Polity: A Collection of Historic Baptist Documents

POLITY


A Collection of Historic Baptist Documents
Edited by Mark Dever

Copyright ©2001 Center for Church Reform

All rights reserved.

Reproduction or use of any portion of this publication by any mechanical, electronic, or other means is prohibited without written permission of the publisher.

Library of Congress Card Catalog Number: 00-110552

ISBN: 0-970125-21-6

Copyeditors: Greg Gilbert and Shannon Mitchell

Cover Design/Page Composition: Bellerophon Productions

Cover Photo: Courtesy of Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee

Printed by: Sheridan Books

Printed in the United States of America

A Collection of Historic Baptist Documents

Polity

Biblical Arguments on How to Conduct Church Life

Edited by

Mark Dever

Church order and the ceremonial of religion, are less important than a new heart; and in the view of some, any laborious investigation of questions respecting them may appear to be needless and unprofitable. But we know, from the Holy Scriptures, that Christ gave commands on these subjects, and we cannot refuse to obey. Love prompts our obedience; and love prompts also the search which may be necessary to ascertain his will. Let us, therefore, prosecute the investigations which are before us, with a fervent prayer, that the Holy Spirit, who guides into all truth, may assist us to learn the will of him whom we supremely love and adore.

John Leadley Dagg

Contents & Introduction

Editor’s Preface, Mark Dever……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….ix

I. Introductory Essays

“The Noble Task: The Pastor as Preacher
and Practitioner of the Marks of the Church”
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..3
Mark Dever

“The Church: Baptists and Their Churches
in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries”
………………………………………………………………………………………………….19
Greg Wills

“Discipline: The Missing Mark”…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..43
R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

II. Historical Reprints

BENJAMIN KEACH • 59
The Glory of a True Church
and its Discipline Displayed (1697)
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………63

BENJAMIN GRIFFITH • 93
A Short Treatise Concerning a True
and Orderly Gospel Church (1743)
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….95

CHARLESTON ASSOCIATION • 113
Summary of Church Discipline (1774)………………………………………………………………………………………………………..115

SAMUEL JONES • 135
A Treatise of Church Discipline
and a Directory (1798)
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………137

W. B. JOHNSON • 159
The Gospel Developed (1846)……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………161

JOSEPH S. BAKER • 247
Church Discipline (1847)…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..249

J. L. REYNOLDS • 293
Church Polity or The Kingdom of Christ (1849)…………………………………………………………………………………………..295

P. H. MELL • 405
Corrective Church Discipline (1860)…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..409

ELEAZER SAVAGE • 477
Manual of Church Discipline (1863)…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..479

WILLIAM WILLIAMS • 525
Apostolical Church Polity (1874)……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….527

III. Indices

Person Index…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….553

Subject Index……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………559

Scripture Index…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………571