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William Styles, A Guide To Church Fellowship

Articles Of The Faith And Order Of A Primitive Or Strict And Particular Baptist Church Of The Lord Jesus Christ, Based On The Declaration Of Faith And Practice Of John Gill, D. D., 1720

I. The Holy Scriptures.

We believe that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are verbally inspired,[1] and our sole, supreme, and all-sufficient guide in every matter of Christian Faith and Practice.[2]

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[1] Jn 10:35; 2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:20,21
[2] Psalm 19:9 -11; 119:128; Is 8:20; Lk 16:29-31; Jn 5:39; 2 Tim 3:15,16; 2 Pet 1:20,21

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Annotations:

Inspiration Asserted

Note 1.—The passages cited clearly assert that, while the books of the Bible were written by human authors, (whose personal peculiarities are often apparent in their compositions) they were produced under the direct influence of the Holy Spirit, which rendered them authentic communications from God.

Thus, we are assured, that the writers of the Old Testament “spake from God, being moved (or borne along) by the Holy Ghost,” (2 Pet. 1:21,) and that every one of these sacred writings was “given by inspiration of God,” (2 Tim. 3:16.)

The writers of the New Testament claim to have produced what they wrote in a similar way. Paul delivered that which he “received of the Lord,” (1 Cor. 11:23,) and “in words which the Holy Spirit” taught him,—as one of the company of inspired men. (1 Cor. 2:13.) John claims to have had “commandment from God.” (1 John 4:21.) Peter asserts that what he wrote was “the word of the Lord.” (1 Pet. 1:26.)

Verbal Inspiration

Note 2.—The Bible was verbally inspired—that is to say that its writers did not simply deliver their messages in a vague and general way, but in the very words which the Holy Spirit induced them to employ.

This is plain from the fact that, in some places, weighty arguments are founded on the very words of other…

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Articles Of The Faith And Order Of A Primitive Or Strict And Particular Baptist Church Of The Lord Jesus Christ, Based On The Declaration Of Faith And Practice Of John Gill, D. D., 1720

Anne Askew, Martyred 1846

“I am not she that list
My anchor to let fall,
For every fleeting mist,
My hope’s substantial.”

Gorge Murrell, St. Neots

“I may lose all my friends. Well, be it so, if it is God’s will; but I am determined to go to hevane alone, rather than walk in fellowship with any who repudiate His truth, and decline to obey His commandments.”

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Introduction:

Having been enabled, through Divine grace, to give ourselves to the Lord, and likewise to one another, according to the will of God[1], we count it our duty to make a declaration of our Faith and Practice, to the glory of His holy name.[2]

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[1] 2 Cor 8:5
[2] Rom 10:10; 1 Tim 6:12; 2 Tim 1:13; 1 Pet 3:15

I. The Doctrines Of The Gospel.

I. The Holy Scriptures.

We believe that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are verbally inspired,[1] and our sole, supreme, and all-sufficient guide in every matter of Christian Faith and Practice.[2]

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[1] Jn 10:35; 2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:20,21
[2] Psalm 19:9 -11; 119:128; Is 8:20; Lk 16:29-31; Jn 5:39; 2 Tim 3:15,16; 2 Pet 1:20,21

II. The Blessed Trinity in Unity.

We believe that there is one living and true God,[1] the Creator and Upholder of all things,[2] and that there are three eternal Persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, who are equal in nature, power and glory,[3] and that the Son and the Holy Ghost are as truly and properly God as the Father.[4]

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[1] Deut 6:4; 5:26; Jn 18:3; 1 Thess 1:9; 1 Tim 2:5; Js 2:19
[2] Gen 1:1; Ex 20:11; Job 7:20; Jn 1:3; Acts 17:24
[3] Matt 3:16,17; 27:19; 2 Cor 13:14; Col 2:9; Heb 1:8; 1 Jn 5:7
[4] Jn 1:1-3; 6:69; 1 Cor 7:17; 12:11; 2 Cor 3:17; Col 2:2; Heb 9:14; 1 Pet 4:14

III.The Federal Headship of Adam, and Human Guilt and Depravity.

We believe that God created the first man, Adam, after His own image and in His own likeness, an innocent, upright, and holy being, capable of serving and glorifying Him,[1] but that he, sinning, all his posterity sinned in him, and have come “short of the glory of God the guilt of whose sin is imputed to, and whose corrupt nature is…

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Table Of Contents

11 Jan 2023, by

(This Book contains “The Articles of the Faith and Practice of a Primitive or Strict and Particular Baptist Church,” and Annotations, or Explanatory and illustrative notes on the same. To facilitate reference, each Article with its corresponding Annotations is here presented under one heading.)

