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Letter From John Quincy Adams to J. R. Graves
From the Tennessee Baptist newspaper, 1857

      "This is from the author of "Baptists the Only Thorough Reformers," a capital book. He is the successful pastor of a Baptist Church in the city of New York." - J.R. Graves

      "I have been reading "Theodosia, volume second," I was not aware that it was out, until I saw it in the store of Sheldon & Co...I think it is an excellent work - perfectly logical and eminently scriptural. I have purchased several for circulation among my people. I immersed a young lady, the first Lord's Day of this month, of more than ordinary intelligence and piety, who was converted to Baptist sentiments from the Presbyterians, by reading "Theodosia, volume first," and she says others, she thinks, will follow her from the same church. I immersed six, all of whom had been sprinkled in infancy and three of whom had been converted among Pedobaptists.

      I wish that Baptists at the North would read and circulated more extensively such as you have lately issued on Methodism and Pedobaptism. As Baptists we have it in our power, if we were united in our action, to exterminate Pedobaptism from our country during the present generation. But alas! Is it not that wonderful that supineness on the subject is so prevalent, when vital piety is at so low an ebb in most of our Churches and the doctrines of grace are almost ignored in our pulpits. "The faith once delivered to the saints" finds few willing to "content" for it and people join Baptist Churches in too many instances from expediency, rather than principle.

      We are still enjoying the presence of the Lord at the North Church, and souls are constantly converted in our midst - Our congregation has grown from the smallest to one of the largest in the city so that it is evident, that preaching the truth without fear or favor, does not drive away those who love it. I think necessity will compel many of our preachers and Churches to change their course and preach more gospel and less polities, less of "bleeding Kansas" and more of the "bleeding Lamb" and less of morality and more of regeneration - less of works and more of grace. But I must close. So write soon, I should be glad to hear from you often. Yours in the truth. John Q. Adams"

      (This letter was printed in the Tennessee Baptist newspaper on September 12, 1857. John Quincy Adams {1825-1881} was then pastoring the North Baptist Church in New York City. Three years earlier, in 1854, he had published "Baptists, the Only Thorough Reformers." Charles Spurgeon said it was "the best Manual of Baptist principles he had met," and included the text in his Pastor's College curriculum. The book is still in print and is available for only $6.75 at: The book Adams refers to is "Theodosia Ernest" {2 volumes} by A.C. Dayton, originally published in 1856. Original copies of "Theodosia" are readily available on eBay. Both books had a strong impact on Kentucky Baptists.)


[Document provided by Ben Stratton, Farmington (KY) Baptist Church. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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