From Vol. 4 (1839) of "The Primitive Baptist"
"And now, brethren, this will lead us to speak of the faith of God's elect, (Paul to Titus, 1: 1) that which is peculiar to the followers of God, (Eph. 2: 8) with which salvation is connected, which purifies the heart and works by love. This faith consists not only in the belief of the gospel revelation of redemption, and salvation by Christ alone; but, also, in a sole trust in, and dependence on Christ, and the word of his grace, for eternal life, as you may read in Isaiah 36: 4, which reads thus: "Trust ye in the Lord forever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength." Then, surely, this faith is worth contending for."
(April 13, 1839, being an "Extract from the Minutes of the first session of the Ebenezer Baptist Association, held at Fort Dale meeting house, Butler county, Ala. from the 7th to the 10th December, inclusive, A.D. 1838)
One thing is obvious from these words of the first Hardshells. They believed that the faith of God's elect, the faith that they all possess, was a faith that involved a belief of the truth. They knew nothing of the kind of faith that later Hardshells invented, a faith that is a mere metaphysical substance, that believes nothing. They affirm that this evangelical faith has salvation connected to it, and involved trust in the Lord. They did not believe that this salvation was a mere "time salvation." Further, this belief and trust is "for eternal life."
From Vol. 5 (Jan. 1840)
"Pray for us, that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for all men have not faith. If they had evangelical faith, which is the witness of the Holy Ghost, called the faith of God's elect, working by love, purifying the heart, they would not depart from the traditions received of the apostles." (Jan. 11, 1840)
Notice again how the faith that saves, the faith of God's elect, was an "evangelical faith," a faith that comes by hearing the Gospel. Notice also the affirmation of the doctrine of perseverence, that the gift of evangelical faith prevents departing from the Gospel.
From Vol. 4 (1839)
"...but also his goodness manifest in the descent of the Holy Ghost, communicated through the medium of the gospel to the children of men, and especially to the church of the first born, thereby becoming the power of God, and by that power making Jesus Christ to every believer wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. And also his peculiar regard manifest in providing a gospel ministry, and through them to communicate the bread of life and cause that river to flow the streams whereof make glad the city of God." (May 11, 1839)
Notice how the first Hardshells believed that it is "through the medium of the gospel" that the Holy Ghost and the bread of life are communicated. Today's Hardshells have left the teaching of their forefathers in denying these truths.
"Together with everlasting love of God the Father, treasured up in the covenant of redemption from all eternity, and thus manifest through Christ the Son or mediator, and made known to sinners through the gospel which is the power of God; thus effecting regeneration and implanting in them eternal life. And hence it is said: And this is life eternal, to know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent." (May 25, 1839)
Notice again how the first Hardshells taught that regeneration was effected through the Gospel and that it was by the Gospel that eternal life was implanted.
"But the true believer knows, that it takes grace to save and that it is grace; and that grace opened his understanding, so that he believed that he was a lost sinner, a blind sinner, a helpless sinner, a condemned sinner; all these things are brought to pass by the spirit of grace leading the soul to faith, faith is belief, belief in Jesus the Saviour, who came to seek and save that which was lost; and faith points to that grace given in Christ, that did and does, and will save. This is what is called a saving knowledge, the belief of which is faith and leads the sinner to repent, and that with a godly sorrow, and that godly sorrow works repentance, not to be repented of and that work is a good work; but it was not that work that saved the sinner, but it was produced from a knowledge of his salvation; it produced obedience, humbleness, meekness, faithfulness, honesty in righteousness, and all the rruits of the Spirit, which grow out of the new birth." (July 27, 1839)
Notice again that "faith is belief." Today's Hardshells need to return to the Old Baptist position on what is faith and leave off their modern definitions of it.
Vol. 5 Jan. 1840)
"And that gospel, instead of requiring legal duties of the dead, as a condition of their receiving life; actually gives life to them that were dead--spiritual life to such as had no such quality in them before; divine life, and union with God to such as were really his enemies, and far from righteousness of any kind until it was communicated by the gospel's quickening influence...The law was an administration of death to all that were found transgressors of it; the gospel was, and is the power of God unto salvation, to all the chosen seed."
Again, this is very clear. The Gospel is the instrument whereby God gives spiritual life to the dead.
What say our modern Hardshells to all this evidence about how the first Hardshells believed that regeneration was effected by the preaching of the Gospel?