In this chapter we will look at those sections of the Fulton Confession where it added footnotes to the London Confession of 1689 and show how they plainly distort the meaning of the Confession in an attempt to subvert and in pretense claim to be in agreement with it.
Chapter I - Of the Holy Scriptures - On section (6)
6. The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down or necessarily contained in the Holy Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelation of the Spirit, or traditions of men.9
Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word,11...
11. Jn 6:45; 1Co 2:9-12.
Fulton Footnote: We do not understand this section to teach that eternal life is obtained by the understanding of or obedience to the Scriptures.
What is this footnote but a denial of the words of this section? It is no "explanation" at all but simply a denial and controverting of what the Confession says. They (the "we") say that they "do not understand" the words of the Confession to mean what it plainly says. But, anyone not controlled by bias has no problem "understanding" what is meant by the article in question. Why does "salvation" not include the obtaining of "eternal life"? The Confession says that there are things that are necessary to be known for salvation and yet this is exactly what is denied by the Hardshells. They teach that there is no knowledge of truth that is necessary to being saved, at least none that comes by the Scriptures.
Further, notice "the Word" that the Confession mentions is "the Holy Scriptures" and that "Word" is capitalized. This point argues against those who say that "the Word" in the section on "effectual calling" is not the Scriptures because "the Word" there is capitalized.
The old Confession also speaks of "saving understanding," but such terminology is against Hardshellism for they do not believe that man has to understand anything to be saved. After all, by their own logic, how can an infant or idiot "understand" anything? One of the Scriptures that the Confession references is John 6: 45 - "they shall all be taught of God" - "heard and learned of the Father." The authors of the Confession, the real Old Baptists, believed that sinners were taught truth in being saved and that the Father did this teaching via the Scriptures.
7. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all;12 yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of ordinary means, may attain to a sufficient understanding of them.13
12. 2Pe 3:16.
13. Ps 19:7; 119:130.
Fulton Footnote: We understand this relates to children of God having spiritual conception.
If the purpose of the footnotes are not to deny the teaching of any section but to simply "explain" it, then how has the footnote accomplished that end? Again, all they ("we") say is "we understand this" to mean such and such. The truth is, they understood perfectly what the article says, and so they should have said "we twist and distort this to mean."
The article in dispute again says that there are "things which are NECESSARY to be known, believed and observed for salvation." But, this again completely overthrows Hardshellism. They believe that a man does not have to "know" and "believe" anything in order to be saved. Hardshells think a man can have "faith" (belief) and not believe anything!
The article also speaks of the "means" that God has ordained to impart this saving knowledge to his people, and that they are "the Scriptures." I do not see how any Hardshell can fail to see how the Fulton brethren are being dishonest or are in willful denial of plain facts.
The old Hardshell Sanhedrin says "we understand this relates to children of God having spiritual discernment." Okay, but how has that explained anything? Where has their explanation cleared up any "archaic" and "ambiguous" language? Do they believe that all children of God have "spiritual conception"? Do they believe that one must have "spiritual perception" in order to be a child of God and saved? How do they believe one obtains this "spiritual perception"? Do they agree with the article that such comes by "means" of "the Holy Scriptures"?
Chapter III - Of God's Decree
6. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so He hath, by the eternal and most free purpose of His will, foreordained all the means thereunto;13 wherefore they who are elect, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ,14 are effectually called unto faith in Christ, by His Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified,15 and kept by His power through faith unto salvation;16 neither are any other redeemed by Christ, or effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.17
13. 1Pe 1:2; 2Th 2:13.
14. 1Th 5:9-10.
15. Ro 8:30; 2Th 2:13.
16. 1Pe 1:5.
17. Jn 10:26; 17:9; 6:64.
Fulton Footnote: We do not understand the words "all the means thereunto" include other means than those especially set out in this section. "Redeemed by Christ," "effectually called," "by his spirit," etc.
It is the intention of this footnote to convince the Hardshell cult members that the Confession, by its reference to "the means" do not intend to include the Scriptures. But, the preceding article on "the Holy Scriptures" uses the word "means" in reference to "the Holy Scriptures." This article mentions "the means" for being "effectually called unto faith in Christ." Further, one of the Scriptures that the Confession cites is II Thess. 2: 13 where the Apostle says - "Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." Again, this footnote does not explain anything but only intends to deny what the Confession plainly affirms. Where do they point to archaic and ambiguous language? Does not this section say "through faith" and well as "by his Spirit"?
