You have found an item located in the Kentuckiana Digital Library.
Men of yesterday : a series of character sketches of prominent men among the Disciples of Christ / by Thomas W. Grafton ; with an introduced by Benjamin L. Smith. Grafton, Thomas W. (Thomas William), 1857-1940. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-164-30098397 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Men of yesterday : a series of character sketches of prominent men among the Disciples of Christ / by Thomas W. Grafton ; with an introduced by Benjamin L. Smith. Grafton, Thomas W. (Thomas William), 1857-1940. Christian Pub. Co., St. Louis : 1899. 291 p. ; 20 cm. Coleman Introduction -- 1. Walter Scott -- 2. Barton W. Stone -- 3. John Smith -- 4. Isaac Errett -- 5. Barton W. Johnson -- 6. Otis A. Burgess. Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1994. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN04167.03 KUK) Printing Master B92-164. IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. Disciples of Christ Biography. MEN OF YESTERDAY A SERIES OF CHARACTER SKETCHES OF PROMINENT MEN AMONG THE DISCIPLES OF CHRIST. BY THOMAS W. GRAFTON Autbor of " Life of Alexander Campbell.," vrrH AN INTRODUCTION BY BENJAMIN L. SMITH Secretary of the American Christian Missionary Society. ST. LOUIS CHRISTIAN PUBLISHING COMPANY 1899 COPYRMUTED, 1899, BlY CHRISTIAN PUBLISHING COMPANY TO ANNA BELLE GRAFTON, THE COMPANION AND INSPIRATION OF MY BUSY LIVE, THIS VOLUME OP SKETCHES 1S AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED. This page in the original text is blank. PREFACE. THERE is no more interesting or profitable theme for study than the life of a true man. When that life combines, with courage and en- durance, the elements of moral greatness and spiritual sublimity, it becomes an inspiration to noblest endeavor. The sketches which are here offered to the public deal with a class of men, who, in making a great cause triumphant, are deserving of the gratitude of thousands who have been blessed by their labors. When we think of the opposi- tion encountered, the unpopularity incurred, the sacrifices made, the hardships endured, the results achieved, it is doubtful if a modern in- stance can be found that will parallel the brave, noble, consecrated service of the men who fol- lowed Alexander Campbell in his search for the scriptural ideal and in his efforts to reproduce it amidst the political, social and religious envi- ronments of the Nineteenth Century. The names appearing in this volume by no means exhaust the list, but they are, I believe, fairly representative. The first three, Scott, Stone and Smith, wrought by the side of the great leader of the reformation and contributed in no small measure to the successful establish- ment of the cause of primitive Christianity. The latter, Errett, Johnson and Burgess, took (5) PREFACE up the cause at a critical period, rescued it from ultra-conservative tendencies, and made possible these days of enlargement. It was the privilege of the author to know well the latter group, some upon terms of warm- est friendship, and to hear them often as they stood before the public in the defense of the faith delivered once for all to the saints. For his knowledge of the earlier group, he has been dependent wholly upon the literature which has preserved a record of their achievements. In this connection, he begs leave to acknowledge his indebtedness to the earlier writers who have told the story of the lives of those who pioneered the way: Baxter's "Life of Walter Scott," Stone's Autobiography, Williams' "Life of Elder John Smith," Lamar's "Memoirs of Isaac Errett," each of which is deserving of the study of every disciple. He desires further to ac- knowledge the helpful service rendered by Mrs. B. W. Johnson and Mrs. 0. A. Burgess, each of whom has supplemented his own recollection of their revered husbands, with facts and inci- dents that are worthy of remembrance. In offering this volume to the public, it is the author's sincere hope that the perusal of these worthy lives may quicken the devotion of every reader for the cause which they served with such heroic zeal. Rock Island, Feb. 15, 1899. 6 CONTENTS. INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . I. WALTER SCOTT. I.EARLY LIFE . . . . . . II. TRAINING IN A NEW RELIGIOUS SCHOOL 111. FINSDING A FIELD . IV. GOSPEL TRIUMPHIS IN MANY lLACES V. PECULIARITIES AND POWER . VI. THE COURSE FINISuED II. BARTON W. STONE. I. EARLY STRUGGLES II. CONVERSION AND CALL III. THE GREAT REVIVAL AT C(AEXERIIX;E IV. A NEW DECLARATION OF INI)EPENDEXCE V. THE PROGRESS OF TIHE REFORM MOVEMENT VI. A GOLDEN SUNSET III. JOHN SMITH. I. A CHILD OF THE BACKWOODS II. SEEKING ASSURANCE OF SALVATION III. WRESTLING WITH DOCTRINAL DIFFICULTIES IV. THE TRIumPH OF THE REFORMATION V. THE CLOSING LABOIR OF TIIE REFORMER IV. ISAAC ERRETT. 