Veritas (Pseudonym)

The Watchman’s Warning To The Churches

A Fearful View Of Those Rapid Ministerial Declensions From The Truth, And The Wide Spread Of Arminian, Pelagian And Sicinian Heresies

By Veritas

“Hear the word of my mouth, and give them warning from me.”—Ex. 3:17

“Go, set a watchman; let him declare what he seeth.”—Is. 21:6

A True Picture

“The face of the times is extraordinary. Religion is running wild, like the unpruned vine. The outer-court is every where enlarging; but I fear few of the multitude ever enter within the vaiL While the rudiment of Christianity are spreading on all sides, pernicious Heresies are also disseminating. The doctrines of sovereign grace, which alone can bring right knowledge to sinful man, are shuffled out of doors; and the ordinances of the gospel, with the discipline of the Lord’s House, these are assailed on all sides by a host of crucifiers. The world and the church are becoming one common field; and the fences ordained by our Lord, and maintained by our forefathers in his name, are destined to destruction: and, general benevolence to man is hastening to occupy their place.”

The above is indeed a gloomy representation of the very great Profession in our day, but, alas! it is a correct one.—Ed.

Circa 1851/52


Christian Reader,—It is not the intention of “Veritas” to write much himself; but rather to employ the nervous pens of some of those great and sterling Divines, who in their day and generation maintained, unequivocally, the all-important truths and doctrines of the everlasting gospel; who found life, comfort, and consolation, in the firm belief thereof in their own souls while here below, and now find the truth of it in Heaven. They were men of gigantic minds, of close thinking, of deep research, and who were endued with holy ardour for the glory of God; and, like their Master, were “clad with zeal as a cloak:” Isaiah 59:17. Their days were spent in close study in the sacred word; their pens were worn out in writing their huge folios; and their sermons contained solid substantial Gospel food, with flagons of old wine, for the nourishment of immortal souls. The Lord’s promised presence was then realised in His house of prayer, and His people sang His praises, in rugged verse, perhaps, like the following, but they were holy songs of Zion:—

“How fat the feast! how rich the wine! 

How pleasant was the company!

We fed on Christ, we drank his blood, 

And praised the glorious Trinity.”

Davis’s Hymns, written in 1700.

Yes, reader, the above four lines are of more gospel value than ten thousand such volumes as “Lynch’s Rivulet.” The reader’s attention shall be drawn to, first, past declensions from the truth; and second, to the present awful departures therefrom.

1st—Past Declensions, from the Sacred Truths. 

And now, Christian reader, as a faithful watchman, I will declare to you, first, what I have seen of declensions in days that are past. For “the mystery of iniquity doth not already now work,” but has been long working; and it will continue to work, more and more: Thes. 2:7. Second, I see the almost total annihilation of gospel truth in nearly all our Churches, both of the Independent and the Baptist denomination; and those alarming and awful departures I now proceed plainly to lay before you.

First—Past Declensions. In the first place, I see, or rather I read, the great Dr. John Owen, that “Prince of Divines” writing as follows:—“It is incumbent on those who are the Pastors of our Churches, to preserve the truth and doctrines of the Gospel that is committed to their trust, to keep it entire, and to defend it against all opposition. “O, Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust:” Tim. 6:20. The Church is the ground and pillar of truth; to hold up and declare the truth, in and by its Ministers. I knew the contests we had for the truths of the gospel, and was an early person engaged therein; and I knew those godly ministers that did contend for them, as for their lives and souls. These truths are not now lost for want of skill, but for want of love. But we must not be ashamed of the truth (see Mark 8:38). Formerly, we could not meet with a godly minister; but the error of Arminianism was looked upon by him as the poison of the souls of men; such men did tremble at it, wrote and disputed against it; but now it is not so. It is true the doctrine of the gospel is tacitly owned still, though little notice is taken of it to maintain it; the love of it being greatly decayed, and the sense and power of it almost lost. Let us, therefore, take heed in ourselves of any inclining to novel opinions, especially in, or about, such points of faith as those wherein they that have gone before us, and are fallen asleep, found life, and comfort, and power. I repeat it, that I have lived to see great alterations in ministers, both as to their zeal and value of those important truths that were as the life of the Reformation. “Buy the truth, and sell it not:” Prov. 23:23. And let us be zealous and watchful over anything that may arise in our congregations that may have a tendency to tempt us to depart from the truth! Vide an Ordination Charge, delivered September 8th, 1682.

