Tag Archives: doctrine


Author – Dr. W.P. Mackay, M. A  1903


‘The law was given by Moses: grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.’ The law showed what man ought to be. Christ showed what man is, and what God is. The law was given, but grace and truth came. The word translated ‘came’ is very strong in the original. It might be rendered ‘were impersonated’ in Him — always kept in due harmony and proportion. Calvary tells out fully what man’s true state is, what God’s truth is, and what grace means. The law is what man ought to be to God. Grace tells what God is for me. The first word of law is ‘Thou,’ the first of grace is ‘God’ so loved. But it is grace through truth. God has investigated everything, nothing has been overlooked. The greatest sin that any man could possibly commit has been committed, namely, the murder of God’s Son. At the same time the greatest grace of God has been manifested.


Wonderful, marvelous grace

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269 – Sept. 26 – This Day in Baptist History Past



Colby College Today

They were balanced in their doctrine

Thomas Francis served on a committee on Sept. 26, 1811,  to petition the General Court in the District of Maine to establish a school of higher learning among the Baptists. When Maine became a State, the Maine Literary and Theological Institute became Colby College. Francis served the Baptist church at Leeds as pastor and the following report was sent to the Association upon his death. “Our meetings are fully attended, we have many refreshing seasons; have a neat and comfortable house of worship; we stand fast in doctrine, neither Antinomian [Hyper-Calvinism] nor Arminian.”  Francis had apprenticed as a youth to a physician but ran off to sea and came to America. The ship wrecked off the coast of Maine and Thomas along with some of the sailors found shelter in the home of a Mr. and Mrs. Stinchfield. Later, at Leeds, Maine Francis was saved while reading the scriptures and began to teach others. Some Methodist preachers came to minister but Thomas along with a few in the group were not satisfied with their doctrine of “falling from grace” and left. James Potter, a Baptist preacher, hearing of the group, came and baptized Francis in 1795 and it wasn’t long until he became pastor of a Baptist church in Leeds. The Lord had turned the seventeen year old runaway around and made him a useful servant of Christ. [Henry S. Burrage, History of the Baptists in Maine (Portland, Maine: Marks Printing House, 1904), p 137.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson,   pp.  527-29.

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241 – August 29 – This Day in Baptist History Past


baldwin. Thomas jpg

The first Baptist missions society in America

Dr. Thomas Baldwin on August 29, 1802, co-authored the call for the establishment of the Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Society. In 1803 he became editor of the “Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Magazine” and served until his death. Dr. Baldwin received a letter from Adoniram Judson in February, 1813 in which he wrote, “Should there be formed a Baptist Society for the support of missions in these parts, I shall be ready to consider myself their missionary!” Baldwin immediately invited several leading pastors from Mass. to meet and confer on the matter. The result was the organization of a temporary society to assist the Judson’s until such time the Baptists nationally could rally forces for the undertaking. Ultimately, with the formation of “The General Missionary Convention of the Baptist Denomination in the U.S. for Foreign Missions,” Dr. Baldwin served as secretary. Thomas Baldwin was born on Dec. 23, 1753, in Bozrah, CT. When he was 17, he received the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and soon declared in favor of Baptist doctrine. He severed ties with his denomination in which he had been raised and therefore many of his friends severed ties with him. Upon moving to Canaan, NH, Baldwin, though young was chosen to represent his village as a legislator in the General Court of the State. However in due time he surrendered for the ministry and on June 11, 1783, Baldwin was ordained and for seven years pastored the Baptist church in Canaan, CT. In 1790 he was installed as pastor of the 2nd Baptist Church of Boston, Mass. A great revival broke out under his leadership with 212 added in 1803.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 356-57.

