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Old Landmarkism: A Historiographical Appraisal
By Louis Keith Harper
Baptist History and Heritage Journal, 1990
     James Robinson Graves, considered by most scholars to be the father of "Old Landmarkism," died on June 26, 1893. He is buried in the Elmwood Cemetery, Memphis, Tennessee, and his tombstone bears the inscription, "Brethren I will that ye remember the words I spake unto you while I was present with you."1 Many have taken this admonition to heart, and the resulting interpretations and comments have generated a considerable body of historiography regarding "Old Landmarkism," whose features and teach­ings will become clear as the article progresses. Until now, however, appar­ently no one has prepared a systematic appraisal of this historiography. This essay will categorize and discuss the various scholarly studies that have examined "Old Landmarkism" as a religious movement.

     Fortunately, studies of "Old Landmarkism" lend themselves to a system­atic, topical arrangement within four groupings. One group of studies has examined the origin, progress, and impact of the movement in nineteenth-century American Baptist thought. A second group has focused on Baptist divisions in the twentieth century when the American Baptist Association, Landmarkist in sentiment, withdrew from the Southern Baptist Conven­tion. Later, a number of churches withdrew from this new association and formed what today is known as the Baptist Missionary Association. Several studies have examined these schisms. A third group of studies has investi­gated the continuing influence of Landmarkism in the late twentieth cen­tury, particularly among Southern Baptist churches. These studies have attempted to assess the degree of this influence, especially regarding ecclesiological matters.2 A fourth group, comprised of general studies, has examined Landmarkism as a small segment of the larger Baptist picture. This category includes articles in reference works and biographies of early Landmark leaders.

The Impact of "Old Landmarkism" on Baptist Thought

     At least seven studies have considered Landmarkism as a nineteenth-century movement, three of which have treated Landmarkism in relation to the Southern Baptist Convention. In 1900, Livingston T. Mays completed a study entitled "A History of Old Landmarkism" which identified two princi­pal factors that gave rise to the Landmark movement. According to Mays, the first was controversies over the nature of the ordinances, baptism and the Lord's Supper. An example will illustrate these doctrinal disputes. Sup­pose a Presbyterian minister who had been baptized by affusion immersed an individual. Could such a baptism be legitimate? This question led to others. Baptists maintain that baptism is a prerequisite to the Lord's Supper. If an individual had been immersed as just described and that baptism was


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judged not legitimate, could that individual still participate in the Lord's Supper?

     Answers to these questions led to the second factor that gave rise to the Landmark movement. On the one hand, some Baptists maintained that such baptism was valid and any individual so immersed was entitled to all privileges pertaining thereto. Another group of Baptists, the Landmarkers, denounced such practices as irregular and unscriptural. They maintained that authority to administer the ordinances was only found in local Baptist congregations. The Landmarkers insisted that their position was correct, and the more boldly they presented their position the more polarized opinion became on both sides of the issue. Friction was inevitable and neutrality was practically impossible.

     In Mays' assessment, the primary evils of Landmarkism were pride and a tendency toward bigotry. He also felt that Landmarkism tended to elevate the church as an institution above Christ.3 Nevertheless, Mays condemned neither the movement nor its leadership. He saw the mid-nineteenth cen­tury as a time when Baptists had become "loose" on doctrinal matters. Landmarkism had met this "looseness" head-on; and while it may not have been completely orthodox, Mays felt that it helped restore a degree of doc­trinal purity to Southern Baptists by causing them to focus more attention on doctrinal matters.4

     Mays' study was basically brief, generalized, and uncritical. Subsequent studies took a much harder look at Landmarkism. In 1947, E. T. Moore's work, "The Background of the Landmark Movement," correctly identified Landmarkism as one controversial movement among many that marked the nineteenth century. Moore, like Mays, was primarily concerned with the relation of Landmarkism to the Southern Baptist Convention.