Arminianism in the gross is the great heresy of the day. Dr. Owen’s view of this pestilence I now give the reader, in the Doctor’s famous work, entitled, “A Display of Arminianism.” “The eternal predestination of Almighty God, that fountain of all spiritual blessings, the demolishing of this rock of our salvation, hath been the chief endeavour of all the patrons of human self-sufficiency. They would erect a tower (a Babel, Gen. 11:4), from the top whereof they may mount into heaven; but the foundation of their Babel is nothing but the sand of their own free will. Reason, Scripture, God himself, all must give place to any absurdities, if they stand in the Arminian way, so that they may bring in their idol with shouts, and set him on his throne.” It may be said of Arminianism as of Amalek, “Because the hand of Amalek is against the throne of the Lord, therefore the Lord hath sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation” (Exod. 17:16). Dr. Leighton styles Arminianism “the Pope’s Benjamin; the last and greatest monster of the Man of Sin; the mystery of iniquity; and the Pope’s cabinet.” Indeed, our present Arminians are but the varnished offspring of the ancient Pelagians.

The celebrated Dr. Gill, in his reply to the Arminian Dr. Whitby, on the Five Points, says, “Instead of lopping on the branches of Popery, the axe should be laid to the root of the tree, that is, Arminianism and Pelagianism; which is the very life and soul of Popery.”—Gill’s Cause of God and Truth.

Dr. Gill’s “Watchman, what of the Night?” I consider to be the most solemn, I may say prophetical sermon that ever was delivered by man since the days of the apostles. It may be had for threepence, else I would largely transcribe from it. In it he says, “Popery is far from being on the decline, or losing ground; witness the great departure of the Reformed Churches (so called) from the doctrines of the Reformation, and of Protestant Dissenters too, who are already gone, and are going more and more, into doctrines and practices which naturally verge and lead to Popery; and I am very much of opinion that these things will at last issue in Popery.”

And now, Christian reader, as an honest Watchman, I will plainly lay before you what I have seen and discovered, as the primary cause, of our present awful declensions from the truth. And in doing this, I shall make use of the pen of a keen-sighted, eagle-eyed casuist, even the renowned John Brine. I have copied it from his work entitled, “A Treatise on various Subjects.” It was printed in 1756, exactly one hundred years ago. In his chapter on “Declension in the Power of Religion,” he writes, “The declension of Christians is sometimes owing to an unedifying ministry. The ministerial work is intended for the edification of the Church; and it is necessary that ministers should always keep that great end in view. It is their business to feed the sheep and lambs of Christ; and they ought to see to it that they set before them the wholesome, savoury food of the gospel; that they consider the various cases of the saints; what condition their souls are in; what temptations attend them; what weaknesses they are encompassed with; and whether they are growing or declining in grace. Without a due consideration of these things, it is not likely that ministers should much assist the people of God, profit their souls, or help them in their spiritual joy. But accuracy rather than savour is too frequently the minister’s study; but these things have no influence in relation to real edification; and a person may be much delighted with a minister’s accuracy, charming language, and agreeable address, and yet receive no more soul-profit in hearing, than the fourm on which he sits. And I am afraid that the barrenness of many persons, even good men, is in a great measure owing to those. Alas! where is the fatted calf, the generous wine, the nourishing milk of the word? These are withheld! We are presented with a fine, elegant bill of fare, we have before us a syllabub composed of skim-milk and acids, mode-dishes in abundance, but little or no substantial gospel food.”

But, reader, I am now about to advance a step further; and, from the same nervous writer, present to your view the secret enemies of divine truth; and to this I request your most particular attention.

Brine says, “Men of this character are very rarely open and frank in declaring their sentiments; they choose to lie concealed, and aim to ingratiate themselves into the good opinion of those whom they intend to bring over to their sentiments; and they are watchful for every opportunity which presents itself, and improve it to the utmost. There are doctrines which they themselves have no relish for, but which some in their congregations firmly believe; so that they dare not at once, in a plain manner, openly decry them; but, by long silence about them, and now and then advancing principles not consistent with them, they insensibly instil those erroneous principles into the minds of their hearers, and so draw them off from sound gospel doctrines. These men are in general competently qualified, and well taught for all this kind of disservice in our training schools and parsonic colleges. To this service they devote themselves, and to it all their studies are directed.”

