The Earthen Vessel
A High-Calvinist Magazine “The Earthen Vessel and Christian Record” started in 1845 by Charles Banks (1806 -1886), a Strict and Particular Baptist preacher who served as pastor of several churches in London. He was sole editor of the magazine for more than forty years. Others who filled this role were William Winters (1834-1893), John Banks (1829-1899), Edward Mitchell (1843-1919), Ebenezer Marsh (1853-1913), James Flegg (1865-1938) and William Styles (1842-1914), to name a few. The Metropolitan Association of Strict Baptist Churches eventually acquired ownership of the magazine, which became the central platform for communications between the churches belong to or in sympathy with the Association. Although well meaning in purpose and amicable in spirit, Charles Banks opened the pages of his magazine to debate, which led to a division between the churches subscribing to it and other Strict Baptist magazines such as the Gospel Standard.
Dear Sir,—For some time I have felt the need of a few straight and honest words on this subject, for the instruction both of brethren who are not sentimentally with us; and also of some of the members of our own Churches. The principles which distinguish us as a section of the Baptist denomination seem to be but little known. Our own friends manifest far less determination than they used, in contending for the faith—while hardly a month passes, but I am entreated to advance the interests of brethren holding the late Mr. Spurgeon's creed, by introducing them to some of our vacant pulpits, as if their views and ours were all but identical and our differences were most immaterial and unimportant.
To the Ministering Brethren—to the Members of the Church of Christ at Crosby Row—and to all who gave their countenance and help at the Annual Meeting on behalf of The Earthen Vessel, on Tuesday, May 17, 1853, this small expression of my gratitude is presented with feelings of increasing desire that my labours may be more than ever devoted to the bringing together, building up, and feeding of a portion of the ransomed church of the living God. Riding this morning, (Wednesday, May 18th) from Paddington to Wantage, in Berkshire, (where I hope to preach the gospel of God) my mind has been stirred up with a desire to address a few words to you expressive of my sincere thanks for every token both of…
“God’s precious truth is to us of more value than the friendship of men, and knowing it experimentally, as we do, we should be thoroughly dishonest to God and to our own conscience if we did not do our utmost to set it forth, and exhort others, who profess the name of Jesus, to do the same, whether men will receive it or not. The truth we mean is, in our estimation, the only thing worth contending for. It is not a mere scientific or speculative matter, but a living reality. The apostle Jude calls it "the FAITH which was once delivered unto the saints," and urges all true believers to "earnestly contend" for it. It being "once delivered" there is no possibility of any…