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A. S. Hayden
Early History of the Disciples (1875)


C H A P T E R   V.

Churches planted in Salem, Canfield, and Austintown--John
      Henry--Origin of the church in Braceville--Sketch of Marcus
      Bosworth--Biography of Jacob Osborne.

B RO. SCOTT began his great work in Salem, Columbiana County, in April, 1828, going from his stirring meetings in Austintown and adjacent regions. Prejudice preceded him, raised by the misrepresentations of Rev. Vallandigham, a Presbyterian minister, of New Lisbon, the father of Hon. C. L. Vallandigham, of later and wider notoriety. He came and warned the people against that "apostate" Scott; declaring that he gave out that he would forgive the sins of the people, with other statements equally false and ridiculous. A. G. Hayden, residing in the vicinity of Salem, fell in with Scott at the residence of his father, Samuel Hayden, in Youngstown. By him Scott sent an appointment to Salem.

      He came, and opened to a full house the watch-cry of the campaign, the word of the Lord and pentecost. It was heard with mingled delight, wonder and doubt. People rapidly took sides, some in favor, some against the new doctrines, as many regarded them. "Why was this not found out before?" was the cry of many. "I know not," it was replied, "except that the time is only just now come for these truths, so long hid from our eyes, to be found out." "But if it is true," said others, "our preachers would have seen it long ago; it would not have been left for Campbell and [116] Scott to find it out at this day." "Yes," it was answered, "just so objected all the Catholic clergy to Luther and the old reformers."

      The news spread, and converts were multiplied. In ten days he baptized forty souls. The leading Baptists were delighted. Polly Strawn, David Gaskill, and others, came forward with all their influence in favor of the work. Singing and prayer till midnight was heard in many dwellings. The converts were received to baptism on the confession of their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, without the usual routine of telling an "experience," and a vote of the church.

      On a set day, Scott called them all forward to be received as members of the church. After many exhortations, the question was propounded to the church for the reception of the converts into fellowship. It was unanimously responded to in the affirmative; and this great effort, crowned with such blissful results, was about to be sealed up in peace and complete harmony. No creed had been presented for the converts to subscribe. They were baptized as converts to Christ; and in this solemn ordinance they had, as the apostles expressed it, "put on Christ;" to walk in him in all the experiences and duties of a new life. None had demurred, and Scott, feeling that Christianity had now completely triumphed over party, exclaimed, "Who will now say there is a Baptist Church in Salem?"

      This gave the alarm. Some of the old leaders thought he was building up the Baptist Church, while in reality he was employed in a much broader and diviner work, that of bringing sinners unto Christ [117] Jesus, regardless of party names, lines, or limits. The dear name and cherished forms could not be relinquished. Then followed a reaction--a revolution. Then came conclaves, conferences, private and protracted. Mrs. Strawn, a lady of remarkable ability, and a tactician of much shrewdness, was especially active in this crisis. Some Presbyterians sympathized and aided to push the car backward. The old regime was restored, and the order was issued that all the new members must appear on church-meeting-day, relate a "Christian experience," and come in by the regular way, as members of the regular Baptist Church.

      This was all strange and unexpected. The lambs wanted a sheltering fold. Synods and investigation committees were to them unfamiliar and repulsive. They were disheartened. They scattered; some went into other churches, some gave up in sorrow, a few submitted to the orders in counsel, and entered by that door into that fold.

      Out of this action arose the "Phillips Church," three miles south of Salem. Robert P. Phillips, a man of strong will, and an influential citizen, learned the gospel of Scott, and, with his family, was among the converts. The difference between the gospel and all party unions was clear as a sunbeam to him; and with an open protest against putting a yoke on the disciples, he and others drew off and stood aloof. But they were far from giving up their faith and hope. He opened his own house where the lambs found shelter. Preachers came: Geo. W. Lucy, J. E. Gaston, J. H. Jones, Whitacre, and many others; and soon a light sprang up which has continued to this [118] day. Hayden could sing, and soon he was called to be a leader. They organized as a church in the summer of 1829. The unstinted hospitality of Phillips and other brethren, for many years made a home for the itinerant proclaimers of the word of life; and aided by Hubbard, Allerton, Finch, Hartzel, and Schaeffer, from Deerfield; by Hayden, Henry, Bosworth, and Applegate, and not a little by George Pow, of Green, this united and affectionate band of Christians became a strong and ruling church. It would take a page to record all who have reaped in this field, and who carry the kindnesses of this church in happy memory. In later years, H. Reeves and S. B. Teagarden have labored there with success. With Bro. White as associate overseer, and such men as Abram Shinn as deacons, this church has won a reputation for "durable riches and righteousness."

