George Ella on Doctrinal Matters

Letter To The Editor Of The Evangelical Times

Dear Sir,

John Legg`s article ‘Preaching the gospel properly’, claims to be a review of John Gosden’s book on the GS Articles, though it is nothing but an attack on the Gospel Standard Churches. This is a great pity for the book`s sake. I am not a member of the GS churches; nor even a Baptist, but I found the great bulk of extensive theology expressed in Gosden’s book, Biblical, refreshing and extremely relevant to our modern age. By not keeping to his subject, Mr Legg has missed the very teaching which might have cleared up his misunderstandings.

All Mr Legg’s difficulties cannot be solved in the space of an ET letter. Two comments must suffice. Legg accuses the GSBs of denying the sinner’s responsibility to repent. I refer him to Gosden’s words under Article 12 where the Spirit shows the sinner “how greatly he has broken that law, and feelingly condemning him for the same” so that he is forced to admit “Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight.” Gosden clearly stresses that the Law must be preached to sinners “that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”

Legg feels that Mr Gosden should offer Christ indiscriminately. Gosden explains that one should preach with the wisdom from above, knowing the work of the Spirit in choosing a Jacob and passing by an Esau is always discriminating. The Spirit moves where He will. He is as discriminating in His choice of evangelists and pastors as in His choice of sinners to be saved. He calls the thirsty to drink at the Fountain of Life when and where He will. Even the elect must await their turn. God always calls, sends and invites with a purpose. His is not the Gospel of Higgledy-Piggledy.

Legg’s problem is that the GSBs view salvation rightly as referring solely to Christ’s Bride. He thus concludes, quite contrary to the facts revealed in the book he is reviewing, that Gosden never regards the elect as sinners and is thus obviously a Hyper-Calvinist. The fact is that Gosden everywhere preaches the ‘proper Gospel’ that it is sinners who are called to be saints. Legg promises to be careful with his theological swearwords. Obviously he should stop using them altogether!

George Ella


George M. Ella is a historian, author and biographer. His writings may be accessed at the online archived, ”Biographia Evangelica”.

George M. Ella, born February 1939 in Yorkshire, England, has lived most of his life on the European Continent. He is a retired Senior Civil Servant formerly employed in teaching, post-graduate teacher-training, chairing examination boards and curricula work. He holds degrees from London, Hull, Uppsala, Essen, Duisburg and Marburg universities with doctorates in English Literature and Theology. Dr. Ella has written regularly since the seventies for a number of magazines and newspapers and published numerous books on Church History, including biographies of William Cowper, William Huntington, James Hervey, John Gill, Augustus Montague Toplady, Isaac McCoy and Henry Bullinger besides works on doctrine and education. He is currently finishing the third volume of his series 'Mountain Movers'; a biography of John Durie; a work on Law and Gospel and further study material for the Martin Bucer Seminar. Dr. Ella is still internationally active as a lecturer and is a Vice-President of the Protestant Reformation Society. He is keenly interested in missionary work and has written on the spread of the Gospel amongst the Same people of Lapland, the people of India and the Native Americans. This present volume follows Dr. Ella's 'The Covenant of Grace and Christian Baptism', also published by the Martin Bucer Seminar. George Ella is married to Erika Ella, nee Fleischman, a former government administrator, and they have two sons Mark (41), Director of a Polytechnic College in Bremerhaven and Robin (39), Leading Senior Physician in a newly-built Geriatric and Psychiatric clinic in Dessau.

George Ella on Doctrinal Matters
George Ella's Biographical Sketches