June 19, 2011

Tom Ascol on John Gill and Hyper-Calvinism

Nettles has demonstrated that statements can be found within Gill that seem blatantly to distinguish the Horslydown pastor's views from those who specifically deny duty-faith.[4] It must be admitted that Gill is not completely consistent on this point (see pp. 118–23 above). The few concessions to duty-faith which are found in his writings, however, should be regarded as exceptions to his theological system and not reflective of his general sentiments. Gill's exposition of the covenant of grace provides justification for closely identifying his views with the hyper-Calvinist position on this question.

By unequivocally denying conditions for man in the covenant of grace, Gill distinguishes his views from the plain sense and intention of classic Federalism. He also undercut the theological justification for regarding faith as a required duty of anyone--even the elect. The effective excision of men as responsible participants in the covenant places Gill much closer to the unabashed hyper-Calvinists of his day than to genuine federal theologians like Owen and Witsius (see pp. 189–192 above).
4. Nettles, By His Grace, pp. 94–99.
Thomas Kennedy Ascol, The Doctrine of Grace: A Critical Analysis of Federalism in the Theologies of John Gill and Andrew Fuller (PhD diss, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1989), 260–261.

June 12, 2011

A Sample of William Carey's (1761–1834) Gospel Message

{Carey and Bro. Brunsdon went to the villages about 3 or 4 miles from town and encountered an old Brahman. Carey had asked if anyone knew how sins could be pardoned. The people referred him to an old Brahman who was wise. He replied that "profound meditation and acts of Holiness would answer the purpose." Carey shared the Gospel. Here is a sample of the great missionary in action.}

You and I, and all of us are Sinners, and we are in a helpless state but I have good things to tell you. God in the riches of his Mercy became incarnate, in the form of Man. He lived more than thirty years on earth without Sin and was employed in doing good. He gave sight to the Blind, healed the Sick, the lame, the Deaf and the Dumb - and after all died in the stead of Sinners. We deserved the wrath of God, but he endured it. We could make no sufficient atonement for our guilt but he compleatly [sic] made an end of Sin and now he has sent us to tell you that the Work is done and to call you to faith in, and dependence on the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, leave your vain customs, and false gods, and lay hold of eternal Life through him. After much discourse of this sort we presented him with a copy of Matthew's Gospel and three more to three other persons. He promised to read and make himself well acquainted with its Contents and then to converse more about it. It was now dark. I, therefore, prayed with them and we returned home.
The Journal and Selected Letters of William Carey, ed. Terry G. Carter (Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys, 2000), 149.

Update on 11-10-14:

Carey also says the following:
They [the lost Hindus] are going I suppose to their Abominations at the moment, but I hope to preach to them again in the evening. I spoke of the Love of God in bearing with his Enemies, in supporting and providing for them, in sending his Son to die for them, in sending the Gospel to them, and in saving many of them from eternal Wrath.
Ibid., 85.
My great concern now is to be found in Christ. His atoning sacrifice is all my hope; and I know that Sacrifice to be of such value that God has accepted it as fully vindicating his government in the exercise of mercy to sinners, and as that on account of which he will accept the greatest offender who seeks to him for pardon. And the acceptance of that sacrifice of atonement was testified by the resurrection of our Lord from the dead and by the commission to preach the Gospel to all nations with a promise, or rather a declaration, that whosoever believeth on the Son shall be saved, shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.
Ibid., 251–252.