      "Every wise woman buildeth her house," says Solomon. This church has had a number of "wise women," to whom is due no small share of the credit of building up the Lord's house. To their prudence, piety, sound judgment, and perseverance, much more is owing than will be known till the day of judgment.

      After a few years the effort was renewed in Salem, and a church established. Bro. Geo. Pow rendered effective service in planting it, and Alexander Pow also, who is a pillar in the congregation. The brethren, with enlightened liberality, have erected a large, substantial and commodious house. The congregation, under the care of Bro. Spindler, ranks among the most permanent of the churches.

      Bro. Geo. Pow, of Green, was long a leader and a stay of the churches in Columbiana County. He [119] was a good scholar, and endowed with a breadth of good sense and candor, which made him superior in counsel. Critically read in literature, and especially in the Holy Scriptures, his speech was remarkable for correctness and richness of instruction. His recent death has left a void which a generation will not repair. The church in Green was much indebted to his wisdom for the strength and prosperity to which it attained.


      This church was formed January 12th 1822, in David Hay's dwelling-house. Thomas Miller was the officiating minister. Deacon Samuel Hayden, William Hayden, and John Lane, from the church of Youngstown, and Elijah Canfield, Palmyra, were the counsel. The church was moderatively Calvinistic; progressive in spirit. The principal members were David Hays, William Dean, with their families, H. Edsell, Turner, Wood, and Myron Sackett.

      In June, 1829, the following entry is made in the church record:

      "The Baptist Church, constituted in 1822, so continued till 1829. During this time, the brethren in attending to the Word of God in search of truth, began to doubt the propriety of having creeds, or articles of faith, as bonds of church fellowship. The result was, throwing them away as useless, believing the Scriptures sufficient to make us wise unto salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. We adopt them as our rule of faith and practice."

      In the winter of 1827-8, Bro. Scott opened, at Simmons Sackett's, the plea of the ancient gospel. The second chapter of Acts, the opening of the [120] kingdom was his subject. He simplified, and enforced it so pointedly that all saw, and most, on examination, accepted the truth. He showed that all parties have the elements of the gospel but differently arranged; and that as the same letters would spell different words, according to the arrangement of them, so these gospel themes, set forth in one order, formed one theory on which one sect was built; in another order arose another sect. He contended ably for the restoration of the true, original, apostolic order of them, which would restore to the church the ancient gospel as preached by the apostles.

      The interest became an excitement. All tongues were set loose in investigation, in defense, or in opposition; which foreshadowed good results. Nothing so disastrous to the sailor as a dead calm. Let the vessel heave under a tempest rather. The Bibles were looked up, the dust brushed off, and the people began to read. "I do n't believe the preacher read that Scripture right." "My Bible does not read that way," says another. The book is opened, and lo! there stand the very words! In the first gospel sermon, too--the model sermon--as what "began at Jerusalem" was to be "preached to the ends of the earth." The air was thick with rumors of a "new religion," a "new Bible," and all sorts of injurious, and even slanderous imputations--so new had become the things which are as old as the days of the apostles.

      Scott's sermons gave a mighty impulse to the work. Many converts were gained for Christ. Some of the old members received them with caution, but the church made them welcome, and, ere long, by the [121] prudent exercise of Christian forbearance, they were, like "kindred drops," all "mingled into one."

      Mr. Scott was often eccentric; but he possessed the talent to sustain himself and turn his eccentricity to good account. On one occasion, when the whole country around was almost tremulous with the excited state of feeling, he managed to slip into the assembly unobserved, and seating himself far back with his cloak well about his face, and his broad-brimmed hat well drawn down, he sat listening to the remarks of the assembling multitude. The reader must remember, as an excuse for the darkness of the room, that the candle was the "light of other days." The illuminating oil still lay concealed in God's great cellar. One man says, in a low tone: "What do you think of Scott?" without waiting a reply, "I never heard such a preacher; he is hard on the sects, but he has the Bible on his tongue's end." Another: "I never read such things in the Bible as he is telling us." His quick ear was catching these "droppings" of the people. The room became packed. "Do you think the preacher is coming?" inquired one. "I wonder if he will not disappoint us to-night?"

