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


C H A P T E R   V I I.

Association in Warren, 1828--Principles of Union Settled--Scott
      and Hayden appointed Evangelists--Biography of Hayden--
      Expectation of the Millennium.

T HE association for 1828 was to meet in Warren. People every-where were looking forward to it with great expectations. The new converts, now very numerous, were inspired with the prospect of a great spiritual convocation. The friends of return to primitive order were flushed with the victories so numerous and decisive, and prepared to enjoy that meeting as a kind of triumphant jubilee; while the preachers themselves were eager to meet together in mutual congratulations, to make reports, and to hear news of the success of the gospel from all quarters. A few viewed the new movements with fear and trembling, paused in doubt, and hoped that the approaching association might interpose some needful checks, and in some way bring the whole work more within the principles and order which were still dear to many of the older members.

      It is not necessary to conceal the fact that the writer of these notes was in attendance from first to last. It will be difficult to convey to the reader the complex character of that meeting, the important questions which there called for solution, and the controlling guidance necessary to maintain unanimity of feeling, that the work so powerfully [161] progressing might still go forward. Men for the crisis were demanded. Such men were there.

      The association came together purely and simply as an assembly of Christians. Though under the forms and name of a Baptist association, the creed system was abandoned, and neither that denominational name, nor any other, was on its standards. Men of nearly all the religious bodies, many of them leaders therein, leaving the technics of the party, but retaining their faith, hope, and love, mingled together as disciples of the common Lord; now in the one body, possessing the one spirit, rejoicing in the same hope, submitting themselves to the same Lord, through the one faith and the one baptism, they worshiped together the same God and Father of all Christian people. This great occasion was a grand demonstration of the possibility of the union of Christians on original Bible ground. It was no longer a theory. It was then an actual, accomplished fact. And though by no means the first such example in modern times, this meeting in Warren was, perhaps, the largest assembly, and the most complete, full, and illustrious example of it. The history of it is a triumphant vindication of the principles of the Campbells on this subject, a proof of their practicability, and an illustration of their power. Here were Methodists, no longer Methodists, but still Christians; Baptists surrendering the title, yet holding the Head, even Christ; Restorationists, giving up their fruitless and faulty speculations, now obedient to the faith once delivered to the saints; Bible Christians, recovered from their negative gospel to the apostle's method of preaching, together with very [162] many from other forms of religious belief--all rejoicing together, "perfectly united in the same mind and the same judgment."

      Among the seniors were Thomas Campbell and his son Alexander, Adamson Bentley, and Sidney Rigdon with Walter Scott, to whom multitudes of the young disciples looked with the affection of children to a spiritual father. Of the younger preachers, may be named Jacob Osborne, Marcus Bosworth, William Hayden, John Henry, Symonds Ryder, Zeb Rudolph, John Applegate, John Secrest, A. G. Ewing, as also Aylett Raines, the Cottons, and Reuben Ferguson.

      So large a number of Disciples, both of new converts and of persons collected by the appeals for union from various religious beliefs, needed much instruction in the principles of that union, especially in its practical workings. Besides, the doubts and disaffections arising from the introduction of Restorationist ministers began to break forth in out-of-door discussions touching the prudence of such a loose proceeding.

      The leading brethren were fully aware of all that was passing. With a correct discernment of the situation, and a profound and far-seeing appreciation of the necessity for a clear and scriptural settlement of the grounds of true Christian union, Mr. Campbell, who was to deliver the introductory sermon, prepared to meet the case fairly, fully, and manfully. His sermon was founded on Rom. xiv: 1: "Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations." He classified under three heads all subjects relating to the Christian religion:-- [163] 1st. Matters of knowledge--personal knowledge;

      2d. The things of faith, the facts reported to us, which we accept on testimony;

      3d. Matters of opinion.

      The distinctions in these three departments are marked and important. The profound and eloquent preacher, in a lucid and masterly manner, defined them, and showed their application to the present divided state of Christendom, and illustrated the manner in which these principles would solve the difficult problem of the union of Christians, and yet disturb neither the faith nor the piety of any one.

      Knowledge, he defined as one's own personal experience. This term is confined to the things which he himself sees, or hears, or discerns; either by his senses, or his own consciousness. A person can testify only to the things which he himself personally knows. It was asserted that the apostles knew the Lord Jesus; saw him, "handled" him, heard him, and knew his miraculous works, and heard his gracious discourses; so that within their personal knowledge and consciousness they held the absolute certainty of knowledge of him--his character and his claims; that they were thus qualified to declare the gospel and to be his ambassadors, his apostles, and witnesses to the world; that the apostles knew the gospel to be true, and none but they stood on this high ground of knowledge.

      The subject of faith was treated in an equally clear and forcible style. Faith stands on testimony. No testimony, no faith. Testimony is delivered by witnesses. Christ's apostles are his witnesses: "And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been [164] with me from the beginning; John xv: 27. "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit has come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth;" Acts i: 8. Our faith in Christ is founded on the testimony of his witnesses. The apostles, the men of knowledge, testified or declared the things which they saw and heard; we receive their testimony, and thus we believe. "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God;" Rom. x: 17.

      It was next shown that as the facts of the gospel are always one and invariable, and as the apostolic testimony or declaration of the facts never varies, the faith of all persons is a unit. The important conclusion was thus reached, that Christians are not divided on the faith.