“Thus, by degrees, their hearers are contented without discourses on the important truths of the gospel; until at length they not only become indifferent about them, but, it may be, even prejudiced against them. The fit time is now arrived for such ministers to throw off the mask, and to be open and unreserved. Now they can dare to enter upon the stage of controversy, and openly oppose those doctrines which they never themselves believed, but, till now, were shy of letting it be generally known. Now we find them defenders of those sentiments which, before, they but whispered softly in the ears of some trusty friends.”

Again: Many ministers carefully avoid the use of some terms and phrases, by which the most important doctrines of Christianity are expressed. For instance, those that are secretly inclined to Arianism and Socinianism, you shall never hear them use the terms eternal and infinite, concerning our blessed Saviour. Others, they decline the use of the terms sovereign and discriminating, when they speak of the grace of God. They have no objection to use the words grace, free grace, exuberant grace, boundless grace; and these terms are very suitable to them, and serviceable also; for some take them in a different sense to what the minister intends, while others understand them in their true and general sense; and so persons of very different views and apprehensions on the subject of divine grace are content with the artful preacher.

Further: The terms, elect, election, predestination, &c., are, with many ministers, grown obsolete. They are laid aside to suit the taste of those persons who disrelish the great doctrines of the gospel; and by this means people become almost strangers to divine truth, and many contract a great prejudice against it.

Again: The terms, irresistible and effectual grace are never heard from the lips of such ministers; they have other words more suitable to them; such as, aids, assistances, impulses, &c., these are spoken out with great freedom. By this means some persons, who ascribe the whole of their regeneration to the grace and Spirit of God, are led to think that SO the preacher means; but this is wholly a mistake; and there are others who are well aware of it, and applaud the minister’s imposing art; and so the preacher gives satisfaction to the unwary Calvinist, and the Arminian also.

In a word, by these ministerial manoeuvres we have almost lost the chief glory of the Reformation; so that, with all our boasted Protestantism, the very life and soul of Popery is greatly flourishing; and what will be the issue of these things the Lord only knows. May we be prepared for the worst!! (See Ps. 12:1).

Reader! the above portraiture is drawn to the life; and, in the quaint language—

“A world of dangers and a world of snares!

Snares watch thy thoughts, and snares attend the Word;

Snares lurk in thy resolves, snares in thy doubts: 

Great God of hearts, preserve thy flock,

And let my soul be blest, in thee, my rest. 

Then let the hell-hounds roar, I fear no ill;

Rouse me they may—they have no power to kill.” 

And now reader, kindly listen farther to the declaration of what a watchman has seen. Before Andrew Fuller was born, Fullerism, as it is now called, had inoculated many of our churches, and the virus was spreading. About 120 years ago it was known by the appellation of “the modem question.” The celebrated Richard Davis, of Rowell, in Northamptonshire, an Independent minister of sterling truth, was called home to his rest, in the year 1714; and one by no means like-minded, succeeded him. His name was Morris. He wrote a book entitled, “A Modern Question Modestly Answered.” Mr. Lewis Wayman, of Kimbolton, replied to that book in the year 1738. Upwards of forty years after this, Mr. Andrew Fuller sent forth his “Duty-Faith” treatise. On its appearance it was resolutely opposed by several ministers, but it obtained, by degrees, an admission into most of our Churches; so that, for the last one hundred years it has progressed among both Baptists and Independents; so that, no open contradiction hardly ever now arises between the Arminian Wesleyan Methodists, and the moderate Calvinists. “They seem to agree together most amicably; their pulpits are becoming common to each other, and both parties seem elated in testifying that each is spreading the gospel, and making converts; so that, almost all things would be universally comfortable, only up springs occasionally a few “Hyper-Calvinists,” that at times occasions rather a painful feeling among them.” However, dear reader, there is no ground for any very serious alarm; that is if we give [notice to John Ryland Jr., who] published the life of Andrew Fuller (a volume com­ prising 500 pages). In this elaborate work, after presenting his readers with some specimens of what he terms “the ignorance and presumption of the defenders of Hyper-Calvinism,” he says that the sentiment “now finds no other asylum than is afforded by a set of illiterate Antinomians; and, like another Judas, it is gone to its own place!!” And he further assures us that “It is evident that the system itself is retiring into the back settlements, drawing with it the refuse of Christian society, and sending forth its venom against every description of practical believers!!” The writer closes up his rhodomontade in requesting “the reader’s forgiveness in having exhibited for one moment a nameless fraternity, and such a collection of ivory, apes, and pea­ cocks.” And dear reader, permit me also to request your forgiveness for defiling my paper with such scurrilous abuse, and so foul a libel against the truth of God, and concerning men of whom, in their day, “the world was not worthy” (Heb. 11:38).

