Sunday, August 4, 2013
What Saith The Hardshell Founding Fathers?
It has been shown that most of the founding fathers of the Hardshell or "Primitive Baptist" denomination taught that the elect were born again by the preaching of the Gospel, and that the "faith" that is necessary to being eternally saved was faith in Christ that comes by hearing the Gospel. Some did later begin to alter their views and taught that regeneration was a separate and prerequisite experience to that of being born again, but not one of them is on record as affirming that any of the elect would die without being brought to a knowledge of the Gospel and faith in Christ.
In my book "The Hardshell Baptist Cult," and in this blog and my baptistgadfly blog, I have cited from the writings of the founding fathers of the Hardshell denomination to substantiate this fact. I have shown that these men taught these truths: John Watson, R.W. Fain, John Clark, Gilbert Beebe, Samuel Trott, Daniel Jewett, Mark Bennett, Wilson, Thompson, William Conrad, John Leland, John Taylor, Burwell Temple, James Osbourn, Hosea Preslar, C. B. Hassell, etc. I wish now to add the testimony of Joshua Lawrence, a leader in the Kehukee Association and in the anti mission movement from its inception. Writing in the third volume of "The Primitive Baptist" periodical (1838), Lawrence wrote: (empahsis mine)
"The first parable showeth the effect of the gospel preached by the Son of man with its effect on different persons, compared to the way side, stony ground, thorn, and good ground hearers; which showeth that three-fourths of his gospel preaching is lost, as only the good ground hearers bro't fruit. And this is true under the preaching of all his ministers, as well as his. So then the field in the first parable is the world, in which the gospel or word is preached; the field, in the second parable, is the world, in which the effects of the preaching of that gospel on good ground hearers produces the children of his kingdom. Hence it is said, born not of flesh, blood, or will of men; but of the word of God, that liveth and abideth forever. And again: I have beggotten you through the gospel, etc...Well then, this is the true meaning of the kingdom of heaven in this text: the church of Christ in the field of this world, or Christians by the agency of the Spirit of God and gospel preaching sowed among mankind..." (pg. 306)
Today's Hardshells generally teach that each of the four different kinds of soil/hearers of the word were born again children of God. The first Hardshells did not, but believed that only the good soil represented the children of God. Also, Lawrence is clear in his interpretation of "the word of God" by which the elect are born again. He equates being born by the word of God with being "begotten by the gospel." No Hardshell today interprets being begotten by the gospel (I Cor. 4: 15) with being born again by the word (I Peter 1: 23)
"Although Christians are sons and daughters of God, yet they are not begotten of a woman; but through the gospel by the same Spirit that begot the body of Christ by Mary; therefore he is not ashamed to call them brethren." (pg. 310)
How clear! "Begotten through the gospel!"