     Moore saw Landmarkism as a parallel to the Oxford Movement in En­gland, owing to the fact that both movements focused on the question of authority. This need for Baptists to define the nature of authority resulted from a number of factors, but chief among them was "Campbellism," a separate movement that had originated within Baptist ranks. Alexander Campbell (1786-1866) claimed that he and his followers preached the "Ancient Gospel." He believed that baptism was in some way necessary for the remission of sin. He further believed that this had been the original apostolic pattern and that he was a restorer of the "primitive order."

     Baptists rejected the idea that baptism could "wash away sin." Naturally, they also rejected Campbell's contention that the apostles had baptized for the remission of sin. Since they denied that Campbell had restored primitive practice, nineteenth-century Baptists contended that he lacked genuine authority. On the other hand, when the question of authority was placed before the Baptists, Moore contended that the Landmarkers overemphasized the autonomy of the local church and thereby introduced a form of "high-churchism" among Baptists.5 This meant neither that the Landmarkers believed salvation was obtainable through church membership nor that they felt the church could dispense God's grace where and when they pleased.


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The Landmarkers merely believed that local Baptist churches were the only true, legitimate churches. They felt that only Baptist churches had the authority to evangelize and administer the ordinances. Moore also credited Landmarkism with introducing a strong denominational consciousness to the Southern Baptist Convention.6

     Despite its title, Moore's work was more an extended character sketch of J. R. Graves than an analysis of the historical background of the Land­mark movement. Moore's conclusions, nevertheless, were accurate as far as they went. He correctly associated Landmarkism with other nineteenth-century religious movements that addressed the issue of authority. He also identified Alexander Campbell and the "Restoration Movement" as key fac­tors in precipitating the Landmark movement.

     The negative reaction to Alexander Campbell's doctrine was a signifi­cant factor in the rise of Landmarkism, but it was not the only factor. In A History of Southern Baptist Landmarkism in the Light of Historical Baptist Eccle­siology (1980), James E. Tull identified the anti-mission movement as another key factor in the rise of Landmarkism.

     The thrust of Tull's work focused on the cornerstone of Landmarkism, namely, ecclesiology. In systematic theology, ecclesiology concerns the doc­trine of the church. Tull argued that rather than resetting an ancient Land­mark, J. R. Graves had actually erected a new one. Furthermore, according to Tull's analysis, in addition to being unorthodox, Landmarkism also ". . . diverged significantly from Baptist tradition (or traditionisms) with respect to every important point."7 Graves had preached that through the ages Baptists had interpreted the church in local terms only and that those local bodies had the authority to administer "Gospel Acts" such as the ordi­nances and evangelization. Tull rejected both Graves' contentions that Bap­tists had existed since the first century and that the doctrines of "Old Land­markism" constituted historical Baptist doctrines. Thus, Tull's work was a vindication of that element among Southern Baptists who did not embrace Landmarkism.

     Clearly, Tull identified Graves as an innovator in nineteenth-century Baptist thought, especially with regard to ecclesiology. Two subsequent anal­yses have departed from a Southern Baptist Convention context and built upon Tull's contention that Graves was an innovator. In perhaps the most succinct analysis of Landmarkism to date, Hugh Wamble identified the movement as resting upon the premise of the "sole validity of Baptist churches."8 He also identified the movement as having four major tenets that have become recognized by scholars as perhaps the most succinct de­scription of Landmarkism:

(1) Only Baptist ministers are authentic gospel ministers. (2) Only baptism by immersion, authorized by an authentic church (Baptist), administered by an authentic minister, upon an authentic candidate (believer), as a symbol (not means) of salvation, is true baptism. (3) The church is a visible, local, and independent congregation, exercising plenary authority in a democratic

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manner, and only Baptist churches fit this description. (4) Baptists (Baptist churches) have an unbroken succession since the time of Christ.9

     Harold S. Smith concurred with this analysis. In "A Critical Analysis of the Theology of J. R. Graves," he wrote, "Ecclesiology was always Graves' primary concern, and he wrote more on this theme, particularly the ordi­nances, than on any other theological subject. For almost fifty years, every book and numerous articles included the doctrine of the church as an inte­gral element."10 Beyond all doubt, ecclesiology was the doctrinal foundation of the Landmark movement.