I now proceed further in my history of declensions from the truth. In the year 1755 (now more than a century ago), an association was entered into, composed of Baptist Churches, in the midland counties of the kingdom, all professedly sound in the faith. Their creed and basis of union was declared in sixteen articles, purely Scriptural. I present the reader with one of those articles as a fair sample of the others:—

Article 8. “That all men, until they be quickened by Christ, are dead in trespasses (Eph. 2:1), and therefore, have no power of themselves, to believe savingly (John 15:5). But faith is the free gift of God, and the mighty work of God in the soul, even like the raising of Christ from the dead (Eph. 1:19). Therefore, consent not with those who hold that God hath given power to all men to believe to salvation.”

On this Scriptural basis the midland association was originally founded; and we are informed by their historian that “they were very careful not to admit any Church into the association but such as approved of its doctrines, and adopted them; and they particularly objected to such as were then called Free- Willers.” The historian informs us that “of their anxiety to preserve this uniformity in doctrinal belief, a striking proof occured in 1685, when the Churches at Gloucester and Bewdley, applied for admission; they were desired first to examine the articles of faith adopted by the association, and then if they approved of them, to renew their application at the next meeting. And this became a standing rule of the association.”—Vide History of Midland Association.

I read also in a letter from one of the Churches in association (dated 1772) the following: “We think it not enough to hold fast the form of sound words, and express some zeal for the peculiar doctrines of Christianity, but we want to drink into their spirit, to be cast into them as a mould, and to have such an inward sense of their weight and importance, as might, beyond all outward evidences, engage us to set our seal to them, as a sure and faithful testimony.”—page 110, History, &c.

I notice one thing more, and that is the heading of the letter, to the association, in 1787, from the Baptist Church at Bond Street, Birmingham, which says, “Holding the glorious and important doctrines of the everlasting gospel, viz., God’s everlasting love to his people, his choice of them to salvation, as also the absolute necessity of the Spirit’s work, in calling sinners to the knowledge of God and themselves, and, to enable us to lay hold on Christ by a living, loving, and active faith.” Also, I note the heading of the Church letter of the Church in Cannon Street, Birmingham, to the association in 1772, wherein they say, “Holding the most important, the most precious, and glorious doctrines,” &c., &c., and enumerating among these, “irresistible grace in regeneration.” This Church, now numbering more than 700 members, proposed and moved through the medium of its present pastor, Mr. Swan, a most calamitous and stultifying addition to the heading of the future circular letters of the association, which will enable Churches composed, not only entirely of Arminians, but also of Arians and Socinians, to become associated with them. Alas, alas! “How is the gold become dim! how is the most fine gold changed!” (Lam. 4:1).

But I must now trace the downward, degrading footsteps of this once sound and pure gospel association of Baptist Churches. Many, if not the whole of the sound gospel fathers of this association, those sound pastors, had gone the way of all flesh, and those had risen up in their room, to say the least of it, they were not “like-minded” (Phil. 2:20). The bells, as good John Berridge quaintly has it, were chiefly cast in a celebrated foundry. In ringing they were tuneable enough, none more so, but a clear gospel tone was not to be found. Human wisdom and strength, perfection and merit, give Sion’s bells a Levitical twang, and drown the mellow tone of the gospel outright.” A doctrinal inoculation had taken place, the virus spread, a gangrene, a mortification ensued, and in the year 1839, total renunciation of the great and glorious doctrines of the everlasting gospel took place in the Churches of the midland association, comprising no less than thirty-six Churches, and containing 3760 Church members. Their terrific association letter is now before me, but my hand trembles, and my inanimate pen almost refuses (as it were), to record even a sentence or two of the, I may say, blasphemous sentences, which pervade the whole. Did the assembly of divines, order a dreadful book, written by one John Archer, to be burnt by the hands of the common hangman, and which was done? It is a question whether this circular letter does not deserve the same fate. Let not the reader complain of this strong language. We are told in it that whereas it was formerly insisted on by these Churches, that “God elected and chose some persons to life and salvation, before the foundation of the world, whom accordingly he doth, and will effectually call;” instead of this Scriptural statement, they now declare that “They cherish no misgivings on the universality of the atonement; that the atonement of Christ is sufficient to save all the world, yea, a thousand worlds!” And [while these churches formerly insisted on faith being the] free gift of God, and “men have no power of themselves to believe savingly,” and warns of “consenting with those who hold that God hath given power to all men to believe;” now they assert, “Our lot is cast in days more luminous and happy.” The holy and all efficacious work of the Holy Spirit, on the souls of men, whereby they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, is sneered at as “an impassable bar thrown across his way; and we are told that “this bar is the creation of human invention!” But I might multiply pages in quotations from this sad, sad letter, and in my remarks thereon. The letter is all of a piece, from first to last. There is no yea and nay in it. No equivocation. In a word, it contains throughout, one poisonous, ungilded pill. It is a total renunciation of the most prominent truths of the Bible, and—no mistake. No, none. “It is now but a short distance further for the ministers of the midland association to go, and they will have arrived through moderate Calvinism, into the depths of Pelagianism, which is only a little way from Socinianism; where having for a time found a sojournment, it will be but a step further to Deism.”