Part 1—The Doctrines Of The Gospel

Article 1—The Holy Sciptrues

Inspiration asserted; Verbal Inspiration; 2 Timothy 3:16

Article 2—The Trinity In Unity

The Being Of God; Our Knowledge Of Him; The Trinity A Mystery; Erroneous Phraseology; Christ, the Creator; 1 John 5:7,8

Article 3—The Federal Headship Of Adam And Human Guilt And Depravity

Adam’s Original Nature; Federal Headship Taught In Scripture; Human Guilt And Depravity Distingusihed; Christ, Through His Miraculous Conception, Exempt From The Results Of The Fall; Adam’s Sin, Our Shame; Death A Penal Evil; Federal Headship The Security Of The Elect; Infant Salvation; The Fall And Its Results To Be Preached; Note On James Wells

Article 4—The Covenant Of Grace

The Covenant Of Grace; Covenant Engagements Of The Father; Of The Son; And Of The Holy Spirit; Those Of Christ A Clue To The Understanding Of His Ministry; Divine Preterition; Importance Of These Truths; Since They Explain Difficulties; Error Concerning Them To Be Resisted

Article 5—The Mediation Of Christ

Mediation, Defined And Explained; Characterizes God’s Whole Moral Government; Christ A Mediator In Relation To Adam And To All Men; And Especially Of The New Covenant; Christ’s Mediation, Its Seven Branches; Biblical Illustrations Of; An Inclusive Office; Based On His Sonship; And Effectual

Article 6—Particular Redemption

Redemption And Atonement Not Identical; Redemption, A Phrase In Civil Law—The Hebrew “Goel”; The Atonement; Romands 8:3; Redemption, Particular; The Atonement, Commensurate; Mischievous Doctrines; The Truth Supported By Arguments—Logical Inferences; The Benfits Of Christ’s Work Extend, Though Not Savingly, To All Men

Article 7—The Intercession Of Christ

Christ’s Intercession For The Elect Only; Satisfactory To Him; Harmony Of, With The Spirit’s Effectual Operation On Earth

Article 8—Justification And Forgiveness

Distinctions To Be Noted; Justification, The Term Forensic; Righteousness Of Christ; Justification By Its Imputation; By Whom Denied; Faith And Justification; Note, Repentance And Faith Not Conjoined With Justification And Salvation In The Case Of Children Dying In Infancy; Divine Forgiveness; God Alone The Forgiver Of Sin; James 5:16; Confession Must Precede Pardon; The Spirit’s Witness To Divine Pardon; The Ground Of “Assurance”; 2 Samuel 12:13

Article 9—The Sanctification Of The Spirit

Reasons For The Omission Of This, As An Article Of Faith, From the Doctrinal Statements Of Many Churches; Though All Agree As To Its Importance; Present need Of A Concise Yet Comprehensive Article Which Should Receive Universal Approval

Article 10—Divine Chastisement

Chastisement, A Parental Act; Not A Penal Inflication; Their Sufferings Of Saints Not Necessarily Chastisement; Mistaken View Of Tobias Crisp And Others; Ground Of Their Error

Article 11—Effectual Calling

The Elect And Redeemed Only Called By Grace; The Spirit’s Operations Invincible, The Arminian Notion Exposed; Ability, Natural And Moral Denied; The Spirit’s Operations Mysterious, Yet Consistent With Man’s Rational Constitution; Regeneration And Conversion

Article 12—The Gospel: Its Nature And Invitations

It Is A Declaration Or Proclamation; Offered Grace—Though An Ancient Doctrine—Denied; Having No Scriptural Authority; Texts Examined; Implies Creature-Ability; Spurgeon And Wells Contrasted, Romans 10:20,21; Its Refusal Does Not Augment Future Punishment; Gospel Invitations Addressed To Specified Characters; General Invitations, Objections To

Article 13—Spiritual Faith And Grace, Not A Natural And Legal Duty

Faith, Its Divine Origin, “The Gift Of God”; Not A Natural Duty, Our Sentiments Stated; Misrepresentations Denied; Faith, How To Be Preached; An Objection Met; Duty-Faith Denied By Strict And Particular Baptists; “The Metropolitan Association Of Strict Baptist Churches” And “The Home Counties Baptist Association,” Their Declarations Contrasted; Remarks On The Latter; Duty-Faith An Awful Error; Spiritual Faith Not Commanded By The Law; Nor By The Gospel—Texts Examined; Faith, Presented Hypothetically, Not A Command To The Unregenerate To Believe; Duty-Faith, Why Maintained; The Term “Mystery”; Silence Of Modern Particular Baptists Concerning This Error; Reticence Of Its Advocates As To Whence And How They Adopted It; “Is It Not A Harmless Error?”

