Free Grace Press
The Glory of a True Church
4.75" x 7"
Baptist Reprints Series
Originally titled: The Glory of a True Church, And its Discipline Displayed Wherein a true Gospel--Church is described. Together With the power of the Keys, and who are to be let in, and who to Be shut out.
Originally published in 1697
Benjamin Keach (1640-1704) was born in Stokeham, England. He began preaching at age 18. By 28 years of age, he became the pastor of the church at Horse-lie-down, Southwick: which became the Metropolitan Tabernacle where Charles Spurgeon ministered. Keach was instrumental in introducing hymns into worship.
Written originally at the request of his members, this book met one of the outstanding needs of the English Particular Baptists at the end of the seventeenth century. Having survived some thirty turbulent years of persecution, they needed some biblical direction as to how to conduct their life together as gathered churches. Benjamin Keach’s book met this need. He was concerned for the corporate life of the people of God, that they understood who they were, how their life was to be ordered by the word of Christ, and how they were to fulfill their responsibilities as members of the church. He emphasized the glory of the church—a much-needed emphasis in the early decades of the twenty-first century when that glory has been so tarnished. Keach believed that God had invested his glory into the churches of Christ and in their authority and power. That glory derived from the head of the body, the Lord Jesus Christ, and was to be displayed not only in the way the church ordered its affairs, but also by the holiness of each of the members, by their sincere love and prayers for one another, and by their bearing with one another’s burdens and weaknesses.
"Church discipline was to be put into practice when the purity of the church was threatened by false teaching or scandalous conduct among its members. This is a very welcome addition to those works of Keach which are in the process of being republished. Baptists today would do well to consider carefully what Keach had to say and to assess whether what he said is not as relevant today as it was in the 1690s."
—Austin Walker, a pastor of Maidenbower Baptist Church, Crawley, UK, and author of The Excellent Benjamin Keach
"Because of their historical context at the beginning of the Baptist movement, the seventeenth-century English Baptists thought deeply about the nature of the church. Their writings are an important corrective to the lackadaisical approach taken by many in our day. Benjamin Keach's The Glory of a True Church is the climax of the seventeenth-century Baptist literature on the church. It remains a faithful guide for pastors and churches to aid them in a recovering of a biblical understanding of the church."
—G. Stephen Weaver, Jr., PhD, Senior Pastor, Farmdale Baptist Church
"The purpose, function, discipline, and problems of the local church have not changed since Benjamin Keach wrote this excellent work in the late seventeenth century. That is why I love it so much and think it is such a valuable resource for Christians today. Keach believed that the church is beautiful, and that church membership is to be taken seriously. I agree! My prayer is that all true Christians will come to see the glory of a true church."
—Jeffrey D. Johnson, D.Min, Author of The Church: Why Bother?
"Without question, Benjamin Keach was the greatest theologian among Baptists of the second generation. He was also a faithful pastor who cared deeply for the church and longed to see it ordered according to God’s revealed will. In this little tract, The Glory of a True Church, Keach brilliantly, clearly, and succinctly explains the nature of church polity as well as regular and orderly church discipline. I highly recommend it to scholars, pastors, and laymen alike!"
—Tom Hicks, PhD, A pastor of Morningview Baptist Church