John Foreman on Duty Faith (Complete)

1 The Reason For Writing These Remarks


I am, from the truth, example, and authority of the New Testament word of God, a Strict Baptist communionist, knowing most assuredly, that no man, living under the profession of the name of Christ, can really regard and solemnly take that holy word for the standard of his faith and sole rule of his life, and not be so. But having, on the 17th of December last, received some papers, in the form of circulars, from the above association, giving an outline of the plan upon which the same is to be considered organized, and requesting my answer, as to whether I approve of, and am prepared to act upon, the suggested plan, and of course to unite with that association; and for me to send my reply to you accordingly, I hereby send you my reply. This is, that I cannot unite with that association, because it has in it those who hold duty faith, or the duty of all men where the gospel comes, to repent and believe unto salvation; and which you have stated to be an article of your faith, in the doctrinal plan you laid down for the organization of that association. And, although your plan has not been adopted, because the majority over-ruled that that point should not be printed as a professed point of the association’s faith, still it is there; and it will only wait for an opportunity to break forth, and will nothing alter for the better by concealment. So that to unite with that association for the purpose of maintaining Strict Baptist communion, I must at once be in fellowship with duty faith; and that I can never be till I really believe the point for myself; and that can never be till the whole system and matter of my faith, hope and experience, be quite broken down upon the ground that salvation is of the Lord only, by purpose and by deed; and by grace only, either as a matter of right, of expectation, of promise, or of final effect; and be remodeled in figure, and exchanged in the nature thereof, into something very different, and upon altogether new premises.

The above, I suppose, will be a sufficient answer to the request of the committee of the above association. But feeling it to be my duty to state why I spurn and abhor the very name of duty faith, as being neither rational nor spiritual, by either the law of works, or the covenant of life and peace; and as being the very spawn of at least one half the errors there are in the professing world, I shall address myself more immediately to you; and especially so, as I am requested to send my reply to you; and also because you belong to that association, and have so fully avowed duty faith to be your own sentiment, both in the doctrinal plan you drew up for that association, and in your reply to Mr. Wright’s letter in the Primitive Church Magazine.

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.