Being Brief Biographical Sketches
of Some Pioneers of the
Registered at the
General Post Office (Melbourne)
for transmission through the post as a book.
Wholly set up and printed in Australia by
The Austral Printing & Publishing Co. Ltd.,
528, 530 Elizabeth St., Melbourne, Victoria.
IT is well to honor the memory of noble pioneers. We are indebted to them for our happy religious position, and our knowledge of God and his salvation. New generations quickly arise with no personal knowledge of the worthy men into whose heritage we have entered.
I hail with pleasure the issue of this little volume telling of the faith and work of some "Heralds of Christian Unity." Would that every member of the church would become familiar with the work of the pioneers of the Restoration Movement. The author of this book has several outstanding qualifications for his task. An honored preacher of the faith and an advocate of Christian union for forty years, he has adequate knowledge of the movement and of the men of whom he writes. He not only sympathises with the position set forth, but has a burning zeal and enthusiasm for the plea. Also he has the pen of a ready writer and the ability to compress into brief compass much interesting and important material.
These biographical sketches were favorably received as they appeared in "The Australian Christian." I trust that in book form they will reach a wider circle and that the author's aim--to interest, to instruct, and to stimulate--will be abundantly realised.
--A. R. MAIN.
|Carr, Oliver Anderson||74|
|Davies Family and the Church at Cam-yr-Alyn, The||36|
|Earl, Henry Samuel||63|
|Ewers, David Amos||92|
|Gore, Thomas Jefferson||68|
|Maston, Aaron Burr||98|
|Moysey, George Bickford||79|
|Rotherham, Joseph Bryant||58|
|Stone, Barton Warren||13|
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DURING the closing days of the eighteenth and the opening days of the nineteenth century, great bitterness and much sectarian strife characterised those who professed the Christian name, in both Europe and America. Amid these unlovely conditions there came into existence a religious movement that was at once a protest against sectarianism and all departures from the simple faith of the New Testament, and a plea for the restoration of New Testament Christianity and Christian unity. It began independently, and yet almost simultaneously in several places on both sides of the Atlantic. Those who pioneered this movement with several beginnings were men and women of the heroic type, who were concerned only with the will of God as they conceived it.
Thomas Campbell was father of one of the big branches of this restoration, movement; but it is scarcely correct to speak of him as the father of the whole of the movement as some have done. He was the father of that branch which began in the early days of the nineteenth century in Pennsylvania, U.S.A., and he has wonderfully influenced the whole of the movement.
He was born in County Down, Ireland, on February 1, 1763. His father, in early life, was a Roman Catholic, but later he became a member of the Church of England. In June, 1787, Thomas was married to Jane Corneigle, whose ancestors were French Huguenots. Their firstborn was Alexander, and he was born on September 12, 1788.
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Early Religious Experiences.
In early life Thomas Campbell became the subject of deep religious impressions, and a great lover of the scriptures. There was much formalism, and apparent want of vital godliness in much of the religious life of his day, and this did not favorably impress this ardent young soul. Because of this he turned from the Episcopal church, and was led towards the Covenanters. He passed through the usual emotional experiences that were so common among Christian people in those days, and sought for the then orthodox assurance of acceptance with God, but all in vain, for quite a time. One day, however, while walking in the fields he felt peace fill his soul, and he trusted Christ. From that day he always recognised himself as one of the Lord's, and sought to use his time and ability in his service. Having a strong desire to enter the ministry his father was consulted, but he was not favorable. He had very little sympathy with his son's religious change, as he was ardent in his attachment to the Church of England, and desired to serve God, so he said, "according to Act of Parliament." This opposition, however, was overcome.
After teaching school for a time Thomas Campbell entered Glasgow University, where he took the divinity course of three years. Then he entered the theological school of the Anti-Burgher branch of the Seceder church. Becoming a probationer he preached for such congregations as were without a settled minister, under the supervision of the Synod. "About the year 1798 he accepted a call from a church recently established at Ahorey"; this was close to Armagh, and not a great distance from the town of Newry.
As a preacher Thomas Campbell was very popular with the people of the denomination with which he was identified; as a pastor he was most diligent; as an example to the flock he was all that could be desired. In his family circle he was most careful in the religious training of those entrusted to him.
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During these days in Ireland he manifested, on more than one occasion, his complete trust in God, and willing submission to his will. They were days of trouble, for uprisings occurred, and rebellions were threatened. One day while Mr. Campbell was preaching the house was surrounded by a troop of Welsh soldiers. The captain evidently thought that he had come across a meeting of rebels, and so he walked into the church building in a threatening manner. Of course there was consternation among the worshippers, but Mr. Campbell commenced to repeat the forty-sixth Psalm--"Thou, O God, art our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." When the captain heard this he bowed his head, listened to the close, and then quietly left. Another day, just as he was about to enter
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the pulpit, a messenger arrived and informed him that his youngest brother had been killed in an accident. Without revealing his sorrow to the congregation he proceeded with the service, and only when his duties were done did he start for Newry where the accident had happened.
Off to America.
The dual duties of pastor of the church, and school teacher, seriously affected Mr. Campbell's health, and so he decided to emigrate to America. He left home for Londonderry, from which port he was to sail, on April 1, 1807. The voyage lasted thirty-five days, and on reaching Philadelphia he found the Anti-Burgher Synod of North America assembled in that city. His credentials were presented, and he was heartily received, and was appointed to the Presbytery of Chartiers.
The population in the parts where he labored in the gospel was very sparse, and consequently many devout believers were deprived of religious privileges. This troubled Mr. Campbell, and so while travelling with a young preacher named Wilson, to hold among the scattered settlers a "sacramental celebration," he invited members of other branches of the church to commune. This action, together with conversations they had together, convinced Mr. Wilson that Mr. Campbell was not sound in the faith of the Seceder church. This conviction caused him to lay a charge before the Presbytery, and that body found him deserving of censure. Mr. Campbell appealed to the Synod, and while the sentence was set aside on some technical ground the matter was referred to a committee, and that committee accused him of evasion and equivocation. So bitter did the sectarian spirit make his fellow-laborers towards him that in a little while he was forced to withdraw from the Synod. This step caused him grief as he was a man of peace, and wonderfully generous in spirit.
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The Christian Association.
Although practically driven out from the body with which he had been associated Thomas Campbell did not cease to preach, but continued his work in private houses and in the open, wherever he could gather people together.
He had no thought of starting a new church, but he called his friends together to consider their position. At that meeting he suggested that they should take for their motto the now famous saying--"Where the scriptures speak, we speak; and where the scriptures are silent, we are silent."
Those who gathered together decided to form an association in the interests of undenominational Christianity, and Christian unity. This association came into existence on August 17, 1809, and was called "The Christian Association of Washington." On September 7 of that year Mr. Campbell read before the association the now historic "Declaration and Address." Someone has called that document "the great charter of the restoration movement." It set forth that nothing should be inculcated that was of human authority "as having any place in the constitution, faith or worship of the Christian church," and that nothing should be taught "as a matter of faith or duty for which there cannot be produced a 'Thus saith the Lord,' either in express terms or by approved example." It further set forth that the church was originally one, and pleaded that the original unify should be restored, declaring that nothing was necessary for this except "to conform to the model and adopt the practice of the primitive church, expressly exhibited in the New Testament." It is a most comprehensive document, and the principles laid down in it paved the way for one of the greatest of modern religious movements, that which seeks a return to New Testament Christianity and the unity of believers on that ground. When it was adopted, and ordered to be printed, neither Mr. Campbell nor any of the others present had any idea how far it would lead them.
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A log house was soon erected at a place called Brush Run, as a meeting-place for the association. After a little the members of that association were formed into a church, although Thomas Campbell was at first reluctant to agree to this. Up to this time Mr. Campbell had no idea that advocating unity on the New Testament basis would touch the question of baptism, but the study of the New Testament brought conviction, and in 1812 Mr. Campbell and others were immersed by Mr. Mathias Luce, a Baptist preacher. At first Mr. Luce hesitated, as the Campbells had laid it down that they were to be baptised upon a confession of their faith in Christ, just as people were in the days of the apostles, and that was not according to the Baptist custom of that day.
Still longing for a wider fellowship with the people of God, the Brush Run church, at the suggestion of some Baptists, sought admission to the Redstone Baptist Association in the year 1813; this association lasted till 1832, but it was not a very happy arrangement, as much opposition was waged against the Campbells by many of the Baptists.
Thomas Campbell's last discourse was delivered at Bethany on June 1, 1851. It was preached as a farewell sermon at the earnest request of many friends. Some time before this he had ceased his itinerating work among the churches owing to the growing infirmities of age, and had made his home at Bethany with his son Alexander. That farewell sermon was on the great theme of love to God and love to man. At this time the aged saint was blind. He lived until January 4, 1854, when he peacefully passed away, being only about a month short of ninety-one years of age. He left behind a sweet fragrance of a life that had been lived with God. He had been a man wonderfully courteous, and was characterised by a remarkable gentleness of disposition, and yet he held unswervingly to his convictions.
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He was one of the originators of the idea of Christian unity by a return to the simple Christianity of the New Testament, and seemed to see the matter clearer than did Barton W. Stone, who had started out on similar lines some years before, but whose work was unknown to Thomas Campbell when he started to make the great plea. But Campbell was nearly fifty years of age when he was providentially led to make the move. A younger man was needed to make the plea his life's work, and that younger man was found in Thomas Campbell's son, Alexander. He proved to be one with the culture and vigor necessary to carry on the work to a glorious success.
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ALEXANDER CAMPBELL, the first child of A Thomas and Jane Campbell, was born in County Antrim, Ireland, on September 12, 1788. His father--Thomas Campbell--was a Presbyterian minister in the Seceder branch of that church, and was a man devoted to his work, and determined to spend his life in the service of Christ. His mother's ancestors were French Huguenots, who fled from their native land in the time of Louis XIV. and who settled in Ireland. Alexander was their first child. In his boyhood he was more devoted to sport and physical exercise than to study. He found it difficult to fix his attention on his books. On one occasion he sought the shade of a friendly tree to try to prepare his French lesson, but he soon fell asleep and a cow grazing near saw the book and devoured it. His father, when punishing him for his carelessness, declared that "the cow had more French in her stomach than he had in his head." A little later the desire for knowledge asserted itself, and he became a diligent student, and was fired with the ambition of being "one of the best scholars in the kingdom."
At seventeen years of age Alexander became a member of the Presbyterian church, and his father's desire was that he should devote himself to the ministry of the Word. His youthful mind, however, became puzzled over the divisions of Christendom.
In 1807 Thomas Campbell decided to go to America, and a little more than a year later the wife and family set out also for that land
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of the West. But the vessel in which the family sailed was shipwrecked, and Alexander registered a vow that if saved he would spend his life in the ministry of the gospel. The shipwreck gave him the opportunity of becoming a student at Glasgow University, and brought him into contact with the Haldane brothers, who were doing a great work in Scotland, and who influenced Alexander
Campbell to a great extent. The result of that influence was that he became enamored with the idea of getting back to the simple Christianity of the New Testament. In 1809 the family set out again for America, and when they reached there they found that the religious views of Thomas Campbell, as well as those of Alexander, had undergone considerable change. The father had brought into existence a society called "The Christian Association of Washington," which was organised for the advocacy of Christian unity and faithful adherence to the teachings of the Scriptures. Into the work of that association Alexander threw himself with all the abandon of youth.
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Alexander delivered his first sermon on July 15, 1810, and in the first year of his ministry preached one hundred and six sermons. He attracted much public attention by his unusual ability.
The members of the association felt the need of a meeting-place of their own, and so a small log chapel was erected at a place called Brush Run. At that time there were only twenty-nine members in the association.
At the zenith of his powers Alexander Campbell would preach from two to two and a half hours, and during the whole of the discourse would often stand with one hand resting upon the top of his cane. The people who went to hear him would express surprise at the length of time that had been occupied, as it often seemed only a few minutes to them. One of his great sermons was on "The Law." This was preached before the Redstone Baptist Association in 1816. In that he demonstrated that the law as a system had ceased and that Christians were not under it.
He was invited to preach before Congress, and this he did in June, 1850, taking for his text John 3:17. Doubtless this was a unique experience to be asked to preach to a parliament. He spoke for one hour and a half that day.
But Campbell was not only a great reformer and preacher--he was also a controversialist. One debate was with Robert Owen, the great sceptical socialist. This took place in 1823; it lasted nine days. Mr. Campbell's last speech in that debate lasted for twelve hours, and was delivered in two-hour sections extending over three days.
Another of his debates was held with Bishop Purcell, of the Roman Catholic church. This took place in 1837, and like that with Robert Owen, it lasted for nine days. At the close a mass meeting of citizens
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was held, and resolutions complimenting Campbell were carried without any dissent. Both these debates are still being published and read.
Mr. Campbell did much writing. He edited a monthly paper, he issued a version of the New Testament, he compiled and published a hymn book, and about sixty volumes came from his pen, some of which are still fairly extensively read, possibly his "Christian System" being the one that has had the widest circulation.
He also founded Bethany College, an institution which took the Bible as one of its text books, and sought to train men for the ministry of the Word by teaching them the Word. He remained the president of the college till his death.
Alexander Campbell's last sermon was on "Spiritual Blessings in Heavenly Places," from the first chapter of Ephesians. His last appearance at a church service was on Feb. 11, 1866, when he presided at the Lord's table, and took part in the ordination of two elders, but he was not well enough to preach. He passed into the presence of the Lord on Lord's day, March 4, 1866.
Alexander Campbell was a very able man, and one who exerted a big influence, but we are too near his day to estimate him at his true value. The New York "Independent" said of him, "There is not a religious body in the United States that has not been modified both in spirit and teaching by the influence of Alexander Campbell"; and General Robert E. Lee declared, "If I were asked to select a representative of the human race to the inhabitants of other spheres, I should select Alexander Campbell, then I know they would have a high impression of what our humanity is like."
Well, what did he do? He was certainly one of the apostles of Christian unity. He took
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a stand against human creeds and party names, and the spirit of sectarianism. Perhaps his contribution to the Christian world can be summarised something like this:
1. He pointed out the need, both from the teaching of Scripture and human experience, for Christian unity.
2. He presented as the basis of such unity a restoration of the simple Christianity of the New Testament to these modern times.
3. He called attention to Christ as the only authorised creed of the church.
4. He saw clearly and taught plainly the distinction between the law and the gospel, and made plain how to handle aright the Word of truth.
5. He helped to free conversion from the mysticism that had been allowed to surround it, and clearly demonstrated the steps to be taken in becoming followers of Christ.
He was a great soul, able and fearless; he was mighty in the scriptures; he did much to free the Christian church from the errors that had overtaken it; he called attention to truth revealed in the Word that had come to be overlooked; he was a forerunner of the unity movement of the day in which we live; he was a restorer as well as a reformer--seeking to relieve Christianity of the accretions of the centuries, and to restore it as revealed in the New Testament in all its simplicity, loveliness and power; he called men back to the Christ and the New Testament, and forward to the answer to the prayer of Jesus for his followers found in John 17:20, 21, "That they all may be one, that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."
To-day, as the result of the initial work done by Campbell and others, there are several million believers in various parts of the world gathered into congregations known as churches of Christ or Christian churches, which are seeking more or less to reproduce the simplicities of New Testament Christianity, and are pleading, as did the pioneers, for the unity of all who love Christ.