      Then rising to full position, still sitting on his seat, laying back his cloak and removing his hat, Scott cried out in his magnificent voice, "And what went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? But what went ye out to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet." Matt. xi. Then with a sweep, and brilliancy, and point that astonished and instructed all, he discoursed on the ministry of John the [122] Baptist; the preparation of the gospel; the introduction of Jesus by him to the Jewish nation; and carried his audience up to the crucifixion, the resurrection and coronation of the Lord of glory, and the descent on Pentecost of the Holy Spirit, with the grand events of that "notable day of the Lord." It is needless to pause and describe the wonderful effect of this sudden outburst and powerful rehearsal of the gospel upon his astonished auditors.

      There were members here of sound judgment, conservative, but progressive and thoroughly settled in the conviction that the Holy Scriptures were a perfect as well as inspired guide. It is not surprising that with such a people the preaching of Scott was held under cautious examination. All opposition subsided, however, when they saw the new converts "full of joy and the Holy Spirit," and when they saw the Scripture language warranted the practice introduced by the preacher. Such men as the Deans--father and sons--David Hays and Myron Sacket were just the men for a new movement; slow to start, but firm as a rock when convinced. These, with the devoted Ezra Leonard, and a number of women, such as those of whom Paul makes honorable mention, formed a society as firm and intelligent as any on the Reserve.

      It is to be regretted that history, dealing chiefly with the outward, sensible phenomena of a movement, fails too frequently in presenting the subjective part--the mental and emotional struggles--in which the visible and tangible facts originate. These heart conflicts and battles of conscience, are often in the highest degree instructive. Fortunately we are able [123] to give something of this inner history of one of these original members of the church in Canfield:

      Myron Sacket descended from Presbyterian ancestry, in Warren, Ct. He was early in Ohio. He helped to build the first meeting-house in the center of Canfield, which was erected by the people of his ancestral faith, and in which he piously hoped to be a life worshiper. In 1817, he was married to Miss Orpha Dean, of Baptist principles, and equally conscientious. The discrepancy in their views was a trouble to them; and they sought to reconcile the disagreement, each honestly supposing the other would yield to increased light. He brought pamphlets and sermons, which she read and considered; she resorted to the word of the Lord in its plain teaching on the subject of baptism, and the subjects strictly entitled to it. Sacket was disinclined to discussion, a man of quiet and peaceable, though of very firm habits of mind. He became so aroused to the investigation that he opened his Bible anew. He read the New Testament twice through to find infant baptism, noting carefully every thing bearing on the subject. Many times he turned back and re-read, fearing he might have passed by it. Disappointed and grieved, yet loving the truth rather than the accepted convictions of early training, he resolved now to read it for a far different purpose--which was to learn what are the teachings of the Word of God on the subject. The result was a clear and satisfied conviction that the New Testament contains no trace or evidence of authority for that practice. The struggle was hard. The very firmness of the man, which made him a pillar for long years afterward, made the transition difficult. But the conclusion, finally reached, was never reversed nor regretted. Both himself and wife, now one in faith as well as in matrimonial union, put on Christ in his own holy baptism, on the same day. This was in 1819. [124]

      After Bro. Sacket had accepted Baptist principles, an uncle from Connecticut asked him how he could degenerate from the principles of his parental belief to unite with the Baptists, a people of much lower grade of learning and position? His answer was significant: "I read and carefully studied the Word of God for light, and finding no support for those principles I was compelled to give them up."

      Few men ever rendered more efficient and substantial support to the cause of the primitive gospel. His house was long a home for the people of God. The terms, "meekness and fear," applied justly to him. He was slow to accept the light which Scott brought, but step by step he came with the wealth of a ripe Christian experience and sound judgment; and was ever afterward unfaltering in its support.

      This church continued to meet in the north-west part of the township, where they built a comfortable meeting-house. At this period, William Hayden was a member of it, though his residence was in Austintown. In the month of May, 1828, the congregation, after full proof of his abilities in public speaking, and recognizing his zeal and knowledge of the Scriptures, gave him their sanction and approval as a minister of the gospel. Thus licensed and commended to other churches, he gave himself more diligently to the work. The eminence which he subsequently attained, justified this action, and vindicated their discernment of his improvable gifts.

      In the same vicinity there was forming a community known as "Bible Christians." Wm. Schooley, living in Salem, was their principal preacher. These two churches--the "Christians" and the Disciples--became better acquainted; and Bro. Schooley [125] himself having united with the Disciples in Salem, these communities united as one brotherhood in Christ; thus giving a practical illustration of the union and co-operation of Christians on the original foundation. The Flicks, the Shattoes and all, about twenty, were enrolled with the Disciples, as one people in Christ. This event took place January 23, 1830.

