"...natural birth is a figure of spiritual birth."
"But such a thing cannot be; for there cannot be a child without a father and mother, and there cannot be a father and mother without a child." ("Being Born Again," in "Zion's Landmark, page 1, Dec. 15, 1887)
I have previously shown in my historical writings on the development of the Hardshell denomination that the common view of the first Hardshells was to view "regeneration" as distinct from being "born again," the former being compared to the planting of the male seed in natural birth and the coming forth out of the womb to the new birth. From the above citation it is clear that this view was still being believed and taught. It was not a view that had as yet in 1887 been totally discarded.
It was about this time, however, that Potter had his debate with Throgmorten, a debate which helped to change the new denomination's view on regeneration and the new birth. It was about 1890 when Elder Clark died, and when a serious debate over means began. Those leading the "modern innovators" or "ultraist" Hardshells, in addition to Potter, were men like Dr. C.H. Waters, T.S. Dalton, John Daily, C.H. Cayce, Walter Cash, and Sylvester Hassell.
I want every neo Hardshell to know that the above view was the view of his founding fathers. If the Hardshells were baptized by these men, and they were heretics, how can they say their baptisms today are valid?
I have for years asked today's Hardshells to tell us who is the mother in spiritual birth. Do they not have a birth without a mother?