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Barton Warren Stone.
ONE day, some years ago, I stood with the late Leslie E. Baker beside a grave in the churchyard at Cane Ridge, Kentucky, U.S.A. It was the grave of that great-hearted man of God--Barton W. Stone. The inscription on the stone read:--
The Church of Christ at Cane Ridge and other generous friends in Kentucky have caused this monument to be erected as a tribute of affection and gratitude to
BARTON W. STONE,
minister of the gospel, and the distinguished reformer of the 19th century. Born Dec. 24, 1772; died Nov. 9, 1844. His remains lie here. This monument was erected in 1847.
It was in the State of Maryland that Barton W. Stone first saw the light of day, but he grew to manhood in Virginia. He studied hard as a young fellow, and attained to great proficiency, having some idea of entering the legal profession.
Perplexity and Peace.
After the revolutionary war the Baptists and Methodists created great religious excitement in the part of the country where Stone lived. Through their efforts his mind was turned towards spiritual things, but he was much troubled by the fact that there were two parties; and as he did not know which to believe he soon threw off the religious impressions that he had received, and went on with his studies with the legal profession in view. It is sad to note the immense amount of harm that has been done through denominationalism
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to earnest seeking souls, who are bewildered by the confusion. He later entered an academy in North Carolina, and there found that the Presbyterians were creating great interest. One day he went with his room-mate to hear the preaching. As a result all the religious impressions he had formerly received were revived. For a whole year he was tossed about on the sea of uncertainty, "striving to obtain saving faith." But after his long struggle he "found peace" in a wood to which he had gone with his Bible, after hearing a sermon on the text, "God is love."
On completing his studies he was seized with a great desire to preach the gospel, but was in great doubt as to whether he had been called of God to the work. Ultimately he became a candidate for the Presbyterian ministry. One day a work on the Trinity was placed in his hands, the reading of which threw him into a state of great perplexity, and almost made him decide to abandon his preparation for the work of preaching the gospel. However, he went on, and later was licensed by the Orange presbytery. His first work was a preaching tour in which he proved himself to be most acceptable to the good folk at Cane Ridge, and Concord, in Kentucky, and he was invited to become the pastor.
Westminster Confession of Faith.
Previous to his ordination he gave the Westminster Confession of Faith a thorough study. This revived his perplexity concerning the Trinity, and presented difficulties about election and other doctrines. He revealed his state of mind to two of the ministers, who asked him how far he could receive the Confession of Faith. He replied, "As far as it is consistent with the Word of God." And such was the answer he gave to the presbytery. As nobody raised any objection he was ordained.
At Cane Ridge.
He settled as the pastor of the Presbyterian church at Cane Ridge in 1801. At that time there was a considerable revival going on under
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the preaching of a number of Presbyterian ministers. Mr. Stone went down to Logan County to attend one of the many camp meetings being held. On his return to Cane Ridge he started similar meetings, and saw wonderful results. He was helped by Methodist and Baptist
preachers. At those meetings he preached the sufficiency of the gospel of Christ to save men, and that the Word of God could produce faith. This was a departure from the ideas of the day, and it soon met with much opposition. He, and several others, were called before the synod, and coming to the conclusion
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that the case would go against them, Stone and his associates withdrew therefrom. They were then suspended, and the synod declared their pastorates vacant. But the men concerned formed themselves into the Springfield presbytery, and published a document in which they stated their objections to confessions of faith, and urged the abandonment of everything but the Bible as the rule of faith and practice.
The Last Will and Testament.
Although severed from his former associates, like the Campbells later, Stone continued to preach, as did those who had withdrawn from the Presbyterian body with him. But scarcely a year elapsed before they realised that such an organisation as a presbytery controlling the churches was unscriptural. Without hesitation they followed their convictions, and abandoned that which they had formed. When they did this they wrote a document entitled "The Last Will and Testament of the Springfield Presbytery." This, like the "Declaration and Address" of Thomas Campbell, is one of the classics of the restoration movement. They decided to take only the name Christian. And becoming convinced that the baptism taught in the New Testament is the immersion of the penitent believer, they submitted to that rite. Their baptism took place in the year 1804, five years before the organisation of "The Christian Association of Washington" by Campbell, and eight years before the Campbells obeyed the divine command to be baptised. But Stone, and those with him, had some difficulty at the first about their baptism. Baptists would not baptise them unless they were prepared to unite with that denomination. At last they came to the conclusion that the preachers could and should baptise one another, and this they did.
The Purpose of Baptism.
The design or purpose of the ordinance of baptism was evidently seen dimly, but early, by Mr. Stone. At a meeting in Concord there was a great crowd of mourners, who, although prayed for, did not receive the comfort and
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assurance expected. His mind went back to Pentecost, and to Peter's great answer that day to those who were seeking the way, and so he promptly quoted the language of the Spirit through Peter found in Acts 2:38, "Repent and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." This only added to the perplexity of the mourners, and Mr. Stone remarked afterwards that "the presentation of water had a chilling effect upon the people." He declined to repeat that experiment, and when, later, Mr. Campbell taught as Acts 2:38 does--baptism after repentance, and in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, Stone manifested repugnance to it.
The Union Plea in Practice
The movement started by Barton W. Stone united with two other movements--one started in North Carolina by James O'Kelly, who came from the Methodists, the other started in Vermont by Abner Jones, who came from the Baptists.
For some years, as they came into contact with one another, there had been a growing feeling of unity between those associated with Stone and those associated with the Campbells. Here and there congregations united, but in 1835, without any formal resolutions, these two branches of the restoration movement became one, with the exception of a few of those associated with Mr. Stone, and they maintained a separate, but not very successful existence, until a few years ago, when they united with the Congregationalists.
There were, of course, some slight differences between the Stone movement and that of the Campbells. The former was given more to evangelistic work, the latter more to teaching; the former made unity their chief point, while the latter seemed to stress more the need for the restoration of New Testament Christianity. But really each was the counterpart of the other; each needed the influence of the other. Both stood for liberty from human creeds, for the Bible only as the guide to religion, against
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the wearing of human names, and for the simplicity that is found in Christ and the New Testament.
In 1844 Stone preached his last sermon in the little chapel at Cane Ridge, when a great crowd assembled. It is said that the scene of the white-haired veteran in the pulpit was most affecting. When the service was over he looked round at the old meeting-place and said, "I shall see this place no more." A few months later he died in full assurance of faith.
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THE Restoration Movement owes much to Scotland. It was in that land that Thomas Campbell had his university course, and there Alexander Campbell met Greville Ewing, the Haldane preacher, who influenced his mind towards the simple Christianity of the New Testament to a very great extent. And from that land went the pioneer evangelist in America--Walter Scott. He saw the light of day in Moffatt on October 31, 1796. He studied in Edinburgh University, and at the age of 21 emigrated to America, arriving in New York on July 7, 1818. With a companion he set out on foot for Pittsburgh, arriving there in May, 1819. At Pittsburgh he met George Forrester, a fellow Scotsman, who kindly received him and hospitably entertained him. Mr. Forrester was at that time conducting a school, and Scott became his assistant.
Forrester had been much influenced by the Haldanes in Scotland, and he was a great lover of the Bible. He and Scott conversed much about sacred things, and soon the assistant became convinced that infant baptism had no place in the Christian economy, and that immersion and not sprinkling was the correct action of baptism. He yielded to his conviction and was immersed, thus advancing beyond his pious Presbyterian parents. His study of the Word continued, and he became enamored with the simplicity of the gospel scheme of salvation. This to him was so different to the abstruse theological systems of men.
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Wishing to be useful in the kingdom of God, he went to New York to help the little church in that place, which held views akin to those of the Scotch Baptists, and the Haldanes. But he was disappointed with the condition of that church, and soon returned to Pittsburgh. He again took up the school work there, much to the joy of the parents. Soon after his return, Mr. Forrester was drowned, and so upon Walter Scott devolved the care of the little church which had been gathered.
He was a great student of the Word, and would often work till long after midnight. His studies led him to see that the memoirs of Jesus written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were to demonstrate that Jesus was the Christ and the Son of God, and that that truth was the foundation of Christianity. Having a keen analytical mind, he was soon able to arrange the plan of salvation in its various parts.
Meeting Alexander Campbell.
Walter Scott first met Alexander Campbell in 1822, and a very warm friendship sprang up between the two men. They were both animated by a desire to know New Testament truth, and with a firm opposition to all human standards for the church of God. They both ardently desired the unity of the people of God. The two men were really the counterparts of each other--Campbell was firm and fearless, Scott was timid and yielding; Campbell was calm, Scott was excitable. Both men were endowed with great reasoning powers. As a preacher Campbell never disappointed his hearers, while Scott often did. And yet at times Scott rose to great heights. It is said that on one occasion Scott was so eloquent that the calm Alexander Campbell cried out, "Glory to God in the highest."
At the Mahoning Baptist Association meeting on August 23, 1827, Scott was appointed evangelist. The churches comprising that association were largely under Restoration influence
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at that time. He threw himself into the work with a glorious abandon, and was most successful. It was about this time that he arranged the facts, conditions, and promises of the gospel in their scriptural order, and he
called this the ancient gospel. Later, somebody referred to it as Scott's five finger exercise. He frequently used the school children to advertise his meetings. He would meet them coming out of school, and ask them how many fingers they had on each hand, and then he would name his points, one for the thumb and one for each finger thus--1. Faith; 2. Repentance; 3. Baptism; 4. Remission of Sins;
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5. The Gift of the Holy Spirit. He would then ask them to tell their parents that they had met a man who was going to preach that night, and that they had the five points of his sermon on their hand.
At New Lisbon, Ohio, there lived a man named William Amend, who had not taken a stand for Christ, and who had told his wife that he never would until he found a man who would tell people as Peter told the people on the Day of Pentecost what to do to be saved. On November 18, 1827, Scott preached to a large audience on Matthew 16:16, connecting that with the Day of Pentecost and Peter's reply to the enquiring crowd, Amend did not arrive at the service till Scott had almost finished, but he heard Walter Scott urge his hearers to act upon the promise of Acts 2:38 and repent and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins. Amend immediately pressed to the front, acknowledged his faith in Christ, and asked to he baptised. His obedience in that matter followed at once; he was probably the first man in modern times to be baptised with a knowledge that baptism is, in the name of Christ, for the remission of sins.
At the end of the first year as an evangelist Scott was able to report 1,000 additions to the churches of the association, new churches established, and great zeal being manifested by the disciples. The year before his appointment the seventeen churches only reported 34 baptisms, an average of two each. Needless to say, he was appointed for a further term, with William Hayden to assist him. He had declared that given his head, his Bible, and William Hayden to assist, he would go forth to convert the world.
When news of the great success of Walter Scott reached the Campbells they were somewhat concerned lest Scott was being carried away by his enthusiasm, and so Thomas Campbell paid a visit to the part of the country in
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which the great work was going on. He mingled with the churches and watched Scott at work. He was convinced that Scott was putting into practice the things that the Campbells themselves had been teaching concerning the primitive gospel.
Other preachers began to follow the lead of Scott, and soon intelligent obedience to the gospel took the place of feelings and dreams with many of the people. To this day preachers of the Restoration plea are much indebted to Scott for the arrangement of the gospel into facts to be believed, commands to be obeyed, and promises to be enjoyed.
He did much writing for the papers edited by Alexander Campbell, using the nom-de-plume of "Philip." Later he edited "The Protestant Unionist" himself. Towards the close of his life he completed a book called "The Messiahship," which is a work that should be read by all advocates of the New Testament way.
Walter Scott died at the age of 64 on April 23, 1861, at Mayslick, Kentucky. He was a man who had a strong faith in the Christ of God, and loved to exalt him. It is said that walking along with some friend he would pluck a flower and ask, "Do you know why Christ is called the Rose of Sharon?" and then he would say, "Because the Rose of Sharon has no thorns." And then in beautiful language he would talk about the glories of the Redeemer.
The Restoration movement owes much to this man. It was he who showed us the various parts in the gospel message; it was he who brought to the front the idea that Christianity centred in a Person and not in a system of theology; it was he who emphasised the truth "that faith in, love for, and obedience to Jesus" constituted the great need of mankind; it was he who without hesitancy called for man's response to the New Testament.way of salvation.
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IN the beautiful cemetery at Lexington, Kentucky, there lies the body of John Smith, beside that of his wife. These were two of the noble pioneers of the restoration movement in U.S.A.
John was born on October 15, 1784, in Sullivan County, Tennessee, and died on February 28, 1868. His wife--Nancy--was born on November 15, 1792, and died on November 4, 1861. John's father was the only son of German parents, and he married an Irish maiden. John was their ninth child. The father was a quiet grave man, who loved peace; the mother was full of the wit and humor that characterise the Irish race. Both were zealous members of the Baptist Church, which at that time was intensely Calvinistic. Every effort was made by the parents to impress this severe faith on the growing boys and girls.
When he was about ten years of age a teacher appeared in the district, and John was permitted to abstain from his work on the farm on every day except Saturday in order that he might attend school. The school-room was of a very primitive type, and the education was of a meagre sort, but John made the best of it. This schooling only lasted for about four months, but during that time the boy had learned to read.
The rigid Calvinism of the father was imbibed by the son, and he often wondered whether the Holy Spirit would ever call him, and whether some glorious vision would be granted to him. In 1799, a humble and godly Baptist minister settled in Stockton's Valley.
Kentucky, to which place the family had removed
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a few years before. The minister organised a church, and the settlers erected a meeting-house. And here again John had the chance of a little schooling, but this only lasted for a brief time, as the teacher proved to be lazy and inefficient, and was given to drink.
The Baptist minister seemed to have a special regard for John, and John was ever ready to go over and help the faithful pastor to till his plot of ground. Being a strict Calvinist he labored to impress on John's young mind that the sinner is utterly dead, and that he could not obey God if he would.
The revival which had swept over other parts of the land came to the valley where the Smiths lived. John attended the meetings, but looked with scepticism on the idea that the physical jerks seen were the work of the Holy Spirit. But he searched the Scriptures, and came to the conclusion therefrom that it was his duty to become a Christian. He became convinced that he was a sinner, and tried, in the then orthodox style, to convince himself that he was the chief of sinners. From now on he had alternating periods of despair and rejoicing, during which he prayed most earnestly for the peace which he needed. On one occasion a dreamy peace of mind became his. He related his experience to his brother William, who said, "You are converted, John." But his doubts returned, and his mother told him that he must wait the Lord's time. However, urged by his friends, he went before the church on December 4, 1804, and related his struggles during the previous ten months. The church accepted his experience as a work of grace, and on the next day he was baptised by Isaac Denton.
Becoming a Preacher.
The pastor helped him all he could, and hoped that he would become a preacher. A desire to preach seized the young fellow's heart, but he had been taught that "unless specially called as was Aaron to the priesthood," he
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could not, without impiety, attempt to expound the Scriptures.
Just now an opportunity came for John to get a little more education, and he gladly seized it. About this time he also began to lead in prayer in family circles, and met his brethren in fireside exhortation. At some of these gatherings he saw Anna Townsend, who became his first wife on December 9, 1806.
In 1808, when 24 years of age, John was ordained to preach, and immediately after his ordination baptised his first candidates. He now preached every Sunday, often riding many miles on the Saturday to reach his appointment. Between Sundays he worked on the farm.
