One of the Highest Insults
About sixteen years ago, I heard a young man from Hoxton (Association Baptist) Academy make the following remarks: “I now offer you Christ, and Christ stands with open arms ready to receive you. Yea, he begs, and prays, and beseeches you all to come unto him and have life; and yet some of you will not come. Nay, it is as if God the Father came and fell upon his knees before you, begging and beseeching you to receive Christ, and come and be reconciled to him; and yet you will not come.” In this way he proceeded for a considerable length of time; and this he called “preaching the gospel to every creature.” From a professed Arminian such remarks might be expected; but for one who professes to believe in eternal and absolute election to use such awful expressions is one of the highest insults which can be offered, in a religious shape, either to God or man. It represents both Christ and God the Father as poor disappointed beings, quite unable to subdue the heart of a poor dying worm. And what encouragement can there be in such a gospel as this for any poor, broken-hearted, helpless, self-despairing sinner in the world to trust in the Lord for salvation? Who dare trust the concerns of eternity in the hands of a being who cannot obtain a favour which he desires and seeks in earnest supplication upon his knees? But, thanks be to God, we have not so learned Christ. We know that “whatsoever his soul desireth, even that he doeth.”— 1819.
William Gadsby (1773-1844) was a Strict and Particular Baptist preacher, writer and philanthropist. John Hazelton wrote of him—
“[Gadsby’s] labours extended to well-nigh every part of the country, and who by his sermons, hymns, and other writings, exerted a wide spiritual influence, and his interest in the poor and needy in Lancashire and elsewhere rendered his public advocacy of their cause of great value. In him we have a man of eminent public spirit, as well as of originality and spiritual force…The first time he preached was in 1798, in an upper room in a yard at Bedworth, from the words, "Unto you therefore which believe, He is precious." His Hymn Book, now so widely known, was first published in 1814, his desire being "to have a selection of hymns free from Arminianism and sound in the faith, that the Church might be edified and God glorified.” He removed to Manchester in 1805, and while over the Church there he travelled over 60,000 miles and preached nearly 12,000 sermons.”