Duty-Faith is Denied by All Strict/Particular Baptists

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 Particular section of the Baptist denomination.

It is variously expressed by different moderate Calvinists, but the following extract from the “Declaration” of the “Truths believed and held” by the “Home Counties Baptist Association,” formed at Guilford, in October, 1877, may be accepted as embodying the belief of most of the brethren who differ from us on the point—Article 8: “The duty of all men to whom the Gospel is made known to believe and receive it.”

The view of the Strict and Particular Baptists is thus expressed in the statement of the Doctrinal Basis of the “Metropolitan Association of Strict Baptist Churches,” which has also been adopted as expressing the principles of the “Strict Baptist Mission:”—Article 6: “Regeneration and sanctification by the direct agency of the Holy Spirit, through the instrumentality of Divine truth; and that saving Faith is not a legal duty, but the sovereign and gracious gift of God.”

These declarations are evidently meant to be decisive and final. A preacher who does not insist that it is the duty of unregenerate persons who hear the Gospel from his lips to believe and receive it, has no right to associate with the estimable brethren who are connected with the “Home Counties Baptist Association.” On the other hand, a minister who believes that spiritual Faith is a duty incumbent upon all natural men who hear the Gospel, is not a Strict and Particular Baptist, (according to the received usage of the term) and ought not, in common honesty, to call himself one.”