      This church was never very numerous, about seventy being the highest number. But they kept up a respectable visibility many years. Their record for the great yearly meetings of the Disciples of the county, is highly honorable. Like many others, she has brought multitudes of converts to the fold of Christ, and has sent out her sons and daughters to carry on the good work in other lands. The church in Center, Rock County, Wisconsin, is a planting from Canfield. The Parmelys, the Deans, Orsemus and his family, while weakening this by their removal, greatly strengthened that church.

      In the fall of 1827, some time after his appointment as the evangelist, this church moved Bro. Scott's family into their midst, and contributed liberally to their support. Scott bought, and built a house, intending this as a permanent residence. But his changing field of labor altered his plans. The home talent of the church has always been her chief reliance for edification. But for many years she had the labors occasionally, and sometimes statedly, of the preachers of the county.

      As several families resided at and near the center of the township, the church gave consent for them to form a separate congregation. Accordingly, in the spring of 1847, about twenty associated themselves [126] together in that relation. They were organized by Bro. J. W. Lanphear. J. M. Caldwell and Andrew Flick were elders; Walter Clark and John Flick, deacons. They were aided by the labors of Brethren Pow, Applegate, Belton, Phillips, John Errett, Dr. Hillock, White, F. M. Green, Van Horn, and Edwin Rogers.

      The church, in the north-west part of the township, reduced by removals--the old members having all gone over the river into the promised land--after struggling in feebleness for awhile resolved to unite with the body at the center. This union was effected October 6, 1867.


was constituted June 16, 1828. The remains of the Baptist church, once flourishing, lay in a waste and decaying condition over portions of Youngstown and Austintown. In the winter of 1816, a revival occurred under the labors of Elder Joshua Woodworth, a humble and devoted minister. About forty were converted; among the converts were William Hayden, then a youth, and others, still younger, of the same family. The counselors of the church thought it necessary to have the young converts instructed in the "doctrines" of the gospel, "election," and kindred themes. So the faithful minister, loved as a father, was dismissed, and Wm. West was called. He was more learned, but straight, cold, Calvinistic. Under his reign the kingdom was dissolved. Zeal languished under doctrinal sermons.--Discipline went by rule rather than by love. Covenant meetings became courts. Appeals were taken, and [127] counsels called. The lambs fled from the fold; conversions ceased; the light grew dim, and the church had but a name to live. Elder West was still in the community when Bro. Scott opened the gospel plea there, and opposed his work.

      The following sketch of affairs there is from the pen of Walter Scott:

      "When called about two years ago, I found the church in a state of entire prostration. For four years they had not eaten the Lord's Supper; all was delinquency--a perfect web of wickedness, the like of which I never had seen. It was an involved labyrinth of personal and family quarrels. For about three weeks I strove to disentangle the sincere-hearted, but in vain. Strife is like the lettings out of water--what is spilt is lost. When the threads and filaments of a quarrel have forced themselves like waves over the whole body ecclesiastic, that body should be dissolved. We accordingly looked upon this institution to be entirely lost, and began to preach the ancient gospel--the word of the Lord as a hammer and a fire. All hearts were immediately broken or burnt; and of that sinful people there have been immersed nearly one hundred and fifty individuals. These have become a church, and are walking in the commandments and ordinances of the Lord, blameless, as I hope. The Scriptures are their sole authority, and they have three bishops, bold in the Lord Jesus, and five deacons."

      The religious awakening which restored the church, or rather built it anew on apostolic foundations, began in Austintown, in February, 1828, soon after the great meeting in Warren. A young man by the name of Asa Jones became serious, and, expressing a wish to become a Christian, Bro. Bentley was sent for. He preached in the school-house where William [128] Hayden was teaching. When the sermon closed, an opportunity being offered, the young man arose, declared his purposes, expressed much joy in believing, and appealed to his friends to follow him to Jesus. Next day, Bro. Bentley preached and baptized this person and eight others. John Henry and his wife were of the number.

      Bentley returned home, but a work had commenced which was soon to become wide and general. The converts were clear in their conversion, and active. William Hayden was greatly delighted by the conversion of his particular associate and neighbor, John Henry, a man of great weight in the community, and possessed of abilities, which Hayden clearly foresaw would be likely to turn to much usefulness.

