Monday, July 21, 2014

S. Hassell's Faith

In an article titled "The Principles Of The Gospel Messenger," Sylvester Hassell (Williamston, N.C., January 1901) wrote the following (see here):

"These principles are the great truths taught by the prophets, Christ, and His apostles in the Holy Scriptures, affirmed, in regard to eternal salvation...fully set forth in the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689, adopted as an expression of their belief by all the Predestinarian Baptists of the United States in the 18th century, maintained by nearly every Primitive Baptist church of the 19th century; and these principles, exactly as here published, were unanimously approved by the general meetings of Primitive Baptists at Oakland City, Ind., September 27, 1900, and at Fulton, Ky., November 14-18, 1900, representing two-thirds of the Primitive Baptists of the United States; and, I believe, that they are the sentiments of nine-tenths of all the Primitive Baptists now living."

Well, what about today's Hardshells? Do they still hold to the 1689 Confession or have they discarded it?

Hassell, under article three, wrote:

"Nothing takes place by chance; but God's foreknowledge, purpose and providence embrace all things, including grace and holiness, positively and efficiently, and sin permissively and overrulingly..."

Will today's Hardshells accept this statement? Will they affirm, as did Hassell, that "all things" "take place" by God's purpose?

Hassell, under article four, wrote:

"For the manifestation of His glory, God, before the foundation of the world, predestinated some men and angels to eternal life, through Jesus Christ, to the praise of His glorious grace, and left others to act in their sins to their just condemnation, to the praise of His glorious justice...and the Holy Ghost regenerates the elect, creating in their souls a new spiritual life, and effectually applies to them the holy and everlasting salvation of Jesus, giving them, generally though not always, under the administration of the word and the ordinances of God, true repentance and faith and hope and love, and working in them both to will and to do of His own good pleasure, and infallibly keeping every one of them unto the fullness of salvation which is to be finally revealed to them; and this eternal salvation is for the elect only, and is personal and unconditional on their part, God by His Spirit working in them all the so-called spiritual conditions of repentance, faith, and love, so that the salvation of the elect is all of Divine and unmerited grace and for it God deserves and will receive all the glory; and all who die in infancy are among the elect, and are saved by God's almighty grace."

Notice how Hassell affirms that "the word" is that which God uses to apply "the holy and everlasting salvation" and is the means by which he works in them to will and to do and infallibly, or unfailingly, "keeping every one of them unto the fullness of salvation." What Hardshell will accept this today?

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