The Primitive Baptist Magazine
A High-Calvinist Magazine “The Primitive Baptist (or Church) Magazine” started in 1841, edited by William Norton (1812-1890), a Strict Baptist pastor. While it maintained a strong emphasis on the need for a strict communion table, it cracked open the door to the pernicious teachings of Fullerism. However, the magazine certainly commended High-Calvinism on its pages, demonstrated by the following extract. Upon his return to England from America, a Mr. Bates wrote the following in a letter to Mr. Norton (the editor): “My Dear Brother,—I have at length arrived at home in safety…As regards their theology, some few aged men “fear that there is a decline in doctrine as well as piety for some years past,” and “though there is considerable piety and energy, yet the churches, as a whole, are not quite so prosperous as they were come few years ago.” I think that their young ministers from what I heard, are not so Calvinistic as they should be. Andrew Fuller’s theology is almost universally received, unless, indeed, that some may think he is rather narrow. Last year the Baptist Publication Society circulated 50,000 volumes, and among them about 700 sets of A. Fuller’s works. There are about twenty-seven churches in New York and Brooklyn, and, with the exception of six or seven ministers, I should think that they hold universal atonement.” We suspect this magazine ended its publications in the late 1860’s.
Faith is the gift and the operation of God. It comes by the Holy Spirit’s power rising and strengthening the sublimest faculties of the soul, and is really a regeneration—a rebegetting—a revival of life from the dead. Thus the believer is said to be “born of the Spirit,” because it is the Spirit’s office in the covenant of grace to regenerate, and because it is the promise concerning the Spirit to all, “even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” And thus also the Christian is said to be “born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” When the principle of divine life and light is given to the soul, it…