Cork Free Presbyterian Church, 10 Briarscourt (Annex) Shanakiel, Cork, Ireland Pastor: Colin Maxwell. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
12 PROOFS THAT CHARLES HADDON SPURGEON WAS A FIRM BELIEVER IN PARTICULAR REDEMPTION
This page is really a kind of postscript to the page I compiled yesterday directly answering Dave Hunt's amazing contention that CH Spurgeon was "unequivocal" in his rejection of the Calvinistic doctrine of Particular redemption. If you want a more detailed rebuttal of Hunt's allegation…thenclick here.
The following is just really a bringing together of a few other proofs that the great Victorian preacher really did believe that Jesus died only with the intention of saving his elect. Emphasise mine.
1) SPURGEON AFFIRMED HIS BELIEF IN THE FIVE POINTS OF CALVINISM IN GENERAL:
And I have my own private opinion that there is no such a thing as preaching Christ and him crucified, unless you preach what now-a-days is called Calvinism. I have my own ideas, and those I always state boldly. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith, without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in his dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering, love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel, unless we base it upon the peculiar redemption which Christ made for his elect and chosen people; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called, and suffers the children of God to be burned in the fires of damnation after having believed. Such a gospel I abhor. The gospel of the Bible is not such a gospel as that. We preach Christ and him crucified in a different fashion, and to all gainsayers we reply, "We have not so learned Christ." (Sermon number 98 New Park Street Pulpit 1:100)
As for our faith as a church you have heard that already. We believe in what are called the five great points commonly known as Calvinistic; but we do not regard those five points as being barbed shafts which we are to push into the bowels of Christendom. We look upon them as being five great lamps which help to irradiate the cross, or rather five bright emanations springing from the glorious covenant of our Triune God, and illustrating the great doctrine of Jesus crucified. Against all comers, especially against all lovers of Arminianism, we defend and maintain pure gospel truth. (Ceremony at laying of the stone of the New Tabernacle: Sermon numbers: 268-270) Found in New Park St Pulpit 5:603
I cannot stop to tell you of all the sheaves in the doctrine field. Some say there are only five; I believe the five great doctrines of Calvinism are, in some degree, a summary of the rest; they are distinctive points wherein we differ from those who "have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." But there are many more doctrines beside these five; and all are alike precious, and all are alike valuable to the true believer’s soul, for he can feed upon them to his heart’s content. (Sermon number 2585 Metropolitan Tabernacle 44:529)
Since then, you have learned other doctrines, possibly the five points of Calvinism, or the fifty points of any other system; but you never learned them from merely reading them in the Scriptures, you never really knew them till the pen of God began to move up and down upon your inward nature, and your heart received the impression the Lord intended to convey to it. (Sermon number 2280 Metropolitan Tabernacle 38:679)
We have certainly not thrown away the Five Points, but we may have gained other five… (Sword & Trowel Feb 1874 p.36)
2) SPURGEON URGED OTHERS TO HOLD TO THE FIVE POINTS OF CALVINISM:
Brethren, hold the five points of the Calvinistic doctrine,but mind you do not hold them as babbling questions. What you have received of God do not learn in order to fight with it, and to make contention and strife, and to divide the church of God, and rail against the people of the Most high, as some do. (Sermon number 3394 - Metropolitan Pulpit 60:121)
3) SPURGEON AFFIRMED HIS BELIEF IN THE DOCTRINE OF PARTICULAR REDEMPTION PARTICULARLY:
I may be called Antinomian or Calvinist for preaching a limited atonement; but I had rather believe a limited atonement that is efficacious for all men for whom it was intended, than an universal atonement that is not efficacious for anybody,except the will of man be joined with it. (Sermon number 173 - Metropolitan Pulpit 4:121)
"We are often told that we limit the atonement of Christ, because we say that Christ has not made a satisfaction for all men, or all men would be saved…We say Christ so died that he infallibly secured the salvation of a multitude that no man can number, who through Christ’s death not only may be saved, but are saved, must be saved, and cannot by any possibility run the hazard of being anything but saved. You are welcome to your atonement; you may keep it. We will never renounce ours for the sake of it. Now, beloved, when you hear any one laughing or jeering at a limited atonement, you may tell him this. General atonement is like a great wide bridge with only half an arch; it does not go across the stream: it only professes to go half way, it does not secure the salvation of anybody. Now, I had rather put my foot upon a bridge as narrow as Hungerford, which went all the way across, than on a bridge that was as wide as the world, if it did not go all the way across the stream."(Sermon number 181 entitled Particular Redemption New Park Street Pulpit 4:228)