     If scholars have generally agreed that Graves' primary passion was ecclesiology, they have not all agreed that Graves was an innovator in that regard. In "A Study of the Antecedents of Landmarkism," LeRoy B. Hogue concluded that long before Graves, most Baptists, especially in New England, were loyal to the concept of the local church. Even those Baptists embracing the Philadelphia Confession of Faith, noted for its dual concept of a univer­sal, invisible and local, visible church, emphasized the local church strongly. Hogue therefore concluded that the heart of "Old Landmarkism," the inter­pretation of the church as a local body, was not new. Therefore, Landmark­ism itself was not new in the strictest sense. Furthermore, since the various elements of "Old Landmarkism" were found in one form or another among various Baptist groups, Hogue concluded that the Landmark movement was merely the logical extension of Baptist thought in that day.11

     Finally, the most recent study was Louis Keith Harper's "The Historical Context for the Rise of Old Landmarkism." This study was a tentative syn­thesis of "Old Landmarkism" and developed two major points. First, it dem­onstrated that Landmarkism had a generic similarity to other nineteenth-century American religious movements, particularly with regard to the search for ultimate religious authority. Second, it demonstrated that in addi­tion to providing Baptists with a platform for polemics, Landmarkism also offered a strong ideological and theological basis for the defense of Baptist doctrine.12

Schism and "Old Landmarkism"

     While clashing on the authenticity of Landmarkism's claim to be the historic Baptist tradition, Baptist scholars have agreed that the heart of "Old Land­markism" was ecclesiology. They have also agreed that ecclesiology was the primary reason for the schism that led to the organization of both the American Baptist Association and North American Baptist Association.

     David O. Moore and Philip R. Bryan have studied particular points of contention regarding this division. In 1945, Moore wrote a monograph entitled "The Landmark Baptists: A Corner on Orthodoxy." He noted that the Landmarkers were opposed to missionaries operating under the jurisdic­tion of mission boards. They insisted that missionaries should be supported exclusively by individual congregations. He also noted that the Landmarkers seemed to have opposed all convention activities in general. The main bone


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of contention was, once again, ecclesiology.13 Moore restated these senti­ments two years later in his Th.D. dissertation, "The Landmark Baptists and Their Attack Upon the Southern Baptist Convention Historically Analyzed." By this time the term "Landmark Baptist" had become strongly, but not exclusively, identified with those churches in the American Baptist Associa­tion. Thus, Moore was dealing primarily with the reasons why a new Bap­tist group had been formed in 1905. This work offered more critical exami­nation of such Landmark doctrines as the nature of baptism, the local church, church succession, and opposition to ecumenism. Both works reached the same conclusion: many Landmark Baptists had pulled out of the Southern Baptist Convention over the doctrine of the church.

     But the departure of the Landmarkers did not settle basic questions of ecclesiology. In 1950, a number of churches from the American Baptist Association withdrew and formed the North American Baptist Association. In 1969, this group changed its name to the Baptist Missionary Association of America in order to dispel any confusion generated by the adjective "North."14

     Philip R. Bryan has studied both the 1905 and the 1950 divisions. In "An Analysis of the Ecclesiology of Associational Baptists, 1900-1950," he divided Baptists into two camps, non-Landmarker "Convention Baptists" and Landmarker "Associational Baptists," distinguished by differing ecclesiological interpretations. He also argued that the 1950 division of the American Baptist Association, while not a Landmarker versus non-Landmarker con­flict, was nonetheless the result of ecclesiological presuppositions as well as personality conflicts within the ABA's leadership.

     Bryan's analysis was also significant for two other reasons. First, he agreed with Hogue that Landmarkism was not new. Second, he enlarged on Wamble's analysis to include two other Landmarkist contentions. These two contentions were restricted communion and direct support of missionaries. Inseparably tied to the concept of the local church, both are usually practiced by churches adhering to Landmark doctrine.

