 253, says, "Yet the Baptists were still a scattered community, and were named now Anabaptists and Picard Calvinists." On page 296 the same historian says, "Lindamus, a Catholic bishop, asserts, Calvin inherited the doctrine of the Waldenses." Mr. Wallace, in his debate with Elder J. B. Hardy, p. 215, in speaking of Old Baptists, says, "We are the father of them." If this be true, let all of the Primitives say. "I have said to corruption, Thou art my father."--Job xvii. 14.

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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.