Friday, May 26, 2017

First Hardshells on Predestination

From the Old School "Doctrinal Advocate and Spiritual Monitor," one of the first four Hardshell periodicals beginning in the 1830s.

The other three were "The Primitive Baptist," the "Signs of the Times," and the "Old Baptist Banner." The position on Romans 8: 28 and on Predestination of all things, as expressed in the following citations, was the position of all these periodicals and no other was contended for until the latter end of the 19th century. Elder Daniel Jewett was the able editor of this paper which can be found on the Internet. Jewett died and his widow married C.B. Hassell, becoming step mother to Sylvester Hassell.

From the October, 1841 issue, W. Tucker wrote (see here): (emphasis mine)

"For he has declared that, "all things shall work together for good to them that love God; to them that arc the called according to his purpose." And if all things, then there is not a thought or action, taken in the concrete, but shall, some way or other, so terminate." (pg. 33)

"Sin and grace enter, as it were, into all the events of our world. All the evil in the universe arises from the demerit of the former; and all that is intrinsically good, from the latter. Sin lies at the bottom of all misery; and grace is the source of all the happiness ever experienced by the creatures of God. So that sin or grace affects, more or less, the whole creation. And there is such a concatenation in the progress of both, that to separate them, would be literally turning the world upside-down. Without sin there had been no room for that eminent display of grace, which now shines in so conspicuous a manner in the grand plan of redemption, &c. Sin's being, then, must be supposed in that eternal act of the Father, appointing his dear and only begotten Son, to take it away by the sacrifice of himself."

"This will further appear, if we consider, that there is not an impure thought, word, or action, but will ultimately tend to the glory and exaltation of it.

Sin and grace will forever divide the whole world of mankind. Sin will justly consign unknown multitudes to the punishment demented by their transgressions: Grace will bring all, that are predestinated to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ, to a participation of that glory they were predestinated unto. Every sinful act of the former, will heighten the grace that distinguishes the latter: for when these consider, they are of the same lump, alike guilty—and justly demerit the same punishment as those; and that there was no difference between them but what flowed from free, sovereign, and discriminating grace; and when they further perceive, that not a sinful thought, word, or action, of which those were the subjects, but they themselves, were, or would have been (the subjects) also, had not grace prevented; it cannot but have a natural tendency to raise their never-ceasing songs of gratitude to Him, who made them thus to differ. And, with regard to their own personal transgressions, what sinful act of mind or body but will have the same tendency, and impel them to cry, "To him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever, Amen." From whence we may justly conclude, that there is not a sin committed by the elect or non-elect, but shall ultimately advance the glory of divine grace. And if so, they must have been designed for that end. For it would be absurdity altogether to suppose that God manifests his glory in any shape, in any measure, or by any means, without his determinate will and purpose so to do."

"That as the Scriptures are full of prophecies and promises respecting Christ and his Church, of which a great part have been accomplished, and the remainder are daily fulfilling; and as all these are connected and linked together in a chain, or series, of cause and effects, with all other events; it is impossible to separate the latter from the former, without rendering the divine purposes, respecting the grand scheme of grace and salvation, ineffectual and abortive. Consequently, if God has any fixed determinate will, relative to the being of the one, he must also of the whole."

"I would now conclude, with observing that, humbly apprehend, it has been proved, beyond all sober contradiction, that Predestination, in its most absolute sense, has the full concurrence of Reason, as well as Revelation, for its support. Consequently, the doctrine is of more importance than men in general will allow; and ought not to be trifled with."

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