      Touching the third division in this classification of knowledge, faith, and opinion, he showed that opinion was the fruitful source of all the schism which checkers, disgraces, and weakens the Christian profession; that creeds are but statements, with few exceptions, of doctrinal opinion or speculative views of philosophical or dogmatic subjects, and tended to confusion, disunion, and weakness; that as Christ receives us in the faith, without regard to questions of doubtful disputation, so we should receive one another, laying the basis of a rational and permanent union in the faith, in the express matters of apostolic teaching, on which no differences obtain among the followers of Christ.

      So rational and scriptural a ground of gathering into the long-desired unity the scattered sheep of [165] Christ's fold, commended itself to all his hearers as both safe and practicable. But men often approve in theory what they fear to trust in practice. So with Mr. Campbell's views of the grounds on which we were to receive members into fellowship. This, though plausible in theory, was a wide departure from Baptist principles of church-fellowship. So likewise these principles of apostolic teaching would demolish the narrow, restrictive creed policy of all the sects in the land. It was a bold position. It was taken in the face of the embattled array of sect power. It was clear, simple, sensible. But would it bear the strain of the practical tests to which this plan might be subjected? So reasoned many, standing yet in doubt. A trial case was at hand, a case just in point, which served both to illustrate the principles of the sermon, and to test their power. Aylett Raines was present, willing to be counted among the brethren, if he could be received as a Christian without surrendering his liberty in Christ.

      The case was called up Saturday afternoon by the careful and judicious Osborne. Raines, it was thought, still entertained Restorationist sentiments. If he should in any wise continue to advocate them, dissension and division would follow. Some were for rejecting him, many were in doubt. But the greater number were decidedly and warmly in his favor. Bro. Osborne was impelled to the measure, less, it is presumed, by his own doubts of the propriety of receiving him, than by the urgency of others who wanted the association to take action in the case.

      As we have it in our power, we will gratify the reader by giving Bro. Raines' own recollections of [166] this scene. In a communication of April 6, 1868, he says:

      "I went to that association expecting trouble: for, although I did not preach my Restorationist opinions, yet I sometimes told such persons as approached me becomingly, that it was still my opinion that all men would, ultimately, in some distant period of eternity, be saved. Out of this the trouble was to grow. But I resolved to breast the storm. I arrived in Warren, Friday morning. At one o'clock P. M., I had the pleasure to hear, for the first time, A. Campbell. He read the fourteenth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, and dwelt extensively on a passage in it, which, according to his translation, reads as follows: 'Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but without regard to differences of opinion.' On this passage Bro. Campbell dilated lucidly, showing the difference between faith and opinion, and between humanisms, or philosophies, and the 'faith once delivered to the saints.' I felt very much strengthened and comforted, knowing, if my case came up in the association, I would have at least Bro. Campbell on my side, and if him, a multitude of our preachers and brethren.

      "After hearing the views, of Bro. Campbell I thought it probable that my case would be let alone. In this, however, I mistook. Next morning I met Dr. Wright on the street, who said to me: 'I understand that you sometimes tell people that you still believe that all men will finally become holy and happy.' 'I do, sir,' said I. 'What then will you do,' said he, ' with this passage: These shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal?' 'I will not do anything with it,' said I. 'If argue with you in defense of my opinions I shall make myself a factionist. But I have as much right to argue for my opinions as you have for yours; and if you get up an argument with me, be careful, you will make yourself a [167] factionist.' At this the Doctor, seeing that I was not in his trap, became excited, and said: 'Well, sir, I'll see whether this association will fellowship Men of your views.' 'See,' said I, 'Doctor, as soon as you please, and I will show you that I will have Thomas Campbell, A. Campbell, Walter Scott, Bentley, and a number of others on my side.' He replied, 'It is impossible.' I responded, 'Well, try it.' Accordingly, not Dr. Wright, but Bro. Osborne, on Saturday afternoon, very lugubriously presented my case. Bro. Thomas Campbell first responded, as nearly as I can recollect, in words following: 'The devil has brought this question into this association to sow discord among brethren. Bro. Raines and I have been much together for the last several months, and we have mutually unbosomed ourselves to each other. I am a Calvinist, and he a Restorationist; and, although I am a Calvinist, I would put my right arm into the fire and have it burnt off before I would raise my hand against him. And if I were Paul, I would have Bro. Raines in preference to any other young man of my acquaintance to be my Timothy.' Next, Bro. A. Campbell arose, and substantially repeated what he had said in his introductory discourse, on the difference between faith and opinion. Then Bro. Scott arose and said that he concurred with the preceding speakers, and would not have said any thing on the occasion but to give me time for reflection. 'I think,' said he, 'that Bro. Raines has been very badly treated, and I fear that when he speaks he will speak with too much severity.' Then Bro. Campbell requested me to stand upon a bench,1 and proclaim to the large concourse present, my own views of my obligations as a Christian and as a preacher of the gospel. This I did briefly, and in effect, as follows: That my Restorationism was a philosophy. That I would neither preach it nor contend for it, but would preach the whole [168] gospel, and teach the whole truth of Christianity according to my best ability, etc., etc. Bro. A. Campbell then put the question: 'Whether there was any law of Christ by which I could be condemned?' The vote was in the negative, and in my favor by an overwhelming majority. This I took to be quite a triumph; but the end was not yet.

      "The next morning I attended sunrise prayer-meeting. After the usual routine of reading, singing, and prayer, the leader of the meeting, whose name I do not recollect, arose and spoke as follows: 'Brethren, I understand there are certain persons in the fellowship of this association who deny that sinners are saved by grace, and say that those who die in their sins will be purified by hell-fire. I move,' said he, 'that such persons be disfellowshiped.' In a twinkling I was on my feet, and said: 'I second that motion; for by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. Now,' said I, 'if any member of this association holds any doctrine contradictory to the teaching of this passage, I move that he be immediately disfellowshiped.' The old Brother who had put the motion, struck a direct line for the door, and the congregation followed him; and there my association troubles ended. Affairs, however, would probably have taken a very different turn, had somebody else than myself seconded the old man's motion.

