Archive for the ‘church history’ Category

I recently discovered a great number of lectures by Francis Schaeffer.  Evidently these are the “L’Abri tapes” that I first saw mentioned in True Spirituality.

I haven’t listened to very many of these yet, but this includes lectures that appear to be the basis of several of his books. These include True Spirituality, No Little People, Joshua and the Flow of Biblical History, Genesis and Science, A Christian Manifesto, The Mark of the Christian and The Finished Work of Christ, among others. I must confess that I am less familiar with his well known apologetical works than I am with some of his others but I’m sure much of that material is there in embryonic form as well.

Overall, a wide variety of topics are covered, from cultural analysis, theology in general (including a series on the Westminster Confession of Faith), apologetics, the arts, etc.  There are also a good many lectures on eschatology, including an exposition of the book of Revelation.  It is well known that Schaeffer was premillennial, which was not uncommon among Presbyterians of his day, particularly among those of his background.  The titles of some of them seem to indicate that he was pretribulational as well.  But those lectures appear to be from the early 1960’s so I don’t know if he ever changed his views as did some others like James Montgomery Boice, for example.  I haven’t read that much of Schaeffer’s work, but I hope to remedy that soon.  However, I have noticed allusions to a future for Israel in some of his writings that were published in the 1970’s.  I do think it’s interesting that a leader who was known for teachings on cultural and other issues would have taught so much on prophetical themes. But most if not all of those lectures were from the early 1960’s, prior to him becoming a popular evangelical leader in the United States and beyond.

There is also a large amount of video material available online as well, perhaps most notably the film version of How Should We Then Live?


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The dissent against the medieval order was in 1517 already a millenium old and extremely widespread.  Because it had been obliged to carry on under cover, so that conference between the dissidents was quite out of the question, it had gone in all directions.  The “medieval underground,” as it has been called, was unable to have its “town meetings” to discuss and then come to consensus; hence the endless variety.  The Church called all its foes by one and the same name, “heretics,” who “like the foxes of Samson, have diverse faces but are all tied together at the tail.”  The Church had no desire to differentiate between group and group; they were all guilty of one and the same sin, that of challenging her monopoly; and she vented her spleen on them indiscriminately.

This will go far to explain why the “Left-wing of the Reformation” or the “Radical Reformation,” or whatever one wishes to call the camp that developed the Second Front, shows such bewildering diversity.  The Church had long had a sort of catch-all, a kind of wastebasket into which she thrust everything she didn’t want; when the Reformation failed to satisfy there was again and at once the same multifariousness; Menno and Muntzer, Schwenkfeld and Servetus, and many more, all clubbed together under a single label.

Fortunately for us, the record shows that there were great polarities right within the camp of the “heretics,” in medieval times and also in the days of the Reformation.

Leonard Verduin, The Reformers and Their Stepchildren (Sarasota:  Christian Hymnary Publishers, 1991.  p. 15.)

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THE question, “What is Baptism,” lies entirely outside the province of this paper.  It is confined strictly to the question of the subjects of baptism.  By strict analysis its scope may be further limited; for all Christian bodies which practice baptism at all practice that of believers.  They all believe in that.  There is hearty agreement on that one point.  No body of Christians would reject a believer who applied for baptism, merely on the ground that he was a believer.  But while all such Christians believe in and practice the baptism of believers, some practice that kind of baptism only.  Others baptize believers and infants.  So the question becomes, not “Are believers proper subjects for baptism,” but “Are they the only proper subjects?”  In other words, are infants ever proper subjects?  That is the sole question now at issue.  In order to arrive at a correct conclusion in this matter, recourse must be had to the authority upon which baptism is based.  Why do we baptize any one?  Why practice the ordinance at all?  The sole authority for Christian baptism is found in the New Testament.  It is distinctly a New Testament ordinance.  I am not deciding offhand the much mooted question of proselyte baptism by the Jews before the Christian era.  If that ever existed, it was a different thing in essential particulars from the baptism of John, of Christ, and of the apostles.  So it is clear that baptism as a Christian ordinance is based solely upon the teaching of the New Testament.  The infallible and authoritative record of its nature, purposes, and subjects are to be found there and there only.

