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Benjamin Lyon Smith
The Millennial Harbinger Abridged (1902)



      A. Campbell's valedictory essay is found in the Harbinger for 1864, page 43, as follows:


      I do not address you, dear readers, to bid you a final farewell, yet I feel that this is, in some sort at least, a semi-valedictory. I have been for forty-one long, laborious, anxious years a hard-working editor. I have not only written much and endured much contradiction of sinners, but in travels, in speaking, in thinking, in feeling, and in suffering for the interests of our noble cause, I may say with the great Apostle, my life has, in no small degree, "superabounded." I feel the demands of multiplied years for some respite from the wide and varied calls of my responsible position. It seems not unreasonable that I should ask some younger shoulders to take at least some of my burthen. The care and concern of an editor's life are known to but few who have not stood in that relation. I feel--have, for several years, been feeling them a burthen that was oppressive to me. Still it seemed hard to break the bonds and declare myself free. Habit, a sense of duty, the devoted partiality of many and many an old fellow-laborer and friend, the still repeated calls from without, seemed to forbid that I should claim the exemptions of age, or relax in the toil into which life-long toil had so deeply and apparently inextricably plunged me. But, brethren, you know the infirmity of the flesh, despite the willingness of the spirit, and will bear with me and be generous, when I ask for some remission in my accustomed service. I wish to be free from worldly cares--to cut myself loose from relations for which I feel a growing distaste, and, indeed, a constantly increasing repugnance, and to give myself, head and heart, only to such exercises as befit my [469] years and declining powers. I thought, at the close of the last year, that I would hold out for one more volume, and so announced my purpose in the last December number. But after beginning this current January number for 1864, I find myself, from many considerations, which it is not necessary to detail, constrained to abandon the purpose, and to discontinue my responsible relation as publisher. The care and labor and anxiety are too much for my years, and it is best that I should transfer them to other hands. This I have done.

      The Harbinger, henceforth, will be conducted and published by my long and well-approved associate and co-laborer in many works, Prof. W. K. Pendleton. I need not say that I have the fullest confidence in his fidelity and ability. He has been my co-editor for twenty years, and it is needless for me to say anything in special commendation of his scholarship, his enlarged Christian knowledge, his sound judgment, his great prudence, his temperate disposition, his firmness and fixedness of principle, his life-long devotion to the broadest and most permanent interests of our cause, and his high moral courage in proclaiming and defending the principles of apostolic Christianity. He has been my reliable counsellor in much of the labor of my life, and my constant and unswerving co-operant in all the great interests of the cause for which we plead. It is with peculiar gratification that I find him thus prepared and willing to go on with a work from which I feel that it is time for me to retire; and it is my earnest prayer that a generous and confiding brotherhood will hold up his hands, and give him courage and confidence to persevere to the end.

      For myself, I have many thanks to return to friends many and dear, who have so long stood by me, and shall still feel inclined to greet them with an occasional message through the old familiar channel of the Harbinger. This I am urged to promise, and I need not say it will be a most grateful task to perform. I can never cease to feel interested in the prosperity of Zion, or the peace and happiness of the Lord's people. It will be pleasant to speak about the themes with which my heart must ever be full, and while I release myself of all responsibility as to the management and labor of the publication, I shall still be ever happy to contribute a word of comfort or counsel, when occasion and inclination may serve.

      Let me exhort you, brethren, not to relax your efforts in any good word or work. The times are such, as that those who love the Lord should talk often together, and be watchful lest they neglect or forget the things which they have learned concerning the primitive apostolic gospel. Let us hold fast our begun confidence firm until the end. It would disturb the tranquility of my declining years and fill me with sorrow inexpressible to see that the Harbinger, the child of my better years, was abandoned; or that the college, my cherished hope for [470] permanent power and influence in maintaining the cause for which we and so many other noble and brave hearts have battled and suffered, had passed from the affection and support of those whose benevolence enabled me to found it, and whose support, for more than twenty years, has made it an ornament and a blessing in the land. But I fear no such things. We are strong in the faith that we have not labored in vain; and we hand our work over to faithful hands, in the fullest confidence that the blessing of God will abide with it, and give it rich and abundant increase.

