Jan 28, 2007

Chapter 39 -- Hollow Log Doctrine

Hollow Log & Whole Man Doctrines

Elder Gowens, Neo-Hardshell, wrote:

"I am as concerned as some of my brethren at the creeping antinomianism that has plagued our people...Nevertheless, let us be careful that we handle Scripture with integrity lest we repeat the old "hollow log” distortion that a person may be born again and show no sign of it. That is certainly not true." (Sovgrace.net)

Elder Hulan Bass, another present day PB, wrote:

"There has (sic) been more fractures, splinters and splits in the Baptist Church over new fangled concepts, i.e. Hollow Log Doctrines, Soul Sleeping, Two seedism, No bodily resurrection, No literal hell, gospel means, [and as of late this attitude "well, the gospel is not the means, but it does Assist.] no eternal sonship of Christ, sheep and goats, Jacob and Esau, Cain and Abel, Isaac and Ishmael, Judas Iscariot, on and on." (By Elder Hulan Bass, June 1996, Banner of Love)

That was an honest statement by Elder Hulan Bass (a preacher I have known since the 1970's when I filled appointments in churches he pastored in Texas). It is also an honest statement from Elder Gowens.

Just what is the "Hollow Log Doctrine"?

"Do the scriptures also teach that all of God's children will come to believe on Jesus Christ in the sense that they will have an understanding of some of the principles of the gospel? If not, do the scriptures support the so called "Hollow Log Doctrine" which essentially teaches that an individual can be born of the spirit and yet be completely unchanged by it in the same way a rabbit can run through a hollow log and have no effect on the log? I contend that both positions are extreme views which are contrary to the overall teaching of the word of God. Furthermore, failure to embrace one of the two views does not force one to embrace the other extreme. I do not believe that all of God's children will come to believe on Jesus in the sense that they will all possess a particular level of understanding about what he did for them. However, such a view does not force me to embrace the "Hollow Log Doctrine". Jesus made it clear that all of His people will know him in the sense that they will come to possess the new nature which is of God (2 Cor. 5:17, John 10:27-28, 6:37, John 17:2-3, 1 Cor. 10:4 & 12:13). The new birth is a permanent, radical internal transformation from death in sins to life in Christ. However, the Bible also makes it clear that, for a number of reasons, God's children may never know Jesus in the sense of understanding who he is as Savior."


Abernathy says "failure to embrace one of the two views does not force one to embrace the other extreme." Yes, that is what many Hardshells have tried to do, take a "middle ground" position on this topic of what is the nature of the "change" wrought in the sinner when he is "born again" and "regenerated." In order to distance themselves from the "no change" view of "regeneration," and the "Hollow Log" doctrine, today's Hardshells try to advocate that there is some "drastic constitutional change" made in the person who is "born again." But, in doing so, they will have to take elements of conversion and apply them to regeneration, and they will also have to distance themselves from the view of "regeneration" that makes it all on the "sub-conscious level." Look at Abernathy's attempt to do this. Does he not want to say that the regenerated "learn" something about Jesus and truth in the new birth?

He says:

"Jesus made it clear that all of His people will know him in the sense that they will come to possess the new nature which is of God..."

How can the word "knowing" be used in the sense of receiving a nature? "Knowing Jesus" simply means receiving a new nature? It does not involve any kind of cognition of truth?

Daniel Parker & "The Hollow Log Doctrine"

"This brief sketch is not intended to be complete; it is only for the purpose of introducing the man recognized as the father of two-seedism (Daniel Parker), soul sleeping, the “hollow log-whole man” controversy, and a whole host of other views that may or may not have vexed the church the last century and a half. We submit then, to that end, the following for a better look at the man and his doctrine."

(J. F. Poole, "The Remnant," - www.asweetsavor.150m.com/ejp/2seedism.html)

Here Elder Poole identifies the leading "founding father" of Hardshellism with the invention of the "Hollow Log Doctrine."

Wrote Elder Potter:

"I claim that in the work of the new birth, the sinner is changed. He was dead, but he now has eternal life. His heart was evil, and it spoke evil things..."

"The natural man is made a saint in the work of regeneration, and the saint knows the things of the Spirit of God, but the natural man does not. So, it is inevitably true that the man is changed in the new birth; not merely changed as to his state and surroundings, but he is changed in his nature. He himself is changed. The apostle Peter intimates that he partakes of the divine nature. He was fleshly before regeneration; he is spiritual after regeneration."