1. EARLY TRAINING FOR NVORK II. A WORKMAN THAT NEEDETI N ASHAMED III. FAITHFUL SERVICE IN A NEW FIELD IV. THE PROGRESSIVE LEADER V. THE LAST YEARS (7) 153 SOT TO BE 162 174 184 193 PAGE I, 19 24 32 47 53 CZ 71 85. 91 96 107 114 124 132 142 8 CONTENTS V. BARTON W. JOHNSON. I. YOUTHFUL LABORS ANI) AMBITIONS 201 II. FORMATIVE INFLPLUENCES AND EFFORTS 207 III. FRUITS OF THE EARLY HARVEzsT. . . 21F IV. IN LABORS MORE ABUNDANT . . . 227 V. HOME A-ND HEAVEN.. . . . . . 228 VI. OTIS A. BURGESS. I. YOUTH AND EARLY LABORS . . . . 251 II. NEW LIFE AND LABORS. 258 III. THE FEARLESS DEFENDER OF THE FAITH 271 IV. THE CLOSING YEARS OF A BUSY LIFE . 281 INTRODUCTION. T nE final analysis of any movement is the men that are behind it. Any good plan will work if you put the right man back of it to work it; no plan, no movement reaches large results unless back of it can be found men with large plans and large ideas. The movement for the Restoration of Apos- tolic Christianity is an exemplification of this law. It had a glorious plea,-the union of all God's people; it bad a strong platform,-"the Bible alone as the rule of faith and practice;" it had a divine creed,-"Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God;" and under and behind it all, it had God-gifted men to advocate this plea and to win for it success. No truth has much power if it is only held abstractly; it must be embodied in a man and he made flesh and blood and dwell among us; then it becomes effective, and the larger the man who embodies the truth, the more effective it is. The love of God was a great truth, written by God's creative fingers in earth and sea and cloud, manifested in food and shelter, emphasized in seed-time and harvest, and repeated in provi- dences innumerable; but it was not a control- (9) MEN OF YESTERDAY ling truth until it was incarnated. When "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him might not perish, but have everlasting life," then the truth had power, and is to-day the most potent truth in the universe. So with our movement: it had great truths and principles, and these principles became effective through the great men who gave the cause their adherence and their service. God's truth flows through human channels, and as we contemplate these lives we appreciate the more his love. There is no more interesting study to us who are satisfied to be simply Chris- tian, and who take God's word alone as the rule of faith and practice, than the study of God's hand in our history, and the manifest leadings of providence to bring our feet into a "larger place," and to give us the glorious liberty where- with Christ hath made us free. Wycliffe, Huss, Jerome, Luther, Calvin, Knox and Wesley did God's work ill their day and generation. No man has improved upon the special plea made by Luther for Justification by Faith; no man has pleaded more strongly for Divine Sovereignty than did Calvin of Geneva; no man has manifested more consecration than Wesley; no man has excelled Knox in courage in his struggle to save Scotland from a return of Popery. We should never forget the little monk 10 INTRODUCTION of Wittenburg as he stands alone before the Diet of WQrms, and is commanded by the representa- tive of the Pope of Rome to retract his so-called heresies. He folds his hands across his heart, an(l after a moment of silent prayer he utters his immortal sentence, "Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise; God help me!" We should never forget Wesley's great heart-cry, "The world is my parish!" nor Knox's agonized soul-cry, '"O God! give me Scotland, or I die!" While we rejoice in their lives and their work we should not forget that their work is not yet complete. They tried to reform the church, but after a generation the movements they inaugu- rated toward reform crystallized into creeds and sects, which in turn need reforming. In the early years of this century there was marked unrest in the life of the people. The help of the French people in our Revolutionary struggle was a great help politically and a great harm morally and religiously, for a flood of French infidelity swept over the country, and following it a tidal wave of immorality that swept God and religion and morals out of the thought and lives of many, too many, people. There were some souls that had not soiled themselves,-earnest souls that cried to God: then the Spirit of