      "I was dealt with, and my case managed, by Bro. Campbell and all the chief brethren in very great kindness and wisdom. Had they attempted to brow-beat me I might have been ruined forever. But treating me kindly, at the same time that they convinced me that my opinion, whether true or false, dwindled into nothingness in comparison with the faith of the gospel, redeemed me. I became a day and night preacher of the gospel, and my mind becoming absorbed in this vast work, the opinion faded, and in ten months [169] was numbered with all my former errors. The Lord be thanked for his great deliverance. Bro. Campbell, I ought to say, invited me to go to Bethany, and told he thought he could convince me that my Restorationist opinion was false."

      "NOTE 1.--I make a distinction between Restorationism and Universalism. Opinions are only to be tolerated when they do not subvert obvious facts of the gospel. This Universalism does in its teaching concerning the divinity of Christ, atonement, making God the author of sin, denying the remission of sins, and a judgment, and punishment after death. I consider the system no better than deism.

      "NOTE 2.--I remained on the Reserve but a short time after the association. I came to the south part of Ohio and preached in Dayton, Cincinnati, and many other places, with some success; and finally, in Wilmington, Ohio, in which place and its vicinity I baptized many persons. We used to make our numerous converts at one, two and three days' meetings. Now it often takes two and three weeks' pounding, day and night, with the hammer of the Word to crack the shell of worldliness which surrounds the heart. What shall be the end? 'When the Son of Man cometh, shall he find faith in the earth?'
A. R."      

      The reception of Raines delighted the great body of the young converts and reformers, whose feelings were awakened in his favor. It was also hailed with equal interest by the older and sounder advocates of the plea for Christian union on Christian principles, as it was a clear and conspicuous case in which these principles were strikingly illustrated. They regarded it, therefore, as a marked victory for the truth.

      A principal business of this meeting was to hear the report of the evangelist, and to make arrangements for future labors. We subjoin the [170]


      "BELOVED BRETHREN:--The Christian of the nineteenth century has been permitted to witness the accomplishment of wonderful events. Providence has stationed him on a sublime eminence, from which he can behold the fulfillment of illustrious prophecies, and look backward upon nearly the whole train of events leading to the Millennium.

      "Afar off, and upon the background of the picture before him, of wonderful extent, and in all the greatness of imperial ruin, appear the three great empires of Babylon, Persia, and Greece. Nearer to hand lies Rome; eternal Rome! terrible in her origin, terrible in her glory, terrible in her decline and fall! Living and acting through a long series of ages, she approaches the very verge of the present scene of things, till she assumes the distracted form of the ten kingdoms spoken of by Daniel, the remains of which now reel to and fro upon the face of Europe, like a drunken man, ready to be engulphed in the yawning judgments of Almighty God. Sic transit Gloria Mundi.a

      "But from amidst the blaze of her glory, see yet loftier scenes arise. Behold--the kingdom of our Lord Jesus, awaking under the eye of the Cæsars! Small in its beginning, it rolls forward, it survives all Roman greatness; and that which was yonder a little stone, is here become a vast mountain, and fills the whole earth. The waters which yonder issued from the threshold of the Lord's house, have here arisen; they have become waters to swim in--a river that can not be passed over.

      "Here, too, are the impostures of Mahomet and the Pope, with temples having the lowermost part consecrated to God, the upper to the worship of idols. Arrayed in purple and scarlet, decked with gold, and precious stones, [171] and pearls, behold the apostate church, mounted upon her imperial beast, holds forth to the intoxicated nations a golden cup in her hand, full of abomination and of the filthiness of her fornication! On her fair but unblushing forehead is inscribed Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and abominations of the earth. She shall be thrown down with the violence of a millstone plunged into the midst of the ocean.

      "Her portentous offspring also issued to mankind in the mature age of 666, with the head of a lamb and the heart of a dragon: the Inquisition raiseth itself on high, with the power, the delusion and cruelty of its parent; it comes roving over the earth, and causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their forehead; and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

      "Here, also, is the French Atheism, filled with all presumption, and magnifying itself above every god; he speaketh marvelous things against the true God; his hands are filled with spears, and his skirts are drenched in blood; but he shall come to his end, says Daniel, and none shall help him.

      "All these things, beloved brethren, have passed in review before the Christian of the nineteenth century; but if we have had to witness schemes of policy and superstition so wild and enthusiastic, and apparently so unfavorable to the true religion, we have seen many things introduced also highly conducive to its promulgation and reception among mankind. Above all, we have seen the church in America seated down under a gracious and efficient government, affording her and all men an unprecedented security of life and property; and if her unity be still a desideratum, we ought to remember that the saints, for nearly three hundred years, have been combating tyranny and superstition with astonishing success, until those who [172] despise every name and every phrase, not found in the Scripture, have become, probably, by far the most numerous body of professors probably, in the United States. But who would have thought it remained for any so late as 1827, to restore to the world the manner--the primitive manner--of administering to mankind the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ! or which of you, brethren, would have thought, two years ago, of men coming from forty to a hundred and twenty miles to the ministers of the Mahoning churches for baptism! Yet these things have actually occurred; and who can not see, that, by the blessings of God, the ancient gospel and ancient order of the church must prevail to the certain abolition of all those contumacious sects which now so woefully afflict mankind?

