Monday, May 2, 2016

Hassell - "Rebuke the ultraist"

In "Interpreting the Scriptures-The Spiritual Interpretation of Scripture," Written by Elder Sylvester Hassell and published in The Gospel Messenger for April 1893 (See here), Hassell made these interesting comments (emphasis mine):

"Nearly thirty years ago “the beloved physician,” Eld. John M. Watson, professor of obstetrics in the medical department of the University of Nashville, Tenn, wrote in the "Old Baptist Test,' these wise and warning words: "We have become too ultra in most things. How great the change! Watchman! what of the night? I hear one respond, All is not well! another, that strange winds of doctrine are blowing; another, that the sickly dews of heresy are falling thickly around us, many are sickly and weak; another, that the sound of another gospel is heard in our midst, whereby many are being bewitched. I hear something of heavenly origin! Listen: "Though we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.' O, Israel, to you tents! Gird on the sword of the Spirit! put on the whole armor of God! Set up the waymarks and, in holy boldness and meekness, defend them against all heretical defacers! Above all things, avoid those prevailing ultraisms which are now eating on the Old Baptist Church as doth a canker--dividing churches and Associations, and disturbing the order and peace of the Baptists generally. Rebuke the ultraist whenever you meet with him--reclaim or reject him--let him be regarded constantly as the worst enemy of the Baptists of the present day!""

Notice how Hassell recognizes the credentials of Dr. John M. Watson as a leader and spokesman for the "primitive" or "old school" Baptists. He gives credence to his writings, especially "The Old Baptist Test," and approves of what Elder Watson had to say about the "ultraists" that were among the Hardshells from the beginning, which he labels as "Two Seeders." What is strange about this citation is the fact that Hassell, unlike his father, Elder Cushing Biggs Hassell, at some point, imbibed the Two Seed idea that the elect would be called and regenerated apart from hearing and believing the gospel, or in Christ, that they would not have to become Christians or converted in order to be born again or finally saved.

In this citation from Watson, one that is heartedly endorsed by Hassell, he sees the greatest harm coming from the ultraist camp was their denial of the literal interpretation of the Scriptures and their hyper spiritualizing of the word of God. But, the heresies of "the ultraist" are more numerous than the one mentioned by Hassell. Certainly Watson viewed the no means view as being one of the tenets of the Two Seed ultraists.

Notice that Watson said that the "ultraist" is not only to be "rebuked" openly at every opportunity, but that such a person is "the worst enemy of the Baptists of the present day." That is exactly what we do here at The Old Baptist Test blog, we "rebuke the ultraist" no means heretic, call him to repentance, and label him as the worst enemy of the gospel of Christ.

Hassell wrote further:

"It is especially in what claims to be the spiritual interpretation of the Scriptures that these ultra, wild, chilling, deadening, bewitching, confusing, dividing, and ruinous errors prevail among us. We have been so inattentive and dormant that the Lord righteously permits us to be afflicted, deceived, and desolated by false spirits, "transformed as the ministers of righteousness," (2 Cor. xi. 14, 15). Hyper, or Pseudo-Spiritualism, denying the truth or the importance of the literal meaning of the Scriptures, and thus sapping the very foundation of Christianity, now threatens, above every other danger, to be our ruin. May the God of Israel speedily arouse us all to a sense of this imminent peril, and restore us to the primitive purity of faith and practice, and preserve us, by His almighty power, from these "destructive heresies," whether heathenish or Jewish, of which we are solemnly forewarned in His written Word, and which are now assailing us (2 Pet. ii. 1; Col. ii. 8; 1 Cor. xv. 12-58; Acts xvii. 31; Heb. ix. 27; Rev. xx. 11-15; 1 Thess. iv. 14-18; 2 Thess. i. 7-10; 1 Tim. i. 4, 19, 20; iv. 1; vi. 3-5, 20, 21; 2 Tim. i. 13; ii. 14-19, 23-26; iv. 1-4; James i. 13-15; 1 Pet. iv. 17; 2 Pet. iii.; 1 John iv. 1-3; 2 John 7-11; Jude 3, 12, 13, 17-23; Rev. xxii. 18, 19)."

Let me tell you, that the Hardshell church is more guilty of this kind of hermeneutics, this ultraist character, than ever before and is condemned by the words of Hassell.

1 comment:

Chad O'Quinn said...

God's Word showed me the error of these Ultraist. Elder John M Watson's book showed me Old Baptist did not always believe these errors.