V. I have hurried over that, to come to the last point, which is the sweetest of all. Jesus Christ, we are told in our text, came into the world "to give his life a ransom for many." The greatness of Christ’s redemption may be measured by the EXTENT OF THE DESIGN OF IT. He gave his life "a ransom for many." I must now return to that controverted point again. We are often told (I mean those of us who are commonly nicknamed by the title of Calvinists — and we are not very much ashamed of that; we think that Calvin, after all, knew more about the gospel than almost any man who has ever lived, uninspired) — We are often told that we limit the atonement of Christ, because we say that Christ has not made a satisfaction for all men, or all men would be saved. ."(Sermon number 181 entitled Particular Redemption New Park Street Pulpit 4:229)
CLICK HERE FOR WHOLE SERMON ENTITLED PARTICULAR REDEMPTION (Sermon 181 on Matthew 20:28 (4:218)
CLICK HERE FOR WHOLE SERMON ENTITLED: THE MISSION OF THE SON OF MAN (Sermon 204 on Luke 19:10 (4:547)
There are others of us who hold what is called the doctrine of particular redemption. We conceive that the blood of Christ was of an infinite value, but that the intention of the death of Christ never was the salvation of all men; for if Christ had designed the salvation of all men, we hold that all men would have been saved. We believe that the intention of Christ’s death is just equal to its effects, and therefore I start this morning by announcing what I regard to be a self-evident truth, that whatever was the intention of Jesus Christ in coming into the world, that intention most certainly shall be fulfilled. (Sermon number 204 New Park Gate Pulpit 4:549)
4) SPURGEON REJECTED THE IDEA OF AN UNIVERSAL ATONEMENT:
"I am no general redemptionist,I believe Jesus Christ died for as many as will be saved; I do not believe he died in vain for any man alive." (Sermon number 148 New Park Street Pulpit 3:545)
Many divines say that Christ did something when he died that enabled God to be just, and yet the Justifier of the ungodly. What that something is they do not tell us. They believe in an atonement made for everybody; but then, their atonement is just this. They believe that Judas was atoned for just as much as Peter; they believe that the damned in hell were as much an object of Jesus Christ’s satisfaction as the saved in heaven; and though they do not say it in proper words, yet they must mean it, for it is a fair inference, that in the case of multitudes, Christ died in vain, for he died for them all, they say; and yet so ineffectual was his dying for them, that though he died for them they are damned afterwards. Now, such an atonement I despise — I reject it.(Sermon number 113 New Park Street Pulpit 1:121)
You are welcome to your atonement; you may keep it. We will never renounce ours for the sake of it. (Sermon number 181 entitled Particular Redemption New Park Street Pulpit 4:228)
Once again, if it were Christ’s intention to save all men, how deplorably has he been disappointed! for we have his own evidence that there is a lake that burneth with fire and brimstone, and into that pit must be cast some of the very persons, who according to that theory, were bought with his blood. That seems to me a thousand times more frightful than any of those horrors, which are said to be associated with the Calvinistic and Christian doctrine of particular redemption. (Sermon 204 New Park Street Pulpit 4:553)
I never have subscribed — I think I never shall — to the doctrine of universal redemption. I believe in the limitless efficacy of the blood of Christ. I would not say, with some of the early Fathers, that a single drop of Christ’s blood would have been sufficient for the redemption of the world. That seems to me to be an expression too strained, though doubtless their meaning was correct. I believe that there is efficacy enough in the blood of Christ if it be applied to the conscience to save any man and every man. But when I come to the matter of redemption it seems to me that whatever Christ’s design was in dying, that design cannot be frustrated, nor by any means disappointed. When I look at the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, I cannot imagine that such an One, offering such a sacrifice, can ever be disappointed of the design of his soul. Hence I think that all whom he came on purpose to save he will save, all who were graven on the strong affections of his heart as the purchase of his blood he assuredly shall have. All that his heavenly Father gave