Here Elder Potter states that a man who is "regenerated" comes to "know the things of the Spirit of God." How can this be on the "sub-conscious level"? How can a man "know" something and not "know" it at the same time?

Again he writes:

"He is in the hearts of his people by his Spirit and grace. In the new birth he takes possession of them, and the Father reveals him in them, and he manifests himself to them, and to them he communicates his grace, and grants them communion with himself. All this, and perhaps more is meant by the inspired apostle in the expression, "If Christ be in you." The saints are told that they are reprobates except Christ is in them."

Again, this is not the view of Neo-Hardshells and it just shows that the farther one goes back in time the more the Hardshells speak of regeneration in terms of conversion. Yes, today's Hardshells are more consistent, in taking the no change" and "Hollow Log" view of "regeneration," making it something that is all on the "sub-conscious level," but they are less scriptural and Baptistic. Potter and those like him, in describing "regeneration" as a coming to "know about Christ" and truth, do not represent the thinking of modern PB's. Today's PB's will admit that any learning or knowledge of Christ and gospel truth can only come through the gospel message being delivered to the heart of the sinner. So, those who are supposedly "regenerated" apart from the communication of gospel truth do not have, as Elder Potter believed, knowledge of Christ. "How can they believe in him of whom they have not heard?"

Potter continues:

"If this text has reference to regeneration, then we ask, what is done for the sinner in the new birth? His spirit is not made alive, and his body is still dead because of sin. Such theorizing denies that the sinner is born again. If the body is dead, with Christ in the man, and his spirit is not born again in time, or if he has no spirit to be born, then for Christ to be in a man simply does nothing for him, but the Spirit of God is life because of righteousness."

Here Potter acknowledges the problem that the new Hardshell views on "regeneration" have produced, that being that there is "no change" made to the person who experiences it. He rejects the "no change" view, but if he is consistent, he will have to go there himself.

Again he writes:

" A writer said very recently, "Now, the Old Baptists, so far as my acquaintance extends, either believe that all or some part of the earthly or Adamic man, is the subject of the new birth. Those, however, who believe that only a part is born again, differ as regards the part. One says it is his mortal soul part; another it is his immortal soul part; another it is his mind part; another it is his heart part; and so on to the end of the chapter; while some hold that the man who is composed of parts, is born again in time, and will be changed in the resurrection."

"Another idea in the above quotation is, that they are born of God in time but they are not changed in time."

Who but those who rejected the means of gospel preaching, the means of truth, would have come up with the "no change" view? No Mission Baptists ever had that problem!

He continues:

"We are told that some Old Baptists hold that the man who is composed of parts, is born of God in time, and changed in the resurrection. Are we to understand that to be born of God is not to be changed? Or that in the new birth no part of the man is changed? That is the way we understand the writer."

("Regeneration, Christian Warfare & State of the Dead," by Elder Lemuel Potter, CHAPTER 8, "Is Man Changed in the New Birth?" and CHAPTER 9, "Is the Resurrection a Birth?" and taken from - http://www.paradisepbc.org/Articles/regenpotter.htm)

I have all the volumes of "Cayce's Editorials," from the leading paper called "The Primitive Baptist," wherein these controversies raged, not only in the 1800's, but well into the 20th century, and I would like to quote extensively from them.

Elder Claud Cayce

"It seems to us that we have been plain enough in the foregoing for anyone to know that we do not believe the "whole man" doctrine; but for fear of some person might not remember, we will say, most emphatically, that WE DO NOT BELIEVE THE "WHOLE MAN" DOCTRINE...WE do not believe the "whole man" doctrine, and that we were not going to allow any quarrel in The Primitive Baptist on the question. While we do not believe the "whole man" doctrine, we wish it also understood that we do not believe what has been called the "hollow log" doctrine. Both are wrong and we will not accept either." (Editorial Writings, Volume II, page 418,419)

In the next issue of the paper, "The Primitive Baptist" Elder Cayce announces that Elder Walter Cash (a leading 2nd and 3rd generation Hardshell), editor of the paper, "The Messenger of Peace," endorses his views, citing him as follows:

"Like Elder Cayce, we have no use for what is known as the "whole man doctrine," as some have described it; neither do we believe it a safe and Scriptural way to treat it, as some have done, from the question, What part of man is born again in regeneration? (page 422)

