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Baptists In All Ages: Chapter VII PDF Print E-mail
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The Welsh and English Baptist -vs- Fullerism.

For about forty years after the Fullerite doctrine and practice were introduced into the Old Baptist Church in England and Wales the Primitive Baptists were up in arms against the new things, and during the disturbance the Baptists were emigrating to the United States from the different countries, with their different views, both in doctrine and practice. Fuller was willing to fellowship John Gill with his "Hyper-Calvinism" and "anti-mission views," provided Gill would fellowship them and his views on the atonement and modern missions and his other new things. This was the proposition placed before the Primitive Baptists in the United States by the Fullerite or fallen away party. The Primitive Baptists and the Missionary Baptists could have been together today if the Primitive Baptists would have been willing to have fellowshipped, or remained with, them.

Carey and Fuller could not well afford to have non-fellowshipped what they called Hyper-Calvinism, for in doing so they would have declared non-fellowship for the Baptists prior to their affiliation with ::hem. Our people in England looked upon Andrew Fuller as being the worst enemy the Baptists had. "Mr. Gadsby, always considered, and often stated publicly, that Andrew Fuller was the greatest enemy the church of God ever had, as his sentiments were so much cloaked with the sheep's clothing."--Life of Gadsby, p. 33. On page 122 it is said, "Mr. Gadsby was no great friend to missionary societies, as he believed that the bulk of missionaries went out to publish erroneous doctrine. He also considered that there was great fraud practiced by some of the missionaries, even in temporal things." In a paper called the Baptist Reporter for January, 1845, a statement appeared that Elder Gadsby's hostility to missionary societies had of late years considerably abated. In the March number of the same paper Elder Gadsby's son said the report "was not true." p. 123. On page 111 it is stated that "Mr. Gadsby was also averse to musical instruments in a place of worship. In a chapel ,that was on one occasion hired for him, there was an organ. When it began to play Mr. Gadsby started up and requested that it be stopped." It was told on Elder Gadsby that he said "There were children hanging up in hell like legs of mutton," "it being well known, on the contrary, that he was a firm believer in infant salvation."--p. 110. It will be remembered that Elder Gadsby was what was known as a Strict Baptist and preached during his long and useful life just what the Primitive Baptists of his day believed and exactly what they are preaching in Eng. land to this day. On the account of his preaching a limited atonement, particular redemption, and that all Christ died for would be saved he was accused of being an Antinomian and a Hyper-Calvinist. He was not unfaithful to the trust committed to him. "As to faithfulness, he paid no more regard to offending Arminians and Fullerites than he would to Satan and his agents; for the sentiments of these classes he abhorred, and always set his face as an iron pillar and brazen wall against them. His 'Everlasting Task for Arminians' will, we believe, live while the world stands, as an unanswerable testimony against the doctrines of man's free will."--p. 103. "He loved me, and gave Himself for me," says Paul. But Elder Gadsby would sometimes remark, "If Christ died for the whole human race, the damned in hell might get up and say the same, He gave Himself for me, and yet I am damned. So what's the use of Paul's making so much fuss about that? He gave Himself for me, but that has not kept me out of hell. So something else must have saved Paul, and he does not know it. But no. Christ died for all whom He loved, and all for whom He died will be saved."--p. 104.

Andrew Fuller and those allied with him did not believe the death of Christ was sufficient to save all He died for; "He died for the human race; while He made an atonement for the elect only, the atonement was sufficient to save the non-elect if they would only believe. The atonement was sufficient to save and would save the elect," said Mr. Fuller, "regardless of whether they ever heard the gospel or believed in Jesus or the atonement; but the non-elect must believe in the atonement in order for it to be able to save them." If one of the "non-elect" has believed and was saved by the atonement, there is one person in heaven that God did not choose to be there. The above was the Fullerite position briefly stated. On page 24 we have this statement:

"Mr. Gadsby was called to the work of the ministry about the time Baptist associations and academies were springing up. He invariably kept aloof from them all; and certainly the laborers of none of these associating and academy-taught ministers have been blessed like his."

On page 70 we have this language: "Mr. Gadsby always objected to the term Reverend being applied to any human being."

Brother Gadsby believed in personal election; he believed that the atonement was limited; he believed that all Christ died for will be saved; he believed that the salvation of all the Lord's people was made sure by the work of the Son of God. He was opposed to Fuller's doctrine and practice; he objected to instrumental music in his churches; he did not endorse modern missions and missionary societies; he objected to Reverend being attached to any human being; he believed in close communion and in exclusive immersion as the only baptism of the New Testament.

The first Baptist Church in Boston was organized in 1665, and here is what Isaac Backus says about it, Vol. 1, p. 489:

"The Church of Christ in Boston, in New England, of the faith and order of the gospel, baptizing visible believers upon the profession of their faith, and believing the principles of a particular election of a certain number, who shall continue in the perseverance m grace; unto the several churches of Christ that are in the same faith and order of the gospel, in London, do heartily desire your increase and growth in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus, and in all the graces of the Holy Spirit."

I have before me a copy of Rushton's Reply to Fuller on the atonement, which was first published in 1831 in Liverpool, England, and republished by Elder John R. Daily in 1904 at Luray, Virginia. On page 17 we have this statement:

"You will. I doubt not, agree with me when I say that a great change has taken place, during the last sixty years, in the principles maintained by the Particular Baptist churches."

Mr. Rushton wrote his book one year before the general division of 1832. Said division was caused, the Missionary Baptists say, by the introduction of modern missions among them. The introduction of the missionary societies in the Baptist Church had no foundation in fact, unless a change in doctrine could be effected. Rushton says, "A great change has taken place, during the last sixty years, in the principles maintained by the Particular Baptist churches." The Missionary Baptist churches of our day arc the outgrowth of the movement organized October 2, 1792. At that time an effort was made to change the doctrinal principles ever maintained by the Particular Baptist churches. Rushton well said. "Men have risen up amongst us everywhere speaking perverse things; the churches have been gradually drawn aside by them, until at length professors will not endure sound doctrine, but are yearly heaping to themselves such teachers as will gratify their itching ears."--p. 1/3. What was going on at that time among our people in England has transpiring among us in the United States. "Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them."--Acts xx. 30. Hear Paul again, "Now I beseech you. brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences, contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple."--Rom, xvi. 17, 18. It is absolutely impossible for a church to change her doctrine and practice and be in faith and practice what she was before she changed. In Fuller's day it was not the church trying to change her doctrine and practice. The church remnant, true to her organized faith and finally, after bearing with those new things introduced by Fuller and Co., for about forty years, the Old Baptists excluded the Fullerites, and then the church was just like she was before these church troublers came among us. The Baptists prior to Mr. Fuller's day were in doctrine and practice fundamentally just what the Old School Baptists are in our day. They maintained that the atonement made by the Son of God met heaven's highest demands and the sinner's deepest necessities, and through its amazing efficacy God was glorified, man was redeemed, saved in the mind and purpose of God, justified, and will ultimately be brought to God's holy habitation, and the enemy will be completely overthrown and his power completely destroyed.

Rushton, on page 126, says: "It has been provided in the course of these letters that the doctrine now prevailing amongst us relative to the glorious atonement and righteousness of Christ is quite a different thing from that which is handed down to us in the Scriptures, and it has also been shown that such doctrine induces worldly conformity and a dead profession."

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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.