Friday, August 2, 2013

What The First Hardshells Believed II

From Vol. 1 (1836) of "The Primitive Baptist":

" sadly they will be mistaken, when they have to share their portion with hypocrites, (and all unbelievers in God's plan of salvation by grace) in the lake that will burn like fire and  brimstone."  (pg. 312)

Notice how clear this is! No one who does not believe the Gospel, or "God's plan of salvation by grace," will be saved!

From Vol. 2 (1837)

"The predestinarian believes in the foreknowledge of God, and that all men by nature deserve condemnation.  The predestinarian believes in the atonement of the Lord Jesus, and that his righteousness is made over and imputed to all his spiritual children by and through the means or instrumentality of faith, as the law of righteousness that it might be of grace.  The predestinarian believes that the means and the end are inseparably connected, and that works and faith are as much united as soul and body;  and that God knoweth them that are his...And this is eternal life, that they believe on the only true God, and in Jesus Christ whom he has sent."  (pg. 126)

By "the predestinarian" the Hardshells meant themselves. Notice how they speak of receiving the righteousness of Christ "by and through the means or instrumentality of faith." They also affirm that the means have been predestinated as well as the end, and that one of the means is believing in Christ via the Gospel.

"Bro. Bennett:  Being well pleased with the doctrine contained in the Primitive Baptist, edited by yourself, and believe the doctrine to be in accordance with the word of God, and that it is therefore calculated to disseminate life, light, and immortality to those who are dead in trespasses and sins, and is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;  comforting, confirming, and establishing them in the faith.."  (pg. 142)

Notice how the first Hardshells believed that "life" was disseminated via the printed word in the Hardshell periodical! I find it grossly inconsistent, however, for the Hardshells to decry Bible tracts as means of converting sinners, but allow their own papers to be such means!

From Vol 3 (1838)

Elder John Watson wrote:

"We are informed by the apostle, in 2 Thes. 2: 13, that a sanctification of the spirit is necessarily connected with a belief of the truth; and those who cannot bear sound doctrine, would not at all be benefited, by our softening down gospel truths. We are directed in 2 Tim. 2: 23, to instruct those who oppose the truth, in meekness, hoping that the Lord may grant them "repentance to the acknowledging of the truth." Neither will it answer any good purpose, to attempt to conceal any doctrinal truths; for all scripture is given by inspiration of God..." Pg. 83 1836)

"So we understand that sanctification and faith are the means of that salvation to which God had chosen these Thessalonians. In short, we should take no man's opinion in such cases, nor have an opinion of our own, without a thus saith the Lord for it; for opinion must always be founded upon evidence." (pg. 95)

We already knew the views of Elder Watson from his book "The Old Baptist Test," published in 1866. But, this is from 1838. Notice that Watson says that being sanctified by the Spirit, as a result of God's election, one possesses a belief of Gospel truth. Belief of the truth is "necessarily connected" with regeneration.

Again, all this is more evidence that the first Hardshells believed that salvation was by faith and that faith was produced by the preaching of the Gospel. They did not believe that any of the elect would die without being converted to Christ by the Gospel. Thus, today's Hardshells not only have departed from the faith of the Baptists of the 17th century, who wrote the 1689 Confession of Faith, but also from the views of their own founding fathers of the early 19th century.

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