The Lingering Influence of "Old Landmarkism"

     A number of Landmarkers may have left the Southern Baptist Convention in 1905, but Landmarkist ideology continued to exert its influence on Baptist thought and polity. William W. Barnes was among the first historians to examine critically this area of Landmarkism's historiography. In a 1934 work entitled The Southern Baptist Convention: A Study in the Development of Eccle­siology, he argued that Southern Baptists had assumed a corporate con­sciousness not unlike that found within the ranks of Roman Catholicism. That is, certain committees and officials were assuming power as the bishops had done in early church history. Barnes attributed this phenom­enon to seven distinct factors ranging from the centralization of the federal government to Landmarkism.15 Southern Baptists, thanks to the influences of Landmarkism, were more aware of this history and mission than ever before. According to Barnes, this attitude had resulted in a subtle shift.


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Barnes saw the Southern Baptist Convention of his day as evolving into a connectional or "Denominational Church" rather than a cooperating associa­tion of independent Baptist congregations.

     Apparently, Barnes' argument did not go unheeded. Baptists in the North and South began to question their respective ecclesiological interpre­tations. The culmination of this inquiry resulted in two significant studies. The first, entitled What Is the Church? (1958) was edited by Duke McCall. This volume contained ten essays concerning the New Testament church, including some of the papers presented in two consecutive summer sympo­siums at the Southern Baptist theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. John E. Steely wrote the essay entitled "The Landmark Movement in the Southern Baptist Convention." He analyzed Landmarkism as having a three­fold impact on the convention. First, there was a tendency toward high-church exclusivism as manifested in the concepts of Baptist succession and closed communion. Second, a schismatic or divisive element developed in Baptist fellowship toward the end of the nineteenth century centering pri­marily on ecclesiology and leading to the founding of a new group of Bap­tists. Finally, Steely contended that Landmarkism was still having an effect on twentieth-century Baptists, particularly regarding questions relative to the ordinances and mission methodology.16

     One year after Southern Baptists published What Is the Church? Ameri­can Baptists published Baptist Concepts of the Church (1959) edited by Winthrop S. Hudson. This work included eight essays on various ecclesiological topics plus an appendix entitled "Dispensational Ecclesiology." In the chapter on "Old Landmarkism," Robert Torbet viewed the Landmarkers as reflecting both the individualism and interdenominational rivalry of the frontier. He also credited New England separatism as influencing a young Graves who was originally from Vermont.17 In reflecting on Landmarkism's influence in the twentieth century, Torbet agreed with both Steely and Barnes that the Landmark element within the Southern Baptist Convention stressed Baptist distinctiveness, even if it generated a combative spirit. He also agreed with Steely that the crux of "Old Landmarkism" was the question, "What is the church?"18

     These studies paved the way for subsequent studies that focused on the Landmarkism's impact on Baptist thought and polity. Davis L. Saunders identified the doctrines of Landmarkism as having a definite influence on missions methodology. W. Morgan Patterson took a close look at Landmark claims to historical succession in Baptist Successionism: A Critical View (1969). Walter B. Shurden examined controversy as a way of life for Baptists in Not A Silent People (1972).19 Finally, James E. Tull identified J. R. Graves as one of nine key people in Baptist history in Shapers of Baptist Thought (1972). In this work, Tull asserted that Landmarkism was on the way out. "In short," said Tull, "the Landmark movement, though still in being, is now undergoing a gradual decline."20

     Tull's death notice for "Old Landmarkism" may have been premature, for many share the opinions of Torbet and Steely that Landmarkism is by


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no means a dead issue. The January, 1975, issue of Baptist History and Heri­tage focused on Landmarkism. Three essays sketched and evaluated the lives of the Landmark leaders J. R. Graves, J. M. Pendleton, and A. C. Dayton.21 James E. Tull's article, "The Landmark Movement: An Historical and Theo­logical Appraisal," described the movement as a defense of what its leaders felt were "the historic and distinctive principles of Baptists."22 Tull's essay echoed the sentiments expressed in his earlier writings, namely, that Graves had been a great innovator in Baptist thought.23

