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Strict

William Gadsby loved children which led him to become a strong proponent of Sunday Schools. However, he abhorred the custom of parents and teachers training up children to believe they were Christians without having actually experienced the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. Although he generally assented to the Baptist Catechism (written by Benjamin Keach and published in 1677), he felt there were answers which misled the unbeliever. Gadsby gave an example of this by referring to the 38th question…

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Q. 1. Who is the only self-existent Being?

A. God is the only self-existent Being.

(Ex 3:14; Ps 90:2; Is 45:5, 22; Jn 8:58)

Q. 2. Ought everyone to believe that there is a God?

A. Everyone ought to believe that there is a God, and it is their great sin and folly who do not.

(Ps 9:17; Ecc 12:13; Mk 16:16; Jn 8:24 & 16:8-9; 2 Thess 2:11-12)

Q. 3. How may we know that there is a God?

A. The works of creation and providence plainly declare that there is a God, but His Word and Spirit only do it effectually to the salvation of His people.

(Job 38 & 39; Ps 19; Jn 16:8-14 & 17:8; 1 Cor 2:10)

Q. 4. What is the Word of God?

A. The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the…

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In 1792, Francis Cox, a local farmer and dedicated Christian, built a chapel at his own expense for the purpose of divine worship. This he did in an isolated place called Waddesdon Hill, Buckinghamshire. Three years later, Henry Paice was ordained to the Gospel Ministry and became the first pastor. Within three years of the pastor’s induction, the congregation had grown to sixty-five members. According to a list in a Newspaper article attached to the Church Book, the people who attended the meetings had come from around thirty surrounding villages. In “Strict and Particular”, Kenneth Dix points out: “…as churches were formed and chapels built in their own localities, the need for these people to make a long journey to an isolated chapel in the country no longer existed.” The church dissolved in 1976 and the meeting house…

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“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.”—1 Corinthians 12:13

In sketching some of God’s witnesses among the Baptists in the nineteenth century, Samuel Eyles Pierce (1746-1829) should be first mentioned, because in his earlier years he sat under the ministry of Toplady, Romaine, and Hawker, with the latter of whom he was on terms of close friendship till the end of the life of the Vicar of Charles. Romaine’s ministry was especially useful to him. He writes: “In a subsequent sermon, Mr. Romaine said, ‘Believers, you that are believers, God looks upon you as He doth on Christ; and loves you with the love He doth Him.’ ‘I looked up,’ says Mr. Pierce, ‘with amazement! Oh, thought I, if I can find this in the Word of God, it is the greatest truth I ever heard. I will go home and search the Bible. I conceive the 17th of John is the most likely place to find it.’ I constantly went every Lord’s Day, and I was so swallowed up in hearing that I always stood; nor did I lose one single sentence. I received it into my very heart. Mr. Romaine often expressed himself thus…

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“Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His Name.”—Malachi 3:16

Neither Luther or Calvin held those shallow Pelagian views, now so common, of a gradual amelioration and Christianising of the world. Calvin writes, “It is a superstition to think that the world is improving in religion and morality. It is not improving but it is always going back.” Luther says, “I know that the world is becoming epicurean; that is to say, they will lose faith in God and immortality, and give themselves up to the pleasures of the things of this world, and then suddenly shall be heard the voice, ‘Behold, the Bridegroom cometh.’” These statements are Scriptural; we have no warrant to expect the conversion of the world, but in the words of James to the Church at Jerusalem, God visits the…

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William Styles published a book in 1902 entitled, “A Guide to Church Fellowship, as Maintained by Primitive, or Strict and Particular Baptists”. On pages 31 and 32, under the general heading, “ Error Concerning the Covenant of Grace to be Resisted”, the following statement is found:

“Any so-called Gospel which expressly or implicitly denies these truths [anti-duty-faith and anti-free-offer]—which represents the regeneration and conversion of sinners to be contingent on the earnestness and activity of “Gospel workers”—or the progress of God’s salvation…

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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…

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On Friday, 21st March 2014, Dr. Matthew Hyde delivered the annual lecture for the Strict Baptist Historical Society at Bethesda Chapel.[1] 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,[2] 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.

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Preface

5 Nov 2015, by AHB Library

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The following chapters have been mainly compiled from materials supplied to the Author from various sources. His task has, therefore, to a great extent, resembled that of one who binds together into a bouquet, a number of flowers, chosen and culled by others.

His special acknowledgments are due to Mr. J. E. Hazelton, without whose laborious and indefatigable help, this Memoir of his beloved father could not have been prepared.

To the Rev. C. T. Bust, LL.B., of Westerfield, Ipswich, and the Rev. E. Spurrier, of Colchester, he is under great obligations. His respected ministerial brethren, W. Barnes, of Walshamle-Willows…

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