“For God’s Glory [And] For The Good Of Precious Souls”: Calvinism And Missions In The Piety Of Samuel Pearce (1766-1799) -- By: Michael A. G. Haykin

Journal: Puritan Reformed Journal
Volume: PRJ 02:1 (Jan 2010)
Article: “For God’s Glory [And] For The Good Of Precious Souls”: Calvinism And Missions In The Piety Of Samuel Pearce (1766-1799)
Author: Michael A. G. Haykin


“For God’s Glory [And] For The Good Of Precious Souls”: Calvinism And Missions In The Piety Of Samuel Pearce (1766-1799)1

Michael A. G. Haykin

One1 of the most common charges raised against Calvinism in recent days is that it is not a theological perspective conducive to fostering a passion for missions and evangelism and to fueling such a passion over the long term.2 To anyone acquainted with the details of the history of Calvinistic Baptists—who stand at the fountainhead of most English-speaking Baptists today, no matter their orientation on the matter of Calvinism3—the charge is frankly quite incongruous. There have been Baptists too numerous to number across the centuries who have been ardent in their commitment to a Calvinist view of salvation and at the same time aflame with the desire to see men and women converted.

“Look To Jesus”: Evangelism Among Seventeenth-Century Calvinistic Baptists

A number of Calvinistic Baptist leaders from seventeenth-century England can be briefly cited to illustrate the point here. Probably the most famous of such Baptists is John Bunyan (1628-1688), best known for his classic Pilgrim’s Progress.4 His open-membership Baptist convictions meant that, in his day, he was not as influential among his fellow Calvinistic Baptists—for whom closed-membership and closed-communion convictions were the norm—as he became for this community in subsequent centuries. Strongly committed to Calvinism after his conversion in the early 1650s, Bunyan was soon bearing witness to his faith in small villages and hamlets tucked away in rural Bedfordshire, his home county. In his own account of his conversion and early Christian experience, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (1666), he tells us of his evangelistic zeal.

My great desire in fulfilling my Ministry, was, to get into the darkest places in the Countrey, even amongst those people that were furthest off of profession; yet not because I could not endure the light (for I feared not to shew my Gospel to any) but because I found my spirit leaned most after awakening and converting Work, and the Word that I carried did lean itself most that way; yes, so have I strived to preach the Gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation, Rom. 15:20.

In my preaching I have really been in pain, and have as it were traveledYou must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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