To the Church of Christ meeting for the worship of God in Mount Zion Chapel, Hill Street, Dorset Square, London.
It is well known to most of you, that on the 17th of October, I attended the ordination of our brother Wycherly, at Crosby Row Chapel, King Street, Southwark. And that the part of the service assigned for me to take, was to state the nature of a gospel church. I took that part, as many of you were present to witness, and as I have for years considered, and do now consider, that such services are most decidedly sentimental, and demand us to be more than usually explicit and pointed on the principles by which we are distinguished as a denomination, and pretty well as much hated: I was accordingly plain on the exclusive right of believers to baptism, and of baptized believers exclusive right to communion, according to the only order known or to be found in the New Testament for the church of Christ; and I offered to pay the national debt of England, if scripture could be found to oppose these conclusions.
Our brother, Mr. J. Bridgman, of Walworth, was greatly offended at my remarks, and wrote me a letter, in which, without the divine Judge, or the apostolic jury, he has passed very heavy sentence of condemnation both upon me, and our sentiments, without being able to shew that either are wrong by one fairly quoted text.
I turned the matter about for some time in my mind, until I concluded upon a public reply; and I have written it accordingly, and shall, with mercy’s leave, after a time bring it before the public.
Should anyone think that I am treating our brother unfairly by giving a public answer to a private letter, I would observe that he charges me with known falsehood in my public labors; and that the public ought to know and judge for themselves, and the Lord on their consciences, by his sacred word, be judge for us all. Not desiring to take any unfair advantage of my brother, I have set the chief things of his letter down in long quotations, in order that those who read my answer, may as well know what he has really said.
I hope that I have not written so much under the spirit of controversy, but what it will be seen that I have been somewhat moved by the Spirit of truth, and the love of truth, with the word of truth. And that you will not have to say, that it is all lost time to read this, as you have confessed it has not been so with other little productions of my pen.
The Lord abundantly bless and prosper you, as he has done, and pour out of his Spirit in every mercy-way upon you. Do continue to pray for me, my dear brethren, ‘while I have the honor to be
Your very affectionate Pastor,
27, Samford Street, Lisson Grove. January 17th, 1838
John Foreman (1792-1872) was a Strict and Particular Baptist preacher. He was appointed the Pastor of Hill Street Chapel, Marylebone, serving this position for close to forty years.