The supreme question, therefore, is “What does the New Testament say about infant baptism.”  Does it anywhere command it?  Is there any record of a solitary example of it?  Is there a plain allusion to it?  Is there a clear and conclusive inference for it in these records and writings of Christ and the apostles?

There is unquestionably much about believers’ baptism.  Faith and baptism are often connected; repentance and baptism stand together.  But is there anything said about infant baptism?  The plain answer to these questions is simply, no. There is not one solitary word in the whole Bible about infant baptism.  Emphasize that statement.  In all the Word of God, with its manifold commands and examples, and instructions, not so much as the mention of infant baptism is found nor even a plain inference for it.  It is simply a thing about which the Bible writers are unvaryingly silent.  It is hardly too much to say that it is a thing totally outside their experience.  In the discussion that has extended through the centuries, not one command, not one example, not one allusion, not one sound exegetical inference has been educed for infant baptism from the Word of God.  A wise teacher was wont to say that the passages relied on to support the practice of infant baptism are of three classes.  First, those which mention infants and do not mention baptism.  Second, those which mention baptism and do not mention infants.  Third, those which mention neither infants nor baptism.  An exhaustive study of God’s Word and Pedobaptist literature on this subject will clearly establish the fairness of this classification.

The truth is even stronger than has been stated.  Infant baptism is not only not sanctioned by the Word of God, it is actually incompatible with its plain teaching.  It is not only an extrascriptural practice, it is anti-scriptural.  The inferences often urged for infant baptism are rare, vague, attenuated, and baseless.  The inferences against it are numerous, logical, and irrefragable.  The admission of infant baptism destroys not only the order laid down in God’s Word, but it destroys the processes of discipleship.  Dr. E. C. Dargan truly says it is “opposed to the clear teaching of the Word, both by example and by precept.  It is out of tune with the great doctrines of the Scripture. It does not harmonize with the doctrine of regeneration by the Holy Spirit, with that of justification by faith alone, with that of the duty of repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, with that of the individual responsibility of each soul for its actions.  Again it is contrary to the general trend of Scripture teachings, and to the character of the New Testament religion.”  (Ecclesiology, p. 299.)

I am not called on to show just when or under what circumstances the practice originated.  My purpose is accomplished when it is shown that the practice has no basis in Scripture, but is on the other hand utterly contrary to it.  My contention is that it came not from God but from man.  The conditions out of which the practice sprang may readily be ascertained by an examination of the creed of the church that has longest practiced it.  That is the Catholic church beyond doubt.  And the reason it gives and has always given is that baptism is a saving sacrament.  This does not mean that all who practice infant baptism now, believe that a child is lost which does not receive it; it only means that the church which has practiced it the longest and from which other bodies received it, practices it as the effectual means of salvation.  The Catholic is at least consistent in his practice, though wrong in his premise.

Protestantism has been put to no little trouble to find a reasonable explanation for the practice, with the result that a variety of conclusions have been reached, many of them mutually destructive, and all of them inconsistent with Protestant principles.  It is not an illogical assumption, especially when every line of investigation leads to the same conclusion, to say that infant baptism, the fecund source of evil, is itself the offspring of that other evil, the doctrine of baptismal regeneration.  This practice having thus sprung up, nourished by the rich soil of superstition in which it had its roots, twined itself into the life and genius of the dominant church.  Having so much of emotional and aesthetic support, it is not strange that when its opponents attacked it, its friends sought a basis for it in the Word of God.  As the teachings of Scripture became better understood, those who believed in them as the supreme authority were forced to abandon the dogma of baptismal regeneration, and with the abandonment of that, the only logical basis for infant baptism was removed.  In their desperation, they fell back upon the Old Testament, and declared that baptism took the place of circumcision and therefore was to be administered to infants.  They seemingly forgot or ignored the inconvenient fact that Jesus, the apostles, and many of the early Jewish Christians were both circumcised and baptized; that as the Jews were the natural children of Abraham, so the Christians were children by faith, and that as the natural children were circumcised, so the children by faith are to be baptized, which would exclude infants.  They seemingly also overlooked the fact that not a word, not a hint is anywhere to be found that baptism is in lieu of circumcision, though, had it been so, various opportunities, almost necessities, arose for plainly declaring it.  The advocates of the circumcision theory of infant baptism make enormous drafts on Scriptural silence, and larger ones on willing credulity.

