Strict and Particular Baptist, UK

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by Tony Solomon, Jan 27, 2003.

  1. Tony Solomon

    Tony Solomon
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    rlvaughn asked be to post something on the Baptist Association (not denomination, yecch) I am a part of, so here goes.

    As many will know the Particular Baptists (calvinistic) got going around 1633. In 1644 the London Baptist Confession was issued. In my own town of Northampton, two baptist groups began meeting under the auspices of Mother churches by about 1655. One was wholly Baptist, the other a common Baptist/Congregational mix. The latter, to mention them briefly, enchurched in 1697, obtained a Chapel building in 1712ish, and became known to the world as College Lane Chapel, where the Ryland's were pastors, and with whom William Carey was involved.

    The former enchurched in 1701, having been set loose by their mother church when the group went Strict Baptist (ie, practising restricted communion, rather than the alternative of mixed reformed communion - as at College Lane.) The church obtained a chapel building in 1726, and were patronised by the likes of John Gill, John Brine, and other worthies. Sadly it closed down around 1760.

    The Particulars, and the Stricts remained throughly reformed down to Gill's death, but then we saw the rise of Fullerism (stemming from the New Divinity of New England, with Grotius thrown in) Robert Hall published his Help for Zion's Traveller, and Fuller his Gospel Worthy of all Acceptation. This engendered a split in the ranks between the New lights and the Old.

    In the middle of all this, God had raised up Wiliam Huntington, an independant minister, in London. He became a prominent voice against the new doctrines. Many Baptists heard and received his ministry, and a good number of our Chief Men were saved thru his ministry, or thru a connection with it, such as William Gadsby, John Warburton and John Kershaw.

    Thru this ministry a division took place in the Particular Baptists, sometimes people coming out, sometimes the Fullerites being cast out; sometimes a brand new work, and sometimes a whole association taking a stand, as with the Norfolk and Suffolk Assoc.

    Our own church was started in 1791 by a group excommunicated from College Lane by Ryland. Thru the beginning of the 1800s such churches began to get together, and in 1834 a magazine was started - The Gospel Standard. This was followed by another magazine for a slightly different group - The Earthen Vessel. These were the main Strict Baptist assocs - and I think they reaffirmed being strict to avoid receiving Fullerite; certainly Northampton did not start Strict.

    Later, J C Philpot came out of the Anglican Church and joined as a minister; he edited the magazine for a good few years.

    There was a division in the later part of the 19th cent, over the issue of the Eternal Sonship of Christ, which was denied by some. This led to a distancing between the GS and EV churches. The EV churches eventually became known as Grace Baptist - though not tainted with that old slur anymore. They are drifting somewhat to the left now, with a good number becoming more evangelical, modern, and in cases charismatic even.

    Our own assoc has fallen on hard times. Fossilization has set in, along with hyper Calvinism, hyper experimentalism, and the ravages of, on the one hand what one might call Bethesdaism - people waiting by the pool, so that our churches are predominantly attenders not members because people won't get baptised unless they have a word from the lOrd; and on the other, youth going to college and coming back - if at all - evangelical.
    Demographic surveys of our assoc show that it will cease to exist within twenty years, due to an aging membership, and large chapel buildings that cannot be maintained. Our ministers are aging also, and the younger, such as they come forward, do not seem to have fire in their belly for the work, but to be pale imitations.

    And Northampton?
    We lost a preaching deacon sometime ago when he was called to a pastorate; he immediately took the church out of the association. Peter Masters at the Metropolitan Tabernacle has a big influence amongst a lot of our younger ministers.
    At the end of 2000 our pastor also left to take the pastorate of an evangelical methodist church; he too has renounced his connections.
    By the grace of God, I, who joined the church 10 years ago this march, and had been preaching on and off for a few years, was asked to stand in the breach, pending further leadings from the Lord. In time, I believe they will call me as pastor.

    And by the grace of God, I hope to have some fire in my belly for the faith once delivered, without having to "go wide" to get it. We are reconciled to the fact that in time we will have to stand as a wholly independant baptist church, but God has shown his hand, and people are a lot more confident of his keeping grace than they were two years ago, when it seemed as if a chasm was opening before them.

    peace in Him
     
  2. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    Tony

    That was a wonderful testimony. I am glad to have had the opportunity to read it.