God led men in various parts of the United States, unknown to each other, to pray and plan for a new reformation, which 1i MEN OF YESTERDAY should be not merely a reformation in the church, but indeed a restoration of the Church of the New Testament. This spirit of reformation manifested itself in James O'Kelly, Abner Jones and Barton W. Stone, even before it found adequate expression in the movement of the Campbells. And no sooner had the latter come to see the "heavenly vision,"-the vision of the union of all God's people on the basis of God's word as the only rule of faith and practice, than other noble spirits were enabled, by their leadership, to look through the fogs raised by theological discus- sion, through the mists and mysticism of human creeds and the traditions of men, and to see, even though at first dimly, the splendid vision of the Church of God, freed from man-made creeds and discipline, and standing forth in her primi- tive simplicity and beauty. Of some of these heroic men we are told in the following pages. T. W. Grafton is espe- cially fitted to tell us the story of the lives of these worthies. Most of them he knew person- ally; of the others, he has had access to the innermost sources of information concerning them. One matter is worthy of note,-the intense opposition of the sectarians of early days to the plea for Christian Union as our fathers made it, and another,-the change from that time to this. 12 INTRODUCTION Christian Union is now a popular theme; the brightest minds in all religious communions have their faces set toward the east upon this great subject, toward the east whence they expect the dawning of the better day. But when the fath- ers wrought, it was a very unpopular theme; it was declared impracticable, undesirable, and im- possible; its advocates were regarded as here- tics, and as such cast out of the synagogue of the orthodox. Not only was the teaching of Christian Union counted heresy, but almost every step of the way toward it was heresy. Did the fathers plead for a revision of the translation of the Scriptures, that the mind of the Spirit might be more plainly made known to the men of this century, it was accounted heresy, and when Alex- ander Campbell published a revised version it was widely heralded that Mr. Campbell had made a Bible to suit himself. When the fathers pleaded for a return to the Scriptures as the rule of life, it was called heresy of the deepest dye. "I would as soon depend upon an old almanac for conversion as upon the Scriptures, unless miraculously accom- panied by the Holy Ghost," was a common say- ing in those elder days. In the case "Our Ortho- doxy in the Civil Courts," a bona flde trial in Indiana, a minister on the witness-stand said that while he would not pronounce Peter a 13 MEN OF YESTERDAY heretic, yet his words in Acts 2:38, "were capa- ble of an heretical interpretation." But the heresy of the fathers has become the guiding light of the children. Revised transla- tions are everywhere, human creeds have largely retired from sight and influence; no longer are they taken into the pulpit and become the text- book for sermons; no longer are the teachings of the pulpits measured by the creed rather than by the Word of God; now not many members of sectarian churches know the creed under which their churches are working; the creeds are kept in reserve and are only used occasionally by which to try ministers. The Christ is coming to his own; the personal Savior as the object of the soul's supreme faith is being realized; the scene on Transfiguration is being repeated, "And lifting up their eyes they saw no man save Jesus only." Thus have we and our religious neigh- bors entered into the labors of the fathers; thus are we indebted to them for much that sweetens and invigorates our religious lives; thus are we debtors to them for their work and labor of love. As you read these pages note some things well, and note to imitate: the sublime faith of these men in the Christ of God, in the Gospel of the New Testament, and in the promises of God. By it they wrought wonders, removed mountains of difficulties, subdued kingdoms, 14 INTRODUCTION wrought righteousness, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, and turned. to flight the armies of the aliens. Note the sacrifices of the fathers: few of them were men of property, yet they stopped not to count the cost. It meant poverty, it meant re- ligious and social ostracism, it meant necessary absence from home, it meant alienation of friends; but they went out not knowing whither they went, save only that the heavenly vision beckoned them