him shall come to him. All that he chose from before the foundation of the world, he will raise up at the last day. All who were included among the members of his mystic body, when he was nailed to the tree, shall be one with him in his glorious resurrection, and "not a hoof shall be left behind." I know there are some who believe in a disappointed Christ, who affect to lament concerning Christ a design not accomplished, a frustrated cross, agonies spent in vain, blood that was poured out on the ground as water that cannot be gathered up. I believe in no such thing. God createth nothing in vain, nor will I believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross in vain in any sense or in any degree whatever. Not a hoof of all his purchased flock shall be left behind.(6:328-329)
But if you live and die unbelievers, know this, that all your sins lie on your own shoulders. Christ did never make any atonement for you; you were never bought with blood; you never had an interest in his sacrifice. You live and die in yourselves, lost; in yourselves, ruined; in yourselves utterly destroyed.(7:48)
"I have sometimes thought when I have heard addresses from some revival brethren who had kept on saying time after time, 'Believe, believe, believe,' that I should like to have known for myself what it was we were to believe in order to our own salvation. There is, I fear, a great deal of vagueness and crudeness about this matter. I have often heard it asserted that if you believe that Jesus Christ died for you, you will be saved. My dear hearer, do not be deluded by such an idea. You may believe that Christ died for you, and may believe what is not true; you may believe that which will bring you no sort of good whatsoever. That is not saving faith. The man who has saving faith afterwards attains to the conviction that Christ died for him, but it is not the essence of saving faith…" [Spurgeon develops this thought more fully…but the point being made here is that not every man can believe that Christ died for him in particular.] (58:732-733)
"Then next, the question of particular redemption. Some insist upon it that men are redeemed not because Christ died, but because they are willing to give efficacy to the blood of Christ. He died for everybody according to their theory. Why, then, are not all men saved? Because all men will not believe? That is to say that believing is necessary in order to make the blood of Christ efficacious for redemption. Now we hold that to be a great lie. We believe the very contrary, namely, that the blood of Christ has in itself the power to redeem, and that it does redeem, and that faith does not give efficacy to the blood, but is only the proof that the blood has redeemed that man. Hence we hold that Christ did not redeem every man, but only redeemed those men who will ultimately attain unto eternal life. We do not believe that he redeemed the damned; we do not believe that he poured out his life blood for souls already in hell. We never can imagine that Christ suffered in the room and stead of all men, and that then afterwards these same men have to suffer for themselves, that in fact Christ pays their debts, and then God makes them pay their debts over again. We think that the doctrine that men by their wills give efficacy to the blood of Christ is derogatory to the Lord Jesus, and we rather hold to this that he laid down his life for his sheep, and that his laying down his life for the sheep involved and secured the salvation of every one of them. We believe this because we hold that "of him, and through him, and to him are all things." (10:383)
5) SPURGEON IDENTIFIED HIMSELF WHOLEHEARTEDLY WITH CALVIN AND THE CALVINIST'S WHO BELIEVED IN PARTICULAR REDEMPTION:
I will here quote the testimony of that pre-eminently profound divine, Dr. John Owen: — "… Can it possibly be conceived that there should be a redemption of men, and those men not redeemed? that a price should be paid, and the purchase not consummated? Yet all this must be made true, and innumerable other absurdities, if universal redemption be asserted..." (Sermon number 173 - Metropolitan Pulpit 4:121)
Again, I must say, I am not defending certain brethren who have exaggerated Calvinism. I speak of Calvinism proper, not that which has run to seed, and outgrown its beauty and verdure. I speak of it as I find it in Calvin’s Institutes, and especially in his Expositions. I have read them carefully. I take not my views of Calvinism from common repute but from his books. Nor do I, in thus speaking, even vindicate Calvinism as if I cared for the name, but I mean that glorious system which teaches that salvation is of grace from first to last.(Sermon number 385 Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit 7:554)
Did you say that such-and- such a thing is believed by you because you found it in Calvin’s Institutes? I am a Calvinist, and a lover of that grand man’s memory and doctrine; but I believe nothing merely because Calvin taught it, but because I have found his teaching in the Word of God. (Sermon number 2584 Metropolitan Tabernacle 44:517)
