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Robert Richardson
Memoirs of Alexander Campbell, Volume II. (1869)



C H A P T E R   V I I .

Skepticism--Natural Theology--Socialism--Robert Owen--Second marriage
      --Mahoning Association--Basis of union--Prominent fellow-laborers--
      Their unselfish devotion to the cause.

M R. CAMPBELL had, from the first, courted free discussion in the pages of the "Christian Baptist." As he sought for truth alone, he felt that he had nothing to lose in giving his opponents equal space with himself, and publishing all they had to say against the views he taught. This liberality afforded a standing contrast with the narrow course pursued by the sectarian editors, who, while they allowed him to be grossly misrepresented in their various periodicals, denied to him the opportunity to correct the false impressions made upon their readers. In all this, however, their course was consistent with sectarian policy. They had adopted certain articles of belief as unquestionably true, and did not wish to have any misgivings created in regard to them. They had begun with certainties, and very naturally felt unwilling to end with doubts. Mr. Campbell and those with him, on the other hand, had begun with doubts, in order that they might end with certainties. Conservation was the aim of the former, but progress that of the latter. The religious faith and practice of the former were stereotyped and fixed, and to them change involved danger, if not destruction; those of the latter were yet in [226] process of formation, and to these change only implied an increased knowledge of truth and an augmentation of power. The discoveries already made from the sacred oracles had revealed to Mr. Campbell the sad defections of the Christian world and the means by which the Church could be restored to its original efficiency. It was not strange, therefore, that he should strive to awaken religious society from its sleep of error, nor was it singular that sectarians, peacefully slumbering on the couch of orthodoxy, should dislike to be disturbed. They accordingly, in general, refused fair discussion, and sought to evade unwelcome issues, either by misrepresentation or by a more politic silence. These methods, however, were peculiarly distasteful to one of Mr. Campbell's open temperament, who seemed to realize in his very inmost nature the truth of what is so well said by Sir William Drummond at the close of his "Academical Questions:" "He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool, and he who dare not is a slave."

      The fearless and straightforward course which he adopted made a very favorable impression, not only, as has been seen, on many who were identified with the various religious parties, but on a very large class outside of them, who had found so many contradictions, and, as they thought, absurdities in the creeds, and so much inconsistency in the conduct of the various religious parties, that they had fallen into difficulty and doubt in regard to the truth of religion itself. A great many of those denominated "skeptics" and "infidels" were doubtless such from a depraved will, which refused to weigh impartially the Christian evidences, and yielded a credulous assent to things far more difficult to believe than miracles. A still larger portion, [227] however, consisted of men of clear discernment and sincere purposes, and who were often even conspicuous for virtue, and apparently anxious to obtain relief from a state of uncertainty, which they felt to be both irksome and discreditable. These were not wholly without religious impressions, but while they could not fail to admire the character of Christ and the morality of his teachings, they felt themselves unable to receive the tenets of any of the different sects, which they thought inconsistent with reason. Others again there were, by no means inconsiderable in number, who, under the influence of religious teaching, had earnestly sought for those special "experiences" in which so many trusted for their hope of salvation, and, having failed to obtain them, had come to doubt the truth of religion altogether. All these different classes felt quite attracted to Mr. Campbell when they found that he admitted them to present their difficulties freely in the "Christian Baptist," and that they were not subjected to denunciation and abuse. They felt also particularly interested by the fact that he boldly opposed the clergy and their theological systems, and that he thus seemed in some measure to occupy their own ground. Still, as they had no idea of Christianity except as it was presented in these modern systems, they were not a little surprised that Mr. Campbell could expose them as he did and yet continue a believer, and they wished to have an explanation of the mystery. To their eyes, he seemed to have enveloped the bush of Christianity in flames, and they desired to draw near that they might see "this great sight, why the bush was not burned."

      With Mr. Campbell, however, Christianity as presented in dogmatic theology was something very [228] different from the gospel of Christ. In his view, this consisted in a few simple facts, resting upon incontrovertible evidences, and not in speculations, theories and perplexing opinions. Skeptical objections, based, as they usually were, upon these, he could at once dispose of as wholly irrelevant, while his own impregnable fortress of simple truth presented no vulnerable point of attack. He was so far, therefore, from dreading the results of controversy with the skeptical that he took a peculiar pleasure in it, not only because he sympathized with their difficulties, but because infidelity was one of those subjects which he had thoroughly investigated. His complete mastery of all the possible trains of skeptical thought, and the comprehensiveness and penetrating power of his mind, unequaled in logical acumen, in ability to detect false arguments and discover true ones, and which could perceive in an instant the relations of proposition and proof, gave him an extraordinary power in such discussions which naturally sought every suitable opportunity to exert itself. He was, accordingly, often engaged in them both publicly and privately, and was constantly receiving and answering the inquiries of unbelievers.

      He had received in July, 1826, a letter from a young man who had been a Methodist, but failing to realize, after a long travail, the spiritual change he had been taught to expect, became at length doubtful as to the truth of revealed religion. This letter Mr. Campbell published, and went on in a series of admirable replications, designed for the benefit of skeptics in general, to meet and remove the supposed obstacles to belief suggested by his correspondent.

      In these articles he began to apply a principle which [229] furnished him with a most potent and original argument in favor of divine revelation. This principle was in direct opposition to the one assumed in works of natural theology, and its enunciation by Mr. Campbell greatly surprised and confounded the skeptics, who had been accustomed to contend against the opposite, and were surprised to find Mr. Campbell going even quite beyond them in his opposition to the claims of natural theology. Assured that skeptics, universally, were indebted to revelation for their ideas of God, and perceiving that they then mingled these with reasonings and imaginations of their own, he boldly took the ground that no one from nature alone could ever acquire the notion of God. He admitted that when the idea was once given by revelation, its truth could be shown and illustrated by the natural world, but he denied that the proposition could have ever been suggested by nature, or, in other words, that man left to the exercise of his five senses, could ever have derived from any material source the idea of a spiritual Being--a Supreme Creator.

      Mr. Campbell had long been convinced that in schools of theology of every kind the Bible had been systematically deprived of its true glory and authority, and human reason, under the guise of natural theology, substituted in its place. The popular notion that nature revealed the idea of God he thought originated in men's beginning to reason with the idea already in their minds, and finally imagining that they had acquired it by reasoning.

