Part Three: The Propagation of Hyper-Calvinism
CHAPTER V – Three Theologians
Synopsis: 1. The influence of Richard Davis. 2. Lewis Wayman. 3. John Gill. 4. John Brine.
It is our task in this chapter to describe the careers of the three men whom we have chosen as examples, in their theological thinking, of Hyper-Calvinism. They were Lewis Wayman, a Congregational minister, John Gill and John Brine, both Baptist ministers. Since all three, directly or indirectly, were connected with Richard Davis, we shall first, by way of introduction, make brief reference to his evangelistic and doctrinal influence.
THE INFLUENCE OF RICHARD DAVIS
Until Joseph Hussey’s arguments against the offer of the grace of Christ to hearers of the Gospel became known, Davis freely offered Christ to men just as Tobias Crisp and Thomas Cole had done. In his autobiography Joseph Perry, a convert of Davis, testified to the open invitation to sinners in the preaching of Davis.
I remember when he used to speak to sinners (for then I did listen in particular) he would exhort with great earnestness poor sinners to come to Christ, sinners as they were, and believe on him at the word of command: “This is the command of God that you believe on his Son”, I John 3.23, and not stand in dispute whether or not thou art worthy or not worthy, elected or not elected, this being a secret not for us to pry into, but as sinners we must come to Christ and believe on him or be damned.1
However, as John Gill pointed out in his preface to the seventh edition of the Hymns of Richard Davis,2 the latter did change his mind on this matter in the closing years of his life. Thus it is very probable that many of his converts and followers also adopted Hussey’s belief that the doctrines of grace should only be preached not offered.
Though they had converts in many places, Davis and his helpers only established six Churches. These were at Wellingborough (1691), Thorpe Waterville (1694), and Ringstead (1714) in Northamptonshire, Needingworth (1693) and Kimbolton (1693) in Huntingdonshire, and Guyhurn in Cambridgeshire.3 They were also closely associated with the formation of the Independent Church at Southill in Bedfordshire.4 These Churches formed centres from which the influence of Davis, tempered by Hussey’s views on preaching, continued to flow. It is to the life and career of a pastor of one of these Churches that we now turn.
Lewis Wayman was a knacker and collar-maker by trade, working for those who owned horses. As a youth he became a member of the Rothwell Church during the period when Richard Davis was its pastor. When it was noticed that he had a gift for preaching, he was heard by the Church and then given permission to become an itinerant minister. One of the places at which he preached was Kimbolton, which, as we have seen, had intimate connections with Rothwell. After the death of its second minister, Richard Bailey, in 1714, Wayman was one of the supplies who were invited to fill the pulpit. In the Kimbolton Church book the following entry is found, dated 23rd June, 1717:
It was agreed on by the Church non contridicting, that we desier brother Wayman to continue amongst us and that to go forwards in order to be our pastor, and we appoynt our breathren in town to discors and conclude with brother Wayman what may be needfull thereunto about his settlement amongst us and his dismission to us.
On 13th October, 1717, the letter from Rothwell agreeing to release Wayman from his membership was read to the Kimbolton Church, but it was not until 15th January, 1718, that Wayman was ordained and set apart to the office of pastor. Messengers from Rothwell, Kettering, Wellingborough, Higham Ferrers, Ringstead and Thorpe Waterville were present at this ceremony. It is unlikely that Wayman continued to make harnesses and collars for horses after his ordination since in a sermon a few years later he said:
There is nothing more plain in Scripture than this, that those whom God hath set apart to the work of the ministry are exempted from other worldly trades and callings.6
He remained pastor of the Church for forty-six years until his death in March, 1764.
Though he published only two tracts and a few funeral sermons, it is possible to be fairly accurate in estimating what were the major theological influences in his thinking. As a member of the Rothwell Church, he was obviously nurtured in a High Calvinism which showed some sympathy towards the doctrinal antinomianism of Tobias Crisp. Here also he was probably introduced to the writings of John Owen and Thomas Goodwin to which he made reference in his tracts. Yet his admiration for Goodwin seems to have surpassed that for Owen. And the way in which he quoted from and defended the two influential books of Joseph Hussey shows that he had carefully absorbed them and accepted the essentials of the dogma. Indeed, Hussey seems to have been highly respected by the Kimbolton Church since he preached there on several occasions, including the funeral sermon for Richard Bailey.7
Wayman’s Hyper-Calvinism is clearly reflected in the part he took in the controversy concerning “the modern question” which we shall discuss in Chapter VII. It is because of the important part that he had in this controversy that we have included him in this study together with the more prolific writers, Gill and Brine.
John Gill was born in 1697. His parents were zealous Nonconformists who had been members of the Great Meeting (now Toller Meeting) in Kettering but were attending, at the time of his birth, the Little Meeting (now Fuller Meeting) which had been formed in 1696 by a secession from the Great Meeting. The Little Meeting was a Baptist Church. Its first minister, William Wallis, had been the elder who administered adult baptism in the parent Church. He was succeeded by his son in 1713 and it is interesting to note that Edward Gill, the father of John Gill, was appointed a deacon in the Church sometime before 1713.
As soon as he was old enough, John was sent to the local grammar school where he quickly gained a basic knowledge of grammar, Latin and Greek. In 1708, the schoolmaster, who was an Anglican, decided to make daily attendance at the Parish Church compulsory for his boys. As the Gill family could not agree to this imposition, John, now a lad of eleven years, had to leave school. Some neighbouring ministers tried to find some way to enable him to continue his education but their efforts were without success. The possibility remains, however, that he did spend a brief period in the home of Richard Davis at Rothwell, which had to end because of the illness of Davis.9 The young Gill had a thirst for knowledge and allowed nothing to stand in his way. He continued his studies privately, seeking to master his knowledge of Latin and Greek, and extending his studies to cover logic, rhetoric, moral philosophy and Hebrew. Also he read the Latin works of various continental divines from which he was later to quote liberally.
On the first day of November, 1716, he made a public profession of faith to the congregation at the Little Meeting, and afterwards was baptised by Thomas Wallis. Following the advice of some London friends he moved soon afterwards to Higham Ferrers in order to live with John Davis, a We1shman,10 who had recently arrived there to be the minister of the newly-formed Baptist Church. The intention was that Gift should continue his studies with the help of Davis and also preach in the neighbouring villages. This he did and also married Elizabeth Negus, a member of the Church.
In 1719 Gill accepted a call to become the minister of the Particular Baptist Church which met at Horsleydown, Southwark, in succession to Benjamin Stinton. Due to various troubles in the Church,11 the ordination ceremony was delayed until March 22nd, 1720. Significantly, one of the ministers who took part in the ceremony was John Skepp. Gill had a great respect for John Skepp and in his preface to the second edition of Divine Energy he wrote: “The worthy author ...was personally and intimately known by me and his memory precious to me”. After Skepp’s death in 1721, Gill purchased most of his Hebrew and Rabbinical books and made great use of them both in his commentary on the Old Testament and in his polemical treatises.
He remained pastor of the Church until he died in 1771. Throughout these long years he was in constant demand as a preacher at ordinations and funerals. From 1729 to 1756 he preached at the Wednesday Lecture in Great Eastcheap and several of his books had their origin as lectures here. Also he was chosen as one of the nine lecturers who gave the Lime Street Lectures in 1730–1731. His subject was “The Resurrection of the Dead”.
He saw himself not only as a pastor and casuist but also as a defender of what he believed was the Reformed faith. This made him an ardent controversialist. Because of the progress of heterodox views of the Trinity and the Person of Christ he wrote The Doctrine of the Trinity stated and vindicated (1731). In answer to the charges of Abraham Taylor and Job Burt12 that the doctrine of eternal justification caused antinomianism he wrote The Doctrine of God’s Everlasting Love to His Elect and their Eternal Union to Christ (1732), Truth Defended (1736), and The Necessity of Good Works unto Salvation considered (1739). When John Wesley attacked both the doctrine of absolute predestination and the doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints, Gill replied with The Doctrine of Predestination Stated and set in Scripture-light (1752), and The Doctrine of the Saints Final Perseverance Asserted and Vindicated (1752). His four-volume The Cause of God and Truth (1734–1738) was written to answer the Discourse on Election by Dr. Daniel Whitby which had been republished in 1735. Gill was also a staunch Baptist and defended Baptist principles against many critics. His three-volume Body of Divinity, published at the end of his life, contained the substance of the sermons he had preached to his congregation.
Gill’s theological sympathies are reflected in his connection with the publication of several books. He wrote a preface to the Hymns of Richard Davis in 1748, edited Skepp’s Divine Energy in 1751, as well as Crisp’s Works in 1755, and together with John Brine, signed the prefatory “epistle to the reader” of the Oeconomy of the Covenants by Herman Witsius in 1763.
When they become adults some men despise and forget the religious teaching to which, as boys, they were subjected. This was true of many men in the early years of the eighteenth century as they departed from the orthodox Calvinism of their youth to adopt Arminian principles. But this did not happen to John Gill. He spent his whole life learning more about and defending the teaching which, as a young man, he had learned in Northamptonshire. The High Calvinism of Richard Davis, hardened by controversy with Baxterianism and Arminianism, modified through the assimilation of Crispian doctrines, and severely conditioned by the influence of Hussey’s “no offers of grace” theology, was the theological environment in which Gill was nurtured. Of Crisp and Hussey he wrote:
They were both, in their day and generation, men of great piety and learning, of long standing and much usefulness in the Church of Christ, whose name and memory will be dear and precious to the saints when this writer (Job Burt) and his pamphlet will be remembered no more.13
He deepened this theology through the study of certain continental and English High Calvinists and was, no doubt, confirmed in his views through his friendship with John Skepp.
The footnotes in his books reveal that throughout his life he was an avid and wide reader. There are many quotations from Rabbinical, patristic, philosophical and even scientific books.14 The writers whom he quoted approvingly were few and were all Reformed divines with the exception of Augustine. They included Jacobus Altingius (1583–1644), professor at Amsterdam; Johannes Cocceius (1613–1669), the famous federal theologian;15 Johannes Henricus Heideggerus (1633–1698), professor at Zurich; Johannes Hoornbeck (1617–1666), professor at Leyden; Johannes Maccovius (1588–1644), professor at Franeker; Marcus F. Wendelinus (1584–1652), a leading Reformed scholastic theologian; Johannes Wollebius (1586–1629), professor at Basel; Herman Witsius (1636-1708), a federal theologian; and the British divines, William Ames, William Pemble, Samuel Rutherford, William Twisse, Thomas Goodwin and John Owen.
Gill had two intimate friends, J. C. Ryland, a Baptist minister, and Augustus Toplady, an Anglican clergyman. So great was the latter’s admiration for Gill that he wrote: “While true religion and sound learning have a single friend in the British Empire, the works and name of Gill will be precious and revered”.16
Into a poor, godly home in Kettering John Brine was born in 1703. At a very young age he had to begin work to help his family and so had no chance of attending a school. Though he must have heard the Gospel many times both from his father, who was a member of the Little Meeting, and from others, it was under the preaching of John Gill, who was six years his senior, that he was actually converted. Many years later, Gill referred to him as among “the firstfruits” of his ministry.18 Brine was baptised by Thomas Wallis and admitted into Church membership. On the one remaining page of the Church record book for this period, the signature of Brine appears, written presumably when he joined the Church. This conversion experience served not only to give him a desire for the things of God, but also a zeal to acquire a working knowledge of the ancient languages and a better literary taste. In these early days of academic study, John Gill and Thomas Wallis acted as his teachers. It did not take the Church long to realise that Brine had the necessary gifts and calling to be a preacher. Accordingly, the Church called him into the ministry of the Word just as previously it had called Gill. For a few years he served as an itinerant minister in the neighbouring villages and proved acceptable. During this period he came into contact with John Moore, minister of the Nonconformist Church which met in College Lane, Northampton, and he married his youngest daughter, Anne.19
John Moore had been set apart as pastor of the Northampton Church in December, 1700, when messengers from the Rothwell Church were present. Earlier Richard Davis himself had been present as a witness at the formation of the Church in 1697, and later the Rothwell Church gave a gift towards the erection of a Meeting House.20 Thus the influence of Davis came to Brine through Gill and Moore. To Moore also, Brine owed both his copy of Hutter’s Hebrew Bible and the introduction to his first pastorate. In the oldest minute book of the Church now meeting in Queen’s Road, Coventry, there is a record of payments made to John Moore for preaching there in 1725. The church to which Moore preached was a Particular Baptist Church and it met in a little square brick building in Will Raton’s yard, in Jordan Well, Coventry. A year later Brine preached here and by October, 1726, he had been chosen as pastor.21 In February, 1727, he was taken into full membership of the Church and commenced his pastoral duties. He remained here until July 27th, 1729, when he moved to London to become pastor of the congregation which met in Curriers’ Hall, Cripplegate, and whose pastor had once been John Skepp who died in 1721.
With John Gill, Brine “cultivated a particular friendship, which was strengthened by a congeniality of views on religious subjects”.22 He also read widely to furnish himself with material in order to defend the doctrines he had learned as a youth in Kettering. He saw the duties of the ministry as twofold. The first was “the defence of the principles of ... revelation” and the second was the necessity of convincing church-goers of their “lukewarmness, indifferency and sad declension”.23 Thus, apart from his pastoral duties he sought to defend his faith against Deism,24 Arianism25 and Baxterianism.26
The authorities whom Brine quoted approvingly were virtually the same as those quoted by Gill. Witsius, Pemble and Goodwin were his particular favourites. Whilst he regarded Hussey as a “great and learned man”, he did not accept everything that he had written uncritically. He disagreed with Hussey’s distinction between “everlasting” and “eternal”.27 But he did accept Hussey’s belief that it is wrong to offer the grace of Christ to all.
In London, Brine took an active part in the affairs of the Particular Baptist denomination and preached at many ordination and funeral services. When John Gill retired from the Great Eastcheap Lecture in 1756, Brine was one of the ministers chosen to continue the Lecture. Also he preached regularly at the Sunday evening Lecture at Devonshire Square, in the Meeting House of the Particular Baptist Church. After an illness he died on 21st February, 1765, and like Gill, was buried in Bunhill Fields.
1. From the Life and miraculous conversion from Popery of Joseph Perry, quoted by Glass, op. cit., pp. 154 ff., and by the Gospel Standard in July, 1853.
2. “Whereas the phrase of offering Christ and Grace is sometimes used in these Hymns, which may be offensive to some persons; and which the worthy author was led to the use of, partly thro’ custom, it not having been objected to, and partly thro’ his affectionate concern and zeal for gaining upon souls, and encouraging them to come to Christ; I can affirm upon good and sufficient Testimony, that Mr. Davis, before his death, changed his mind in this matter, and disused the phrase as being improper, and as being too bold and free, for a minister of Christ to make use of....”
3. Glass, op. cit., Chapter 9.
4. Cf. H. G. Tibbutt, “New Light on Northamptonshire Nonconformist History”, Northamptonshire Past and Present, IV (1966–1967), pp. 61 ff.
5. Not a lot is known about Wayman. The following facts are gleaned from two sources: (i) “The first Church book of the Kimbolton Independent Church”, in typescript in Dr. Williams’s Library, copied by H. G. Tibbutt. (ii) “The Nonconformist Churches at Hail-Weston, St. Neots, etc.” in five volumes of MS. also in Dr. Williams’s Library and by Joseph Rix.