Do you know that John Calvin wrote his famous "Institutes" — a most wonderful production for thought if not for accuracy — before he was twenty-seven years of age? (Unusual Occasions p95)
The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. I cannot shape the truth; I know of no such thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox’s gospel is my gospel. That which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again. — C. H. S. (Defence of Calvinism)
I stood last Wednesday in a sort of dream as I gazed upon my much-beloved grandfather’s place of sepulcher. I was encouraged by seeing the record of his fifty-four years of service in the midst of one church and people, and I rejoiced that, could he rise from the dead, he would find his grandson preaching that selfsame old-fashioned and much-despised Calvinistic doctrine of the grace of God which was his joy in life and his comfort in death.(Sermon number 1972 Metropolitan Pulpit 33:500)
Though we have not been called to maintain those truths as you have been, by trials peculiar to your church polity, we have had to maintain the same distinctly Calvinistic truth by struggles which have rooted and grounded us in it. We are glad when we see our brethren more numerous than ourselves across the Border giving forth a louder sound — not, I hope, a clearer sound — than we do on the grand doctrines of salvation by sovereign grace. May you prosper in your upholding of the old banner for many, many years to come; and may God be with you and bless you. (Speeches at Home and Abroad p95)
The Atonement in its Relations to the Covenant, the Priesthood, and the
Intercession of our Lord. By HUGH MARTIN, D.D. Edinburgh: Lyon and Gemmell.
SOMETHING like theology. We wish our young divines would feed upon such meat as this, and we should hear no more of the modern sham redemption. Dr. Martin teaches a real substitution, and an efficient atonement, and has no sympathy with Robertson, and those of his school We thank God for Scotland, and trust that she will ever nurse for us a host of sturdy Calvinists, for whom the boastful schemes of the "modern thought" men will have no charms. We are that told many Free Church ministers are going over to the Broad School, but we do not believe it, and will not till we have far more evidence than at present. (Sword & Trowel August 1877 5:198)
6) SPURGEON WAS THE PASTOR OF A CALVINISTIC CHURCH FOR 38 YEARS:
This was the church of Benjamin Keach and John Gill…both Calvinists. Spurgeon could claim concerning his church:
Now I am astonished to find those persons that thus come before me so well instructed in the doctrines of grace and so sound in all the truths of the covenant, insomuch that I may think it my boast and glory, in the name of Jesus, that I know not that we have any members, whom we have received into the church, who do not give their full assent and consent unto all the doctrines of the Christian religion, commonly called Calvinistic doctrines. Those which men are wont to laugh at as being high doctrinal points, are those which they most readily receive, believe, and rejoice in. (Sermon number 178 New Park Street Pulpit 4:182)
God forbid that we should have our Sunday-schools the hot-beds of Arminianism, while our churches are gardens of Calvinism.(Sermon number 1115 Metropolitan Tabernacle 19:398)
Spurgeon rightly denounced those who being Arminian would pastor a Calvinistic church (and vice versa)
By what tortuous processes of reasoning could it be made to appear consistent with uprightness for an Arminian to accept emoluments upon the condition of teaching Calvinistic doctrines, or how could a Calvinist be justified should he enter into covenant to teach the opposite tenets? Would it be any decrease of the inconsistency of either official if he should, after gaining his position and securing its salary, become a stickler for ministerial liberty and insist upon delivering himself of his own real opinions which he dared not have avowed at his instalment, and which, ex officio, he ought to denounce? A church, having a written creed, virtually asks the candidate for her pulpit, "Do you hold fast our form of sound words, and, will you endeavour to maintain it?" On the response to that enquiry, other things being settled, the appointment depends. The candidate's "yea," is accepted in confidence as being sincere, and he is inducted; but if it be a lie, or if at any time it cease to be altogether true, it is only by a sophistry unworthy of an ingenuous mind, that a man can justify' himself in retaining his place; he is bound in honour to relinquish it forthwith.(Sword and Trowel February 1870 2:397)
7) AT THE OPENING OF A NEW CHURCH BUILDING, SPURGEON INVITED MEN TO PREACH ON THE FIVE POINTS OF CALVINISM…INCLUDING PARTICULAR REDEMPTION:
EXPOSITION OF THE DOCTRINES OF GRACE
THURSDAY, APRIL 11TH, 1861,
THE REV. C. H. SPURGEON TOOK THE CHAIR
AT 3 O’CLOCK.
