Alexander Campbell The Baptists in Canada West (1855)







      THE Baptists in Canada West, as well as our brethren of the Reformation, are very generally, if not wholly, Bible Union revisionists. Their conscientious regard for the Oracles of God in this, as in all other important matters, is very transparent. They are, so far as I communed with them, weekly communionists. They assemble on the first day of the week for breaking the loaf of blessings, and are very conscientious in family duties--in bringing up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

      We found all our brethren, so far as, we conversed with them on the subject, greatly interested in the progress and prosperity of the New Version cause. Bro. James Beaty,* of Toronto, greatly devoted to the cause, became a life director of the American Bible Union while I was there, by the payment of $100. Others of our brethren, we hope, will follow his example; and those who cannot become life directors, may become life members. The cause of true Christianity will be greatly benefitted and advanced by a faithful and perspicuous translation of the Christian Scriptures.

      Evangelists of good attainments, spiritual mindedness, and ability in setting forth the claims of the Lord Jesus on the hearts of a fallen world, would there find good fields of labor. Bro. Simpson, of Bowmansville, will himself pay five hundred dollars per annum for such an evangelist as we could recommend to labor in that vicinity. Others would also aid in this great cause in that region. I should be [581] happy in recommending such a one, not now engaged in a special field; one who, body, soul and spirit, will devote his whole time and energies to the work. My beau ideal of an evangelist is not easily filled. A clear head, a pure heart, a well stored mind, a good utterance, and much energy of character, are five essential points in a workman that needs not to be ashamed; to which add modesty, gravity, and large benevolence, and then, methinks, we have a good evangelist. If any one is so modest as not to present himself, I hope some one will suggest to me where I can find such a one available. Indeed, in almost every region the demand for good evangelists is considerably in advance of the supply.

      The gravity and manifest sincerity of such of the Canadian preachers as I became acquainted with, will very favorably compare with the first class of their fellow-laborers in the United States.

      The Baptist ministry in this province will lose nothing in comparison with the Baptist ministry in the United States. They are able, grave, conscientious, and intelligent men, and well versed in the Christian Scriptures.

      There now lies on my table the "Gospel Tribune, for Alliance and Intercommunion throughout Evangelical Christendom," conducted by Elder Robert Dick, of the Baptist church in the city of Toronto. Its motto is, "Forbearing one another in love." "For one is your Master, even Christ: and all ye are brethren."

      This motto is a very strong recommendation to the patronage of all the friends of Christian union,, communion, and co-operation. Under this flag we sailed from the port of Ecclesiastic Discord more than forty years ago, but did not get out of the gulf of Schismatic theology for some seven years afterwards. But for the last thirty years, having doubled the Cape of Good Hope, we have got an open sea, a steadily favorable breeze, and are making a reasonable headway towards the haven of Christian union, communion, and co-operation, upon the Divine platform of "one body, one spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one immersion, one God and Father of all, who is above all, through all, and in you all."

      We cannot but thank the learned and able editor of the Evangelical Alliance for his generous notice of us in the September No. of the Gospel Tribune, just now placed upon our table.

      "REV. ALEXANDER, CAMPBELL IN CANADA--Having enjoyed the pleasure of hearing the two sermons which the Rev. Alex. Campbell delivered in the Bond Street Baptist Chapel, during his recent visit in Toronto; and having had, in addition, a personal interview with him, it is deemed proper to state, that the influence of the whole upon the mind of the writer, was the conviction that the parties who have so ruthlessly assailed him in Canada, are utterly unworthy of being [582] his judges, and that they would have been much better employed sitting at his feet learning wisdom from his lips; especially seeing his appearance among us was as the coming of one from the dead, the announcement of his death having been published the previous week, in nearly every paper on the continent; a fact which gives the character of malignity to the treatment he has received at the hands of a certain editor and his correspondents. The fact referred to should have protected him from the violence of denunciation of which he has been the victim, and his venerable age should have shielded him from the blustering onslaught of one who has not yet outlived the wild indiscrections of youth. Whatever be the errors of Alexander Campbell, he certainly merits, as a disciple of our Lord, the 'cup of water' which no Christian can innocently withhold, much less be guiltless while presenting, instead thereof, wormwood mingled with gall."

      In laying this notice before our readers, we do it as an act of justice to our Baptist brethren in Canada, to the editor of the Gospel Tribune, and as especially admonitory to a few such men as Messrs. Graves & Co., as it is complimentary to us. We have been much misrepresented by the "Christian Messenger," of Brantford, and that, too, by quoting our own language out of place, of which we will take some notice at a more convenient time.
A. C.      

      * Bro. Beaty is editor of the Daily Leader, the only double sheet published every day (Sundays excepted) in the province.
      The Toronto Examiner, published weekly, is edited by our brother James Lesslie, who reported our discourses in that city, not verbatim, but in substance. [581]


[TBCW 581-583.]


      Alexander Campbell's "The Baptists in Canada West" was first published in The Millennial Harbinger, Fourth Series, Vol. 5, No. 10, October, 1855. 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, 1855), pp. 581-583.

      Pagination in the electronic version has been represented by placing the page number in brackets following the last complete word on the printed page. Inconsistencies in spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and typography have been retained.

      Addenda and corrigenda are earnestly solicited.

Ernie Stefanik
Derry, PA

Created 1 December 2003.

Alexander Campbell The Baptists in Canada West (1855)

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