Soldiers of Christ
Selections from the Writings of Basil Manly, Sr. and Basil Manley, Jr.
By Michael A. G. Haykin
Roger D. Duke
A. James Fuller
Foreword by R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
©2009 by Founders Press
218 pages (soft cover)
Retail Price: $17.95
Founders Press Price: $12.00
Basil Manly, Sr. and his son Basil Manly, Jr. played vital roles in shaping a number of the central institutions of the Southern Baptist community in its formative years in the nineteenth century, including the influential Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Undergirding their churchmanship was a vigorous Calvinistic Baptist piety that was expressed in sermons and tracts, hymns and confessional statements, letters and diaries, all of which are represented in this timely volume of selections from their writings. Here we have a wonderful window onto the vista of nineteenth-century Southern Baptist life with all of its glorious strengths as well as its clear failings.
"What a strange mixture of glory and corruption in fallen man; what incongruities exist in the affections and perceptions of the regenerate soul! This introduction to the piety of the Senior and Junior Basil Manly is a fascinating, moving, and shocking look at piety among Southern Baptists in the middle two-thirds of the nineteenth century. Biographical introductions and primary sources show the reader the beauty of the life harnessed to the glory of God and the bewildering sense of honor displayed in the beating of a slave, an abiding sense of the eternality and transcendent claims of the kingdom combined with a relentless southern jingoism. A carefully stated doctrinal orthodoxy co-exists and gives rise in the same hearts to the creative linguistic power of singable poetry. The reader of this volume will certainly be educated, challenged, fascinated, perplexed, and led to examine himself and take heed lest he also be tempted."
Tom J. Nettles
Professor of Historical Theology
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
"A superb collection of well-edited primary sources by two of the most formative shapers of Southern Baptist life in the nineteenth century. The brilliance, vision, passion, and faults of Basil Manly, father and son, come through with clarity in these historic documents, shedding much needed light on Southern culture and Baptist history."
Founding dean of Beeson Divinity School of Samford University and a senior editor of Christianity Today.
"Few families, if any, have ever had the influence and impact on the Southern Baptist Convention as the Manly family. The introductory and biographical essays on the lives of Basil Manly, Sr., and Basil Manly, Jr., as well as the carefully selected collections from their writings found in this volume are wonderful and much-welcomed additions to Baptist studies. This collection, however, is more than a look back for church historians. These writings found in this volume continue to speak in a fresh and powerful way to the issues and trends in our contemporary churches and culture. I am quite pleased to recommend Soldiers of Christ."
David S. Dockery
President, Union University
"The publication of these writings is long overdue and is most welcome, and the editors have done their work well. The selections are filled with insight, encouragement, and challenge. May readers catch the Manlys’ zeal for spreading the knowledge of the Savior, and their compassion for lost souls."
Gregory A. Wills
Professor of Church History
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
"The Manly family provided Southern Baptists with two generations of leadership during the nineteenth century. Basil Manly Sr. and Basil Manly Jr. were pastor-theologians and pioneers in theological education among the Baptists in the American South. This collection of their correspondence and shorter writings evidences the evangelical Calvinistic piety that buttressed their many accomplishments. Michael Haykin, James Fuller and Roger Duke have done us a service by introducing the Manlys to a new generation. Hopefully contemporary Southern Baptists and other evangelicals will drink deeply from the same well that nourished this great family's gospel efforts of a previous century."
Assistant Professor of Church History
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
About the Authors
Michael A. G. Haykin is Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky. His recent research has been focused on the English Baptist theologian Andrew Fuller.
Roger D. Duke is Assistant Professor of Religion and Communication at Baptist College of Health Services in Memphis, Tennessee.
A. James Fuller is Associate History Professor at the University of Indianapolis, Indiana. He is currently researching the life of Francis Wayland, the American Baptist educator.