Letters

Contra Spanner, Evans and Johnson

Sir:      I must reject Mr Spanner’s accusations of my alleged inaccuracies concerning a work he has not read. I research each of my letters to the EC carefully, using primary literature. The term ‘shell’ has been used since the 16th cent. for a hollow artillery projectile filled with material intended to explode on landing. Thus Reilly says of Cromwell’s bombardment: “The shells were effectively flung from their barrels to land from above and would explode on impact. The shell itself was a hollow, iron sphere, filled with gunpowder and a slow burning fuse which would detonate as it landed,” p. 60. Reilly also, obviously following Cromwell (Letters CIII-CVII, Carlyle, vol. 2), describes the shelling of Protestant… Full Article

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Laud and His Commonwealth Contemporaries

Sir:      Ewan Wilson disregards Laud’s documented in casu necessitatis flexibility with Scottish Presbyterians who refused church union eventually enforcing a devastating politico-Separatist state-religion onto the English Church. They demanded absolute compliance with their own intolerant chauvinistic politics as the only way to citizenship and church membership. They punished Dissenters mercilessly and banned church self-rule. I merely claim here that Laud ought to be given an accurate hearing according to contemporary evidence. Yet, Mr Wilson still disregards my plea asking me ambiguously for Laud’s ‘satisfactory views on Sovereign Grace and Arminianism’ instead of consulting Laud himself. That the Presbyterians outdid… Full Article

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Exaggerated Claims concerning Andrew Fuller and False Information Regarding ‘High-Calvinists’

Dear Sir,      1795-1835 was a time of widespread revival with Anglican Robert Hawker preaching to thousands, Independent William Huntington equalled his efforts and Baptist William Gadsby founding 45-50 churches filled with new converts. The PBs were not inactive in this time but Mr Cook confuses Gill’s orthodoxy with Fuller’s. Gill had one of the largest Particular Baptist congregations in Britain, outnumbering Fullers by far.  Contemporary evangelical magazines objecting to Fullerism’s ‘gangerous’ effect on church growth were legion. However, in 1814, Fuller claimed that his churches had shrunk greatly to an average of fifty members and had been steadily on the decline for 25 years. Church increase was due to… Full Article

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Demythologising History

     One of several letters to the English Churchman concerning Laudianism in the Commonwealth church. Sir:      Ewan Wilson’s opinions of Britain’s 16-17th century Church and myself are misconceived. Neither exonerating nor mitigating Laud’s failings and guilt, I criticise Laudian intolerance openly wherever it occurs and protest when Wilson attempts to deny Presbyterianism’s greater Laudianism. Mr Wilson fails to see the ambiguity of his original statement concerning ‘evidence of Laud’s satisfactory views on Sovereign Grace and Arminianism’. The word ‘satisfactory’ was Wilson’s (now withdrawn) and could never be mine. If Wilson did his own homework instead of demanding repeatedly that I do his, he… Full Article

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Facts v Spanner’s Opinions

Letter sent to the English Churchman defending criticism of the Cromwell ‘Get Rich Quickly’ Merciless Slaughter in Ireland. Sir:      Mr Spanner would replace my facts with his opinions. If Cromwell believed in religious liberty why did he outlaw the Church of England, rid Parliament of almost half of its reformed members (Presbyterians) and persecute Baptists, Quakers and other Christian denominations? Why did Love, Adams, Featley, Hall, Ward, Balcanqual, Manton, Charnock etc., etc, protest and suffer? Why did Baxter call Cromwell “a vile and detestable creature” and state after Love’s murder, ordered by the Protector, that “most of the ministers and good people of the land, did look upon the new Commonwealth as… Full Article

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Harmon on Fuller

     I have forgotten for which publication I wrote this letter.      Sir: Prof. Harmon’s recent critique of  my Law and Gospel in the Theology of Andrew Fuller (Fall, 2001.) is inaccurate, lacking the objectivity of a scholar.       I do not argue that Fuller sought to modify extreme Calvinism but point out that Fuller was often more High Calvinist than a number of his friends and foes, including Gill and Huntington. Prof. Harmon ranks the latter two with High Calvinists although they were both Sublapsarians. Fuller grew up in an extreme High-Calvinist, Antinomian and Johnsonian church and pastored it for some time. His Hyper-Calvinistic teaching that the full gospel was for believers only never left him and would have… Full Article

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Letter written to the Evangelical Times on Toplady

     Sir: Graham Hind’s June review sadly hides all I wrote in remembrance of that godly man, Augustus Toplady. Instead, he shows preference for John Wesley, disdain for the Gospel Magazine and disinterest in the great work of God done through the pre-Rebellion Reformed Church of England. Hind’s simplistic etymology is used as an excuse for his lack of attention to the subject matter.      Rather than refute Toplady by praising Wesley, one must ask oneself which Christian stood nearest to Biblical, Reformed doctrine. Glossing over Wesley’s dishonesty against Calvinistic evangelists is an unhelpful argument from silence.      Mr Hind’s prejudiced reading has missed my point concerning whether John, James or Julius… Full Article

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Cox and Knox

A letter written to the Bible League Quarterly concerning Richard Cox and John Knox.      Sir: Writers of biography have always to guard themselves against presenting their subject so that he stands in exaggerated contrast to his fellow-beings. Knox, of course, is of great interest to students of the Reformation but in presenting him, John Brentnall has painted some of those around him in too sombre colours. For instance, Knox is mentioned as opposing Richard Cox as if Cox were in the wrong. Actually, after studying contemporary Latin, Dutch, French, English, Low German and High German sources on the so-called ‘Troubles at Frankfurt’, one can only conclude that Knox’s alleged opposition to Cox, and so-called Coxian opposition… Full Article

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Clifford on Schism

     This letter was sent to the English Churchman after reading an ill-informed letter of Dr. Alan Clifford defending certain sixteenth and seventeenth century schisms from the English Reformed Church.       Sir: Dr Clifford’s habit of ridiculing sound arguments (see Issue 7710) as ‘vendettas’ and ‘pompous’ and contradicting them with fiction, half-truths and wishful-thinking merely fosters division. His astonishment at Robert Law’s views concerning Seceders arises from his insufficient knowledge of our Reformers and pre-Commonwealth Puritans who were strictly against Secession. The Dutch, Swiss, German, Italian, French, Hungarian and Polish Reformed churches viewed the English Church as exemplary as witnessed… Full Article

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Christ’s Sinless Nature

Sir:      Notes & Comments in the Sept.-Oct. issue contained a serious error inconsistent with orthodox teaching on the Incarnation and the human descent of Christ. Christ the man did not withstand sin as God but because He became a man among men and suffered under the law as a man but yet without sin. Christ redeemed us as man, dying vicariously for men. The idea that Christ did not place himself under the law but was always above it as God is an intrinsic part of the Moral Government theory of New Divinity. However, such a mock Incarnation on the part of Christ leaves us with a Christ who failed in His efforts both as God and man to die vicariously for sinners. In God’s faultless plan of salvation, we read ‘as in Adam all… Full Article

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