      About three weeks after this, Scott sent an appointment to preach in the "Jones' school-house." He came Wednesday the 19th of March. A full house was in waiting. He hurried his audience to the line of decision, classing all the world in two parties--Christ's and the devil's. He laid the foundations of Christ's kingdom in the grand affair of his death, burial, resurrection, ascension, coronation, and the inauguration of his reign on earth on the day of Pentecost. Among the startling utterances of that sermon, he said: "We can have a revival of religion whenever we want it! Strange! strangely marvelous! Differing wide as the heavens from all we had ever heard! Can we obtain this glorious prize--regeneration, pardon, and peace?" Thoughts hurried to and fro, as Scott talked on and showed that Christ's work was finished, his sacrifice complete, [129] the "oxen, and fatlings were killed," the table was spread, "all things are now ready," and had been ready for eighteen hundred years--nothing now but for sinners to hear, and come, and find a welcome to salvation by the Master of the feast.

      This was gospel. "Why have I been waiting so long? why has no one ever told me that before?" Thus reasoning and feeling, five came to the decision and yielded. That night the crowd was increased; and next day, March 20th twelve of us were by his hands lifted into the kingdom.

      The whole country was in commotion. Converts came at almost every meeting. But the excitement was to become higher, and to penetrate a new class of society, as I proceed to relate.


      While Mr. Raines was on his tour preaching, and previous to his baptism by Bro. Williams, he came to Austintown. It was in April. He already had a high reputation, especially among the Restorationists, who were numerous. News circulated that he was coming to preach his renunciation of Universalism. A crowd assembled and filled the house. He opened on the mission of the apostles as the embassadors of Jesus Christ, the authorized expounders of his will. Their preaching was the commission carried out according to Christ's will and intention; as they were not only commissioned by him, but miraculously assisted by the Holy Spirit, so that their preaching, as reported in the book of Acts, is the full, complete, authoritative guide in preaching the gospel, and receiving sinners to the church; that as they, in the [130] opening of their mission on pentecost, and always afterward throughout the world, preached to the believers that they should repent and be baptized, in the name of Christ, for the remission of sins; this is our model to the end of time, and, consequently, no preaching which differs from this model has any authority in the Word of God. He concluded his long and argumentative discourse in these words:

      "My friends, I find myself in a strait; I am shut up in a dilemma; and I can see no way out, with the Word of God in my hand, but through the obedience of faith in baptism. If any of you can see any other, I implore you in the name of my Master to show it to me."

      The sensation, which was perceptible in the beginning of the sermon, grew in intensity as he proceeded, till it heightened to a tumult. As soon as the meeting closed, persons who had come in big wagons, and had brought their chairs into the house for seats, jerked up their chairs, started over the benches, and hurried to their homes. The medicine was working. The patients were bilious. The remedy was heroic. Raines was calm. The Disciples were happy. The Universalists, who composed the larger part of the assembly, were disappointed, grieved and chagrined. Their champion had left them and gone over to this new and specious heresy. We can not have it thus; we will not stop and reason calmly with him and show him his error, as he earnestly besought us. "To your tents, O Israel!" The very horses felt a touch of the excitement of their drivers!

      That discourse worked miracles; that is, if conversion, as we had been taught, was in every case a miracle. It had driven nails in sure places, "as nails [131] fastened by the master of assemblies." Eccl. xii: 11. William Hayden preached in the afternoon the same day, and baptized several converts.

      The church of Austintown was one of the first in north-eastern Ohio, built on "the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner." The day appointed for collecting the disciples as a church of Christ was fair, and a large assembly convened. Scott, Bentley, and Raines were present. After a discourse in the house, we were called out upon the green in front of it. Here all the disciples, one hundred and ten in number, were disposed in a large circle. A space was open on one side of about twelve feet, in which stood the preachers. Thus, each member, with his right hand clasping the left of the one next him, so stood, that he could see all the rest, and also the brethren to whom we owed so much under Christ, and who were, in the most solemn manner, about to form and declare us an organized church. Each of the preachers, in turn, addressed us in the most earnest exhortation, in the things pertaining to the duties of this new relation, while all stood uncovered under the open canopy of heaven. Then followed a prayer by Bro. Scott, imploring blessings unbounded and unending from the divine Head upon every member of his mystic body. Then the hymn:

"Lo! he comes, with clouds descending,
Once for favored sinners slain,"

led by Hayden and Henry, was sung with raptures of joy. So began the church of Austintown. It was placed under the care of William Hayden. Bro. Henry was soon called to his side; and not long [132] after, Alexander Spears was chosen to the eldership.


