Charles Buck's Theological Dictionary

87 Doctrine


The principles or positions of any sect or master. As the doctrines of the Bible are the first principles and the foundation of religion, they should be carefully examined and well understood. The Scriptures present us with a copious fund of evangelic truth, which, though it has not the form of a regular system, yet its parts are such, that, when united, make the most complete body of doctrine that we can possibly have. Every Christian, but divines especially, should make this their study, because all the various doctrines should be insisted on in public, and explained to the people. It is not, however, as some suppose, to fill up every part of a minister’s sermon, but considered as the basis upon which the practical part is to be built. Some of the divines in the last century overcharged their discourses with doctrine, especially Dr. Owen and Dr. Goodwin. It was common in that day to make thirty or forty remarks before the immediate consideration of the text, each of which was just introduced, and which, if enlarged on, would have afforded matter enough for a whole sermon. A wise preacher will join doctrine and practice together.

Doctrines, though, abused by some, yet, properly considered, will influence the heart and life. Thus the idea of God’s sovereignty excites submission; his power and justice promote fear; his holiness, humility and purity; his goodness, a ground of hope; his love excites joy; the obscurity of his providence requires patience; his faithfulness, confidence. &c.

Charles Buck (1771-1815) was an English Independent minister, best known for the publication of his “Theological Dictionary”. According to the “Dictionary of National Biography”, a Particular Baptist minister named John C. Ryland (1723-1792) assisted Buck by writing many of the articles for the aforementioned publication. One may conclude, based not only Buck’s admiration for his friend Ryland, but also on the entries in his Theological Dictionary, that he stood head and shoulders with the High-Calvinists of his day.

Charles Buck on the Biblical Covenants (Complete)
Charles Buck's Theological Dictionary