What Is It?

By James Robinson Graves


The origin of the appellation "Old Landmarkism"—Its present strength.

Introductory—The real questions at issue between the "Liberals" and the strict or "Old Landmark" Baptists Fundamental principles upon which the "strict" policy rests axiomatically stated.

Bishop Doggett’s position touching a Christian church—The apostles built churches by a divine model—No organization should be called church unless conformed to that model—The unmistakable features of that model—1. Its origin divine—2. Visible—3. Its locality this earth.

The "ecclesia" of Christ a single congregation—Not universal, national, or provincial—Was independent of all other bodies —Therefore alone authorized to preach the gospel, elect, ordain, choose, and dismiss its own officers, receive and disciple its own members, and administer the ordinances.

The divine and inalienable rights of a Christian church—Alone commissioned to preach the gospel—To ordain her officers —To receive, discipline, and exclude members—To administer her ordinances.

The Fifth Mark of the apostolic model church—A spiritual membership; i.e., professedly regenerate—"Christ before the church, blood before water," the symbol of its faith—Those religious organizations that admit infants and the unregenerate can not be Christian churches.

Christian immersion the act appointed for the profession of gospel faith—The twelve disciples at Ephesus—The faith professed by a Catholic baptism—Campbellite—Episcopalian—Methodist—Presbyterian—Baptist—What is scriptural baptism?

The Lord’s Supper

A local church ordinance not denominational or social—Intercommunion between different religious bodies, having diverse organizations and diverse faiths, or, between "sister" churches, contrary both to the genius of scriptural church building and the symbolism of the ordinance—The inconsistencies and evils of intercommunion among Baptists.

Objections and difficulties to non-intercommunion noticed—1. Some pastors could not commune with the churches they serve, and administer the supper to—2. "Paul communed with the church at Troas"—Not established—Testimony of Alford, Barnes—The false teachers whose doctrine Paul called "leaven," and commanded the church at Corinth to purge away from the Lord’s Supper, were members of Baptist churches—Conclusion.

The inconsistencies and evils of intercommunion among Baptists.

For the maintenance of the inspiration of the prophets, as well as the divinity of Christ, the kingdom he set up must never be "broken to pieces," and the church he built must have never been prevailed against by violence or corruption—The true statement of what "Landmarkers" mean by church succession, not "apostolic succession," nor the succession of any particular church or churches, etc.

What it is not, and what it is, to be an Old Landmark Baptist—The true mission of Old Landmark Baptists.


The current pleas of liberal "Baptists" considered: 1. That preaching is not an official duty—2. That we do not recognize those societies as churches by accepting their ordinances—3. That we do not recognize those ministers as scriptural ministers, by accepting their official acts—4. That we do not indorse their erroneous doctrines and practices by affiliating with them.

How did Paul regard, and how did he teach the churches he planted, to regard teachers of false doctrine?—How did he instruct the early Christians and churches to treat them?—Associate with, or withdraw from, and avoid them?—Can it be supposed that they invited them into their pulpits, and to the Lord’s Supper, though those teachers belong to the church at Jerusalem?

Does the history of the churches of Christ establish the fact, disputed by Affiliationists, that the ancient Baptists, by whatever name called, refused to affiliate with, or in any way recognize, Pedobaptist societies as scriptural churches, or their ministers as gospel ministers?—The teachings of history.

How the "fathers" of New England Baptists regarded Pedobaptist societies and their ministers, from A. D. 1638 until 1776—not as churches or brethren, but enemies and persecutors.

Were the fathers of Virginia Baptists "Old Landmarkers?"—Did they, like too many of their descendants, receive, as valid, the immersions of Pedobaptists, and recognize them as evangelical churches?

What were the Landmarks set by the "fathers" of the Philadelphia Association, the oldest in America—Decisions concerning alien immersion—The testimony of the venerable Spencer H. Cone—Conclusion of the argument.

The inconsistencies of, and evils abetted by Baptists who practice inter-denominational affiliations.

Last words to my brethren.