The limits of this paper forbid a detailed discussion of the various passages which have been used as proof-texts for infant baptism.  Those desiring conclusive answer to arguments based upon the coming of little children to Christ, to be blessed not baptized, the three cases of household baptism referred to in the New Testament, and other passages upon which Pedobaptists usually rely, are referred to Dr. Wilkinson’s “The Baptist Principle.”  It is one thing to found a practice upon Scripture and quite another thing to attempt to justify a practice by Scripture.  It is possible to find passages which, wrenched from their connection, may be bent and twisted to support, apparently, a preconceived theory; but such a process is not safe, and rarely if ever leads to truth.  For instance, the practice of infant baptism became established.  Its advocates have sought to justify it by Scripture.  But I dare say that were the practice not in existence no one having any claims to scholarship or any regard for his reputation as a scholar would seek to originate such a practice on the authority of Scripture.  The fact is that the proof-texts cited to support the practice when fairly and correctly interpreted, not only do not support but oppose it.

But infant baptism is not only extra-scriptural and anti-scriptural-it has been the open door through which the most hurtful and deadly evils have entered among Christians.  It will not do to say that it is, at least, a harmless practice.  History clearly proves that it not only does no good, but that it has worked untold injury.  Dr. Wilkinson in his admirable book, above referred to, shows conclusively that without infant baptism, or some such equivalent, the papacy in its historic form could never have existed.  The papacy was possible only as it discarded believers’ baptism.  It built itself on the wreck of the true teaching of the Word of God.  Look at the spiritual dearth and death wrought by the Catholic church.  Read its history of perversion, superstition, inquisition, assassination, moral and intellectual slavery and degradation, and remembering that it would have been logically and utterly impossible but for the departure from believers’ and the substitution of infants’ baptism, and answer if this unscriptural innovation is harmless.  Furthermore, the thing that has given the deadliest blow to spirituality and freedom, after the papacy, has been the so-called state churches.  They have been an attempt to divorce the Bride from her Bridegroom and pledge her at the altar of earthly power.  And the corner stone of state churches is infant baptism.  No state church has ever been attempted without it; none could be perpetuated but for it.  And the history of state churches wherever they were not affected by the leaven of non-conformity, has been one of spiritual decay and death.

Further, infant baptism has constantly tended to the breaking down of barriers between the church and the world.  It has obscured the spiritual and emphasized the ceremonial element in religion.  It has lost sight of regeneration as an act of the Holy Spirit, and has substituted the deadly dogma of baptismal regeneration.  It has substituted a human sentiment and expedient for an inspired command.  It has discarded the spiritual conditions demanded of subjects in the days of the apostles and has thus destroyed the spiritual import of the ordinance.  Infant baptism can by no possible interpretation be called obeying the command, “be baptized.”  And so it happens when one who has been baptized in infancy comes to accountability and exercises personal faith in Christ, he finds a barrier across the path of obedience when he desires to take the next step.  He can not obey Christ in baptism because of something that was done to him in his unconscious infancy.  The result is that he must suppress conviction of duty, or break with the church of his parents.  God knows how many a Pedobaptist heart is the grave of a suppressed conviction of duty to obey Christ in baptism.