6. Quoted by Rix, Vol. 5, p. 1.
7. This information is to be found in the Diary of Hussey. The funeral on was preached on 23rd June, 1714.
8. Some of the following detail is taken from J. Rippon, Brief Memoir of he Life and Writings of... John Gill (1838).
9. Davis had been a schoolmaster in London before 1689. In his preface to the Hymns of Davis, Gill wrote: “I had the honour in my youth of knowing him; his memory has always been precious to me, partly on account of his great regard both for my Education, for which he was heartily concerned, and also for my spiritual and eternal welfare”. We know that Davis took young men into his home as students from the following statement: “In order to perpetuate this schism, Davis breeds up young men in his house”, in the anonymous Doctrine and Discipline of Mr. Richard Davis of Rothwell (1700), p. 22.
10. John Davis does not seem to have been a relative of Richard Davis. Yet he was certainly of similar religious convictions. He moved from Higham Ferrets to Cambridge after 1721 to become pastor of a Baptist Church whose origin was in a secession from the Church of which Hussey was pastor until 1719. Cf. B. Nutter, The Story of the Cambridge Baptists, p. 83.
11. Cf. B. R. White, “Thomas Crosby, Baptist Historian”, B.Q. XXI (October, 1965), for the background to these troubles.
12. Taylor made the charge in one of his lectures at Lime Street and also printed it in his lecture when it was published in 1732 with the other lectures in Defense of some important doctrines. Burt wrote Some doctrines in the supralapsarian scheme examined (1736).
13. Gill, Truth Defended, in Sermons and Tracts, Vol. II, p. 81.
14. E.g. William Whiston, A New Theory of the Earth (1696).
15. Cf. “Cocceius, Johannes and his school”, New Schaff Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. III.
16. Rippon, op. cit., p. 140.
17. For a brief sketch of Brine’s life see Wilson, op. cit., Vol. II, pp. 574 ff.
18. Gill, Sermons and Tracts, Vol. I, p. 591.
19. For the history of the Church see E. A. Payne, College Street Church, Northampton, 1697–1947. Moore was a Yorkshireman who in the 1690s engaged in evangelism with William Mitchell and David Crosley in the Pennines.
20. For the relations between Rothwell and Northampton see Glass, op. cit., pp. 129 ff.
21. Cf. I. Morris, Three Hundred Years of Baptist Life in Coventry, pp. 12 ff.
22. Wilson, op. cit., Vol. II, p. 575.
23. Preface to Treatise on various subjects (1750).
24. E.g. he wrote against Dodwell in The Christian Religion not destitute of Arguments sufficient to support it (1746).
25. E.g. he wrote against Taylor of Norwich in The True Sense of Attonement for Sin (1752).
26. E.g. he wrote against Watts in The Certain Efficacy of the Death of Christ (1743).
27. Proper Eternity of the Divine Decrees (1754), pp. 2 ff.
CHAPTER VI – God, His Decrees and Covenants
Synopsis: 1. The Sources of the knowledge of God: (a) Natural Religion; (b) Divine Revelation. 2. The Internal Acts of God: (a) Predestination; (b) Eternal Union; (c) Eternal Adoption; (d) Eternal Justification. 3. The Covenant of Grace. 4. The Covenant of Works. 5. Calvin and Hyper-Calvinism.
Concerning the Augustan Age in which the authors we are studying lived and worked, Carl L. Becker has written: “What we have to realise is that in those years God was on trial”.1 We may agree with Becker as the doctrine of God is the foundation of all theology and was certainly a subject of much discussion in the first half of the eighteenth century. It is against this background of rational enquiry that we must set the Hyper-Calvinist doctrine of God.
THE SOURCES OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
(a) Natural Religion. The question as to what positive contribution the study of nature could make to the knowledge of God was a vital question to be faced in an age when Deism was popular. Brine asserted that the careful study of nature could, and did, lead men not merely into a belief in the existence of an eternal Being, the Creator of the universe, but also into a belief in His unity, His spirituality, His simplicity, His omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence and His immutability. He sought to prove this assertion with quotations from such writers as Cicero, Pythagoras, Plato and Seneca.2 Yet he was careful to add that this knowledge, when compared with divine revelation, was partial and deficient. “That there is a God may be known by the light of nature”, wrote John Gill, “but who and what he is, men destitute of divine revelation have been at a loss about.”3 In a brief reference to the subject Wayman wrote:
God has written one book for reason to read in, another for faith; the creatures discover to reason, now eclipsed, the eternal power and godhead; but God’s glories are written in the face of Jesus Christ as mediator and saviour, and there it is that the saved of the Lord read his glories and shall be reading of them to all eternity.4
It was felt that the religion of nature did not teach men how to worship God aright and could offer no help to troubled consciences. However, had man not sinned, the light of nature would have been sufficient to teach him, in that state of perfection, all that he needed to know about God. But the fact was clear that the human race was fallen and without any resources to have fellowship with God. It was, wrote Brine, only “in the glass of the Christian revelation (that) we have presented to our view truths more sublime, more noble, and far more glorious than our reason could ever have thought of; nay, than reason, in a state of perfection, could have discovered”.5
Nevertheless, as Brine pointed out in his reply to James Foster, the Arian, reason is not to be abandoned by those who believe in the superiority of divine revelation. The purpose of reason is to judge the sense of revelation. It has to consider the import of the language of Scripture, to compare one part of revelation with another, and to discern when metaphor, allegory and analogy are being used by the inspired writers. Also he held that:
Reason is to infer conclusions from premises which revelation delivers. And this may be done with certainty provided we proceed carefully in considering the true sense of the propositions wherein some truths are contained, from which other truths are evidently deducible.6
This hermaneutical principle was often used by the Hyper-Calvinists, especially in their distinctive additions to High Calvinism.
(b) Divine Revelation. The enquiring minds of the eighteenth century claimed to accept nothing without sufficient proof. Therefore those who regarded the Bible as the inerrant word of God felt obliged to give good reasons for their belief. John Gill gave seven reasons why he believed the Bible to be of divine origin .7 We may summarise these as follows:
1. The Bible contains nothing unworthy of God. Its books contain no falsehood or contradiction and its contents are so holy and divine that no human author could possibly have written them, as is seen in the fact that the prophecies of the Old Testament are so perfectly fulfilled in the New Testament.
2. The Bible is written in such an authoritative style and manner. The majestic language of Isaiah, the speeches of Jehovah in the book of Job, and the beautiful words of the Psalms reveal a divine author.
3. The message and truth of the Bible is one, but the authors are many and of varied type. The fact that all these authors are in agreement means that they were all penmen of the Holy Spirit.
4. The reading and hearing of the Scriptures have had a marvellous effect on the lives of men and women. Under the influence of the Bible many people have turned from wickedness to lead a godly life.
5. Miracles can only be performed by God. The Bible contains the accounts of many miracles performed by the power of God. Thus the Bible must be God’s book.
6. Wicked and perverse men have opposed the printing and distribution of the Bible. They would not have adopted this attitude had it not been completely opposed to their way of life.
7. Many of the books of the Bible are very old and as Tertullian once said, “That which is most ancient is most true”.
Gill also had definite views about the inspiration of the Bible. He held that its penmen wrote as they were directed, inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit. Not only the general message and substance of the Scriptures but the very words of the original languages also were suggested by the Holy Spirit to the human authors, and suggested in such a way as to correspond with the individual style of the author.
Though the nature of God revealed in the Bible cannot be fully comprehended by human minds, the duty of theologians is “to frame the best conceptions of him” and “to serve and worship him, honour and glorify him in the best manner”.8 Christ taught that God is a Spirit (John 4.22–24) and this means, thought Gill, that God, as the highest form of Spirit is immaterial, incorruptible, immortal, invisible, and endowed with the highest form of understanding, will and affections. He is eternal and immutable in His nature and purposes, an infinite being. Also He is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, wise, sovereign in all things, merciful, loving, good, holy, hateful towards sin, faithful, self-sufficient and blessed.
The Bible revealed that God was One in Three:
That there is a God, and that there is but one God, who is a Being possessed of all divine perfections, may be known by the light of nature: but that there is a Trinity of persons in the Godhead, who are distinct, though not divided from each other, is what natural reason could never have discovered.9
This plurality in the Godhead is revealed in Scripture in three ways. First, plural names and epithets are used of God; e.g. “Elohim” in Genesis 1.1. Secondly, plural expressions are used by God such as “Let us make man in our image”, Genesis 1.25, and “Who will go for us”, Isaiah 6.8. Thirdly, by the existence of the special angel of Jehovah in the Old Testament who, though distinct from Jehovah, speaks as Jehovah, as in Genesis 16.7.10
Both Gill and Brine maintained that this plurality in the Godhead was not merely God appearing in various forms or having different names as taught in Sabellianism.11 “The three in the Godhead are not barely three modes, but three distinct Persons in a different mode of subsisting.”12 The distinction of the Three Persons is as eternal as the eternity of God. Gill explained:
It is in the personal relations, or distinctive relative properties which belong to each person, which distinguish them one from another; as paternity in the first Person, filiation in the second, and spiration in the third; or, more plainly, it is begetting, Psalm ii. 7, which peculiarly belongs to the first, and is never ascribed to the second or third; which distinguishes him from both, and gives him, with great propriety, the name of Father; and it is being begotten that is the personal relation, or relative property of the second Person; hence called “the only begotten of the Father”, John i. 14, which distinguishes him from the first and the third, and gives him the name of Son; and the relative property or personal relation of the third Person is, that he is breathed by the first and second Persons; hence called, the breath of the Almighty, the breath of the mouth of Jehovah the Father, and the breath of the mouth of Christ the Lord, and which is never said of the other two Persons; and so distinguishes him from them and very pertinently gives him the name of Spiгit.13
As Gill rightly observed: “the distinction of Persons in the Deity depends on the generation of the Son”.14 Though some learned theologians (e.g. Thomas Ridgley) might seek to explain the doctrine of the Trinity without this cardinal doctrine the fact remained, insisted Gill, that it is a necessary doctrine. Thus he defended the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity against both Socinian, Arian and Sabellian errors. Like John Brine he also denied that the soul of Christ existed in heaven and was joined to the God-Man before the Incarnation.15 Indeed, in their doctrine of the Trinity the Hyper-Calvinists were entirely in harmony with the Catholic Creeds.
THE INTERNAL ACTS OF GOD
It was usual amongst Reformed theologians to distinguish between the internal and external acts of God, the latter having reference to what God has done and is doing in time, the former having reference to His eternal thoughts.16 These eternal thoughts of God they divided into the personal and essential acts of God. Personal acts referred to the acts peculiar to each of the Three Persons, and essential acts to the common works and thoughts of all Three. The Hyper-Calvinists used these distinctions.
The decrees or counsels of God were regarded as part of the essential acts of God. “God is a Spirit, uncreated, infinite, operative and active; He must have been for ever active in Himself; His eternal mind must have always been employed.”17 Indeed, Brine criticised both Hussey and Stockell because their doctrine of the God-Man made the decrees of God to be temporal not eternal. He also tried to show that the favourite passage of these two men, Proverbs 8.22ff., did teach the doctrine of the eternal generation of the Second Person of the Trinity.18
It was held that the decrees of God had reference to everything in the universe: the heavens (Psalm 148.6), the earth (II Peter 3.5), the seas (Job 38.8ff.), the nations (Daniel 2), Israel (Genesis 15.14), the Church, the lives of all people, and the life, death, resurrection of Jesus Christ. All the good in the world exists because of His effective decrees, whilst evil exists by His permissive decrees. Even the death of a sparrow is controlled by the purpose of God (Matthew 10.29).
God’s decrees are immanent acts since they are in Him, and remain and abide in Him until they are executed. They are free acts as no “outside power” influenced their constitution; and they are wise acts because God is wise. Also they are immutable, unalterable and effectual acts for God Himself is immutable.
(a) Predestination. The decrees of God concerning rational beings were called predestination. These decrees included not only the election of some individuals to salvation and the rejection of others, but also the predetermination of all things necessary to bring these decrees to fruition. God’s first act of election was to choose Christ, the Mediator. In His eternal purposes God prepared a body and human nature for the Second Person of the Trinity. He purposed that the Son, as the God-Man, should be the Head of the elect and He had delight in His thoughts as He considered this: “Behold my servant, whom I uphold, mine Elect in whom my soul delighteth” (Isaiah 42.1).
Gill argued that this predestination of individuals to eternal life and glory was not to be confused with the election of the nation of Israel to external privileges such as the possession of Canaan and the Temple cultus. Nor was election to be understood as having any reference to groups of people or to Churches. When Paul told the Thessalonians that they were the chosen and elect of God (I Thess. 1.4), he meant that as individual Christians they were such.19
Also Gill argued that God is “the efficient cause” of election.20 As a Sovereign Being, He has the right to choose whom He will and He has exerted this right. Those whom He has chosen He has placed in Christ, the Head of the elect, and Himself the “Elect One”.
Though the Hyper-Calvinists preferred the supralapsarian view of predestination, they were not dogmatic on this question. Gill even wrote:
For my own part, I think that both (i.e. supralapsarianism and sublapsarianism) may be taken in; that in the decree of the end the ultimate end, the glory of God, for which He does all things men might be considered in the divine mind as сreable, not yet created and fallen: and that in the decree of means, which, among other things, takes in the mediation of Christ, redemption by him and the sanctification of the Spirit, they might be considered as created, fallen and sinful, which these things imply; nor does this suppose separate acts and decrees in God, or any priority and posteriority in them; which in God are but one and together; but our finite minds are obliged to consider them one after another, not being able to take them in together, and at one.21
Brine believed that it was not a point over which “Calvinists” should disagree and argue,22 and Gill reminded his readers that the greatest of all supralapsarians, William Twisse, had considered that the difference between the two views of predestination was only apex logicus, a logical point.
The decree of reprobation was considered as having two parts, preterition and pre-damnation. Preterition referred to God passing by some people as He looked upon the whole human race in His eternal thoughts and pre-damnation referred to God’s condemnation of the future non-elect human beings to eternal perdition. “The sole, moving and impulsive cause of such a decree,” wrote Gill, “(is) what Christ has expressed, ‘Even so Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight’.23 The decrees of God have their ultimate explanation in the good pleasure of God.
(b) Eternal Union.24 It was believed that the elect are loved by God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit with an eternal love (Romans 8.34). As the fruit of the Father’s love the elect were eternally joined to Christ in “election-union” (Ephesians 1.4). By the love of Christ to His Elect Bride, the Church, there was also “conjugal-union”; the secret act of betrothal was in eternity with the Holy Spirit as the Witness. In addition, there was the “federal-union” between Christ and the elect, since the covenant of grace was made, not with Christ as a single Person, but with Him as a representative Person, the Head of the elect. Finally, there was the “legal-union” between Christ and the elect, the bond of which is His Suretyship for them in the covenant of grace. This doctrine of eternal union was thus conceived as the first blessing of God’s grace to the elect and as an immanent act of God.
(c) Eternal Adoption.25 The Hyper-Calvinists held that, though all Christians are the children of God by faith in Christ, this sense of adoption, caused by the work of the Holy Spirit, is only an open manifestation in time of the eternal adoption of each elect person by God the Father in eternity. It is because the elect are already adopted that the Spirit of adoption is sent into their hearts. Adoption was therefore considered as an act of God’s free grace from eternity, a logical consequence of eternal election and eternal union.
(d) Eternal Justification.26 It was customary amongst some Reformed divines to divide justification into active and passive justification.27 Active justification was thought of as that which took place in the immanent acts of God, whereas passive justification was held to be that act of God which terminates in time in the conscience of the elect believer. This way of treating justification was adopted by Gill and Brine who taught that the elect are eternally justified because of the sure nature of God’s decrees of election and salvation. Brine defended this doctrine against Robert Bragge, one of the Lime Street lecturers, and Gill answered the objections of the learned Professor Turretine of Geneva.28
THE COVENANT OF GRACE29
We now turn to an examination of the eternal transactions and operations of God in Trinity. The Hyper-Calvinists distinguished the eternal counsel of God from the eternal covenant of grace and regarded the former as the foundation of the latter.
