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year it was not revived. But in the following year, an invitation was sent to the respective churches, by the church in Broadmead, Bristol, desiring them to renew their annual meeting, upon the foot of their agreement in the Confession of Faith set forth by the Assembly of Particular Baptists, held in London, in 1689, Accordingly a meeting was held in Broadmead, on May 17, 1733, when Mr. Joseph Stennett, of Exeter, preached, from Phil. i. 27, latter part. There were messengers or letters from twenty-four churches. The Rev. Bernard Fosket was then pastor, and Edward Harrison minister, at Broadmead; and the Rev. John Beddome and William Bazely were pastors in the Pithay. There are now sixty-eight churches in this Association.
The English Baptists have been usually divided into two distinct bodies, by their different views of the doctrines of grace. The General Baptists are so called from their maintaining the sentiment of general redemption. Many of the old churches of this sort, have gone from general redemption to no redemption, or from Arminianism to Arianism and Socinianism:
• Afterwards Dr. Joseph Stennett, who removed to Little Wild Street, London, in 1737. His father and "grandfather, as well as bis son, Dr. Samuel Stennett, were all employed in the work of the ministry; and his grandson, Mr. Joseph Stennett, is now pastor of the church at Calne,
but the churches of what is called the New Connection are far more evangelical, and some of them approach nearly to the principles of the moderate Calvinists.*
The Particular Baptists espouse the Calvinistic sentiments, on what are called the five points ; namely, (1.) That the elect were eternally fore-ordained to boliness, obedience and happiness, as the end, through sanctification and the spriņkling of the blood of Jesus as the means of obtaining that end, to the glory of sovereign grace. (2.) That the peculiar blessings of redemption, purchased by the death of Christ, are actually imparted only to the elect, all of whom shall certainly enjoy them. (3.) That mankind are so universally and totally depraved, that they never
can be brought back to God, without the drawings of the Holy Spirit. (4.) That the special operations of the Divine Spirit are invincibly efficacious, and cannot be frustrated by the rebellious will of man. (5.) That all who are truly regenerated shall persevere in grace to glory:
In their zeal for these doctrines, some good men, towards the beginning of the last century,
* See a letter from the Rev. Mr. Freestone of Hinkley, inserted in the Baptist Magazine for September, 1812, in answer to a very erroneous statement by Dr. Haweis, which the conductors of the Evangelical Magazine would not suffer to be corrected.
were driven into an extreme; so as to deny that all who hear the gospel are called to that exercise of repentance and faith which is connected with salvation. As far as I can learn, this controversy, respecting what was then called the Modern Question—" Whether it be the duty of all men to whom the gospel is published, to repent and believe in Christ” first arose in Northamptonshire. Many of the churches in that neighbourhood had been gathered by the labours of Mr. Davis, an Independent minister at Rothwell, and other preachers called out by his church. He was a very zealous, laborious man; but was accused of rashness and imprudence by the Presbyterian ministers in his neighbourhood, and both himself and his fellow-labourers were charged with using expressions of an Antinomian tendency.
But I can find no evidence that he took the negative side on this question ; and when after Mr. Davis's death, it began to be advanced among some of his followers, his successor, Mr. Maurice, very strenuously opposed it. He published a pampblet against this sentiment, and annexed to it a testimony from the church under his care, dated Ang. 31, 1737, which was signed by above fifty men-inembers. Mr. Lewis Wayman, of Kimbolton, wrote in defence of the new opinion, That it is not the duly of the unregenerate to believe in Christ. To this Mr. Maurice
prepared a reply; but he died before it was quite completed. What he had written, however, was published by the desire of his church, under the inspection of the Rev. Thomas Bradbury of London, who prefixed an epistle to the reader, dated May.5, 1739. · After this Mr. Gutteridge, of Oundle, wrote a piece on the affirmative side, wherein there were, I suppose, some things really verging towards Arminianisın. Upon this, Mr. John Brine, a Baptist minister in London, but a native of Kettering, published a letter to a friend, entitled, The Arminian Principles of a late Writer Refuted. 1743. Though Mr. Brine espoused the negative side of the question, yet be repeatedly allows, what no man of reading could dispute, that many sound Calvinists embraced the affirmative; and professes to his friend, concerning Mr. Gutteridge, “Had not this writer attempted to build up Arminianism upon the foundation of the opinion of evangelical repentance and special faith being the duties, of unregenerate men, I had not given you and the world this trouble; for though I apprehend that opinion is not to be supported by scripture and the analogy of faith, it seems not to me to be of such consequence, but that persons differing in this point, may fully agrec about the doctrines of the grace of God.”
In 1752, a pamphlet was published on the affirmative side, by Mr Alvery Jackson, a Baptist minister in Yorkshire: (whose daughter afterwards married Mr. Abraham Greenwood, once pastor of the church at Oakham,) this piece was edited by Dr. Joseph Stennett, upon which Mr. Brine made some animadversions, in his Motives to Love and Unity among Calvinists differing in Opinion. A very peculiar man, Mr. Johnson of Liverpool, published also on the negative side, in reply to Mr. Jackson; but he carried matters to so extravagant a length, that Mr. Brine thought it necessary to note and rectify his mistakes, and his publications were very little regarded by Calvinists in general.
However, through the influence of Mr. Brine and Dr. Gill, who both took the negative side of the question, (though the latter never wrote on the subject,) this opinion spread pretty much ainong ministers of the Baptist denomination, And though the controversy had subsided, and was but little known among the people, yet the preachers were too much restrained from imitating our Lord and bis apostles, in calling on sinners to “repent and believe the gospel.”. Many of these ministers indeed endeavoured to address the consciences of men, as far as their system would allow; and some of them could hardly refrain from expressing themselves inconsistently with their creed. They were aware that the divine law requires such obedience as no bad man will yield to it; but though they considered all mankind as bound