It can not be urged that baptism is a consecration of the child to God.  Baptist parents as truly consecrate their children to God as do others.  Baptism is a voluntary consecration of self to God, and infant baptism never can be that.  Infant baptism is a species of will worship.  It attempts to improve on the divine order.  It introduces the element of religion by proxy, and thus lifts the emphasis from individual responsibility.  It tends to a fatal dependence upon ceremony instead of a safe reliance upon personal obedience to Christ.  It is a fearful responsibility, whether assumed by a church or by an individual, to take from or add to the instructions left us in the Word of God.  It is a piece of unparalleled presumption to essay to improve on the divine order and harmony of the teachings of Christ.  One inconsistency in the interpretation of God’s Word and our duty easily begets another.  There are many members of Pedobaptist churches who neither believe in nor practice infant baptism.  They admit that it is unscriptural and subversive of genuine obedience.  Yet they remain members of churches that stand for it, inculcate it, and practice it.  In other words, they give their lives to the support and perpetuation of what they confess is unscriptural and injurious.  Possibly should a Baptist say anything to them they would reply by some allusion to “close communion,” forgetting that infant baptism is at bottom largely responsible for close communion.  The latter is largely a protest against the former.  The doom of infant baptism is the death knell of sprinkling and pouring; and when these pass away, close communion will for the most part pass with them; so that the people who thus act are supporting a practice in which they do not believe and which in turn is chiefly responsible for a practice in which they do not believe.  And thus they are doubly inconsistent.  Remove the offense and the protest is removed.  But as long as infant baptism continues, loyalty to God will set up a protest.

Let us come back to the sound principle of obedience to Christ.  It is always safe to follow him.  It is never safe to turn aside from the path marked by his blessed feet.  We do not acknowledge history or tradition, sentiment or esthetics, church or prelate as our master in things spiritual; “One is our Master” and He has said, “Follow me.”  It is his to direct, it is ours to obey.

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While doing a little research recently on B.H. Carroll, I became aware of a series of church history lectures by on Sermon Audio by Pastor Michael Phillips.  So far, I’ve listened to the lectures on Carroll and John L. Dagg, which are informative and inspiring.

Much of the message on B.H. Carroll focuses on his early life as a skeptic and the message on Dagg highlights his accomplishments amidst many infirmities, including blindness.  Carroll recounted his skepticism and conversion in My Infidelity and What Became of It.  Dagg is best known for his Manual of Theology, which is posted in two parts here and here.

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According to Bob L. Ross, Spurgeon blamed the Down Grade on Calvinism, or specifically, the “Hybrid Calvinism” that Ross says is taught by Reformed paedobaptists as well as some “Reformed Baptists” and those who are affiliated with Founders Ministries. As will soon become clear, nothing could be further from the truth, unless by “Hybrid Calvinism” Ross means baptismal regeneration. But since the Down Grade was a significant problem among Baptists and there is no evidence that either Calvinism or “Hybrid Calvinism” were the cause, it would seem obvious that there is another explanation.

In March 1887, two articles on the “Down Grade” appeared in the Sword and the Trowel. This marked the beginning of the famous Down Grade controversy that continued until Spurgeon’s death. The issue contained two articles that were issued anonymously which were authored by Robert Shindler, a Baptist pastor who was an associate of Spurgeon’s. They can be found here and here.

Generally, the articles trace the decline of orthodoxy (i.e. the Down Grade) among the dissenters. Now, as Ross notes, the first article does say that the Presbyterians were the first to “get on the downline”. But one searches it in vain to find “hybrid Calvinism” given as a cause. In the 18th Century the English Presbyterians embarked upon a path toward apostasy. This was hastened by their view that “baptized” children were to be regarded as regenerate* and entitled to participate in the Lord’s Supper so long as they were outwardly moral.  There was also a tendency to pay inordinate attention to “classical attainments” as Shindler notes. However, the Presbyterians decline was also due to their defection from Calvinism that eventually led to them embracing various heretical views, as the same article makes clear. Indeed, that theme is repeated several times in both articles. The reasons for the Presbyterians leading the way on the “downline” were attributable primarily to their ecclesiology and to a lesser extent to cultural factors that had nothing to do with why Baptists and other nonconformists eventually did the same by the 19th Century.