As Scripture states that the doctrines of the Gospel are the counsel of God (Acts 20.27), it was their belief that these doctrines reflect the hidden wisdom of God. Thus there must have been some deliberation within the Godhead in eternity to formulate this counsel and wisdom. The words in Genesis 1.25, “Let us make man in our image”, show that deliberation took place about the creation and the nature of mankind. The eternal counsel of God which concerned itself with the salvation of men they called the “council of peace”, Gill wrote:
Now the affair consulted about was not the salvation of men meerly; nor who should be the persons that should be saved with it; for both that was resolved on, and the persons fixed on who were to enjoy it in the decree of election, which stands firm and sure in the unalterable will of God; but who should be the Saviour, or be the author of this salvation; and a proper person for this work could never have been devised, found out, and pitched upon, by men and angels; this was the business of the great council.30
It was because of this eternal council that the covenant of grace came into being.
The covenant of grace was thought of as a compact or agreement made from eternity amongst the divine Persons, more especially between the Father and the Son, concerning the salvation of those already chosen in the decree of election. It was an agreement of the Trinity which presupposed the decrees of election and reprobation. [Thus it was in direct opposition to the doctrine (the “new method”) of Saumur which placed the decree of election after the decree of universal redemption.] Whilst they believed that it was correct to call the covenant of grace the covenant of redemption, they believed it was wrong to divide the one covenant into two covenants as the followers of Richard Baxter did.
The Father, the First Person of the Trinity, took the initiative in the covenant. He proposed various conditions to the Second Person and these formed the only conditions of the covenant. They were that the Son, as the Messiah, should take full care of the elect souls whom the Father had chosen, and, because they were to be involved in the sin of Adam, that He should redeem them. This in turn meant that He must assume human nature, be born of a woman, perfectly obey the law of God, satisfy divine justice and bring in an everlasting righteousness for the elect.
The Father promised to the Son the full assistance of the Holy Spirit, the help of angels, and His own providential guidance in the everyday tasks of life. Also He promised the Son that in His human nature, as the Messiah, He would be exalted above all creation and be seated at God’s right hand in triumph. Furthermore, He promised that the elect in the Messiah as their Head and Representative would be delivered from sin and misery and then openly adopted, justified and glorified.
It was believed that the attitude of the Son in the covenant was expressed in Psalm 40.7, “Lo, I come; in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God”. He accepted the conditions put to Him by the Father: “Yea, thy law is within my heart”. This acceptance of the Father’s conditions meant that He became the Covenant-Head, Mediator, Surety and Testator of the covenant of grace.
The covenant conditions were put to him as the Represenative of the elect and on their behalf He accepted them; it was this acceptance that made him their Covenant-Head. He agreed also to become the “one Mediator between God and man” (I Timothy 2.5) which He was able to fulfill perfectly since He was God and would become man. Part of the office of Mediator involved becoming the legal Surety of the elect (Hebrews 7.22). Gill explained this concept of Christ as a Surety in the following way:
Christ is in such sense a Surety civilians call an exprommissor, one that promises out and out, absolutely engages to pay another’s debt; takes another’s obligation, and transfers it to himself, and by this act dissolves the former obligation, and enters into a new one, which civilians call novation; so that the obligation no longer lies on the principal debtor, but he is set free, and the Surety is under the obligation, as if he was the principal debtor, or the guilty person. Now this sort of suretyship being most familiar, and coming nearest to Christ’s suretyship, is made use of to express and explain it.31
The debts which Christ undertook to pay for the elect were the debts of obeying the law and the punishment owed to the elect by God for their transgression. Finally, since the covenant of grace had the character of a testament or will, the Second Person undertook to be the Testator by whose death the blessings of the testament and covenant would be bequeathed to the elect.
The Holy Spirit also gave His full consent to the scheme of salvation. This is seen in the fact that Christ was conceived in the Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit and in that Christ offered His sacrifice to the Father through the Eternal Spirit (Hebrews 9.14). Indeed, it was He who sealed all the promises of the covenant and has therefore been called the “Holy Spirit of promise” (Ephesians 1.13). He also consented to work in the hearts of the elect and bring them, through regeneration and sanctification, to eternal glory.
At the basis of all the theological thinking of the three theologians whom we are studying there stood this conception of the eternal covenant of free grace, absolute and unconditional in its promises, and, as far as the elect are concerned, destined to be surely fulfilled in its historical manifestation. In the theological turmoil of their environment, and through their own inward trials, they found assurance and solace in this doctrine. It was for them a sure anchor on which their minds and hearts could rest.
Naturally they believed that this eternal covenant of grace was revealed in time in human history and in two basic forms of administration: the New Covenant, promised in the Old Testament and inaugurated by Christ, and the Mosaic Covenant, which was of a temporary nature. In the next chapter we shall discuss some of the blessings for the elect in the New Covenant.
THE COVENANT OF WORKS32
Like the majority of Puritans, the Hyper-Calvinists were Federal Theologians. Thus they held that God made a covenant of works with Adam, and, as we shall see in the next chapter, this covenant had an important place in their thought.
Since God, the Sovereign Ruler and Judge of all men, rules rational creatures by law, it was believed that God gave to His first creation, Adam, His law to obey as his part of the covenant of works. He engraved the moral law in his conscience and also revealed to him those regulations which governed his behaviour in the Garden of Eden. They described this covenant in various ways – “a covenant of friendship”, “a legal covenant” and “a covenant of nature”. It had two sacraments, paradise and the tree of life. However, since it was a contract God promised to bless and provide for Adam as long as he obeyed the divine law.
It is important to note that the Hyper-Calvinists believed that Adam did not act as a private individual in this covenant but as the federal and representative head of the whole human race. When he agreed to the terms of the covenant, he agreed on behalf of all people and when God promised life for complete obedience, He promised it to all people, and also when God threatened death for transgression, He meant it to refer both to Adam and to his posterity. Thus, when Adam did actually sin, he involved the whole human race in his guilt and his corruption. But he did not free his descendants from the obligation to obey the moral law of God as the only means of pleasing God and going to heaven.
CALVINISM AND HYPER-CALVINISM
We shall conclude this chapter with a brief comparison of Calvin’s doctrines of God, His decrees and covenants, with those of the Hyper-Calvinists. This comparison will show just how far the three authors whom we are studying have moved from authentic Calvinism.
First, we may notice that Calvin did not believe that human reason, working in the sphere of natural religion, could rise to the heights of the knowledge of God which Gill and Brine admitted. The view of these two theologians was very similar to that of Zwingli in reference to whose views Calvin wrote:
I deny not, indeed, that in the writings of philosophers we meet occasionally with shrewd and apposite remarks on the nature of God, though they invariably savour somewhat of giddy imagination.... The Lord has bestowed upon them some slight perception of his Godhead, that they might not plead ignorance as an excuse for their impiety, and has, at times, instigated them to deliver some truths the confession of which should be their own condemnation. Still, though seeing, they saw not. Their discernment was not such as to direct them to the truth, far less to enable them to attain it, but resembled that of a bewildered traveller who sees the flash of lightning glance far and wide for a moment and then vanish into the darkness of the night, before he can advance a single step.... To the great truths, what God is in himself, and what he is in relation to us, human reason makes not the least approach.33
Secondly, Calvin was most careful not to apply logic too rigidly to Biblical doctrine. He certainly would have denied the principle advanced by Brine that logical deductions are to be made from Biblical premises. Indeed, he would have questioned whether in fact Biblical doctrines could be treated as premises at all!
Thirdly, Calvin held that the primary authority of Scripture rested in the work of the Holy Spirit making the words of Scripture become for the individual reader or hearer, the words of the living God. To a place of secondary importance Calvin relegated such proofs as the fulfillment of prophecy, miracles and other things. The Hyper-Calvinists put Calvin’s secondary proofs to a place of primary importance. Also Calvin never enunciated the doctrine of the literal inspiration of Scripture although he held a very high view of its authority through the work of the Holy Spirit. “Though the letter (of Scripture)”, wrote H. Clavier in reference to Calvin’s view of Biblical inspiration, “does not escape from the control of the Spirit, it is for its content alone, for its spiritual content, that divine infallibility is claimed.”34
Fourthly, and this we have noticed in Chapter I, Calvin believed that the doctrine of predestination can only be understood and appreciated when studied in reference to the work of Christ and the Holy Spirit. He deliberately refused to discuss this doctrine under the doctrine of God but placed it in the third book of the Institutes which deals with the application of redemption. Therefore we find no discussion of the eternal and immanent acts of God in Calvin’s writings since he believed that our attention should be primarily focused on the Christ of history and not on the Christ of the decrees of God, or the Christ in the eternal thoughts of God. The writers to whom the Hyper-Calvinists turned for support for their description of the eternal and immanent acts of God were all very High Calvinists like Maccovíus, Hoornbeck and Twisse.
Fifthly, as we also noticed in Chapter 1, the growth of Federal Theology took place after the death of Calvin and therefore in his books there is to be found no discussion of the covenant of works35 or of the covenant of grace as an eternal and immanent activity of God. His whole interest in the covenant of grace was in its manifestation in the history of redemption.36 The Hyper-Calvinists built their whole theological system around an advanced Federal Theology stressing the eternal nature of the covenant of grace and, as we shall see in the next chapter, deducing important conclusions from the covenant of works. In their references to previous writers there is no mention of Calvin but it is to such men as Witsius, Goodwin and Cocceius that they turn.
1. Quoted by Stromberg, op. cit., p. 1.
2. Brine, Treatise ..., pp. 69 ff. All references are to the 1813 edition.
3. Gill, Body of Divinity, Vol. I, p. 34. All references are to the 1796 edition.
4. Wayman, Further Enquiry ... (1739), p. 85.
5. Brine, op. cit., p. 120.
6. Brine, Vindication of some truths ..., p. 55.
7. Gill, op. cit., pp. 19 ff.
8. Gill, Body of Divinity, Vol. I, p. 45.
9. Gill, Doctrine of the Trinity ..., in Sermons and Tracts, Vol. III, p. 2.
10. Ibid, pp. 12 ff.
11. For original Sabellianism see Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines, pp. 121 ff.
12. Gill, Body of Divinity, Vol. I, p. 205.
13. Ibid, p. 207.
14. Ibid, p. 210.
15. Ibid, pp. 210 ff. For Brine’s views see Proper Eternity of the... Decrees.
16. Cf. Heppe, Reformed Dogmatics, pp. 133 ff.
17. Gill, op. cit., Vol. 1, p. 252.
18. Brine, op. cit., pp. 8 ff.
19. Gill, Body of Divinity, Vol. I, pp. 258 ff.
20. In his frequent use of this phrase, Gill showed how much he had absorbed from the continental scholastic Calvinists.
21. Gill, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 270.
22. Brine, Motives to Love and Unity among Calvinists (1753).
23. Gill, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 288.
24. The doctrine of eternal union was a favourite doctrine of the doctrinal antinomians and is a theme to which the Hyper-Calvinists often turn. Cf. Gill, The Doctrine of God’s Everlasting Love to His Elect, and Brine, Christ, the Object of God’s Eternal Delight (1761).
25. Cf. Gill, Body of Divinity, Vol. I, pp. 295 ff., and Brine, Motives to Love and Unity, pp. 35 ff.
25. Cf. Gill, The Doctrine of Justification.
27. Cf. Heppe, op. cit., pp. 543 ff.
28. Brine, A Defence of the Doctrine of Eternal Justification (1732), and Gill, Body of Divinity, Vol. I, pp. 302 ff.
29. Cf. Gill, op. cit., Vol. I, pp. 306 ff., and Brine, The Covenant of Grace open’d (1734).
30. Gill, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 311.
31. Ibid, p. 350.
32. Ibid, pp. 461 ff.
33. Institutes, Book II, Chapter 2, Section 18.
34. Clavier, Etudes sur le calvinisme, p. 27, cited by Wendel, Calvin, p. 159.
35. Institutes, Book II, Chapters 1–2.
36. Ibid, Book II, Chapters 7–13.
CHAPTER VII – Man, His Sin and His Salvation
Synopsis: 1. Sin. 2. The Active and Passive Obedience of Christ. 3. Limited Atonement. 4. Satisfaction. 5. Justification and Adoption. 6. Regeneration, Conversion and Sanctification. 7. Assurance. 8. Calvin and Hyper-Calvinism. 9. The Free Offer of the Gospel. 10. The Theology of “The Modern Question”.
In this chapter we are to examine the application of the blessings of the eternal covenant of grace to sinful, elect men through Jesus Christ, the Mediator, and the Holy Spirit, the Advocate within. We shall see that it was in this sphere of theology that the Hyper-Calvinists, partly through the absorption of the rationalism of their day, made their distinctive additions to High Calvinism.
The eighteenth century was certainly not an age in which the orthodox Reformed doctrine of the depravity of human nature was popular.1 Accordingly, the Hyper-Calvinists felt obliged to insist upon this teaching both in the pulpit and in their books.2
They held that human nature was no longer pure and perfect as it had been in Adam before his fall. Not only was it deprived of the original principle of holiness and cut off from spiritual communion with God, but it was also under the constant dominion of sin as its governing principle. They believed that a human being had no spiritual understanding of the ways or things of God, and was each moment constantly offending the divine majesty.
The sinful state of each and every human being was traced back to the original sin of Adam who disobeyed God’s will. Since Adam was considered as a representative head of all humanity, God reckoned his transgression and subsequent guilt as that of all his descendants, and thus the punishment due to him became due to them. Yet as the representative headship of Adam was related to his seminal relationship to the human race, the depraved nature of Adam was passed on to his descendants as well.
THE ACTIVE AND PASSIVE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST
As we have already seen, Reformed theology taught that God had in eternity made plans for the fall of man, although He, Himself, took no part in human sin. In the eternal covenant of grace Christ agreed to become man and satisfy for the elect the requirements of God’s holy, moral law, both in its demands for holy living and in its punishment of guilty offenders. Reformed theology called this twofold relationship to the law the active and passive obedience of Christ which were seen as two parts of His humiliation.3 The Hyper-Calvinists adopted this distinction.4
Christ was “made of a woman, made under the law” (Galatians 4.4). By birth, Jesus Christ was a Jew, subject to Jewish civil law. By being circumcised He became a religious Jew, subject to the ceremonial law. And being a human being He was subject to the moral law of the Creator. Also, He had to render obedience to His human parents as well as to the will of His heavenly Father. Though He did obey the civil, ceremonial, parental and divine will, His active obedience, which He rendered as the Surety of the elect, was to the moral law of the Creator. Christ obeyed in a perfect manner both the inner and outward requirements of this law. He loved God with all His heart, soul, mind and strength and loved His neighbour as He loved Himself.
Christ suffered in Gethsemane and died on the Cross of Calvary, not because He Himself deserved death, but because those whom He represented as Surety deserved to be punished and to die on account of their sins. His passive obedience consisted in His willingness to endure shame, suffering and even brief separation in His humanity from God. “He became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross” for the sake of the elect and at the wish of the Father.
Thus the Hyper-Calvinists held that the elect were saved through both the active and passive righteousness of Christ.
Surrounded by many preachers who taught that Christ died for each and every man, Wayman, Gill and Brine were emphatic that Christ died only for the elect. This dogma frequently appears in their books and printed sermons. In answer to Isaac Watts’ scheme of universal redemption,5 Brine gave seven reasons why Christ could only have died for the elect.6
His first argument was based on the nature and the effects of God’s love. Though God’s love is necessarily infinite and eternal, its effects are only to be seen in a limited number of people. Only a few can say with the Apostle John: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God”. The infinite love of God is obviously only directed at a certain number of people and these are they for whom Christ died. If He died for all, then all would be sons of God.
