Editor's note: The following is taken from a short biography of J. R. Graves which may be accessed at the end of the essay. jrd
Ten Premises of Landmarkism
By J. R. Graves
1. As Baptists we are to stand for the supreme authority of the New Testament as our only and sufficient rule of faith and practice. This is the distinguishing doctrine of our denomination.
2. As Baptists we are to stand for the ordinances of Christ as he enjoined them upon his followers, unchanged and unchangeable till he come.
3. As Baptists we are to stand for a spiritual and regenerated church, the motto on our banner being, Christ before the church, blood before water.
4. To protest, and to use all our influence, against the recognition on the part of Baptists of human societies as scriptural churches, by affiliation, ministerial or ecclesiastical, or by any alliance, etc., that could be interpreted as putting such societies on an equality with Baptist churches.
5. To preserve and perpetuate the doctrine of the divine origin and sanctity of the churches of Christ, their unbroken continuity, etc.
6. To preserve and perpetuate the divine, inalienable and sole prerogatives of a Christian church, (1) to preach the gospel, (2) to select and ordain her own officers, (3) to control, absolutely her own ordinances.
7. To preserve and perpetuate the scriptural design of baptism, and its validity and recognition only when scripturally administered by a gospel, church.
8. To preserve and perpetuate the true design and symbolism of the Lord's Supper, as a local church ordinance, and for but one purpose - the commemoration of the sacrificial death of Christ, and not as a denominational ordinance, etc.
9. To preserve and perpetuate the doctrine of a divinely called and scripturally qualified and ordained ministry, holding office and acting for and under the direction of local churches alone.
10. To preserve the primitive fealty and faithfulness to the truth, that shunned not to declare the whole counsel of God, and to teach men to observe all things whatsoever Christ commanded to be believed and obeyed.
This is the author's own synopsis of his system, to which he adds these words: "Not the belief and advocacy of one or two of these principles constitutes a full old landmark Baptist, but the cordial reception and advocacy of all of them."
[From J. J. Burnett, Sketches of Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers, 1919, pp. 191-192. Scanned by Jim Duvall. The format has been changed. The complete essay may be accessed: here.]
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