English Calvinistic Baptists and Vocation in the Long Eighteenth Century, with Particular Reference to Anne Dutton’s Calling as an Author -- By: Michael A. G. Haykin

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 22:1 (Spring 2018)
Article: English Calvinistic Baptists and Vocation in the Long Eighteenth Century, with Particular Reference to Anne Dutton’s Calling as an Author
Author: Michael A. G. Haykin


English Calvinistic Baptists and Vocation in the Long Eighteenth Century, with Particular Reference to Anne Dutton’s Calling as an Author1

Michael A. G. Haykin

Michael A. G. Haykin is Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also Adjunct Professor of Church History and Spirituality at Toronto Baptist Seminary in Ontario, Canada. Dr. Haykin is the author of many books, including “At the Pure Fountain of Thy Word”: Andrew Fuller As an Apologist (Paternoster Press, 2004), Jonathan Edwards: The Holy Spirit in Revival (Evangelical Press, 2005), The God Who Draws Near: An Introduction to Biblical Spirituality (Evangelical Press, 2007), Rediscovering the Church Fathers: Who They Were and How They Shaped the Church (Crossway, 2011), and Patrick of Ireland: His Life and Impact (Christian Focus, 2014).

Towards the close of his preaching ministry, the celebrated Victorian Baptist preacher C. H. Spurgeon (1834–1892) happened to reflect on his calling as a herald of the gospel in a sermon that he preached in 1889. He admitted to his congregation:

When some of you do not behave yourselves, and matters in our church get a little out of order, I say to myself, “I wish I could give this up, and turn to an

employment less responsible, and less wearing to the heart”; but then I think of Jonah, and what happened to him when he ran away to Tarshish; and I remember that whales are scarcer now than they were then, and I do not feel inclined to run that risk. I stick to my business, and keep to the message of my God; for one might not be brought to land quite so safely as the runaway prophet was. Indeed, I could not cease to preach the glad tidings unless I ceased to breathe. …I had sooner be a preacher of the gospel than a possessor of the Indies. Remember how William Carey, speaking of one of his sons, says, “Poor Felix is shrivelled from a missionary to an ambassador.” He was a missionary once, and he was employed by the government as an ambassador; his father thought it no promotion, but said, “Felix has shrivelled into an ambassador.” It would be a descent indeed from bearing the burden of the Lord, if one were to be transformed into a member of Parliament, or a prime minister, or a king.2

Informing this rather humorous reference to Jonah is Spurgeon’s determination to be faithful to his calling as a gospel minister. The reference has added gravitas in view of the fact that Spurgeon had recently gone through what has come t...

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