Baptist Principles and Practices

In preparing this booklet on the principles and practices of Baptists the author has rendered valuable service. Having but recently reviewed the teachings of all the denominations of this country as stated in their own articles of faith, and being thoroughly familiar with the teachings and customs of his own people, he has written this series of sermons from a splendid vantage point. The topics are well chosen and vigorously but kindly handled.

Wisely he has lain the foundation of the whole series on the Bible. That must ever be the shiboleth among Baptists - the Word of God. That was the inspiration of our forefathers in the noble fight which they made for religious and political liberty to every man. The author well shows that but for their noble fight we would not enjoy the great heritage which is ours today.

In the sermon on "Individualism in Religion" he has tactfully but clearly lain down the foundation Which destroys the possibility of the contention for infant baptism, or family church membership apart from personal experience of grace. This splendid foundation is well built upon in the sermon on "The Democracy of the Saints." The author well shows the liberty which comes to the child of God through faith in Jesus Christ; that this, by no means bars the freest exercise of the great blessing of co-operation, but that it is fundamentally essential to the highest and best ends of co-operation in that it establishes a great brotherhood with mutual concern, as well as mutual responsibility and opportunity.

In the sermon on "Baptism," it is made clear that in the New Testament times believers only were baptized; that these baptisms were administered by one duly authorized as well as divinely appointed to perform the task; that the act of baptism has in it the fulfillment of God’s own purpose when it is done in God’s own way, and then introduces competent witnesses to establish the correctness of the Baptist contention that baptism is correctly administered when the believer in Jesus Christ, of his own accord in obedience to the divine command is buried with his Lord and raised in the likeness of His resurrection by one divinely appointed and duly authorized to perform such task.

In his presentation of the subject of "Close Communion" he has shown the correctness of our position, not only as witnessed unto by us, but as necessitated by the significance of the ordinance itself. He further shows that whereas Baptists are consistent with themselves and their teaching in the observance of the Lord’s Supper, that many of other denominations are grossly inconsistent.

The author reaches the acme of Baptist glory in his sermon on "The Preservation of the Saints." However much disputed, this doctrine has in it the greatest source of comfort to the dying saint of any message any man can offer. That salvation is of Jesus, and Him only.

I am grateful that Dr. M. E. Dodd has placed this valuable series of discussions in such a form as to make it possible for every one to secure them. I commend them most heartily as deserving your careful consideration.