On January 7, 1815, he left home to preach on the Sunday. After he left his wife was called to the bedside of a sick neighbor. While away her cabin caught on fire, and two of the older children were burned to death. Her face never brightened again, and soon after she sickened and died. He came back in haste as soon as word reached him of the catastrophe. He was worried with the thought that possibly those children were of the non-elect, and had gone to a fiery hell. Later he came to the conclusion that his children were happy, for they were innocent. And so this tragedy shook his Calvinistic faith.
Towards the end of the year he married again; the second bride being Nancy Hunt.
His searching of the Word continued, and he became convinced that the Calvinistic creed was wrong. Just then a friend put into his hands the prospectus of "The Christian Baptist," which was to be edited by Alexander Campbell. The prospectus set out that the paper would not espouse the cause of any religious sect, "excepting that ancient sect called Christians first at Antioch." Mr. Smith ordered the paper. He searched through the first editions to find out if the editor was a Calvinist, or not. As yet he had no idea that a man could be a Christian only. However he was unable to classify Alexander Campbell.
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In the spring of 1824 John rode twenty miles in order to meet Campbell. On reaching the place he asked a brother Baptist if Campbell was a Calvinist or Arminian. The reply received was--"I do not know; he has nothing to do with any of these things." After hearing Campbell he remarked that it was very hard to ride twenty miles to hear a man preach for thirty minutes. When told that he was mistaken, he pulled his watch out of his pocket, and found to his amazement that the sermon had lasted for two and a half hours.
He now threw off the denominational fetters, and was free. One evening after reading the Scriptures he closed his Bible, and turning to his wife he began to count up with her the sacrifices he would have to make to follow and proclaim the truth as he then saw it. But they unitedly resolved to sacrifice all for the sacred cause of truth. He declared that he had no hope of seeing the ancient gospel prevail in his day, but he hoped to see a few young men raised up to push forward the work. In 1825 he began to call upon men to believe the facts of the gospel on the testimony of the inspired writers, and to obey its commands.
With his change of views came strong opposition on the part of his old Baptist friends; some of whom went so far as to call him an apostate from the faith. Charges of a trivial nature were made against him, all having to do with departures from Baptist customs.
For a time he returned to and worked his farm, with a desire to pay a debt he owed, but in January, 1828, he felt that he must go out and preach again, and earnestly plead for the restoration of New Testament Christianity. Dropping his apron one day he said to his wife, "Nancy, I shall work no more! Get whom you please to carry on the farm! I am determined to preach the gospel, and will leave the consequences to God." She readily caught his spirit, and assumed the responsibility of running the farm.
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In the campaign on which he thus embarked he preached daily, at least twice, and often baptised at night those who confessed Christ during the day. He did his best to induce churches to abandon human creeds, and to take only the Word of God as their rule of faith and practice. He hoped that one day all his Baptist brethren would accept "the ancient order," but in this he was doomed to disappointment. However many Baptist congregations did.
In the spring of 1828 a man in one of his meetings arose and said he failed to find in the Word that a sinner should relate an experience before he could be baptised, that he believed with all his heart, and wished to be immersed on that confession of faith. Smith agreed, and exhorted others to act likewise. Never again did he receive an experience as a condition of baptism. Thus one by one the errors were thrown off, now that he was free.
In 1831 he visited his old home district, and saw his mother. She told him of her distress, and asked why he hadn't waited till she was dead before he had made the changes he had in religious matters. She wept sorely in his presence, and he said that if she would answer for him in the day of judgment, he would preach Calvinism again. She admitted that she could not do that, and finally said, "All right, Johnnie; you ought to think for yourself." From that day she always stood up for her boy when others spoke against him.
But others did not so act. Meeting one of his old friends one day, he said, "Brother Floyd, I am glad to see you again." Floyd replied, "Don't call me brother any more, Mr. Smith." He at once replied, "What have they turned you out of the church for? What is it that you have done?" He thus tried to show the man the folly of his antagonistic spirit.
He had much to do with bringing together those who were associated with Barton W. Stone, and those who were associated with the
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Campbells. At a great meeting that was held in Lexington on New Year's day in 1832, he and Stone were the preachers. It had been called to consider the closer fellowship of the two movements that stood for the simple Christianity of the New Testament. After Stone's address, he and Smith grasped hands, and the brethren all over the meeting joined their hands in joyful accord. Thus they demonstrated the value of the plea for unity by restoration. John Smith and John Rogers travelled together after that memorable meeting throughout Kentucky, in order to consummate the union of the two wings of the movement. This union gave added power to the witness, and great success followed.
John Smith was characterised by a fine sense of humor. Had we sufficient space we could tell of many incidents which would show this. We must be content with one.
One day he stopped at a roadside inn to get a meal. The landlady was rather talkative and inquisitive. Finding out the part of the country from which John came, she said, "Travellers tell me that there is a strange sort of people up there called Campbellites." "Yes, madam, there are some," replied Smith. Excitedly the lady said, "You have seen some of them, then. How do they look?" He replied, "Those I have seen look much like other people." "Well," she said, "I would really like to see one. I'd give more to see one of those people than I would give to see a show. I'm told that when anybody wants to join them, they just put them under the water, and then let them go. One man told me that they would sometimes take people by force, and drag them into the water; that there was one poor fellow to whom they took a fancy, and they ran after him for five miles before they caught him, and then, putting him into the water, they just left him there to go home, or to heaven, the best way he could." Putting down his knife and
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fork, Smith said, "Look at me, and you will see one, but I will not chase you into the water."
John Smith preached his final sermon on February 9, 1868, walking to the meeting-place over icy ground on a very cold day. The next day he was ill. During his illness he spoke with confidence to those around him as to his future, and one day asked for some music. Some of the brethren were brought in, and they cheered the dying saint with--
"Since I can read my title clear
To mansions in the skies."
He passed on February 28, and his body was taken to Lexington for burial.
His was a rugged, honest character. He was a most modest man. He did a wonderful pioneering work in the cause of Christian Unity by the restoration of New Testament Christianity. May we all learn to follow these pioneers, in so far as they followed Christ.
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ON February 1, 1812, in Ohio, U.S.A., there was born to a couple named Franklin, a son to whom they gave the name of Benjamin. He was the eldest son in a fairly big family.
The father became a farmer, a miller, and a carpenter, and needed the income from all three occupations in order to provide for his family. Benjamin had to help his father, and so had little opportunity for schooling. Although his work was hard, and his hours of labor long, Benjamin was full of the fun that is always the characteristic of healthy boys. But doubtless the hard work of youth, together with the open-air life which he lived, developed the strong constitution which the man had later on.
When Benjamin was twenty years of age his father moved into the State of Indiana, and there Benjamin acquired 80 acres of land for himself, and found a young woman to whom he was married on December 15, 1833. She proved to be a faithful wife, and a capable and brave mother to the eleven children which were born to them.
Religion formed a real part of the lives of the pioneering people of that day, and religious themes were much discussed. In the district in which the Franklins lived denominational lines were drawn very distinctly, and strong prejudices prevailed. The theory of universal salvation was then being advocated very strongly, and this caused much disputation.
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Benjamin Franklin's father and mother were Methodists, but they saw the command of the Lord Jesus to be immersed, and had obeyed it. But they were strongly prejudiced against what they and others in that day called "Campbellism." But into their neighborhood came a man named Samuel Rogers preaching the restoration plea, and Benjamin went with his father and a neighbor to hear him. But being quite indifferent himself to religious things paid little attention to what the preacher said. On the way home the two elder men became excited as they discussed what Mr. Rogers had preached. They declared that the doctrine they had heard was rank heresy, as the preacher had taught that baptism was essential to salvation. That misrepresentation of our teaching is still being made in some quarters, much to the discredit of those who make it. Benjamin, hearing the two men, asked the question, "Is baptism commanded by Christ?" and receiving from both the elder men a reply in the affirmative he further asked, "Is it not essential to obey the commands of Christ?"
Under the preaching of Samuel Rogers, Benjamin decided to surrender to Christ, that was in December, 1834. A week after his baptism his wife followed him into the kingdom. Soon a, church of between thirty and forty members was gathered, out of which number no less than five preachers came.
He soon began to assist in the meetings by offering prayer, and by exhortation. About two months after his conversion he wrote an article for a paper called "The Heretic Detector." And in these humble ways commenced work as preacher and writer in both of which he became very proficient.
Like most of the pioneer disciples he learned to carry his New Testament with him wherever he went, and he consulted it on all occasions, as a guide book should be consulted. A revival
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along this line just now would give a tremendous impetus to the movement with which we stand identified.
Becoming a Preacher.
Benjamin took his first preaching appointment in 1837, his text for the sermon being Luke 9:35. He was then twenty-five years of age. He believed the gospel with all his heart, and felt impelled to preach it; but his education being so scanty he made many mistakes, for which he was often taken to task by some of the older brethren. This caused him at twenty-seven years of age to determine to acquire a little education. It was no easy task for the grown man to settle down to the things which children learn, but he held on. All the time he was travelling about preaching, holding forth wherever he could get a hearing, in schools, in the fields, in private houses. It was not the day of even fair salaries for preachers, and so he had to carry on his work, and acquire his education with the handicap of poverty. He became a masterly preacher; never degenerating into a mere sermoniser, but always seeking to teach the Word of God to his hearers.
Those were the days of conflict, and Franklin developed into a keen debater. The first public debate of many took place in 1840. It was the rugged nature of the times, and the fact that every inch of ground gained had to be fought for that caused the pioneers to enter the arena of controversy to the extent they did.
In 1845 he became an editor, the publication being a little monthly called "The Reformer." This was the beginning of his editorial career.
He was a man of very firm and pronounced convictions. He took, as did many of the pioneers, a strong stand against war, declaring it to be out of harmony with the teaching of Christ. His personal attitude was one of
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non-resistance, believing that to be the true Christian attitude.
Later, he took a stand against the organisation of missionary societies, contending that the church was the divine missionary society, evidently overlooking that the church may use the missionary organisation as the method by which she does her work. It is good to remember that principles, but not methods, are permanent. He was also opposed to the use of instrumental music in the services of the church, and to the use of the term "pastor" for the preacher. All of these things grew out of his absolute loyalty to the Word of God, and his desire to conform to the New Testament forms exactly, and if he was wrong his errors were just the errors of judgment and interpretation. It is hard for some men to see that Christianity is a bigger thing than either playing or not playing an instrument, and it is sad when brethren will make these things the cause of division.
Some of these strong convictions caused some of the brethren to be alienated from him in the latter years of his life.
Benjamin Franklin was a prolific writer. Two volumes of his sermons which are still being published should be read by all our young preachers; they contain much that is valuable, and are an excellent study of a type of preaching that used to be popular, and was, in earlier days, very successful.
One of his pamphlets was entitled, "Sincerity Seeking the Way to Heaven." This was based on the experiences of a young man in Cincinnati. It has had the largest circulation of any pamphlet issued by those known as disciples of Christ. And it is one that can still be circulated with a great deal of profit.
Close of the Pilgrimage.
After a life packed full of service to Christ and the restoration of New Testament
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Christianity, he passed away somewhat suddenly on Oct. 22, 1878. His last words were: "Mother, I am sorry to have to leave you," and leaning back in the chair in which he had been sitting he fixed his eyes on his life's partner, and in a little while had passed.
He is worthy of imitation in his firm adherence to the word of God and its teaching, in his confidence in the power of the gospel, and in the boldness with which he preached the truths of the New Testament.
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The Davies Family
and the Church at Cam-yr-Alyn.
IN the year 1760 there was born in the north of Wales, and into a family named Davies, a boy to whom was given the name Charles. As a lad and young man he attended the Congregational Church, and was genuinely devout.
One other person who attended the same chapel at that time was Mary Hammersley, who also came from a godly home. Thrown thus together they eventually decided to link their lives, and were married. They made their home in the old house in Cox Lane in which the Davies family had lived for some 200 years.
Religion in the None.
This worthy couple not only had their daily family worship, but invited others to their home on the afternoon of the Lord's day for Bible reading, prayer and praise. These gatherings increased in numbers, and all seemed to enjoy the simple services.
The preachers who preached at the Congregational chapel in the mornings would generally gladly go to Cox Lane and preach in the afternoons. After such services they would be hospitably entertained by the Davies family, although the bread, because of the corn laws and harvest failures, was often made from rye or barley flour.
When no preacher was present the meetings were of the Bible class type, a type all too rare in these days.
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The Young People.
These were the days when the Word of God was studied, and when even young people stored it up in their memories. The young family of Charles and Mary Davies advanced in their knowledge of the Scriptures, and becoming proficient, would often argue with the preachers concerning the teaching of those sacred writings. On more than one occasion they were known to confound the preachers. One of these men. being beaten one day in an argument with the young folks, turned to a Mrs. Whalley who was present and said: "Jane, I've been a preacher for 40 years, and am I to be taught by these lads?" That good lady replied: "I should think not."
In the course of their Bible class studies the folk came to Mark 16:16, and that verse arrested their attention to such an extent that they spent three weeks on it. The result was that several of their number came to the conclusion that they should be immersed. Charles Davies applied to the Baptist Church at Wrexham for this, and after six months' probation the ordinance was administered. He then baptised his wife, his son, and some thirty others. Some of those who had been meeting did not immediately see the truth concerning baptism, but it was decided not to exclude them, but in future only to admit the baptised to membership and communion. So powerful, however, was the truth that every member of that original assembly in Cox Lane became obedient to the Lord in baptism during the first year of the changed order. That was in the year 1809; at that time John Davies, who afterwards became very prominent in the work, was 16 years old. John very soon began to take part in the meetings, and came well to the front in preaching the Word. The congregation sought in all things to get into harmony in teaching and practice with the New Testament, but did not know of another congregation anywhere deliberately seeking a return to the simple Christianity of the beginning.
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In October, 1835, a brother named Bennion went to John Davies with an exciting piece of information. He had heard from a Scotch Baptist friend who lived in Chester some things that were startling and encouraging about a religious movement in America. From that friend he had borrowed three copies of the "Millennial Harbinger" published by William Jones. The little group of people set for the restoration of New Testament Christianity was thus brought into contact for the first time with others of "like precious faith" with themselves. In the United States at that time there were about 150,000 who were pleading for the ancient order. On the eighteenth day of October they wrote to Alexander Campbell to express their joy and their desire to become better acquainted. They still, however, thought themselves to be entirely alone in the British Islands.
Two years later they were again excited and filled with joy when they obtained copies of "The Christian Messenger," edited by James Wallis of Nottingham, and thus learned of others in Great Britain, who were laboring along similar lines to themselves.
There can be no doubt that the Holy Spirit was at work in various places raising up men and women to plead for a return to the Christianity of the New Testament. And how those people struggled for the truth! We who have followed them should not hold the cause lightly, but should pray that
|"As faithful as our fathers were
May we their children be."
There is a spacious baptistery in the garden attached to the house at Cox Lane, and for many years the women candidates were baptised therein, while the men were taken to the river.
Of that old house at Cox Lane Charles Thomas, an elder in the church at Chester,
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wrote a poem about the year 1866 which he dedicated to Charles Davies--the fourth generation bearing that name. It ran:--
"It was here the Reformers--that brave little band--
Against isms and schisms did first make a stand;
And creeds, and opinions, and names after man
Were all laid aside for God's divine plan;
And every Lord's day, in language most plain,
The Gospel was preached in my house at Cox Lane.