For some reason the following passages from the Sword and Trowel Down Grade issue were ignored in the post “The Ignored Spurgeon”:

“The General [i.e. Arminian] Baptists have yet to be noticed. And here we must draw a line hard and sharp between the Old Connexion and the New Connexion. The latter was formed in 1770, and was the result of the heterodoxy of the former. The Old Connexion generally became Arianized, and, with hardly an exception, followed on “the down grade” to Socinianism. A writer of acknowledged repute, writing at the early part of the present century, makes this rather startling statement:—
“Arminianism among the dissenters has, in general, been a cold, dry, and lifeless system, and its effects upon the heart have been commonly weak and spiritless. With the General Baptists, who avowed it to be their creed, this was remarkably the effect, and their congregations did not increase. Besides, from facts too stubborn to be bent, and too numerous to be contradicted, Arminianism has been among them the common road to Arianism and Socinianism. Their ministers and congregations were the first who openly professed these opinions; and their societies have felt the decay which these opinions have uniformly produced.”

“The writer is of opinion that the great majority of those who are sound in the doctrine of inspiration, are more or less Calvinistic in doctrine”

“Perhaps it cannot be contradicted that, in proportion as any sect recedes from Calvinism, their veneration for the Scriptures is diminished The Bible is the Calvinist’s creed.”

“Arminianism has been among them the common road to Arianism and Socinianism”

The article gives examples from the Presbyterians, Independents and Baptists that suppport the idea that generally moving from Calvinism toward Arminianism is often the first step in the Down Grade that eventually leads to heresy if not outright unbelief.

Now, I don’t know that Bro. Ross would necessarily disagree with this concept of a slippery slope from abandoning Calvinism for Arminianism and eventually to unbelief since he says he holds to “creedal Calvinism.” But the idea that a move away from Calvinism is a move away from orthodoxy is objected to strongly by those non Calvinists in the Southern Baptist Convention who have reveled in Bro. Ross’ attacks on “Hybrid Calvinism.” Indeed, at the recent John 3:16 conference we heard the opposite assertion, that a move toward Calvinism is a move away from the gospel. Ross notes that Spurgeon said that the “great evangelical truths” are far more important than Calvinism vs. Arminianism and that many evangelical Arminians were in agreement with him on the Down Grade. I agree wholeheartedly. But nonetheless the idea that a move toward Arminianism is often the first step on the downgrade was repeated several times in the Down Grade articles, and it was repeated by Spurgeon himself in the Notes from the Downgrade article from April 1887. Spurgeon and Shindler certainly didn’t blame Calvinism for the Down Grade. The following from that article appears to be a good summary of Spurgeon’s views on the matter:

We care far more for the central evangelical truths than we do for Calvinism as a system; but we believe that Calvinism has in it a conservative force which helps to hold men to the vital truth, and therefore we are sorry to see any quitting it who have once accepted it. Those who hold the eternal verities of salvation, and yet do not see all that we believe and embrace, are by no means the objects of our opposition. Our warfare is with men who are giving up the atoning sacrifice, denying the inspiration of Holy Scripture, and casting slurs upon justification by faith. The present struggle is not a debate upon the question of Calvinism or Arminianism, but of the truth of God versus the inventions of men. All who believe the gospel should unite against that “modern thought” which is its deadly enemy.

Those on both sides of the Calvinism debate would do well to pay heed to these words.

