Again, if the evil “soil of hyper-Calvinism leading to gross antinomianism” refers to that on which William Gadsby, Warburton and Kershaw stood, the aspersion needs no greater refutation than the historic fact that these men were acknowledged by both friends and foes to be of the most exemplary and upright character, and their congregations gave a witness which compares well with those of any other churches, including the congregation of Spurgeon’s Tabernacle of whom I had personal knowledge as a youth. I lived with a number to their dying hours, members of both Spurgeon’s Tabernacle3 and of Strict Baptist churches, seeing some of the latter end their days as did John Warburton, when with his latest breath he cried triumphantly, “Hallelujah”! (“With them numbered may I be, now and to eternity”)
I have agreed to continue to support your paper as far as possible in the hope that wiser steps will help to the healing of breaches rather than the widening of them, and I pray better counsels will prevail thus enabling me to commend your efforts with a clear conscience, a procedure which I cannot but believe will make those identified with your paper feel happier and certainly those Reformed ministers and laymen who express anxiety about the statements and reflections appearing in the first issue.
I trust and believe that you will receive my letter in the spirit of love and in which it is sent.
Yours with Christian greetings.
Signed: Geoffrey Williams
1Fresh trophies of Grace were added constantly. Soon after the turn of the C.19 I was privileged to hear not only Mr J K Popham but his brother Henry, John Booth, Frederick Kirby, the first President of the Library – all men mighty in preaching the Gospel of the unsearchable riches of Christ who adorned their profession.
2P.14, line 16 “soil of hyper-Calvinism”
3These Spurgeonites were brought to live with us when in sickness and died while with us. At this time the Metropolitan Tabernacle was in decline.
P.S. There is of course a hyper-Calvinism which does no credit to the great Reformer and there are Strict Baptists who do no credit to men like Gadsby and Kershaw, but of the successors of the great Spurgeon the same thing must be said (I refer to the Tabernacle and its College).