    Some years ago, when I was a sprout, a Mr. Alexander, a minister of your fellowship came to my area and preached among the Primitive Baptists and was generally well received. I haven't heard of it being done since.

    A dear friend of mine, now departed from this life, used to give me copies of the Gospel Standard, and found little in the pages to disagree with.

    When I was in the military I had opportunity to attend Strict Baptist services in the London area on a few occasions. I noticed some practical differences, but no discernable doctrinal differences. I wish I had had more time to discuss things with the folks there, but time was usually pressing to get back to post, and never did.

    The works of John Gill are still widely read by Primitive Baptists on this side of the Atlantic.

    At any rate, glad you took time to post this.

    Jeff
     
  3. Tony Solomon

    Tony Solomon
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    Thanks Jeff.

    I have the edition of Gill's Sermons and Tracts published by primitive Publications.

    I have enjoyed the PB webstation and related sites. The term "hardshell" is, I think, applied in the same way that "anti-mission" was applied to us - despite the fact that William Gadsby alone was instrumental in founding 40 churches across England.

    The main distinctives of GS doctrine is a) that the Gospel, not the moral law, is the believer's rule of life, and b) the denial of the duty faith doctrine that rose up under Fuller et al.
    Practically, although I do not know why, we only have the two offices of Pastor and Deacon - which means that most men who can preach are sent out itinerating almost immediately.

    Historically, I don't think there has been much communication between the SBs over here and the PBs over there, which is a shame; men like Beebe etc are not known here at all, although men like Gadsby are known in America through the Welsh Tract Church.

    The church at Choteau MO, also run Gospel Mission, reprinting godly literature from the 19th and 18th cents.
     
  4. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    Solly wrote:

    I have that set as well. I was able to find an original set of Gill's commentaries. Wish I could find a reprint and not have to use the old one so often, it is in fragile condition. Im sure there is one out there, just have to look harder.

    Yes, we are called hardshells, anti-mission, etc. Labels can be difficult to overcome, and sometimes not worth the effort.

    I would fully agree with that as well. Unfortunately denying Fuller, et.al. were correct will get one labeled a hyper-calvinist in the U.S. There is considerable rumour about our beliefs here which circulate as fact. That was the main reason I signed on to this forum -- to correct some of those misimpressions.

    This is one are where the practice in America would be different. Deacons are not preachers in American Primtive Baptist churches. Men are also not sent out until they have been proven at home in most cases.

    Gadsby is known, as is William Huntington, J. C. Philpot and some others. When I was in the army I took some time away from station in Germany to explore London, and found a set of Philpots works. When I got home, they were begged from me, and I no longer have them. I have some of S. F. Paul's histories, and have considered buying some more things from GS publications.

    In the for what it is worth category, I was pastor for a time of the First Baptist Church Old School of WIlmington, Delaware, which was a daughter church of Welsh Tract. The Wilmington church was established in 1785 and was a very large church at one time, but now is in a much reduced state. Unfortunately there have been schisms which have broken fellowship between the two.

    Those folks send me their cataglogue from time to time, and I have bought some things from them. I really don't know how they afford to publish those things at the prices they ask, but all in all good stuff.

    Have you been to the U.S.? If so, did you venture out among the Primitive Baptist people?
     
  5. Tony Solomon

    Tony Solomon
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    Originally posted by Jeff Weaver:
    I have that set as well. I was able to find an original set of Gill's commentaries. Wish I could find a reprint and not have to use the old one so often, it is in fragile condition. Im sure there is one out there, just have to look harder.

    They are on CD now, from Ages Software. Not as nice as a book, but more usable. There was an edition in the late 19cent early 20th in 6 volumes. They last better. Baptist Standard Bearer did reprint them also, but it was pricy, and I don't know if they are still available.

    Yes, we are called hardshells, anti-mission, etc. Labels can be difficult to overcome, and sometimes not worth the effort.

    amen. Banner of Truth have us in their sites, almost constantly, in spite of being set up by an SB, Sidney Norton.