onward. They had something they called the "Cause." When they met they asked, "How is the 'Cause' prospering where you have been" They planned and prayed for the advancement of the "'Cause;" any disgrace was dreaded on account of its in- jury to the "Cause;"-the Cause of causes to them was the Restoration of Apostolic Chris- tianity as the basis and method of the union of all God's people, and in poverty and in tears they sowed the seed of the Kingdom; in the morning they sowed the seed, in the evening they withheld not the hand, and God prospered it as it pleased him. Note for hopefulness, the fruitfulness of these lives; they won souls by the hundred. God gave them abundant harvests and blessed their labors, and when their sacrificing labors were ended God kissed them and they rested, and over them we can repeat the Divine Word, "These all died 15 16 MEN OF YESTERDAY ir faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." But the Announcer must not longer keep the bidden guests from the Banquet; enter and feast yourselves on the rich food the author has so carefully prepared. BENJAImN L. SMITH. Cincinnati, 0. This page in the original text is blank. WALTUR SCOTT. WALTER SCOTT. 1. TEE greatest man in the world is he who is most like the Savior of men; who lays all his honors, gifts and attain- ments at the feet of Jesus, and gives him all the glory. It is he who abounds ih all goodness, purity and godly fear. It is he whose soul is moved at the wretchedness of mankind, and is only concerned to see men redeemed and God glorified through Jesus Christ. It is he who has the least taste, and is least attracted by the things admired and pursued by the giddy, gay, ungodly world of mankind, while he glories in the Lord.-WaUer Scott. 18 WALTER SCOTT. I. EARLY LIFE. T HE name of Walter Scott is inseparably link- ed with that of Alexander Campbell in the cause of religious reformation. Near the be- ginning of the movement which led to the organization of the Christian Church, these choice spirits formed a congenial fellowship, which was only broken by death. Campbell and Scott bore a somewhat similar relation to the Nineteenth Century Reformation, that Luther and Melanchthon did to that of the sixteenth century. Or, if we may be allowed to liken the former to Paul in this new school of apostles, the latter was the counterpart of John, the apos- tle of love. Like the "disciple whom Jesus loved," Walter Scott's mind dwelt much upon the divine glory of the Master and the super- natural claims of his Messiahship. It is a strange coincidence that these two leaders of the new religious thought in America, should each have descended from distinguished Scotch ancestry, and both have stepped out of the bosom of the Presbyterian Church. (19) MEN OF YESTERDAY Walter Scott, the preacher and reformer, was of the same stock as the illustrious poet and novelist, Sir Walter Scott. Both could claim relationship to heroes celebrated in the annals of Scottish history. Preacher and poet alike inherited, besides the sterner qualities of their countrymen, keen perception, vivid imagination, deep emotion and great tenderness of heart. It was the inestimable privilege of Walter Scott to be well born. His father, John Scott, was a man of liberal culture and refinement of manners, and possessed of rare musical talent, a gift which he used in the support of a large family, as an instructor of music. His mother, Mary Innes Scott, is described as a person of beautiful life and earnest religious devotion. She had a gentle nature, keenly sensitive to suf- fering and sorrow. An illustration of the depth and delicacy of her affection is presented in her untimely death. Her husband was taken ill, while away from home, and suddenly died. So deeply was she affected by the intelligence of his demise, that she immediately fell dead of a broken heart, and both were buried in the same grave. Walter, the sixth child of this devoted couple, 'was born October 31, 1796, in Moffat, Dum- friesshire, Scotland. As the Scott family were all strict members of the Kirk of Scotland, Walter's religious training was not neglected. 