      "Brethren, we have a right to expect great things of our Father, if we are united and stand fast, striving together for the faith of the gospel. And be it known to you, brethren, that individuals eminently skilled in the Word of God, the history of the world, and the progress of human improvement, see reasons to expect great changes, much greater than have, yet occurred, and which shall give to political society and to the church a different, a very different, complexion from what many anticipate.

      "The Millennium--the Millennium described in Scripture--will doubtless be a wonder, a terrible wonder to ALL.

      "The gospel, since last year, has been preached with great success in Palmyra, Deerfield, Randolph, Shalersville, Nelson, Hiram, etc., etc., by Bros. Finch, Hubbard, Ferguson, Bosworth, Hayden, and others. Several new churches have been formed; and so far as I am enabled to judge, the congregations are in a very flourishing condition. Indeed, the preacher of the present day, like the angel of the Revelation, seated on the triumphant cloud, has only to thrust in his sharp sickle in order to reap a rich harvest of souls, and gather it in unto eternal life." [173]

      The work in Bro. Scott's hands had prospered so far beyond expectation, that only one feeling prevailed on the question of re-appointing him. When the subject came up, some proposed that he be allowed to travel where Providence opened "a door of faith," not restricting him to associational limits. Others reasoned that there was much work needed in the bounds of the association, and that, as this body is responsible for his support, it had a right to his labors, and it was its duty to direct them. None doubted the power or the propriety of this body taking the work into its hands of sending him out and marking out his field; but some thought it not advisable so to tie his hands; that if he saw a door beyond the specified limits, he should not feel forbidden to go over into Macedonia. Rigdon, who had taken no part in this discussion, becoming weary of it, said: "You are consuming too much time on this question. One of the old Jerusalem preachers would start out with his hunting shirt and moccasins, and convert half the world while you are discussing and settling plans!" Upon this, Bro. Scott arose with a genial smile, and remarked: "Brethren, give me my Bible, my Head, and Bro. William Hayden, and we will go out and convert the world." Then Rigdon, "I move that we give Bro. Scott his Bible, his Head, and Bro. William Hayden." It was settled in a few moments, as Rigdon's resolution was seconded and passed unanimously.

      Bro. Scott said afterward, that he chose Bro. William Hayden not because he could preach better than any one else, but for his powers of music; that there was not a man in the association who could [174] sing like him. Scott showed his discrimination in this choice. People used to come out to their meetings on purpose to hear Hayden sing. He was full of song and full of songs--a ready one always at hand, appropriate to the hearers. Many hearts were first melted with music, and then molded for Christ by the gospel. The preaching was all the better, as both preacher and people were subdued in feeling, and disposed to hear the tidings of salvation with tenderness of heart. The hymns he sang were mostly set pieces, of great beauty and power, and which he "rendered" in a style of surpassing brilliancy and force. On several occasions, when the great name and eloquence of Scott failed to batter down the walls of prejudice, and to get a hearing, he retired from the audience, saying: "I'll send Willie, and he'll sing you out!"

      It would be difficult to convey to the reader an adequate conception of the power of this great meeting. It was notable for several reasons: The ability and number of the preachers in attendance lifted it into conspicuity above any preceding occasion. The large and enthusiastic assemblage of disciples, newly converted to Christ, or newly from the thrall of sectarian shackles, into the "glorious liberty of the sons of God"--all rejoicing in the fresh views of the original gospel, and the proofs of its power to convert sinners, seen in the hundreds, the fruits of the recent proclamation of it, now here assembled. The Millennium seemed near. The songs, the preaching, and the prayers were well flavored with the ardent hope of it. No song of praise or of hope was so popular as the hymn-- [175]

"When the King of kings comes,
 When the Lord of lords comes,
 We shall have a joyful day
            When the King of kings comes
 To see the nations broken down
 And kingdoms once of great renown,
 And saints now suffering wear the crown
            When the King of kings comes!"

      A new tune for it, composed by William Hayden, was rapidly caught by the people, who swelled the song like a grand jubilee chorus.


      WILLIAM HAYDEN was born in Rosstrevor Township, Westmoreland County, Pa., Lord's day, June 30, 1799. In April, 1804, his father moved to the wilds of the new State of Ohio, and settled in Youngstown, where William, the oldest of the family, experienced the privations of pioneer life. Fond of reading, and having access to few books, he read much in the Bible. He was, when he was young, perplexed with questions about the origin of things, and what shall be hereafter. He was a deist before he was twelve; then for awhile the gulph of atheism yawned before him. From its frightful chasm he was rescued by the reflection, that "if nothing had eternally or primarily existed, nothing could have been originated, and that hence a cause uncaused was self-evident." He farther reflected that to doubt the existence of a Creator leads necessarily to a doubt of the existence of the creature. For awhile he tried the bold adventure of doubting his own existence. This was impossible. His conclusion, in his own words was, "there is no sense in being a fool!" Cured now of atheism--for deism he found another remedy: "I plainly saw that to turn away from the Bible, we plunge ourselves into darkness, and our only refuge is in our ignorance." "Finally, reading again the narrative of the [176] inhuman treatment of Christ from the garden to the sepulcher, and seeing how patiently and meekly he endured it all, his whole life passed in review before my mind. I was indignant that such a person should be so treated. What harm had he ever done them? The only perfect character that ever appeared on earth; a model of goodness, wisdom, dignity, condescension, and pity--just such a friend as ignorant, suffering man needed--and to be requited thus! Till now I had never seen sin in its hatefulness, and I felt myself a sinner."