    I would fully agree with that as well. Unfortunately denying Fuller, et.al. were correct will get one labeled a hyper-calvinist in the U.S. There is considerable rumour about our beliefs here which circulate as fact. That was the main reason I signed on to this forum -- to correct some of those misimpressions.

    Me too; and to meet stateside people like yourself. Mission Accomplished!!

    This is one are where the practice in America would be different. Deacons are not preachers in American Primtive Baptist churches. Men are also not sent out until they have been proven at home in most cases.

    A much better method, and applied in my own circumstances. I ministered in Adult Bible Classes, then filled in for the Pastor during absences. Then was given my own dates. It seemed all along that the Lord was preparing me for labours within the church, but we didn't ewxpect the way it would happen! There was a lot of opposition too, but that was removed also. I have not sought to be sent out, and neither does the church want to send me.

    Gadsby is known, as is William Huntington, J. C. Philpot and some others. When I was in the army I took some time away from station in Germany to explore London, and found a set of Philpots works. When I got home, they were begged from me, and I no longer have them. I have some of S. F. Paul's histories, and have considered buying some more things from GS publications.

    Again, Gospel Mission have made available the old Gospel Pulpit of Philpot's sermons; and the GS edition is still around. Try www.christianbookshopossett.co.uk for second hand editions. AbeBooks on the web is also helpful.

    In the for what it is worth category, I was pastor for a time of the First Baptist Church Old School of WIlmington, Delaware, which was a daughter church of Welsh Tract. The Wilmington church was established in 1785 and was a very large church at one time, but now is in a much reduced state. Unfortunately there have been schisms which have broken fellowship between the two.

    sadly, it happens too much these days.

    Have you been to the U.S.? If so, did you venture out among the Primitive Baptist people?

    No, 'fraid not; not been out of the country

    [ January 27, 2003, 11:28 AM: Message edited by: Solly ]
     
  6. Jeff Weaver

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    Tony

    Thanks for the links to suppliers of reading material. I will investigate and see what the wallet can afford. :D I am retired from secular work because of poor health, and have to make those pennies go as far as possible.

    One thing that my wife and I are saving money for is another trip to the U.K. Haven't been there since 94 and that was only a very brief stop (overnight) on the way back to the U.S. from Ukraine. So, who knows we might show up on your doorstep one of these days. If you do get the chance to cross the pond, we have an extra room, and meeting house 5 miles down the road.

    Are you familiar with the Forest Fold Pulpit Series? I have a couple of volumes, and am impressed. If you are familiar with those, recommendations for additional acquisitions would be appreciated.

    Warm regards
    Jeff.
     
  7. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    Solly, thanks for the comments on the Gospel Standard Strict Baptists. Have you ever heard of a group that was called Christian Pathway Strict Baptists?
     
  8. Doc Yankum

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    I have enjoyed this exchange of information. It has been very enlightening

    Jeff, you expressed a desire for a later edition of Gill's Commentary. You may already know this but his commentary along with Matthew Henry, Jamieson, Faussett and Brown and others is available on the internet at:
    www.gospelcom.net/eword/wholesome/

    I find these very helpful when I am writing lessons or papers as I can copy and paste, etc. I enjoy the history threads because those who post here seem to be more resonable to the views of others.
     
  9. tyndale1946

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    Thanks Doc for that added vote of confidence... Brother Robert and I try to keep this area of the forum free from toe to toe debate that goes on in the Calvin/Arminian Forum. I can tell you right now from what I observed here and read we have very many learned brethren in Baptist and Church History. Reading what they post here is a breath of fresh air from some forums. Not only that you learn something new from each post. This forum IMHO is the pattern all forums should follow. Makes the moderators job easy for both of us... Don't you agree Brother Robert [​IMG] ... Brother Glen :cool:
     
  10. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    Doc Yankum noted:



    Thanks Doc, I am aware of these. I have a hard time reading on the computer for long stretches, so would prefer a paper copy. I know I am old school. I suppose I could print them out, but I have so much paper in this house already.... :D

    As for views of others, it does seem that we are a bit more moderate here than on some other forums. I try to be that way in real life as well.

    Jeff.
     
