A Particular Baptist
Of Effectual Calling
a. All those whom God has predestinated unto life, He is pleased, in His appointed and accepted time, effectually to call, by His Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God; taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them an heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and by His Almighty power determining them to that which is good; and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ; yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace.
[Scriptures: Romans 8:30; 11:7; Ephesians 1:10-11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; Ephesians 2:1-6; Acts 26:18; Ephesians 1:17-18; Ezekiel 36:26; Deuteronomy 30:6; Ezekiel 36:27; Ephesians 1:19; Psalms 110:3; Song of Solomon 1:4]
b. This effectual call is of Godís special and Free Grace alone, not from any thing at all foreseen in man; nor from any power or agency in the creature, co-working with His special grace; the creature being wholly passive therein, being dead in sins and trespasses, until, being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit, he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it, and that by no less power than that which raised up Christ from the dead.
[Scriptures: 2 Timothy 1:9; Ephesians 2:8; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:5; John 5:25; Ephesians 1:19-20]
c. Elect infants, dying in infancy, though they have not been brought to repentance of their sins, are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit, who works when, and where, and how He pleases. So also are all other elect persons, such as who suffer from mental retardation, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.
[Scriptures: John 3:3-6,8]
d. Others not elected, that is to say those who are reprobate, although they may for reasons of their own feel called to the Word, that they may even show outward signs of conversion by profession, and may have some common operations of the Spirit; yet, not being effectually drawn by the Father, they neither will, nor can truly come to Christ, and therefore cannot be saved: much less can men that receive not the Christian religion be saved, be they ever so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature, and the law of that religion they do profess.
[Scriptures: Matthew 22:14; 13:20-21; Hebrews 6:4-5; John 6:44-45, 65; 1 John 2:24-25; Acts 4:12; John 4:22; 17:3]
e. I deny that the Holy Spirit ever enlightens the non-elect, to make them capable at all of receiving grace. I reject the false teaching called Baxterianism: that is to say, that while all the elect shall assuredly be saved, there is a residuum of grace in Christ for the rest, or any of the rest, if they will only accept it. While I believe that the gospel is to be preached in or proclaimed to all the world, I deny offers of grace; that is to say, that the gospel is to be offered indiscriminately to all.
[Scriptures: Isaiah 6:9-10; John 14:17; Romans 11:7-8; Mark 4:11-12; Luke 8:10; John 12:39-40; John 3:27; 1 Corinthians 2:14; Mark 16:15; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4]
Of the Method of Presenting the Gospel
a. I believe that it would be unsafe, from the brief records available to us about the way in which the apostles, under the immediate direction of the Lord, addressed their hearers in certain special cases and circumstances, to derive absolute and universal rules for ministerial addresses in the present day under widely different circumstances. And I further believe that an assumption that others have been inspired as the apostles were, though such is not impossible, is definitely improbable and that this idea has led to the grossest of errors amongst both Baptists and professed Protestants--as well as the infidel Papists.
[Scriptures: Acts 13:2-4; 1 Corinthians 12:11; 1 Corinthians 13:8]
b. Therefore, that for ministers in the present day to address unconverted persons, or indiscriminately all in a mixed congregation, calling upon them to savingly repent, believe, and receive Christ, or perform any other acts dependent upon the new creative power of the Holy Spirit, is, on the one hand, to imply creature power, and, on the other, to deny the doctrinal teaching of particular redemption.
[Scriptures: Romans 3:11; Job 35:10; Psalms 10:4; Mark 10:45; John 10:14-15, 26-29]
c. I further believe and hold that any such expressions as convey to the hearers the belief that they possess a certain power to "flee to the Saviour," "to close in with Christ," "to receive Christ," "to make a decision for Christ," etc., while in an unregenerate state, so that unless they do "close with Him and accept Him as their personal Saviour" by their own actions, they shall perish, is untrue and must therefore be rejected.
[Scriptures: Ezekiel 18:20; Romans 8:6; 11:6; Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13; Galatians 1:8]
d. I further believe that there is no Scriptural warrant to take the exhortations in the Old Testament intended for the Jews in a national covenant with God and apply them in a spiritual and saving sense to unregenerated mankind.