"There week after week, as Lord's day came round,
The people came flocking to hear the glad sound;
To sit at the table of Jesus our King,
To remember his death, and his praises to sing;
And strength to go onward we all seemed to gain,
At attending those meetings we held at Cox Lane.
"But now of late years in a chapel we meet,
That strangers who cone may all find a seat,
And the speakers we have are good men and true--
Unfolding most clearly the truth to our view;
Yet I humbly confess that I always retain
More love for those meetings we held at Cox Lane."
It was in the year 1866 that the church removed to the chapel at Cam-yr-alyn, where it still meets, and in which members of the Davies family are still prominent.
From the foregoing it will be seen that the church at Cam-yr-alyn came to the New Testament position in the year 1809, the same year that Thomas Campbell published the "Declaration and Address" in America. And these members in North Wales did not learn of any movement in America for 26 years, nor in any other part of Great Britain for 28 years. Thus
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it will be observed that the great world-wide movement of to-day seeking the unity of God's people by a return to New Testament simplicities had several independent beginnings on both sides of the Atlantic, as it has had independent beginnings in other parts of the world in later days.
As it is evident that God has been at work, given loyalty and love, enthusiasm and enterprise on the part of those of us who are allied with this cause to-day, and the plea will be victorious, and unity will yet prevail among all who love Christ, on the New Testament basis.
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ON one of the walls of the very creditable chapel at Southport, England, there is a memorial tablet which reads--
In loving memory of TIMOTHY COOP,
Bethany House, Southport,
who, having served his generation
by the will of God, peacefully entered
into rest at
on Lord's Day, May 15th, 1887,
and was interred at
Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
He took a deep interest in the cause of God, and contributed bountifully to its support.
The one who is thus remembered was born into a workingman's family, near Bolton, in Lancashire, on May 28, 1817, and so he had almost completed his seventieth year when he passed to his reward.
It was intended that his name should be Robert, but when he was taken to be christened his grandfather acted as godfather, and when he was asked, "What is the name of the child?" he called out Timothy. The mother protested, but the protest was too late, and so Timothy became the baby's name. The mother wept over this all the way home, and it was quite a time before she became reconciled to it.
The father was a devout Wesleyan, and was anxious that his children should be under religious
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influences, and so early in life Timothy was taken to the meetings of that denomination. The father was equally anxious that his children should get as much education as possible, and so Timothy was sent to school at six years of age, and continued there until he was twelve.
On May 28, 1831, he was apprenticed to a Mr. John Ackroyd, a cloth-dealer of Wigan. For his services during the seven years of his apprenticeship he was to receive "good and wholesome food, all necessary apparel, washing, and comfortable lodgings in the dwelling-house" of his employer.
He joined the Wesleyan body when quite a young fellow, but had a struggle to "find peace." This, however, he appeared to obtain through what was, perhaps, the more emotional ministry of the Primitive Methodists. But as it was a matter of feeling, he experienced alternating periods of joy and doubt. How sad that so many people have been taught to depend upon their feelings instead of upon God's promises as an evidence of pardon!
During one of his periods of doubt a commercial traveller named William Haigh called at the shop of which Coop was now the manager. The traveller began talking on religious matters, and during the conversation put the question--"Mr. Coop,--how do you know that your sins are forgiven?" The reply was, "From my experience. At the time of my conversion I was conscious of a decided change in my desires and feelings." Mr. Haigh pointed out that a change of heart is one thing and the forgiveness of sins another. The result of the conversation was that Mr. Coop commenced a thorough search of the scriptures, and among other things, came to the conclusion that the Baptists were right on the action and subjects of baptism, and that the Wesleyans were right concerning its purpose.
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One Lord's day he went over to Bolton in order to hear his friend Haigh preach: At the evening service the preacher told the people how they could be saved, according to the New Testament. At the close Mr. Coop said that he believed in the Christ, and asked to be baptised. They walked a mile and a half to a canal, and the baptism took place. That was one of the most sacred and significant acts of the life of Timothy Coop, so he afterwards declared. After that night he pointed not to his feelings or experiences, but to the clear promise in the Word as an evidence of his pardon.
Starting a Church.
It was the custom of Mr. Coop to devote time to the distribution of tracts, and on one of his rounds he came across a backslider. He was invited to Mr. Coop's house for the following Lord's day afternoon so that they might read the scriptures together. The invitation was accepted. On the next Lord's day not only that man but several others were present. At the close of the second Lord's day afternoon the man who had been a backslider said, "I want to be baptised, and obey the Saviour--what hinders me?" This startled Mr. Coop, for he had never thought of baptising anybody, and wondered whether he had a scriptural right to do so. The scriptures were searched on the matter, and the conclusion was reached that it was the privilege and duty of any disciple to baptise. And so the man was duly baptised, the ordinance being administered in the waters of the Douglas River.
In August the first meeting to break bread was held, when four disciples assembled in Mr. Coop's kitchen for the purpose. It was decided that the apostolic custom was to observe the supper on each first day of the week, and so this little group agreed to adhere to the practice of weekly communion. Thus was commenced a church which has become large and influential--the present Rodney-st. church in Wigan.
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In his efforts for the kingdom of God Timothy Coop did much open-air work, but efforts were made to stop him. On one occasion a policeman pulled his coat and said that he had orders to stop him. The reply was, "Do your duty; I am trying to do mine. I have a commission from very high authority to speak to these people, and it is your duty to protect me, and I hope you will do it." The policeman remained to the close, but no further effort was made to stop Mr. Coop preaching.
In 1845 he became acquainted with Mr. James Wallis, of Nottingham, who was then editing "The Christian Messenger." They became lifelong friends. Through that magazine he obtained a more intimate knowledge of similar congregations to the one he had called together in Wigan.
Law and Grace.
The Word of God taught the young pioneer to distinguish between the economy of law and the economy of grace. And from this he quickly saw that no Israelitish law was binding upon the Christian unless re-promulgated by Christ and his apostles. And so Sunday was no longer regarded as the Sabbath but as the Lord's day.
At that time there were living in his house a number of young men who were in his employ. They had frequent discussions on religious matters, but Mr. Coop could not get them to see as he did on the matter of the Sabbath and the Lord's day. So one Saturday he announced that the next day would be rigidly observed as a Jewish Sabbath. And so on Sunday morning there was no fire, and a cold breakfast was served. At dinner time still no fire, and another cold meal. At tea time still no fire, and a cold tea; but a number of the young men had wisely gone out. At tea time Mr. Coop's little girl said that she didn't like Jewish Sabbaths, that she liked Lord's days better. Needless to say the young
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men entered into no further discussion on the sabbath question. It was a practical way of showing the fallacy of pretending to keep an old commandment if not kept in the way enjoined, and that is a lesson that some seventh-day advocates in these days need to learn.
Mr. Coop was married three times, and was very happy in each. On the second occasion he refused to have the usual wedding breakfast, but gave what he called a scriptural feast, to which the poor and lame and blind were invited. This was an action that helped to show his wonderful sympathy with the poor.
In 1858 he was made one of the elders or pastors of the church at Rodney-st., Wigan, in which year the Rodney-st. chapel was built. In 1863 he removed to Southport. He could only find one other family there in harmony with him on spiritual matters, but the two families set up the Lord's table, and later the chapel on Sussex-rd. was erected.
Association with American Churches.
Timothy Coop did not take the very strict view concerning the Lord's table which many of the British brethren took, at any rate in the middle period of their history. He recognised that the table was for all who by faith and baptism had come into Christ, but he was not prepared to interrogate strangers who came into the communion service, nor to withhold the emblems from those not known to be baptised. This and other matters led to a strong desire for American preachers to labor in England.
H. S. Earl, who afterwards did such a great work in Australia, had labored in England from 1861 to 1864. In 1875 Mr. Earl decided to return to Great Britain, and the Foreign Christian Missionary Society of our American churches decided to subsidise his work. He located in Southampton, and soon attracted
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large congregations. Later M. D. Todd was sent to England by the F.C.M.S., and he located at Chester. Mr. Coop, wisely or unwisely it matters not now, approved of this move, and in 1878 went to America to try to secure a supply of preachers from that land. He offered to give the F.C.M.S. £1000 for every £2000 expended in Great Britain. The first preacher to go under this arrangement was W. T. Moore, who located for a start in Southport. This move from America which seemed to flourish at first was not permanently successful, and unfortunately, a cleavage took place between the churches already in Great Britain and those thus founded. Some years ago, however, the breach was healed, and most of the churches now work through the one conference.
Mr. Coop was anxious that the plea should be heard on the Continent of Europe, and urged the F.C.M.S. to commence work in Rome. Unfortunately this was not done, but he was so interested in the work of evangelising among the Italians that he contributed largely to work being done there by others, as well as to an effort that was being made to build up a Church of Christ in Paris. Mr. Coop was right in wanting the European peoples to hear the plea we make; a work that is still largely waiting to be done, except in Poland, and perhaps Russia.
Tour of the World.
In 1880 Mr. Coop made a journey round the world, which included New Zealand and Australia. He had enjoyable fellowship with his brethren in these lands. His companion as far as Australia was Henry Exley, but there Bro. Exley stayed and for some years he labored there as an evangelist.
On his return home he was welcomed by his employees, when over 700 sat down to tea. He was presented by them with an illuminated address, and the employees who spoke stressed the happy relations that had always existed between them.
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On August 14, 1886, he started to America for the last time. At Wichita, Kansas, the brethren were engaged in erecting University buildings in memory of Garfield, the martyred President, who had been a preacher among Churches of Christ, and whom Mr. Coop admired very much. He decided to stay there and help the project. In May, 1887, he was attacked by malarial fever, and passed away on the fifteenth of the month. His body was laid to rest in the Spring-ave. Cemetery, Cincinnati, which is said to be one of the most beautiful in the world.
He was a faithful Christian, a sturdy pioneer of the plea for New Testament Christianity, a consecrated business man. He labored for the uplift of the people, for the promotion of righteousness, and for the spread of the gospel of the Christ He had, as a Christian should have, a cosmopolitan outlook, and found himself at home among almost every people.
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THE Restoration Movement had several independent beginnings in Great Britain just as it had in America. They arose about the same time on both sides of the Atlantic. But a little later there was another in England, this time at Nottingham. And this later effort, in part, grew out of the work of the Campbells in the United States. It was associated with James Wallis, a forefather of the Ludbrooks and the Blacks.
Mr. Wallis was born at Kettering in the year 1793, and as a lad he was apprenticed to the tailoring trade. When 19 years of age he was baptised and became a member of the Baptist church. Like many of the pioneers he had strong convictions against soldiering and war. And so, in order to avoid serving as a soldier, he left his place of abode. He walked to Leicester and quickly obtained work at his trade in that place. His was a religion that would stand transplanting, and so he took membership in the Baptist church in Leicester, which was under the pastoral care of Robert Hall. Two years later he removed to Nottingham. and there united with the George-st. Baptist church. While a member of that congregation he became very useful in gospel work in the surrounding villages.
He was a keen student of the Word, and soon discovered that the church of which he was a member was lacking in some respects
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in conformity to the New Testament, and so, with others of the same mind, he united with the Scotch Baptists, believing that they were more in harmony with the teaching of the Guide Book. That change took place in 1834, or when Wallis was 41 years of age.
He continued searching the Scriptures, and advanced beyond many of his brethren in knowledge of New Testament truth. Discussion ensued, chiefly on the import of baptism, and on the work of the Holy Spirit in conversion. The majority of the members of the church held strong Calvinistic views which were not endorsed by Mr. Wallis.
In 1835 William Jones, a Scotch Baptist in London, learned of the movement in America which sought to restore New Testament Christianity in order to Christian unity. It appears that a young American named Peyton C. Wyeth was in London, where he searched for a church with which to worship, approximating to the New Testament position. One Lord's day he found his way into the chapel on Windmill-st., Finsbury Square, where Mr, Jones was a pastor. In conversation with the young man Jones learned of the work of the Campbells in the United States, and through him got into touch with Alexander Campbell. Doubtless thinking that the movement in America was a Scotch Baptist movement he commenced issuing "The Millennial Harbinger" in order to reproduce the writings of Campbell in Great Britain. Of this periodical James Wallis became a diligent reader, and soon saw that the positions for which Campbell contended were the positions of the New Testament. But the majority of his Scotch Baptist brethren felt that they could not fellowship with those who taught that baptism administered to penitent believers was, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, as Wallis and others were teaching. A crisis was reached on Lord's day, December 18, 1836, when the Lord's table was refused because there were no pastors present. As a result Wallis and several others withdrew.
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A New Beginning.
On the following Lord's day (December 25, 1836) fourteen met as a Church of Christ around the Lord's table, in an upper room in the warehouse of Jonathan Hine. By the end of 1837 the work had prospered to such an extent that there were ninety-seven members, fifty-three of whom had been added by faith and immersion.
From there the truth was sounded out, and other churches came into existence in the district, and farther afield. The now very prosperous work in the Leicester district grew out of this beginning at Nottingham.
The "Harbinger" Again.
Mr. Jones having ceased to publish the "Harbinger," Mr. Wallis in March, 1837, commenced to issue "The Christian Messenger and the Reformer" to take its place. Later its name was changed to "The British Millennial Harbinger." Bro. Wallis continued to edit this paper till 1862, when it passed into the hands of the late David King. It now continues as "The Christian Advocate" under the editorship of A. C. McCartney.
When the General Evangelistic Committee (corresponding to our Australian Home Missionary Committees) was called into existence, James Wallis was appointed as one of its first three members. In 1850 he was chairman of the annual conference of British churches which was held that year in Nottingham.
He also served the churches by compiling and issuing a hymn-book under the title of "Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs."
The Earthly End.
For some years there had been a gradual decline in his health which forced him to relinquish some of the things he loved to do. He passed hence on May 17, 1867, at the age of 73, having served God and his generation well.
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He had been a man diligent and successful in business. And at the same time he was full of labor for the kingdom of God. It is wonderful how he crowded so much into his life. His loss as pastor, preacher and editor was keenly felt by the churches. He left behind the sweet fragrance of a Christian life, an example of loyalty to the truth as he saw it, and a pattern of diligence for the cause which our business men as well as our preachers might well imitate.
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THERE was born into a family named King at Clerkenwell, London, on February 28, 1819, a baby boy to whom was given the name David. As the parents did not, until later, make any profession of faith in Christ, the boy did not receive from them any early religious training.
When David was twelve years of age his father died, and soon after he left school in order to help his mother in the business she was conducting. Every minute of his leisure time, however, was spent in reading, in which he was helped much by a neighbor who gave the lad free access to his stock of books. Through this offer David's mind was turned to more serious reading than that in which he had been engaged. This same neighbor induced him to attend the Wesleyan chapel, where he was attracted towards the things of Christ.
The Great Decision.
Unfortunately, about this time he entered into employment which entailed living in the house of his employer. This man was one who poured contempt on religion and practised lying in his business. This made the lad's pathway hard.
One Sunday afternoon he heard a man preaching in the open-air, and this led him to renew his attendance at a place of worship. There he was led to a definite decision for Christ and became a church member. His wholeheartedness in divine things was shown
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by attendance at six meetings on each Lord's day and by his earnest study of the Word of God.