The proceedings were commenced by singing the 21st Hymn —
The Rev. C. H. SPURGEON in opening the proceedings said, we have met
together beneath this roof already to set forth most of those truths in which consists the peculiarity of this Church…The controversy which has been carried on between the Calvinist and the Arminian is exceedingly important, but it does not so involve the vital point of personal godliness as to make eternal life depend upon our holding either system at theology….
BY THE REV. J. A. SPURGEON,
In the presence of his brother, James said:
But, you ask me, is there any limit to the atonement at all? I say I think there is, and the limit seems to be, not in the value, but in the purpose. The limit seems to be this theory — for whom did he die? in whose place and stead did he stand? If he stood in the place and stead of the whole world, then he made atonement for the sins of the whole world, and the whole world will be saved. If he stood in the place and stead of his Church, then he made atonement for his Church, and the whole Church will be saved. We believe that Christ took the place and stead of every believer, that the believers sin was put on him, and thus the ex-sinner can go forth free.
8) SPURGEON PROFESSED FAITH IN THE 1689 BAPTIST CONFESSION OF FAITH WHICH TEACH PARTICULAR REDEMPTION:
Both the Westminster Confession of Faith and the 1689 Baptist Confession teach the doctrine of Particular Redemption. Spurgeon himself reprinted the 1689 Baptist Confession in 1855. A copy of the Baptist Confession was placed under the stone during the stone laying of the Metropolitan Tabernacle. These Confessions both teach in the chapter entitled: Of Christ the Mediator
V. The Lord Jesus, by His perfect obedience, and sacrifice of Himself, which He, through the eternal Spirit, once offered up unto God, hath fully satisfied the justice of His Father; and purchased, not only reconciliation, but an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, for all those whom the Father hath given unto Him.
VIII. To all those for whom Christ hath purchased redemption, He doth certainly and effectually apply and communicate the same, making intercession for them, and revealing unto them, in and by the Word, the mysteries of salvation, effectually persuading them by His Spirit to believe and obey, and governing their hearts by His Word and Spirit, overcoming all their enemies by His almighty power and wisdom, in such manner, and ways, as are most consonant to His wonderful and unsearchable dispensation.
In his preface, Spurgeon refers to the doctrines of the Baptist Confession as "excellent" and whilst he did not want the Confession to become a fetter, yet he did express the hope that it would be of assistance of them in controversy, a confirmation in their faith and a means of edification. He writes further:
"Be not ashamed of your faith: remember it is the ancient gospel of the martyrs, confessors, reformers and saints. Above all it is the truth of God, against which the gates of hell cannot prevail."
9) OTHER PREACHERS CAME TO HIS CHURCH AND SPOKE OF HIS UNQUALIFIED CALVINISM:
At the stone laying ceremony of the Tabernacle, Mr Spurgeon introduced Rev J. Bloomfield who was evidently a very strong Calvinistic preacher, - another "high Calvinist" as Spurgeon described himself - from the words spoken below.
The Rev. C. H. SPURGEON: If our friends are not tired I should like another brother to speak, and I have a few words to say before I call upon my brother Bloomfield. I have been treated somewhat severely by that class of brethren who are exceedingly strong in their Calvinism. Many suspect me of being a great heretic. Now, a great heretic I certainly am, if it be heresy to judge of the Scriptures as God the Holy Ghost gives me ability, and not to bend myself to the dictates of man. I am, I ever must be, from my deep and terrible experience of the depravity of the human heart, a high Calvinist, in the best sense of that term. I am not bitter towards others; but I do love to preach the fullness of the decree of God. I do love, however, so to preach it that I may combine it with practical exhortation and fullness of precept. There are many brethren who believe the same. The stone has to be rolled away from the spulchre of Calvinism yet. The Calvinism of some men is the Calvinism of John Calvin, nor the Calvinism of the Puritans, much less the Christianity of God. My dear brother Bloomfield is one of those who hold the truth very strongly. I hope he may hold it never less sternly. He has an affectionate loving heart, and he is not prepared to condemn one who, in some points, differs from the brethren. I do differ from some in certain matters, those are but small matters compared with the grand fundamentals of that holy faith delivered to us by Christ, translated by Paul, handed down by Augustine, clarified by Calvin, translated by Paul, handed down by Augustine, clarified by Calvin, vindicated yet again by Whitfield, and held by us as the very truth of God, as it is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
In his address, Mr Bloomfield acknowledged Mr Spurgeon's preaching of the perfection of the atonement…a description which Calvinists cannot apply to those who believe that Christ died for men who are now in hell, suffering for those very sins Christ is meant to have suffered for.