      To few men has it been grafted to gain such a celebrity in so short a time as was won by this gifted man. His public ministry was only a little over thirteen years, in which time his personal labors extended from central Ohio to central Pennsylvania, and into Virginia; and his fame spanned the continent. In all that constitutes brilliancy, dash and boldness, he was a very hero. He was born in Chartiers township, Washington County, Pa., October 1, 1797. It is declared of him that he sung tunes when not a year old, but he did not talk till he was four. He came with his father, Francis Henry, to Poland, Ohio, April, 1803. He married Miss Jane Kyle, January 10, 1822, and settled on new lands in Austintown the next spring.

      He was a leader in every thing he undertook. In the days of military training, he was music-major of regiments. A few blasts of his bugle would start up every soldier, and the exact time of his movement infused martial valor into all around. When he turned to the Lord he quite abandoned this practice, and turned his musical talents, which were of a high order and well trained, to gather and lead the bannered hosts of the Lord. As a farmer he did more work than any other, save one man. He excepted William Hayden. He played on nine kinds of instruments; his favorites were the violin and the clarionet.

      He was trained under the strictest rules of Presbyterianism. As the "Christian Baptist" appeared, William Hayden passed the numbers over to the hands of his friend Henry, whose penetrating mind grasped the great principles it unfolded. He was ripened for the sickle of truth, so that when Bentley came, he and his faithful wife were among the converts--the first fruits of a large ingathering. The writer has the most vivid recollection of the scene, as the excellent [133] Bentley, tall and venerable, led this man of commanding form, who stood six feet two inches, then in his thirty-first year, and laid him beneath the waters of baptism after the example of the Lord.

      He gave himself at once to the diligent study of the Bible. He read little else, he studied nothing else; except, perhaps, church history. His taste was for history, and his sermons were largely historic recitals of the life and work of Christ, and the preaching of the apostles, with historic illustration from the Old Testament, delivered in so fresh, forcible, and fluent a style, that as a speaker, few equaled him in instructive and entertaining discourse. But the power of his sermons was much in the authority with which they were spoken. Without any of the studied arts of oratory, he often moved on great assemblies with a mastery that chained attention for two hours. Without rhetoric, his speech abounded in fine tropes, especially in metaphors; and not unfrequently he arose to a pomp of diction equaled only by the finest orators.

      In person he was tall, rather spare, with sandy complexion and sharp features, quick in movement, as in the operations of his mind, and when he walked he planted his feet with a tread which showed the firmness of the man. Cheerful, at times almost to levity, very social, kind hearted, and with wit like a polished rapier, whatever "his hand found to do he did with his might." He was in Smithfield, Jefferson County, when he was informed by a special messenger, March 12th, of the supposed fatal sickness of his wife. He would have started after the night meeting for home, but friends interfering, he rested a time. Before day dawned he was in his saddle, and that night, the 13th, he was at home; a distance of seventy miles. The Yellow Creek was so high it nearly swam his horse. He watched his wife most assiduously, and saw her recovery; then fell a victim to the same disease, typhoid fever, after sixteen days' sickness, May 1, 1844. [134]

      His work is interwoven with the groundwork of this cause through the whole Western Reserve. Though uncultured, he was not rude. He was high-minded and honorable, and immensely popular with the people. In the early day he and Mr. Campbell met at the Plains-meeting-house, near Minerva. Many had never seen either of them. Henry preached in the morning, and the people thought it was Campbell. After an interval Mr. Campbell preached, and many of the hearers said: "We wish that man would sit down, and let Campbell get up, for he knows how to preach!"

      There was lamentation in all the churches when he died. The feeling is well remembered and distinctly defined. It was less a murmuring, than a deep, sad, silent grief. Bro. Campbell wrote of him at the time: "Bro. John Henry, as a preacher of a particular order of preachers, had no equal--no superior. He was not only mighty in the Scriptures as a preacher and teacher, but was also eminently exemplary in the social virtues of Christianity. His praise is in all the churches in the Western Reserve and circumjacent country."a

      He, was bold, brave, fearless, cheerful and animated; the life of society, humble, generous, and of unfeigned faith; of great power, of tremendous force, and mighty and eloquent in the Scriptures; he "hewed Agag in pieces, and slew kings in the day of his wrath." All prized and honored him, and the remembrance of him stirs the fainting purpose to unbounded courage. Hundreds yet remember him, as with more prowess than the Knights of St. John, he would return from a successful charge, victor over legions of the king's enemies; and the blasts of his triumph gave courage to all the faint-hearted. Though not always discreet, his bravery was of the first quality. He never lifted his spear but in victory. His enemies gathered near to behold the agile dexterity and massive power with which he felled to the ground the foes of God. [135]

      His memory was as capacious as the Mediterranean. Eminently was he, as the orator has it, the "man of one book." The Bible was his store-house, his treasury, his exhaustless fountain. He read it morning, at noon and night, and all he ever read he remembered. He could repeat it by chapters and by books. It was his book of history, of archæology, of travels, of biography, of incident, event and anecdote, of moral power and religious persuasion. Nothing in society for which he found not a counterpoint in that Daguerrean gallery of all truth, all duty, all motive.