      For four years longer, till he was sixteen, he struggled in the mysteries of Calvinism; hoping, if he was one of the elect, God would impart the evidence of it in a needed and desired regeneration. A revival occurring, he sought the coveted relief. At last, he was thoroughly aroused by the words of Jesus, Matt. xii: 36, 37: "I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." He fled for refuge to the hope of the gospel. He was baptized May 19, 1816, by Elder Joshua Woodworth, and united with the Baptist church, of which his parents were members.

      December 20, 1818, he married Miss Mary McCollum, and settled on new lands in Austintown. In the midst of his work his zeal did not relax. When the church in Youngstown ran down, he took membership in Canfield. He studied the Scriptures diligently, and was ready always to give a "reason for the hope that was in him." I quote from his own pen: "I had heard some time before of one Alexander Campbell. I had read a sermon from his pen, and now in October, 1821, he was to preach in Warren, and I resolved to hear him. He was then thirty-three years of age, the sharpest man I ever saw, both in appearance and in intellect, and I confess I was afraid he might lead us astray. His first sermon was from the text, 'Thy [177] kingdom come.' I soon saw what he meant to make out, and I did not mean to believe him; but I could not help believing him. He showed that the kingdom had come. At that meeting, which was for the mutual improvement of the preachers, he made several remarks, which were new and startling, and of infinite use to me. He said 'the true disciple of Christ will follow the truth wherever it leads.' Upon a moment's reflection, I saw there was no safety in doing otherwise. I resolved that whatever the truth would make me, I would endeavor to be. A second was, 'you will notice the apostles in preaching the gospel never said one word about election.' I saw this was true. But then I thought, what is the gospel? I soon saw if the gospel can be preached without election, so can it without any of the 'five points.'"

      A person with so tenacious and energetic a mind could not abandon the cherished system of Calvinism without a great struggle. His "Christian experience" had to be analyzed, and every impression and feeling traced to its cause. But the truth that faith comes by hearing the testimony of God was revolutionary, and he did not rest till it had gained in his mind the complete ascendancy. Every number of the Christian Baptist was thoroughly sifted. No wonder, then, that after seven years of so thorough a schooling he was ready, at the call of the association, to enter unhesitatingly into the work of teaching the true gospel to the world. His own struggles, and his complete mastery of his own difficulties, prepared him to relieve others from similar doubts and scruples.

      In May, 1828, the church of Canfield gave him license as a preacher of the gospel. In October following, after his call to ride with Scott, he was ordained, in his own church of Austintown, of which he was then a member and leader, by brethren Scott and Bentley.

      From this time his labors were double those of most men. Working with his own hands as much as other [178] men, and yet more in his saddle than most preachers. For twenty-five years he was absent from his own home on an average two hundred and forty days and nights each year. His industry was proverbial. He was incessant in preaching, teaching, and conversation--in public and in private. He created openings--occupied them, and when others could be found to hold the positions, he broke new ground. He was the first man and the chief operator in raising up the churches in Ravenna, Aurora, Shalersville, Akron, Royalton, Warrensville, Solon, and Russell, and several others.

      The following from his pen, written near the close of his life, is worthy of careful attention:

      "I perceived within six months of the beginning of my labors the necessity of system in our operations, of which we had none--measures to call out and prepare fit men to preach and teach, and to take care of the converts--measures to insure a reasonable support for such men--measures to secure harmony of action among the preachers, and for holding the ground already gained. I spoke of all these interests to all the brethren; but there was only one man who seemed to perceive any sense in what I had to say, and that was Jacob Osborne, one of the most wise, prudent, and godly men we ever had among us; and he died in May, 1829. For twenty years I urged these things, but they received no encouragement. I was astonished that all could not see the indispensable necessity of a matter so in accordance with common sense, and the demands of every-day experience; for the want of which so many of our churches are languishing almost to dissolution.

      "After twenty years hardship, toiling against wind and tide, my brother A. S. Hayden and I resolved that we would lay before the brotherhood the expediency of founding an institution of learning--the Eclectic Institute--at [179] Hiram. It took with the people, and has accomplished much in many ways.

      "Isaac Errett responded to the appeal uncompromisingly to aid in getting an association of churches for the purpose of missionary operations on the Western Reserve. Shortly after, in 1852, the Ohio State Missionary Society was organized. It works well, and is likely to live and prosper; for the brethren are forced to see, after so long a time, the need of united action. But, oh how much the cause of Christ has lost! and how many have died ignorant of the gospel! and how many more will, for not having had a good system of management from the commencement!

      "But now my labors are about ended, and I am beginning to see the brethren act like men of common sense. One whole generation has passed away, and we are not quite ready to begin to act with efficiency in this great work of showing our contemporaries the true gospel in contradistinction from the speculations of men about the gospel. Until the true gospel is honored by its friends, it will not be heard so as to be understood; and, until it is understood, faith that justifies will be supposed to come by prayer and the mysterious work of the Spirit; and while that is so, the evidence of prophecy and miracle will not be taught the people. Consequently, ignorance, unbelief, division, and iniquity will abound, as it is at this day.

