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Eugene J. Carter, b. 1861
Once a Methodist; Now a Baptist. Why?
Nashville, Tenn.: National Baptist Publishing Board, 1905.


Once a Methodist, Now a Baptist. Why?, is Eugene Carter's critique of the Methodist church. In particular, Carter criticizes two Methodist institutions: the hierarchy of church leadership and the baptism of infants. Using scriptural passages from the New Testament, Carter argues that the hierarchy of church leadership in the Methodist church is unreasonable and unscriptural. Carter is especially opposed to the position of bishop, which he considers to have too much power that is too often abused.

After this critique of the bishopric in the Methodist Church., Carter levels his strongest criticisms against the Methodist practice of infant baptism. Using quotations from the New Testament, as well as quoting religious scholars and preachers, Carter argues against such Methodists as Hibbard, whose "Infant Baptism" Carter strongly opposes. Carter asserts that Hibbard focuses too much upon the covenant of Abraham rather than the new covenant of Jesus. To support his argument against the Methodist practice of infant Baptism, Carter also analyses Greek and Latin works and borrows from contemporary popularly printed denominational tracts.

Included in this text is Rev. R. H. Boyd's essay, "What Baptists Believe and Practice." This essay complements Carter's writings by outlining the Articles of Faith that Boyd believes all Baptist churches should adopt. These include Scriptures, True God, Justification, The Freeness of Salvation, Regeneration, and Baptism and the Lord's Supper, to name a few.

Carter's Once a Baptist also includes essays about the practice of baptism and the Baptist Church by J. T. Brown, E. M. Brawley, R. H. Boyd, and Neander N. Carter. Of particular interest is Boyd's handbook, "National Baptist Pastor's Guide," which provides an outline of the structure of the Baptist church in the United States. It includes such information as how to organize a Baptist church, the powers and duties of pastors, licensure and ordination of preachers, program for the dedication of a church, pastoral care, baptisms, funerals, various meetings, and weddings. It offers valuable information about the prescribed duties and activities of church officers in the Baptist church in the late nineteenth century.

Karen Ruffle

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