"Any man that preaches the atonement in its perfection is a brother that I am glad to shake hands with and bid God speed. Whether or not he preaches the high and distinguishing doctrine of divine grace in the phraseology that I employ; whether or not he chooses to preach those doctrines in the plain language in which I am bound to preach them, because I can preach them in no other, I say I bid him God speed, and trust the blessing of God will go with him wherever he goes to preach the everlasting gospel of the blessed God. Christ said, when on earth, "If any man serve me, him will my Father honour." I ask any man to look at the vast numbers that have testified before delighted audiences to the way in which the ministry of Mr. Spurgeon has been blessed to them; and I ask if God has not honoured him…"
At the opening of the Metropolitan Tabernacle, the following comments by Calvinistic ministers were made in the presence of Spurgeon:
The REV. F. TUCKER, of Camden Road Chapel, "He looked upon his brother Spurgeon as one who upheld the sovereignty of God, and who, on the other hand, declared the responsibility of man. He preached, that never could the sinner repent without the aid of the Holy Ghost, and yet he called upon every sinner to repent and believe the gospel. Especially did his brother make prominent the grand doctrine of the atoning sacrifice of Christ, and the kindred doctrine of justification by faith in the righteousness of the Lord and Saviour."
The REV. GEORGE ROGERS: "Their friend Mr. Spurgeon preached all the doctrines of grace. Election, particular redemption came from his lips in trumpet tones. He saw the love of Christ to His Church, and of the Church to Christ, overflowing in sweet nectar in the song of Solomon. Some said those doctrines were destructive of all good works — that people who listened to such doctrines did nothing. His answer to these objectors was, let them look at that building. Election would never have built it, except by seeking to make their calling and election sure. Particular redemption would never have built it without the particular love which it was calculated to inspire. The doctrine of perseverance would never have built it without the act of perseverance."
10) CALVINISM'S ENEMIES SPOKE OF SPURGEON'S WHOLE HEARTED CALVINISM:
Mr. Dale, in his admirable article published on Christmas-day in the Daily Telegraph, gives it as his opinion that Calvinism would be almost obsolete among Baptists were it not still maintained by the powerful influence of Mr. Spurgeon. The statement is most flattering to our vanity…Calvinism such as was taught by Owen, Charnock, Bunyan, Newton, Whitfield, Romaine, and men of that class, is no more obsolete than is the law of gravitation, neither are its friends at all inclined to bewail its influence as dying out…If such Calvinism as this, and it is the Calvinism of Calvin, and the only one which we maintain, is really growing obsolete, we must henceforth doubt our ears and disbelieve the statements of the best of our brethren. If the sermons now preached in Baptist pulpits could all be printed, they would be found to contain vastly more of what we call Calvinism than they did twenty years ago. The party names and terms are less used, for which we are devoutly thankful, but the essence and spirit of that side of truth, which has for brevity's sake been called Calvinistic, are more powerful among us now than they ever were at any previous part of the century. We have in this matter a right to judge, because the question relates to that Calvinism which is "maintained by the powerful influence of Mr. Spurgeon," and therefore no man is more likely to know than Mr. Spurgeon himself... We have certainly not thrown away the Five Points, but we may have gained other five, and far be it from us to deny it; but this does not in the slightest degree affect the statement of our Birmingham friend, for it still remains a fact that the "Calvinism," or whatever it is, which is maintained by us, does not make us enemies among the General Baptists, but is read by thousands of them regularly, and ensures for us a warm place in their hearts, as many letters, donations, and kindly actions abundantly prove. Whatever it may be which we maintain, and we do not demur to Mr. Dale's description of it as Calvinism, for it contains a great deal of Calvinism, we are sure that far more of it is read and endorsed among General Baptists than at any other period in history. (Sword & Trowel Feb 1874 p33ff)
The Evangelical Revival and other Sermons: with an Address on the Work of the Christian ministry in a period of theological decay and transition. By R. W. DALE. Hodder and Stoughton.