Secondly, he argued that since God has the praise and glory of His grace as well as the vindication of His justice in view in the whole drama of salvation, and since Christ has in view the personal satisfaction that He has redeemed sinners, Christ must have died for a specific number in order to be assured of attaining these ends. If He had died merely to gain a conditional salvation for all, the certainty of these ends would not have been assured.
Thirdly, he showed that Scripture describes the people for whom Christ died as “sheep” (John 10.15), “sons” (Hebrews 2.10), the “Church” (Ephesians 5.25), the “body” (Ephesians 5.23), and as “elect” (Romans 8.23). Others are called “the rest” (Romans 11.7), “the world” (John 17.9), “goats” (Matthew 25.33) and represented as “appointed unto condemnation” (Jude 4). The use of these different terms means that Christ died for only a part of the population of the world. Fourthly, he showed that Scripture represents mankind as under one or two covenant heads, Adam and Christ. Not all the descendants of Adam are in the new humanity with Christ as its Head, and it was for this new humanity alone that Christ died, as the fifth chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans makes clear.
His fifth argument was taken from the description of the death of Christ as a redemption (e.g. I Peter 1.18–19). The word usually has reference to the deliverance of criminals or slaves from deserved or imposed penalties. When a redemption price is paid, it is paid for a specific end and a certain number of criminals is set free. The death of Christ was obviously not a redemption price for the whole world since only a small part of the world's population is actually being redeemed. Thus He died and paid a redemption for the elect only.
His sixth argument was based on the fact that God is a just Judge. The Bible clearly declares that there will be a judgement at the end of the world when some people will be punished (Matthew 25). But the Bible also teaches that Christ bore the punishment of God to men (Galatians 3.13). Yet God cannot punish people twice for the same sins and therefore Christ cannot have been made a curse for all men because if He had been there would be no need for a judgement and for punishments at the end of the world.
His seventh argument proceeded on the basis that Christ was a true High Priest. In His High Priestly prayer in John 17, Christ prayed not for the world but for those whom the Father had given Him out of the world. The Old Testament teaches that a priest only prays for those on whose behalf he offers sacrifice. This being so, Christ as Priest only offered Himself as a Sacrifice for the elect.
Gill gave similar arguments both in his Body of Divinity and in his defence of particular redemption in his The Cause of God and Truth. There is little doubt that the Hyper-Calvinists interpreted the atonement in the light of the decree of election and as a logical deduction from it.
All their arguments for limited atonement proceeded on the basis that God had made such a decree.
As the Socinian denial of the orthodox doctrine of Christ’s vicarious death was widespread in the eighteenth century, the Hyper-Calvinists gave an important place in their thinking and writing to the doctrine of Christ’s Satisfaction. Gill defined Satisfaction in these words:
What Christ has done and suffered, in the room and stead of sinners, with content, with well pleasedness, and acceptance in the sight of God, is what may, with propriety, be called Satisfaction.7
It was constantly emphasised that Satisfaction was necessary since all the elect are sinners by nature. Sin is not merely a pecuniary debt which men owe to God; it is a criminal debt which God must punish. Men, as sinners, have not only broken the law but have incurred by their disobedience its curse and condemnation. God cannot merely, out of His good pleasure, forgive sin as if it were just a small debt of money. The moral law is an eternal expression of His holy nature and any breach of it is an offence to God Himself. Thus God must punish the offender; He can do no other. The Gospel states that Christ became the Surety of the elect and willingly received from the Judge of all men the punishment due to the elect. God satisfied His justice by punishing His Son. As Gill put it:
What Christ bore, being laid upon him and imputed to him, were sins, all sorts of sins, original and actual; sins of every kind, open and secret, of heart, lip and life.8
By His sacrifical death Christ expiated these sins and offered the propitation to His Father. The result is as Brine wrote:
God cannot but punish sin, either in the sinner or in a Surety for him; and since he has punished sin in Christ the Surety, he cannot but forgive, and omit to inflict punishment on the offender.9
Thus Satisfaction by Christ brought full and free forgiveness for the elect for sins past, present and future.
JUSTIFICATION AND ADOPTION10
In the last chapter we saw that the Hyper-Calvinists regarded justification as an immanent and eternal act of God. They also held that the elect were virtually justified in the justification of their Surety, Christ, when He arose from the dead (Romans 4.25). Eternal justification was pronounced in view of the (future) certainty of Christ gaining in His humanity a perfect righteousness, which was imputed to the elect.
It was held that the actual justification of each elect sinner during his earthly pilgrimage was caused by the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart. It is He alone, was the belief of Wayman, Gill and Brine, who convinces an elect sinner of His need of righteousness, Who grants the gift of saving faith to the enlightened elect sinner and Who finally pronounces the sentence of justification in his conscience, and declares to him that he is forgiven and accepted by God for Christ’s sake.
Unlike the majority of Reformed divines,11 they did not believe that God’s attitude was changed towards a person when that person exercised saving faith in Christ. Each elect sinner realised at the time of his conversion that he was already justified in eternity and in the justification of his Surety. Indeed, for the Hyper-Calvinists, justification by faith meant a subjective realisation without any contemporaneous judicial declaration of acceptance by God, since this pronouncement had been made in eternity.
Adoption was also considered as an immanent and eternal act of God. The realisation and knowledge of eternal adoption is given to each elect soul at conversion, and there is no contemporaneous act of God accepting an elect sinner into His family.
REGENERATION, CONVERSION, SANCTIFICATION12
Since no unregenerate person is ready for or capable of enjoying the heavenly state and the holy fellowship which subsists between God and the saints in heaven, regeneration is necessary. This means:
the infusion of a new principle of spiritual life.... Men are dead in trespasses and sins, and therefore in order to their acting in a holy and a spiritual manner, a living, holy principle must be communicated to them.13
This new principle of life is produced in the elect by the infinite power and grace of God and is called in Scripture a “new nature” a “new spirit” and a “heart of flesh”.
It was believed that regeneration is a work of God in which the elect person is wholly passive. It is an irresistible act of God’s grace effected instantaneously in the soul by the Holy Spirit, and permanent in its nature. As a necessary result of this infusion of life warfare begins in the soul, the flesh lusting against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh. Brine explained:
The spiritual light which is communicated in regeneration enables a man to see the exceeding sinfulness of sin; he becomes now really acquainted with the malignity of sin, in its nature, as it is contrary to the law of God, which is a transcript of his infinitely pure and holy nature.14
The regenerate man also comes to see that “the wages of sin is death” and that he cannot contribute to his recovery out of this miserable condition; but the Holy Spirit creates within him a desire for salvation and a resolve to look for it in Christ, the Son of God. Thus he is led “to apply to Christ for pardon, peace, righteousness, grace, wisdom and strength”.15 Finally he turns from sin, self and Satan to God and is thereby converted through the gracious work of the Holy Spirit Who irresistibly makes him look to Christ.
Yet, as John Skepp had pointed out in Divine Energy, it was so easy to be deceived about the true nature of conversion. Brine devoted a whole chapter of his treatise to “the difference between real conversion and the semblance of it”. First, he carefully distinguished between a legal conviction of sin and a spiritual conviction of sin. Legal conviction proceeds from a knowledge that one has broken the law of God and is guilty before the Judge of all men, but it does not include a true “godly sorrow” for sin. Spiritual conviction leads one to mourn because of one’s sin, and to long for the gracious presence of God. Secondly, he believed that the knowledge of the Gospel which a “counterfeit” Christian has is so different from that enjoyed by the true Christian. The true Christian sees the glory and wisdom of God in the doctrines of the Gospel but the “counterfeit” Christian only knows that the doctrines are true because they come from God. Thirdly, the obedience given to God by the professing but not true Christian is of an entirely different nature from that offered to God by the true Christian. The former obeys God out of a sense of fear whilst the latter obeys God out of love and aims at His glory.
It was held that sanctification continues the work of God begun in the soul in the divine acts of regeneration and conversion. An essential part of sanctification is the fight against the principle of sin which remains in the heart of a regenerate man. This fight is mortification in which the old nature with all its sinful desires, is resisted, denied and not obeyed. The positive part of sanctification is vivification, which involves obeying God in the power of His grace. This is manifested in a holy reverence of God, a deep love for Him, a hearty submission to His will even in the most adverse dispensations of providence, a ready attendance at the means of grace, a desire for communion with God, and a love for His law and His truth.
Naturally the Hyper-Calvinists believed that those who are truly regenerate, effectually called, converted and being sanctified by the Spirit of God will persevere in grace to the end and be eternally saved. And they defended this belief against some who denied it.16
We find in those sermons and tracts of the Hyper-Calvinists which deal with the reception of salvation by the individual, a great concern with the problem of how an individual may have the certain knowledge of election unto eternal life. The congregations who heard their sermons were called upon to examine themselves most carefully in order to ascertain whether or not they had inner proof of their election and whether their concern for the practice of religion was a merely legal attitude or a truly spiritual worship of God.
They were surrounded by many ministers and congregations that were unorthodox in doctrine but yet who (falsely) claimed the name of Christ. Thus, as we have already seen, they felt obliged to explain carefully, the true nature of conversion. Furthermore, their great emphasis upon the doctrines of election and the immanent acts of God made it imperative that much time and care be given to the act of deciding whether the signs in the hearts and lives were the genuine work of the Holy Spirit or not. Thus they continued the Puritan tradition of casuistry but because of the nature of the doctrines which they held, and the infidelity of the age in which they lived, they emphasised introspection and the examination of motives to a greater extent than many of their Puritan predecessors had done.
Brine believed that true assurance consisted of “a persuasion in the mind of a poor sinner of his particular interest in Christ and in His salvation”.17 This inner persuasion is partly, though not necessarily wholly, given to the believer at conversion.
All believers have a proper and certain evidence within them of their interest in divine favour. Grace in the hearts of the saints is an effect of God’s love to them, and his gracious purposes concerning them. And, therefore, from the being of grace in their souls, they may safely infer that they are objects of divine love, and interested in all those blessings which take rise therefrom.18
To maintain a calm assurance the individual believer must learn to distinguish between the motions of the flesh and those of the Spirit in order that he may not be submerged by doubts, fears and sin. He must also make full use of the means of grace and practise self-denial and watchfulness.
CALVIN AND HYPER-CALVINISM
At this point in our study we turn once more to a comparison of Calvinism with Hyper-Calvinism. In Chapter I we pointed out that John Calvin showed little, if any, interest in the doctrine of the imputation of Adam’s sin to his descendants, because his primary concern was to expound the depravity of human nature, and to show how this had been inherited by the human race from the sinful nature acquired by Adam through his fall. Also Calvin, unlike Beza, did not divide the obedience of Christ into active and passive since his emphasis was upon the total obedience of Christ, the Suffering Servant, Who did the Father’s will. Further, Calvin did not teach the specific doctrine of limited atonement. Thus in their doctrines of the imputation of Adam’s sin, of the division of the righteousness of Christ into active and passive, and of limited atonement, the Hyper-Calvinists were following the High Calvinist tradition.
There are also wide differences in the two views of the reception of salvation by the individual Christian. Calvin only spoke of one form of justification and adoption, that which occurs at the moment of believing in Christ for salvation. He would have discounted eternal justification as an impious effort to pry into the mystery of God’s purposes. For Calvin, union with Christ through living faith, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, was of supreme importance.19 Thus union was not mystical but of a personal nature, bringing the believing sinner into a close, vital relationship with Christ, and God. Though the Hyper-Calvinists did not deny this dynamic relationship with Christ, they tended to concentrate upon obtaining a “saving interest” in Christ. They thought of their relation to Him as primarily covenantal, flowing from their “interest” through election in the eternal covenant of free grace. And this encouraged the idea that it was a legal relationship, an eternal right, and it pushed into the background the New Testament emphasis of a union of love between Saviour and saved.
It is because of this difference in the two views of the relationship of the believing sinner to the Saviour that Calvin’s doctrine of assurance is much more Biblical and far less pragmatic than that of the Hyper-Calvinists. The true Calvinist doctrine of assurance of salvation knows nothing of the inner questionings and the introspection of the eighteenth-century “Calvinists”. This is because its primary gaze is outward to Christ and not inward searching for signs of grace.20
We must now turn to the consideration of two doctrines taught by the Hyper-Calvinists, the teaching of which distinguished them from those of their contemporaries who shared their zeal for the doctrines of High Calvinism. The first of these was the doctrine that they learned from Joseph Hussey that no purpose is served in offering the grace of Christ to all in the preaching of the Gospel. The second was the belief that it is not the duty of sinners who hear the Gospel to repent of their sins and believe on Christ for the forgiveness of sins.
THE FREE OFFER OF THE GOSPEL
Unlike Hussey, neither Gill, Brine, nor Wayman produced a treatise specifically to defend the “no offers of grace” theology. Yet it was a belief that they all held and which determined the manner of their preaching and teaching, and to which they frequently allude in their books. We may illustrate this with a reference taken from three books, one of which was written by each of the three men.
John Gill had cause to refer to the doctrine in the book he wrote to defend the doctrine of absolute predestination against the criticisms of John Wesley. He wrote:
The gospel is indeed ordered to be preached to every creature to whom it is sent and comes; but as yet, it has never been brought to all the individuals of human nature; there have been multitudes in an ages that have not heard it. And that there are universal offers of grace and salvation made to all men, I utterly deny; nay, I deny that they are made to any; no, not to God’s elect; grace and salvation are provided for them in the everlasting covenant, procured for them by Christ, published and revealed in the gospel, and applied by the Spirit.21
Writing against the “Middle-Way” Calvinism of Isaac Watts, John Brine felt moved to write:
But I am of opinion, that an Offer or Proposal for acceptance of New Covenant Blessings, is not made to Men, whilst they are under the old Covenant, or Law of Works, which are all men ’till regenerated, or so long as they are under the Dominion of Sin. Offers of grace as I conceive, are not made to those who are not under grace, nor interested in the Covenant of Grace, which many are not, to whom the Gospel is preached.22
In the midst of insisting that there are two types of people in the world, elect and reprobate, Wayman wrote:
And seeing ... some have a right to life, pardon, communion with the Lord, yea, to the Son Himself, and others have not a right; is it comely for ministers of the Gospel of Christ to stand and offer grace, offer life and salvation to them that have no apparent right, nor yet a secret right?23
He went on to suggest that a minister should watch his congregation carefully and lead individuals to Christ as and when he saw the grace of God obviously working in them because it is not his business to offer grace to any but the regenerate.
The Hyper-Calvinists denied the free offer of the Gospel because they did not make a distinction between the eternal, secret will of God and the revealed will of God. (The former is known only to God, whilst the latter is revealed in the Bible.) They deduced the duty of the preacher from their knowledge of God’s decrees rather than from His commands and invitations in Scripture. Calvin and the majority of Reformed divines had refused to take this logical, yet unscriptural, step. Commenting upon Hosea 13.14, Calvin wrote:
God does not here simply promise salvation, but shews that he is indeed ready to save, but that the wickedness of the people was an impediment in the way. “I will redeem them”, as far as this depends on me. What, then, does stand in the way? Even the hardness of the people; for they would have preferred to perish a hundred times rather than turn to the Lord.... We may learn from this passage, that when men perish, God still continues like himself, and that neither his power, by which he is mighty to save the world, is extinguished, not his purpose changed, so as not to be always ready to help; but that the obstinacy of man rejects the grace which has been provided, and which God willingly and bountifully offers....24
Expounding Hebrews 3.3, John Owen wrote:
They who are judged at the last day (for not receiving the Gospel) will be speechless and have nothing to reply.... Because they despise an overture of a treaty about peace and reconciliation between God and their souls. God who hath no need of them, nor their obedience or friendship, tenders them a treaty upon terms of peace. What greater condescension, love or grace could be conceived or desired? This is tendered in the Gospel, 2 Cor. 5.19. Now what greater indignity can be offered unto him than to reject his tenders? Is not this plainly to tell him that they despise his love and scorn his offers of reconciliation? It is life and salvation that he tenders, on whose neglect he complains that men will not come unto him that they might have life. Certainly there can be no want of righteousness in the ruin of such persons.25
Many quotations could be added to these but they are sufficient to illustrate that the Hyper-Calvinist doctrine was an innovation and a serious departure from Reformed orthodoxy.