      "No man has labored so wisely and so successfully as Alexander Campbell, to show the true gospel and its evidences, and how men become Christians, since the great apostasy commenced; and almost no man appreciates his labors! He has left nothing to be done by any other reformer who may come after him; and I fear it will be another generation before those who acknowledge him a reformer will organize, so as to be as efficient as all other people are in conducting their affairs." [180]

      His teaching on the whole question of conversion, was so clear and thorough, few who heard him candidly failed to see the difference between the teaching of the Scriptures on this important subject, and the mystic theories of regeneration which bewilder the mind and perplex the conscience. His converts were, therefore, thorough and decided, like himself. One of these, Jewett Frost, of Richfield, could not rest till his brother and other friends in Riga, New York, should hear the same truth. At his instance, Wm. Hayden went into that State in 1832, and afterward, alone or in company with others, he made many and extensive trips in most of the Western counties of the Empire State, and in Canada, where he powerfully proclaimed the gospel, and rendered the most efficient service in establishing the cause of reformation. In western Pennsylvania, Virginia, and in all the region of North-east Ohio his pioneer labors laid the foundations for others to build upon. Some of his most stirring and profitable tours were into Michigan and Wisconsin; so that from Syracuse to the Mississippi River, and from Canada to Virginia, he "fully preached the gospel of Christ."

      The following account of him is from the Millennial Harbinger, to which it was sent by the writer, 1863, just after his death:b

      During his ministry of thirty-five years he traveled ninety thousand miles, full sixty thousand of which he made on horseback--that is, by this mode of travel--a distance of more than twice around the world! The baptisms by his own hands were twelve hundred and seven. He preached over nine thousand sermons, that is, over two hundred and sixty one discourses per annum for every year of the thirty-five years of his public life. He once preached over fifty sermons in the month of November alone. Besides all these pulpit services, his private labors were abundant and incessant. He had a peculiar turn for winning attention, and imparting instruction in [181] the social circle, mingling the humor that charms with the experience which teaches. Few could relish or relate an anecdote better, or apply one more appropriately for purposes of illustration. Yet he never indulged in recitals of any in which the adorable Name, or any of the titles of the Most High, were even playfully, much less irreverently, introduced; a practice against which he bore frequent and forcible testimony.

      His mental powers were most rapid and energetic in action. His method of reasoning tended to generalization, embracing a great variety of subject and method. Though not educated, in a scholastic sense, his taste, discernment, and industry very fully supplied this deficiency, and stored his mind with much general information and critical historical learning. The master quality of his mind was his almost matchless memory--memory, both of history and chronology. He made no memoranda of his sermons, yet he could report at any time, promptly and accurately, the number of his discourses, baptisms, and multitudes of incidents, and all without pen or pencil to aid him. It were vanity, perhaps, to assign him a place in this respect with Macaulay or Johnson; but all who knew him wondered at his power--a power which was at his command, with undiminished force, up to the hour of his death. In his character were chiefly discernible firmness, decision, boldness in enterprise, and sturdy honesty. He was eminently social and hospitable, compassionate and kind-hearted. His religion was conscience and reverence; his humanity, a tender and systematic benevolence. He gave freely for humane, religious, and educational objects.

      More than a year previous to his death, he was afflicted with a gradual weakening of the muscles, which pervaded the whole system, affecting his speech in common with every other muscular action. Without pain, and with the full exercise of his mental powers, he died at his home, [182] at Chagrin Falls, easily and tranquilly, in full hope of immortality, April 7, 1863, in the sixty-fourth year of his age.


      The ardor of religious awakening resulting from the new discoveries in the gospel was very much increased about the year 1830, by the hope that the millennium had now dawned, and that the long expected day of gospel glory would very soon be ushered in. The restoration of the ancient gospel was looked upon as the initiatory movement, which, it was thought, would spread so rapidly that existing denominations would almost immediately be deorganized; that the true people, of whom it was believed Christ had a remnant among the sects, would at once, on the presentation of these evidently scriptural views, embrace them, and thus form the union of Christians so long prayed for; and so would be established the Kingdom of Jesus in form, as well as in fact, on its New Testament basis. All the powers in array against this newly established kingdom, whether in the churches of Protestantism or Romanism, would soon surrender at the demand of the King of kings.

      The prospect was a glorious one, springing very naturally from the discovery of the complete adaptation of the gospel to the ends for which it was given. This hope of the millennial glory was based on many passages of the Holy Scripture. All such scriptures as spoke of the "ransomed of the Lord returning to Zion, with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: that they should obtain joy and gladness, and that sorrow and sighing should flee away," (Isa. xxxv: 10,) were confidently expected to be [183] literally and almost immediately fulfilled. These glowing expectations formed the staple of many sermons. They were the continued and exhaustless topic of conversations. They animated the hope, and inspired the zeal, to a high degree, of the converts, and many of the advocates of the gospel. Millennial hymns were learned and sung with a joyful fervor and hope surpassing the conception of worldly and carnal professors. One of these hymns, better in its hope than poetic merit, opened as follows:

"The time is soon coming by the prophets foretold,
 When Zion in purity the world will behold,
 For Jesus' pure testimony will gain the day,
 Denominations, selfishness will vanish away."

      The Scriptures, especially the prophetic writings, were studied with unremitting diligence and profound attention. It is surprising even now, as memory returns to gather up these interesting remains of that mighty work, to recall the thorough and extensive Bible knowledge which the converts quickly obtained. Nebuchadnezzar's vision of the four great monarchies, with the accompanying vision of the kingdom of the stone (Dan'l ii) and the visions of that prophet himself (chapters 7 and 8), became generally familiar, and were, in the main, it is presumed, correctly understood. Many portions of the Revelation were so thoroughly studied that they became the staple of the common thought. The "two witnesses," their slaughter, their resurrection after three and a half days; their ascent in clouds to heaven in the sight of their enemies; the woman that fled into the desert from the flood of persecution poured out to engulf her; her abode and nourishment there for a "time, times [184] and the dividing of time;" her blissful return from her wilderness retreat, and the prophetic acclaim: "Who is this that comes from the wilderness leaning on the arm of her beloved, fair as the sun, clear as the moon, and terrible as an army with banners?" all these and many others constituted a novel and voluminous addition to the stinted Bible knowledge and the stereotyped style of sermonizing which then prevailed.