      "All that the Book of Nature teaches," said he to another correspondent in reference to this subject, "is, that every animal and vegetable is dependent on its own kind for its production. The whole volume does not afford a model or [230] archetype for an idea of any animal or plant being dependent on any other of a different nature and kind for its production. You leap over the distance from earth to heaven in your reasoning; or rather you fledge yourself with the wings of faith, and find in the Bible the idea of all things being dependent on a Being unlike any other, who produces no being like himself, contrary to your analogy from the Book of Nature, and who produces all beings, both unlike himself and one another. You flew so nimbly and so easily over this mighty gulf that you were not conscious that you had got out of the region of earth-born ideas altogether, and were farther than all space from the Volume of Nature which you sat down to read. . . .

      "But I have a few facts, which, on your principles, are inexplicable--on mine, they are easily understood:

      "1. Not one of the terms peculiarly expressive of the idea of a God, such as spirit, eternity, immortality, etc., are to be found amongst any people antecedent to their being possessed of oral or written revelation.

      "2. No nation or individual without written or oral revelation can be found with a single idea of any item in the deist's creed.

      "3. All the deaf and dumb who have been made to hear and speak, or who have been taught to communicate their ideas, have uniformly and universally declared that an idea of a God, or anything under that name, never entered their minds. This is decisive proof that the knowledge of God enters the human mind by the ear, or by communication, verbal or written.

      "4. Not one of the idolatrous nations pretend to have derived their religion from reason."

      The views, then, which he propounded, based upon a careful induction from the above facts, were, as stated in his own language, as follows:

      "1. I contend that no man, by all the senses and powers of reason which he possesses, with all the data before him which the material universe affords, can originate or beget in [231] his own mind the idea of a God in the true sense of that word.

      "2. But I contend, so soon as the idea of Deity is suggested to the mind, everything within us and without us, attests, bears testimony to and demonstrates the existence and attributes of such a Being.

      "If the first position can be established, it follows that there cannot be a rational deist on earth. If the second position be established, there cannot be an atheist amongst all the compos mentis of the human race."

      The novelty of these views, the growing reputation of Mr. Campbell and the peculiar circumstances of the times naturally directed the attention of a large portion of the community to the individual who dealt so unceremoniously with the dogmas of theology. The qualities which gave him this conspicuity, however, were but indications of his fitness for the further work which Providence had assigned to him. Heretofore, he had been occupied in delivering Christianity from its professed friends, but he was soon to be called to defend it from its open enemies. Hence, if, like Saul, he stood higher than any of the people, it was in order that men might "see him whom the Lord had chosen, that there was none like him among the people." The times, indeed, loudly demanded such a champion. Infidelity had of late been pouring into the United States from Europe like a flood, and the period was at hand when the Lord was to "lift up a standard" against it. The remarkable success which had attended the arrangements of David Dale, at the New Lanark Mills, in Scotland, for the improvement and happiness of the working-classes; the ingenious and captivating theories of communism broached by Charles Fourier, in France, and the plausible philosophy of the "social system" [232] earnestly advocated by Robert Owen, the son-in-law of Mr. Dale, had begun to create a strong public feeling, in many places, in favor of the formation of co-operative societies. Enthusiastic foreigners, filled with ardent hopes of effecting a complete renovation of human society, flocked to the United States whose free institutions and fresh uncultivated plains furnished, they thought, the most favorable conditions for their experiments. Communities were speedily organized and territory secured. At Kendal, in Stark county, Ohio; at New Harmony, in Indiana, and at various other points, operations were actually commenced, and men of ability were zealously and actively employed in commending in lectures, pamphlets and other publications the plans and principles of these new associations. At this period success seemed everywhere to attend these movements. The impressible and enterprising American mind soon imbibed the spirit of the system, and projects were everywhere set on foot for the formation of "societies" and "phalanxes" of various descriptions.

      To mere economical and co-operative arrangements for the promotion of social welfare no just objection, indeed, could be made. Mr. Campbell had himself, at a former period, engaged in a project of this kind, and looked with approval on the management and prosperity of such industrial communities as he had found at Zoar in Ohio and elsewhere. These, however, had either confined themselves to the regulation of mere temporal concerns, leaving the religious sentiments of individuals entirely free, or else had embodied religion as an essential part of their scheme. But the case was wholly different with most of the new co-operative systems now proposed. Their adherents seemed to think [233] that religion was directly in their way in their efforts to remodel society, and they therefore strove, by every means in their power, to destroy its influence. This was especially true of the movement directed by Robert Owen, from which everything of a religious character was to be totally excluded. Upon these principles a considerable society had already been formed at New Harmony, in Indiana, to which were flocking theorists and skeptics of every grade, and where a periodical was published advocating with considerable ability and still greater assurance their principles of infidelity and of socialism.

      Mr. Campbell had for some time contemplated these movements at a distance. When he found, however, on a nearer view, that they were armed against religion, he at once ran up to his masthead the banner of the cross and prepared for action. In order to develop the strength of opponents whom he felt assured it was his destiny to meet, he published five essays headed, "Robert Owen and the Social System," and "Deism and the Social System." In the first of these he thus spoke of Mr. Owen and his enterprise:

      "Mr. Owen has attracted much attention in this country, as well as in Britain, from the singularity of his views and the benevolent nature of his efforts for the amelioration of society. He has afforded evidence of 'mental independence' never perhaps surpassed before. His talents, education, fortune and extraordinary zeal in the prosecution of his favorite object entitle him to a very liberal share of public respect. It is, I believe, very generally admitted that he is perfectly disinterested as far as respects pecuniary gain in all that he has done and is doing for the establishment and development of the social system. He has not been treated, however, with over much courtesy by many editors, both political and religious, who have animadverted upon his principles and his plans. [234] For my own part, I have felt some degree of sympathy for him, and of mortification, too, at the nibblings of his opponents. . . .

      "The benefits resulting from a co-operative system have been apprehended in theory, and proved by experience before we heard of Mr. Owen in this country. A social system of co-operation may be grafted on any system of religion, true or false; but that a social system of co-operation can at all exist without religious obligation has never yet been proven; but this appears to be the experiment now on hand at New Harmony, Indiana. In this Mr. Owen has afforded the most convincing proof of 'mental independence.' The annals of the world fail to present one single league or confederation for any purpose that was not perfectly ephemeral without religion of some kind or other. I have no notion of getting angry with Mr. Owen, or of belaboring him with harsh epithets for hazarding an experiment of this sort. It is true, indeed, that I regret that any person born in the eighteenth century, and educated in the kingdom of Scotland, should have profited so little by the circumstances around him, and should have learned so little from all that has gone before him, as to suppose that a being such as man is could be happy in any circumstances without the hope of immortality beyond the grave."