     In a fifth article W. Morgan Patterson made moderate corrections to Tull's perception of Graves as an innovator. Such practices as closed com­munion, non-acceptance of "alien baptism," and even historical Baptist suc­cession were all widespread prior to Graves.24 On the other hand, Graves did synthesize certain practices and beliefs into what became known as Landmarkism. "But not all tenets," cautioned Patterson, "were born in the genius of Graves. He was eclectic, and his creativity was to be found in constructing a cogent system (given his premises) and popularizing it for the Baptist masses in the South."25

     Patterson identified three strong influences of early Landmarkism. First, the writings of Graves, Pendleton, and Dayton influenced many regarding doctrine. Second, the Landmark attitude toward the church led many to abandon board-based missionary enterprises in favor of local church mis­sionary projects. Third, Landmarkism left many thoroughly convinced that Baptist churches had an unbroken continuity since the New Testament era. William H. Whitsitt was forced to resign as professor of church history and president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1899. Whitsitt had maintained that Baptists, as a denomination, could not be found in his­tory prior to 1641, a position that Landmarkers strongly resented.26

General Studies of "Old Landmarkism"

     The fourth and final category of Landmarkist literature, general studies, has also received a considerable amount of attention. Among these sources are biographies of Pendleton and Dayton, as well as The Life, Times and Teach­ings of J. R. Graves (1929), by O. L. Hailey, Graves' son-in-law.27 The Graves' biography was a personal, almost anecdotal look at the "non-public" Graves.

     Other works have approached Landmarkism as a small part of the larger Baptist experience in the United States. These have included A. H. Newman's A History of the Baptist Churches in the United States (1898), Wil­liam W. Barnes' The Southern Baptist Convention, 1845-1953 (1954), Sydney Ahlstrom's A Religious History of the American People (1972), Robert G. Torbet's A History of the Baptists (3rd ed., 1973), Robert O. Baker's The Southern Baptist Convention and Its People, 1607-1972 (1974), and H. Leon McBeth's The Baptist Heritage: Four Centuries of Baptist Witness (1987).

     The Baptist Encyclopaedia (1881), edited by William Cathcart, was note­worthy for several reasons. First, the biographical sketches of Graves, Pen­dleton, and Dayton offered intimiate glimpses of how their peers perceived


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the early Landmark leaders. Second, Cathcart, defining the church as local, visible, and autonomous, defended Landmarkism by citing as authorities passages from several historic Baptist confessons of faith.28 The article entitled "Old Landmarkism" was even more specific. Here the author identi­fied William Kiffin, an English Baptist of the seventeenth century, as an Old Landmarker. According to this article, "The doctrine of landmarkism is that baptism and church membership precede the preaching of the gospel, even as they precede communion at the Lord's table. The argument is that Scrip­tural authority to preach emanates, under God, from a gospel church. . . ,"29 Lack of proper baptism and church membership therefore invalidated any pedobaptist claim to proper authority. The writer went on to say:
Inseparable however, from the landmark view of this matter [non-ministerial affiliation], is a denial that Pedobaptist societies are Scriptural churches, that Pedobaptist ordinations are valid, and that immersions adminis­tered by Pedobaptist ministers can be consistently accepted by any Baptist church. All these things are denied, and the intelligent reader will see why.30
By the publication of this work in 1881, the term "Old Landmarker" had gained common usage in theological circles.31

     Volumes I and II of the Encyclopedia of Southern Baptists (1958), edited by Norman W. Cox, featured several articles relevant to Landmarkism. Bio­graphical sketches of Landmark leaders appeared along with articles on developments since 1881. This work differed from Cathcart on a number of points, not the least of which was that, at times, it assumed a counter-Landmark stance. In fact, Lynn E. May, Jr., identified Landmarkism as one of seven major crises that have significantly affected much of Baptist life.32

Conclusion

     In assessing Landmark historiography topically, one clearly sees that the majority of studies to date have addressed the conflict over the biblical and historical accuracy of Landmark claims. Some, such as Cathcart and Hailey, have argued in favor of Landmarkism. Others, such as Tull and Barnes, have argued against it. Later studies, such as those by Hogue and Bryan, have moved the discussion to new ground by entertaining broader issues such as Graves' role as an innovator and how ecclesiology influenced Baptist polity in the twentieth century.

