Happy St. Pádraigh’s Day!

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , on March 17, 2015 by Jultomte

Today is a special day to celebrate the wonderful country of Ireland and its people and history.

The following facts about Ireland will be brought to you by a pretentious Englishman who is convinced that England saved the Irish from themselves…

Richard Cox, Hibernia pdf 26-1

Ok…I’m pretty sure that’s not true. And I’m pretty sure that this author couldn’t be any more English.

Anyway, let’s start with the ancient history of Ireland. Who were its first inhabitants?

Richard Cox, Hibernia pdf 14-1

Never mind. Let’s not talk about that.

Tell me about their language.

Richard Cox, Hibernia pdf 15

Look who’s talking…Englishman. Really though.

At least the Irish have great music. Right?

Richard Cox, Hibernia pdf 26

Goodness gracious.

The people are nice, though.

Edmund Campion, The Historie of Ireland, 13


Ok, but surely Ireland has one unique and pleasant thing about it.

Richard Cox, Hibernia pdf 14

Yes! I can’t imagine a better place to live! Pick your location on this nice map.

William Petty, Hiberniae

I hope you enjoyed these interesting facts about Ireland. And I hope you’re not English, because…well…it’s so much better to be Irish!

Happy St. Patty’s Day.

Erin go bragh!

Ireland 2010 016 Ireland 2010 025 Ireland 2010 026 Ireland 2010 027 Ireland 2010 085 Ireland 2010 183Ireland 2010 276 Ireland 2010 305




Moral vs. Modern Use of the Judicial Law in the Confession of Faith

Posted in 1677 London Baptist Confession, The Law with tags , , , on March 3, 2015 by Jultomte

This is a public service announcement:

If you’re reading the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith and in 19.4 of your copy it says that the general equity of the Israelite judicial laws are of “modern” use, then you’re probably reading an edition copied from Charles Spurgeon’s 1855 reprint (found commonly in places like this). Putting aside the reasons for the change, you should know that “modern” is not the original reading. It should read “moral” instead of “modern.”

Like this:

2LCF 19.4

You should also know that the following editions of the confession have “moral” in 19.4, not “modern”: 1677, 1688, 1699, 1719, 1720, 1743 (two different printings), 1765, 1773, 1774, 1790, 1794, 1798, 1809, 1818, 1829, 1850 (2LCF is copying the Savoy Declaration here, btw). To my knowledge and research, Spurgeon’s reprint is the first to make this change.

So if you’re going to make an argument from that wording, then appeal to Spurgeon and his reprint (if anything), but not any of the 17 (at least) editions of the confession that precede his.

***Update***: Judicious and impartial readers have pointed out that in places like this it is claimed that a 1742 edition of the confession used the word “modern” instead of moral. As I understand it, there are a few problems with this.

1. The confession was adopted by the Philadelphia association in 1742, but not published by them until 1743.

2LCF 1743 Title Page

Every time you look at a hundred dollar bill, remember that the guy on it printed the confession of faith. For most of us, that won’t be very often.

2. The 1743 edition uses “moral,” just like the editions before and after it.


3. The 1743 edition calls itself “the sixth edition” following the “fifth edition” of 1720 (and the 4th edition of 1719 before it and on backward).

2LCF 1720 Title Page

4. And the 1743 “sixth edition” is followed by the “seventh edition” in 1773.

2LCF 1773 Title Page

5. So, if there is a 1742 copy of the Philadelphia confession that is not on ECCO or anywhere else, and if it reads “modern” instead of “moral” in 19.4, then it would be a significant surprise to me. Not only would this copy break the consecutive chain of specifically labeled editions (second, third, fourth, etc), but it would also be strange that only one year later in 1743 the Philadelphia association reprinted the confession and reverted the wording to its original reading. Did Spurgeon make the change in 1855 for the first time, or is there a copy of the confession out there that reads “modern” in 19.4? It’s possible there is a copy I have missed. But even if that’s the case, you still have to deal with the copies listed above, which are original scans, not second-hand website copies. They all read “moral” as previously asserted.