Seeking and Finding.
Soon after this he heard of a Christian people in America who refused to wear denominational names and were known only by such names as were divinely given. He obtained some of the literature published by these people, and from the reading of this and a comparison with the New Testament he was led to see that the Lord had connected the promise of remission of sins with repentance and baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, and that in the act of baptism a penitent believer was brought into the kingdom of God's dear Son.
With these new convictions he began to search in the Old Land for a people who taught this New Testament position. He sought for two years before he was successful in finding such. Then he heard of a church in Lincolnshire. He wrote there and received a reply from James Wallis of Nottingham. In the reply he was, given the address of John Black, of the Camden Town church, London. He at once called on that good man, and having assured himself that the church at Camden Town was in accord with New Testament teaching, he requested permission to become a member. He was gladly baptised by the brethren there, and was received into their fellowship. That was in the year 1842, and when David King was 23 years of age.
Three years later he married Louise Stevens. Earlier he had determined that whenever he married his partner should be one who reverenced Christ. In the one chosen he found one who came up to the standard he had erected. Soon after their marriage she also rendered obedience to the gospel in baptism. All through her life she proved to be a splendid partner and did much to mould the man.
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Soon after coming into the church he became useful in its public ministry, and his ability proved to be such that he was in constant demand. This led him to take Monday and Saturday off from business each week to devote to the ministry of the Word.
By the year 1848 David King was a recognised evangelist among Churches of Christ, and was supported by the London district churches. About this time an Adventist Baptist church at Piltdown, Sussex, hearing of the young preacher, invited him down to preach. The ultimate result was that the entire congregation of 150 members came into the restoration movement.
In 1855 he commenced to labor under the General Evangelistic Committee of Churches of Christ in Great Britain, and while thus laboring, and in conjunction with J. B. Rotherham, the cause was commenced in Manchester. A year later he went to Belfast, Ireland, and succeeded in establishing a church there.
He removed his home to Birmingham in 1857, where it remained throughout the rest of his earthly pilgrimage. From that city he went out in all directions "preaching the Word" and establishing churches.
His success as a preacher was in part due to his strong voice, commanding appearance and wonderfully clear intellect. He did not consider any congregation too small, and would preach to three or four people as he would to 300 or 400.
Training and Writing.
In the year 1866 he commenced the work of training young men for service in and with the church. Many were in this way helped by him to more efficient ministering. The first money he received to enable him to do this work was £5 out of a legacy of £20 which a widow brought to him to use in the Lord's work as he thought fit.
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He became a prolific writer, although no large work ever came from his pen. Some of the articles he wrote for the paper he edited were strikingly unique. Such articles as "The Ultimate Utility of Sin," "Christianity and its Effects," "The King Messiah" can be read many times with profit.
His editorial work continued for about 40 years; he wrote numerous pamphlets and published a hymn book for use in the churches.
In all his writings he was very clear. In some controversial articles he appeared to be hard, but those who knew him best testified to a wonderful kindness of disposition and a deep consideration for others.
David King was a keen controversialist. He entered into public debates with Spiritists, Swedenborgians and Secularists. He met the very foremost of Secularists, including Bradlaugh himself. When engaged in debate he always remained calm no matter how irritated or coarse his opponent became. One of his Secularist opponents--J. H. Gordon--afterwards became a Christian.
The Man and the Christian.
In spite of his strong convictions, strongly expressed, and his apparent hardness in some
of his writings, David King was a man with a tender heart. It was always his delight to
help those who needed helping. On one occasion a pale-faced young woman interviewed
him, and he came to the conclusion that she needed rest. He asked her what wages she received, and on being informed, promptly said that he and Mrs. King would like her to work for them for a short time at the same wage. After breakfast the first morning she was told that there was no hurry, and that she might take a book and read. After lunch they told her to put on her hat and they would show her her first day's work; that proved to be a visit to an art gallery. The whole time she
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was with them was a season of rest and recreation, and after a few days she returned to her ordinary work refreshed, and it had cost her nothing. By such kindly deeds of practical Christianity as that the man was characterised.
He was able to manifest patience, even under trying circumstances, and his life was one of great prayerfulness.
He died on June 26, 1884, in his 76th year, leaving a widow but no family. He did much to mould the British Churches of Christ, and his influence is felt in some quarters to this day He made mistakes, as we all do, but he did a great work for God and for the restoration movement.
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Joseph Bryant Rotherham.
ON a beautiful English summer evening in the year 1909, the writer sat on the lawn at the home of J. George Rotherham at Catford, London, in pleasant and profitable conversation with William Durban, an able minister of the gospel, who had become identified with the Restoration Movement in that great city, and Joseph Bryant Rotherham, the eminent Bible translator. It was an evening never to be forgotten.
Doubtless the ablest Bible scholar yet produced by Churches of Christ in Great Britain is the subject of this sketch. His ability as such was recognised by many outside our own ranks, among whom may be mentioned C. H. Spurgeon, Dr. C. D. Ginsburg, Dr. Westcott, Dr. J. W. Thirtle, Dr. G. Campbell Morgan.
J. B. Rotherham was born in the county of Norfolk in the year 1828. His father was a most acceptable local preacher among the Wesleyans, rendering service in that capacity for more than forty years. It was at the services and Sunday school of that church at Feltwell in Norfolk that Joseph received his first serious religious impressions, and made his first confession of the Christ.
In the orthodox way young Rotherham "sought and found peace." After a year he entered a period of darkness and doubt, caused, as he saw in after years, through depending on his feelings, instead of the promises of God. After nearly two years in this condition he once more entered upon a period of satisfaction, possibly due, so he thought himself in later life, to improved health.
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Of the teachers and leaders he had while in association with the Wesleyan body he spoke in terms of affection and reverence, although some of the teaching he received was defective.
While yet in his teens he commenced to preach, using as a text for his first sermon Philippians 3:8. By the time he was twenty years of age he was filling a number of preaching appointments, on one occasion walking ten miles, preaching twice, and then walking back in time to attend the evening service in Ipswich.
In 1850 he was appointed to assist a Wesleyan minister in Manchester, and while there was examined as to his fitness for the ministry. His first circuit appointment was to Woolwich. In his next circuit--Stockton-on-Tees--he commenced in earnest the study of Greek, and also started to read up on the subject of Christian baptism. His wife, who was the daughter of a Baptist, felt sure as to the result of this reading, and she proved to be right.
Just about this time at Hartlepool he picked up in a bookseller's shop a copy of "The Millennial Harbinger," which was then edited by Mr. James Wallis, of Nottingham. He was deeply interested, and having borrowed the book, read that night as long as his candle gave him light. He was profoundly moved by the articles therein by Alexander Campbell.
On returning home he was baptised by the Baptist minister at Stockton--that was in the year 1853. His wife followed in that act of obedience to Christ shortly afterwards.
Among the Baptists.
After supplying the pulpit of a Baptist church in the Midlands he became pastor of a Particular Baptist church in Wem, Salop. It was while here that what he had read in "The Millennial Harbinger" began to bear fruit. He became convinced that according to the New Testament baptism was "a command with a promise." In consequence of this in his preaching
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and teaching he stressed baptism more than was usual by Baptist ministers.
While here he came into contact with a small church seeking the restoration of New Testament Christianity which met in Shrewsbury, and he invited a Mr. Francis Hill, who was then laboring as an evangelist with that church, to preach in his pulpit at Wem. As a result the young Baptist minister became "an object of ministerial attention" and inquiry. A visit to Mr. John Davis, of Mollington, followed, and J. B. Rotherham was led to throw in his lot with the congregations of Christians now generally known as Churches of Christ. It was this same John Davis who influenced J.B.R. to write a series of articles for "The Millennial Harbinger" on "The Holy Spirit." These articles appeared in that periodical during 1855.
Arrangements were soon made for Bro. Rotherham to labor as an evangelist. He labored in Wales with Edward Evans as a companion. In their meetings it was usual for Bro. Evans to preach in Welsh, and then Bro. Rotherham followed with a discourse in English. This was followed by a campaign in Manchester looking to the establishment of a church there. In this effort, which was commenced on July 1, 1855, he labored with David King, Francis Hill and George Sinclair. Birmingham followed Manchester, and then came a season in Scotland in which he worked with Charles Abercrombie. His efforts as an evangelist giving his whole time to the work came to an end in 1868, when he was forty years of age. But his greatest period of usefulness then began.
J. B. Rotherham now obtained work as "publisher's editor" with a firm in London in which he continued for some six years. Then he became "press corrector" with another London firm, in which position he continued for about thirty-one years. In the evenings he labored in his great work of translating, and ultimately
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was able to publish his Emphasised New Testament, and later his Emphasised Bible. In this tremendous task he has placed the Christian world in debt to him, for Bible students everywhere are helped in their investigations by this work.
But this did not exhaust his efforts, for he was able also to issue "Studies in the Epistle to the Hebrews" and "Christian Ministry besides a number of pamphlets. But possibly the work which comes next to the "Emphasised Bible" in importance is his "Studies in the Psalms." The author was past eighty before the work was completed, and it was not published until after his death. It is worthy of note that the impulse to attempt this work came from the Westminster Bible school which has been conducted by Dr. G. Campbell Morgan for some years, at Westminster chapel, on Friday nights. The aim of the work in the language of the author is "to induce readers of the Psalms to become students."
The last published work to came from the pen of J. B. Rotherham was "Let us Keep the Feast." In this we have the mature decisions concerning the Lord's Supper of one who had been for long years a disciple of Christ, and who, in his experience, had come into close touch with the Eternal. .
After Fifty-five Years.
In the year 1909 he wrote a small pamphlet on "The Disciples or Churches of Christ: A Review, Appreciation and Forecast." Although during the years Bro. Rotherham had modified some of his views, he still held fast to the essentials of the plea advocated by those with whom he had been associated. In that pamphlet he said, "The two chief aims are Reform and Reunion. Reform in the sense of a return to the simplicity and purity of Christianity as it was at the first, and Reunion in the sense of regaining and manifesting the unity amongst Christ's followers, for which he himself prayed." And again: "Brethren! the world--religious, profane and heathen--needs what, under God, we can give; can give, perhaps, if
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we be humbly wise, better than any religious community under the sun."
For some years Mr. Rotherham had been a member of the church at New Cross, London, and he took his part in the public ministry of that congregation. On Lord's day, December 19, 1909, he spoke with vigor to the delight of those present at both the morning and evening services of that church. The following Lord's day he was present at both services again, but on New Year's eve he contracted a cold, and a few days later it became apparent that the end was drawing near. He passed away in "quiet peacefulness" in his eighty-second year.
His body was laid to rest in Hither Green Cemetery on January 10, and that evening, at a service, Dr. J. W. Thirtle, author of "Old Testament Problems" and other books, gave an appreciative address in which he spoke of his first acquaintance with J.B.R., and of the subsequent correspondence they had with regard to the Psalms and other matters.
One of the members of the New Cross church said of the subject of our sketch that "in regularity and punctuality at the meetings of the church he was a model to younger members."
He was a great soul, a great teacher, a reverent disciple, one consecrated to the Master's service, and through whom much was done for the cause of the Redeemer.
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Henry Samuel Earl.
THE cause with which Churches of Christ stand identified was established in Melbourne in 1853. The sturdy pioneers from the churches in Great Britain did their best, often under discouraging circumstances, in the preaching of the gospel, and steady progress was made. In 1862 a visit was paid to Australia by Bro. and Sister T. H. Milner, and as Mr. Milner was an attractive and powerful preacher he was able to bring the cause into more prominence. This showed the brethren that there was need for regular preaching by some efficient man who could give his whole time to the work. The result was that they sent abroad to secure such a worker.
At that time there was laboring in England a man named Henry Samuel Earl who was meeting with wonderful success. He had been born at Northampton on November 10, 1831. When he was seventeen years of age his parents, with their family of seven children, sailed from Liverpool for New York. They settled in Illinois. In 1853 Henry obeyed the gospel, being baptised by Andrew Page. In the next year he entered Walnut Grove Academy as a student, and the following year Bethany College of which Alexander Campbell was the president. He graduated in 1858, and became preacher with the church at Waverly City, Missouri, where he was thrown into contact with J. W. McGarvey, T. P. Haley and others. In 1861 he obtained three months leave of absence from the church in order to visit Great Britain with his parents. Owing to the success with which he met the visit was prolonged to three years. While at Nottingham James Wallis, whose guest he was, told Earl that he
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had received a draft from Adelaide, Australia to pay his passage to that city; the brethren there desired the assistance of the successful evangelist. He was asked to go for three years, and if, at the end of that time, he wished to return to America his passage would be paid. Mr. Earl did not accept this offer. A little later David King wrote H. S. Earl to the effect that he had received a draft from Melbourne with the request that he should try to induce the preacher to go to that city. Concluding that it was the Lord's will that he should labor in Australia he accepted the invitation.
After a voyage of some sixty days he reached Melbourne on July 26, 1864, the first of a number of worthy American preachers who have helped the cause in these southern lands, and, at the time, the only brother devoting the whole of his time to the work of the gospel.
He was met by Bren. A. Shaw, W. McGregor and R. Service, and was the guest of the first named for some weeks. The church in Melbourne was then meeting in the old Temperance Hall in Russell-st. As that hall was deemed too small for the work of H. S. Earl the St. George's Hall in Bourke-st. was secured. There, after the first Sunday, Earl preached to audiences of about 1200, and in six months some 190 people had been added to the church by faith and baptism. One remarkable thing was that, according to Mr. Earl's own records, the owner of that hall allowed the use of it on payment for the lighting and cleaning. At the close of the third service the owner, who was present, said: "Mr. Earl, you can have the hall as long as you desire it on the same terms." It was used for about fifteen months.
Lygon Street Chapel.
During the St. George's Hall services effort was made by the brethren to collect funds for land and a chapel. Adhering to what they conceived to be a principle they refused to
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seek and accept a Government grant for such a purpose. However, the site on which Lygon-st. chapel now stands was secured, and a building was erected thereupon. It was opened on October 15, 1865, when it proved to be too small to accommodate the crowds that assembled. The following Thursday a tea meeting was held when 500 sat down at the tables.
On to Adelaide.
Owing to ill-health, doubtless brought on by his continuous labors, Mr. Earl started on a two weeks' journey overland to Adelaide about a month before the opening of the chapel. In Adelaide he was not idle, but preached to very large audiences, and in a few weeks fifty-two were added to the churches. In the following year he paid another visit to Adelaide which lasted for twenty weeks, and during which time he preached in the Town Hall in that city to audiences up to 2000. During that effort one hundred and twenty-five additions to the membership
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were secured. During this term Captain Stewart, of Dunedin, New Zealand, paid a visit to Adelaide, and he begged Bro. Earl to go to New Zealand.
In May, 1867, H. S. Earl was married to Miss A. J. Magarey, of Adelaide, and he remained there preaching in connection with the church at Hindmarsh, with his usual success.
Towards the end of that year, however, he went to New Zealand, arriving in Dunedin on December 4. A large hall was secured and he started preaching. In a few weeks twenty-five converts had been baptised. Before he returned to Australia meetings were held in Invercargill, Nelson and Auckland. He returned to Adelaide via Sydney, in which city he also preached with much success.
In January, 1870, he went to America on a visit, returning in the following October. But in 1873 he and his family removed to America, and this time he did not return.
