This book is a history, an album, and a collection of the choicest sermons and essays. It is a history of our great leaders who have fought hard and long for Bible principles and doctrines, and by their consecrated, and, in some instances, heroic lives, have shown themselves to be worthy of the title: Pillars of Orthodoxy.
The arrangement of the book is such that the reader can study separately the lives of each of these great men and read the specimen sermon oressay without reference to any of the others. Each life sketch is complete in itself, and no one chapter is dependent on another. The life sketch of Richard Fuller, and his great sermon on the "Desire of All Nations," for instance, is a complete chapter to itself, without reference to anything else in the book. This feature enables the busy reader to read a, chapter at a time, and there is nothing lost by the long intervals between his opportunities to read. In a book where one chapter is directly connected with another, much is lost by failing to read straight through. The last chapter can be read first in this book and nothing will be lost by it.
It is always a pleasure to look into the face of a great man. There is something elevating about it. The pictures of these men, "who seem to be
pillars" (Galatians 2:9), are the very best that can be obtained. The reader, therefore, while he studies the life, may look into the faces of these men who have made so much glorious history. By that means these pillars of orthodoxy will seem to be old friends, and it will make their life work seem more real.
It can be safely assumed that the sermons and essays, published as specimens in this book, are the best that have ever been published. Some of them are published here for the first time, while others have been published and have become famous. It is a pleasure to present to the public a volume containing the very cream of the best thought from the strongest men in the Baptist denomination.
There is J. B. Moody's great essay on "Conditions of Receiving the Holy Spirit for Service," which is published here for the first time. It alone is worth the price of the book. There is J. T. Christian's strong essay on "What Baptists Have Done for the World," which is published for the first time. Then there are other sermons and essavs of great value that can be found only in this volume.
The published sermons and essays that are here reissued are, without exception, such as should be preserved, and will be valuable additions to any one's library.
Besides the aforementioned merits, may be mentioned the fact that the discussion of Scripture doctrines are such that the book, as a whole, becomes
almost a complete embodiment of the theology of the New Testament.
It begins with Dr. Dayton's sermon on the "Existence of a God" and "Christ the Savior," by Fuller; then there is discussed, by Wm. Vaughan, the "Relation of the Law and the Gospel;" then "Regeneration," by A. P. Williams; "Baptism," by T. T. Eaton; "The Holy Spirit," by J. B. Moody; "The Divinity of Christ," by W. E. Penn, and so on to the practical subjects, such as "Glad Giving," by J. A. Broadus; "The Work of Baptists An Urgent Work," by that prince of preachers, J. S. Coleman; and the book closes with J. N. Halls' discussion of the "State of the Dead."
Other great articles by S. H. Ford, J. M. Pendleton, J. R. Graves and others might have special mention. In fact it is hard to decide which one is the best, because all are of the very best, and they will have to he rated by the individual taste of the reader.
If, by sending out this book, I may be the instrument of doing good, of preserving the names and deeds of these noble men, and of helping in establishing my brethren in the faith, and of leading some wandering soul from darkness to light, I shall be well paid for the unusual labor put into its preparation. Very truly yours, Ben M. Bogard =================
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