20 WALTER SCOTT Under the kindly, sympathetic care of a devoted mother, his receptive nature unfolded its beau- tiful traits like the blossoms of springtime under the warm rays of the sun. His amiable disposi- tion and warm sympathy soon made him beloved of all who knew him. At a very early age he gave evidence of a decided talent. Though the resources of the family were only moderate, his watchful parents determined to give him every educational ad- vantage, the mother the while praying that the kirk might enjoy the service of his rare gift of heart and mind, a purpose which Walter himself seems to have cherished from childhood. The Scotch family of the old school sought no greater honor than to have a son at the univer- sity. Though a collegiate education, at that time, was regarded within the reach of the sons of the wealthy only, in this devoted family the slender resources were so husbanded as to enable Walter, after a preparatory course at the acad- emy, to enter the University of Edinburgh. Here he pursued his studies with a zeal and success that fully justified the labors and sacri- fices of his parents. Perhaps the consciousness that every hour of privilege was purchased for him at a great sacrifice, helped him to avoid the follies and dissipations then prevalent among his fellow-students. - Certain it is that his young life was unblemished, and that a foundation of 21 2MEN OF YESTERDAY character was laid which enabled him to with- stand all the subsequent storms that swept across his pathway. While a student at the university, an incident occurred that finely illustrates the unselfish de- votion of his whole after life. He had a fine voice, carefully trained, and possessing a sympa- thetic strain, which few were ever able to hear unmoved. On a pleasant evening he walked out in the city, and not returning at the expected hour, the family became alarmed at his absence. His brother James was sent out to search for him, and at midnight found him in the midst of a crowd, singing popular Scottish airs and stip- ulating, as the price of each song, that a collec- tion be taken for a poor blinid beggar, whose af- fliction bad touched his heart. This was always characteristic of the man. His whole life was a song of sympathy for those in suffering about him. After completing his university course, while casting about for a place to plant his feet and enter the service of his race, an unexpected turn of affairs changed the channels of his life. His mother's brother, George Innes, had some years before emigrated to America, and by faith- fulness and integrity advanced himself to a place of responsibility in the government service in New York City. Anxious to assist his relatives still in Scotland, he had written his sister to send 22 WALTER SCOTT one of her boys, promising what assistance he could render in his advancement. Walter, as best fitted by education for the opportunities of a new country, was the one selected to go; and as the plan was in perfect harmony with his own wishes, he at once left home, arriving in New York, on July 7, 1818. He soon obtained etn- ployment in an aca(lemy as Latin tutor, a posi- tion for which he was eminently qualified. But in this position he did not long remain. He was a young man of adventurous spirit. A new world spread out before him, and he determined to press on toward the West, of which he had heard glowing reports from his acquaintances in the city of New York. Having resolved to see for himself the country of which he had heard so much, he set out on foot, with a young man about his own age, to explore the regions which were beyond. Over the same route traversed by the family of Thomas Campbell, some eight or ten years previous, young Scott now bent his steps, little dreaming that he was following in the pathway of one whose fortunes would be so strangely blended with his own. After a long journey on foot over the Alle- ghany Mountains, a journey that to him, with his keen sympathy with nature and overflowing mirthfulness, was filled with delightful experi- ences, he reached Pittsburg in the early sp)riiig of 1819. As his purse was as light as his heart, 23 MEN OF YESTERDAY his -first concern was to seek some employment. This was not, then, difficult for a young man of his attainments. Men of scholarship were rare among the hardy settlers of Western Pennsyl- vania and their services were in demand, so he was not long in securing a position as assistant in an academy conducted by George Forrester, a fellow-countryman, and a man of high Christian principle. This meeting with Mr. Forrester marked a turning-point in Walter Scott's relig- ious life, and secured his services to the cause of primitive Christianity, then just beginning to claiml attention outside of the obscure church in which it had been cradled. IL. TRAINING IN A NEW RELIGIOUS SCHOOL. The young scholar, as we have seen, received his classical education at Edinburgh. It was un- derstood that he should enter the Presbyterian ministry, when the unexpected turn in fortune landed him in America. Without relinquishing his purpose, he entered the