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Featured Baptist London Confession?

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by Rhetorician, Dec 23, 2017.

  1. David Kent

    David Kent Well-Known Member
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    The Gospel Standard church in Canterbury calls itself strict and Particular. It was founded in 1845 in what was once a water source for the Canterbury Garrison. It looks like a tower in the ancient city wall. I believe the GS was founded by William Gadsby and they mostly use Gadsby's hymnbook, although most of the hymns in it were by Joseph Hart who was not a baptist.
     
  2. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    From their Article 29:

    "we deny offers of grace; that is to say, that the gospel is to be offered indiscriminately to all."
     
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  3. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    In that they refer to their position on communion (strict) and atonement (particular), which might apply to other English churches that are not Gospel Standard.
    I'm not entirely up on this history, but Gospel Standard is one of several divisions of Strict and Particular -- all of which may hark back to Gadsby and other. Philip Tait of Hardwick Baptist Church of Stockton-on-Tees wrote, "...the Strict Baptist Churches were divided among themselves over quite minor points of doctrine. The different groups were identified by which magazine they read (from the most strict to the most liberal): The Gospel Standard, The Christian’s Pathway, and The Gospel Herald." I'm almost certain that I have read or heard of another magazine division called "Earthen Vessel." Some of these have died out.

    I have a Gadsby's Selections, and it has a large section of hymns by Joseph Hart. I wouldn't guess that most of the total of hymns are by Hart, but it is likely that his hymns are the largest group by one author.
     
  4. rsr

    rsr <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
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    I suspect that many who say they support the Second London Confession delve no deeper than to agree with what they consider the five points of TULIP.

    In the past, I admit, I have been known to have been dismissive of the confession as essentially a crib of the Westminster Confession. While it adopts a great deal of the language of Westminster, it also is a truly Baptist document.

    The authors of the Second London Confession carefully considered not only the Westminster but also the Savoy Declaration (of the independent churches, i.e., Congregationalists) and also the the First London Confession, maintaining some of the vigorous phrasing of the First London in preference to the other confessions.

    (The First London, BTW, leaned heavily on the Separatist True Confession and the Puritan The Marrow of Theology.)

    It is important to consider the early Baptist confessions as products of their times. Both London confessions attempted to present the Baptists as within the broad stream of English Protestantism — with major differences on credobaptism, immersion and a regenerated church membership.

    The early English Particular Baptists were not of one mind on how to treat other Dissenters, hence some accommodation in their language.

    They are both important expressions of early Baptist thought, carefully considered.
     
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  5. David Kent

    David Kent Well-Known Member
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    The Earthen Vessel was edited and I think founded by Septimus Sears. I have come across it when I was researching a former Baptist Church in Faversham. They once (or twice) asked Septimus Sears to be their pastor, The Gatefield Lane Baptist Church was a GS for a while, from about 1843 till about 1850. The Evangelical Library in London have bound copies of many Magazines including GS and Earthen Vessel.

    I should have a copy of Gadsby's but couldn't find it. I also have a copy of Hart's Hymns omitted by Gadsby, by Matthew Hyde of Tenteden.
     
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  6. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    May I ask what basis you have for your suspicion?
     
  7. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    I do uphold to what it teaches, but want to more fully understand it. I can view the scriptures as being accurate and true, but still needto keep on studying it!
     
  8. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    After you announced you "hold" to The Confession, you said:

    "I do not agree with most Reformed that the Papacy was/is the Antichrist"

    But The Confession has decreed that the Pope of Rome is that Antichrist whom the Lord shall destroy with the brightness of his coming!


    So you "hold" to it loosely? Or is your subscription to The Confession full and strict? Or something between (substantial subscription)?
     