THE THEOLOGY OF “THE MODERN QUESTION”
In the 1730s a controversy arose in Northamptonshire concerning the nature of faith and repentance required of sinners. It involved Matthias Maurice, successor of Richard Davis at Rothwell, and Lewis Wayman, of Kimbolton. Later it spread to London, where Thomas Bradbury, minister of the Congregational Church in Fetter Lane, Abraham Taylor, tutor and minister at Deptford, John Brine and John Gill took part. It also spread to the North of England involving Alverey Jackson, Baptist minister at Bamoldswick.26
Alverey Jackson stated what was the Modern Question in the title of his contribution to the controversy. His tract was, The Question Answered. Whether saving faith in Christ is a duty required by the moral law of all those who live under the Gospel revelation (1752). Matthias Maurice, Thomas Bradbury, Abraham Taylor and Alverey Jackson answered this question in the affirmative. They believed that the law of God, which demands of every man love and worship to God, necessarily commands all people to believe, with all their hearts, any revelation which God gives and any truth He publishes. As the Gospel contains the supreme revelation of God, all men are, through their solemn duty to worship God, obliged, not merely to give a mere general intellectual assent to it, but to believe it with their hearts, souls, minds and strength. This means that they will repent of their sins and accept God’s grace which is offered to man in the good news. They argued that if God condemns men for not believing the Gospel, He must require them to believe it when they hear it. And since forgiveness is promised in the New Testament to the faith which the Gospel demands, then the faith which God requires is saving faith, not a general, vague kind of belief. In asserting this belief and doctrine these men were echoing the views of the majority of Reformed divines.
Wayman, Brine and Gill answered the question in the negative. As they had already accepted the “no offers of grace” scheme, they were obliged, by a simple process of logical deduction, to assert that all men are not required to exercise saving faith in Christ when they hear the preaching of the Gospel. This assertion placed them in another theological problem because they also believed that the moral law is binding on all people in its demand for love to God and man. They faced this problem by insisting on the careful distinction between legal repentance and evangelical repentance and between common faith and saving faith. They held that the moral law only required a forsaking of sin and an attempt to live by its rule, along with an intellectual assent to all that God has said and revealed. Evangelical repentance and saving faith are not required by the moral law because they are gifts of the covenant of free grace, wrought in man by the irresistible grace of God. To prove their point they resorted to a discussion of what kind of faith God required of Adam in the covenant of works before his fall.
It was Lewis Wayman who first made use of this argument from Adam’s relation to God;27 but, as John Brine gave a rather more developed version of it in 1743, we shall give in full Brine’s reasoning.
I apprehend, that whatever was, or could have been the Duty of Man upon the Supposition of a Revelation, super-added to what he enjoyed in his mere Creation-State, is the Duty of Men in their fallen state, upon the said Supposition.
That Man in his perfect State was bound to love, reverence and adore God: and that Men in their lapsed State are obliged to these Acts, notwithstanding their present Want of ability, in Consequence of the Fall.
That it was the Duty of Man in his primitive State, to believe the Truth and Importance of every Revelation he should receive from God; and that it is the Duty of Men in their fallen State so to do.
But with Respect to special Faith in Christ, it seems to me, that the Powers of Man in his perfect State were not fitted and disposed to that Act. My reasons for this Thought are these:
1. The Communication of such a Power to Man, in his primitive State, would have been in vain; for there was no Necessity nor Use of believing in Christ in that State; and I humbly conceive that Man was not furnished with a Power, the Exertion of which was unnecessary, so long as he should remain in his perfect State.
2. Because God could not require Man, while in a perfect State, to put forth such an Act, as special Faith in Christ is. The reason is evident; this Act necessarily supposed a Dependence on Christ for Salvation, as Creatures lost and miserable in ourselves; but ’till Man was fallen and become miserable, he could not exercise such a Trust in Christ, as a Redeemer. And therefore, if it is supposed that God furnished Man, in a State of Innocence, with a Power of acting this special Faith in a Mediator, it must, I think, be allowed that he gave Man an Ability, which so long as he continued to possess it, he could not require him to exert.
3. Special faith in Christ belongs to the new Creation, of which he as Mediator between God and his People, is the Author; and therefore, I apprehend, that a Power of acting this special faith in him, was not given to Man by, or according to, the Law of his first Creation.
4. It seems to me a very extraordinary Dispensation, that Man should be furnished with a Power he could not exercise in his perfect State; and in his corrupt State be deprived of that Power, wherein alone the Exertion and Exercise of it can be necessary or useful.28
After the above reasons, Brine made the remarkable admission that he had found very similar arguments concerning the capacities of Adam in the Apology of Arminius, and that the scholastic Calvinist, Maccovius, had sought to refute the views of Arminius on this point.29 This was a most remarkable admission by Brine since it was to the books of Maccovius that he turned for supporting testimony for his doctrines of eternal union and eternal justification, and since Arminianism was the theological system to which the Hyper-Calvinists showed the greatest animosity.
The Hyper-Calvinists made use of the distinction between legal and evangelical repentance, common and saving faith, in their exegesis of those passages in the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles where Jesus or an Apostle calls upon the hearers to repent and believe. They held that God only required legal repentance and common faith of the majority of people in the crowds but did require evangelical repentance and saving faith of the regenerate, elect people who heard. In his explanation of the command of God to repent in the Acts of the Apostles 17.30, Wayman stated that God only required legal repentance and then said:
I am persuaded, it will one day appear to be a truth that God will have the outward report of the Gospel received, and the Bible received and kept by those, who have no special interest in the promise, and grace contain’d in it: that it may be in readiness for his hidden ones, where, and when it shall please him to give them grace, and call them out of darkness into his marvellous light in their appointed months.30
They put forward very few passages of Scripture to prove their opinions since they simply applied their hypothesis to all passages that were mentioned and to their own satisfaction they believed that their way of seeing things was the correct one.
After he had given his arguments concerning the capacities of Adam before the fall, Wayman proceeded to supply quotations from the writings of John Owen and Thomas Goodwin in order to show that they had held similar views to his own. (In his pamphlets, Brine did not make use of this appeal to the Puritans.) After showing that Owen believed that men need spiritual illumination to comprehend the mystery of the Gospe1,31 he gave three short quotations from Goodwin’s Of the Creatures, after which he wrote:
What can be plainer than that this is the Doctor’s judgement? That Adam’s knowledge is inferior to that which believers have by Christ; that he could not have gone to heaven, had he not fallen, without supernatural grace wrought in him; and that wicked men, now under the Gospel, are blamed only for not believing so far as such natural light, as was in him, would have enabled them to believe. It is evidently his judgement that we did not lose that faith, which is in the question, in Adam, because we had it not in him; and it is equally evident that his judgement was, that men are not condemned for not believing in Christ, because saith he, they are not blam’d for it; which is all I am contending for.32
In view of this appeal by Wayman to the two great Independent divines, we must briefly examine the thought of each one to see whether or not they did answer the Modern Question (before it was raised) in the negative.
First, let us look at the views of John Owen. As will be seen in the following quotation, there is little doubt that Owen believed that the minister of Christ should offer the grace of God freely to all hearers of the Gospel.
We must exactly distinguish between man’s duty and God’s purpose, there being no connection between them. The purpose and decree of God is not the rule of our duty; neither is the performance of our duty in doing what we are commanded, any declaration of what is God’s purpose to do, or his decree that it should be done. Especially is this to be seen and considered in the duty of the ministers of the gospel, in the dispensing of the word, in exhortations, invitations, precepts, and threatenings committed unto them; all which are perpetual declaratives of our duty, and do manifest approbation of the thing exhorted and invited to, with the truth of the connection between one thing and another, but not of the counsel and purpose of God, in respect of individual persons, in the ministry of the word. A minister is not to make enquiry after, nor to trouble himself about, those secrets of the eternal mind of God – namely, whom he purposeth to save, and whom he hath sent Christ to die for in particular. It is enough for them to search his revealed will, and thence take their directions, from whence they have their commissions.... They command and invite all to repent and believe; but they know not in particular on whom God will bestow repentance unto salvation, nor in whom he will effect the work of faith with power.33
The question now arises as to what kind of faith Owen believed that God required from those who heard the Gospel. He answered this with four propositions. It was the duty of unregenerate sinners to believe:
1. The truth of the Gospel in general.
2. That faith in Christ is the only way to salvation.
3. That every sinner stands in great need of a Saviour.
4. That there is a sufficiency in Christ which is able to save the sinner if that sinner gives himself up to Christ, in Christ's appointed way.34
These propositions contained, in Owen’s view, the necessary beginnings of saving faith. What Owen did deny was the belief that the preacher should command his hearers to believe that Christ died for each and every one of them in particular. The possession of an inner conviction that Christ died for anyone is a gift of God to the regenerate.
Thus there seems to be little doubt that Owen did believe that the duty of hearers of the Gospel was to put forth saving faith in Christ even if the possession of saving faith is a gift of God. Though he was a firm believer in the doctrines of election and particular redemption, he nevertheless believed in the free offer of the Gospel to all and the duty of all to respond to that which the Gospel required, saving faith in Christ. There is no use made in his writings of the appeal to the powers of Adam to show the duty of men who live under the Gospel revelation. And if he did say that Adam would have needed spiritual illumination to comprehend the mystery of Christ, that was because he had such a high opinion of the Son of God, and of the superiority of the Gospel to even the highest form of natural religion.
The basic purpose of Goodwin’s treatise, Of the Creatures is, through a contrast of Adam’s original state with that of a man “in Christ”, to show the superiority of the knowledge of God enjoyed by the Christian to that enjoyed by the perfect first man. Goodwin believed that Adam’s knowledge of God was a natural knowledge only and thus his faith was merely a natural faith, whilst the knowledge of God enjoyed by a Christian is a supernatural knowledge.
Adam’s covenant was foedus naturae, so his happiness should have been a perfect contentment in God, enjoyed per modum naturae; not in God himself immediately, neither should he have tasted this heavenly contentment by faith, which is a prelibation of heaven and of its beatifical vision, but only in effects. The creatures should have revealed God unto him, and been as testimonies of his favour, which he should have apprehended as justifying and approving him in a covenant of works; which apprehension would have brought peace of conscience, joy and security therein through well-doing, so far as the persuasion of God’s love, which conscience and his own spirit begat in him, which was his comforter, could work.35
Yet this belief that Adam's faith was purely a natural faith (with its corollary that Adam’s future life only had reference to immortality in the Garden and not in heaven) was not the general Reformed view, a fact which Goodwin readily admitted.
As the conclusion of this discourse, because I would not maintain a dispute against a multitude of divines who are of another mind in their writings, if we will grant and suppose that there was such a light of faith vouchsafed to Adam as was superior to the law of nature specified (whereby he knew God in his works and such revelations as externally carried their own evidence with them), even unto natural faith, and to have been as supernatural as ours, yet still the assertion I aim at will hold true, that a believer’s knowing of God, and enjoying of him, doth infinitely transcend that of his in many respects .36
Thus, in turning to Goodwin for support Wayman was on firm ground if he wanted support for his belief that Adam’s faith was only a natural faith. We must now look at the one passage in the treatise in which Goodwin wrote something relevant to the Modern Question.
Wicked men are blamed now for not believing the word of the law and gospel so far as such natural light as was in Adam would have enabled them thereunto seeing the law given was confirmed at first by such works and voices, as evidently would have argued to that first natural light that it was God that spake it, and they, if they had that light remaining, would have owned in their hearts. And the gospel also delivered by Christ was confirmed by signs and wonders: Hebrews ii. 3, 4, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with diverse miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?” And the whole word written, derived to us, and then delivered, hath such peculiar characters of divine authority engraven upon it, so as even to natural light (if we had it pure as Adam had) would evidence itself to be of God, and so bind all men to believe it. And therefore men are both justly commanded to believe it, and justly blamed for not believing it.37
Thus it seems that Wayman was right to believe that Goodwin taught that men are only to accept the Gospel with natural faith. Goodwin’s desire to exalt the heavenly life in Christ led him to minimise the life in God enjoyed by the perfect Adam. Yet we must add that, as far as is known, Goodwin never questioned the right of the preacher to offer the grace of the Gospel to all who hear the Word preached. Furthermore, his printed sermons which deal with the subject of repentance certainly give the impression that he called the unregenerate to more than a legal repentance and a natural faith.38
As we noticed in Chapter III, Thomas Goodwin, who took part in the Antinomian controversy, had no doubt at all that the law of God, speaking through the Gospel, commanded men to repent and to believe with saving faith on the Lord Jesus Christ. Indeed, Thomas Goodwin Jnr., Matthias Maurice, Thomas Bradbury, Abraham Taylor, Alverey Jackson, and the majority of Reformed divines were all of one mind on this question; they believed that the law, speaking through the Gospel, required all hearers of the Gospel to accept its offered grace.
1. Cf. Colligan, Arian Movement in England, pp. 97–98. One of the most devastating criticisms of the orthodox view was written by John Taylor of Norwich, The Scripture-Doctrine of Original Sin (1738).
2. Cf. Gill, Body of Divinity, Vol. I, pp. 468 ff., and the relevant parts of Cause of God and Truth. Cf. also Brine, Treatise, pp. 38 ff.
3. Cf. Heppe, op. cit., pp. 448 ff.
4. Cf. Gill, Body of Divinity, Vol. II, pp. 75 ff., and Brine, The Imputation of Christ’s Active Obedience to His people (1759).
5. Watts, The Ruin and Recovery of Mankind (1740).
6. Brine, The Certain Efficacy of the Death of Christ (1743), pp. 4 ff. He actually gives eight reasons but we have joined the sixth and seventh.
7. Gill, op. cit., Vol. II, p. 191. It is interesting to note that in their doctrine of Satisfaction, Gill and Brine do not follow Goodwin, Twisse and Rutherford. Gill and Brine derived the necessity of Satisfaction from the nature of God, His offended justice and righteousness. Goodwin, Twisse and Rutherford derived the necessity of Satisfaction from the divine will. God could, they argued, forgive sin without Satisfaction if He so pleased.
8. Ibid, p. 203.
9. Brine, op. cit., p. 203.
10. Cf. Gill, Body of Divinity, Vol. II, pp. 228 ff., and Brine, Vindication of some truths..., Chapter xi.
11. Cf. A. A. Hodge, The Confession of Faith, pp. 179 ff.
12. Cf. Gill, Body of Divinity, Vol. II, pp. 268 ff., and Brine, Treatise, pp. 126 ff.
13. Brine, op. cit., p. 131.
14. Ibid, p. 134.
15. Ibid, p. 137.
16. E.g. Gill, The Doctrine of the Saints’ Final Perseverance, which was written against the Wesleyan doctrine that a Christian could fall permanently from grace.
17. Brine, Treatise, p. 156.
18. Ibid, pp. 151–2.
19. Cf. Wendel, Calvin, pp. 233 ff.
20. Cf. Wallace, Calvin’s Doctrine of the Christian Life.
21. Gill, Doctrine of Predestination ..., in Sermons and Tracts, Vol. III p. 271.
22. Brine, Certain Efficacy..., p. 75.
23. Wayman, Further Enquiry..., p. 50.
24. Calvin, Hosea (C.T.S.E.), (1857), pp. 476–7.
25. Owen, Works (ed. Goold), Vol. XX, p. 308.
26. For the history of the controversy see G. F. Nuttall, “Northampton and ‘The Modern Question’, a turning-point in eighteenth-century Dissent”, J.Th.S., N.S. XVI, Part I, 1965. For Barnoldswick see Whitley, Baptists of North-West England, pp. 83 ff.