      Having made this prediction of failure, which in a very few years was completely fulfilled, he in the next number thus refers to the "New Harmony Gazette," which he styles "the focus of the lights of skepticism:"

      "The conductors of that journal are amongst the most assiduous, devoted and persevering skeptics of the nineteenth century. The Bible, some way or other, stands in their way, and seems to be inimical to some favorite scheme or darling hypothesis of the builders of the city of Mental Independence. At all events, we have not seen a number of that paper in which there is not either a popgun or a blunderbuss discharged at revelation." [235]

      Amongst other preparations for the anticipated engagement, he now lays down certain preliminary statements, such as--

      "1. That he defends the Bible and no man's system of religion, nor the arguments of others in behalf of the Bible. 2. That revelation, properly speaking, is an exhibit of supernatural things which could not be known by any other means, so that whatever can be known by reason or the senses is not a subject of revelation." He then puts to the skeptics the following questions, promising to take his proper share of the burden of proof: "Is there a God who created all things? And if answered in the affirmative, upon what evidence is this known? Is there a spirit in man which will survive the body or live after the animal life is extinct, and upon what evidence is this known? Is there a future state of felicity or of torment, and if so, upon what evidence is this known?"

      To these inquiries the "Gazette" some time afterward gave the following answer: "We can reply to these propositions neither in the affirmative nor in the negative, for we possess no positive knowledge on any of these subjects. A God, the soul, heaven and hell, if such existences and places do really exist, can never, from their nature, become cognizable by the senses of man. I, therefore, cannot conceive how we shall ever be able to acquire information regarding their nature or existence." This answer Mr. Campbell published with the following remarks: "With all the improvements in philosophy for eighteen centuries the world is no wiser with respect to God than it was when Paul lived. He then declared that neither Greece nor Rome nor Egypt, by all their philosophy, knew God. Even to this day the God that was unknown in Athens is unknown in New Harmony and to all who have no other light than what philosophy affords. And here is another and a striking proof: the people of the city of 'Mental Independence' are said to have the best library on this continent, and with all the advantages of social converse in the best-improved condition of human nature, having voluntarily extinguished the light of supernatural revelation, have now [236] candidly and honestly avowed that whether there is a God at all, a spirit in man that will survive his mortal body, a heaven or hell, is to them unknown and unknowable. This is the identical conclusion to which I knew most certainly, by all the knowledge of philosophy which I possess, they would be constrained to come. For, as I have frequently said, there is no stopping-place between Deism and Atheism; and they are lame philosophers who, taking philosophy for their guide, profess to hold with Herbert, Hume, Gibbon and Paine that there is a God, an immortal soul, a heaven or a hell. I give great praise to the New Harmony philosophers for their candor and their honesty in frankly avowing the conclusion which all the lights they have authorize them to maintain. I say they are good philosophers. They have reasoned well."

      Having thus obtained a clear statement of the position occupied by the New Harmony philosophers, he in a subsequent number presented to them the following:

"A PROBLEM: For the Editor of the 'Harmony Gazette' and his doubting brethren:

      "You think that reason cannot originate the idea of an Eternal First Cause, and that no man could acquire such an idea by the employment of his senses and reason; and you think correctly. You think also that the Bible is not a supernatural revelation--not a revelation from the Deity in any sense. These things premised, gentlemen, I present my problem in the form of a query again:

      "The Christian idea of an Eternal First Cause uncaused, or of a God, is now in the world and has been for ages immemorial. You say it could not enter into the world by reason, and it did not enter by revelation. Now, as you are philosophers and historians, and have all the means of knowing, how did it come into the world?'

      The surprise of the skeptics at finding Mr. Campbell to concur in the conclusions of their own philosophy was greatly increased when they found their argument thus turned against themselves, and that upon their own [237] principles they became at once involved in a palpable difficulty from which there was no escape. They had boasted greatly of their "mental independence," and imagined themselves to occupy a sphere of thought quite above that of the religious portion of the community, but in coming into contact with Mr. Campbell, they found themselves confronted by a "mental independence" much greater than that in which they boasted, and they were quite at a loss how to meet his unexpected assaults. Caring nothing for arithmetical defences of the size and contents of Noah's ark, or for geological explanations of the Mosaic account of creation, in order to refute the usual puerile cavils of skepticism, he had attacked at once the rationale of their system. Overleaping the outworks, he had advanced at once upon the citadel, and the "New Harmony Gazette," after this taste of his quality, seemed, for a time, indisposed to renew the contest.

      Mr. Campbell, however, had no idea of allowing the advocates of the "social system" to continue the dissemination of its principles unchallenged or unopposed, and only awaited a favorable opportunity to come to close quarters with some of the larger vessels of the opposing foe. In February, 1828, he received a letter from an individual at Canton, Ohio, bewailing the evil effects produced upon the community there by the lectures of a socialist--a Dr. Underhill.

      "For two months or more," said this correspondent, "he has been indefatigably engaged in preaching that sort of moral philosophy which the 'New Harmony Gazette' contains. He is going from place to place, and great numbers, I understand, are converted to his new doctrine. Though there is considerable alarm among the preachers about here none but a Roman priest undertook to contradict him--with [238] very little effect, however. Since that time the Deists and free-thinkers of this place are getting quite bold, and even the apprentices of the workshops and boys in the streets begin to reason away and rail at religion. I am ashamed for my brethren, the English preachers, who stand back when that man speaketh, and only talk when he is not within hearing. Does not this show as if Christianity could not be defended against its enemies, or that its priests were too lukewarm to undertake its defence? It grieves me the more since Dr. Underhill has challenged, boldly, every one who would be willing to question his views, and has publicly called for opponents to his sentiments."

      He then asks if Mr. Campbell will not come and meet him.

      Mr. Campbell replied that it was not consistent with his views of propriety to go out of his way to meet so obscure an individual as Dr. Underhill, but that if his master, Robert Owen, chose to enter the field of debate, he would meet him. He said he thought such a discussion was needed, but that he "would not draw a bolt, save at the king of the skeptics of the city of mental independence." He well knew how to "bide his time," and that the inferior position which he thus assigned to Dr. Underhill would have the best effect in checking his success, and inducing the doubting to await the issue of a discussion, freely proffered, so soon as a more formidable antagonist should appear on the side of skepticism. Nor had he long to wait. Twenty-three days, indeed, before the date of the above letter, Mr. Owen himself, who had been for some time lecturing in New Orleans, had given a formal challenge to the clergy of that city to discuss with him the claims of religion, but the news of this had not yet reached Bethany. No sooner, however, had Mr. Campbell received the intelligence, and learned at the same time that there [239] had been no response from any of those addressed, than he at once published Mr. Owen's challenge and his prompt acceptance of it.