school-room as a stepping-stone to his ultimate life-work. The school at Pittsburg, which he entered as an assistant, now became his theological seminary, its text-book the Bible, and its instructor, that pious man of God with whom he had the good fortune to be associated, George Forrester. Under the guidance and inspiration of such a 24 WALTER SCOTT teacher, Walter Scott soon became a proficient scholar in the Book which was later to become his effective weapon in the dissemination of new religious ideas. Mr. Forrester had been trained under' the Haldanes 1 of Scotland before coming to Amer- ica, and had, in connection with his school duties, built up a small congregation of believ- ers who shared his views. Young Scott was not long in discovering that his employer, though a deeply religious man, differed widely from the traditional doctrines in which he had been reared; and Forrester was not slow in impress- ing his intelligent assistant with the superiority of his position over that of the Presbyterian and kindred schools of religious thought. Better soil for the planting was not to be found than that presented in the heart of Walter Scott. He was a sincere truth-seeker. He loved the Bible. He was ready to accept whatever could be clearly proven by its authority. No sooner, therefore, did he learn of this new relig- ious movement than he set about diligently to test the correctness of his employer's views. Together they made an earnest, prayerful search into the teachings of the Scriptures. The hours 1 Robert and James Haldane had, in 1798, inaugurated a movement for the reformation of religious society in Scot- land. somewhat similar to that afterward advocated by Alex- ander Campbell in America. 25 MEN OF YESTERDAY after school were spent over the Bible. Mid- night often found Scott turning its sacred pages, or on his knees seeking for light and guidance. The result of this painstaking search was, that in a few weeks he turned his back upon his past religious training, convinced that human stand- ards of belief were without the sanction of God's Word. This conclusion, we may be sure, was not reached without much anguish of spirit. He further discovered that though he had ad- hered, in all strictness, to the church traditions, he had neglected obedience to some of the im- portant commands of the Bible. Like Mr. Campbell, among his first discoveries, in this conscientious search for truth, was the absence of scriptural authority for infant baptism, and his need of personal obedience to a command so repeatedly enforced as that of baptism into Christ. With him to see the way of duty was to unhesitatingly pursue it. He, therefore, an- nounced his purpose to reject all authority but Christ, and in obedience to the Divine command he was immersed by Mr. Forrester and united with the small company of believers to whom he ministered. Walter Scott at once proved himself a valu- able addition to this struggling congregation. Although he did not at once take a public part in their services, his genial presence, zealous de- votion and Christian culture were the inspira- 26 WALTER SCOTT tion of the brotherhood. He humbly accepted the position of learner, continued his diligent search of the Scriptures and rejoiced in his new- found faith. In the meantime, Mr. Forrester, desiring to devote himself exclusively to religious work, turned over the management of the school to his talented assistant, a position for which the latter was well qualified. Mr. Scott's original meth- ods of instruction, his pleasing manner, his fault- less character, won for his school a wide patron- age. Had success in this line been the goal of his ambition, his situation would have proved eminently satisfactory. But this was not his ambition. The more he studied his Bible, the more he felt drawn toward the ministry of the Word. A new world of religious truth was gradually unfolding before him. He soon found that even his teachers in this new religious school but partially apprehended the Divine pur- pose and method in the world's salvation. From his study of the Bible, especially the Acts of the Apostles, which Dow enlisted his attention, the plan of redemption began to take form in his mind. Conversion had always been a perplex- ing subject to him, but in the light of this book all mystery fled. He now discovered that all who heard, believed and obeyed the glad mes- sage of salvation, were filled with peace and joy in believing. MEN OF YESTERDAY While pursuing this line of investigation a small tract, sent out by an obscure congregation in the City of New York, fell into Mr. Scott's hands. The views