27. Wayman, Further Enquiry after Truth, pp. 51 ff.
28. Brine, Refutation of Arminian Principles, pp. 4 ff.
29. An English translation of the Apology is to be found in the Writings of James Arminius, Vol. I, pp. 276 ff. Arminius expressed his view as follows: “I profess and teach that before his fall, Adam had not the power to believe in Christ because faith in Christ was not then necessary; and that God therefore could not require this faith from him after the fall”, p. 332. The views of Maccovius are in Loci Communes, Chap. 44.
30. Wayman, op. cit., p. 128.
31. Wayman’s brief quotation is from Owen’s The Causes. Ways and Means of Understanding the Mind of God as revealed in His Word (1678) which is part of his famous Discourse on the Holy Spirit. In the passage quoted, Owen is arguing that even intelligent men need the illumination of the Holy Spirit to understand the spiritual truths of the Bible. It is not Owen’s purpose to discuss the capacities of Adam before the fall in relation to the Gospel which was proclaimed after the fall. Wayman, therefore, quoted out of context, and even changed (or wrongly transcribed) various words.
32. Ibid, p. 58.
33. Owen, The Death of Death in the Death of Christ (new edition 1959), pp. 187–8.
34. Ibid, p. 296.
35. Goodwin, Of the Creatures and the condition of their state by creation, in Works, Vol. VII, p. 53.
34. Ibid, p. 67.
35. Ibid, p. 56.
36. Cf. Goodwin, On Repentance, in Works, Vol. VII, pp. 543 ff.
Part Four: Conclusion
CHAPTER VIII – A Definition of Hyper-Calvinism
Synopsis: 1. Terminology. 2. Definition of Hyper-Calvinism. 3. The Factors involved in the change from High to Hyper-Calvinism. 4. The Continuance and Effects of Hyper-Calvinism. 5. Andrew Fuller and Evangelical Calvinism.
In this study we have reserved the term “Calvinism” for the theology of John Calvin. We have used the term “High Calvinism” to describe the result of the hardening of Calvinism by Beza and many Reformed theologians after him. From about the year 1600 High Calvinism was, in many cases combined with, or even tempered by, Federal Theology. The great Puritan document, the Westminster Confession of Faith, combined both High Calvinism and Federal Theology, and the same fusion of dogma is found in the writings of such leading Puritans as William Ames and John Owen. Of course there were degrees of High Calvinism amongst the Puritans as well as the presence of Moderated Calvinism. Some theologians (e.g. Perkins and Twisse) were supralapsarians but the majority of Puritans were infralapsarians. A few divines (e.g. Twisse and Pemble) taught the doctrine of eternal justification although the greater number preferred to speak only of justification by faith and perhaps virtual justification in the resurrection of Christ. Yet all High Calvinists of the seventeenth century regarded the “Five Points of Calvinism” formulated at the Synod of Dort as containing the essence of Protestant thought. These were: first the total depravity of man and his inability to save himself; secondly, unconditional personal election; thirdly, particular redemption; fourthly, the efficacious call of the Spirit, and finally, the final perseverance of the saints. To these many added a Federal Theology, a view that the Bible is inerrant, and an emphasis on assurance of salvation. Also, with very few exceptions, Reformed divines in England and on the continent carefully distinguished between the secret and the revealed will of God and refused to deduce the duty of minister and people from anything but the revealed will of God.
The terms “False Calvinism” and “High Calvinism” were used in the latter part of the eighteenth century to describe what we have described as “Hyper-Calvinism”. It was only in the nineteenth century that the expression Hyper-Calvinism came to be generally used to describe the same doctrinal system which some people in the eighteenth century called High Calvinism. Yet men like Andrew Fuller, who made use of the latter term (as well as “False” and “Hyper-Calvinism”) did not make any deliberate distinction between the theology of Calvin and that found in the Westminster Confession of Faith. Thus they did not feel the need of a term to distinguish the “Calvinism” of the Puritans from that of Calvin. But since there is a difference between Calvin’s theology and that of men like William Ames and John Owen, and between these orthodox Puritans and men like John Gill and John Brine, there is need for three terms. We have used “Calvinism”, “High Calvinism” and “Hyper-Calvinism”.
It would be preferable to use a term to describe the theology of Hussey, Skepp, Wayman, Gill and Brine which did not make use of Calvin’s name, but since these men did use the term “Calvinism” to describe their own theology, to avoid a term that dispensed with his name would not be practicable.
DEFINITION OF HYPER-CALVINISM
Perhaps at this point we should seek to supply a definition of Hyper-Calvinism. It was a system of theology, or a system of the doctrines of God, man and grace, which was framed to exalt the honour and glory of God and did so at the expense of minimising the moral and spiritual responsibility of sinners to God. It placed excessive emphasis on the immanent acts of God – eternal justification, eternal adoption and the eternal covenant of grace. In practice, this meant that “Christ and Him crucified”, the central message of the apostles, was obscured. It also often made no distinction between the secret and the revealed will of God, and tried to deduce the duty of men from what it taught concerning the secret, eternal decrees of God. Excessive emphasis was also placed on the doctrine of irresistible grace with the tendency to state that an elect man is not only passive in regeneration but also in conversion as well. The absorbing interest in the eternal, immanent acts of God and in irresistible grace led to the notion that grace must only be offered to those for whom it was intended. Finally, a valid assurance of salvation was seen as consisting in an inner feeling and conviction of being eternally elected by God. So Hyper-Calvinism led its adherents to hold that evangelism was not necessary and to place much emphasis on introspection in order to discover whether or not one was elect.
Yet it did not lead, at least in the lives of the men whom we have studied, to practical antinomianism, although they were called antinomians by many of their contemporaries.1 Skepp, Hussey, Wayman, Gill and Brine were noted for their austere, exemplary characters and they all believed that the life of an elect believer should be ruled inwardly and outwardly by the moral law of God.
A brief comparison of some of the emphases of Hyper-Calvinism with the doctrines advocated by the Lime Street lecturers in 1731–2 will show that the use of “Hyper-Calvinism” is justified. In his lecture on justification, Robert Bragge carefully showed that the Bible teaches that a sinner is not justified until he believes on Christ.2 In 1732 John Brine published a Defence of the doctrine of eternal justification. Both John Hurrion and Samuel Wilson carefully distinguished the secret and the revealed will of God in regard to the duty of sinners who hear the Gospel.3 The Hyper-Calvinists did not make this distinction. Abraham Taylor made reference to “some ignorant enthusiastick preachers” who insisted much “on eternal union with Christ, and that sin could do no harm to a believer”.4 He had in mind the doctrinal antinomianism of such men as John Saltmarsh, John Eaton and Tobias Crisp, whose views were opposed by the Westminster Assembly in 1643. Replying to this charge by Taylor, John Gill defended the doctrines of Saltmarsh, Crisp and Eaton in his Doctrines of God’s Everlasting Love to His Elect, and in 1755 edited a new edition of Crisp’s sermons.
THE FACTORS INVOLVED IN THE CHANGE
FROM HIGH TO HYPER-CALVINISM
The forces which were at work in the latter part of the seventeenth and the first part of the eighteenth centuries to cause the development of High Calvinism into Hyper-Calvinism were many and varied. To document them all, or even to ascertain what they all were, is impossible. All that we can do is to suggest four factors each of which played an important part in causing this transition.
First, we may note that after the Restoration in 1660 orthodox Calvinism became, as it were, a cause under siege. The majority of Puritans who were orthodox Calvinists left the Church of England in 1662 to become Nonconformists. Thus the religious leadership of the nation was lodged firmly in the hands of men who were either Arminian or moderately Calvinistic in theology. The ejected ministers, being Nonconformists, were placed under harsh and cruel restrictions until 1688 and this severely curtailed their influence upon the religious thought of the nation. As the older men died their places were taken by younger men who had been educated under liberalising influences in Holland and so a Moderated Calvinism gradually became popular, especially amongst the Presbyterian Dissenters. As the years passed by High Calvinism became more and more the sole preserve of the Independents and the Particular Baptists. The Antinomian controversy of the 1690s served to widen the gap between High Calvinism and Moderated Calvinism, and as the eighteenth century passed by, High Calvinism became in the main, the faith of the poorly-educated Independents and Baptists.5 These men who clung to the doctrines of High Calvinism saw themselves as a group preserved by God in an apostate age to defend “the faith once delivered to the saints”. Their time was taken up by the defence of their faith and it was in this atmosphere of a cause under siege that Hyper-Calvinism was born and nurtured.
Secondly, between 1689 and 1765, High Calvinism was placed in an environment which emphasised the role of reason in religious faith. This meant that the High Calvinists were in danger either of absorbing the rationalism, or of rejecting it completely, or of doing both. It would seem that Joseph Hussey fell prey to both temptations. He absorbed the rationalistic tendencies of his day and applied strict logic to Biblical doctrines so that from the doctrines of eternal election and irresistible grace he deduced that Christ should not be offered to all men. And also he deduced from the part which he believed that Christ played in the covenant of grace the doctrine that Christ’s humanity was “standing in God” before the creation of the world. One of Hussey’s followers, Samuel Stockell, abandoned the doctrine of eternal generation because he could not conceive how “the Begetter and the Begotten” could be of equal date. Wayman, Gill and Brine applied logic to the (hypothetical) covenant of works and deduced the doctrine that it is not the duty of hearers of the Gospel to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet all these men believed that they were not being rationalistic in a human sense but were simply applying “evangelical reason”, or reason inspired by the Holy Spirit, to the Bible’s teaching.
Thirdly, the personal backgrounds of the Hyper-Calvinists must also be taken into consideration. Joseph Hussey seems to have been a man who was capable of making extreme changes in his thought. Ordained by Presbyterian ministers in 1688, he became, after 1693, a Congregationalist. In 1693 he published a book which strongly advocated the free offer of Christ to men in preaching; but, in 1707, he published another book which advocated just as strongly the opposite notion. In 1691 he opposed Richard Davis whilst in 1706 he was happy to have his theology called “Davisism”. The other men whom we studied were all self-educated. They were brought up in a closed environment and never had the chance to pursue theological studies in a Scottish or Dutch University or an English Academy. They had chosen their brand of theology before they had examined any others. Had Hussey been of a more stable disposition, and the other men educated in the environment of a Reformed University or Academy, the story of Hyper-Calvinism might have been very different.
Fourthly, the Hyper-Calvinists were sincere men of average intelligence, but they lacked a prophetical and discerning spirit. They keenly desired to glorify God and mistakenly believed that God was more glorified by the exaltation of free grace in the pulpit and on the printed page, than in the evangelism and conversion of men. They became so obsessed with the defence of what they regarded as sound doctrine that the evangelistic note of Scripture as basically an overture by God towards sinners was muted. This lack of interest in evangelism (and a reference to evangelism in their books is virtually impossible to find) came, as we have seen, with the deduction of the duty of ministers in preaching from the secret will of the Lord, the will of His decrees. They did not realise what a baneful influence their doctrines would have upon those who followed in their footsteps.
THE CONTINUANCE AND EFFECTS OF HYPER-CALVINISM
Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, there were people who continued to find Hyper-Calvinism attractive and who reprinted the writings of Hussey, Skepp, Bentley, Wayman, Gill and Brine as well as writing more books on the same lines. Hussey’s Glory of Christ was, in various editions, reprinted in 1761, 1790, 1822, 1836, 1844 and 1846, and his God’s Operations of Grace had its third edition in 1792 and its fourth in 1851. Bentley’s The Lord the Helper of His People was reprinted in 1848 and contained, as in the first edition, the last dying words of Joseph Hussey. Skepp’s Divine Energy had a second edition in 1751 and a third in 1815. Brine’s Treatise was in its fourth edition by 1813 and its fifth in 1853. Wayman’s Further Enquiry was reprinted in 1802. Many of John Gill’s sermons and tracts were reprinted in three large volumes after his death in 1773. His Body of Divinity and his Exposition of the Old and New Testaments went through at least four editions, whilst his Cause of God and Truth was reprinted as recently as 1962 in the U.S.A.
Another person who assisted in the propagation of Hyper-Calvinism was Mrs. Ann Dutton, to whom we have already made a brief reference. As Ann Williams she was brought up in Northampton and eventually attached herself to the church over which John Moore was the pastor. She married a man named Mr. Coles and, when living with him in London, regularly heard John Skepp preach. After the death of Mr. Coles she married Benjamin Dutton, with whom in 1732 she went to live in Great Gransden, a village in Huntingdonshire, where Dutton became pastor of the small Baptist church. From here Ann Dutton scattered her tracts, books, poems and letters. Her chief literary production, which went through at least six editions and which reflected the supralapsarian Hyper-Calvinism of Hussey and Skepp was entitled, A Narration of the Wonders of Grace in Verse: to which is added a poem on the special work of the Spirit in the hearts of the Elect. In the middle of the nineteenth century, J. A. Jones, the author of Bunhill Memorials, spoke of her as the “celebrated” Ann Dutton. She died in 1765.
Yet another person, to whom we have only made brief reference, who helped to spread the doctrine of Hyper-Calvinism was Samuel Stockell. His views on the God-Man gained acceptance amongst many Particular Baptists so that John Brine in 1754, and Andrew Fuller thirty years later, had to make reference to them. John Macgowan (1726–1780), minister of Devonshire Square Particular Baptist Church from 1767 to 1780, likewise taught that the human soul of Christ was joined to His divine nature in heaven before the creation of the world and so also did John Allen, a Baptist minister, and author of Royal Spiritual Magazine (1752). In the first part of the nineteenth century, Stockell’s views were adopted by John Stevens (1776–1847), another Particular Baptist minister. Stevens also shared the views of Wayman, Gill and Brine in regard to the duty of sinners and opposed Andrew Fuller on this point. But through the writings of Stevens on the question of Christology, there was a serious controversy about the doctrine of eternal generation amongst Strict and Particular Baptists in the 1830s and 1840s which resulted in the formation of a group of Baptists who are now called the Gospel Standard Strict Baptists.6
The combined influence of the Hyper-Calvinists mentioned above was to produce in the Churches connected with them, and amongst those whom they influenced, a tendency only to maintain their Churches but not to expand them. Of John Gill’s particular influence, C. H. Spurgeon wrote: “The system of theology with which many identify his name has chilled many Churches to their very soul, for it has led them to omit the free invitations of the Gospel”.7 Also, as W. T. Whitley has pointed out, in the very years when Gill shut himself in his study to expound the New Testament, George Whitefield was preaching several times daily to thousands of people on Newington Common, Blackheath, and Kennington Common; and in the same year that Brine published a refutation of the tract, The Modern Question, Newton of Olney went to Moorfields and by the light of lanterns saw Whitefield preaching to thousands, leading to repentance on one occasion more than eleven times as many sinners as there were saints listening to Brine a quarter of a mile away.8 The spirit which Hyper-Calvinism bred is seen in old John C. Ryland’s shout from the chair when William Carey suggested the formation of a missionary society: “Sit down, young man; when God pleases to convert the heathen He will do it without your aid or mine”. It is a fact that to this day the Gospel Standard Strict Baptist Churches officially support no missionary societies. However, the more liberal Strict Baptists have supported for the last hundred years the Strict Baptist Mission which maintains a small work in India, and amongst Tamil-speaking Indians elsewhere.
