Alexander Campbell Heretical Periodicals (1840)






B E T H A N Y, VA. FEBRUARY, 1840. =================================================================


      THERE has been, with perhaps a single exception, an almost perfect harmony, not only in the efforts of all the brethren who plead the cause of reformation, but in the numerous periodicals that have from time to time risen up to assist us in this grandest and noblest of enterprizes. But we have seen at sundry times indications of that indiscretion which eventuated in the desolations of the Palmyra churches above referred to. Brethren have not uniformly taken their complaints to the proper person--to him against whom they are preferred. I have seen brethren carry some umbrage, or demur, or grievance, preferred against myself, to other periodicals; and, without intending it, no doubt, have given an appearance of editorial rivalries, till now some of the sects are representing us in editorial discord. My rule has been, not to notice any thing of that sort: once only have I been compelled to allude to it in self-defence. But, as a time of peace and amity is the time to prepare for storms and difficulties, I take the present opportunity of very plainly and emphatically staking out my course on all such occasions. My pages are always open to friend or foe, brother or alien, who has any thing to offer worthy of being heard, and the ability to offer it in an intelligible and respectful manner. I will not, then, notice any thing avowed, stated, or even hinted against my views, sayings, doings, measures, &c. by any brother who has not the [69] manliness, candor, and good feeling to offer it to myself. When I refuse him a hearing he is at liberty to go where he pleases, and I am at liberty to speak of him as I may think he deserves. But until I refuse him, I will regard him as a disorderly brother, in this one point at least--as a heresy-maker in fact, if not in intention.

      Some have justified a plurality of periodicals, if not on this ground, on such ground as might lead some to imagine that we wanted an opposition line. So things have appeared to me. I may have been wrong, and I trust that I have been mistaken in this conclusion. But, brethren, on my flag the old motto is still inscribed--"Call no man Master on earth; for you have but one Master, the Messiah"--and I will set my face like a flint not only against schism, but against the appearance and the causes of it. While I hold a pen on earth the brethren shall never need a second periodical to oppose me: they have mine: they shall have mine: therefore I will neither hear nor notice them in any other.

A. C.      

[The Millennial Harbinger (February 1840): 69-70.]


      Alexander Campbell's "Heretical Periodicals" was first published in The Millennial Harbinger, New Series, Vol. 4, No. 2, February 1840. The electronic version of the essay has been produced from the College Press reprint (1976) of The Millennial Harbinger, ed. Alexander Campbell (Bethany, VA: A. Campbell, 1840), pp. 69-70.

      Pagination in the electronic version has been represented by placing the page number in brackets following the last complete word on the printed page. I have let stand variations and inconsistencies in the author's (or editor's) use of italics, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling in the essay.

      Addenda and corrigenda are earnestly solicited.

Ernie Stefanik
Derry, PA

Created 25 June 1998.
Updated 7 July 2003.

Alexander Campbell Heretical Periodicals (1840)

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