These Fulton perverters of the old London Confession attempt to make the writers of the Confession to be contradictory, as if they affirm means in one section and deny it in another. But, the Confession is very consistent and the men who wrote the Confession were far abler to express themselves than the Hardshells.
Chapter VII - Of God's Covenant
2. Moreover, man having brought himself under the curse of the law by his fall, it pleased the Lord to make a covenant of grace,2 wherein He freely offereth unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring of them faith in Him, that they may be saved;3 and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life, His Holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe.4
2. Ge 2:17; Gal.3:10; Ro 3:20-21.
3. Ro 8:3; Mk 16:15-16; Jn 3:16.
4. Eze 36:26-27; Jn 6:44-45; Ps 110:3.
Fulton Footnote: By the words "offereth unto sinners life and salvation" etc., we do not understand that the gift of eternal life is offered to alien sinners, but should be understood as meaning the assurance or enjoyment of spiritual or divine life, as is taught in John 20:30,31 and Galatians 6:7,8. The following places in the Confession describe the alien sinners as being unable to accept an offer of life: Chapter XX., Section 4; Chapter IX., Section 3; Chapter III., Section 6; and for further explanation of the doctrine herein set forth and from which said doctrine is deducible, see Confession, Chapter XVII., Section 3; Chapter XVIII., Sections 3 and 4; Chapter X., Section 4; Chapter XX., Sections 1 and 4; 2 Peter 1:10, 11.
Again, the Hardshells refuse to believe what the plain English of the Confession says. They say they do not understand that the "life and salvation" that is "offered unto sinners" is "eternal life." But, the question is not what the Hardshells believe, but what did the authors of the Confession believe? Why would the Confession speak of offering salvation to those who already have it? Further, they plainly say that this is offered "unto sinners," sinners who do not already have "life" and "salvation." Anyone without a bias and intent to deceive will have no problem understanding what the Old Baptists meant who wrote this article of the old Confession. Further, the Scriptures they use (Ro 8:3; Mk 16:15-16; Jn 3:16) to define what they mean by "life and salvation" are passages that deal with obtaining eternal salvation and eternal life. John 3:16 says - "that whoever believes in him may have everlasting life." In spite of this undeniable proof, the Hardshells say we don't think they mean "eternal life" by "life and salvation"!
The Fulton elders then say of the words of the Confession that it "should be understood as meaning the assurance or enjoyment of spiritual life." Well, had the authors of the Confession meant that, were they unable to say it? The Hardshell "explanation" affirms that the words of the Confession are really saying that God is making an offer to saved and spiritually alive sinners, not to unsaved and spiritually dead sinners. They say that "life and salvation" are not really being offered but the "assurance" of it. But, this is a wilful perversion of the clear language of the text and the Hardshells show themselves to be deceitful and dishonest perverters of it. This same kind of perverting of words is not limited to the words of the Confession but, worst of all, to the Scriptures also.
Further, if one will examine the texts of Scripture referenced by the Confession, then he will see that by "life and salvation" they mean not the assurance of such, but the things themselves.
The Fulton Sanhedrin then attempts to say that their interpretation or explanation of the Confession's words must mean what the Hardshells say because the Confession elsewhere says that sinners are unable to accept the offer of life and salvation. But, this is no argument at all. The Confession does affirm that the dead and unsaved sinner is not able to accept the call but that the call nevertheless offers him such. This is no more a contradiction than the fact that Christ told those paralyzed to stretch forth his hands. They believed that the call to life by the Gospel was not sufficient in itself, nor than anyone in himself could accept what is offered, but they also believed that the elect would be enabled by the Spirit to do that which they were unable to do in themselves. They have already stated that God would make his people willing to accept the offer by his power. Notice how this is explained in the Confession in chapter eight.