6. Dear well-beloved Spurgeon,


How to Read Logos’ Baptist Covenant Theology Collection

Posted in Covenant Theology with tags on February 18, 2015 by Jultomte

With the release of Logos’ Baptist Covenant Theology Collection (17 vols.) I thought it would be helpful and important to offer a few tips for those who are diving into these books.

If you are like me, it’s exciting to spend time in the writings of the Particular Baptists. Every now and then you feel like Indiana Jones looking for the lost Ark. There are even Nazis (Daniel Featley and Thomas Edwards) trying to kill you. This excitement and nostalgia, combined with your desire to find what you seek, may lead you astray in your reading of the sources. So, if this is your first foray into 17th century writings in general, and those of the Baptists in particular, then you should keep in mind at least the following things:

1. Keep in mind that you are from the 21st century. They are from the 17th century (except Isaac Backus, he’s from the 18th century). Their world was similar to yours, but also very different. Many of the debates, ideological shifts, philosophical currents, and other intellectual factors that we take for granted today were not a part of their lives. Surely they dealt with problems in their own time, battling the currents of thought in their day, but the point of this reminder is to realize that the questions you may be asking may not be the questions that they were asking. Read them on their own terms, following their own questions and their own arguments. Don’t read them anachronistically, reading into their thoughts the categories and ideas that you think are important due to your own modern concerns (however valid they may be).

2. Keep in mind the context in which the authors are writing. Why did the authors write these works? Most of them serve a polemic purpose. What the authors say and what they do not say are important. Think about the Reformers. They wrote extensive exegetical and systematic works. Subsequent generations often made summary reference to those works, but did not go into as much detail. Why is that? Is it because later generations were less committed to the truth, or did they disagree? Certainly not. To the contrary, they were relying on the work of their predecessors, assuming that they would continue to be read and taught. However, did later generations go into considerable detail about peculiar topics when the situation demanded it (i.e. controversy, disagreement, or pastoral concern)? Most assuredly.

So then, what will you NOT find much of in the Particular Baptists’ covenantal writings? You will not find comprehensive treatments of covenant theology that take on the topic from beginning to end. Why not? Because they agreed with much of the macrostructure and interpretation of their paedobaptist brothers. Where did they go into detail? They went into detail on the relationship between the covenant of grace and the Abrahamic covenant and other related questions. (Nehemiah Coxe holds a special place because he discusses the building blocks of covenant theology in more detail than other Particular Baptists. In fact, in his preface he says that he is intentionally avoiding approaching the topic in the standard polemic fashion, though he has polemical purposes.)

The danger here is that if we reduce the Particular Baptists’ covenant theology merely to these writings, thinking that this exhausts their views, we will have a very skewed and incomplete picture of their beliefs in this area. It may also cause us to overemphasize and misrepresent the similarities and differences between the Particular Baptists and their paedobaptist brothers.

3. Keep in mind that some of the authors later abandoned the faith. Paul Hobson and Samuel Fisher became Quakers. That does not make their writings useless or wrong. But it should at least raise some flags in our mind. Don’t assume uniformity in these writings, and read each author on his own terms before comparing him to others.

4. Keep in mind that just because Baptist A held X belief, it does not mean that all Baptists, or any other Baptist held X belief. You have to read them in concert. Benjamin Keach and the Anonymous author of “Truth Vindicated in Several Branches” denied the covenant of redemption. Keach was aware that this set him apart from others.
Benjamin Keach, The Display of Glorious Grace, iv

5. Keep in mind that there are other works on covenant theology from the Particular Baptists. This is just a reminder that these works do not comprise the whole of Particular Baptist thought on covenant theology. That being said, this is a good start.

6. Keep in mind that some of these authors are not Baptists, though their works support Baptist principles and the Baptists appealed to them. Little is known about Andrew Ritor. He may not have been a Baptist. Writing in 1642, the Particular Baptists were in their infancy, so to speak. Once again, this means reading him in his context on his own terms. Henry Lawrence was not a Baptist. However, both of these works were appealed to by Particular Baptists and played a role in the debates of the day. So they remain quite useful.