expressed in it so perfectly coincided with those which he now held, that he determined to get acquainted with its authors, feeling that such an association would add greatly to his Christian knowledge. He, there- fore, at once severed his connection with the school and set out in his search for more light upon the great religious problems that now con- sumed his thought. The visit proved a keen disappointment. He found the practice of the church much different from what he had been led to expect fromn their publication. So, after a short sojourn in the city, with a heavy heart he continued his journey, visiting Baltimore and Washington, in each of which he had learned of small congregations of independent believers. But these visits only added to his disappoint- ment. These early attempts at religious refor- mation were not always successful and often re- sulted in a caricature of the thing attempted. "I wvent thither," he says, describing his fruit- less journey, "and having searched them up, I discovered them to be so sunken in the mire of Calvinism, that they refused to reform; and so, finding no pleasure in them, I left them. I then went to the Capitol, and climbing up to the top of its lofty dome, I sat myself down, filled with 28 WALTER SCOTT sorrow at the miserable desolation of the church of God." His drooping spirits were cheered by his re- turn to Pittsburg, after a journey on foot of three hundred miles. He received a warm wel- come from those who had learned his true worth, and, a suitable successor in the school- room not having been found, a handsome salary was pledged to secure his services. Broken in spirit and in purse, he accepted the position and continued in the management of the school for several years with remarkable success. But his chief delight now was to minister to the little flock, which, robbed of a pastor by the sudden death of George Forrester, looked to him for leadership. This period marks the growth of Walter Scott in scriptural things. His reverence for Christ and his Word led to the constant study of the Bible. His chief delight after school hours was the Holy Scriptures. It was in these hours of communion with the Spirit of truth that he made his final dedication of himself to God, promising that if "He would grant him just and comprehensive views of his religion, his life should be spent in proclaiming it to the world." It was while thus engaged single-handed in working out the problem of human redemption that the pathway .of a recognized champion of reformation crossed his and led him to his final 29 MEN OF YESTERDAY stand in the defense of primitive Christianity. That man was Alexander Campbell, and his first meeting with Walter Scott took place in Pittsburg in 1822, and led to the formation of a friendship and copartnership in the work of reform which continued unbroken till death. They possessed many elements in common, had been reared in the same school of religious thought, had been driven by the same burning thirst for truth to the Bible, and through its message were led to pursue similar paths in their search for accept- ance with God. The following, from the pen of Robert Richardson, beautifully presents the pre- dominating characteristics in contrast at the time of their first meeting: "The different hues in the characters of these two eminent men were such as to be, so to speak, complementary to each other, and to form, by their harmonious blending, a complete- ness and a brilliancy which rendered their society peculiarly delightful to each other. Thus while Mr. Campbell was fearless, self- reliant and firm, Mr. Scott was naturally timid, diffident and yielding; and, while the former was calm, steady and prudent, the latter was ex- citable, variable and precipitate. The one, like the north star, was ever in position, unaffected by terrestrial influences; the other, like the magnetic needle, was -often disturbed and trem- bling on its center, yet ever returning, or seek- 30 WAITER SCOTT ing to return, to its true direction. Both were nobly endowed with the powers of higher reason, a delicate self-consciousness, a decided will and a clear perception of truth. But as it regards the other departments of the inner nature, in Mr. Campbell the understanding predominated, in Mr. Scott the feelings; and if the former ex- celled in imagination, the latter was superior in brilliancy of fancy. . . In a word, in almost all those qualities of mind and character which might be regarded differential and distinctive, they were singularly fitted to supply each other's wants and to form a rare and delightful com- panionship." 