His health was bad when he left these shores, but that having improved he sailed for his native land, once more to labor there.
In February, 1876, he began preaching in the Philharmonic Hall, Southampton. This was an entirely new field. In August a church was organised with thirty-three members. During his ministry in that hall over four hundred believers were baptised. In 1880 a house of worship was erected capable of seating 1000 people; this was on one of the best and most prominent sites in the city, and in that auditorium large congregations still assemble.
In 1891 Earl returned to the United States, and a year later he became the preacher of one of the churches in Nashville, Tenn., but increasing trouble with his throat caused him soon to give up the regular work, although he still preached as opportunity presented itself.
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Three sons were born in Australia, and three in England. The only daughter was born in America. His wife and youngest son died in 1899. In 1901 Mr. Earl married a second time, this wife surviving him, and dying in 1925.
The Man and the Christian.
H. S. Earl was a man of fine platform powers, a Christian of deep and real piety, a preacher intensely earnest in his work. It was his lot to carry the plea for Christian unity by a return to New Testament Christianity to many, and to preach the simple New Testament gospel to large crowds. And his loyalty to the truth, together with his deep piety and great gifts, doubtless constituted the secret of his remarkable success.
It was the writer's privilege to be present at the great convention of disciples of Christ at Pittsburgh, Penn., in 1909. When G. B. Moysey was introduced to the assembly he said that he hoped in going to America to meet and grasp the hand of the man who had baptised him into Christ, whose name was H. S. Earl. Bro. Earl was on the platform, but the two men had not recognised each other. Immediately Moysey had thus spoken Earl arose, and father and son in the gospel grasped hands before the large gathering. For a few seconds the air was electrical.
Close of Pilgrimage.
For just over ten years after the meeting of Earl and Moysey at Pittsburgh did the former continue here, and on December 16, 1919, he passed to his reward at the ripe age of 88 years. In the glory land there will be many who were won to the Christ through his labors with whom he will be able to hold fellowship, and how sweet it will be! And what an example he has left to those of us who are to-day engaged in the ministry of the Word. May we be as loyal as he to the New Testament plea, and labor as earnestly for the salvation of men.
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Thomas Jefferson Gore.
ONE of the most loved men that churches of Christ in Australia have ever had in membership was T. J. Gore. Was it because he was so Christ-like? Was it because he always had something good to say about everybody, and seemed to overlook their faults and failings?
He was born on March 23, 1839, at Bloomfield, Kentucky. His parents were descendants from early English settlers in America. Their home was a two-storey log house, and T.J's room was the attic. The parents were slave-owners, but there was a bond of love and friendship between the black people and themselves, and the children of each used to play together. How good it is that children know no distinctions.
The father, of course, was a farmer, but a farmer's life made no appeal to the boy; but he was animated by a strong desire to secure a good education. And so later on he managed to enter Kentucky University, of which the sainted Robert Milligan was then president. Here Thomas proved to be a most successful student, coming top in his class continually. In those student days he was in the habit of rising at 6.30 a.m. and retiring at 10 p.m., thus forming methodical habits that helped him all his life. In 1863 he obtained his M.A. degree. After doing this he went to work as a teacher in order to pay the debts he had incurred during his university course.
Ready to Preach.
The mother became a follower of Christ and a member of the church in early life, but when T. J. Gore became a Christian at
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the age of nineteen years the father was not "in Christ." Bro. Gore used often to tell how the father would put the horse into the buggy each Lord's day morning, but it was the mother who always drove the family to the services. That mother, and Robert Milligan, were the two people who influenced his life most.
Just when he decided that the Lord wanted him to preach the gospel we do not know, but as soon as he had paid his debts he was ready for the work. Before long a call came to the church at Hustonville which he gladly accepted.
In 1866 Australia sent to America for two young preachers. G. L. Surber and the subject of this sketch were the two selected to go. They left New York on October 6, 1866, for England, en route to Australia. Some two weeks and three days were spent in Great Britain, during which they had happy fellowship with the disciples there, They sailed on November 6 for Australia, and reached Melbourne on February 19, 1867, where they were warmly welcomed by the brethren.
G. L. Surber remained in Melbourne, but on February 26 T. J. Gore, accompanied by H. S. Earl, left for Adelaide, which city they reached on March 1. Two days later Bro. Gore commenced his ministry with the Grote-st. church, the oldest Church of Christ in this southern land. That ministry continued till 1885, and later he served a second term with that church, both of which were highly successful. Six years after his arrival in Adelaide the chapel at Grote-st. had to be enlarged to accommodate the people attending.
As a Visitor.
Possibly T. J. Gore excelled as a pastor. In his visitation he was most tireless, and he often called on as many as sixteen people in the one afternoon. When Bro. Gore was asked by a preacher who played tennis on
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Monday for recreation what he did in that way he replied that he took his recreation calling on the sick. He always kept a book in which the name and address of every church member was recorded. He visited every church home as well as the homes of the Sunday school scholars, and every other home into which he could get an entry.
As a Teacher.
However, it is difficult to say in which department of the work Bro. Gore excelled. Many would say it was as a visitor, others
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would say as a preacher, while still others would contend that it was as a teacher. At any rate, in this latter capacity he did wonderful work, and influenced and helped many young men.
He taught a training class for young men who desired to fit themselves for preaching for nearly fifty years. No matter how poor a student's efforts were, he could always find something to commend. His students loved him. By this means he did a great service to the cause in Adelaide, and through those who studied under him T. J. Gore still ministers. His value as a teacher was recognised by brethren in his native land, and more than once he was offered a professorship in Kentucky University. These offers he always refused, as he did invitations to work with churches in America, feeling that Australia needed him, and that as he had started his life's work in this land he would wish to finish it here.
Foreign Missionary Work.
There was laboring in India from the Churches of Christ in America a brother named G. L. Wharton. After he and his good wife had been seven years in that land they needed a furlough, and partly through the influence of T. J. Gore they came to Australia, and while here stirred up the Australian churches to take an active part in the work of overseas missions. The result of Mr. and Mrs. Wharton's visit was that Miss Mary Thompson went to India from the Australian churches, and spent her life in the work in that land. That was the beginning of our extensive overseas missionary work.
Miss Tonkin went from the Grote-st., Adelaide, church to China during the time that Bro. Gore labored with that church. And from his Adelaide training class came two who afterwards became prominent in our Indian work--Mr. H. R. Coventry and Miss Elsie Caldicott. His influence was always towards the great work in the regions beyond.
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T. J. Gore was twice married, in both instances to daughters of the late Philip Santo. He married Jane Santo in 1868, and to them were given four children. Soon after the birth of the youngest of the children she passed to her reward. In 1876 he married Sarah Santo, and to them were given seven children. Mrs. Gore has survived her husband, and throughout her long life she has proved to be a woman of graciousness, sweetness and unselfishness.
Editor and Writer.
For twelve years Bro. Gore edited "The Christian Pioneer," and he wrote many articles for the various papers published by the brotherhood. Those writings were true to the Word, and breathed the spirit of the Master.
The Earthly End.
When the subject of this sketch reached South Australia the members of Churches of Christ numbered 480, and he lived to see the number over 7000.
He exerted a marvellous influence on all the churches of the brotherhood in South Australia, and was loved by believers connected with other bodies. His last field of labor was Henley Beach, where he was for three and a half years, closing his work when he was well on in his 77th year. In this last field he worked hard, visited much, and soon after he went there had the joy of preaching to a full chapel each Lord's day evening.
His closing days were spent in membership with the Unley church, and although he was very deaf, he never missed the Lord's day morning service. The writer on more than one occasion after preaching in the presence of T. J. Gore would be greeted after the service with a smile, a hearty handshake, and some such words as "That was a fine sermon you preached this morning"; and when asked how he knew, for he had not heard a word, he would say, "I could tell by the way you looked." His presence at a service was always a benediction.
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On July 4, 1923, this beautiful life closed.
He was then in his 84th year. He was one of the two preachers from America who spent their lives in the Commonwealth of Australia, both of whom were greatly loved.
He was a friend of young men and women all his life. He loved peace. He lived for the church of God. He was one who grew old gracefully. It would be well if we could all imitate him. Certainly we should be inspired by his example.
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Oliver Anderson Carr.
WE met in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in October, 1909. One night during the great convention that was being held in that city an Australian banquet was held at Squirrel Hill, where Lawson Campbell, formerly of South Australia, was the preacher. Some of us had to wait a long time to get a tram to take us back to the city, it being very late.
During that wait it was a privilege to spend the time in conversation with O. A. Carr about the cause in Australia, and many of the Lord's people in that land. Often I had heard older brethren speak of him, and the great work he did at Collingwood, Hobart, and other places, and now there was the joy of talking with him face to face.
Oliver A. Carr was born in Kentucky in 1845, his father, at the time of his birth, being a farmer. Later on the father sold the farm and moved into Mayslick in order to give his children a better chance for an education. While attending school there Carr came into contact with Walter Scott, one of the great early preachers in connection with the Restoration Movement. After a strenuous life Scott had gone to Mayslick to spend his remaining days. He was then a venerable looking man, with a stately bearing. Some days he would go to the school and address the scholars, and so Carr came into close touch with him.
The son of his teacher induced Oliver to go to the Sunday school at the Church of Christ. After one or two attendances he thought he would try the Baptist school, but the teacher
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there spent the time in trying to explain something about the Holy Spirit that completely puzzled the boy, and so he decided to go nowhere. This determination he adhered to for some little time.
However there was a blacksmith living in the village named Eneas Myall who was a Christian. This man had heard a preacher named Ricketts preach the old Jerusalem gospel, and when that man called upon his hearers, like Peter did at Pentecost, to "repent and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ," it seemed to him like a voice from the past. He promptly obeyed, and became very enthusiastic about the cause. He was always trying to influence others towards the truth. This man took a great interest in Oliver Carr, and so one day, when W. T. Moore was holding a mission with the church in that village, he said to the boy, "Ollie, isn't it about time you became a Christian?" Oliver was then 15 years of age. He was present at the service
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the next Lord's day, and heard Moore preach on "What must I do to be saved?" During the week that followed he decided in his heart to accept Christ, and determined that on the next Lord's day he would make "the good confession." He approached his father on the matter, and he said, "If you know what you are doing, go ahead." His father at that time had not obeyed the gospel. At his baptism the only member of his family present was his sister. His mother made the remark at the time, "The Campbellites have got Ollie."
The blacksmith soon after approached Oliver and offered to finance him through Kentucky University. The offer was accepted, and at 16 years of age he became a student in that institution.
At the end of the year, however, he went back home because of bad health. But refusing to be daunted by this, he returned to the University, and continued his studies. But all his life O. A. Carr had poor health.
While a student he started preaching, buying a horse on which to ride out to his appointments. On one occasion an appointment was made to preach in the mountains, and Oliver was accompanied by another student. On the way out they passed a beautiful pool of water, and the youthful preachers said, "This is where we will baptise," and they did, some eight souls submitting thus to the Messiah there at that time.
Carr was filled with zeal for the preaching of the gospel, and for the plea for the wearing only of divine names by the people of God, and the unity of all who follow Christ, and wanted everybody to hear it.
At last he determined to go to his boyhood home to preach. He started on a Thursday night, and on Saturday baptised fourteen people. The singing was led by a young woman named Mattie Myers. These two met, a correspondence followed, and ultimately she became Mrs. O. A. Carr.
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Off to Australia.
At a State meeting in Lexington, J. W. McGarvey read a letter to Carr from G. L. Surber in Australia, who wrote of the great need for preachers in that land. McGarvey urged O. A. Carr to go, saying, "Come, Ollie; it is just as near heaven from that country as from Kentucky." He wrote to Mattie Myers about it, and asked, "Would you go with me?" In the end she agreed to go, and had to give up her college with about 100 girls in it, to do so. They were married on March 26, 1868.
Before leaving Mr. Carr had the joy of seeing his own father and mother yield to Christ.
Beneath the Southern Cross.
Mr. and Mrs. O. A. Carr reached Melbourne in September, 1868. While he preached successfully at Collingwood she, among other things, conducted a school for young ladies. While at Collingwood the matter of the erection of a chapel was under consideration, and there was some difference of opinion among the brethren over it, some wanting a wooden building, and some a brick. He hoped that it would be constructed of brick, but he said, "Let the majority decide. If the majority say a wooden chapel, a wooden one it will be." How sensible! Many a church wreck would be averted, and many a preacher saved sorrow, if such a conciliatory attitude were always taken.
In October, 1871, a young man named George Smith, who was a Melbourne disciple, removed to Hobart, Tasmania, and as there was no church known as a church of Christ in that place he wrote Carr, urging him to go there to establish one. Early in 1872 he went, and in one year he gathered together a church of 108 members. During the whole of the time he was there he was hospitably entertained in the home of Mr. and Mrs. George Smith.
At the end of the year through ill-health he relinquished the work in Hobart, G. B. Moysey succeeding him. He determined to return
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to America to recruit his health, and to see his people, intending to come back to Australia. However, after a time in the States, he felt that there was a need for him there, and so he sent for his books and other things he had left behind. But his heart was still out here, so much so that he collected a sum of money to help secure the chapel in Hobart, and he sent it out by the hand of J. J. Haley when he came to take up the work in these fair south lands.
His wife devoted herself to educational work, while he continued preaching after their return home. Mrs. Carr founded Carr-Burdette College, and spent her final days in work she so much loved. Mr. Carr became State evangelist in Missouri in 1884, and in that capacity did a good work. After a time he became weary of the continual travelling and settled down, but still preached.
Mrs. Carr passed away in 1907, and he tarried a few years longer. Both lives were well lived, and both left behind memories that will long be cherished.
Only four years in Australia, and yet what an impact they must have brought to bear upon the work out here, and how much they accomplished in firmly establishing the cause in this land! Surely such lives, and such devotion to the plea, will help us, who today are carrying on the work, to be true, and to be consecrated to the task that has been given to us.
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George Bickford Moysey.
IT is not often that a preacher has the privilege of laboring for two terms with the church in connection with which he was won to Christ, but such was the experience of the subject of this sketch--George Bickford Moysey. He was twice preacher at Cheltenham, Victoria.
His parents came from Devonshire, England. They set sail for the new land beneath the Southern Cross immediately after their marriage. Some few months after their arrival the father and his cousin took up land at Beaumaris. Here George Bickford was born on December 13, 1850.
Dawning of the Light.
A brother named Ruse started a Sunday school in the Beaumaris district in the early sixties, and this good man did his best to get his scholars to memorise the scriptures, and to encourage them to do so he gave tickets and picture cards. On one occasion a boy recited 170 verses and a girl 180. In later years these two united their lives, and were known to the churches of Christ throughout Australia as Bro. and Sister G. B. Moysey.
About the same time H. S. Earl, evangelist from America, who was laboring in Melbourne, visited the district. Great success attended his preaching, among the converts being young George Moysey.
His Life Work.
The first eighteen years of his life were spent on his father's farm, but, having found the
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truth of Christ himself, he was anxious for others to find it also, and so he became filled with the desire to preach the wondrous gospel himself. This led to him leaving the farm to reside in Melbourne in order to study under G. L. Surber and O. A. Carr, two capable preachers from America who were then laboring, the one with the church at Carlton, and the other with the church at Collingwood.