     Regardless of whether one agrees with Landmarkist assumptions or not, one thing is abundantly clear: Landmarkism continues to exert an influ­ence on Baptist thought and polity. For example, many of J. R. Graves' and J. M. Pendleton's writings are still in print. Moreover, a number of Baptists continue to reject mission boards as unscriptural agents of evangelization because they maintain an ecclesiology consistent with that of Graves. Two recent surveys indicate that the American Baptist Association claims over 1.5 million members in 5,000 churches, while the Baptist Missionary Associ­ation claims almost 220,000 members in 1,418 churches.33 Unfortunately, no statistics exist for the number of non-affiliated Baptist churches maintaining


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Landmarkist doctrines.

     Recent controversies among Southern Baptists have tended to obscure the issues that J. R. Graves raised over a century ago. However, any possibil­ity of a revival of "Old Landmarkism" cannot be dismissed lightly. In assess­ing Landmarkism's continuing influence, perhaps John Steely was closest to the mark when he said, "The impulses set in motion by J. R. Graves in the Baptist family have not yet spent their force, and their final and total effects remain to be seen."34

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Endnotes

     Louis Keith Harper prepared this article as a graduate student at the University of Kentucky while pursuing a Ph.D. degree in United States history.
     1 Harold S. Smith, 'The Life and Work of J. R. Graves," Baptist History and Heritage, 10:19, January, 1975.
     2 W. Morgan Patterson, "What Is Landmarkism?" (Southern Baptist Convention, Public Relations Office, n.d.), pp. 1-4. Patterson's essay was valuable in forming the framework for this essay. The first three of the essay's four categories were adopted from his essay.
     3 Livingston T. Mays, "A History of Old Landmarkism" (unpublished Th.D. dissertation, Southern Bap­tist Theological Seminary, 1900), p. 50.
     4 Ibid., p. 49.
     5 E. T. Moore, "The Background of the Landmark Movement" (unpublished Th.D. dissertation, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1947), p. 66.
     6 Ibid., p. 67.
     7 James E. Tull, A History of Southern Baptist Landmarkism in the Light of Historical Baptist Ecclesiology (New York: Arno Press, 1980); see the abstract. This work was originally submitted as a Ph.D. dissertation at Columbia University, 1960.
     8 Hugh Wamble, "Landmarkism: Doctrinaire Ecclesiology Among Baptists," Church History, 33:429, December, 1964.
     9 Ibid., p. 430. Note that this analysis is chronological.
     10 Harold S. Smith, "A Critical Analysis of the Theology of J. R. Graves" (unpublished Th.D. dissertation, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1966), p. 151.
     11 LeRoy B. Hogue, "A Study of the Antecedents of Landmarkism" (unpublished Th.D. dissertation, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1966), pp. 298-99.
     12 Louis Keith Harper, "The Historical Context for the Rise of Old Landmarkism" (unpublished M.A. thesis, Murray State University, 1986).
     13 David O. Moore, "The Landmark Baptists: A Corner on Orthodoxy" (unpublished monograph, South­ern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1945). While this work is not polemical, D. B. Ray's pamphlet, "That New Revolutionary Landmark Baptist Faction," certainly was. Ray, an avowed Landmarker, denounced men such as J. N. Hall and Ben Bogard for the division and accused them of using Landmarkism as a "hobbyhorse" to further their own ambitions.
     14 J. Don Hook, "North American Baptist Association," Encyclopedia of Southern Baptists, 1958, II, 984. See also Leon Taylor, "Baptist Missionary Association," Encyclopedia of Southern Baptists, 1971, III, 1,597-98; Louis F. Asher, "Baptist Missionary Association," Encyclopedia of Southern Baptists, 1982, IV, 2,105-06.
     15 William W. Barnes, The Southern Baptist Convention: A Study in the Development of Ecclesiology (pub­lished by author, 1934), pp. 60-80.
     16 John E. Steely, 'The Landmark Movement in the Southern Baptist Convention," What Is the Church, ed. Duke McCall (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1958), pp. 134-47.
     17 Robert G. Torbet, "Landmarkism," Baptist Concepts of the Church, ed. Winthrop Hudson (Philadelphia: Judson Press, 1959), pp. 171-73.
     18 Ibid., pp. 193-94.
     19 Davis L. Saunders, "The Relation of Landmarkism to Mission Methods," The Quarterly Review, 26:43-57, April, 1966; W. Morgan Patterson, Baptist Successionism: A Critical View (Valley Forge: Judson Press, 1969); and Walter B. Shurden, Not A Silent People (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1972).
     20James E. Tull, Shapers of Baptist Thought (Valley Forge: Judson Press, 1972), p. 150.
     21 Harold S. Smith, "The Life and Works of J. R. Graves"; Bob Compton, "James M. Pendleton, A Nine­teenth Century Baptist Statesman (1811-1891)"; and James E. Taulman, "The Life and Writings of Amos Cooper Dayton (1813-1865)," Baptist History and Heritage, January, 1975.
     22 James E. Tull, "The Landmark Movement: An Historical and Theological Appraisal," Baptist History and Heritage, 10:3, January, 1975.
     23 On page 10 of this article, Tull stated, "The question of alien immersions was not an issue among the early English Baptists (and indeed has never become one to this day in this branch of the Baptist family).