In the editorial for his "Introduction To Volume Thirty-One," Cayce is still battling this issue as to what "part" is "born again" in a man. He writes:

"If you want to tell the benefits of regeneration to a poor sinner of Adam's race, that is all right; but if you want to argue the question as to what part or how much of the sinner is born again, you will have to excuse us. We do not believe that there is any material difference among our people on that matter, and we do not intend to lend any aid to an unprofitable war on the question...We have learned that some are still trying to make it appear that we believe the "whole man" doctrine; and some have even gone so far as to say that we said some things which we did not say, and never even thought of saying." (Volume III, page 9)

Following the above articles by Cayce, the issue continued to be agitated, especially in Texas, and so Cayce begins to discuss the issue further under articles entitled "The Curtain Raised."

Cayce's "Notice"

"Notice.--The following articles on this question which we reproduce from our writings are not put in this book with any desire to wound the feelings of any brother, or to dig up these old matters, or to make any brother feel bad. We reproduce them because we do not feel that we would be dealing honestly or in sincereity to leave them out. At that time there was a war on among the brethren. Since then the trouble has been adjusted between many of them or most of them, and at this time they are together and dwelling in peace, so far as that old war is concerned. The putting these articles in this book, and what may follow in additional volumes, since those matters have been settled, will show that Primitive Baptists can adjust and settle their differences when they try." (page 68)

He says further:

"Our readers are well aware of the fact that a war has been waged in some sections for some time. In Texas the war has been on for quite awhile. One side charging the other side with believing what they term the "whole man" doctrine. Elder J.S. Newman and those who are in line with him, or who affilitate with him, have been charged with believing that doctrine, although he and others have repeatedly denied believing it. For some time there have been some who have been charging the same upon us...For a good while those who are in line with Elders Webb, Redford & Co., of Texas, would not say whether they endorsed our editorial or not." (pages 68,69)

Elder Cayce goes on to call this an "unholy war" but he will, nevertheless, he says, "take up our pen to enter the fight." (pages 69,70)

Cayce says:

"A denial that the body is a part of the child of God is eternal Two-Seedism." (page 77)

In this "unholy war," there were some Hardshell "greats" combating. Elder Sarrels, whom I have cited many times already, was involved in this controversy (year 1914), although he was a young minister at the time (age 24 and preaching seven years). Sarrels was lined up with Redford. Redford and Newman were two of the leading ministers in Texas at the time.

You can tell how heated and "unholy" this war became when we see what came forth from the pen of Cayce as he "entered the fight." He wrote the following about Sarrels.

"Poor Sarrels! This young "smart Alex" is wise above what is written. That is what is the matter with the Old Baptists--they have some young preachers who are too smart. They have learned more than is written, and more than our fathers knew." (page 87)

Next he attacks Elder J. M. Thompson, saying:

"We have some letters from Elder John M. Thompson which we will publish soon, in which he denies that regeneration makes a man better. We will publish his letters so our readers can see for themselves what he says. We want no man to preach in our churches who is not made better by regeneration. We now drop the curtain, and let you think a while on the scene. We will raise it again soon, and may raise it higher if it is necessary." (page 87)

Elder Thompson Replies To Cayce

"Dear Brother--In sorrow I write to you owing to the strange position you have taken on the vital subject of regeneration. Regeneration is one of the essentials in the eternal salvation of sinners, on which there should be agreement."

And again, from his open letter to Cayce, he says:

"Man prior to regeneration is a good man if regeneration makes him a better man--good, better, best. He has to be good before he can be made better. So the Newman-Collings contention cannot be true." (page 90)

"I feel constrained to request that my name be discontinued and your paper to me discontinued. " (ibid)

Then Cayce responds to the open letter of Thompson, saying:

"I have today had your name taken off the editorial staff, and also had your name dropped from the mailing list, as you requested."

This controversy became so "unholy" that Thompson responded to the letter of Cayce saying:

"Elder C. H. Cayce--In as much as you impertinently charge me with insincerity, with making a false statement, and misrepresent me, I do not consider it proper that I address you as I would otherwise have done."