8. To all those for whom Christ has obtained eternal redemption, He doth certainly and effectually apply and communicate the same, making intercession for them;38 uniting them to Himself by His Spirit, revealing unto them, in and by the Word, the mystery of salvation, persuading them to believe and obey,39 governing their hearts by His Word and Spirit,40 and overcoming all their enemies by His mighty power and wisdom,41 in such manner and ways as are most consonant to His wonderful and unsearchable dispensation; and all of free and absolute grace, without any condition foreseen in them to procure it.42 (Chapter 8)
( John 6:37; John 10:15, 16; John 17:9; Romans 5:10; John 17:6; Ephesians 1:9; 1 John 5:20; Romans 8:9, 14; Psalms 110:1; 1 Corinthians 15:25, 26; John 3:8; Ephesians 1:8 )
The Confession is clear that God does "apply and communicate" "eternal redemption" by "uniting to Himself...by His Word and Spirit" the elect.
Chapter IX - Of Free Will
4. When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace, He freeth him from his natural bondage under sin,7 and by His grace alone enables him freely to will and to do that which is spiritually good;8 yet so as that by reason of his remaining corruptions, he doth not perfectly, nor only will, that which is good, but doth also will that which is evil.9
7. Col 1:13; Jn 8:36.
8. Php 2:13.
9. Ro 7:15,18-19,21,23.
Fulton Footnote: We understand the expression "when God converts" to mean when God regenerates.
This is an interesting footnote in that the Hardshell brethren agreed with the Confession in affirming that regeneration and conversion were basically the same experience, a truth that today's Hardshells will not affirm.
Chapter X - Of Effectual Calling
1. Those whom God hath predestined unto life, He is pleased in His appointed and accepted time, effectually to call,1 by His Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ;2 enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God;3 taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh:4 renewing their wills, and by His almighty power determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ;5 yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace.6
1. Ro 8:30; 11:7; Eph 1:10-11, 2Th 2:13-14.
2. Eph 2:1-6.
3. Ac 26:18; Eph 1:17-18.
4. Eze 36:26.
5. Dt 30:6; Eze 36:27; Eph 1:19.
6. Ps 110:3; SS 1:4.
Fulton Footnote: We do not understand that sinners are effectually called by the written word in any sense out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature to grace and salvation but by Christ, the Word of God. The quickening and renewing of the Holy Spirit prepares the sinner to answer the gospel call, as seen in Section 2; 2 Tim. 1:9; 1 John 4:6
One wonders why the Hardshells did not interpret "predestined unto life" to mean predestined to assurance of life as they did to the previous section about offering life and salvation to sinners? Why did "life" there not mean life but here it does mean life?
The Hardshells do not explain the words of the Confession here but simply say that they do not believe that "the written word" is designed by the authors when they say "by His Word and Spirit." But, again, this is a distortion. All through the Confession "the Word" always means "the Scriptures." And, as we shall see, even the Hardshells acknowledge that "the Word" elsewhere in the Confession means the Scriptures. Also, notice that they cite II Thess. 2: 13 as proof of what they mean by "the Word." In that passage Paul says that believers are "called by the Gospel" in obtaining that salvation to which they have been chosen.
Further, it is clear that by "effectual calling" the authors of the Confession denote being made spiritually alive since they cite Eph. 2: 1-6 as defining it.
Notice also the reference to Acts 26: 18 for proof of what the Confession is affirming and what they intend by "the Word." That passage gives the reason why the Apostle Paul was sent to preach the Gospel. It reads:
"To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me."
Every Hardshell rejects the idea that this passage is dealing with being effectually called or regenerated! They realize that if they apply it to eternal salvation then their doctrine is destroyed. But, the authors of the old Confession believed that the passage did show proof for their view that sinners are effectually called by "the Word."
Further, the Confession cites Eph. 1: 17-19 to define what is involved in being effectually called. It is to be made a Gospel believer. They affirm that to be regenerated or effectually called one has to be enlightened by the Gospel.
3. Infants dying in infancy are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit;10 who worketh when, and where, and how He pleaseth;11 so also are all elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.
10. Jn 3:3,5-6.
11. Jn 3:8.
Fulton Footnote: We understand this section to teach that all persons dying in infancy are of the elect, and will therefore be saved. We do not understand from this that infants and insane persons are saved in a manner different from the manner in which all other elect persons are saved. The word "others" in Section 4 has no reference to infants, but adults who are subjects of the ministry of the Word.