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Also, the question had been here and there an issue of only sporadic interest among Baptists in America." This statement may not have been totally accurate. For example, the question of irregular immersion came before the Philadelphia Association no fewer than six times between 1707 and 1807. Usually, these queries questioned the validity of immersion by non-ordained individuals. Each time the association considered the question it answered in the negative because: (a) unordained individuals were not qualified to baptize and (b) acceptance of such baptisms would "throw contempt on Christ's authority." See A. D. Gillette (ed.), Minutes of the Philadelphia Baptist Association, from AD. 1707 to A.D. 1807 (Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication Society, 1851), esp. the years 1787-1788.
     24 W. Morgan Patterson, "The Influence of Landmarkism Among Baptists," Baptist History and Heritage, 10:54, January, 1975.
     25 Ibid.
     26 Ibid., pp. 49-53.
     27 W. C. Huddleston, "James Madison Pendleton: A Critical Biography" (unpublished Th.M. thesis, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1962); J. E. Taulman, "Amos Cooper Dayton: A Critical Biography" (unpublished Th.M. thesis, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1965); and O. L. Hailey, The Life, Times and Teachings of ]. R. Graves (Nashville: n.p. 1929).
     28 William Cathcart (ed.), "Church, A True Gospel," The Baptist Encyclopaedia, 1881, pp. 222-23.
     29 Cathcart, "Old Landmarkism," pp. 867-68.
     30 Ibid.
     31 Cathcart, "Crawford, Rev. Wm. L.," p. 292.
     32 Lynn E. May, Jr., "Crises, Southern Baptist," Encyclopedia of Southern Baptists, 1958, I, 333-36.
     33 Albert W. Wardin, Jr., "American Baptist Association," Encyclopedia of Southern Baptists, 1982, IV, 2,080. See also Louis F. Asher, "Baptist Missionary Association of America," Encyclopedia of Southern Baptists, 1982, IV, 2,105-06.
     34 Steely, p. 147.
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[From Baptist History and Heritage Journal, April, 1990. Used with the permission of the author and the Journal via Bruce Gourley. — Scanned by Jim Duvall.]



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