But the ministers of this association found that they had not quite completed their work; so that, at their association, which was held in the year 1850, Mr. Wright, the minister of the Church at Darkhouse (don’t smile, reader, it is literally the name of this church), in Staffordshire, gave notice, that at the next association he should move that, “The heading of the circular letter be left out!” In accordance with his notice, he made that motion the next year. This motion, therefore, came under consideration and debate. Now, although they had already renounced the sacred truths yet they were desirous to retain the heading as a sign-board, or sort of trepan for the simple ones, they, therefore, unanimously agreed to make such an addition as would entirely stultify it, and so open the door wide, to receive such Churches as held Arminianism in the gross, and also prove no barrier even to Arians and Socinians; for there is not a moral Socinian but would advocate the duty of repentance, and profess faith in Christ, if not as God, yet as a good man, and one worthy of imitation.

I close the narrative of the entire defection of this ancient association of Baptist Churches, by subjoining in a note,* the heading of their circular letters since the year 1851. The Lancashire and Cheshire Association, consisting of thirty-three Baptist Churches, had decided more than twenty years before, “That the heading of their circular letter, be omitted after the present year”:

“In accordance with the notice given at the last Association, the question of the heading of the Circular Letter was introduced by Brother Wright, who proposed that the heading be left out. This proposition was subsequently withdrawn, and the following resolution was unanimously passed, as it was hoped a final settlement of this subject might be thus secured. It was moved by Brother Swan, seconded by Brother Landells, that the following be the heading of the Circular Letter:—‘‘The Ministers and Messengers of the several Baptist Churches of the Midland Association, assembled at————, maintaining the Independence of the respective Churches, and believing the important doctrines of Three Equal Persons in the Godhead—Eternal and Personal Election—Original Sin—Particular Redemption—Free Justification by the Righteousness of Christ imputed—Efficacious Grace in Regeneration—the Final Perseverance of the Saints—the Resurrection of the Dead—the General Judgment at the Last Day—and the Life Everlasting.—And, also, this Association embraces those Baptist Churches who, though they conscientiously object to this, or any other creed of merely human composition, however sound, as a condition of Christian Fellowship, yet strenuously maintain the necessity of ‘Repentance toward God, and Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ,’ and cordially unite with the Association for the promotion of the important objects it has in view, in the enjoyment of a pure Scriptural Fellowship.”

And now, reader, I have read an advertisement inserted in the Nonconformist newspaper of this day (Aug. 20th), of a work written by T. W. Jenkyn, D.D., on “The Union of the Holy Spirit, and the Church, in the conversion of the world.’’ It is a thick octavo volume, containing 500 pages. The editors of the “Sunday School Magazine, in their review, state, “We regard this work as one of the most valuable which uninspired man has ever produced.” This “most valuable work” is now before me. The author was for some years president of Coward College; of course these were the theological principles which the doctor instilled into the minds of the students. I shall lay before the reader a few extracts, leaving him to form his own judgment; only just premising, that I expect this is the sort of divinity which forms the basis of the “Theological Curriculum,” as taught in our Dissenting Colleges at this day.

Addressing professed Christians, the doctor says, “God intends you to be agents for him, to minister grace to a world without it. He has supplied you with means which are useful to save the souls of men.” “Jesus Christ, by his death, made an atonement for the sins of every human being that ever lived, or ever will live, upon the face of the earth. This is a noble impulse to missionary efforts, and to all efforts for the conversion of the world; and, all the objections, brought against this position, are either metaphysical quirks, or, theological crotchets.”