      Some of the leaders in these new discoveries, advancing less cautiously as the ardor of discovery increased, began to form theories of the millennium. The fourteenth chapter of Zechariah was brought forward in proof--all considered as literal--that the most marvelous and stupendous physical and climatic changes were to be wrought in Palestine; and that Jesus Christ the Messiah was to reign literally "in Jerusalem and in Mt. Zion, and before his ancients, gloriously." The glory and splendors of that august millennial kingdom were to surpass all vision, as the light of the moon was to be made equal to the light of the sun, and the light of the sun would be augmented "sevenfold." William Hayden went to New Lisbon to fill an appointment. Calling at Bro. Jacob Campbell's, we found Bro. Scott. Mrs. Campbell was a Christian lady of much brilliancy of talent, and intelligent in the Holy Scriptures. Salutations over, she broke forth in an animated strain: "Bro. Scott and I have just been contemplating how joyful it will be in the millennium--mortals and immortals dwelling together!" Bro. Scott then, with great fluency, discanted upon the prophecies of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, relating to the return of the Jews and [185] their re-establishment in the Holy Land, the coming of the Lord, the resurrection of the saints, and the gathering together unto him on the Mount of Olives. Scott had a vein of enthusiasm, to which these millennial prospects were very congenial. He was led on in the brilliant expectations by the writings of Elias Smith, of New England, whose works had fallen into his hands. In a letter to Dr. Richardson, written in New Lisbon, April, 1830, he says the book of Elias Smith, on the prophecies,c is the only sensible work on that subject he had seen. He thinks this and Croly on the Apocalypsed all the student of the Bible wants. He strongly commends Smith's book to the Doctor. This seems to be the origin of millennial views among us. Rigdon, who always caught and proclaimed the last word that fell from the lips of Scott or Campbell, seized these views, and with the wildness of his extravagant nature, heralded them every-where.

      These hopes were much confirmed and increased by the publication, about this time, of "Begg on the Prophecies,"e a small, but vigorous and confident work, excessively literal, by James Begg, of Paisley, Scotland. A cheap edition of it was brought out by the author's brother, William Begg, a recent convert from the Presbyterians. The announcement and favorable notice of this work in the "Millennial Harbinger,"f together with the taste for such reading now prevalent, introduced this book widely, and it became a powerful auxiliary of the doctrines and aided to crystallize them into definite theory. About the same time appeared the essays on the millennium, by S. M. McCorkle, a "sturdy layman." His trumpet blew no uncertain sound: Its blast was fierce [186] and fiery as the noise of the ram's horns around the walls of Jericho. His essays,g which were published in the "Millennial Harbinger," produced a wonderful effect. Many thought the day of the Lord just at hand. They prayed for it, looked for it, sung of it. The set time to favor Zion had come. The day of redemption was near. It only awaited the complete purification of his church--which meant the removal of sects and the union of Christians on the "Bible alone." Preaching against "sectarianism" was now more frequent and vehement. The legitimate and needed work of preaching the gospel of Christ, and of correcting the errors which lie directly in its way and impede its progress, was not abandoned, but more attention was now bestowed on the task, assumed as necessary, of clearing off the whole body of sectarianism. "Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumbling-block out of the way of my people." Isa. lvii: 14. This was the text of many a sermon. The sects, it was assumed, are the stumbling-blocks in the way of the chariot of the coming king. This assault on the denominationalism of the times, by which Christians are separated from one another, is so nearly in line with the true work of the restoration of primitive Christianity, that this mistake of its purpose was very easy. Yet the difference is neither small nor unimportant. It is one thing to introduce light into an apartment, and thus remove the darkness, and quite another to attack the darkness hoping to remove it and thus make way for the light. This reformation, so called, is not a negation--a mere protest against sectarianism. This is not its prime, or originating impulse. It is a plea for the [187] Christian religion as a whole. Its defenses are defenses of Christ, of his apostles, of their authority, their claims and their teachings, as set forth in the volume of inspiration. If obstacles are in its way, it seeks their removal, whether they be Protestant, Romanish, Jewish, or Mohammedan. But these are resultant and consequential to its primary and direct aim, and not for a moment to be confounded with it.

      Many sagacious brethren perceived with regret the new turn things were taking, and rightly judging that these Millennial theories would not tend to develop the work so auspiciously begun, but rather divert the minds of the people from it, they began prudently and cautiously to correct the aberration, and draw attention away from untaught questions and visionary anticipations of the future to the real purposes of the work of Christ now on hand, the preaching of the gospel for the salvation of sinners, and building up of the saints on the most holy faith. Some supposed Mr. Campbell to be in sympathy with these views; and, indeed, some plausibility was lent to this opinion by the title of his new periodical, "The Millennial Harbinger."

      Mr. Campbell, whose eye was fully open to all, was not slow to perceive all this, and he felt called to undertake the needed correction. He commenced, in the "Millennial Harbinger," for Sept., 1834, a series of articles under the title of "The Reformed Clergyman,"h which, while they held McCorkle's essays on the literal interpretation of prophecy directly in review, had for their aim the wider purpose of correcting the errors entertained and propagated to the detriment of the practical work of the gospel. These [188] essays were written with marked ability. They immediately arrested universal attention, and were read every-where. For prudential reasons the writer sought to veil his style, evidently desiring that no bias might be given to his reasonings from personal considerations. Their drift and aim were soon discovered; and the positions assumed, and rules of prophetic interpretation set forth, were so consistent and evenly balanced, that the "second sober thought" coming to the rescue, the effect was salutary and the remedy complete.