How could the Fulton brethren think that the Confession agreed with them in their footnote? They clearly believed that infants and others who were "incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word" were "regenerated and saved" without this outward calling by the Word. Thus, though the Hardshells did not believe that the manner was different between infants and adults, yet the Confession clearly believed it. Again, the footnote is simply in disagreement with the article.
Further, by "others" the Confession is alluding to idiots, who are "incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word." But, the Hardshell Sanhedrin thinks that the "others" are adults who are capable of being called by the ministers of the Word. Are idiots "subjects of the ministry of the Word"? The footnote wants us to believe that they are and yet the article itself denies it!
Some Hardshells even use this section to try and affirm that the Confession is affirming that the heathen who have never heard the Gospel are saved, being some of those "others" who are "incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word." But, this cannot be what the authors of the Confession had in mind because later in the Confession they affirm that all the heathen who die without knowledge of the Gospel are eternally doomed. This was acknowledged by Elder Hunt to be the case.
4. Others not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the Word, and may have some common operations of the Spirit,12 yet not being effectually drawn by the Father, they neither will nor can truly come to Christ, and therefore cannot be saved:13 much less can men that receive not the Christian religion be saved, be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature and the law of that religion they do profess.14
12. Mt 22:14; 13:20-21; Heb 6:4-5.
13. Jn 6:44-45,65; 1Jn 2:24-25.
14. Ac 4:12; Jn 4:22; 17:3.
Fulton Footnote: We understand for man to be spiritually profited by the gospel he must have been born of God and made partaker of his divine nature, and by the words "common operations of the Spirit" is understood as teaching that the gospel has an enlightening and moral influence upon all rational men.
This article of the Confession denies that anyone who is not a Christian is saved and yet this is what Hardshells deny. How then can they claim to believe the old London Confession? The Confession says "much less can men that receive not the Christian religion be saved." How "ambiguous" is that? Is that "archaic" language? Do their words mean that heathens can be saved while remaining heathens? If a man can read clear language such as this and see just the opposite is willfully blinded.
The supposed "explanation" of the footnote is no explanation at all and does not even address what is being affirmed by the article. The article is affirming the fact that the word of God alone is not able to save, but requires the Spirit in addition to the word. Again, the Confession is denying the "word alone" view that would later characterize the Campbellite movement. Throughout the Confession they say "by his Word AND Spirit."
Further, the footnote says "we understand" rather than "we understand this article to mean." What the Hardshells "understand" and what the authors of the Confession "understand" are clearly two different things. The article says nothing about the "ordo salutis," about whether men are born again before faith. The article is clearly talking about being saved, and affirms that one must first come to Christ, by faith, in order to be saved. The word "saved" is used twice in the article and it affirms that men must come to Christ to be saved, that they must be Christian, must believe in Christ.
Chapter XI - Of Justification
1. Those whom God effectually calleth, He also freely justifieth,1 not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous;2 not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ's sake alone;3 not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing Christ's active obedience unto the whole law, and passive obedience in His death for their whole and sole righteousness,4 they receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness by faith, which faith they have not of themselves; it is the gift of God.5
1. Ro 3:24; 8:30.
2. Ro 4:5-8; Eph 1:7.
3. 1Co 1:30-31; Ro 5:17-19.
4. Php 3:8-9; Eph 2:8-10.
5. Jn 1:12; Ro 5:17.
Fulton Footnote: We understand this section to teach that the elect are justified in the sight of the law by the actual work of Christ when he satisfied the law for them, and we believe this is applied to the elect in the work of regeneration, bringing personal righteousness or making their persons righteous in heart.
This footnote adds nothing to the article itself, for the article is plain enough. What the footnote says is simply the same thing the article itself says. But, let us see what the next article in this chapter in the Confession says.