Baptismal regeneration is a worse error than evangelical Arminianism. But very few conservative Presbyterians today are guilty of believing it, certainly not to the extent that the English Presbyterians who followed Doddridge did. This is particularly true of the type of Presbyterians who are involved in things like Together for the Gospel. Now, it is clear that many “Reformed Baptists” would rather fellowship with Presbyterians rather than otherwise sound Baptists who just don’t happen to be 5 pointers. Not for nothing have they sometimes been termed “High Water Presbyterians.” As Spurgeon recognized, there are many things that confessional Presbyterians and Particular Baptists have in common. What separates us was perhaps clearer in Spurgeon’s day than ours since ecclesiology is too often a neglected subject. But it would seem that we’d be better served to refrain from selectively quoting a few statements that have the tendency to give a false impression of a work as a whole, especially given the current situation in which some are looking to blame Calvinism for the perceived ills in the SBC. Further, whether or not someone believes that regeneration precedes faith, the idea that baptized infants are always regenerated in their infancy as Ross appears to suggest in his attacks on “hybrid Calvinism” is clearly not supported by the Presbyterian’s Westminster Confession of Faith, as I believe Ross has noted in the past. Whether we agree with it or not, the idea that regeneration precedes faith really has nothing to do with paedobaptism at all. This is demonstrated by the fact that several of those who Bro. Ross cites in support of his “creedal Calvinist” views were paedobaptists themselves.

In closing, I do want to make clear how thankful we should be for Bro. Ross’ labors in publishing unabridged versions of all of Spurgeon’s works. Through the years he has also published a number of helpful books, including Old Landmarkism and the Baptists which I have recently found to be very helpful.

*The debate on how to view the so called “children of the covenant” (baptized children) has been a long running one among Presbyterians. Few conservative Presbyterians today would agree with the practice of the English Presbyterians that led to “children of the covenant” being admitted to the table without a profession of faith. Those who do believe that children should be admitted to the table without a profession of faith have recently had their views rejected by every conservative Presbyterian denomination of significance.

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1st London Baptist Confession (1644)

XXXIX BAPTlSM is an ordinance of the New Testament, given by Christ, to be dispensed upon persons professing faith, or that are made disciples; who upon profession of faith, ought to be baptized, and after to partake of the Lord’s Supper.
Matt.28:18,19; John 4:1; Mark 16:15,16; Acts 2:37.38, 8:36,37,etc.

XL THAT the way and manner of dispensing this ordinance, is dipping or plunging the body under water; it being a sign, must answer the things signified, which is, that interest the saints have in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ: And that as certainly as the body is buried under water, and risen again, so certainly shall the bodies of the saints be raised by the power of Christ, in the day of the resurrection, to reign with Christ.
Matt.3:16; Mark 15:9 reads (into Jordan) in Greek; John 3:23; Acts 8:38; Rev.1:5, 7:14; Heb.10:22; Rom.6:3,4,5.6; 1 Cor.15:28.29. The word baptizo signifies to dip or plunge (yet so as convenient garments be both upon the administrator and subject with all modesty).

Appendix to the 1646 Confession of Faith by Benjamin Cox:

Though a believer’s right to the use of the Lord’s Supper doth immediately flow from Jesus Christ apprehended and received by faith, yet in as much as all things ought to be done not only decently, but also in order, 1 Cor.14:40; and the Word holds forth this order, that disciples should be baptized, Matt.28:19; Acts 2:38, and then be taught to observe all things (that is to say. all other things) that Christ commanded the Apostles, Matt.28:20, and accordingly the Apostles first baptized disciples, and then admitted them to the use of the Supper, Acts 2:41, 42; we therefore do not admit any in the use of the Supper, nor communicate with any in the use of this ordinance, but disciples having once been Scripturally baptized, less we should have fellowship with them in their doing contrary to order.

Midland Confession of Faith (1655)

13th. That those who profess faith in Christ, and make the same appear by their fruits, are the proper subjects of Baptism. Matthew xxviii.18,19.

14th. That this baptizing is not by sprinkling, but dipping of the persons in the water, representing the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Romans vi.3,4; Colossians ii.12; Acts viii.38,39.