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Yale 1750-CT Hall


He Pursued Law Then Preached Jesus Christ


Edward Miles Jerome was born on June 15, 1826 and graduated from Yale in 1850. While at Yale, Edward Jerome was not a student in the Divinity School, rather he pursued, and graduated with a law degree. After a few years, Jerome became persuaded that Baptist principles and doctrine were biblical. Though not a divinity student, his legal mind was enlightened by the Holy Spirit. He became a Baptist, was baptized, and united with the First Baptist Church of Hartford, Connecticut. It was there that he began his theological studies and was licensed by that church to teach and preach the Scriptures. He was ordained in 1859 as an evangelist in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and began his ministry preaching and supplying pulpits. He soon settled into a pastorate and served in this office for several years until he suffered an infection in his throat that disabled him. He attempted preaching afterwards, but failing health would not permit him to continue. Fortunately, he had developed excellent writing skills and was able to use these when he lost his ability to preach. Edward Jerome’s preaching and writing were doctrinally clear and were presented in an evangelical, earnest, and effective manner. He entered into the presence of his Lord on June 8, 1891 at sixty-five years of age.


Dr. Dale R. Hart: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) p. 246.


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Preaching [and] Preach (3)

Before leaving this pivotal theme, we should note how preaching relates to worship . It is extremely significant that the people’s response to Ezra’s reading and exposition of Scripture (Neh_8:8; cf. Neh_6:7) was worship (Neh_9:3). This is the climax; everything points to this and has prepared for it. There is nothing of equal importance to the exposition of God’s Word. Take the time now to read Jon_3:2 again, as well as Psa_80:18; Psa_105:1, where call is qārā’, signifying proclamation.
While lost in most churches today, preaching was central to the early church (note the primacy of “doctrine” in Act_2:42) and its immediate descendants. Writing in the middle of the second century, apologist Justin Martyr described a typical worship service of his day: “And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen.”
Mark it down—the reading and explanation of the Word of God was the absolute center of the worship service. (Note that this statement also refutes the accusation made by modern “Sabbath keepers” that Sunday did not become the day of worship until the fourth century.)
Sadly, this is not the case today. Central today is music, drama, comedy, discussion, anecdotes, or anything else we can think of except preaching. But nothing praises God as does the proclaiming of His Word as absolute Truth.
We should be challenged by these comments by the late pastor and great expositor James Boice: “There is nothing more important for Christian growth and the health of the church than sound Bible teaching. Yet sadly, serious Bible teaching is being widely neglected in our day, even in so-called evangelical churches. Instead of Bible teaching, people are being fed a diet of superficial pop psychology, self-help therapy, feel-good stimulants, and entertainment, and the ignorance of the Bible in churches is appalling.”
Scriptures for Study: Note the centrality of preaching in the following texts: Isa_1:2-31; Matthew 5-7 (Jesus’ sermon is the greatest model of exposition); Act_2:14-36; Act_7:2-60; Act_15:14-21; Act_17:16-31.


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The importance of Baptism
1790 – Susanna Nun, Edmund Botsford’s first wife died, though only thirty-nine years of age.  Botsford was born in England in 1745 and at the age of seven lost both of his parents.  His aunt became his guardian and sent him to board with a Baptist lady who had been a dear friend of his mother.  Through that he was early influenced in spiritual matters and also the reading of Bunyan’s writings.  In time he lost interest in the spiritual and became careless in his living, enlisted in the army and at the age of twenty, sailed to Charleston, S.C., arriving in 1766.  There he came under the influence of Rev. Oliver Hart and the First Baptist Church and was converted to Christ on March 13, 1767, and baptized.  He was licensed to preach by the Charleston church in 1771.  Pastor Hart trained Edmund, friends provided him a horse, a saddle, and clothing to continue his training under the Rev. Pelot at Eutaw.  However, the pastor of the Baptist church at Tuckaseeking, Georgia died and they invited him to lead them.  His ministry was primarily as an evangelist at that time in 1772.  Even though a “Regular Baptist” Botsford preached at the Separate Baptist Kiokee Church, in Georgia and became great friends with Daniel and Abraham Marshall.  He stopped at the home of Loveless Savage for directions to Kiokee and invited Savage to go with him at which Savage said that he wasn’t very fond of Baptists because they think that they are the only ones that are baptized.  Upon inquiry as to how he knew he was baptized, Savage said that his parents told him that he was.  Botsford said, “Then you do not know except by information.  It bothered him so bad that he later allowed Daniel Marshall to baptize him and began preaching the same day.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, pp. 98.
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Raised for Our Justification


Romans 4:23-25



But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification,” Romans 4:24, 25.