2. Faith thus receiving and resting on Christ and His righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification;6 yet it is not alone in the person justified, but ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but worketh by love.7
6. Ro 3:28.
7. Gal 5:6; Jas 2:17,22,26.
4. God did from all eternity decree to justify all the elect,11 and Christ did in the fullness of time die for their sins, and rise again for their justification;12 nevertheless, they are not justified personally, until the Holy Spirit doth in time due actually apply Christ unto them.13
( Galatians 3:8; 1 Peter 1:2; 1 Timothy 2:6; Romans 4:25; Colossians 1:21,22; Titus 3:4-7 )
These articles make it clear that faith is"alone instrument of justification" and that the elect are "not justified personally until the Holy Spirit doth in time due actually apply Christ unto them." This is not what Hardshells believe. They deny that evangelical faith is an instrument of justification.
Chapter XIV - Of Saving Faith
1. The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts,1 and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word;2 by which also, and by the administration of baptism and the Lord's Supper, prayer, and other means appointed of God, it is increased and strengthened.3
1. 2Co 4:13; Eph 2:8.
2. Ro 10:14,17.
3. Lk 17:5; 1Pe 2:2; Ac 20:32.
Fulton Footnote: By the words "faith as ordinarily wrought by the Word" we are taught to distinguish between life and the motions or fruits of life, because faith as one of the acts of life may be instrumentally produced by the Word. (Rom. 10:17) While life itself is the immediate gift of the Almighty (Rom. 7:23), and is antecedent to and the foundation of faith.
Why is it the the Hardshells think "the Word" here means the Scriptures or the preached word but did not think it meant such in the section on "effectual calling"? The reason is obvious.
The footnote does not explain anything but is itself in need of explanation. The words of the Confession are not archaic and ambiguous but clear. Faith is necessary for salvation and faith is ordinarily produced by the ministry of the Word. The Scriptures referred to show that the authors of the Confession believed that evangelical faith was necessary for being saved and this is what Hardshells do not believe. The Confession mentions the ministry of the Word as being "means" for producing faith which is unto salvation.
15. Repentance and Salvation
1. Such of the elect as are converted in riper years, having sometime lived in the state of nature, and therein served divers lusts and pleasures, God in their effectual calling giveth them repentance unto life.1
1. Tit 3:2-5.
3. This saving repentance is an evangelical grace,4 whereby a person, being by the Holy Spirit made sensible of the manifold evils of his sin, doth, by faith in Christ, humble himself for it with godly sorrow, detestation of it, and self-abhorrency,5 praying for pardon and strength of grace, with a purpose and endeavour, by supplies of the Spirit, to walk before God unto all well-pleasing in all things.6
4. Zec 12:10; Ac 11:18.
5. Eze 36:31; 2Co 7:11.
6. Ps 119:6,128.
It is interesting that the Fulton Confession offers no footnotes to this section on "Repentance and Salvation." Again one should notice how the authors of the Confession use the term "converted" as meaning the same thing as being "effectual calling." Further, they say in effectual calling one is given repentance unto life. They cite Acts 11: 18 where this is plainly stated. They did not say "life unto repentance," which is Hardshell doctrine, but "repentance unto life." In this ordo salutis repentance comes before life. Further, they have already stated that sinners are offered "life and salvation" in the Gospel and that life and salvation are received by faith.
The Confession also says that "this saving repentance is an evangelical grace." By "evangelical" they mean that it is produced by the preaching of the Gospel.
Chapter XX - Of the Gospel, and of the Extent of the Grace Thereof
1. The covenant of works being broken by sin, and made unprofitable unto life, God was pleased to give forth the promise of Christ, the seed of the woman, as the means of calling the elect, and begetting in them faith and repentance;1 in this promise the gospel, as to the substance of it, was revealed, and [is] therein effectual for the conversion and salvation of sinners.2
1. Ge 3:15.
2. Rev 13:8.
2. This promise of Christ, and salvation by Him, is revealed only by the Word of God;3 neither do the works of creation or providence, with the light of nature, make discovery of Christ, or of grace by Him, so much as in a general or obscure way;4 much less that men destitute of the revelation of Him by the promise or gospel, should be enabled thereby to attain saving faith or repentance.5
3. Ro 1:17.
4. Ro 10:14-15,17.
5. Pr 29:18; Isa 25:7; 60:2-3.
Fulton Footnote: We are taught by this section that nature does not reveal the scheme of human redemption to man. Nevertheless this fact does not render the work of Christ and the Spirit impossible in the regeneration and eternal salvation of sinners, even in the absence of the preached Word.
