Friday, August 2, 2013

What The First Hardshells Believed III

The following are citations from Vol. 3 of "The Primitive Baptist" paper (1838).

"So then, he hath chosen us that we might be holy, etc. consequently will give us the means of salvation, which are faith and holiness. And God is omniscient, or every where present, and therefore none of his elect shall miss the end designed; that is, eternal life: For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God, etc. Chosen in him before the foundation of the world, etc. So then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. And even in the same way that the Lord sent his gospel to all the world once, even so now will he send it where he pleaseth; for he is of one mind and one way, and hath not said to the church, send ye my gospel any where." (pg. 109-10)

Again, this citation is similar to ones already cited in previous postings. Faith is a means of salvation and "faith comes by hearing the word of God." The first Hardshells did not promote the idea of "time salvation" in regard to those texts that make faith and hearing the Gospel as means for salvation.

"I find the will of God is to believe the record that God has given us of his Son for salvation, which would include all the fundamental principles of the gospel, and a good deal more; and the doctrine of election and predestination, and final perseverance of the saints, all of which I believe in." (pg. 115)

God's "will" or predestination concerned the elect coming to "believe the record that God has given of his Son" and that "for salvation." Also, they believed in the "perseverance of the saints," and not mere preservation. This is unlike most Hardshells today.

" I do believe God has chosen his people in Christ before the world was, and that according to his own purpose. And as he has made the choice of the characters that shall inherit his kingdom above, he has also ordained the means by which they shall be prepared and qualified for that eternal world. He has not chosen his people in Christ and left the means to be used necessary to bring them there in the hands of men. No, sir, he has ordained the preaching of the gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation, as his own method of saving his elect."

Notice how clearly the first Hardshells preached the means position. All the elect will believe the Gospel unto salvation, which is God's "own method of saving his elect."

"But perhaps the effort party may conclude there is still something for them to do, preachers must be prepared and sent to preach; but I want you also to remember, that God has not left this work in the hands of men, to say who shall preach his gospel, or who shall be instrumental in his hands in bringing his elect to a saving knowledge of his truth and glorious inheritance above. No, sir, he has reserved this work also to himself, he calls and qualifies his ministers to preach Jesus." (pg. 145)

Again, a very clear statement teaching the Gospel means position. Which of today's Hardshells will say "amen" to these words?

"Therefore we need no other means now than were needed eighteen hundred years ago; it then required the power of God to quicken a dead sinner and make him alive, it requires the same now and nothing short of that will effect the salvation of the soul. God saved his chosen people before missionary societies were introduced, by the ministers he chose, by the means he ordained, and not by plans devised by mortals; consequently they were indebted to him alone for that salvation, he was entitled to all praise and glory: Not unto us, but unto thy name give glory." (pg. 146)

Again, the power of God to quicken a dead sinner, to save his chosen people, was by "means" of the preaching of ministers that God chooses and sends.

Vol. 10 (1845)

"Because the Old School Baptists hold that there is an elect people according to the foreknowledge of God (i Pet. i, 2.) whom God hath, from the beginning, chosen to salvation through sanctification of the spirit and belief of the truth (II Thess. 2:13) and who will be effectually called.; that is, who will be convinced of their sin and misery, enlightened in the knowledge of Christ and persuaded and enabled by the divine spirit to embrace Jesus Christ, revealed as the free gift of God to them, in  the gospel; we say, because we hold this doctrine, natural and unrenewed men will say, Then we may all sit down and give ourselves no uneasiness or concern about our future state, nor attend, to any of the means or duties of religion, as the end will come out just the same whether we do, or not. Nay, they will accuse us of holding, and pretend themselves for a time to hold, this very principle, viz: that wicked men may just as well give themselves no concern about religion."  (Circular Letter of the South Carolina Primitive Baptist Association, 1844)

Notice how the first Hardshells defined the experience of being "effectually called." It included being "enlightened in the knowledge of Christ" and being "persuaded" as wells as embracing Christ.

"But, I will, say, stop, O man, before you go too far;  for I would suppose that Paul might have said the same...when the Lord said to him, speak, Paul, for I have much people in this city.  But Paul was so well taught of God, as to know that the preaching of the gospel was the means in God's own hand by which he intended to save many;  and these many here spoken of, must have been God's chosen people, and that God was able to make and would make that gospel which he had committed a dispensation to him, the great power of God to the salvation of them very, people."  (pg.. 23, by Laban Massey, 1845)

How clear! "...the preaching of the gospel was the means in God's own hand by which he intended to save many." There is no mention of "time salvation," for they believed that it was eternal salvation that God had ordained to be accomplished by means of the preaching of the Gospel.

"Hence it is, if the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed,  Then faith, says Paul, is the gift of God;  yet faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Thus, we hear the scriptures and we acknowledge our condemnation to be just;  this is belief, we believe there is a God and that he is just.  Thus faith comes by hearing;  then after the legitimacy of his claims admitted, the Lord works in us to believe in his Son and thus we work the works of God by believing on him whom he hath sent.  Thus we get the righteousness of Christ, that came by faith, called the faith of God's elect."   (pg. 253)

Notice that the "faith" which saves is that faith which "comes by hearing the word of God," and not some kind of "faith" that does not believe anything. It involves a believing in his Son.

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