      Mr. Campbell's nom de plume of "Reformed Clergyman," was not to all a concealment of the real author of the essays. His style betrayed him; and it was amusing to hear the discussions--the hints and guesses on the subject of their authorship, and the merits of the essays themselves--which were carried on with Mr. Campbell and by others in his presence, before he was suspected as the writer of them. A sagacious Scotch lady, in the city of Pittsburgh, of great positiveness, berated him soundly for his indiscretion in permitting that "Reformed Clergyman" to publish such erroneous doctrines in his paper. My eyes stole over Mr. Campbell's face the while, and from the tokens there I saw, first and plainly, a confession of their authorship. The hits and jibes were sharp as from a polished quiver, and somewhat rude, withal. It was matter of much joy to many when this result was reached, and the brethren began to turn their thoughts and talents more directly to the preaching of the gospel. Among them, William Hayden should be named, as he saw and sorely felt the evil, but had not power to stay the tide; and, in like manner, others who saw not the evil tendency so plainly, now that [189] the remedy had wrought its cure, could see more clearly than ever the importance of adhering closely to the plain New Testament teachings, taking Christ as the only interpreter of type, shadows, and prophecy in the Old Testament; and the inspired apostles as the divinely authorized and commissioned interpreters of Christ. [190]

      1 The better to be heard, the house being very full.

      a Latin, "Thus passes the glory of the world." [E.S.]
      b A. S. Hayden. "Death of Elder William Hayden." The Millennial Harbinger (May 1863): 232-236. [E.S.]
      c Elias Smith (1769-1846). Sermons Containing an Illustration of the Prophecies: To Be Accomplished from the Present Time until the New Heavens and Earth Are Created When All the Prophecies Will Be Fulfilled. Exeter, NH: Printed by Norris & Sawyer, 1808. [E.S.]
      d George Croly (1780-1860). The Apocalypse of St. John: or Prophecy of the Rise, Progress, and Fall of the Church of Rome; the Inquisition; the Revolution of France; the Universal War; and the Final Triumph of Christianity. Being a New Interpretation. Philadelphia, PA: E. Littell, 1827. [E.S.]
      e James A. Begg (d. 1869). A Connected View of Some of the Scripture Evidence of the Redeemer's Speedy Personal Return, and Reign on Earth with His Glorified Saints, During the Millennium: Israel's Restoration to Palestine; and the Destruction of Antichristian Nations: with Remarks on Various Authors Who Oppose These Doctrines. Canonsburg, PA: William Begg, 1832. [E.S.]
      f Alexander Campbell. "The Coming of the Lord." The Millennial Harbinger (June 1832): 255-257. An extract from Begg's book, "The Literal Fulfilment of Prophecy," appears in The Millennial Harbinger (June 1832): 257-262; (July 1832): 322-324. [E.S.]
      g Samuel M. McCorkle. "Signs of the Times: Christ's Second Coming Considered, with the Relative Events." The Millennial Harbinger (February 1833): 50-64; (March 1833): 97-106; (April 1833): 145-153; (May 1833): 212-218; (June 1833): 268-274; (July 1833): 289-294; (August 1833): 385-389; (September 1833): 433-435; (October 1833): 481-487.
      ----------. "Reply to a Reformed Clergyman" (Nos. 1-8). The Millennial Harbinger (May 1835): 193-197; (June 1835): 245-251; (July 1835): 307-311; (August 1835): 365-369; (September 1835): 392-396; (October 1835): 433-434; 434-436; (November 1835): 529-534; (December 1835): 577-586.
      ----------. "Prophecies--No. XIII. Strictures on the Essays of 'A Reformed Clergyman.'" The Millennial Harbinger (August 1838): 337-343.
      ----------. "Proposals: For Publishing in the Town of Springfield, a Monthly Periodical, Containing a Common Sense View of Unfulfilled Prophecy; Entitled The Alarm." The Millennial Harbinger (September 1841): 431.
      ----------. "The Coming of the Lord--No. X." The Millennial Harbinger (December 1841): 576-578. [E.S.]

      h A Reformed Clergyman [Alexander Campbell]. "Millennium" (Nos. 1-8). The Millennial Harbinger (September 1834): 454-459; (October 1834): 481-486; (November 1834): 548-554; (December 1834): 577-584; (January 1835): 5-11; (February 1835): 52-58; (March 1835): 102-109; (April 1835): 145-149.
      ---------. "S. M. M'Corkle and the Prophecies." The Millennial Harbinger (July 1835): 322-324.
      ---------. "M'Corkle Reviewed" (Nos. 1-4), The Millennial Harbinger (January 1836): 5-13; (February 1836): 64-70; (March 1836): 103-109; (April 1836): 156-161.
      ---------. "Prophecy." The Millennial Harbinger (January 1837): 27.
      ---------. "The Prophecies" (Nos. 1-14). The Millennial Harbinger (January 1837): 28-32; (February 1837): 81-84; (April 1837): 169-175; (May 1837): 216-223; (June 1837): 250-255; (August 1837): 374-377; (September 1837): 414-419; (January 1838): 25-33; (March 1838): 135-138; (April 1838): 161-168; (May 1838): 229; (June 1838): 271-275; (July 1838): 318-324; (November 1838): 525-528. [E.S.]


[EHD 161-190]

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Early History of the Disciples (1875)

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