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.
It is infinitely important to possess the Spirit of God, and to have “the love of God shed abroad in one’s heart by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Having this, of course we are lovers of God; and if lovers of God, we are lovers of everything that is godly, or God-like; and therefore, it is a very great mercy for us that the Holy Spirit has condescended to mention a very considerable number of infallible evidences of Christianity,—of interest in the everlasting love of God. The child of God has frequently derived comfort from the declaration of Divine truth by the Apostle John,—“By this we know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.” If, therefore, we love Christians, we love Christ. If we love the brethren…
1. What is the work of providence?
2. Does God work all things together for good in the life of His people?
3. What is the work of grace?
4. In what way does Jehovah love a remnant of the human race?
5. Can the purpose and design of God be hindered or prevented?
1. What are God’s works of grace?
2. What is meant by a covenant of grace?
3. On whom did the conditions of the covenant of grace fall?
4. Are there any conditions the sinner must meet in order to become a partaker of salvation?
5. What is the nature of faith in connection with salvation?
1. Who is God the Father?
2. What role does God the Father assume in the covenant of grace?
3. When did God the Father set apart a remnant of the human race as special objects of His love?
4. Why did God the Father design the human race to be brought under the curse of the law?
5. How did God the Father secure salvation for the special objects of His love?
1. Who is God the Son?
2. What role does God the Son assume in the covenant of grace?
3. What is the incarnation of Christ?
4. How was Jesus not conceived in sin?
5. Did Jesus commit sin at any point in His life?
The Triune God.
The glorious, yet incomprehensible mystery of the Trinity is to be seen in every Book of Scripture. The earliest writers, after the Apostolic age, when they propose to give a summary of the faith, proceed no farther than the doctrine of the Trinity. Athanasius, for instance, says: “The whole sum and body of our faith is comprised in the words “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost,”—not mere characters and offices or mere names and titles, but expressive of…
The Everlasting Covenant.
Covenant salvation has ever been the glory of the ministry in the Church of God, and where it is not proclaimed in its fulness, there are weakness and decay, and an approximation of the preaching to the colourless and feeble utterances of thousands of speakers to-day. It is of urgent importance that our younger men should prayerfully seek that the Holy Spirit would open up to their understandings, apply to their hearts, and enable them to tell out with power, the covenant security of God’s covenant people; soul-establishing truth to the tried believer, and most gracious encouragement to the poor, seeking sinner. Salvation, in the wondrous love of God…
The Doctrine of Grace.
We use the singular number because the Bible does so, for salvation is a divine unity, and throughout the Scriptures this oneness is set forth. “That form of doctrine which was delivered you” (Rom 6:17), “My doctrine” (John 7:16), “The apostles’ doctrine” (Acts 2:42), “Sound doctrine” (2 Tim 4:3). In writing and speaking we, of necessity, describe first one phase of the doctrine and then another; doctrines are, as Bunyan says of the two natures of Christ, “plain to be distinguished, but impossible to be divided,” but all are comprehended in the word Grace, which means favour, and there can be no favour which is not sovereign and free. Grace always flows down to creatures who do not deserve it. Therefore all that God does for us in Christ, and all that is disclosed to us…