A. CAMPBELL.      

      P. S.--All communications and remittances should be directed to Prof. W. K. Pendleton. If sent to me, it will only give additional trouble.

A. CAMPBELL.      

      Mr. Campbell's last essay is printed in the Harbinger for 1865, page 516. It reads:


      We have long since offered to our numerous and diversified readers sundry objections to the popular preacher's modes of sermonizing and theorizing on isolated verses or periods or scraps of sacred Scripture. We have, indeed, realized a very considerable improvement in pulpit oratory, both in preaching and in teaching the gospel. Still there exist sundry defects in some of our most estimable and deservedly popular preachers and teachers of the Christian institution. We occasionally hear a single verse made the standing topic of an hour. It may, indeed, sometimes be worthy of it, on account of a given, or supposed, audience on a certain occasion; but in the common occurrences of a given community, it is neither acceptable nor profitable.

      I have now before me a scrap of paper which furnishes me with seven texts, which, when I had noted down, I thought might suffice me for seven weeks. I will transcribe it by way of illustration.

      The preamble is in the following words:--The word gospel occurs in the Christian Scriptures, in three forms, one hundred and thirty-six times. We have euaggelion, the gospel--euaggelizoo, I preach the gospel--and euaggelistees, the evangelist, or he that preaches the gospel.

      We shall now propound or declare the seven facts that constitute the whole gospel. They are:--

      1. The birth of Christ; God being his Father and the Virgin Mary his mother.

      2. The life of Christ; as oracle of God and the beau ideal of the human perfection.

      3. The death of Christ; as a satisfactory sacrifice for the sin of the world.

      4. The burial of Christ; as a prisoner of the grave.

      5. The resurrection of Christ; "O grave! I will be thy destruction." [471]

      6. The ascension of Christ; "He ascended up far above all heavens, that he might possess all things."

      7. The coronation of Christ, as Lord of the universe. God his Father constituted him the absolute Sovereign of creation.

      The birth of Christ was indicated by Moses, the oldest historian on the pages of time. In Gen. xlix. 10, he says: "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come, and unto him shall the gathering of the people be." And Isaiah, the evangelical prophet, has said: "And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people. To it shall the Gentiles seek; and his rest shall be glorious." "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again to recover the remnant of his people which shall be left, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the Islands of the sea" (Great Britain and Ireland). "And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed from Judah, from the four corners of the earth. The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines towards the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon. And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea, and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dry shod. And there shall be a high way for the remnant of his people that shall be left from Assyria; like as it was to Israel, in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt" (Isa. xi. 10-16).

      The birth of Jesus the Christ is, of course, the first topic. His human ancestry, maternal and paternal, his nativity, his kindred, his native country, his associates, his manners and customs, the character of his cotemporaries, his manner of preaching and teaching, his miracles, his persecutors, his death, his burial, his resurrection, his ascension to heaven, his coronation, his mission of the Holy Spirit, his administration of the affairs of the whole universe, his second coming, his resurrection of the dead, his final judgment of angels, men and demons, his creation of a new universe, new heavens, new earth, all things new;--these are themes in harmony with the cravings, desires and necessities of humanity in all its phases, desires and aspirations.

      The present material universe, yet unrevealed in all its area, in all its tenantries, in all its riches, beauty and grandeur, will be wholly regenerated. Of this fact we have full assurance: since he that now [472] sits upon the Throne of the Universe, has pledged his word for it, saying, "Behold, I will create all things new;"--consequently "new heavens, new earth,"--consequently, new tenantries, new employments, new pleasures, new joys, new ecstacies. There is a fullness of joy, a fullness of glory, and a fullness of blessedness, of which no living man, however enlightened, however enlarged, however gifted, ever formed or entertained one adequate conception.

A. C. [473]      

      1. Alexander Campbell. "A. Campbell to His Readers." The Millennial Harbinger 35 (January 1864): 43-44.
      2. ----------. "The Gospel." The Millennial Harbinger 36 (November 1865): 516-517.


[MHA2 469-473]

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Benjamin Lyon Smith
The Millennial Harbinger Abridged (1902)