      "I have long wondered," said he, "why none of the public teachers of Christianity have appeared in defence of the last blessed hope of man. This skeptical age and country is the proper soil, and the youth of this generation the proper elements for Mr. Owen's experiments. I have felt indignant at the aspect of things in reference to this libertine and lawless scheme. Mr. Owen, a gentleman of very respectable standing its a scholar and capitalist, of much apparent benevolence, traveling with the zeal of an apostle through Europe and America, disseminating the most poisonous sentiments as Christians conceive, finding myriads in waiting to drink, as the thirsty ox swalloweth water, whatever he has to offer against the Bible and the hope of immortality, passes unchecked and almost unheeded by the myriads of advocates and teachers of the Christian religion. If none but Christian philosophers composed this society, it might be well enough to let Mr. Owen and his scheme of things find their own level. But while a few of the seniors disdain to notice or affect to disdain his scheme of things, it ought not to be forgotten that thousands are carried away as chaff before the wind by the apparently triumphant manner in which Mr. Owen moves along.

      "Impelled by these considerations and others connected with them, we feel it our duty to propose as follows: Mr. Owen says in his challenge before us: 'I propose to prove, as I have already attempted to do in my lectures, that all the religions of the world have been founded upon the ignorance of mankind; that they are directly opposed to the never-changing laws of our nature; that they have been and are the real source of vice, disunion and misery of every description; that they are now the only bar to the formation of a society of virtue, of intelligence, of charity in its most extensive sense, and of sincerity and kindness among the whole [240] human family, and that they can be no longer maintained except through the ignorance of the mass of the people and the tyranny of the few over that mass.'

      "Now, be it known to Mr. Owen, and to all whom it may concern, that I, relying on the Author, the reasonableness and the excellency of the Christian religion, will engage to meet Mr. Owen any time within one year from this date, at any place equidistant from New Harmony and Bethany, such as Cincinnati, Ohio, or Lexington, Kentucky, and will then and there undertake to show that Mr. Owen is utterly incompetent to prove the positions he has assumed, in a public debate, before all who may choose to attend; to be moderated or controlled by a proper tribunal, and to be conducted in perfect good order from day to day, until the moderators or the parties, or the congregation or a majority of them, are satisfied, as may afterward be agreed upon. I propose, moreover, that a competent stenographer, perfectly disinterested, shall be employed to take down the speeches on the occasion; that for his trouble he shall have the exclusive right of printing and distributing said debate throughout the United States, and thus give all a right to hear or read whether Mr. Owen with all his arguments, benevolence and sincerity, is able to do what he has proposed. After stating these prominent items, I leave everything else open to negotiation or private arrangement.

      "To quote the words of Mr. Owen, 'With feelings of perfect good-will to you, which extend also in perfect sincerity to all mankind, I subscribe myself your friend in a just cause,'
      "BETHANY, VA., April 25, 1828."

      Before learning the acceptance of his Orleans challenge by Mr. Campbell, Mr. Owen had noticed the offer made in the Canton correspondence, and on the 14th of May addressed a letter to Mr. Campbell, consenting to meet him, and proposing a sort of general assembly of the skeptics and the clergy for the purpose [241] of a full discussion. This Mr. Campbell declined as not likely to result beneficially, and informing Mr. Owen that he had already accepted his Orleans challenge in the exact terms in which it was expressed, said that nothing now remained but to adjust the preliminaries. "I have," said he, in conclusion, "from a little experience in public discussions, no doubt but that I shall be able to maintain perfect good-humor throughout the whole, and I have reason to believe that your philosophy has improved your good-nature so far as to make you an acceptable disputant." A few weeks afterward, accordingly, Mr. Owen paid Mr. Campbell a visit in order to make the necessary arrangements. Mr. Campbell found him to be a very affable and pleasant gentleman, possessed of much interesting information. Mr. Owen, on his part, was much pleased with what he saw of Mr. Campbell, and appeared greatly delighted with the beautiful hills and landscapes to which Mr. Campbell called his attention during their pleasant walks in the vicinity of Bethany, and which, he assured Mr. Campbell, persons of taste in England would go many miles to see. In one of their excursions about the farm, they came to Mr. Campbell's family burying-ground, when Mr. Owen stopped and addressing himself to Mr. Campbell, said: "There is one advantage I have over the Christian--I am not afraid to die. Most Christians have fear in death, but if some few items of my business were settled, I should be perfectly willing to die at any moment." "Well," answered Mr. Campbell, "you say you have no fear in death; have you any hope in death?" After a solemn pause, "No," said Mr. Owen. "Then," rejoined Mr. Campbell (pointing to an ox standing near), "you are on a level with that brute. [242] He has fed till be is satisfied, and stands in the shade whisking off the flies, and has neither hope nor fear in death." At this Mr. Owen smiled and evinced some confusion, but was quite unable to deny the justness of Mr. Campbell's inference. As he was now on his way to Europe, and did not expect to return before the beginning of winter, he desired to have the time of the discussion fixed for the second Monday of the following April. This being regarded as a suitable season, and Cincinnati being agreed on as the place of meeting, the amiable philosopher, with the kindest feelings, bade his host farewell.

      Shortly after his departure, Mr. Campbell was united in marriage with Miss S. H. Bakewell, whom he chose not only in deference to his first wife's earnest wish, but in accordance with his own deliberate judgment, the wisdom of which the future amply confirmed. On the 24th of the preceding January, his eldest daughter, Jane, had been married to Mr. Albert G. Ewing, a gentleman of high standing and intelligence, residing at Nashville, Tennessee. And as they were at this time on a visit to Bethany, they concluded to accompany Mr. Campbell and his bride to the meeting of the Mahoning Association, at which Mr. Campbell was to deliver the introductory discourse.

      This meeting, which was held at Warren, was well attended and was an occasion of great interest. One year before, the Association had appointed Walter Scott as evangelist, little expecting the events which were so soon to follow, and on which many now looked back with thankfulness and wonder. The friends of progress felt that a decisive victory had been gained, and that the primitive method of administering the gospel had indeed reappeared in the Church, restoring to it [243] its pristine power to convert the nations. This power had already been demonstrated by the addition of nearly one thousand persons to the churches within quite a limited area, as well as in various signal triumphs over sectarian opposition and in the fraternal union of preachers and people of dissevered parties. They rejoiced that the reformatory principles for some years discussed among them had led to such grand results, and, feeling more and more assured of their importance, were well disposed to carry them out in every particular.