We cannot bring our mind to review this volume of discourses. It manifests the author’s great ability and honesty, but to our mind it is unsatisfactory, and to our heart it is saddening. Mr. Dale says," Mr. Spurgeon stands alone among the modern leaders of Evangelical Nonconformists in his fidelity to the older Calvinistic creed." If it be so, we are sorry to hear it, and we pray God that it may not long be true. There is an indefiniteness and uncertainty about these sermons which distresses us. They are not after our heart, and we are the more disappointed because Mr. Dale is a typical person among Independents, and a fine man in all respects. (Sword & Trowel 6:245)
11) THE ATTACKS FROM THE HYPER CALVINISTS MAJORED ON THE SUBJECT OF FREE OFFER OF THE GOSPEL…NOT PARTICULAR REDEMPTION;
And just let me say here, that it is the custom of a certain body of Ultra-Calvinists, to call those of us who teach that it is the duty of man to repent and believe, "Mongrel Calvinists."If you hear any of them say so, give them my most respectful compliments, and ask them whether they ever read Calvin’s works in their lives. Not that I care what Calvin said or did not say, but ask them whether they ever read his works; and if they say "No," as they must say, for there are forty-eight large volumes you can tell them, that the man whom they call "a Mongrel Calvinist," though he has not read them all, has read a very good share of them and knows their spirit; and he knows that he preaches substantially what Calvin preached — that every doctrine he preaches may be found in Calvin’s Commentaries on some part of Scripture or other. We are TRUE Calvinists, however. (Sermon number 591 New Park Street Pulpit: 4:598)
12) SPURGEON PRESIDED OVER A BIBLE COLLEGE THAT WAS AVOWEDLY CALVINIST:
We have become daily more and more impressed with the conviction that theology should be the principal subject for instruction in a Theological College, and that a diversified course, of all. other studies, prepares the young minister to .enter upon his office in the full vigour of his mental powers, and with a capacity for continuing his research into all subjects that may at any time contribute to his own principal design 6. Calvinistic theology is dogmatically taught. We mean not dogmatic in the offensive sense of that term; but as the undoubted teaching of the Word of God. "Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness." We hold to the Calvinism of the Bible. Extreme views on either side are repudiated by us. The cross is the centre of our system. "To this I hold, and by this I am upheld." is our motto. This is our stand-point from which we judge all things. We have no sympathy with any modern concealment or perversion of great gospel truths. We prefer the Puritan to modern divinity. (Sword & Trowel March 1886 1:240)
3. By whom are the young men taught, and what is the scope and character of the teaching? The young men are taught by tutors, under the direction and with the stated teaching of Mr. Spurgeon himself, and of Mr. James Spurgeon, who holds the position of Vice-President of the College. The studies embrace… Systematic Theology, which is always Calvinistic, and Homiletics. (Sword & Trowel July 1869 2:305)
The question may be asked whether our College, based as it is on avowedly definite and peculiar principles, has in any measure ceased to be a necessity? We think not. We most gladly admit that in many quarters the same gospel is being preached, and the same Bible is reverenced. We hail gladly any evidence of approaching unity of feeling and effort in the one harvest, field; but we are more than ever persuaded that we need to bear our witness to the old Calvinistic doctrines of grace, and to uphold our distinctive view of the ordinance of believer’s baptism. (Sword & Trowel 7:156)
As it would be quite unwarrantable for us to interfere with the arrangements of other bodies of Christians, who have their own methods of training their ministers, and as it is obvious that we could not find spheres for men in denominations with which we have no ecclesiastical connection, we confine our College to Baptists; and, in order not to be harassed with endless controversies, we invite those only who hold those views of divine truth which are popularly known as Calvinistic, — not that we care for names and phrases; but, as we wish to be understood, we use a term which conveys our meaning as nearly as any descriptive word can do. Believing the grand doctrines of grace to be the natural accompaniments of the fundamental evangelical truth of redemption by the blood of Jesus, we hold and teach them, not only in our ministry to the masses, but in the more select instruction of the class room. (Lectures 2:6 also 4:7)
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