“There is no ground in Scripture testimony, to support the opinion that conversion is miraculous. In the sacred Scriptures conversion is enforced as the duty of the sinner himself. It is the duty of the Church to convert sinners. Conversion is always described as the result of the use and operation of means. The ministers of the gospel (?) cannot err in presenting conversion to the attention of their hearers; and insist upon it as the duty of man, and as practicable by every sinner who hears the gospel. Ministers should trace the entire guilt of non-conversion to the sinner’s own fault exclusively.” “Neither God nor man can convert the world without the instrumentality of truth, and the co-operation of the Church; and, the Holy Spirit cannot convert by a direct act of physical Omnipotence; hence, for the conversion of the world, it is of the last importance that there be an union of method and order between the Holy Spirit and the Church.” “Without the agency of man the Holy Spirit may possess energy, but, he can possess no influence.”

Methinks I seem to hear the reader desiring me to blot no more paper with such statements. Well, I obey; but what I have transcribed is a fair sample of the bulk; and it is the general, so-called, Divinity of the day, as preached by both Independents and Baptists. I now give a sample extract from a minister of the latter denomination, who is considered as a leading influence—before the Baptist Missionary Society, at Surrey Chapel, in 1830, now before me, he says:—“By a hypothetical calculation of the effects which might probably arise from a vigorous use of the divine word, it may be thought probable that every person who earnestly seeks the salvation of those around him, may be blessed to the conversion of one sinner in the course of a year. Now, supposing this, and that there were, at this moment, but one hundred Christians in the world, all of them and their successive converts, so labouring, and so successful continually, eight hundred millions of per­sons, that is to say, the whole population of the heathen world, would be converted in about thirty years!!” Reader, twenty-six years out of the thirty are already expired since that sermon was preached; and many millions of the heathen world remain as yet unconverted. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit saith the Lord of hosts” (Zech. 4:6). But this gentleman’s views are far below Fullerian duty-faith; he says:—“We maintain, as we hope to show on scriptural authority, that Christ died for the whole world. Every human creature born into the world is born by virtue of the death of Christ. Christ must have died for every man, to the intent and effect of putting every man in a state of conditional hope and salvation. How any persons who hold that Christ did not die for all, can yet enjoin or invite all to come to Jesus, except by a thoughtless inconsistency, I confess myself unable to conceive. If I thought the Bible was written on such a principle, it would fill me with the deepest melancholy. God authorizes me to speak to sinners as though Christ died for every one of them; and I speak it without a blush, without a quiver; because it is testified that ‘He gave Himself a ransom for all.’ Men have power to repent without being moved thereto by the Spirit of God. God makes your future happiness or misery to turn upon an alteration of mind made by yourself without any impulse from Him; He suspends it on no inequitable condition. You can do it; and, if you will not, the consequences are your own.”—Hinton.

Mr. Hinton is altogether consistent with his Creed in the above, which is that of universal redemption; but, a limited atonement, and the duty of all mankind to believe, can never harmonize. Here Mr. H. has placed the Fullerian modern Calvinists in afix which has completely transfixed them.

The reader will perceive that I have studiously avoided entering into what is called “The Controversy.” I do, from my very heart, pity some of those persons whose names are placarded with it; they are certainly very awkwardly placed. But for Mr. Binney I have very little sympathy. Of Lynch’s “Rivulet” I have only seen the specimens given; but if these are a fair sample of the bulk, I then do not hesitate to unite with the Reviewer, that “There is not, from beginning to end, one particle of vital religion or evangelical piety in it.”

I have read somewhat attentively Mr. Binney’s famous book, “How to make the best of both worlds;” but I can perceive very little evidence in it of the writer being a partaker of grace. I judge no man; “to his own Master he standeth or falleth” (Rom. 14:4). I have seen a Review of Mr. Binney’s book, and agree with the writer of that Review, wherein he says, “To give a passing glance at such books is like walking along Regent Street, and seeing what the fashionable world runs after and admires. We discover them in such a book as Binney’s, just as in a plate-glass shop-window, what is the fashionable religion, as ticketed at the most attractive figure for the professors of the day. The book is false in its beginning, deceptive in its progress, and ruinous in its end. A religion as different from the one set forth in the Word of God as light excels darkness, life surpasses death, truth outshines error, and the work and witness of the Holy Ghost the lying flatteries of man.”

