Saturday, July 16, 2016

Spurgeon and the Down-Grade Controversy

“The Rev. C. H. Spurgeon gave notice of his withdrawal from the Baptist Union, by publication in his journal, 'The Sword and Trowel,' for November, [1887, rlv] and in a letter to the Secretary of the body, dated October 28. As a reason for taking this step, he affirmed that the Union was tolerating error, and permitting a 'downward tendency' of ministers in points of doctrine, in that some persons were allowed to remain in it who make light of the atonement, deny the personality of the Holy Ghost, call the fall of man a fable, speak slightingly of justification by faith, refuse credence to the dogma of the plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, and hold that there is another probation after death, with possibilities of a future retribution of the lost; while efforts to induce him to reconsider his decision were without avail, he declared that he remained as much a Baptist as ever, his denominationalism not being affected by his relations with the Union, a voluntary, unofficial body.” -- From Appletons' Annual Cyclopaedia and Register of Important Events of the Year 1887, Volume XII, New York, NY: D. Appleton and Company, 1888, p. 60

Commenting on this in The Gospel Messenger of October 1889, Primitive Baptist elder Sylvester Hassell wrote, “Thus, with all their new nineteenth century means, and methods, and institutions, and machinery we see that the people known as ‘Missionary Baptists’ in England and Wales, are affiliating with the leaven of infidelity, and are tolerating such a corruption of doc­trine that their most famous, and most able, and most nearly scriptural minister has publicly and finally withdrawn from them. And there is sad evidence to believe that a similar declension in doctrine has extensively affected the people known as ‘Missionary Baptists’ in the United States.”

See also Spurgeon and the Down-Grade Controversy -- We are going down hill at breakneck speed."

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