In after years O. A. Carr used to delight to tell how young Moysey sold a calf and some carpenter's tools he had in order to get sufficient money to buy the necessary books to commence his studies.
Owing to the poor health of Bro. Carr, the class was abandoned at the end of a year. Not daunted by this, G. B. Moysey went across to Adelaide, where he continued to study under H. S. Earl and T. J. Gore. How our early preachers had to struggle to get their education!
After eighteen months' study in Adelaide Mr. Moysey commenced his work as an evangelist, his first field being Strathalbyn in South Australia. He was then about 21 years of age.
In the year 1873 we find him in Hobart, Tasmania, where he had gone to succeed O. A. Carr, who was returning to America. Bro. Carr had been in that city for one year, and had gathered together in that time a congregation of 108 members. In Tasmania G. B. Moysey did a great work, coming in contact with Stephen Cheek, and influencing him to a great extent.
On December 8, 1878, he commenced a most successful ministry at Cheltenham, the first of his terms of service there. The new chapel on Chesterville-rd. was opened at that time, and there was great rejoicing. On the first Lord's day evening thirteen people confessed Christ.
January, 1882, saw the beginning of a fine ministry as evangelist with the church at Newtown, Sydney. This church later moved to Enmore, and is continuing its witness in
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that neighborhood. G. B. Moysey was the last preacher to labor in the old King-st. chapel.
In later years he went to Kadina, South Australia, being the first resident preacher of churches of Christ in that important town.
Within a few weeks of his arrival, the hall in which the church met was crowded with interested listeners, and within eighteen months fifty-eight souls had responded to the call of the gospel. Brethren who were there at the time still speak in most glowing terms of the great preaching, and the fine success.
As the years went on our brother developed into an expository preacher of no mean order. The writer first heard him when he was about
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forty years of age, and he will never forget, although he was but a youth at the time, the wonderful way in which on that Lord's day morning he harmonised the statements in 1 John 1:18, 19 and 1 John 3:9.
For several years he labored in Western Australia, and during that period he was able to journey across the ocean on a visit to England and America, and to attend the great convention held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, when the centenary of the publication of the "Declaration and Address" by Thomas Campbell was celebrated. During that convention G. B. Moysey, D. A. Ewers and the writer spent a good deal of time together, sleeping in the same room, eating at the same table, and enjoying to the full the rich fellowship of the occasion. On the morning when the writer reached Pittsburgh the three were together at the convention headquarters, when a newspaper reporter got hold of them, and in the next issue of his paper there appeared an account of their arrival in which the reporter said that "three strangers entered whose speech was soft, and who had travelled from far-away Australia to participate in the great gatherings." At the great communion service, when twenty-seven thousand devout worshippers remembered their Lord, G. B. Moysey and the writer sat side by side. And what a wonderful experience that service was!
When the time came for the introduction of fraternal delegates in the Carnegie Music Hall, G. B. Moysey was one of those who responded for Australia. I fancy that I can now hear that rich musical voice of his as he said, "Forty-five years ago I was immersed by the hands of an American evangelist, H. S. Earl. There is another brother here whose hand I have grasped, and in whose arm my own has been linked this morning, who taught me some of the elements of Christianity, and who encouraged me to take up the work of proclaiming the gospel. I allude to O. A. Carr."
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Mr. Moysey used his pen effectively, and our earlier periodicals were enriched by many illuminating articles written by him. Sometimes he became poetical, and many of us have read with profit such poems as "The Smith of Ragenbach" and "The Blank Bible." And well do we remember the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the Victorian churches in March, 1913, when he read a poem entitled "In Honor of the Pioneers," the first verse of which ran--
"Twice thirty years and more have fled,
Since first for truth our fathers pled:
Some few remain, the most are dead;
Alas; how swift the days have sped!
They raised a standard to the Lord,
They brave unsheathed the Spirit's sword,
With truth they ever sought accord,
And error dark they deep abhorred."
The Sweet Singer.
G.B.M, had an intensely musical nature, and his gospel meetings were frequently helped by appropriate solos rendered by himself. One of his favorite pieces, and one he frequently sang, was "The Ninety-and-Nine." How real he used to make the search of the Shepherd for his sheep as he rendered it! We can seem to see and hear him as we now write.
Animated by a burning zeal for the union of all God's people, G. B. Moysey labored hard to bring about full fellowship between the older churches of Christ in Australia and those founded by the labors of Stephen Cheek. He rejoiced greatly when this union was achieved, for it demonstrated once again the correctness of the plea for union on the basis of a restored New Testament Christianity.
Very close relations prevailed between Stephen Cheek and G. B. Moysey, and so when Stephen Cheek passed away a fine biography was written by Bro. Moysey which appeared in the pages of "The Australian Watchman."
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In all his work and sacrifices Bro. Moysey had a wonderful partner in his wife. She ministered to her husband and family in a most unselfish manner, and still found time to take an active part in the work of the local Conference. She passed to her reward on November 14, 1924, at the age of 72, while he tarried here a little longer. It was on December 26, 1926, that the call came to him.
What great work these pioneer men and women did! What sacrifices they made to advance the cause! And our work and positions to-day have been made possible by what they did. May it be ours to be as valiant for and faithful in the truth as were they, so that we may pass on to those who come after us a heritage that has been unsullied in our hands!
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AMONG the pioneers in the cause of New Testament Christianity in Australia Stephen Cheek ranks high.
He was born in the county of Essex, England, on December 20, 1851. At three years of age he was brought by his parents from the old land to Tasmania, and there his boyhood and young manhood were spent. At 21 years of age he accepted Christ as his Saviour, and joined the Congregational Church.
Teaching was chosen as his profession, and while stationed at Rosevale he commenced to preach. Whenever the minister failed to put in an appearance at service time, young Cheek stepped into the breach. In addition to this he conducted a Sunday school and prayer meeting, and some thirteen young men met with him regularly for the study of the Word of God.
G. B. Moysey.
About this time the late G. B. Moysey was preaching the Word in Tasmania, laboring with power, largely with the church in Hobart known simply as a church of Christ. An article on baptism having appeared in a paper called "The Christian Witness" which was much out of harmony with the teaching of scripture, G. B. Moysey replied thereto. A copy of the paper containing this reply reached the hands of young Cheek, and as a result, he opened up a correspondence with Mr. Moysey. This led to Stephen Cheek's decision that believers' baptism was taught in the Word of God. This conviction was expressed to G. B. Moysey in a letter dated August 16, 1875.
R. C. Fairlam.
Soon after this conviction a Mr. E. Moyse, an evangelist connected with one section of the
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people called "Brethren," created a stir by his preaching in some of the townships near Cheek's place of residence. This man met with great opposition, and this aroused Cheek's sympathy, as he was a man who hated to see an injustice done to anybody. Mr. Moyse was invited by Stephen Cheek to Rosevale. On December 5, thirteen people were immersed there in connection with Mr. Moyse's work, and possibly Cheek was one of the number. At any rate his association with the "Brethren" began from this time, and soon after he was found attending conferences of those people. As he was returning from one of these he preached on the street at Latrobe. Among those who listened to him was R. C. Fairlam, who lived in that town, and who had formerly been a member of a church of Christ in Victoria. He was the first one to hold meetings in connection with churches of Christ in Tasmania. At the close of Mr. Cheek's street meeting Mr. Fairlam approached him and tried to show him some things in the New Testament which, apparently, he had not noticed. Among other things communion with the unimmersed was mentioned, and Cheek promised that he would search the scriptures on the matter, and if he found that Fairlam was right he would let him know. On March 31, 1880, the promise was fulfilled by letter.
The Work of an Evangelist.
Early in 1876 Stephen Cheek determined to enter upon "the work of an evangelist." This he did in spite of efforts that were made to turn him from his purpose. He started his evangelistic career on March 26, going forth without any promise of support from man, an unselfishness and trustfulness that characterised the whole of his ministry.
In doing his evangelistic work he walked many weary miles, and often his feet were blistered or bleeding. On many of these journeys he had J. Park as his companion.
During his term of service as an evangelist with the "Brethren" Cheek read a pamphlet
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by G. B. Moysey before a meeting of those people at Scottsdale. For this he was reprimanded, the reason being that the pamphlet had been written by a "Campbellite." Soon after this Bro. Cheek began to enquire into some New Testament truths shunned by the "Brethren," such as the Holy Spirit's answer through Peter to the enquirers on the day of Pentecost (see Acts 2:37, 38). When men who were prominent among the "Brethren" were approached on the matter he was told that there were plenty of Scriptures without such. But an answer like that was entirely unsatisfactory to a mind like that of the young evangelist, who only wanted truth, no matter what it might cost. He began to think that there must be something wrong with a system that persistently ignored such utterances by an inspired apostle.
In 1878 Mr. Cheek went to Victoria and immediately started work in the Elphinstone-Taradale-Drummond district. There he met with remarkable success, the fruits of which are seen
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to this day in various places in the Commonwealth. On Lord's day, September 8, thirty-nine people were baptised in the Coliban River, and on the afternoon of that day sixty-four believers gathered to break bread in memory of the Christ. A good deal of persecution from the world followed the work in that district, and as he was now taking a stand against mixed membership and communion, he also had to encounter opposition from a number of the "Brethren." But the churches he had established in this district stood with him.
On Solid Ground.
Towards the end of 1878 Bro. Cheek returned to Tasmania. Just before he left a combined meeting of the three churches in the Taradale district was held. On that Lord's day one hundred and two disciples met at Taradale for the breaking of bread. It was a happy time for him as he beheld his children in the faith thus sitting at the table of the Lord. In the afternoon of that day Stephen Cheek preached, and at night a praise service was held, when some twenty brethren gave talks on their Christian experiences. The gracious hospitality of the Taradale brethren, especially that of Bro. and Sister McAlpine, with whom some thirty sat down to tea, was a great feature of the occasion. During the day £20 was handed to Bro. Cheek, but he said, "I don't require half that money," and so he gave a portion of it to a brother to mind for him. He really needed it all, for his clothes were almost threadbare. But this action was another exhibition of his unselfish and self-sacrificing heart.
Very cautiously Cheek came to the conclusion never to approve of the mixture of baptised and unbaptised as members of the "one body." Before coming to this conclusion he spent months in correspondence with some associated with the "Brethren." One such replied to him: "I may say that looking at the Acts of the Apostles, where we get the formation of the church, there can be no doubt but in those days no one was admitted into the assembly but those who were baptised." And yet that same good man went
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on to say, "I would make a difference in cases, because of bad teaching, ignorance of the Word of God on the subject, and because so many minds are prejudiced against the truth." To Mr. Cheek those words, "I would make a difference in cases," suggested an assumption of power which no man had a right to claim. Some time later he saw New Testament teaching on the purposes of baptism, and became convinced that the faith alone theory was entirely unscriptural.
Up till now Bro. Cheek had regarded those Christians who were known as disciples of Christ or churches of Christ with strong dislike. He had heard statements that they denied the personality of the Holy Spirit, and that they taught that baptism instead of the blood of Christ cleansed from sin. But when he took his stand against the mixture of the baptised and unbaptised things just as strange were said about him and those associated with him. He rightly reasoned that if men misrepresented him, possibly they would misrepresent others. So he secured the writings of prominent members of churches of Christ in America, Great Britain and Australia, and through the reading of these he discovered that things he had heard about those people were not true. He was impressed with the fact that those called "disciples" gave the same answer to enquirers that Peter gave on the day of Pentecost, a thing that those from whom he had parted did not do.
In June, 1880, Mr. Cheek visited Wedderburn in Victoria,, and there found a church of Christ. Before working with that congregation he discussed with members thereof the points on which it was supposed that differences existed. On May 18, 1881, a conference was held at Castlemaine, when representatives of both groups of churches met. On June 6 a similar conference was held at Taradale, when it was unanimously decided that they were one in Christ, and they cordially accepted each other as brethren.
The good work was going on at the same time in Tasmania. G. B. Moysey visited the
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church that Stephen Cheek had established at Port Esperance, and conferred with the brethren there, when it was found that on fundamentals they were one.
From this time the hundreds of believers with which Cheek had been in close association stood identified with the great and growing brotherhood of those who, like themselves, desired to be simply Christians or disciples of Christ.
Bro. Cheek carried on an extensive correspondence, and in his later years this became quite a burden. With a view to lightening this load he was led to publish a little monthly paper which he called "Truth-in-Love." When he removed to Queensland he increased the size of this and changed the name to "The Pioneer." At his death the paper lapsed for a time, but D. A. Ewers revived it, and published it for a number of years. It was eventually amalgamated with "The Christian Standard," and both became "The Australian Christian." In Cheek's time some unique articles appeared, such as "New Carts" and "The Trial of Simon Peter." These are worthy of perusal by the present generation of disciples.
In the year 1876 J. H. Johnson removed from Cardigan, Victoria, to Toowoomba, Queensland. He advocated New Testament Christianity, and succeeded in winning to the plea a young Baptist preacher named Troy. This young man attended the Victorian Conference of Churches of Christ in 1882 to try to secure an evangelist for the northern colony. The conference was unable to do anything, but he was introduced to Stephen Cheek. Arrangements were made for Cheek to go to Queensland with Bro. Troy. These two men reached Brisbane on July 27, 1882. They began work at what is now known as Zillmere, where a number of Baptist brethren decided to abandon their party name, and some sixteen other people were baptised. On August 8 these were organised into a church of Christ.
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From Zillmere they went to Brisbane, Toowoomba and other places, and like Paul and his co-workers of old, preached, won converts, and established churches. In November Stephen Cheek reached Warwick. He continued preaching there until early in February of 1883. On returning from one of his country appointments on foot he was overtaken by a storm, as a result of which he caught a severe cold. The result was that on February 17 he died, and his body was laid to rest on the next day in the Warwick cemetery. He was only 31 years of age when he died, but what a lot he crowded into those years!
Besides those characteristics which have been brought forward in this brief sketch of a worthy pioneer's life, there were others which made great impressions on those who came into contact with him.
He was a strong anti-tobacco man, and delighted in hiding the pipes of smokers, and watching their efforts to discover them, and noting the anxiety of mind manifested as they sought.
He strongly disliked a lack of punctuality, and often reminded his brethren that in the life of the Lord it recorded that "when the hour was come he sat down."
He was calm amid opposition, and seemed to have perfect control of his temper. He was like one of the McAlpine family at Taradale, and Bro. McAlpine said of him that no matter how much he was annoyed he never knew him to lose his temper.
Truly Stephen Cheek was a splendid proof of the statement that "we live in deeds, not years." And we might well pray that others will be raised up with a similar courage, with the pioneering spirit and with a determination to follow truth at all costs, for there is yet so much to do to capture Australia for the simple Christianity of the New Testament, and for the unity for which our Lord prayed.
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David Amos Ewers.
THE writer first saw D. A. Ewers about 1890 at the public meeting which followed an anniversary tea of the church at North Williamstown, Victoria. He was one of some six speakers that night, each of whom spoke on one of the phases of the distinctive witness of churches of Christ. I was but a youth at the time, and had only been "in Christ" a few months, but I can picture the row of speakers on the platform. Later on it was my privilege to have much delightful fellowship with the subject of this sketch, and he became "a brother beloved."
He was born at Enfield, South Australia, on April 28, 1853--the year that saw the beginning of the Restoration Movement in Victoria, and seven years after a start had been made in South Australia.