Reader, I have not yet done with Mr. Binney. I now give you an extract from a printed sermon of his, [delivered] on behalf of the London Missionary Society. He says therein: “Various and affecting, my brethren, is the fate of those who start together on the spiritual voyage. Some are all but wrecked; still they are saved; they escape with life, and nothing else; they struggle to the shore, and they appear before Christ naked and ashamed. Others, again, enter the haven in full sail; they advance calmly and safe, under the beams of a bright sun, borne onward by a smooth sea; and, amid angelic sounds of congratulation and welcome, they have ‘an abundant entrance’ into the kingdom and joy of their Lord. That is the view I take of the mind of Christ. There is such a thing as an abundant entrance, a welcome into heaven; and there is such a thing as being saved with difficulty. In the one case, there is not only faith, but there are the works of faith and the labours of love in great abundance following with it; following, observe, following with the individual; following in his company and train, as if he were attended by the Christian virtues and graces in person, and advancing like a conqueror to whom had been decreed a procession and a triumph; advanced through the principal entrance, through the public streets and places of the city. In the other case, there is the loss of everything but faith, and almost that. The works of the individual have vanished, some great mistake having unfitted them from following him. He lives uselessly, and in good works he dies poor; he finds himself at length empty and alone; alone and unattended, he makes his way, by some obscure passage (!) into the Jerusalem above; no sounds of welcome, or of ‘well done,’ greet him as he goes; yet he feels he may advance; he is saved; he has liberty to remain, and, in remaining, he shall be blessed; but he has not accorded to him ‘an abundant entrance,’ and he will never mingle but only with the commonalty of heaven.”

“There are those who shall do more; they shall be distinguished from others. They are those that have contributed to Christ’s satisfaction while here; one way of doing that, is by contributing to the support of the gospel and the support of missions. One way by which that instrumentality can be kept active is by the good works and donations of the faithful.”

Mr. Binney says, “We are now coming to the conclusion of the whole matter. We do not take Scripture, I think, in its plain, literal, and intended sense, upon this matter. The abuse of some things by the Church of Rome has led to their utter neglect by Protestants. To think that heaven can be purchased by the money of a sinner, is a great error; but to think that a saint, by the proper use of his money, may secure to himself a more elevated place in heaven, is no such thing. The good works of a believing man, these have a merit, and will be taken into account, and will determine the amount of the reward of grace!!!”

Reader! I have not given you, as above, garbled extracts; I have the rather lengthened the extracts on purpose that you may have the preacher’s whole mind. I dare not suffer myself to make any remarks. As a Watchman “I have seen in the prophets an horrible thing;” and I refer the reader to Jer. 23:14-16, for further particulars.

My eye glances on page 33 of the “Controversy,” and I quote the truthful sentence: “The whole affair is most distressing. Lax views of divine truth are, we are pained to state, alarmingly prevalent among both the Independent and Baptist bodies, in a lurking or hidden form. And if something be not promptly done to check the growing evil, the cause of Nonconformity, as well as of vital religion, will speedily perish among us.” “Help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful [ministers] fail from among the children of men” (Ps. 12:1). “It behoves the true friends of the gospel to bestir themselves, with the view of seeing what can be done to arrest the progress of the pre­ vailing heresies—heresies alike dishonouring to God, and destructive of all real piety in the minds and hearts of those who have embraced them. May God overrule all for his own glory, and the good of his Church and people.”

A few words more relative to Fullerism, and I have done. But why speak I of Fullerism? that was an error of yesterday; it is too orthodox for the ministers of the present day. Fullerism and Baxterianism does hold with election, in a sense; but our present divines eschew it altogether. Their creed is (as I have proved) that Christ died for all the world, for every individual of the human race. Nevertheless, as there are still remaining many ministers and Churches, who do not exactly like to travel, as yet, by this broad guage, I would speak a few words to them at parting. Mr. Fuller stated in his day, that, “Had matters gone on but a few years longer, the Baptists would have become a perfect dunghill in society.” Now many of the Baptist Churches, instead of becoming “perfect dunghills,” are so very greatly changed as to be compared to extensive swamps of a fungus quality. Indefinite invitations on men unloved, unredeemed, and unregenerated, can effect nothing. Bellows may have their utility in raising a flame where there is fire; but if tried where that element is wanting, the fuel, whether wet or dry, yields neither light nor heat, however well you may ply your bellows. So invitations to spiritual acts avail nothing on the unregenerate sinner, until the Holy Spirit has generated the needful spark of holy life in the soul. From this order God never departs. Blind zeal may be very active in plying the “pulpit bellows,” but, “without the essential spark, all mere ministerial toil must terminate in wind, wildfire, and confusion.” “If ever ministers preach to purpose, it must be with a view to the Spirit of God, both to assist them in their work, and to make their ministrations effectual; without which, however many formal professors may be made, not one dead sinner will be quickened. Oh, then, let us pray the Spirit to accompany the Word with his almighty power, and make it the savour of life unto life.”—Gill.