  9. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    Dr Peter Masters (successor to Spurgeon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle) writes on Article XXVI:IV

    This last paragraph is regarded by many who affirm this Confession, as the only debateable statement. There is no disagreement among them as to the heresy and darkness of the Church of Rome, nor of its instrumentality as a tool of satan down the ages. The papal system is certainly utterly anti-Christian in spirit, form and effect. The issue is-- will the last pope of time be a servant of the coming antichrist or will he be the antichrist himself? Or, will the Church of Rome itself prove to be the antichrist? The 'man of sin' may turn out to be a person or even an atheistic ideology, but very few teachers today are prepared to make a definite identification. However, at the very least it must be said that the office of the 'Pope of Rome' is in the power of antichrist, and any serving pope is a man of sin and a son of perdition who exalts himself against the true Word and the message of grace.

    My understanding is that it is possible to deny Article XXVI:IV and still be regarded as a strict subscriber to the Confession. Sam Waldron, in his commentary on the confession writes,

    'Many of those who hold staunchly to the 1689 Confession doubt the value of its dogmatism regarding the pope being the antichrist. The writer is among these. This is one of those statements which would properly be deleted in a revision of the Confession. Such a deletion must, however, be made, not because of any weakening of our convictions about the apostate condition of the Church of Rome, or the wicked and heretical character of the claims of the pope.......'
     
  10. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    And the real truth is that the scriptures themselves do NOT tell us that any Pope must be the Antichrist, so maybe, maybe not, but in this area, the bible must trump the Confession!
     
  11. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    So, do you "hold" to The Confession loosely? Or is your subscription to The Confession full and strict? Or something between (substantial subscription to the Confession)?
     
  12. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    I do not see them, or anything other than the scriptures, as being infallible, inspired, or having final authority regarding theology/doctrines!
     
  13. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    Well that clears it up.
     
  14. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Think Luther said pretty much the same thing!
     
  15. David Kent

    David Kent Well-Known Member
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    I believe that the 1689 is quite correct in stating that the papacy is the man of sin or antichrist. Luther came to that conclusion gradually. Over 100 years before the reformation Jan Hus wrote a number of letters to the English Lollards regarding the papal antichrist, before that the Waldensians wrote a Treatise on Antichrist about the year 1200.

    The usual objection to that is that the man of sin is considered to be one man. The other kings of the Statue in Dan 2 were dynasties, and the little horn came up at the same time as the 10 Gothic kings who overthrew Rome. The Papacy overthrew three of the ten horns or kingdoms. The popes occupy the place of Cæsar, Cæsar bore the title of Pont Max, carried through nia Contantine who was also Pont Max to the Popes after Phocas gave them the title of Universal Bishop. This came into effect upon the death of Phocas in AD 610
     
  16. rsr

    rsr <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
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  17. rsr

    rsr <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
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    Again, all confessions are products of their time. On the papacy, the signers of the Second London were especially concerned about the restoration of the Catholic Church in England (a matter not entirely decided in 1677). Since it was finally made public in 1689 after the Glorious Revolution, it made perfect sense to castigate the papists. The early Baptists were born again, but they weren't born yesterday.
     
  18. rsr

    rsr <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
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  19. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    But the Baptists dropped two of Westminster's overt references to papacy:

    Westminster: "much less hath the Pope any power or jurisdiction"
    Westminster: "And, therefore, such as profess the true reformed religion should not marry with infidels, Papists, or other idolaters"

    Baptists adapted the latter as: "and therefore such as profess the true religion, should not marry with infidels, or idolaters"
    [also note they did not retain the reformed label]
     
  20. rsr

    rsr <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
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    My experience is entirely limited to Internet message boards. I have never had a face-to-face discussion on the Second London. It is, in fact, a totally foreign document to the Baptists with whom I have regular dealings.

    My experience is that folks quote the Second London to defend TULIP. The nuances, such as rejecting double predestination and denying original sin as leading to damnation, are never discussed.

    And who knew that the Second London discarded "persons" in the description of the Trinity?

    It is a densely packed statement of Calvinistic-Separatist-Congregationalist theology, unique in its own right, IMO, but discussions of it rarely range beyond TULIP.
     
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