ANDREW FULLER AND EVANGELICAL CALVINISM
Though the influence of Isaac Watts and Philip Doddridge, as well as of such societies as the King’s Head Society,9 kept the majority of Congregationalists in the paths of Moderated or High Calvinism, many Particular Baptists adopted Hyper-Calvinism through the influence of Gill and Brine. Indeed, Hyper-Calvinism reigned supreme in many Churches until Andrew Fuller, minister of the Baptist Church in Kettering, where Gill and Brine had been nurtured, printed in 1785 his little book which helped to change the course of Baptist history. Its title was, The Gospel Worthy of all Acceptation: or the Obligation of Men fully to credit and cordially to approve whatever God makes known. Wherein is considered, the Nature of Faith in Christ, and the Duty of those where the Gospel comes in that Matter. In a letter to a friend in 1809, Fuller explained how he had come to the point where he had broken loose from the shackles of Hyper-Calvinism.
The principal writings with which I was first acquainted, were those of Bunyan, Gill and Brine. I had read pretty much of Dr. Gill’s Body of Divinity, and from many parts of it had received considerable instruction. I perceived, however, that the system of Bunyan was not the same with his; for that while he maintained the doctrines of election and predestination, he nevertheless held with the free offer of salvation to sinners without distinction. These were things which I then could not reconcile, and therefore supposed that Bunyan, though a great and good man, was not so clear in his views of the doctrines of the Gospel as the writers who succeeded him. I found, indeed, the same things in all the old writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that came in my way. They all dealt, as Bunyan did, in free invitations to sinners to come to Christ and be saved; the consistency of which with personal election I could not understand. It is true, I perceived the Scriptures abounded with exhortations and invitations to sinners; but I supposed these must be two kinds of holiness, one of which was possessed by man in innocence, and was binding on all his posterity, the other derived from Christ, and binding only on his people. I had not yet learned that the same things which are required by the precepts of the law are bestowed by the grace of the gospel. Those exhortations to repentance and faith, therefore, which are addressed in the New Testament to the unconverted, I supposed refer only to such external repentance and faith, as were within their power, and might be complied with without the grace of God. The effect of these views was, that I had very little to say to the unconverted, at least nothing in a way of exhortation to things spiritually good, or certainly connected with salvation.
But in the autumn of 1775, being in London, I met with a pamphlet by Dr. Abraham Taylor, concerning what was called The Modern Question. I had never seen any thing relative to this controversy before, although the subject, as I have stated, had occupied my thoughts. I was but little impressed by his reasonings, till he came to the addresses of John the Baptist, Christ, and the Apostles which he proved to be addressed to the ungodly, and to mean spiritual repentance and faith, inasmuch as they were connected with the remission of sins. This set me fast. I read and examined the scripture passages, and the more I read and thought, the more I doubted of the justice of my former views.10
So in 1785 he wrote The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation. The simple truths of this book soon penetrated the hearts and minds of many ministers and laymen, and alerted them to the need for the evangelisation of the world. At Kettering on the 2nd October, 1792, in the home of Mrs. Beeby Wallis, the widow of the great-grandson of the first minister of the Little Meeting, William Wallis, the Baptist Missionary Society was formed. Soon after William Carey sailed to India. From this time the greater part of the Particular Baptist denomination turned its back on Hyper-Calvinism.11
1. Examples of practical antinomianism can be found amongst those who had adopted a Crispian-type theology. David Crossley, the predecessor of John Skepp in London, was excommunicated for drunkenness, immodest behaviour towards women, and an attempt to cover up his offences by the telling of lies. The story is told in “A faithful narrative of the proceedings of severall Brethren, and of this Church of Jesus Christ against Mr. David Crossley, their late pastor, from the beginning of december 1707 to the 14 of August 1709”, “Minutes of the Particular Baptist church meeting in Curriers’-Hall”, folios 32–36. (The Churchbook is in the Angus Library, Regent’s Park College, Oxford.) Similar lapses, however, have been known from time to time among adherents of other theologies also!
2. A Defense of some important doctrines, Vol. I, pp. 162 ff.
3. Ibid, Vol. I, pp. 453 ff., and Vol. II, pp. 216 ff.
4. Ibid, Vol. I, p. 48.
5. The educated High Calvinists included men like Thomas Bradbury, Robert Bragge, Abraham Taylor, etc.
6. Cf. P. Toon, “The Growth of a Supralapsarian Christology”, E.Q. XXXIX (January, 1967), and “English Strict Baptists”, B.Q. XXI (January, 1965).
7. Quoted by Whitley, Calvinism and Evangelism in England, p. 28.
8. Ibid, p. 28.
9. See Appendix II.
10. 7. Ryland, The Life and Death of the Reverend Andrew Fuller, pp. 58 ff. (This John Ryland was the son of the John Ryland referred to above.)
11. The best study of “Particular Baptist History, 1760–1820” is to be found in the Oxford D.Phil. Thesis (1965) by Olin Robison,
Appendix I – The Diary of Joseph Hussey
Hussey’s Diary is not a “diary” in the true sense of the word. It is in fact a form of note book in which Hussey recorded in chronological order incidental things pertaining to his ministry. Thus there are references to services he took, Biblical texts he used and to church meetings. On the flyleaf Hussey wrote:
A Church-Book kept for my own Private Use, to register many Incidental Things: and especially my Preaching, Baptizing, and administring the Lord’s Supper: together with a Register of the Names of my Pastoral Flock in Cambridge, from the year 1691, when they first called me to office, and on to the year 1719, written with my own Hand and attested by Me, Joseph Hussey.
In fact it also contains references to his ministry before 1691 and after 1719.
The book contains about five hundred pages, three-quarters of which deal with the years in Cambridge. It is bound in pig-skin and is approximately 7 in. x 8 in. x 1 in. Originally it included a Baptismal Register but this was ripped out in 1837 when the Government ordered all Nonconformist Registers to be deposited at Somerset House, London.
It is kept in the safe at Emmanuel Congregational Church, Cambridge, along with other valuable possessions of the Church. Since it is regarded as a proud possession, the Church has no immediate plans to lodge it in the Public Record Office.
The only study of the Diary which has been published is that by A. G. Matthews, Diary of a Cambridge Minister (1937), which was written to commemorate the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Church. Mr. A. Smith, a deacon of the Church at the present time, has made a study of the Diary in recent days but has not yet published anything as a result of his research.
APPENDIX II – The Doctrinal Basis of
The King’s Head Society
Once each fortnight a group of ministers and laymen, some of whom had been connected with the Lime Street Lectures, met in the King’s Head Tavern, Sweeting’s Alley, near the Royal Exchange. They were Congregationalists and maintained an Academy in Deptford (later in Stepney), the first tutor being Abraham Taylor, one of the Lime Street lecturers. At the front of their Minute Books (now in New College, London) there is a “Declaration as to some controverted points of Christian Doctrine”. After a short introduction ten points of doctrine are given.
Some Ministers and Gentlemen, being sensible of the great opposition, which has been of late to the Christian religion, agreed to use their utmost endeavours, to support the ancient and true Protestant doctrines: and as there are some points which are not controverted at present, they judged it proper to give a very brief summary of those doctrinal truths, which are now attack’d with the greatest vehemence, and which they had a special regard to, in the following articles.
The light of nature affords men so much knowledge as to the being and perfections of God, that they are without excuse, when they glorify him not as God; but it is not sufficient to give a saving knowledge of the Most High; therefore God was pleas’d to give a clear and full manifestation of his mind and will in the Scriptures of the old and new testament; which are the only and the perfect rule of faith and practice: and no doctrines are to be regarded, which are not there express’d, or deduced from there by necessary consequence. In the Scriptures nothing is reveal’d contrary to right reason; but many mysteries are there revealed, which transcend finite reason: and they are to be received on the authority of the revealer, without enquiring into the mode of them.
The light of nature informs us that there is but one God, and, that he is clothed with all possible perfections, and that besides one God, there can be no other. This doctrine of the unity of God is abundantly confirm’d in the Scripture; but there it is reveal’d that in the unity of the Godhead, there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who are the same in nature, and all divine perfections; so that these three are the one supreme God, the one object of our faith and worship.
God, from eternity, unchangeably ordain’d whatsoever comes to pass, yet so, as that he is not the author of sin, nor is violence offer’d to the will of the creature; though he unchangeably knows whatsoever will come to pass yet he has not decreed anything, because he foresaw it would come to pass, on certain conditions. By his decree some of mankind are predestinated to everlasting life. These God, according to the good pleasure of his will, has chose in Christ, out of his meer sovereignty, without any foresight of faith or good works, as causes or conditions moving them thereto. Such whom he chose in Christ he chose that they might, in time, be holy and blameless before him; the rest of mankind, he, in his sovereign pleasure, has left to feel the consequence of their transgressions.
God created our first parents in honour and innocence, and entered into a covenant of works with Adam, and all his posterity; but he broke this covenant by sinning against God. By this apostasy, he and we in him, fell from original righteousness, lost communication with God and so became dead in sin. The guilt of Adam’s first sin is imputed to his posterity, and a corrupt nature is derived to them, whereby they are averse to all good, and prone to all evil.
God the Father was pleased, before the foundation of the world, to enter in a covenant with Christ, the second Adam, and with all the elect in him, as his spiritual seed; in which agreement Christ undertook to do the work of a surety, in fulfilling the law, and suffering death, that he might bring his sons and daughters to glory. In this covenant, the most ample provision is made for the chosen people, so that all the blessings, pertaining to salvation are bestowed freely, and do not depend on any conditions, to be performed by the creature. In this God the Father show’d the greatness of his wisdom, in contriving a way, wherein, securing the rights of his justice, by punishing sin, in the person of the surety, he might yet show forth the riches of his grace, in saving sinners.
When the fulness of time was come, God the Son, the surety of his people, and the mediator between God and them, took upon him the human nature, consisting of a true body, and a reasonable soul, not a super angelick spirit; which human nature he took into union with his divine person; so that Christ is truly God, and truly man in one person; he being made of a woman, was made under the law, and perfectly fulfilled it, by obeying its precepts and suffering the punishment due to us: he endured grievous torments in his soul, as well as pain in his body, and offering himself up in his human nature, which had an infinite value put upon it, arising from the union of that nature with his divine person, he yielded to the justice of God, a full and proper satisfaction for the sins of his people; by which he delivers from condemnation and gives a right to all spiritual blessings, and to the glory of heaven: the saving benefits of his death are extended no farther than to the elect, for whom he undertook, and in whose place he died: so as all are saved for whom Christ died, otherwise he must be supposed to have died in vain; and as all men are not actually saved, it follows, that he did not die for all men, or merely to put into a salvable state, all who will attempt to work out their own salvation, by improving upon the common helps that are afforded them.
All that are saved, are justified by the righteousness of Christ, imputed to them. God pardons their sins and accepts them as righteous, not on account of any thing in them, but for Christ’s sake alone; not by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or sincere obedience, as their righteousness, but by imputing Christ’s active and passive obedience, as their sole justifying righteousness. Though they receive Christ, and rest on him, and his merits by faith; yet that faith is not from themselves but is the Holy Spirit’s work, and though, by that we receive the righteousness of Christ, yet it is not the condition, for the sake of which sinners are justified.
By the fall men have lost all ability of will for what is good and cannot by their own strength convert themselves, or prepare themselves for conversion, when they are effectually called; it is by the irresistible power and efficacy of the Holy Spirit, in which they are altogether passive and are quicken’d and enabled by him, to answer the call, to repent of their sins, to abound in good works, and to make a progress in holiness; which, though it is not the cause, or condition of salvation, yet it is a necessary part of it, and must be found, in all who hope to see the Lord with comfort.
They who are sanctified, though they frequently sin, and so provoke God, as an offended Father, to chastise them, yet being kept by the power of the Holy Spirit, they will be recovered from their backslidíngs, and shall neither totally, nor finally fall from grace, but shall certainly persevere to the end.
After death, the souls of believers shall be perfectly holy and shall immediately pass into glory, and shall not sleep with their bodies, which are to be committed to the grave, till the last day: at which time, the same numerical bodies shall be raised from the dust of the earth in glory and honour, and shall be reunited to their souls, that in soul and body the saints may be for ever perfect with the Lord, and may keep up uninterrupted fellowship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in the happy regions of rest and peace.
To the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, three divine persons, and the one supreme God, be all honour and glory ascrib’d, now, henceforth, and for evermore. Amen.
(The place of publication is London except where stated.)
I. PRIMARY SOURCES
(a) SELECT WORKS.
An Account of the Doctrine and Discipline of Mr. Richard Davis, 1700.
Ames, W., The Marrow of Sacred Divinity, 1642.
Arminius, J., The Writings (tr. J. Nichols and W. R. Bagnall), 3 vols., Grand Rapids, 1956.
Baxter, R., The Scripture-Gospel Defended, 1690.
Beart, J., A Vindication of the Eternal Law and the Everlasting Gospel, 1707.
Bentley, W., The Lord the Helper of His People, 1733.
Beza, Th., Tractationes Theologiae, 3 vols., Geneva, 1570–82.
Brine, J., Ancient Prophecy proved to be Divine, 1761.
— An Antidote against a spreading Antinomian Principle, 1750.
— The Certain Efficacy of the Death of Christ asserted, 1743.
— Christ, the Object of God’s Eternal Delight, 1761.
— The Christian Religion not destitute of arguments sufficient to support it, 1743.
— A Defence of the Doctrine of Eternal Justification, 1732.
—The Doctrines of the Imputation of Sin to Christ, and the Imputation of His Righteousness to His People, 1757.
— Motives to Love and Unity among Calvinists, who differ in some points, 1753.
— The Proper Eternity of the Divine Decrees, 1754.
— A Refutation of Arminian Principles, delivered in a pamphlet, intitled, The Modern Question, 1743.
— Remarks upon a Pamphlet intitled, Some doctrines in the superlapsarian scheme ..., 1736.
— A Treatise on Various Subjects (ed. James Upton), 1813.
— A Vindication of some Truths of Natural and Revealed Religion, 1746.
Calamy, E., An Historical Account of My Own Life (ed. J. T. Rutt), 2 vols., 1829.
Calvin, J., Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God (tr. J. K. S. Reid), 1961.
— The Institutes of the Christian Religion (tr. H. Beveridge), 1962.
Charnock, S., Discourse on the Existence and Attributes of God, 1682.
Chauncy, I., Neonomianism Unmasked, or the Ancient Gospel Pleaded against the other called a New Law, 2 vols., 1692–3.
— The Doctrine which is according to Godliness, 1694.
Cole, T., A Discourse of Christian Religion, 1692.
— A Discourse of Regeneration, Faith and Repentance, 1689.
— The Incomprehensibleness of Imputed Righteousness, 1692.
Crisp, T., Christ Alone Exalted ... being the Complete Works (7th ed.), 1832.
Davis, R., Hymns composed on several subjects (7th ed., pref. by J. Gill), 1748.
— Truth and Innocency Vindicated against falsehood, 1692.
Declaration of the United Ministers against Mr. Richard Davis, 1692.
Declaration of the Congregational Ministers ... against Antinomian Errours, 1699.
Defense of some Important Doctrines of the Gospel, 2 vols., 1732.
Edwards, J., Crispianism Unmask’d, or a Discovery of ... Erroneous Assertions in Dr. Crisp’s Sermons, 1693.
Edwards, T., A Short Review of ... “Crispianism Unmasked”, 1693.
Firmin, G., A Brief Review of Mr. Davis’s Vindication, 1693.
Fuller, A., The Complete Works ... with a memoir by Andrew G. Fuller, 5 vols., 1831.
— The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation, 1785.
Gill, J., An Answer to the Birmingham Dialogue-Writer, 1737. in Sermons and Tracts, Vol. II, 1773.
— A Body of Doctrinal Divinity (second edition), 3 vols., 1796.
