Scripture and the Church

Why the Biblical Landmarks Must Be Preserved & Proclaimed

By Archibald G. Brown
First, because God put them there.

From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase

Part 9 (final) of a series. Read Part 8.

Editor's Note: As Archibald Brown concluded his sermon on the landmarks of authentic Christian doctrine and life, he addressed the question, "Why must these landmarks be left in place?" The answers are as powerful and convicting today as they were in 1871. - Paul Elliott


Why must these landmarks be left in place? First, because God put them there. You will remember that I said at the commencement of the sermon I had a particular reason for wishing to give you God's truth in His own words. It was that I might be able to say to you as I do now, that all the landmarks of tonight are the Lord's. I have simply led you to them, and read, in your hearing, their inscriptions. Now surely loyalty to Him, as King, forbids our tampering with them, and affection to Him, as a Father, says "respect them."

Suppose some of these landmarks do put my pride in the dust, and condemn my previous life as unworthy of Him. Shall I refuse to acknowledge them on that account? He who is willing to save may surely say how He will save, and He who made me a Christian has a right to say what kind of a Christian He expects me to be. Besides which, remember He has committed these truths to us as a sacred trust, and we are devoid of every spark of honour if we accept aught in their place.

What would you think of a son who having a family heirloom entrusted to his care by a dying father, should soon after that father's death let the heirloom go to the pawnbroker, that he might wear some modern flashy jewelry? You would cry "shame" to him, and refuse to accept as any excuse "that the thing was old-fashioned." So with the truths we have been meditating upon this evening. They are the Lord's but committed to our keeping. Remove them not.

They are, moreover, the ramparts of the church. The doctrinal landmarks I have taken you to this evening are the church's "lines of defense." Let one go, and you imperil the next. Surrender one to the foe, and you give him a vantage ground that leaves the rest of little value. Let these truths be maintained, and his fiercest onsets can avail naught. Let them once be abandoned, and his road is open. Whilst the doctrinal landmarks are the lines of defense, the landmarks of Christian character are our power for assault. Oh when God's children rise to His standard of nonconformity and self-denial, then shall the church be well-nigh omnipotent, but not before. Her worldliness is her weakness.

I will only mention two other reasons. They are the foundations of all true happiness, and the men who have most faithfully stood by them, and most humbly paid homage to them, have been the men who have been the glory of the church. Let modern infidelity say what it will about the old-fashioned truths of Scripture unsuited to human thought, the fact yet remains that those most honored of God and most successful in reaching the masses have been those who have most rigidly kept within the landmarks of tonight. Long after all the flimsy cobwebs of human speculation have broken down by the weight of their own dust, the faith once delivered to the saints shall remain "the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth" [Romans 1:16].

The Lord raise up a generation of bold defenders of the old landmarks.

The Son of God goes forth to war,
A kingly crown to gain;
His blood-red banner streams afar
Who follows in His train?
A glorious band, the chosen few,
On whom the Spirit came;
Twelve valiant saints, their hope they knew,
And mocked the cross and shame.
A noble army, men and boys,
The matron and the maid,
Around the Savior's throne rejoice
In robes of light arrayed.
They climbed the steep ascent of heaven,
Through peril, toil, and pain;
O God, to us may grace be given
To follow in their train.


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