15th. That persons so baptized ought, by free consent, to walk together, as God shall give opportunity in distinct churches, or assemblies of Zion, continuing in the Apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, breaking of bread and prayers, as fellow-men caring for one another, according to the will of God. All these ordinances of Christ are enjoined in His Church, being to be observed till his Second Coming, which we all ought diligently to wait for.

2nd London Baptist Confession (1689)

Chapter 28: Of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

1._____ Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances of positive and sovereign institution, appointed by the Lord Jesus, the only lawgiver, to be continued in his church to the end of the world.
( Matthew 28:19, 20; 1 Corinthians 11:26 )
2._____ These holy appointments are to be administered by those only who are qualified and thereunto called, according to the commission of Christ.
( Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 4:1 )

Chapter 29: Of Baptism

1._____ Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ, to be unto the party baptized, a sign of his fellowship with him, in his death and resurrection; of his being engrafted into him; of remission of sins; and of giving up into God, through Jesus Christ, to live and walk in newness of life.
( Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2;12; Galatians 3:27; Mark 1:4; Acts 22:16; Romans 6:4 )
2._____ Those who do actually profess repentance towards God, faith in, and obedience to, our Lord Jesus Christ, are the only proper subjects of this ordinance.
( Mark 16:16; Acts 8:36, 37; Acts 2:41; Acts 8:12; Acts 18:8 )
3._____The outward element to be used in this ordinance is water, wherein the party is to be baptized, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
( Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 8:38 )
4._____Immersion, or dipping of the person in water, is necessary to the due administration of this ordinance. ( Matthew 3:16; John 3:23 )

Carter Lane Declaration–John Gill’s Confession of Faith (1757)

XI. We believe, That Baptism (Matthew 28:19, 20; 1 Cor. 11:23-26) and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances of Christ, to be continued until his second coming; and that the former is absolutely requisite to the latter; that is to say, that those (Acts 2:41 and 9:18, 26) only are to be admitted into the communion of the church, and to participate of all ordinances in it, (Mark 16:16; Acts 8:12, 36, 37 and 16:31-34 and 8:8) who upon profession of their faith, have been baptized, (Matthew 3:6, 16; John 3:23; Acts 8:38, 39; Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12) by immersion, in the name of the Father, (Matthew 28:19) and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

The Sandy Creek Confession (1758)

IX. That true believers are the only fit subjects of baptism;, and that immersion is the only mode.
X. That the church has no right to admit any but regular baptized church members to communion at the Lord’s table.

The Baptist Catechism, Charleston Association (1813)

Q. Who are the proper subjects of this ordinance? (The Lord’s Supper)
A. They who have been baptized upon a personal profession of their faith in Jesus Christ, and repentance from dead works (Acts 2:41, 42).

New Hampshire Confession (1833)

* Of a Gospel Church We believe that a visible Church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers (66), associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel (67); observing the ordinances of Christ (68); governed by his laws (69), and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by his Word (70); that its only scriptural officers are Bishops, or Pastors, and Deacons (71), whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.
* Of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper We believe that Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer (72), into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost (73); to show forth, in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life (74); that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a Church relation; and to the Lord’s Supper (75), in which the members of the Church, by the sacred use of bread and wine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ (76); preceded always by solemn self- examination (77).

Abstract of Principles–Adopted at the founding of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1858:

XV. Baptism.

Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus, obligatory upon every believer, wherein he is immersed in water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, as a sign of his fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ, of remission of sins, and of his giving himself up to God, to live and walk in newness of life. It is prerequisite to church fellowship, and to participation in the Lord’s Supper.

A Catechism of Bible Teaching by John A. Broadus (1892)

Lesson 11: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

10. Who ought to partake of the Lord’s Supper
A. Those ought to partake of the Lord’s Supper who have believed in Christ, and have been baptized, and are trying to live in obedience of Christ’s commands.

The Baptist Faith and Message (2000) of the Southern Baptist Convention echoes the language of the New Hampshire Confession and the Abstract of Principles:

Being a church ordinance, it [baptism] is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord’s Supper.

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