      This disposition was soon to be tested in relation to a very important feature of the proposed reform--the scriptural basis of Christian union. The occasion for this was the case of Aylett Raines, who, though publicly identified with the movement, still retained, as was generally understood, his Restorationist opinions. The opponents of the cause had not failed to reproach its adherents with tolerating these errors, as they had not required a public renunciation of them, and there were many in the Association who were quite sensitive upon the subject, and doubted whether under such circumstances Mr. Raines could be received. As Mr. Campbell was aware of this state of feeling, he took as the subject of his introductory discourse the fourteenth chapter of Romans, dwelling particularly upon the injunction in the first verse: "Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations," or, as in the rendering adopted in the new version from Thompson, "without regard to differences of opinions."

      On the following day the case of Mr. Raines was formally brought before the Association by Jacob Osborne, who wished to have the matter definitely settled. [244] Thomas Campbell immediately rose and remarked that such a question was only calculated to create discord among the brethren. "Brother Raines," said he, "has been with me during the last several months, and we have freely unbosomed ourselves to each other. He is philosophically a Restorationist and I am a Calvinist, but notwithstanding this difference of opinion between us, I would put my right hand into the fire and have it burnt off before I would hold up my hands against him. And from all I know of Brother Raines, if I were Paul, I would have him, in preference to any young man of my acquaintance, to be my Timothy." To this warm commendation, Mr. Raines at a subsequent opportunity responded that "if he were Timothy, Thomas Campbell should be his Paul." Alexander Campbell then made some remarks, again defining the difference between faith and opinion, stating that Mr. Raines' views on the subject of the restoration of the wicked after a certain amount of punishment could be regarded as nothing but an opinion, since there was not a passage anywhere in the writings of prophets or apostles affirming it. It could never be considered a matter of belief, since there was no testimony to render it such. He therefore proposed that Mr. Raines should express his willingness to preach the gospel as the apostles preached it, and to retain his opinions as private property in harmony with the principles of the Reformation. If he would do this, he assured all present that in a short time all such opinions would fade away out of his mind, and he would see such a freeness and fullness in the gospel that he would not want men saved if they would not obey it. Walter Scott then expressed his entire concurrence in the views given, after which Mr. Raines [245] made the declaration proposed by Mr. Campbell, and the question being put "Whether there was any law of Christ by which a brother could be condemned who deported himself as Mr. Raines proposed to do?" the Association decided by a very large majority that there was not. Thus the case was settled, though some of those in the minority felt still so disturbed at the reception of Mr. Raines that nothing but his prudence and careful avoidance of any effort to teach his speculative opinions prevented a schism which at the time might have been attended with disastrous consequences.

      On this occasion Mr. Campbell gave a very remarkable proof of his entire freedom from the exacting spirit which then governed religious parties. So far, indeed, was he in advance of the time that some of those associated with him thought he had in some measure compromised the principle of the Reformation itself which required assent to the plain teaching of Scripture, and so much dissatisfied were some who had come to the meeting with a view of uniting with the reformers that they declined doing so. He recognized in Mr. Raines, however, one who sincerely believed the gospel, and who by no means doubted or denied the reality and certainty of the future punishment of the wicked. The only point of difficulty was the duration of that punishment, in regard to which Mr. Raines had adopted a theory to the effect that the benevolence of God would ultimately eliminate from the universe all traces of sin, its punishment included--a view similar to that held by the illustrious Origen and the celebrated John Foster, as well as by other individuals amongst the "orthodox." As Mr. Raines believed that God would reward the righteous and punish the wicked according to their works, Mr. Campbell considered this to be the substance of [246] the divine communications on the subject, and that conjectures or theories as to anything beyond this were mere opinions or speculations. As Mr. Raines' agreement to hold these views in private as mere opinions was an admission of their doubtfulness and their want of Scripture authority, and his engagement to teach only what the Scripture revealed was all that the principles of the Reformation demanded, the course pursued was obviously correct. It gave an example, however, of a freedom of thought of which the religious community had never dreamed, and presented in a very striking light the liberality of the basis of Christian union advocated by Mr. Campbell.

      The wisdom of his position in this case was fully borne out by the results. Mr. Raines became not only one of the ablest and most successful advocates of the cause, but it was not long until his favorite theory gave place to humbler views of man's ability to resolve the mysteries of the future; and in order to complete the history it may be here stated that in 1830 he wrote thus to Mr. Campbell:

      "I wish to inform you that my 'restorationist' sentiments have been slowly and imperceptibly erased from my mind by the ministry of Paul and Peter and some other illustrious preachers, with whose discourses and writings, I need not tell you, you seem to be intimately acquainted. After my immersion I brought my mind, as much as I possibly could, like a blank surface to the ministry of the new institution, and by this means I think many characters of truth have been imprinted in my mind which did not formerly exist there. . . . I hope during the remainder of my days to devote my energies, not to the building up of sectarian systems, but to the teaching of the Word." This purpose Mr. Raines has fully accomplished in a faithful and most efficient ministry of more than forty years, and recently thus refers to the cherished [247] remembrance of "the great kindness and magnanimity with which," says he, "the Campbells and Walter Scott treated me after my baptism, and before I was convinced of the erroneousness of my restorationist philosophy. They used to say to me: 'It is a mere philosophy, like Calvinism and Arminianism, and no part of the gospel.' They made these isms of but little value, and therefore not worth contending for, and they did not put themselves in conflict with my philosophy, but rather urged me to preach the gospel in matter and form as did the apostles. This all appeared to me to be reasonable, and I did it; and one of the consequences was, that the philosophy within me became extinct, having no longer the coals of contention by which to warm or the crumbs of sectarian righteousness upon which to feed."

      Thus has it ever been that while the false value attached to the inferences and deductions of human reason has originated and perpetuated religious strife and division, a sincere submission to the plain teachings of the word of God has promoted the cause of truth, unity and peace.

      Immediately after Mr. Campbell's discourse on Friday, it was agreed that the usual forms of the Association should be dispensed with, in order to hear from Mr. Scott a report of his year's labor. This was heard with great interest, and the question of his reappointment coming up afterward, some discussion arose as to restricting his labors within the bounds of the associated churches, and also in regard to his request that the Association would appoint as his fellow-laborer William Hayden, for whom he had formed a warm attachment, and who would, he thought, be eminently useful in this capacity. Some were for having the itineracy confined within the limits of the churches, but Mr. Scott wished to be at liberty to go to any point where there seemed to be a favorable opening. After much [248] discussion, he arose finally and said with much earnestness of manner: "Give me my Bible, my head and Brother William Hayden, and we will go forth to convert the world." Sidney Rigdon then moved that "the Association give to Walter Scott his Bible, his head and Brother William Hayden," which was at once agreed to.

