The spirit of these article is in accordance with Reformation teaching and a desire to love the brethren. Such teaching has dripped from the pens of men like Jonathan Edwards, William Ames, Calvin, Luther and others. These article was written as a means to help those of different theological persuasions to acquiesce to the reality that the word “different” in the phrase “different theological persuasions” does ipso facto exist.
Not every one who calls themselves Reformed is Reformed. I quote Peter Van Mastricht in the recently published book by Soli Deo Gloria called “A Treatise on Regeneration;” “The Reformed unanimously hold that there is no physical regenerating efficacy in baptism, but only a moral efficacy which consists in its being a sign and a seal of regeneration; that they also hold that the grace of regeneration is not confined to any sacrament, and yet believe that baptism is not a mere naked, useless sign, but a more efficacious sealing of the covenant of grace in regeneration to those who receive it agreeably to its institution, and also to elect infant of believers.” (Page 51, emphasis mine)
According to this Dutch Reformer, who’s writings were praised by Cotton Mather, those who would not believe this statement would not be considered Reformed. “Reformed” constitutes the reality of this statemen. And of Mastricht’s works, as if some would place him in the more “obscure” of his day, Jonathan Edwards said, “This book [A Treatise on Regeneration] is much better than any other book in the world, excepting the Bible, in my opinion.” I suppose, then, Edwards, like Cotton Mather, and other praiseworthy divines who had read Mastricht’s work, are of the same opinion as I am setting forth in this article. Baptists, by theological distinction, are not Reformed. This opinion is not only held by a select few, but even from the above quote spans 300 years and two continents.