      Brief and brilliant his career. The most loved him--all beheld him with admiration. All love to cherish and honor his memory, while within a narrower circle, sacred and still as where mourners move, he is the idol of an affection next akin to the feeling that worships.

      Forty-seven years the church in Austintown has stood against all the forces arrayed against it. It has never ceased to meet, except by voluntary adjournment, to attend the yearly meetings. Under the wise and careful eldership of Bro. Ira McCollum, one of its charter members, and Bro. Joshua Kyle, who for many years have held the helm, she has kept her course steady and constant toward the harbor.


      The church in Braceville and Newton Falls was formed on Baptist principles, early in the year 1820. The origin of it, and the history of Marcus Bosworth, can not be dissociated.

      Bosworth was born in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, July 11, 1794. He married Miss Elizabeth Ward, September 9, 1814, and came to Braceville, June, 1816. In the year 1818, a revival occurred among the [136] Presbyterians, and Bosworth and his wife were among the converts. Though trained up in the Baptist order, they were willing to worship with the Presbyterians, and they searched diligently the word of God for sprinkling as baptism; but they found it not. In the fall of 1819, Thomas Miller, a Baptist minister, preached at Esq. Johnson's house. By him, Bosworth and his wife were baptized. "The happiest day of our lives," said the venerable sister Bosworth, who, at the age of seventy-one, recited these scenes. Next year, under the labors of Mr. Miller, was formed the Baptist church in Braceville, which called Bro. Bosworth to act as deacon. Active and warm-hearted, he improved so rapidly in speaking that the church encouraged his aspirations to higher usefulness. He yielded to this decision, and as much as the care of his farm would permit, he gave himself to the ministry of the word.

      Bosworth attended the ministers' meeting in Warren, October, 1821, and there made the acquaintance of Mr. Campbell, and heard much from him on a return to original Christianity, in its form, teaching, and models, as set forth in the New Testament. His receptive mind heard attentively and with little prejudice. Yet he prudently held these views subject to further consideration. The removal to Braceville, in 1825, of Jacob Osborne, gave a fresh impulse to the scriptural investigations already advancing. Meanwhile Bosworth's improvement of his gifts in public discourse continuing to be satisfactory, he was ordained as a preacher of the gospel in October, 1827. Adamson Bentley and Sidney Rigdon were called by the church as the council on the occasion.

      Bro. Bosworth gave himself ardently to the work of preaching. His heart was all aglow with the love of souls, and many were turned to the Lord by him. He traveled much in other counties and other States; yet he worked on his farm when at home, to support his family. Preachers received little in those days for their labors. [137] Sometimes, in a long trip, he got less than the cost of shoeing his horse. It was the fault of the times that Bosworth, Alton, Applegate, Collins, and quite all the early preachers were suffered to go to the warfare at their own charges. A good wife at home, and a good Father in heaven, kept Bosworth in his saddle. Yet he was much at home, to lead his sons in the needful industries of the farm. For many years coming guests enjoyed the bountiful hospitalities of his home.

      He was constant in prayer. He maintained worship daily in his family. His wife frequently heard him in prayer when he thought himself secluded. He often prayed in his house after the family had retired.

      He was abundant in labors. He saved not himself, that he might serve the Lord and bless his family. No man need be more tender or amiable in his home. He rode sometimes from New Lisbon home, a distance of about forty miles, after meeting, reaching home past midnight. He was very feeble a year or more before his decease. In the fall of 1846 a cough settled on his lungs, which never left him. June 10, 1847, in the calmest repose in Jesus, he gave his spirit to his God. He was a most agreeable, companionable man, easy and fluent in conversation, mirthful at times, but never trifling. His preaching was more exhortational than argumentative. Frequently his whole audience were in tears, while his own came unbidden, and fell as the rain on roses. He moved amidst new converts. His persuasive appeals to the converted to manifest in their conduct their new life in Christ were most earnest and effective. A godly man with scarce a foil in the bright picture of his life.