      William Hayden lived at this time in Canfield. He was about the middle stature, thickset and athletic, with a complexion naturally rather dark and much tanned by exposure; intelligent light gray eyes; light hair; a mouth somewhat large; his countenance expressive of both firmness and kindly feeling, and often wreathed with a winning smile. He was then in his thirtieth year, having been born June 30, 1799, in Rosstrevor township, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, from which, four years afterward, his father with the family removed to Youngstown, in Ohio, then quite a new country.

      Religious questions had engaged his attention at a very early, period of life. Before he was twelve he had been first a deist and then an atheist in his sentiments, and had involved himself in great mental perplexity. Possessing good reasoning powers, however, and anxious to discover the truth, he was at length relieved 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." His belief in a God having been thus restored, he was led to the Scriptures by the consideration that, "as God had created us, we were not too insignificant for him to govern and judge us." Delighted with the character of Christ as portrayed in the New Testament, and conscious of his need of salvation, he, for a long [249] time, attended religious meetings, and sought conversation with religious persons. He was at length thoroughly aroused by Christ's declaration, 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." Being induced to accept the divine mercy in Christ, he was baptized by Elder Joshua Woodworth, May 19, 1816, and united with the Baptist Church, to which his parents already belonged.

      He became a reader of the "Christian Baptist" soon after its publication, and rejoiced in that freedom of thought and of investigation which it inculcated, and which was so congenial to his own mind. He still, however, fondly entertained the popular views of conversion and when he heard Walter Scott preach in the fall of 1827, his direct method of calling sinners to obedience seemed to him rash and dangerous. Some time afterward, hearing that Mr. Scott was to preach in a school-house near Simon Sacket's, be rode eight miles to hear him. The room was densely crowded. Mr. Scott's first words were: "There is not a man in this house who believes that God means what he says." William Hayden was astounded, and was on the point of rising to say that he was at least one who believed it, when the assured manner of the speaker led him to pause. Mr. Scott went on to show that men come to the Bible with their heads full of religious systems and theories, and that in consequence they were inhibited from taking the Scriptures in any sense inconsistent with these. They dared not take the plain common-sense view of the teaching of the Bible, or the true and obvious meaning of its words, lest their religious system [250] should be endangered. That system gave in every case the law of interpretation, and the true sense was neither understood nor believed. He vindicated the authority of God's words as against every system, and exalted their sufficiency, their truthfulness, their trustworthiness, showing the propriety of relying upon the divine declarations alone, in which the terms of salvation were presented to us for our immediate acceptance. As he thus discoursed and developed the sad results of the prevailing systems which had closed the ears and the hearts of the people against the plain words of Scripture, William Hayden felt that he was right, and that he himself heretofore had been thus blinded, and had not really believed "that God meant what he said." A complete revolution was at once effected in his mind as he meditated upon the truths he had heard. The Bible was to him now a new book. The gospel was a simple development of God's love, adapted to every creature, and furnishing to every one who believed it a direct and practical assurance of acceptance. To preach was no longer a mockery, pretending to offer salvation to all, yet announcing that this was nevertheless reserved for a definite pre-ordained number known to God alone. On the contrary, the gospel was now seen to be truly the power of God to every one who believed it, and he felt that he could now offer it upon its own simple terms, as such, to sinners.

      He was at this time teaching a school in Austintown, and in February, Adamson Bentley came and held some meetings, at which a number were induced to submit to the gospel. Among these was his particular friend, John Henry, born in Chartiers township, Washington county, Pennsylvania, October 1, 1797, and removed to Ohio in 1803, where he was raised a strict Presbyterian. [251] He was a man of very singular powers and universally esteemed. Like William Hayden, he possessed fine musical talents, great kindness of disposition, an independent spirit and the gift of language. Earnest, truth-loving, enterprising and fearless, his accession greatly aided William Hayden amidst the violent opposition which the cause had then to encounter, and encouraged him in his first efforts at public speaking. John Henry himself, some time afterward at a baptism, when evil-disposed persons derided and created a disturbance, was impelled to burst forth into an indignant and effective remonstrance, which revealed to him his own latent power over an audience and led him to devote himself to public speaking. Having a remarkable memory and readiness of utterance, though without discipline of mind or the graces of elocution, he could, nevertheless, enchain the people for hours by his rapid and thorough expositions of scriptural themes, quoting and applying every passage in the Bible relating to the subject, giving chapter and verse without a moment's pause, with pointed and keen criticisms upon the errors of the popular teaching, and brief but pertinent exhortations to duty. He hence became, after a time, one of the most reliable and effective preachers on the Reserve. The accession of John Henry and his intrepid advocacy of the cause soon led to the formation of a church at Austintown of one hundred and ten members, which was organized by Scott, Bentley and Raines, William Hayden being placed over it.

      The arrangement which had been made by the Association in appointing the latter a fellow-laborer with Walter Scott proved to be a most effective one. The two evangelists, earnestly co-operating and wholly devoted to the work, seemed to carry everything before [252] them. Crowded audiences were everywhere in attendance in meeting-houses, private dwellings, barns or shady groves; many came from a desire to listen to the charming singing of William Hayden, and were brought over to the truth preached. Throughout this whole region sectarian conversions were soon almost entirely suspended. Preachers who ventured to oppose the "ancient gospel" lost their influence and were forsaken by many of their adherents, who united with the Christian churches. A great number also, who had been bewildered by the inconsistent doctrines of the sectarian world and had become skeptical, were led to believe and obey the gospel, while a number of gifted individuals were raised up even from the humblest walks of life to become efficient and devoted preachers, and to render their powerful assistance to those already in the field.

      One of these, Jonas Hartzel (born October 19, 1803, in Northampton county, Pennsylvania, from whence the family removed to Deerfield, Ohio, in 1805), had been brought up a Presbyterian. Some time in 1826, his wife, who was a pious Methodist, said to him, unexpectedly, "What Scripture have you for infant baptism? If you have any, I ask for it; for I have no confidence in my baptism." He replied, "Alice, I can satisfy you on that subject;" and, opening the Bible, he turned to the proof-texts to show that it came in place of circumcision; then to the household baptisms and the saying, "Suffer little children to come unto me," etc.; but, upon considering these passages, his logical mind could find no proof in them, and, greatly mortified and disappointed, he put the subject off for the time. Too honest with himself, however, to controvert the teachings of the Bible, he was, after some further inquiry, fully convinced [253] that infant baptism had no divine authority. He then said, "We have been misled by our religious guides. We have been deceived in a plain case, and if so in reference to baptism, perhaps we have been led into error on other subjects of equal or greater importance. We have taken our religion on trust. We have read the Scriptures to confirm our creeds. We must now read the Bible to form our religious sentiments for ourselves, and go whithersoever it may lead us."

