Oct 3, 2008

Samuel Richardson

I have written much over the past year or two regarding the view that makes the "begetting" different from the "birth," about the three stage model of the new birth. I have shown how the Old Hardshells and Regular Baptists, and some among the Presbyterians, have held to this view. It seems to be an old view. Notice how Samuel Richardson, signer of the First London Confession of Faith, held this view. It does not seem to have been the view of Spilsbury, Kiffin, Knollys, and other signers, however.

Wrote Richardson: (SEE HERE)

"Also consider if thou canst, whether if thou be a babe in the womb, or borne, Heb. 5. 13. He is a babe, as a child is begotten and (Page 71) alive while it is in the womb, before it is borne; so thou may be begotten from above, and alive, before thou canst be borne. Christ must first be formed in us, before we can be new borne babes, Gal. 4. 18. 1 Pet. 2. 2. And when thou art delivered out of the state of bondage, which is a place of darkness, of fears concerning thy soul, thou art not borne and brought forth; and as the womb is a place of bondage, so here; and therefore canst not do that service others do: if thou be but new borne, there cannot that be expected from thee, as there is from a man in Christ; as there is a difference between a child and a man in nature, so there is here; learn to distinguish between the grace it self, and the exercise of it; it's not the having of grace, but the exercise of it, which attains to a holy conversation, by the operation of the Spirit; and when a soul is delivered from its enemies, as Satan, terrors, wrath, curse, it's borne, being delivered we serve, Luk. 1. 47. Deliverance is before working: the time of doubting is a barren time; men cannot fight and work at the same time." (Page 72)

"Regeneration consists in being begotten to the Lord, to have union with him, Joh. 17. 22. 23. 19. And for God to convey his power into the soul, by which it is made conformable to the will of Christ, and lives by faith in the Son of God, Gal. 2. 20, is another thing in some of the Lords: the first is, where the latter is not, at least in the degrees of it; believers are of several growths and states; as, first, babes, children; secondly, young men; thirdly, fathers, 1 Joh. 2. 12, 13. Can babes work? and yet if they die in that estate, they shall not miss of glory. 1 Job. 2. 12. It is one thing to be justified, and another to be sanctified, so it is one thing to live, another to be borne, and to work is distinct from both: there is as much difference between some of the Lords, as there is betwixt willing and doing; some are termed carnal, 1 Cor. 3. 1. others spiritual. Thou may be begotten, but not borne, (if in bondage) and then it is not the season of growing, as another season is. If thou be ignorant, or in temptation, thy understanding is clouded, and thy heart being distempered (Page 73) with fear, so as Job 23. 8, 9. and thou art not fit to judge of thy growth; is a new borne babe, 1 Pet. 2. 2. fit to judge of its growth? Also consider, it may be, thou art in Gods way, and so thou dost not use his means, or not rightly; consider Psal. 1. 3. with Song 4. 12. there thou shall grow."

I do plan to write some separate articles in the near future on this view, showing how unscriptural it is.

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