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Written by W.H. Crouse   


Regeneration and the New Birth by Elder William H. Crouse, was published in 1928 and has been out of print since that time.  It is my opinion that this book is one the best ever defenses against the “Gospel Means” heresy. This heresy is the belief that the gospel is the means by which eternal salvation is brought to the Lord's people. Sound Primitive Baptists do not believe this doctrine. The leaders of this doctrinal advocacy were Elders Burnham, Pence, Screws, Yates and others.

In the book Trial and Decision of Mt. Carmel Church, Elder R. H. Pittman gave the background of the “Gospel Means” movement:

“In the latter half of the nineteenth century the spirit of unrest began to be manifested. Dissatisfaction with the old way of the fathers was evidenced in the public and private service of some.  Improvement on the old way of teaching is urged.  The children of Baptists must be saved, and the New Testament plan is not thought sufficient.  The 'Heathen' must have the Gospel preached to them, and the Old Baptist system of depending entirely upon the Lord is not considered the proper one.  And so a fireside campaign is put on foot to prepare the Baptists for the public introduction of the things thought to be needed. And the result of all this was that a party within the church was being formed, tutored, and nourished by certain local ministers within the bonds of the Ketocton and Ebenezer Associations, but led mainly by Elder E. H. Burnam, a minister of talent and influence that finally divided churches where peace and fellowship had long been undisturbed.  This party showed their hand in a test of numerical strength, first at the Ebenezer Association which met with the church at Robinson River in 1889, and where by a narrow margin Elder Burnam’s effort to exclude Elder Benjamin Lampton’s Circular Letter, was voted down. Not sufficiently discouraged by their failure, and not willing to let the old church live in peace, the issue was again brought to a test at the meeting of the Ebenezer Association with Alma church in 1890.  Here they again failed to elect their moderator and were by the Association virtually non-fellowshipped and excluded. It was then they undertook the reorganization of the Ketocton Association, which in substance meant the organization of a new Association, composed of those in sympathy with them, which they named Ketocton after the old Association, then in existence and had been for one hundred and twenty-four years.  In this division a new denomination was formed, known in this section as Regular Baptists, having entirely discarded the name Primitive, or Old School. Sometimes they, like the Lutherans and Campbellites, are called after the name of their most prominent leader, but they do not adopt it as their denominational name.”

These “Meansites” or “Burnamites” first afflicted the churches that were of the “Old-Line” persuasion. Soon, the heresy crept in the “Progressive” churches. Though Elder Crouse was a member of a Progressive church, it is my feeling that his wonderful defense of doctrine of Regeneration should stand and speak for itself.  This, I am certain, the reader will discover.

When I received my original copy of the book, I showed it to Elder Sonny Pyles who told me to, “guard it with your life.” Elder Pyles explained to me that the book was very rare and that it explains the 1689 London Confession of Faith as it ought to be interpreted. It was his feeling that every Old Baptist should read this book, especially the ministry. With such a recommendation, I felt behooved to republish it as soon as possible and get the work back into hands of the Baptists.

Upon reading the book, it made me wonder why this book has never been republished heretofore. Elder Crouse so clearly explains this important doctrine and the Scriptural and historical evidence that he gives in support of his position, more than convinced me of the scholarship of this work and encouraged me all the more to seek its republication. So, with all this in mind, it is a great joy for me to present this volume to the public.

In His service,
Elder David Montgomery

Last Updated ( Thursday, 05 October 2006 )
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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.