— The Cause of God and Truth (new edition), 1855.
— The Doctrine of God’s Everlasting Love to His Elect and their Eternal Union with Christ, 1732, in Sermons and Tracts, Vol. III, 1778.
Gill. J., The Doctrine of Justification by the Righteousness of Christ, Stated and Vindicated, 1730, in Sermons and Tracts, Vol. III.
— The Doctrine of Predestination Stated, and set in Scripture-Light, 1752, in Sermons and Tracts, Vol. III.
— The Doctrine of the Saints’ Final Perseverance Asserted and Vindicated, 1752, in Sermons and Tracts, Vol. III.
— The Doctrine of the Trinity Stated and Vindicated, 1731, in Sermons and Tracts, Vol. III.
— Exposition of the New Testament, 3 vols., 1809.
— Exposition of the Old Testament, 6 vols., 1810.
— The Law Established by the Gospel, 1756, in Sermons and Tracts, Vol. I, 1773.
— The Moral Nature and Fitness of Things Considered, 1743, in Sermons and Tracts, Vol. II.
— The Necessity of Good Works unto Salvation considered, 1739, in Sermons and Tracts, Vol. II.
— Truth Defended (against Job Burt), 1736, in Sermons and Tracts, Vol. II.
Glass, N., The Early History of the Independent Church at Rothwell, Northampton, 1871.
Goodwin, T., Exposition of Ephesians I, in Works (ed. J. C. Miller), Vol. I, Edinburgh, 1862.
— Of the Creatures, in Works, Vol. VII.
— Of the Knowledge of God the Father..., in Works, Vol. IV.
Goodwin, T. (Jnr.), A Discourse of the True Nature of the Gospel, 1695.
Heppe, H., Reformed Dogmatics (tr. G. T. Thompson), 1950.
Hussey, J., The Gospel-Feast Opened, 1693.
— The Glory of Christ Uпveil’d or the Excellency of Christ Vindicated, 1706.
— God’s Operations of Grace but No Offers of His Grace (third edition), 1792.
Keach, B., The Marrow of True Justification, 1692.
Locke, J., Essay Concerning Human Understanding (ed. A. S. Pringle-Pattison), Oxford, 1960.
— The Reasonableness of Christianity (ed. I. T. Ramsey), 1958.
Lorimer, W., An Apology for the Ministers who subscribed only unto the stating of the Truths and Errours in Mr. Williams’ Book, 1694.
— Remarks on ... Mr. Goodwin’s Discourse of the Gospel, 1696.
Mather, N., The Righteousness of God through Faith, 1694.
Matthews, A. G., Diary of a Cambridge Minister, Cambridge, 1937.
Maurice, M., Monuments of Mercy, 1729.
Owen, J., The Death of Death in the Death of Christ (new edition), 1959.
Pemble, W., Vindiciae Gratiae, 1627.
Perkins, W., Works, 3 vols., 1612.
Rehakosht, P. (John King), A Plain and Just Account of a most horrid and dismal Plague begun at Rowel, alias Rothwell, 1692.
Ridgley, T., A Body of Divinity, 2 vols., 1731–3.
Rippon, J., A Brief Memoir of the Life and Writings of ... John Gill, 1838.
Ryland, J., The Life and Death of Andrew Fuller, 1816.
Skepp, J., Divine Energy or the Efficacious Operations of the Spirit of God upon the soul of man (third edition), 1851.
Stevens, J., A Scriptural Display of the Triune God and the early existence of Jesus’ human soul, 1813.
Stockell, S., The Redeemer’s Glory Uпveil’d, 1733.
Torrance, T. F., The School of Faith ... Catechisms of the Reformation, 1959.
Traill, R., A Vindication of the Protestant Doctrine concerning Justification, 1692, in Works of Robert Traill, Vol. I, Edinburgh, 1810.
Twisse, W., Vindiciae Gratiae, Amsterdam, 1632.
Watts, I., The Glory of Christ as God-Man displayed, 1746.
Watson, T., A Body of Divinity (new edition), 1965.
Wayman, L., A Further Enquiry after Truth, wherein is shown what faith is required of unregenerate persons, 1738. — Defence of A Further Enquiry after Truth, 1739.
Williams, D., Gospel-Truth Stated and Vindicated, 1692.
— Man made Righteous by Christ’s Obedience, 1694.
Wilson, W., The History and Antiquities of Dissenting Churches and Meeting Houses in London, Westminster and Southwark, 4 vols., 1808–10.
Witsius, H., Conciliatory or Irenical Animadversions on the Controversies agitated in Britain under the unhappy names of Antinomians and Neonomians (trans. T. Bell), Glasgow, 1807. Original Latin, Utrecht, 1696.
Zanchius, J., The Doctrine of Absolute Predestination (trans. A. Toplady), 1825.
(b) UNPUBLISHED MANUSCRIPTS.
Hussey, J., “Diary” (in the possession of Emmanuel Congregational Church, Cambridge).
“First Church Book of Kimbolton Independent Church” (typescript by H. G. Tibbutt in Dr. Williams’s Library).
“Minutes of the Church meeting at the Bagnio, Newgate Street, and later at Curriers Hall, Cripplegate, 1691–1722” (in the possession of Regent’s Park College, Oxford).
“Minutes of the King’s Head Society” (in the possession of New College, London).
Rix, J., “The Nonconformist Churches at Hail-Weston, St. Neots, etc.” (in the possession of Dr. Williams’s Library).
II. SECONDARY SOURCES
(a) GENERAL WORKS OF REFERENCE.
Dictionary of Doctrinal and Historical Theology (ed. J. H. Blunt), 1871.
Dictionary of National Biography (ed. L. Stephen and S. Lee), 1937–8.
Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics (ed. J. Hastings), 1908–26.
The New Schaff Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (ed. S. M. Jackson), 1908–12.
(b) SELECT WORKS.
Adams, H., View of Religions, 1814.
Berkhof, L., Systematic Theology, 1949.
Boehl, E., The Reformed Doctrine of Justification (tr. C. H. Riedesel), Grand Rapids, 1946.
Boettner, L., The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, Philadelphia, 1963.
Buchanan, J., The Doctrine of Justification, Edinburgh, 1867.
Carruthers, S. W., The Everyday Work of the Westminster Assembly, Philadelphia, 1943.
Clark, H. W., History of English Nonconformity, Vol. II, 1913.
Coleman, T., Memorials of the Independent Churches in Northamptonshire, 1853.
Colligan, J. H., The Arian Movement in England, Manchester, 1913.
Coomer, D., English Dissent under the Early Hanoverians, 1946.
Cragg, G. R., From Puritanism to the Age of Reason, Cambridge, 1950.
— Reason and Authority in the Eighteenth Century, Cambridge, 1964.
Dakin, A., Calvinism, 1940.
Dale, R. W., History of English Congregationalism (ed. A. W. W. Dale), 1907.
Davis, A. P., Isaac Watts: His life and work, 1948.
Díllenberger, J., Protestant Thought and Natural Science, 1961.
Dorner, J. A., History of Protestant Theology, Vol. I, Edinburgh, 1871.
Dowey, E. A., The Knowledge of God in Calvin’s Theology, New York, 1952.
Duffield, G. E. (ed.), John Calvin, Abingdon, 1966.
Evaпs, J., Sketch of the Denominations of the Christian World, 1795.
Franks, R. S., History of the Doctrine of the Work of Christ, 2 vols., 1918.
Gordon, A., Freedom After Ejection, Manchester, 1917.
Griffiths, O. M., Religion and Learning, Cambridge, 1935.
Haller, W., The Rise of Puritanism, New York, 1938.
Hanson, L., Government and the Press, 1936.
Harrison, A. W., The Beginnings of Arminianism to the Synod of Dort, 1926.
Hastie, W., The Theology of the Reformed Church in its fundamental principles, Edinburgh, 1904.
Hodge, A. A., The Confession of Faith (new edition), 1958.
Hodge, C., Systematic Theology, 3 vols., Grand Rapids, 1953.
Howell, W. S., Logic and Rhetoric in England, 1500–1700, Princeton, 1956.
Huehns, G., Antinomianism in English History, 1951.
Jansen, J. F., Calvin’s Doctrine of the Work of Christ, 1956.
Jones, J. A. (ed.), Bunhill Memorials, 1849.
Jones, R. Tudur, Congregationalism in England, 1662–1962, 1962.
de Jong, A. C., The Well-Meant Gospel Offer, Franeker, n.d.
Kelly, J. N. D., Early Christian Doctrines, 1960.
Kevan, E. F., The Grace of Law, 1964.
Kneale, W. & M., The Development of Logic, 1962.
Laplanche, F., Orthodoxie et Predication: Loeuvre d’Amyraut, Paris, 1965.
McLachlan, H., English Education under the Test Acts, Manchester, 1931.
McLachlan, H. J., Socinianism in Seventeenth Century England, 1951.
MacLeod, J., Scottish Theology, Edinburgh, 1943.
McNeill, J. T., The History and Character of Calvinism, New York, 1954.
Marsden, J. B., History of the Later Puritans, 1852.
Marshall, D., Eighteenth Century England, 1962.
Matthews, A. G. (ed.), The Savoy Declaration of Faith and Order, 1658, 1959.
Miller, P., Errand into the Wilderness, Cambridge, Mass., 1956.
— The New England Mind: The Seventeenth Century, Cambridge, Mass, 1954.
More, L. T., Isaac Newton, New York, 1934.
Murray, J. (with N. B. Stonehouse), The Free Offer of the Gospel, Phillipsburg, New Jersey, 1948.
— Calvin on Scripture and Divine Sovereignty, Grand Rapids, 1960.
Neve, J. L., A History of Christian Thought, 2 vols., Philadelphia, 1946.
Nuttall, G. F. (with R. Thomas, H. L. Short and R. D. Whitehorn), Beginnings of Nonconformity (The Hibbert Lectures), 1964.
Nuttall, G. F., The Holy Spirit in Puritan Faith and Experience, Oxford, 1946.
— (ed.), Philip Doddridge, 1951.
— Richard Baxter, 1965.
Nutter, B., The Story of the Cambridge Baptists, 1912.
Ong, W. J., Ramus. Method and Decay of Dialogue, Cambridge, Mass., 1958.
Paul, S. F., Historical Sketch of the Gospel Standard Baptists, 1945.
Payne, E. A., College Street, Northampton, 1697–1947,1947.
Porter, H. C., Reformation and Reaction in Tudor Cambridge, 1958.
Powicke, F. J., The Cambridge Platonists, 1926.
Rex, W., Essays on Pierre Bayle and Religious Controversy, The Hague, 1965.
Ritschl, A., A Critical History of the Christian Doctrine of Justification and Reconciliation (tr. J. S. Black), Edinburgh, 1872.
Rogers, A. K., A Student’s History of Philosophy, New York, 1962.
Rogers, J. B., Scripture in the Westminster Confession, Kampen, 1966.
Schaff, P., The Creeds of the Evangelical Protestant Churches, 1877.
Schmidt, A. M., Calvin and the Calvinistic Tradition, 1960.
Schrenk, G., Gottesreich und Bund in älteren Protestantismus, Gütersloh, 1928.
Seeberg, R., The History of Doctrines, 2 vols., Grand Rapids, 1956.
Shirren, A. J., The Chronicles of the Fleetwood House, 1951.
Smith, J. W. A., The Birth of Modern Education, 1955.
Smith, N. K., John Locke, Manchester, 1933.
Steele, D. N. (with C. C. Thomas), The Five Points of Calvinism, Philadelphia, 1963.
Stoughton, J., Religion in England under Queen Anne and the Georges, Vol. I, 1878.
Stromberg, R. N., Religious Liberalism in Eighteenth Century England, 1954.
Thomas, R., Daniel Williams: Presbyterian Bishop, 1964.
Toulmin, J., Historical View of the State of the Protestant Dissenters in England, 1814.
Tulloch, J., Rational Theology and Christian Philosophy in England in the Seventeenth Century, 2 vols., 1872.
Wallace, R. S., Calvin’s Doctrine of the Christian Life, Edinburgh, 1959.
Warfield, B. B., Calvin and Augustine, Philadelphia, 1956.
Whiting, C. E., Studies in English Puritanism, 1660–1688, 1931.
Whitley, W. T., A History of British Baptists, 1923.
— Calvinism and Evangelism in England especially among Baptists, n.d.
Wilkinson, J. T., 1662 and After: Three Centuries of English Nonconformity, 1962.
Willey, B., The Eighteenth Century Background, 1940.
Wood, T., English Casuistical Divinity during the Seventeenth Century, 1952.
Yolton, J. W., John Locke and the Way of Ideas, 1956.
Bangs, C., “Arminius and the Reformation”, C.H. XXX (1961).
Crippen, T. G., “The Ancient Merchants’ Lecture”, T.C.H.S. VII (1916–18).
Davidson, N., “The Westminster Confession of Faith”, Scottish Journal of Theology, XIX, No. 3 (1966).
Emerson, E. H., “Calvin and Covenant Theology”, C.H. XXV (1956).
Henderson, G. D., “The Idea of Covenant in Scotland”, E.Q. XXVII (1955).
Lindsay, T. M., “Covenant Theology”, British and Foreign Evangelical Review, XXVIII (1879).
Møller, J. G., “The Beginnings of Puritan Covenant Theology”, J.E.H. XIV (1963).
Nuttall, G. F., “Northamptonshire and ‘The Modern Question’: A Turning-Point in Eighteenth Century Dissent”, J.Th.S. XVI (1965).
Parker, T. H. L., “Calvin’s Doctrine of Justification”, E.Q. XXIV (1952).
Solt, L. F., “John Saltmarsh. New Model Army Chaplain”, J.E.H. II (1951).
Sprunger, K. L., “Ames, Ramus, and the Method of Puritan Theology”, Harvard Theological Review, LIX (1966).
Thomas, R., “The Non-Subscription Controversy amongst Dissenters in 1719”, J.E.H. IV (1953).
Toon, P., “English Strict Baptists”, B.Q. XXI (1965).
— “The Growth of a Supralapsarian Christology”, E. Q. XXIX (1967).
Von Rohr, J., “Covenant and Assurance in Early English Puritanism”, C.H. XXXIV (1965).
White, B. R., “Thomas Crosby, Baptist Historian”, B.Q. XXI (1965).
— “John Gill in London, 1719–1729”, B.Q. XXII (1967).
Whitebrook, J. C., “The Life and Works of Mrs. Ann Dutton”, Transactions Baptist Historical Society, VII (1920–1).
(d) UNPUBLISHED THESES
Breward, I., “The Life and Theology of William Perkins, 1558–1602”, Ph.D., Manchester, 1963.
Bruggink, D. J., “The Theology of Thomas Boston, 1676–1732”, Ph.D., Edinburgh, 1956.
Clipsham, E. F., “Andrew Fuller’s Doctrine of Salvation”, B.D., Oxford, 1965.
Kirkby, A. H., “The Theology of Andrew Faller and its relation to Calvinism”, Ph.D., Edinburgh, 1956.
Packer, J. I., “The Redemption and Restoration of Man in the thought of Richard Baxter”, D.Phil., Oxford, 1954.
Pytches, P. N. L., “A Critical Exposition of the teaching of John Owen on the work of the Holy Spirit in the individual”, M.Litt., Bristol, 1966–7.
Robison, O., “Particular Baptist History, 1760–1820”, D.Phil., Oxford, 1965.
Seymour, R. E., “John Gill. Baptist Theologian, 1697–1771”, Ph.D., Edinburgh, 1954.
Spears, W. E., “The Baptist Movement in England in the late Seventeenth Century as reflected in the work and thought of Benjamin Keach, 1640–1704”, Ph.D., Edinburgh, 1953.
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