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 at any length, “He being dead yet speaketh.” With Montesquieu the writer would say, “I have culled a garland of flowers, and the only thing I can call my own is the string that binds them.”
If, by this little volume, anyone is led to consider more carefully the paramount importance of pure doctrine, gracious experience and godly practice, the writer will be thankful, and if the perusal of the book leads some to read further upon the same lines, or induces one with an able pen and more leisure to write, what will be an easy matter, a better book upon the same subject, the time spent upon this will not have been in vain.
Brevity has been studied, for few persons have time or inclination to read lengthy volumes. The illustrations have been given in order that young people may be attracted, and some of the portraits will revive sacred recollections in the memories of older friends. The limits of the book forbade the inclusion of any but representative names. The non-appearance of some that may be looked for was a necessity, as a connected narrative has been attempted, and not the compilation of a biographical dictionary. Footnotes and references have been omitted, as it was thought they would only be an encumbrance.
Manifold failings on the Author’s part, of which he is painfully conscious, will be apparent to every reader, but be felt a call to make a beginning in treating of a subject of urgent importance.
His desire is that something to the honour and glory of our faithful Covenant God and to the good of His people may result from the publication of “Hold-Fast”.
John E. Hazelton (1924) was a Strict and Particular Baptist preacher. He was the son of John Hazelton (1822-1888). He was appointed the Pastor of Streatley Hall, London. In the December 1924 Issue, the Gospel Magazine wrote of him:
“For a period of fifteen years he faithfully ministered the Word of life to the Lord's people who met in Streatley Hall, London, and these are a selection of the sermons he preached there, lovingly collected together, and printed in book form. By way of introduction there is also printed A Declaration of Faith by Mr. Hazelton. This was found amongst his papers. It has never before been published. It is full of valuable teaching of such subjects as "The Peril and Needs of Our Churches," "The Holy Scriptures," "The Everlasting Covenant," "The Church," and "The Doctrine of Grace.” Mr. Hazelton was an able preacher of the everlasting Gospel, and he loved to exalt Christ and to abase the sinner. These sermons are full of rich Gospel teaching. They tell of a full and an eternal salvation, arranged and planned in the great Covenant of grace before the foundations of the world were laid. They tell of the electing love of God the Father, the redeeming work of God the Son on behalf of His Church and people, and of the regenerating and sanctifying work of God the Holy Ghost. They tell of the blood and righteousness of the Divine Surety of the everlasting Covenant. They are marked by fulness of Gospel truth and by tender and loving words to seeking and penitent sinners. They display a considerable knowledge and much care in preparation. They are the words of a true man of God who in dependence on the aid of the Divine Spirit earnestly proclaimed the Gospel of Divine grace in the prayerful hope that God the Holy Ghost would use the message as the means of regenerating the sinful objects of His eternal mercy. Space will not allow us to quote from these pages, but we strongly advise our readers at once to get the book and make it point of reading one of the sermons every week. Mr. Hazelton was called home on May 8th last. His last sermons were preached on April 6th and 13th, and they form the concluding sermons of this volume. A beautiful portrait of the beloved author forms the frontispiece. By these sermons, and by his valuable Declaration of Faith, he being dead, yet speaketh.”