Tuesday, 17 June 2014

John Gano Calvinism

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Note: The "tenth chapter of our Confession" is a reference to the Calvinist 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith on Effectual Calling a.k.a. Irresistible Grace.  The whole article by John  Gano is found here.  Some excerpts:
I. The call. This is an act of sovereign grace, which flows from the everlasting love of God, and is such an irresistible impression made by the Holy Spirit upon the human soul, as to effect a blessed change
II. We are to consider the Author of the call. The Author is God, the Father, Son, and Spirit. Upon the whole this call is heard as it is in deed and in truth, the call of God, and not the voice of man.
 III. We are to consider who are the called. They are such as God hath chosen and predestinated both to grace and glory, elected and set apart in Christ, as redeemed by his blood, although by nature children of wrath even as others; not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles. This is an holy, heavenly, and, consequently, an high calling.
 IV. This is an holy calling, and is effectual to produce the exercise of holiness in the heart, even as the saints are created in Christ Jesus unto good works. God having called us, not to uncleanness, but to holiness, yea, even to glory and virtue, and "to live holly, righteously, and godly in this present evil world;" and to conform us, both as men and as Christians, to the pure dictates of nature and the authority of revelation, in all virtuous actions. To believe what is divinely revealed, and to obey what is divinely enjoined; in which the saints are required to persevere unto "an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, which is reserved in heaven for them," and unto which this effectual vocation ultimately tends. From all which considerations, we learn what it is to be both good and great, and that the way to advance in durable riches and righteousness; to live on high; live above the vanities and pomp of this trifling world, and to shame those who walk unworthily, is to retain a sense of our heavenly vocation. Thus will the hearts and hands of all God's people, and especially his ministers, be supported and strengthened; thus will the religion of our adorable Redeemer be honored in the world; thus shall we glorify God in life and enjoy his peace in death, and leave behind a finished testimony that our calling was effectual and our profession sincere


Testimonies to John Gano's Calvinism:

"The doctrines he embraced were those which are contained in the Baptist Confession of Faith, and are commonly styled Calvinistic. But he was of a liberal mind, and esteemed pious men of every denomination. While he maintained, with consistent firmness, the doctrines which he believed to be the truths of God, he was modest in the judgment which he formed of his own opinion, and careful to avoid giving offence, or grieving any good man who differed from him in sentiment. Hence he was cordially esteemed and honoured by the wise and good of all denominations."
(Hon. Charles S. Todd: Ambassador from the United States to Russia. Shelbyville, Ky., June 9, 1857, from William B. Sprague, D. D., editor, Annals of the American Baptist Pulpit, Volume VI, 1860, pp. 62-67)

"As a minister of Christ, he shone like a star of the first magnitude in the American churches, and moved in a widely extended field of action. For this office, God had endowed him with a large portion of grace and excellent gifts. 'He believed and therefore spoke.' His doctrines were those contained in the Baptist (Philadelphia) Confession of Faith, and are commonly called Calvinistic.
(Richard Furman, long the distinguished pastor of the Baptist church at Charleston, South Carolina and personal friend of John Gano)

The first Calvinistic Baptist church in the colony of New York was formed about 1740, at Fishkill, Dutchess County, and from 1753 a small company of Baptists held meetings in a private house. Not strong enough to form a church, they became members of the church at Scotch Plains, N.J., and were not constituted a separate church until 1762. By this time they had become twenty-seven in number, had built themselves a small house of worship in Gold Street, and had called the Rev. John Gano to be their pastor. Other churches were formed in the Dutchess region and its vicinity, to the number of ten in all, prior to 1780. From this time onward progress was quite rapid in the eastern and central counties of the State. For a time most of these churches sought and obtained membership in the Philadelphia Association, and it was not until 1791 that they felt themselves strong enough to form an Association of their own. 
(Henry C. Vedder's A Short History of the Baptists. p.211)

 .... "Having then a place for public worship, and their number being increased to 27, they solicited and obtained from the church at the Scotch Plains, a letter of dismission, bearing date the 12th of June, 1762; and on the 19th of the same month they were constituted a church, by the assistance of Elders Benjamin Miller and John Gano.    "The doctrines in the belief and profession of which this church was constituted, and which she still maintains and professes are contained in the Baptist Confession of Faith, printed in London, in the year 1688."
(Excerpts from David Benedict, Baptist Historian)



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