His parents had been connected with the Christians usually called "Brethren," and his earliest recollections religiously were of the little gatherings of those people. However, the parents accepted the restoration plea, and united with the disciples or churches of Christ in their endeavor to get back to the primitive simplicity. When 14 years of age David decided to follow Christ, and was baptised by H. S. Earl, who was then laboring in Adelaide.
Beginning to Preach.
About a year after his decision he removed to Mt. Gambier, and there he gathered with a few others as a church in the house of Bro. C. Clarke. The meetings grew until the house became too small, and then a move was made to an old Baptist chapel. At first they held
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Sunday night meetings somewhat like a Bible class, and David was induced by Mr. Clarke to take his turn at conducting these. His first talk was on the Lord's second coming. Some of those present held post-millennial views, but
with all the assurance of youth D. A. Ewers talked for about ten minutes to those older people on the pre-millennial view of this subject. He triumphantly quoted Luke 17:26, and said that as it was in the days of Noah so will it be at the second coming, "when they ate and drank and were married and given in
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marriage and did all other sorts of wicked things." He was often afterwards twitted with that unfortunate slip, so he said; but it was no greater slip than many a beginner has made.
His first gospel sermon was on the subject, "What Must I Do to be Saved?" He wrote this out, committed it to memory, and recited it.
In 1874 he removed to Kingston, where he entered into business, and at the same time attended to the Lord's business, and so was able to organise a church there.
Those were the days when we had no College of the Bible, and preachers were made by the force of circumstances, and able men some of them were, including the one of whom we now write. And those were the days when disciples looked for opportunities to establish the cause wherever they went.
In 1878 D. A. Ewers returned to Adelaide. In that same year--in the month of April--he was married to Emily G. Redman at Norwood by the late H. D. Smith. And a great preacher's wife she proved to be.
On to Victoria.
He served for a year as a full-time evangelist under the South Australian committee at Two Wells and Reeves Plains, but at the end of that time he removed to Murtoa, Victoria, and entered into business as a wheelwright. Here, again the pioneering spirit manifested itself, and he was instrumental in starting a church, which was the mother church of the now prosperous work we are doing through the Wimmera. One of the first to render obedience to the gospel at Murtoa was G. H. Browne, who afterwards and for many years labored as an evangelist.
It was while at Murtoa that Bro. Ewers commenced his literary career. A series of articles from his pen appeared in "The Australian Christian Witness" which was edited by the late F. Illingworth. These were entitled "Chips from a Wheelwright's Block." Another series followed under the title "Sparks from the
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Forge." This series appeared in "The Christian Pioneer," edited by the late Stephen Cheek when the series commenced, but by Bro. Ewers himself before the finish.
Labors in Queensland.
When Stephen Cheek died in February, 1883, J. H. Johnson wired to F. W. Troy, "Send for Sparks." On receiving this message Bro. Troy telegraphed to Victoria asking D. A. Ewers to come north to continue the work which Cheek had commenced. This he did, at the further request of the Victorian committee, arriving in Brisbane on April 26, 1883. He revived "The Christian Pioneer," and continued as editor of it till December, 1897, when it was amalgamated with "The Christian Standard"; the combined paper coming out in January, 1898, as "The Australian Christian."
Nearly five years were spent in Queensland in pioneering, in which he was ably assisted by a number of other faithful brethren. Many churches were planted, and a large number of people were led to "the obedience of faith."
Back in Victoria.
Mr. Ewers returned to Victoria in September, 1887, and he labored for brief periods at Shepparton and Williamstown. Then came his ministry at Hawthorn and Doncaster. The latter field was left in order to go to Petersham, N.S.W., under the home missionary committee of that State, where he was highly successful.
Ill-health led him to resign and took him back for a short time to South Australia. Lake-st., Perth, followed, where he did a splendid piece of work, but was greatly hampered by the asthma from which he suffered. A brief ministry at Grote-st., Adelaide, was next, and then came a call to North Sydney. The work in this N.S.W. field was left to return to South Australia to organise the church at Mile End, with which he stayed for six years, doing a work that continues to stand.
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D. A. Ewers was a born organiser, and he rendered excellent service to the cause in this way in Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia. Probably it was this outstanding ability that led to his appointment to many conference committees, as conference president in several of the States, and as secretary to many things.
Outside our brotherhood he was prominent in C.E., temperance and prohibition, and other work.
One of the great delights of his life was the trip to Great Britain and America in 1909.
The writer can see him now as together they visited many places in London, often under difficulties because of his asthma.
At Pittsburgh, Penn., at the great convention of our churches, he suffered very much from his complaint. On the Saturday afternoon there was a veterans' camp fire meeting, into which only the oldest at the convention were to be admitted. G. B. Moysey and I decided that we had no chance of getting in, but he was determined to try, as he wanted to see and hear men like J. W. McGarvey and D. R. Dungan. On reaching the outside of the building he stood panting for breath. One of the ushers seeing him rushed down the steps to help him up, remarking as he did so, "Come on, brother, you will be past seventy." As a matter of fact he was then in his 57th year. How he did enjoy that joke!
As a writer he had special gifts, and doubtless would have been a brilliant journalist had he devoted himself to that work. There was a freshness and a frankness about all he wrote. In the days when he wrote the "Editorial Notes" for "The Australian Christian" many of the readers used to turn there first, or after reading the "Here and There" column, and they were never disappointed.
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He worked hard preparing, as secretary, for the South Australian conference of 1915, and appeared to be in about his usual health till September 22. Then he had to take to his bed, but a few weeks later he appeared to be much better, and was able to attend the home missionary committee meeting on November 19. He reached home about 10.30 p.m. He chatted outside for a few minutes with one of the brethren, entered the house and retired to bed. He then picked up his watch, felt his pulse, said "Twenty-four too high," looked at his life partner, and passed. He died in harness. At his funeral J. E. Thomas said, "Bro. Ewers was a busy man. He was so busy that he never had time for anything but his Father's work." How true!
He was a man strong in character, loyal to the Christ, and staunch in his advocacy of the restoration plea. The church of God could do with many such as he.
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Aaron Burr Maston.
THOSE who knew him will never forget the heroic, Spartan-like spirit, nor the blunt but kindly meant advice, nor the unique way of preaching, nor the firm adherence to what he conceived to be New Testament Christianity. A. B. Maston was a great soul, and the world was the better for his life here.
Birth and Early Life.
Aaron Burr Maston was born in Ohio, U.S.A., on March 23, 1853. He had a delicate constitution, and suffered much from boyhood up. He was one of a family of ten, and his parents were poor. His first home was a log cabin, and the simple life was lived. With the other members of the family he often went barefooted to school.
His mother was a very devout Baptist, but his father, although a good living man, made no profession of faith in Christ. Like some men to-day he would drive his wife to the church services, but very rarely went in himself. Speaking of his mother in after life, A. B. Maston said, "The best person I ever knew in all the world was a Baptist."
Becoming a Christian.
He was a youth fifteen years of age when the great decision for Christ was made under the preaching of J. W. Lowe, a preacher connected with churches of Christ. How many of the most used servants of Christ enlisted under his standard in the early years! That boy accomplished more for the cause of Christ than did many who came to Christ in later life. On becoming a follower of Christ his
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great ambition was to preach the gospel, and he there and then promised the Lord that his life would be devoted to this work.
He entered the Northern Indiana Normal School at Valparaiso and studied hard. Having little money; he had to rise early in the mornings
and devote himself for some time each day to a very humble occupation in order that he might secure the wherewithal to pay his way.
It was while a student in this institution that A. B. Maston commenced to preach. His first sermon was delivered in a Presbyterian church house to a Presbyterian congregation by request of the Presbyterian pastor who was unable
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to keep the appointment himself. That was on June 1, 1873. It took him twenty-four hours to decide on the text, and ultimately he chose Luke 24:46, 47.
Before his course was finished he was preaching regularly for a church, but not satisfied with that alone, he was also a diligent personal worker. One day, out walking with two other young men along the shores of a beautiful lake, he talked of the crucified and risen Lord. One of the young men said to him, "See, here is water; what doth hinder us to be baptised?" Bro. Maston at once replied, "If you believe with all your hearts, you may." The response was, "We believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God." There and then they went down into the water and Bro. Maston baptised them. He had had many talks with these young fellows, and it must have given him great joy when in this unusual way to-day they gladly yielded to the Saviour.
Off to New Zealand.
At Bloomington, Illinois, at a missionary convention, A.B.M. met O. A. Carr, who had been asked to secure a preacher to go to Wellington, New Zealand. On being approached, Bro. Maston consulted his wife, and then said to Bro. Carr, "I am your man."
Mr. and Mrs. Maston sailed from San Francisco on the "Australia" on December 22, 1879, the same vessel on which the writer sailed from the same port with his parents, and brothers and sisters, some six years later.
Auckland was reached on January 11, and a month was spent in preaching the gospel in that city, Wellington being reached on February 15.
The church in Wellington at that time had 24 members, faithful souls who did not wait for a preacher but set up the Lord's table, and witnessed as best they could to the truth as they understood it. Such faithfulness meant much in the early days in Australia and New Zealand in the spread of the principles for which we plead. Would that there were more of it to-day.
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Bro. and Sister Maston labored in New Zealand for some four years, during which time the church in Wellington grew to 217 members, and secured a chapel of her own on Dixon-st. Besides this, many others had been won to the truth in other places where he had preached while on visits.
From New Zealand a move was made to Hobart, Tasmania. His stay was not a long one, but during the year he labored on the island he visited most of the churches, and saw splendid results from the preaching of the gospel. It was while here that he commenced his work as a publisher, issuing a Manual of Churches of Christ, a copy of which lies before me as I write. It contained a lot of valuable information, and was the forerunner of the directories that were issued by our Federal Conference several times a few years ago.
Accepting an invitation to labor with the church at North Melbourne (called Hotham in those days), he commenced work in the Chetwynd-st. chapel on March 22, 1885. His first Victorian conference was attended at the Easter season of that year, and from that time till his death he was one of the most prominent figures in the conferences of the churches in the various States, or colonies as they were then called. For six months the Sunday evening preaching services were held in the North Melbourne Town Hall.
While at North Melbourne he laid plans for issuing tracts. It seems that words written for him by O. A. Carr on the eve of his departure from America were now to bear fruit. In a list of suggestions he was advised "to use the Press all you can," and to "have the brethren distribute tracts." He formed "The Christian Sower Tract Fund." At the end of the first year he was able to report that "two million, four hundred thousand pages of tracts have been printed, and have gone to all parts of the colonies."
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The Austral Publishing Company.
He commenced to agitate for a printing and publishing house in 1890, and towards the end of 1891 he saw "The Austral Printing and Publishing Company Limited" launched with a capital of £941, and of this company he became first manager. The shareholders have never received a dividend, and doubtless never expect to; they subscribed the capital for the sake of the cause. And what a tremendous work that company has done for New Testament Christianity in these southern lands!
"The Australian Christian."
For some years two periodicals were circulating among the Churches of Christ in Australasia, "The Christian Standard" edited by F. G. Dunn, and "The Christian Pioneer" edited by D. A. Ewers, but these two papers ceased at the end of 1897 to make way for "The Australian Christian" to appear at the beginning of 1898. A. B. Maston became first editor of "The Australian Christian," while F. G. Dunn continued to write those thoughtful leaders for which he was noted, and D. A. Ewers those striking editorial notes which had made him almost famous.
Although putting in much time at the publishing work, A.B.M. did not cease to preach. He was the means of the commencement of the church at Ascot Vale, where he preached for some time, and he labored zealously in several other Melbourne suburban fields.
How He Suffered.
At thirty-three years of age a little swelling appeared on the left eyelid. This had been preceded by trouble with his head which at times had been severe. In March, 1887, he underwent the first of many operations. For over twenty years now he suffered untold agony, proving to be a wonderful fighter, and refusing to give up. Well does the writer remember Bro. Maston saying to him one evening, "This thing is going to do one of two things
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for me; it will either drive me to insanity or it will kill me, and I am praying that it will kill me."
He did not complain, but kept bright and cheerful, thus showing what the grace of God can do for a man who will trust and not be afraid. He would sometimes even joke about his "blind side," for early in the struggle the left eye had been entirely removed. How he could smile, and even laugh in that hearty way of his was truly marvellous. But what a minister of cheer he was to many another sufferer because of this!
The Earthly End.
The last day that he managed to get to the office of the Austral was on February 8, 1907, but then only for an hour or two in the afternoon. On March 19 he wrote a birthday message for insertion in "The Australian Christian" in which he told the brotherhood that his face was towards the sunshine, and that his hope and trust were in the infinite goodness of the great and loving Father. On April 16 he wrote another message in which he said, "I wish to say that the sunshine of God's great love is still around me, and his strong support still upholds me. The most stupendous thing in all the world is the love of God to man; but next to that, and occupying a vast place in God's great wonderland, is the love of man to his fellows."
On August 28 the spirit of this brave, unbeaten servant of God was released from the frail and suffering tabernacle in which it had been for a little over fifty-four years.
He was one of two American preachers who came here and stayed, and he proved to be a tower of strength to the cause of New Testament Christianity in these lands. And that cause he loved ardently, and for it he worked most assiduously. He believed with all his heart that the unity and union of those who name the name of Christ could be brought about by all being willing to return to the simplicity of primitive Christianity, and for that he pleaded with all his powers by tongue and pen.
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THE PLEA OF CHURCHES OF CHRIST.
WE believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God, and that this truth was the creed of primitive Christianity and the foundation of the first church.--Matt. 16:16-18.
We contend that salvation from sin is to be found only in the acceptance of Jesus as the personal Saviour--Acts 4:12--and a loving obedience to his will, and that this will is fully revealed to us in the New Testament, which we accept as our sole and absolute authority in all matters of faith and practice.--2 Tim. 3:16, 17.
We therefore instruct all unsaved enquirers to "repent and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of their sins."Acts 2:38. And when we say "baptised" we mean immersed. We settle this question definitely by an appeal to the Scriptures, which assert that in baptism we are "buried"--Rom. 6:4--and by the scholarship of all ages, which affirms that the Greek word baptizo means dip or immerse.
We teach that all Christians should "on the first day of the week come together to break bread," as did the early disciples, in loving commemoration of the great sacrifice of Christ.--Acts 20:7.
We advocate the adoption of scriptural names for the people of God, as Christian or disciple of Christ for the individual--Acts 11:26--and
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Church of Christ or Church of God for the assembly.--Rom. 16:16.
We plead for the unity of Christians for which Christ so earnestly prayed, and which can only be attained by the abandonment of all sectarian creeds, names, and usages.--John 17:20, 21.
We hold that in the kingdom of God there are no such distinctions as "clergy" and "laity," but that all Christians are priests unto God.--1 Peter 2:9--and that while those best qualified should be entirely supported in the ministry of the Word, each disciple according to ability is to preach and teach privately or publicly.
We maintain that in matters of opinion matters not distinctly revealed--and in matters of expediency and methods of labor, there should be entire liberty of expression and practice, providing always that everything is done in subjection to the all-important law of love.--1 Cor. 13.
Finally, we affirm that orthodoxy is valuable only as it finds expression in life. No amount of doctrinal soundness in theory or sanctimoniousness in speech can atone for covetousness, laziness, commercial dishonesty, or other sin. We plead for "whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report."--Phil. 4:8.
--D. A. Ewers.
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