      This change of views caused great grief to the relatives on both sides, who expostulated and argued, but Mr. Hartzel and his wife read the Scriptures, and soon found that "faith came by hearing," and that salvation was thus brought within their reach. The controversy grew warmer. Mr. Hartzel argued from Acts ii. 38, "that as baptism was for remission of sins, and to be preceded by faith and repentance, it could have no relation to infants." Hearing some months afterward that Mr. Campbell taught baptism for remission, he became a subscriber to the "Christian Baptist," which he had occasionally read, and was delighted with the grand purpose it held in view--a return to the primitive gospel--a restoration rather than a reformation--the preaching and teaching of Christianity as it was before there were any reformations or any occasion for them. Following out their convictions, Mr. Hartzel and his wife were immersed on the second Lord's day in June, 1828, and in August of this same year, at the annual meeting, he saw Mr. Campbell for the first time, and at once identified him amongst the crowd of preachers by his simple, self-possessed manners, his unclerical appearance and unassuming deportment. When he heard him speak, he was charmed with the artlessness of his delivery and with the singular power of his discourse, and [254] was impressed at once with the conviction that he was one of those remarkable men raised up by Providence for the accomplishment of important ends. As it was the custom of the churches now rapidly forming everywhere to adopt at once the primitive order and depend for mutual edification upon the gifts of the members, those of Mr. Hartzel did not remain long concealed. Possessing a vigorous mind, a remarkably clear perception of logical relations, a sincere love of truth and a fine command of language, he soon became distinguished as an effective and able preacher. In person he is tall and erect, grave in manner, in complexion somewhat swarthy, with regular features, intelligent dark eyes, full and handsome lips, and in speaking has a slightly German pronunciation and arrangement of words.

      Many others there were who at this period were brought forward by the pressing demand of the times from amidst the pursuits of husbandry and other ordinary vocations to assume the position of preachers of the gospel. However useful to this office the refinements of education, the cause could not now wait for the slow processes of scholastic discipline or the tedious preliminaries of a college course. These advantages, indeed, were far from being essential, since the gospel, now freed from theological speculations, was found to be adapted to the humblest capacity, and to require nothing but a simple, earnest and faithful presentation in order to the conversion of sinners. Hence, quite a number of individuals of little culture but earnest faith, inspired by the love of truth and of humanity, entered into the field of public labor, and many of them, having fine natural abilities, greatly promoted the progress of the gospel. To those already mentioned of this class [255] may be added a few others who at this period were prominent advocates of the cause. Of these was Cyrus Bosworth, distinguished less as a preacher than as a counselor, and as a man of resolute and decided character, exercising a commanding influence. He was a native of Roxbury, Plymouth county, Massachusetts, born April 12, 1791. He came to Warren in 1813 and engaged in teaching, but afterward carried the express mail along the forest paths of this newly-settled region, and was the first messenger to convey to Pittsburg the news of Perry's victory on Lake Erie. He served afterward as a member of the Ohio Legislature and as sheriff of Trumbull county. He embraced the gospel soon after it began to be preached by Walter Scott, and continued until his death, April 4, 1861, to take an unabated interest in the things of the kingdom of God.

      His brother Marcus, three years younger, removed to Ohio from Roxbury and settled in Braceville, Trumbull county, in 1816. Soon after, he experienced a religious awakening among the Presbyterians, but having imbibed Baptist views in early life, could not be persuaded that sprinkling was baptism, though he searched the Scriptures diligently and listened to the arguments of several preachers. He and his wife were finally immersed by Thomas Miller in 1819, and he became a deacon of the Baptist church formed during the following year at Braceville. From his zeal, piety and speaking abilities he was soon after recommended to engage in the ministry, and while attending the "ministers' meetings" became acquainted with Mr. Campbell and with the principles of the Reformation, which he cordially embraced. Being ordained in October, 1827, he gave himself ardently to the work, and when Walter Scott visited Braceville, preaching baptism for [256] remission of sins, he, after careful examination, fully adopted this as the plain doctrine of Scripture. He was a man of average height, light complexion and sandy hair, extremely plain and familiar, but unassuming in his manners. As a speaker, he was not boisterous or vehement, but had a rapid delivery, and was so full of feeling that he could not discourse on the themes of salvation without shedding abundance of tears and deeply affecting his audience. He was a very successful preacher, and, as a man, universally beloved, abounding in prayer, in hospitality and in all good works. Appointed by the Association in 1829 to itinerate in connection with W. Scott, A. Bentley and W. Hayden, he was the means of converting many, and continued his labors until June 10, 1847, when, in the triumphs of faith, he yielded up his spirit into the hands of the Lord he had so faithfully served.

      Another of those who were actively engaged at this early period of the Reformation was Symonds Rider, a native of Hartford, Connecticut, born November 20, 1792, and settling at Hiram, in Portage county, Ohio, in 1814, where he still lives and has ever been an upright and prominent citizen. He was at an early period much devoted to the Scriptures and particularly solicitous in regard to the subject of conversion. Having marked and carefully considered all the passages relating to this subject, he concluded that if he ever met a preacher who presented the gospel just as he read it in the New Testament, he would yield to it. In June, 1828, he heard Thomas Campbell preach in Mantua, and finding what he heard in perfect accordance with what he read, he came forward promptly at the first invitation and was baptized by Reuben Ferguson, who had recently been a Methodist preacher. Being a man [257] of earnest and sincere purpose and a cogent reasoner, Mr. Rider attained considerable distinction as a public speaker, and still remains elder of the flourishing church at Hiram.

      To these may be added E. B. Hubbard, also still living, who, born in Duchess county, New York, February 28, 1792, removed to Deerfield, Ohio, in 1802. Uniting with the Methodists there, he nevertheless regarded creeds and all legislation on the part of religious bodies as invasions of Christ's prerogative, and finally, in conjunction with S. McGowan, C. P. Finch, a Methodist preacher, and some others, learned from the Scriptures the true basis of organization for the Church, which they endeavored to carry out into practice amidst a storm of opposition. Hearing then of a similar society in Braceville, Hubbard and Finch were deputed to visit it. Being much gratified with what they saw and heard, Marcus Bosworth was invited to visit Deerfield, which he did in June, 1828, in company with Mr. Bentley, and held a meeting at which seven were immersed, and the church was fairly established. Mr. Hubbard soon engaged in preaching, and has rendered effectual service to the cause by his faithful and long-continued labors.