7. Anyone who reads through Samuel Fisher’s work in its entirety deserves an award. I feel very sorry for the person who had to transcribe his book. You should see it…

P.S. This is Sam Fisher, but not Samuel Fisher the Baptist-turned-Quaker…

Particular Baptists Arrested for the Confession of Faith

Posted in 1644/1646 London Baptist Confession with tags , , on February 13, 2015 by Jultomte

Journal of the House of Commons
Die Jovis (Thursday), 29 Januarii, 1645/6

Resolved, &c. That the Serjeant do apprehend Benjamin Cox and Samuel Richardson, the Parties that delivered a Pamphlet at the Door to the Members of this House, intituled, “A Confession of Faith of Seven Congregations or Churches of Christ in London, which are commonly, but unjustly, called Anabaptists;” and do take Bail of them, to appear, from time to time, at the Committee for plundered Ministers: And that it be referred to the Committee of plundered Ministers, to examine the Book, and the Parties, whose Names are subscribed; to send for the Licenser and Printer; and state the Business to the House with all Speed: And that the Committee of plundered Ministers shall have Power to advise with such of the Assembly of Divines, as they shall think fit to send for upon this Business.

Ordered, &c. That the Masters and Wardens of the Company of Stationers do forthwith take diligent Care to suppress a Pamphlet, intituled, “A Confession of Faith of Seven Congregations or Churches of Christ in London, which are commonly, but unjustly, called Anabaptists.”

Ordered, &c. That the Serjeant at Arms do immediately send some of his Servants to seize and suppress the said Books.

Ordered, &c. That the Parties that delivered the said Pamphlet at the Door be called in; and demanded, By what Order and Authority the said Pamphlet was published; and who licensed it.

Samuel Richardson and Benjamin Coxe were accordingly called in; and, being demanded, Who printed the said Pamphlet, said, One Simonds; and that he got it licensed: And Richardson said, That the Printer told him, That Mr. Downeham licensed it: That this was a Second Edition: That they had Meetings every First Day of the Week: That there were Seven Congregations of them English, and One French: And that the Subscribers were Two of every Congregation.


The first London Baptist Confession was a pamphlet, so it makes sense that it was handed out this way.
See the left-hand work:

One copy on EEBO has the date Jan. 28 on it. Perhaps Benjamin Coxe and Samuel Richardson handed it out, literally hot off the press.

Do we confess the faith with such courage?

Newly Discovered Work by Nehemiah Coxe on Covenant Theology!

Posted in Covenant Theology, Nehemiah Coxe with tags , , on January 30, 2015 by Jultomte

If you’ve read Nehemiah Coxe’s work on Covenant Theology, you probably read or browsed the preface. Coxe says some important things in it, such as:
Nehemiah Coxe, A Discourse, Preface-0

Ok, Nehemiah, you’ve got my attention. Go on.

Nehemiah Coxe, A Discourse, Preface-1

That sounds like a great idea, Nehemiah. I can’t wait for it to be published.

Nehemiah Coxe, A Discourse, Preface-2

I don’t like where this is going.

Nehemiah Coxe, A Discourse, Preface-3


Nehemiah Coxe, A Discourse, Preface-4

Very funny, Nehemiah. VERY FUNNY. “Happily prevented?” I think not.


Seriously though…

That is, until RBAP came along…324 years later.

Posted in Covenant Theology with tags , on January 29, 2015 by Jultomte

Willialm Russel, A Vindication of the Baptized Churches, 27-28

Guess what? It’s in print!

John Clark, Phraseologia, 265-1

Beautiful Truths, Written Beautifully

Posted in Catechism with tags , on January 28, 2015 by Jultomte

Click to enlarge.

Westminster Shorter Catechism 1-3
Edward Cocker, The Guide to Penmanship-2

WSC 4-6
Edward Cocker, The Guide to Penmanship

WSC 20-22
Edward Cocker, The Guide to Penmanship-1

“Thus is my deliverance.”


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