      At one time he visited a fellow-member of the church, and the conversation turned on the design of baptism as set forth in Acts ii: 38; that it is to put the believing, penitent sinner in possession of the [138] joys of pardon through the divine promise. The man could not be persuaded to accept the testimony of the Holy Scripture, and he replied: "You may bring as many Scriptures to prove it as you please, I will not believe it." Bosworth turned away, sad to see men hopelessly, wedded to their views and traditions, beyond recovery by the power of the word of God.

      Once a Baptist minister paraded himself in front of him, prepared to take notes of his sermon, probably expecting to intimidate the preacher. Bosworth felt a fresh inspiration, and being a clear and rapid speaker, he gave forth his discourse in such copious fullness, the minister failed to keep in sight of him. After the meeting, being asked to show his notes, he turned away, saying, "they are very general, not very plain!"

      Though the church in Braceville was originally Baptist in name, its creed was not held rigidly. Love prevailed over law, and the Bible eventually superseded the Confession of Faith. In the discussions which resulted in the displacement of all doctrinal dogmas as grounds of Christian fellowship, this brotherhood bore a leading part. They formally organized as Christians, March 20, 1828, declaring the Holy Scriptures sufficient for all purposes of faith and practice. Their number was then twenty-eight. Marcus Bosworth was appointed the overseer. The church in Braceville was probably the first on the Western Reserve, which formally adopted this divine platform as their only basis. It was increased by twelve conversions at that time.

      From this time till the fall of 1839, when they completed the meeting-house at Newton Falls, the [139] church met at different places, mostly in school-houses. Bro. Osborne soon removed to Warren, but other help was not wanting, and all the proclaimers gathered in souls to God in this enterprising church. Yet Bro. M. Bosworth was their constant reliance, who, with all his travels abroad preaching, did far more to sustain the church than any other man.

      Amos Clark served as overseer along with Bro. Bosworth; Joel Bradford also. Henry Harsh and Benoni Johnson were early deacons.

      When the congregation established itself in their new house at the falls, they procured more constant preaching, and increased in numbers and in command of the public ear.


      His birth dates with the birth of the nineteenth century. His parents lived near Trenton, New Jersey. They were of the Baptist order. His mother was a very pious and active Christian. Early in life their son Jacob was awakened to a sense of his sinful state, and finding hope, he was baptized, and almost immediately entered the ministry. He was licensed to preach when only nineteen years of age. His pure life, reserved, winning manners, devotion to study, and unvarying attentions to the offices of religion, awakened great hopes of his future usefulness. In person, rather tall, very erect, comely of form and countenance, a voice not strong, but clear and very attractive.

      In 1821, at the age of twenty-one, he entered Mr. Campbell's seminary on Buffalo Creek, Virginia, along with Joseph Freeman, where he remained two years, making most diligent application in his studies. During [140] this time he employed his talents preaching in localities within reach of the seminary. Becoming acquainted in the family of the McElroys, Washington County, Pennsylvania--a family of marked character for manliness, decision, energy, and promptitude, and for devotion to the principles of religious reform--Mr. Osborne was united in marriage to their sister, Miss Susan McElroy. He was principal of the academy in Wellsburg one year, and preached in that town and vicinity. He came to the Western Reserve, and settled in Hiram, in the fall of 1824. The following year he moved to Braceville. Perhaps Bro. Osborne, more than any other man, prepared the way for the more complete ministration of the gospel which was soon to surprise the churches, and reform their modes of speech and action. He led on biblical investigations quite regardless of the dogmata of creeds and conventional forms of speech. He saw clearly the need of an extensive and thorough revision and correction of the terms and phrases, hackneyed and human, in which people were accustomed to talk of conversion and its kindred themes, and the substitution for them of the more appropriate and divinely authorized language of the Holy Spirit. In all this he was only abreast, scarcely ahead, of many others. At the request of Bro. Bentley, he removed to Warren early in 1827, and taught the academy for a year, still preaching as his health would permit. He was always present at the association and ministers' meetings, and on all occasions took a part more prominent and influential than is usually assigned to one so young and unassuming. For his talent, erudition, and zeal, he stood up as a Barnabas, and all heard him with delight.

      His health gave way, and in May, 1829, this young, influential, talented, beloved, Christian gentleman, admirable in all things, in many things a model, fell asleep. His disease was hemorrhage of the lungs. He was only in his twenty-ninth year. He died in Warren. [141]

      a The Millennial Harbinger (June 1844): 288. [E.S.]


[EHD 116-141]

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A. S. Hayden
Early History of the Disciples (1875)

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