      In this connection the name of John Whitaker deserves mention. Of Quaker lineage, he became awakened under the preaching of the Christian Connection, but soon afterward, hearing Walter Scott, entered fully into the clearer light, and became quite an able preacher, powerful both in argument and in exhortation. As a man he was eminently social and hospitable, and, though grave in his deportment, possessed a large fund of genuine wit.

      Of those from among the Baptists there were also [258] many besides the individuals formerly mentioned who distinguished themselves by their efforts in behalf of the primitive faith and order. Among these, William Collins was noted for excellent preaching abilities and extensive usefulness. He had been educated at Hamilton Seminary, New York, and afterward settled at Chardon, Ohio, where he labored for many years, and was deservedly popular, dying a few years since, much regretted. He was succeeded by Ebenezer Williams, formerly mentioned, who, after his conversion from Restorationism, continued to be a faithful and consistent advocate of the truth, dying recently in the fullness of hope. He was a man of great candor, clear, logical and convincing in his discourses, and greatly esteemed by all who knew him. Among others from the Baptists, too, may be mentioned John Applegate, who, after a two years' struggle, became at length convinced of the truths he had heard in 1828 from W. Scott, at Austintown, being greatly helped forward by Jesse Hall, the worthy deacon of the church in Hubbard, where he lived, and who had at an early period embraced the Reformation. Mr. Applegate has labored much for the cause amidst his arduous struggles to rear a numerous family upon a little farm, and his humble, consistent, godly life and remarkably cheerful spirit have made him a great benefaction to the Church. Others, also, there were who, though less regularly engaged in public ministries, or acting merely as elders or deacons of the congregations, contributed much to the furtherance of the gospel. Prominent among these was the venerable John Rudolph, of Garrettsville, in Portage county, who was distinguished for his piety, his firmness and many excellences, and possessed great personal weight. He was especially remarkable for [259] his uncommon gift in social prayer, in which he manifested a humility, suitableness and fervency rarely equaled and impossible to describe. He was a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, hospitable, just, sober, yielding up after a hard struggle his favorite Baptist theories, and heartily embracing the simpler views of the gospel which were brought to his attention. His two sons, John and Zebedee, entered also at an early period into the ranks of the Reformation, and have continued faithfully devoted to the interests of the truth--the former acting as deacon in the church at Garrettsville, and the latter, with more than usual scholarly attainments, self-acquired, rendering efficient aid in the congregation at Hiram.

      Nor were there wanting some who were won over from positive infidelity to the public advocacy of the primitive faith. Among these Amos Allerton, of Deerfield, was conspicuous. He was a man of great personal strength and courage, tall, bony, straight as an arrow, and somewhat rough in manners and appearance, but a high-minded, honorable man, tender-hearted, remarkably quick in discernment, and withal conscientious and condemning everything mean or selfish. He was, nevertheless, a bold, fearless infidel, and when he heard the rumor, among many others equally absurd, that Mr. Scott was taking the people by force and dipping them, he declared that such things should not be done in Deerfield. Mr. Scott soon came to fill an appointment there on a week-day, and Allerton attended, publicly avowing his intention to interfere to prevent any imposition upon the people. At the sight of Mr. Scott's feeble frame, his flashing dark eyes, his intellectual features and humble, reverential bearing, he found himself insensibly softened, and soon began to take a deep interest [260] in the subject presented. On this occasion Mr. Scott had an audience densely crowded, and being animated with more than usual power, he surpassed himself. For three full hours he held the people enchained by his clear developments and vivid descriptions of the patriarchal, Jewish and Christian dispensations, pausing for a few moments between each division while a song was sung by Sister Davis, a fine singer from Wales. Having completed his magnificent oration, and given a comprehensive view of the entire subject of religion in the light of the Bible, he called upon the audience for obedience to the gospel. The instant the invitation was given, Captain Allerton started from his seat and strode toward the preacher, while the people who knew his views and expressed purposes trembled for the results. But when the strong man was seen to bow himself in humble submission to the claims of the gospel, which he had now for the first time learned to understand and appreciate, an intense emotion pervaded the entire assembly, and the eyes of many were suffused with tears. Such was the effect when this "tall oak of Bashan," as Mr. Scott termed him, was felled, that eleven others immediately came forward, and a flourishing church was established at Deerfield, in which Mr. Allerton soon became one of the most efficient members, preaching and baptizing many, noted for his fluency in speech and wisdom in council, and, though variable in the excellence of his public efforts, often more brilliant than others who evinced greater uniformity in the character of their public addresses.

      All these were warm personal friends of Mr. Campbell, and much endeared to him by their earnest labors, their self-sacrificing spirit and their zeal for the restoration of the pure and simple apostolic gospel. Under [261] the circumstances then existing, it required no small amount of moral courage to oppose the popular religious systems and to brave the public obloquy and social estrangement which resulted. To undertake the public advocacy of the cause demanded then a noble disinterestedness and an unselfish devotion. The things said and written against a salaried clergy, as well as the newly-discovered simplicity of the gospel, had almost entirely suspended all contributions for the ministry, and the recently-formed churches had as yet adopted no co-operative system or regular plan of operations. Hence the individuals who felt impelled to use their efforts for the spread of the truth were obliged to do this not only without the prospect of any present remuneration, but to the neglect of their own affairs and the expenditure of their own limited means. On one occasion one of them, having a series of appointments to meet, and being without a horse to ride, borrowed one from a neighbor, for the shoeing of which he was to pay two dollars. Having filled his engagements and received nothing hut compliments, he had, upon his return, to work four days for the blacksmith in order to pay the debt he had incurred. These noble men were, however, the praise of the churches and the glory of Christ. The advancement of the cause seemed to depend upon their free efforts and their aggressive onslaughts upon the corruptions of sectarianism. Denouncing textuary preaching, written sermons and theological theories, they employed universally direct extemporaneous methods of address, and taught the people the Scriptures in their connection, accomplishing a mighty work in the liberation of multitudes from the thraldom of human systems, and in establishing permanently on the Western Reserve the claims of the primitive gospel. [262]


[MAC2 226-262]

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Robert Richardson
Memoirs of Alexander Campbell, Volume II. (1869)

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