Justification is the doctrine that God pardons, accepts and declares a sinner to be just (innocent) on the basis of Christ’s righteousness (Rom. 3:24-26; 4:25; 5:15-21).


Many years ago, a lawyer was contacted by a prisoner named Jim who maintained his innocence in the conviction of aggravated robbery. After careful examination of the evidence, the lawyer took the case back to the courts and the judgment was overturned. The court apologized to Jim for his false imprisonment, declared that all records be expunged of his conviction and a small monetary compensation was given to him. When the judge gave Jim time to speak to the court, he announced, “After all these years I am a free man. I have received justification.” Had the lawyer not acted on Jim’s behalf, he would have never been justified.


Jesus is the supreme lawyer. Every time one trusts Christ by faith as his Savior, Jesus goes before the great Judge (His Father) and declares that he is free from the penalty of sin. This is accomplished through the justification of Jesus’ death on the cross and completed by the resurrection.





Jesus died, as the sacrifice for sin for sinners, and He rose so that believers are justified or accepted by God (1 Peter 1:3, 21).


Beverly Barnett



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He Gave Himself for Us


Galatians 1:3, 4


Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father,” Galatians 1:4.


Jesus gave His life for us! The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus combined is the fundamental doctrine of the Christian religion and declared it throughout the Bible. Furthermore, it is the reason we do not have to wait until Heaven to enjoy the blessings of being believers! The beautiful reality of the sacrifice of Jesus is that He gave His life for us so that we can give our lives to Him. It is a win-win situation. (Gal. 2:20)


Salvation is so much more than escaping hell. It is having victory over Satan through Jesus while we live on earth (Rom. 8:38, 39). Satan cannot defeat Jesus. He has tried multiple times and failed; he will never win. But Satan can defeat us if we do not let Jesus fight with us. We are not watching the battle from the sideline; we are soldiers in the Lord’s army. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph. 6:10, 11). Jesus gave His life so that we can be more than conquerors with Him (Rom. 8:37).





What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (Rom. 8:31).


Beverly Barnett



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320 – Nov. 16 – This Day in Baptist History Past


Baptists and church discipline


1776 – The Grassy Creek Baptist Church in Granville County, N.C. brought Aaron P before the church to give reason for not communing. He was corrected and later restored.  However, the church was even handed in their discipline. “In 1770 Elder James Reed, the pastor was excluded for unchristian conduct. Elders Jeremiah Walker and John Williams, were called on as helps or as a council, to aid the brethren in this very serious difficulty.”  Pastor Reed had been baptized by Shubael Stearns in 1756 and was the first pastor of Grassy Creek. It was not for morals or doctrine that he was dismissed, and after two years he was restored and enjoyed a long and fruitful ministry of almost forty years as their pastor. In 1798 at 72 he was called to his heavenly home. His last words were: “Do you see the angels waiting to convey my soul to glory?”  On March 5, 1773, at a church conference, the question was asked and answered: Should a private transgression be made public?”  The answer was “No” based on Matt. 18:15 concerning settling differences privately before they are brought before the church. These people were serious about church discipline. On Sept. 24, 1775, the church records show that Henry Howard and Lemuel Wilson were appointed to admonish sister J___C____ for living an immoral life, such as dancing.”  They based it on the word “revellings” in Ga. 5:21 and I Pet. 4:3. Revellings referred to,“dancings in merry making, a jovial festivity with music and dancing.”  They reported back on Nov. 24 that they had admonished her, she was present, but she found no repentance, she was then excommunicated. [Robert I Devin, A History of Grassy Creek Baptist Church (Raleigh, N.C.: Edwards, Broughton and Co., 1880), p. 78. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 626-28.]   Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon


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J.R. GRAVES Life, times and Teachings 11