Article 14—Final Perseverance

Remarks On Texts Often Cited By Arminians

Article 15—The Intermediate State And The Future Resurrection Of The Dead In Christ

The Intermediate State Claims Consideration; Disembodied Saints, Though Happy, Not Yet Glorified, Dr. Watts On; The Death Of Saints, A Sleep; The Intermediate State One Of Consciousness; Joy Of The Godly After Death; Degrees In Glory Denied; The Resurrection Of The Sainst; Diversity Of Opinion Permissible; Mutual Recognition Of Saints In Heaven, John Stevens On

Article 16—The Resurrection And Final Condition Both Of The Godly And The Ungodly

Certainty Of Both; Where Opinion On Non-Essentials Differ, Liberty To Be Accorded; Glorification, Its Blessedness; “Will Saints And Sinners Be Raised Simultaneously?”; Notes On Several Scriptures; Millenarianism Lacks Scriptural Support, And Is A Pernicious Notion; Future Judgment; Of The Saints Before The Tribunal (bema) Of Christ; Which Is Not The “Great White Throne”; Judgment, The, Of The Living Or Quick; Of Sinners Of All Human Kind; Of Angels; Final COndition Of The Godly And Ungodly, Heaven And Hell Both Eternal; Views Of Materialists, Universalists, And Those Entertaining The “Larger Hope”; Annihilation Of The Wicked, The Doctrine Stated; And Refuted; G. W. Shepherd On Human Immortality; The “First Adam,” His Soul Deathless; The “Last Adam,” His Holy Soul Immortal; The Ground Of The Error Of “Conditional Immortality”; Eternal Punishment, Though Terrible, Distinctly Revealed, And To Be Preached

Part II—The Constitution And Order Of A Gospel Church

Article 17—The Constitution Of A Gospel Church

Christ’s Church A Unity, Which Christians Should Render Apparent; Note On The Word “Church”; Systems Of Church Government; Independents And Baptists; Baptist Churches, “Bodies”; Independent; Organized; Whose Membership Is Voluntary; And Involves Mutual Consideration; Irregular Assemblies Whether True Churches?; Christian And Church Fellowship

Article 18—Pastors And Deacons

The Christian Ministry Among Episcopalians, Presbyterians And The Free Churches; Christian Bishops, Or Pastors; Qualifications Of; Election Of; Ordination Of; And Their Remuneration; Evangelists; Christain Deacons; Their Character; The Office Whether Perpetual; Or Periodical; Teachers

Article 19—The Two Ordinances

Sacramentalists And Evangelists; The Ordinances Not Sacraments Or Efficient Channels Of Grace; They Are Perpetual; Other Ritual Acts Disallowed

Article 20—Baptism: Its Subjects, Mode, And Significance

Baptism Is Immersion; Objections Met; Its Subjects Must Possess Intelligence; And Have Repented And Believed; Baptism Not A Condition Of Salvation; Truths Expressed By; Views Of Pedobaptists

Article 21—Oral Confession Should Precede Baptism

We Baptise Believers Under Two Circumstances; Oral Confession Indispensable When Baptism Precedes Church Membership; Two-Fold Assurance Then Sought; Objections Met; Advantages Realised; Suffolk’s Testimony; Hazelton’s Corroboration

Article 22—The Lord’s Supper

A Repast; Transubstantiation And Consubstantiation Disclaimed; An Acts Of Commemoration, Not Communication; Figurative Language; “This Is My Body—This Cup, The New Testament In My Blood”; Note On The Use Of Fermented Wine; The Rite Symbolises The Plan Of Salvation; The “Rest-Meal”; Worshippers’ Actions Symbolical; Fellowship And Communion; Fellowship With Christ, And With Other Members, Both Signified; Cause Of Happy Experiences At The Communion, Dr J. G. Rogers And Dr. R. W. Dale Quoted; Objections To The Latter Opinion; View Of Strict Baptists; The Ordinance, An Incitive To Holiness; Unworthy Receiveing, 1 Corinthians 11:27-34

