American Baptist – It has appeared to me for some time past that “American Presbyterian,” “American Methodist,” or almost any other name than “Baptist,” would be much more appropriate for that periodical. Heretofore it has been considered, by Baptists at least, that all who professed this name, held to, and contended for the doctrine of the bible; but it does seem that the paper in question, as well as many others, although very tenacious of the ordinance of baptism has given up every other thing commanded for the government of Christ’s house upon earth and substituted therefore the inventions and traditions of men; and I see no good reason why it should not abandon this with the rest.
Let any impartial reader compare the matter contained in this paper, with that in the N. Y. Observer, and he will find them in perfect union in every thing except the ordinance of baptism – each has its Missionary department, Temperance department, &c. Now it strikes me that such a paper is calculated to do much more harm to the cause of truth, than if it did not assume to be what it is not. Many Baptists may be induced to take and read it, for the very reason that it bears the name of a Baptist publication; whereas if it was divested of the name, they would reject the doctrine set forth in it; but coming as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, they are led by it into error. When we read the productions of any denomination that notoriously holds false doctrine, we expect to meet with error and consequently are not deceived by it; but when Baptists send forth sentiments under that name, those that have looked upon them as adhering to the doctrines of the bible re very liable to be deceived by them, and should read them with the same caution that they would if they were called by any other name. Hence I should prefer to see them abandon the name, when they depart from the doctrine; for if error is to be propogated, let the reproach rest where it belongs; let it not be promulgated by those professing the name of Baptists.
– While we fully agree with the views of our correspondent W,’ in regard to the cognomen of American Baptist, we would rejoice if we were prepared to say that this was the only prostitution of the name of Baptist. It is but too obviously true, that the same remarks will apply with equal force to nearly all the papers professing to be devoted to the Baptist cause in America. – Ed.
Signs of the Times
Volume 3, No. 21
October 14, 1835