The Confession once again defines "effectual calling" in the words "effectual for the conversion and salvation of sinners." And, they say that the "means of calling the elect" is the "promise" of the "Gospel." The "promise" they allude to is the good news, the revealed or written promise. This is why they says "by the promise or gospel." The Confession also says that "faith and repentance" are begotten in the elect when they are called by the Gospel.
The Scriptures cited by the Confession makes it clear also that they believed that one must hear the Gospel in order to obtain faith and repentance and that faith and repentance are unto salvation.
This article also again states that all men who are without Gospel revelation are lost. "Men destitute of the revelation of Him by the promise of the gospel" are not able to "attain saving faith and repentance." This was why Elder Hunt correctly said that the London Confession taught that one must be a Christian or burn.
The footnote, however, simply denies what the article in the Confession affirms. They say that this article does not mean that it is "impossible" for there to be regenerated and eternally saved sinners among the heathen who know not God. But, what God is able to do is not the question. No one denies that God is able to save apart from human preachers, but the question is whether God has chosen to do so. The footnote intends to convey the idea that men destitute of the Christian religion may be saved, and yet this is exactly what is denied by the article!
4. Although the gospel be the only outward means of revealing Christ and saving grace, and is, as such, abundantly sufficient thereunto; yet that men who are dead in trespasses may be born again, quickened or regenerated, there is moreover necessary an effectual insuperable work of the Holy Spirit upon the whole soul, for the producing in them a new spiritual life;8 without which no other means will effect their conversion unto God.9
8. Ps 110:3; 1Co 2:14; Eph 1:19-20.
9. Jn 6:44; 2Co. 4:4,6.
These words of the Confession received no footnote by the Fulton brethren. But, it is clear that they believed that two things were necessary "that men who are dead in tresspasses may be born again, quickened or regenerated" or "for the producing in them a new spiritual life." The Gospel is the "outward means" and "an effectual insuperable work of the Holy Spirit upon the whole soul." They saw both the word and Spirit as the two causes. They use the word "means" twice in the article and the means is "the gospel." It is also to be observed how the Confession uses the terms "born again," "quickened," "regenerated," as equivalent to "conversion."
Chapter XXXII - Of the Last Judgment
2. The end of God's appointing this day, is for the manifestation of the glory of His mercy, in the eternal salvation of the elect; and of His justice, in the eternal damnation of the reprobate, who are wicked and disobedient:4 for then shall the righteous go into everlasting life, and receive that fullness of joy and glory with everlasting rewards, in the presence of the Lord; but the wicked, who know not God, and obey not the gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast aside into everlasting torments,5 and punished with everlasting destruction, from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.6
4. Rom 9:22-23.
5. Mat 25:21,34; 2 Ti 4:8.
6. Mat 25:46; Mk 9:48; 2Th 1:7-10.
Fulton Footnote: It is through the atoning sacrifice and perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ imputed to his people that they shall be acquitted in judgment.
Inasmuch as there is some difference of opinion concerning the teaching of some of the articles in the London Confession of Faith, we will submit the following in the way of explaining our understanding of their teaching:
We believe the Scriptures teach that there is a time salvation received by the heirs of God distinct from eternal salvation, which does depend upon their obedience. The people of God receive their rewards for obedience in this life only. We believe that the ability of the Christian is the unconditional gift of God.
This article makes it clear, just as the Scriptures they cite affirm, that those who "obey not the gospel of Jesus Christ" will be "cast aside into everlasting torments." Again, this destroys Hardshellism.
The authors of the Fulton footnote had to get their "time salvation" somewhere into the Confession. They say "we believe the Scriptures teach that there is a time salvation...distinct from eternal salvation." But, where does the London Confession teach such a novelty? Surely, had the old authors had believed such a thing, then they would have made such plain. In the above article the Confession even says "eternal salvation" and "everlasting torments" and "everlasting destruction."
Thus, in conclusion, it is clear to all unbiased minds that the Confession teaches that God saves, quickens, regenerates, calls, and converts by the preaching of the Gospel. Even honest Hardshells acknowledge this fact, yet there still remains some who, like the simple, "believe every word."