Here Thompson refused to address Cayce as a brother in Christ, due to this issue. After some more open correspondence in the pages of the "Primitive Baptist" paper, Thompson says to Cayce:

"If you see your error and scripturally confess it will correct your unjust offense." (page 91)

Cayce makes this comment upon the whole issue:

"There are mysteries about this thing that no man on earth can explain, and all this effort to explain an inexplainable thing only serves to mystify the matter all the more. And that is what causes the trouble among the Old Baptists, too." (page 96)

And again he says:

"We would not want a man to preach in our church who is not made better by regeneration, for we would not think regeneration had done anyting for him if it had not made him better." (page 99)

The issue continued to be a matter of intense "warfare," and we next find a long time contributing editor of the paper follow Elder Thompson and requesting Cayce to have his name also removed from the editorial staff and to have his subscription cancelled from the paper. His name was Elder W.E. Brush. He sends a letter to Cayce and which Cayce published in the paper, and here are some excerpts from that letter.

"My Dear Brother--After long and due and prayerful consideration, as I hope, have decided that it would be best for me to come off the staff of THE PRIMITIVE BAPTIST paper...my reason for coming off the corresponding staff of the P.B. is because I feel that you are in sentiment lined up with the Primitive Baptist Signal, of Texas, edited by Elder Collings, in which such statements as the following are found..." (page 105) He then cites the statement that is the heresy, made by Elder Miracle of the staff of the paper.

"I am forced to the conclusion that man in his completeness or complexity is born again in the change we call from nature to grace. No man can arrive at any other logical fact from the context. It is easy to say that man is born again in spirit, but such an expression does violence to the whole tenor of the Scriptures. Just as well say that a man is out of debt in part." (ibid)

In response to all this Cayce responds, saying:

"Again, it seems that these brethren would have us drop Elder Miracle, and have nothing to do with him or with Elders Newman and Collings because some expressions have been used by them, or by some brethren on that side, which they do not endorse. What would they have us do? Evidently the only course they would have us pursue is the one they are pursuing, which is to "line up" with Webb, Redford, Sarrels & Co. This is what Elder Brush and those with him are doing." (Page 113)

In a letter that Cayce publishes in a subsequent issue of the paper, he cites a lengthy letter by Elder Brush to Elder Sarrels. I will cite some things from that letter.

"My brother, is it not a fact that it takes soul, body and spirit to make a MAN? If it does, and the MAN is in Christ, is not the body in Christ in some sense of the word? If not, please explain how the MAN could in in Christ, and at the same time the body, which is one of the component parts of MAN (in fact, if it were not for the body there would be no man); is not changed in any way at all--no not so much as to be under the commandments of Christ, for I not that you say in your article that no living man can prove by God's word that we serve God in our flesh or body relation. Now I suppose that you mean by this statement that we don't serve God in, or with, our bodies." (page 118)

"My dear young brother...I know that young men are often led by Satan to think more higly of themselves than they ought to think, and to decide that "I am able to explain matters better than men who have been in the ministry longer than I have been living, but of course have not had the opportunity to know things as I have, and are therefore not able, like me, to explain matters." (pages 118, 119)

And again, in the same letter, he continues:

"I note in your same article you say, "I think it is not safe to say that the body is not part of the new creature." Now, how could the body be a part of the new creature without having been changed in some sense? Please answer the question, for it is one of great importance. Could not the soul or spirit just as well be a part of the new creature without a change as the body? If not, why not?" (page 119)

Then again:

"Then I believe just as Elder J. S. Newman expressed himself to me in a letter, "I believe that eternal life is implanted in the heart or soul of man, but it so affects his whole being that it makes him hate the things he once loved and love the things he once hated. Yes, the very lips that we used to curse with, we now praise God with; and the feet that once carried us to the ballroom now carry us to the church of God." My dear brother, if you had a neighbor that had been a wicked man, and he claims to have been changed from nature to grace, and yet he sitll lives the same wicked life that he has been living heretofore, what evidence have you that he has met with any change?"(Ibid)

And again:

"Elder Sarrels, it does seem to me such a pity for the Baptists of Texas to divide over nothing but preacher jealousy. I feel sure that if there were, or had been, one-half dozen preachers taken away from Texas, and not allowed to return, that you would have had NO trouble over the WHOLE MAN DOCTRINE as it is called." (page 120)

Then he says, "One of the hardest struggles of a preacher's life is to keep off of extremes." (ibid)

Cayce then jumps in and comments on all the above, saying:

"We would now plead with you, Brother Brush, and with others who are doing like you are, to lay these vain speculations and notions down--quit this eternal fault-finding, speculating, hair-splitting, and striving about words, and stop going farther from the truth, and come back to the ground that you once occupied, and let us live in that peace and fellowship which was left us by our blessed Master, and which is destroyed by nothing else only our own striving for the mastery, envy, hatred, malice, jealousy, and wrong doing." (pages 121, 122)