Article 23—Strict Communion

The Lord’s Supper An Acts Of Church Worship Only; United Communion Services Unscriptural; Our Position Defended—Testimonies Of J. C. Philpot And W. Palmer; Case Of The Eunuch; Further Proofs Based On—The Universal Manner Of Receiving Members; Religious Life In Apostolic Times; The Nature Of The Ordinance; And Its Relation To Church Discipline; The Ordinance Not A Means Of Grace For The Sick And Dying; Note On The Public Notification Of Church Exclusion

Article 24—Transient Communion To Be Extended Only To Members Of Churches Of The Same Faith And Order

Strict And Open Churches; Transient Communion, Antiquity Of; Terms Of; Reasons For These; And The Practice Shown To Be Scriptural—From The Nature Of The Ordinance; The Supremacy Of Christ, “As Lord”; The Claims Of Christian Benevolence; And Expediency; And Because Demanded By The Dignity Of “Sister Churches”; Objections Answered; Strict Baptists As Transient Communicants

Article 25—Reception Of Members From “Sister Churches”

Christians Locally Removed, Should As Promptly As Possible Join Another Church; Care to Be Taken In The Reception Of Members Of Other Churches; All Should Vote For Their Reception Or Rejection; A Publica Confession Not Essential From Persons So Joining, But May Be Asked As A Favor; The Amalgamation Of Churches Unscriptural

Article 26—The Reception Of Members From Other Than “Sister Churches”

Method Of Procedure; A Confession Of Faith Essential; But Not Re-Baptism

Article 27—Lapsed Membership

How Only Membership Can Terminate; Church Exclusion—For Absence; Backsliding; Heresy; And Immorality; Religious Derelicts, Their Recovery, Personal Efforts For; Their Reception After Restoration; Rebaptism, Whether Necessary

Article 28—Obligations Of Church Members

Membership Should Be Reality; Embodies “The Social Principle”; Is Volunatary; Demands Holiness; Constant Attendance; Courtesy And Placeability; Pecuniary Generosity; Practical Concern For Other Churches And Christians; And The Maintenance Of Benevolent Societies

Article 29—Churches Should Conserve And Circulate The Truth

Importance Of “The Truth”; Which Every Church Should Conserve; As “A Pillar And A Ground Of The Truth” (1 Timothy 3:14,15); W. Palmer’s Corroboration; The Mission Of The Churches; How “The Truth” Should Be Conserved; By Displaying It; By Circulating The Bible; By Instructing Children; Divine Authority For Sunday Schools; Which Should Impart Moral Instruction; And Sound Doctrine; “Should Church Members Only Be Teachers?”; Views Of Dr. Parker And J. Hazelton; Practice As Soho Chapel; Churches Should Aid In the Extension Of The Gospel; Whereby All Will Be Benefited And The Elect Saved; Home Claims, Priority; Erroneous Teaching, Evils Of; Anxious Inquirers To Be Specially Helped; Not By Fullerism Or Arminianism, But By Sound Doctrine; And By Presenting Distinctions; Delineations; And Directions; As In A Church There Is Not Only Diversity, But Unity, All Should Co-Operate; And Respect The Body, As Such; None Should Become Members Of A Strict And Particular Baptist Church Unless In Full Sympathy With Its Principles And Practices

Article 30—Conclusion

The Foregoing Articles Mainly Based On Those Of Dr. Gill; Ancient Church Covenant

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Preface

11 Jan 2023, by

Frequent reference is made to the Author’s “Manual Of Faith And Practice”, which was published in 1887. A hope was then expressed that a second volume would follow. Heavy trials, both personal and relative, and the present condition of his health now render this improbable if not impossible. God has, however, greatly owned that work, which he ventures to commend as amplifying much that is advanced [in this work]; while the two may, he submits, be advantageously studied together.

After forty years’ labour in the cause of Christ the writer avers his solemn belief that their contents embody the truth of “the living God,” the Gospel of his own salvation in the hope of which he prays to be preserved till his “change shall come” and his earthly service cease.

October, 1902.

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Title Page

11 Jan 2023, by

A Guide To Church Fellowship,

As Maintained By

Primitive Or Strict And Particular Baptists.

By William Jeyes Styles

1902

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