Hyper-Calvinists

(In 1866)

From the Christian Messenger. Hyper-Calvinists in Dundas.

A few persons in the town of Dundas and vicinity which have been excluded for a considerable period of time from the fellowship of the Regular Baptist Church m Dundas, in which they had created a great deal of trouble, and unseemly contention, while in connection with it; were on Saturday last organized by Mr. Beebe, and some other Minister of his way of thinking into a church. They arrogate to themselves the name of Old School Baptists, which is to all intents and purposes a misnomer. Having no personal acquaintance with these anti-mission and Hyper-Calvinistic people, we give the following extract from a letter recently written to the New York Chronicle.

"They hold ultra-Calvinistic views, oppose a salaried ministry, mission, Sunday-schools, temperance societies, and almost everything in vogue among Christians in this age. They call themselves "Old Fashioned Baptists," but others call them "Hard Heads" or "Hard Shells," names pretty well earned by their rigid principles."

The writer goes on to give an account of a sermon which he heard in Mr. Beebe's chapel in Middletown, Orange County, N.Y., which we should copy were it not that it would take up too much of our valuable space. The Rev. David Benedict, D.D., gives the following outline of the views and practices of these people, which will serve to give a pretty correct idea of what they advocate, and what they believe and practice.

"The anti-mission party, as near as I can learn without any exception are high or Hyper-Calvinists, and are so tenacious of the old theory of particular atonement and have so far run the system up to seed, as to persuade themselves that the efforts of modern times are wholly needless and arminianism is the bug-bear which they profess to fear.

So liberal, anti-republican and anti-baptists, so frightfully oppressive, so tyrannical and overbearing, are the principles and measures of many of the anti-mission party relative to all the objects of benevolence as exhibited in their public documents, that if any of their members unite with any society for the promotion of the cause of benevolence or moral reform they are ipso facto, expelled from their fellowship and communion; the missionary, Bible, tract and Sunday-school, and temperance societies are specially named and generally a sweeping clause is added embracing all the "so called" benevolent institutions of the day. The prohibitions extend not only to actual membership in those bodies but to any contributions of their own personal funds, for their support. No collections for any of these objects can be made in any of the churches where they have control, nor are their members allowed to cast in their mites, when the box goes round in any neighboring congregation where they maybe present.

This I believe is a true picture of what is called the Non-Fellowshiping Resolutions of the anti-mission party."

REMARKS. - We have copied the above from a paper published in Canada West, called the "Christian Messenger", and should we judge of the character of the paper, by the misstatements and false representations of the facts in the case of the meeting at Dundas, we should question its claim to christianity. A Christian messenger, in the true and scriptural signification of the terms, will bear no messages of slander, misrepresentation or falsehood. The truly Christian messenger will publish only the good tidings of the gospel, and proclaim, "Good will to men," and leave the work of slander and falsehood to Anti-christian Messengers. The statements copied above are untrue in almost every particular.

A correct account of the meeting at Dundas, and of the proceedings of the council, will be found in the fourteenth number of the current Volume of this paper, from which it will be seen that we did not organize the brethren at Dundas into a church, for they were already the church of Dundas, and had been for many years. But as their claim had been disputed by some who had departed from their faith, they requested us to examine their records, and other testimony in which they proved to the full satisfaction of the council, that they were precisely what they were originally constituted, "The Particular Baptist Church of Dundas," and that the party who had departed from their faith, had assumed another name, and adopted different articles of faith and order and now stand in connection with the Mission or New School Baptists. The council therefore, instead of organizing them into a church, found them already an organized church, and as such recognized them, and finding their faith and order as "Particular Baptists", to be substantially the same, as that which is variously called "Particular" or "Old School Baptists", in the states, expressed to them our full fellowship, and at their request set apart by solemn ordination a brother Pollard, who had been licensed by them to preach the gospel. The brethren composing the church, which the Messenger charges of being excluded persons from the fellowship of the Regular Baptist church, we found to be the church, and the party which the Messenger calls the Regular Baptist church we found to be those who had apostasized from the faith adopted at the original constitution of the church, and which they all professed to maintain until the division took place, which was occasioned by the apostasy of those who left the original doctrine and order of the church. So much for the misrepresentation of the church at Dundas. Now in regard to the brethren who attended the meeting and formed the council, viz. Eld. Thomas P. Dudley, and Dea. James Dudley, of the Licking Association of Particular Baptists of Kentucky, Eld. John F. Johnson, of the Lebanon Association in Indiana, and Elder Gilbert Beebe of the Warwick Association of New York.

It is utterly untrue, and basely slanderous to represent these brethren, or the Old School Baptists to whom they belong, as Calvinists, or "Hyper-Calvinists," as it is well known that they have uniformly repudiated the name, the spirit, and the peculiar doctrines held by John Calvin. Mr. David Benedict had the evidence before him, of the untruth of his assertions when he fabricated the falsehood. Yet the Messenger, while acknowledging his ignorance of the people, shows his readiness to give currency to the slander, by quoting from Benedict's History, his billingsgate misrepresentations, and palming them off upon his readers, as though they were entitled to confidence.

Middletown, August 1,1855
Elder Gilbert Beebe
The Remnant
May – June 1992 (reprinted)