In conclusion, “Let real gospel ministers be watchful. It is their special business to watch over them­ selves; to take heed to their doctrine, and to take care of the flock over which they are placed as overseers, [to see that they are fed with] gospel food, and are not infected with false doctrine. False teachers are everywhere lying in wait to deceive; and therefore we ought to guard against them, and be careful that our minds are not corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. That we are not carried away with the wicked; and, seeing the end of all things is at hand, not only of the world and the things of it in general, but of that church-state in which we are, in particular, let us, therefore, be sober, and watch unto prayer” (Gill). “While men slept the enemy came and sowed tares” (Matt. 13:25).


Since the above tract went to press, I have met with a plain proof of the correctness of John Brines’ statement, which was quoted above. At the last Annual Meeting of the “Baptist Missionary Society” some of the platform speakers discovered an “hostile spirit” against the sound doctrines of the gospel. The churches composing the Suffolk and Norfolk Association, at their Association, which was held June 3rd, last, unanimously resolved:—“We deem it necessary to affirm our uncompromising adherence and attachment to the doctrines of distinguishing grace, as the only scriptural basis of all missionary efforts. And whereas we have with deep concern discovered of late the growing latitudinarianism in the principles openly avowed by many of our leading brethren of our great missionary societies, to the disparagement of those fundamental truths; we hereby disclaim all sympathy with those who thus virtually sap the foundations of discriminating grace, and we earnestly protest against the semi-Pelagian errors to which the ‘Baptist Foreign Missionary Society,’ and the ‘Baptist Home Missionary,’ at their late Annual Meetings have given utterance,” &c.

This drew forth a reply, in words “smoother than butter, softer than oil,” in which they say, “We distinctly state that we are as sincerely and as warmly attached to the doctrines of grace as you yourselves are.”

A noble rejoinder has appeared in the Gospel Herald for this month (September). It is so much to the purpose that it would seem as though John Brine was risen again from the dead. The writer replies to them —” You assure us that you are [as sincerely and as warmly attached to the doctrines of grace as you yourselves are”.] Now it is worthy of notice that the expressions adopted in the Protest of our Association, are ‘distinguishing’ grace, and ‘discriminating’ grace. Now, in your avowal, why was our words ‘distinguishing’ and ‘discriminating’ omitted? Was it because the Committee felt that they could not state that they are as ‘warmly and as sincerely’ attached to the doctrines of distinguishing grace as we ourselves are? It is evident that the expression ‘doctrines of grace,’ is vague and indefinite. Our Arminians, of every denomination, readily avow their attachment to the doctrines of grace. It is only when discriminating and distinguishing terms are added, that they shrink from the avowal; and thus virtually declare that they mean not the grace which discriminates, and the sovereignty which distinguishes its objects from mankind at large; but the grace which is freely offered to all, and secured to none; depending for its success on the free will of fallen man.”

Once the Baptist denomination stood foremost in proclaiming and defending these sentiments; now, alas! their advocates appear to be confined to a comparatively small section of the denomination. “It is the sovereignty of divine grace that is the point at issue between ourselves and our opponents. Would that we had not to add, between ourselves and the Baptist Foreign Missionary Society.”

All that the transcriber shall add to the above is, “Surely, in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.” (Prov. 1:17.)

Veritas is a pseudonym sometimes used by anonymous authors. Peter Meney writes, “Sir Richard Hill is said to have written anonymously under the name Veritas. He was a friend of Toplady and defended Toplady against Wesley when the latter defamed him following Toplady's death. As 'Veritas' means 'Truth' I suspect it has been a frequent pseudonym.” Henceforth, works attributed to this pseudonym means the author is unknown.