Elder S. F. Cayce From 1894

Under an article titled "The New Birth--Man Born Again"

"There appears in this issue...an article from Brother P.J. Howard, headed, "The Dalby Doctrine," in which he seems to object to the idea of dividing up man by arguing that one part of another "part of man" is born again, for he says, "The question is not what part of man is born again." But while he objects to the idea of dividing man he makes two men out of one. Nor does he wait until after man is "born again" to make him two men, but he presents the unregenerate man, the man who has been born of Adam only, as two men, i.e., a flesh man and a spirit man."

Claud Cayce

"We have never felt disposed to quarrel with our brethren about what part of the man is born again in the work of regeneration...We do not think the brethren should be engaging in a war on this question." (Page 145)

In the next issue of the paper, Claud republishes an old editorial of his father, S.F. Cayce, wherein he and the famed Hardshell debater Elder Lemuel Potter, became at odds.

S. F. Cayce Editorial On Lemuel Potter (1894)

"Brother Potter, in the Church Advocate of October 1, certainly does us an injustice, whether intentional on his part or not. It will be remembered that in our issue of July 5, current volume, there appeared an article from Brother P. J. Howard, of Benton, Ill., under heading, "The Dalby Doctrine," in which Brother Howard labored to show who or what it is that is "born again," and in so doing said:

The question is not, what part of man is "born again," but what man is it that is born again? Is it the man we see, the flesh man, or is it the man we don't see, the spirit man? This is the question. That it is "man" that is "born again," no one questions; but which on of them, "the inner man" or "the inward man," or "the outward man?"

This position was upheld and elaborated upon by the elder Cayce. He then says:

"Brother Potter, in the face of all this says:

"We have seen men who seemed to try to go around the word "soul," as though it was dangerous to even say "soul." We repeat that here is the real issue. The question is not whether it is the man that is born again, but has man a soul that lives after the body dies? This is the question. Some men say "no" to this question, and we say "yes." We do not believe as some we have heard talk. Elder Skeeters said to us at one time, that we were commanded to pray, lifting up holy hands, and he wanted to know where we got holy hands unless they were made holy in the work of regeneration, in time. This is the Dalby doctrine, and Skeeters and Dalby were fellow-advocates of that doctrine, and in the division of the Baptists of three or four associations on that question, and some other troubles, Skeeters and Dalby stood together. Elder Payne stood with them, and we knew all three of these men personally, and have talked with them, and Payne, at one time, in correspondence with us, admitted that there was a distinction of soul and body, so we asked him where the soul went to when the body died, and his reply was, that if we would tell where light went to when we blew out the lamp, he would tell us. He fought the very idea of any part of man going to heaven when the body died. All that it took to constitute man, they claimed, went to the grave, and slept until the resurrection. Those fellows are very noisy in preaching that MAN is born again. This is the Dalby doctrine. Does Brother Cayce believe that doctrine? He declared that what Brother Howard thought to be the Dably doctrine was the apostle's doctrine, and referred to Dr. Gill to disprove Brother Howard's position, and then afterwards stated that he had learned that Dalby was not in good standing, and that he did not wish to defend a man that was not in good standing, as though he must defend a man in order to defend his doctrine."
(Pages 148, 149)

To all this Cayce responded, saying:

"Doesn't he know that we simply argued that the apostles taught that it is "man" that is born again?" (Ibid)

Elder Grigg Thompson

"In the work of regeneration, the stranger is made a citizen, the enemy is made a friend, and those who know not God, are made to know Him and love Him...The change is great...The change was so great in Saul, the vilest persecutor, that he became the humble follower of the Lord Jesus Christ..." (ibid)

Here Elder Grigg Thompson is already, in his day, having to combat the growing error of the "no change" view of "regeneration." After giving argumentation against the "no change" view, he concludes by saying, "then the new birth is a farce," a "useless nothing." ("The New Birth") I affirm that the "Hollow Log" conception of the "New Birth" is a direct result of the Hardshell error of taking the means of the gospel and truth out of the experience.

