John Kershaw (1792-1870) was pastor for fifty-two years of Hope Chapel, Rochdale. He exercised a powerful ministry among his flock, and became an influential preacher across the country. Few ministers remain faithful to a single congregation for an extended period—Kershaw committed himself to the same church he attended as a boy. His autobiography, “Memorials of the Mercies of a Covenant God while Traveling through the Wilderness”, is one of the best written of its genre. The following excerpt from this book (third edition) is selected in order to highlight the joy of those that sat under his ministry.
Lines to the Memory of Mr. Kershaw, Fifty-Two Years Pastor of the Church at Hope Chapel, Rochdale, Who Died on the 11th January, 1870, in the 78th Year of His Age.
“A Sinner Saved By Grace”
Robe in black weeds, ye Rochdale saints,
Pour out your wail in sore complaints;
Let sorrow trickle from…
A Sketch of Covenant Truth and Its Witnesses
By: John E. Hazelton
“Hold fast the form of sound words” (2 Tim 1:13)
“An everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure” (2 Sam 23:5)
The following pages are but a slight sketch of a vital subject; they aim in a simple way to show the continuity through the centuries of the testimony to “the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). The Author has, so far as possible, given interesting quotations, bearing upon present-day perils, so that it may be said of each Witness referred to…
Is the Communion Table open or closed? Since all Christians recognize the Communion Table is restricted to professing believers, at the exclusion of all unbelievers, it is safe to say that there is no such thing as a purely open Table. And, since all discerning Baptists recognize the Communion Table is restricted to professing Christians that have been baptized, it is safe to say that there is no such thing as a purely open Table among Baptist churches. It therefore reeks of hypocrisy when the ‘Open Communionists’ accuse their brethren who subscribe to a restricted Table as being uncharitable, unkind, judgmental and legalistic. Unlike the open Communion Baptists who recognize only two restrictions on the Table (regeneration and baptism), I believe there are four restrictions—(1) An evidential…
First, at no time is a sinner duty-bound under both covenants simultaneously.
Second, so long as the sinner remains unregenerate, he/she is held accountable under the terms and promises of the Covenant of Works (not the Covenant of Grace).
Third, once the sinner has been born again, he/she is delivered/released from the Covenant of Works, being brought experientially under the terms and promises of the Covenant of Grace.
Fourth, the non-elect have absolutely no part in the Covenant of Grace—it is not their duty to believe savingly on Christ, nor is it the duty of the preacher to offer…
Wade Burleson wrote an article entitled, “The Problem of Calling People Hyper-Calvinists”. Having attended the John 3:16 Conference in 2008, he described how Dr. David Allen, Professor of Preaching at Southwestern Theological Seminary, circulated a handout that listed a dozen names identified as “Hyper-Calvinists”. Following Dr. Allen in the pulpit, was Dr. Steve Lempke of New Orleans, who made the observation, “I am not sure that there is such a thing as a living hyper-calvinist. I find that those who call others hyper-calvinists have simply run into people more calvinistic than they are.”
Yet, there is a listing for “Hyper-Calvinism” in the New Dictionary of Theology. The definition is framed by Dr. Curt Daniel, who earned a doctorate studying “hyper” Calvinism…
Having not been able to complete the scheduled Bible study for the mid-week service, I threw together some notes on the ninth chapter of Romans. It is not often I go ‘old school’ by scribbling on the nearest blank piece of paper. After teaching the study, I proceeded to broaden my notes for future reference. As the notes set forth a statement on High-Calvinism, I’ve chosen to include them with the online resources of the AHB. There are two sets of notes—the handwritten scribble is what I used in the pulpit (I haven’t bothered typing them out); the typed notes are what I jotted down after teaching the study.
William Styles published a book in 1902 entitled, “A Guide to Church Fellowship, as Maintained by Primitive, or Strict and Particular Baptists”. On pages 78 and 79, under the general heading, “Duty-Faith is Denied by All Strict and Particular Baptists”, the following statement is found:
“Duty-faith is the doctrine that it is the duty of natural men to exercise spiritual Faith in the Lord Jesus, and so to obtain salvation. Its emphatic denial is a distinguishing feature of the Strict and…
On Friday, 21st March 2014, Dr. Matthew Hyde delivered the annual lecture for the Strict Baptist Historical Society at Bethesda Chapel. After the lecture, he and I shared a brief exchange on the subject of high-calvinism and nineteenth-century Strict Baptist pastors. Since one of these pastors, John Hazelton, had been connected with the church that I pastor, his name naturally came up. Subsequent to our chat, Dr. Hyde graciously gave me one of his copies of William Styles’, “John Hazelton: A Memoir”.
I believe Baptists should be familiar with the life and ministry of John Hazelton for three reasons:
First, the life and ministry of John Hazelton is worth knowing because he was one of the leading Baptist ministers in the city of London during the nineteenth-century.
Second, the life and ministry of John Hazelton is worth knowing because he is among a gallant group of Baptist ministers who tenaciously subscribed to a high view of Sovereign Grace.
Third, the life and ministry of John Hazelton is worth knowing because he has much to teach this generation of professing Christians who like to call themselves Reformed Baptists.
I have selected the seventh chapter, Of God’s Covenant, to demonstrate why I do not subscribe to the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. First, it fails to adequately explain the purpose of a covenant; Second, it makes the gracious covenant subservient to the fall of man; Third, it makes the gracious covenant a free offer to sinners; Fourth, it makes the gracious covenant conditional on the sinner’s faith; Fifth, it implies the gracious covenant is different from the gospel; Sixth, it implies the gracious covenant is different from the eternal covenant; Seventh, it fails to highlight the distinct roles assumed by the Triune Jehovah in the gracious covenant. Henceforth, I believe this statement falls short of giving a concise and accurate account of God’s covenant.
Now, lest I be charged with departing from the orthodox faith, it should be understood…
John Gill was born in Kettering, Northamptonshire, England, on November 23rd, 1697. At age 12, he was converted to Christ under the preaching ministry of William Wallis. However, he waited six years before agreeing to be baptized, after which he became a member of his local church. At the age of 23, he was inducted as pastor of the Strict Baptist Horselydown church, where he remained until his death on October 14th, 1771. His 50 year pastoral ministry was accompanied by a prolific written ministry. Not only is he the only man to…