CHRIST AND HIS CHURCH
Containing Great Sermons Concerning the Church of Christ, Elaborate Discussions of the Baptist View of the Lord's Supper and a Heart-searching Analysis of the Church Covenant
B. H. CARROLL, D.D., LL.D.
For Almost Thirty Years Pastor of First Baptist Church, Waco, Texas, and Founder and First President of
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas
J. W. CROWDER, A.B., D.D.
J. B. CRANFILL, M.D., LL.D.
TOM M. CRANFILL
My beloved grandson, scholar, teacher and courteous Christian gentleman, who loves to serve and bless humanity, this book is of affectionately dedicated by The Editor.
B.H. CARROLL looms larger the further we recede from his commanding personality. It would be difficult to determine which of his altitudes was most impressive, and equally difficult to prophesy which of his great qualities will longest survive in our Baptist literature.
As an interpreter of the Bible, he has had no superior in any land or in any age. As a preacher he combined the eloquence and power of the greatest men of this and former times. As a leader he had few peers and no superiors. As a kingly Christian and gentle-hearted, never-failing friend he was a man apart.
While it is impossible that any one great preacher or teacher can combine all the high qualities of all of his contemporaries or predecessors, I do not hesitate to declare that B.H. Carroll came nearer to this ideal than any man I have ever known or studied.
We find, therefore, without surprise, that his knowledge, interpretation and elucidation of Ecclesiology takes first rank in the fourteen sermons herewith presented. He traverses the entire gamut of the subject in hand, and when he has finished a discussion of any topic that is here presented, there is nothing left that can profitably be added to what he has said.
There are many readers who will find in the second chapter of this volume a long and eagerly desired answer to vital questions concerning the establishment of Christ's church. Dr. Carroll treats the subject frankly and presents his views in that loving kindness so regnant in all his discourses. The answers to these questions presented here will establish many hearts in the faith of the Gospel and will re-establish many who may have wavered in their concept of the New Testament presentation of this most important matter.
His treatment of the widely discussed question of Communion, or the Lord's Supper, is unexcelled. If there is in any Baptist literature an analysis of this important theme more informing or convincing than that found in this volume, it has never come to my attention.
Another feature of unusual quality is his analysis of our Baptist Church Covenant. Every Baptist pastor will find increased and increasing loyalty in his church membership if he will place this marvelous and penetrating discussion of our church obligations in their hands.
While no man is a competent judge of his own Christian activities, I often wonder if my humble service in the preservation of B. H. Carroll's work is not the greatest single service of my Christian life.
In the production of this volume I am deeply indebted to Professor J. W. Crowder, of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, for assistance of inestimable value. While he and I may differ on other points, we are at one concerning the greatness of B. H. Carroll and the fadeless value of his work.
The present volume of sermons is the twenty-sixth Carroll book I have been privileged to give to the world. The first was "Sermons," a volume of thirty discourses, and this was followed by "Baptists and Their Doctrines," "Evangelistic Sermons," "The River of Life," "Inspiration of the Bible;" "The Day of the Lord," "Jesus the Christ," "The Holy Spirit," "Revival Messages," "Ambitious Dreams of Youth," and "The Faith that Saves." Contemporaneous with the issuance of these books of sermons, there began to appear "The Interpretation of the English Bible," consisting of thirteen volumes. Strangely enough, the first volume of this "Interpretation" to appear was "Revelation," which was followed by "Genesis," and on through a golden galaxy of the most luminous discussions of the English Bible known to me.
And now this book is sent out on the wings of Christian love to the Baptist brotherhood near and far. If those who read it find the help and blessing in its perusal that came to me as its pages fell under my own eyes, they will in their hearts thank God for the privilege of owning and reading this book.
J. B. CRANFILL