Nashville was then and, indeed, is still the center and stronghold of Methodism in the South. They had there their great book concern in which every Methodist preacher was said to have a pecuniary as well as a denominational interest. Their one paper published in the Southwest was there. They had other important and thriving business establishments. They outnumbered the Baptists in Nashville at that time five to one and they really claimed this territory as peculiarly belonging to them, resenting the activities of the Baptists as invading a territory which should have been left alone. Above all, they had as the editor of their paper, The Christian Advocate, a man of varied attainments, one of surpassing ability and fierce prejudices. He was regarded as unscrupulous as he was talented; and he was a cordial hater of all the peculiarities that distinguish Baptists. That this practical polemic should at once turn his guns on the young editor was to be expected, and the manner in which he would do so might have been foreseen by his attacks on the dignified Dr. Howell:

The inflated bird of Nashville, bigoted, presumptuous enough for anything; lacking only the power to be come a pope; in a state of putridity, i.e., that in morals we understand that Brother Howell is in a state of putridity.”

This reflection was passed upon Dr. Howell just after he had delivered a masterly address at the annual commencement of the Nashville University in which he greatly enhanced his already growing popularity.


We (McFerrin) understood him (Dr. Howell) to say that he does not consider it a matter of importance always to state the plain truth.”

Once more:

To deny that Baptists have asserted that they believe that there are children in hell is more than madness, if lying is worse.”

We here give only one response from Dr. Howell, to show his estimate of the man and also his manner of making reply:

What we have said is enough to prove beyond question all that we propose, and that is that Mr. McFerrin will and does adopt any expedient, however repugnant to moral principles, if he thinks he can by such means do any injury to the Baptist denomination.”


In the course of his editorial work, Dr. Graves, having become editor of The Baptist, set forth the Baptist view of baptism, insisting upon its meaning in the original Greek. In order to enforce his argument, he quited from namy authors. Among these were John Wesley and Adam Clark.

The editor of The Christian Advocate upbraided him as ignorant and as publishing “lies” in order to mislead his readers concerning “well known and fully accepted teaching.” Then the doughty editor of the Methodist organ challenged the editor of The Baptist to show his authority, and added: “If he failed, he would denounce him as an ignoramus and a liar and prosecute him for libel.”

Many people have been led to believe that Dr. Graves deliberately and wantonly attacked other denominations, thus seeking to draw them into debate, either oral or written. This was far from the truth and the above and the above experience indicates the ordinary course. But a challenge like that, followed by such a threat, was not the sort of dare that Dr. Graves would decline to accept. He replied, giving from Mr. Wesley’s writings and from Dr. Clark’s Commentaries their own language, making the statements which he had credited to them. He gave the volume and page from the authentic works of these great Methodist leaders and copied the quotations accurately. It was thus that the conflict with Methodism began. Dr. Graves was not the aggressor, but responded to the most vicious attacks. The same is practically true concerning Dr. Graves’ decision with respect to all denominational leaders, Baptists and others, who complained so loudly at him.


Then there was in the state the notorious Parson Brownlow, of whom little need to be said here, a desperado in politics as in religion. This turbulent man was a heart foe of Baptists and their principles. He attacked them constantly in his political organ, The Knoxville Whig. Then throughout Tennessee and Mississippi wnt two traveling lecturers and disputers whode manin work was to attack and misrepresent Baptists. One of them was named Chapman, an Irishman, who was the bitterest and most unscrupulous man who at that time wore the ministerial garb. These were the men whom Graves, the newly elected editor, had to meet in the defense of himself and the principles which he intensely loved, and he had to meet them almost alone, as his was the only Baptist paper being published in the Southwest, for John l. Waller, of Kentucky, had retired from the Baptist Banner and Pioneer and its publication was then suspended. The Christian Advocate had been transferred by Dr. Mercer to the Georgia State Convention and was merely a medium of denominational news. The Biblical Recorder, of North Carolina, had been suspended for want of patronage and was struggling to renew its existence. It will help to understand the situation if it is remembered that there was no Baptist paper being published at that time in Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, or Texas. The whole Southwet was dependent upon The Baptist as a denominational exponent.

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