From Elder Grigg Thompson says further:

"These two expressions, the passing away of old things, and all things becoming new, comprise the great change wrought in the soul in regeneration, and in other scriptures are expressed by equivalent phrases; sometimes by putting off the old man and putting on the new man; Eph., iv, 24; and sometimes by dying unto sin, and living unto righteousness; Rom., vi, 11; which is evidently the same thing the apostle here intends by the passing away of old things and making all things new. This is the most glorious work of the Spirit wrought in man in this world, and is noted by the apostle by a special remark and observation, "Behold!" Behold this wondrous, surprising, and marvelous change which God has wrought in man, this new and spiritual relation that is now created between the sinner and his God; the stranger and foreigner is now made a child and fellow citizen in the household of God; John, i, 12, Eph., ii, 19. They have come out of darkness into his marvelous light; I Pet., ii, 9; out of the old as it were into a new world. "Behold' all things are become new." They can now call God their Father. What a miraculous work of grace, 0 what a note of wonder. "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God;" I John, iii, 1. How is it that any who believe the Bible, and have ever felt the regenerating power of God's Spirit in their souls, can deny that any part of the sinner, either in soul, body, mind, or spirit, is changed in this new creation? When infidels and unbelievers scoff at these things, and call them vain delusions, and the wild fancies of a superstitious mind, we do not marvel; but when they who profess Christianity, and teachers of the Bible, will deny any such change, and ask, "By what the supposed change is effected," and say, "My heart has never been changed; I love sin as well as I ever did," we may wonder, but can come to but one conclusion, and that is, that old things have never passed away, and all things become new with them. "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned;" I Cor., ii, 14. Thus the apostle explains why it is that men will deny these solemn truths and call them delusions and vain fancies. This new creation is a super-natural work, the work of the Holy Spirit in the soul of the man, and is infallible evidence of a saving interest in Jesus Christ. Contradicting those who deny this change, and explanatory of the truth, the apostle uses these words, "But ye have not so learned Christ: if so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus; that ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt ac cording to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness; Eph., iv, 20-24. Here we have, in other words but of the same import, the self-same description of the man that is in Christ, that the apostle gives us in our text. In further illustrating this subject, I shall try to show, 1st. Why the regenerating work of the Spirit is called a new creation. 2nd. In what respect every soul that is in Christ is renewed or made a new creature. 3rd, What are the remarkable properties of this new creation. 4th. The necessity of this new creation. 5th. How this new creation evidences our interest in Christ."

(From "The Primitive Preacher," and the chapter “A New Creature In Christ”)

Again, this is not how today's PB's view regeneration. You cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, make heathen idol worshipers, fit into these new testament descriptions of the "change" effected in regeneration nor into the descriptions of it that the first generation of Hardshells give.

Thompson continues:

"Every question has its negative and affirmative, and the negative of our text is, "That the elect, as such, eternally existed in God, a holy and spiritual seed, and never fell in Adam." If this be true they could never need any change of nature or condition to prepare them for heaven or spiritual enjoyments. It is not to be wondered at that such vain babblers and blind guides in religion should deny, "That any part of the Adam man, in soul, body, mind, or spirit, is changed in regeneration." The conclusion is irresistible if the premises be true, but the Scriptures upon this subject are so plain that the wayfaring man, though a fool, need not err therein. If you will search them you will find that God has laid the whole stress of man's eternal happiness by Jesus Christ upon this work of the Spirit in the soul. This truth our Savior taught Nicodemus when he said, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of the water and of the Spirit he can not enter into the kingdom of God;" John, iii, 5. Unless we have this change wrought in our souls by the Spirit of God in this new and heavenly birth we can never see God, for the apostle tells us without holiness no man shall see the Lord; Heb., xii, 14. And though some may teach that it is by innate holiness possessed by us in eternity, and others that it is by observing ordinances, professing religion, and observing the externals of Christianity, that we will commend ourselves to God's acceptance without this new creation, we know they are deceivers, and the apostle shows how groundless all such hopes are. "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature;" Gal., vi, 15. Christ and heaven, with all the spiritual blessings ever enjoyed by men, are the gifts of God, but man in his unregenerate state is not prepared to receive and enjoy them, for he is a natural man, and, as such, can not receive the things of the Spirit; I Cor., ii. 14. There is no way for him to know and enjoy spiritual things, but by being born of the Spirit, created anew in Christ." (Ibid)

Again, I say, that this is just more evidence of the extent that the doctrines of "eternal vital union" and of "no change regeneration" have plagued the so-call "Primitive Baptists." I have felt that an exhaustive work on the Hardshell denomination must include this phenomena, must show the fruits of their heresy.

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