  11. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    I concur with you gentlemen. This is the most amicable site on the Board. I do wish I had more time to be here, but busy with the silencer (muffler for the Americans) on some of the other forums.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  12. Tony Solomon

    Tony Solomon
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    I think it was Erasmus who said, If I have a little money I buy books. Don't we all!! And we never have enough.

    Thankyou for the offer. I'm not in a position to return the favour in current circumstances, being in a small house with a large family, but arrangements could probably be made.

    I know FF, but not the sermon series. Is that Stanley Delves or Peter Rowell? The people on the CBO link will be able to help in that for similar material.

    regards in Him

    Tony
     
  13. Tony Solomon

    Tony Solomon
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    Hello rlv

    yes, they were a smaller group that grew up in the later 19th cent, but were eventually reabsorbed into the Earthen Vessel group.

    The running joke used to be, apparently: I am only an Earthen Vessel, but I maintain the Gospel Standard as I walk the Christian Pathway. [​IMG]
     
  14. Jeff Weaver

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    Tony

    My mistake, it may be just the one book. I had a couple that looked similar, and did not pay enough attention. The one I have is by Stanley Delves. At any rate, I enjoyed his writings.

    As for staying in England, I have a cousin in London, that I can pinch lodgings from. She married a RAF Brigadier and they are doing quite well. But you are certainly welcome to stay with us if you ever get this way. We have a large rambling house, with just myself, the wife and the dog.

    Any other reading suggestions from Strict Baptists that we haven't touched on heretofore.?

    Warm regards
    Jeff
     
  15. Tony Solomon

    Tony Solomon
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    As to the tenor of this forum, it is something we should all strive at. I have recently been on a forum where a great deal of rancour was displayed by the administration to views in opposition to their own - they are an Acts 9 Dispensationalist, Open View Theism, Theonomy site - although most people did not know that. I have now been made a moderator on the new breakaway site, and certainly hope to conduct things in a right spirit.
    My motto is: Fides Querens Intellectum - Faith seeking understanding. Even Calvinists and Arminians should strive to understand the other's view, since we can't properly critique it until we do. Having launched into such a debate with all guns blazing, I soon learned that I had a lot to unlearn.

    If it is allowed, I will post the http of the site later.

    Thankyou for the opportunity to discuss things here. I have "borrowed" the idea on the other site, to stem "denomination knocking" and foster mutual understanding.

    peace in Him
     
  16. Tony Solomon

    Tony Solomon
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  17. Jeff Weaver

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    Tony

    Many thanks for the recommendations.

    I had heard of Philpot's connection to the Plymouth Brethern, but no particulars.

    I have a couple of phamplets by Mr. Ramsbottom. Gadsby has long been a hero of mine, so will definiately look for that biography.

    Unfortunately much of Primitive Baptist writing that is any good is also from the 19th century. Some of the literature which is currently put out by our folks is simply a rehash of what was written then, and not nearly as eloquent. You mentioned having looked at the Primitive Baptist web station before. There is another web site, that might be of more use, The URL for it is:http://www.primiitivebaptist.org. This site, run by Elder David Montgomery has some of the better, older Primitive Baptist discourses online. Elder Montgomery has also started a publishing concern that is reprinting some of these old writings if you might be interested.

    You mentioned Gilbert Bebee in your original post. Some of our other notable authors would include, Sylvester Hassell, Silas Durand, P. G. Lester, P. D. Gold, and of course others.

    You also mentioned Welsh Tract church before. I have put on line, Elder David Spangler's history of this congregation. It can be found here: History of the Welsh Tract Old School Baptist Church. I also have online several minor Primitive Baptist things at: New River Valley Religion Page You will have to scroll down a bit to get to the Primitive Baptist section. Also, I have put about 350 hymns that are commonly sung in Appalachia by Primitive Baptists at: Primitive Baptist Hymns. The last page gets a number of hits, and is used by several churches not of our faith.

    In hope of Christ
    Jeff
     
  18. Tony Solomon

    Tony Solomon
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    Thaks for the info.

    RE hymns, any by John Adams from the 18th cent were written by the man who founded our church. he sat under Huntington for a few years also.

    There is a hymn floating around by Sarah Slinn, which I saw in an American Baptist hymnal; I believe that she is the same as a Sarah Slinn who was in the church at the same time.
     

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