1 They at once recognized in each other kindred spirits and joined hands, and with Thomas Campbell formed a trio of unsurpassed genius, eloquence and devotion to the truth. Twenty years later, Alexander Campbell, referring to this meeting in a letter to Scott, wrote: "We were associated in the days of weakness, infancy and imbecility, and tried in the vale of adversity, while as yet there was but a handful. My father, yourself and myself, were the only three spirits that could co-operate in a great work or enter- prise. The Lord greatly blessed our very im- perfect and feeble beginnings, and this is one reason worth a million that we ought always to cherish the kindest feelings, esteem, admiration, 1 Memoirs of Campbell, Vol. 1, p. 510. 31 MEN OF YESTERDAY love." From the day of his meeting with Thomas and Alexander Campbell, Walter Scott occupied a recognized position as an advocate of religious reformation, and was one of the brightest stars in the galaxy of reformers. III. FINDIN(M A FIELD. Having now unreservedly dedicated himself to the service of the Lord and the cause of primitive Christianity, Walter Scott awaited the opening of a field suited to his peculiar talent. In the meantime he kept himself busy with the work nearest at hand. He possessed splendid qualifications for teaching, so he continued to teach. But all the while his heart was burning within him to get out and help wage a crusade against sin and sectarianism. He had come to regard the sect spirit, then so bitter, as the most serious barrier to the triumph of the Cross. The little church in Pittsburg, formerly min- istered to by George Forrester, looked to him as the spiritual successor of their lamented teacher; so he continued to break to them the bread of life at their weekly assemblies, without remitting in the least his labors in the school-room. But this did not satisfy him. He longed for a wider field. He felt himself possessed of a message which would speedily correct the religious errors and apathy of the times, and he craved a suitable opportunity to deliver it. 32 WALTER SCOTT His meeting with Alexander Campbell, already noted, was a providential circumstance, contrib- uting to the enlargement of his field. At that time Mr. Campbell was planning the publication of a monthly journal, which should become the exponent of the movement which he and his father had inaugurated. He had recognized in Walter Scott a man of more than ordinary abil- ity, and at once took him into his confidence, and urged him to address a wider field through the columns of the proposed journal. To this Mr. Scott readily acceded, and it was at his sug- gestion that the name "Christian Baptist" was adopted as the most suitable title. This begin- ning of labors was destined to continue unin- terrupted to the end. Scarcely a number of the "Christian Baptist," through its seven years' ex- istence, was issued without something from the pen of Walter Scott, and each article breathed a message that had burned itself deep into his conviction. It was the modern watch-word, "Back to Christ," stated in its primitive form,- "Jesus is the Christ." This truth was the rock upon which he had planted his feet, the center and circumference of his religious system. "Shut your eyes to it," he wrote in his Essay on Teaching Christianity, "and Christianity is a most dark and perplexing scheme. Once behold it, and you behold the most certain and substan- tial argument for love to God and men. This 3 33 MEN OF YESTERDAY same Holy One died for sin, and if the knowl- edge of it fails to influence our hope, and love, and joy, it may safely be said that the Scriptures have nothing of equal weight to propose for this purpose. That man is, or is not a Christian, who is, or is not constrained by this grand truth to abandon sin and live unto God, and this is all the Scriptures mean by the word Gospel, in the noblest sense of that term. This is the grace and philanthropy of God, which, having ap- peared unto all men, teaches us to deny all ungodliness and to live soberly, righteously and godly in the present evil world." 1 "In my humble judgment," wrote Isaac Errett more than fifty years later, " the most thor- oughly revolutionary element in Walter Scott's advocacy of reformation, and that which has proved most far-reaching in its influence, is just this concerning the central truth of Christianity. It not only shaped all his preaching, but it shaped the preaching and practice of the re- formers generally, and called the attention of the religious world at large to the fact that a person, and not a sy8te8m of doctrines, is the proper object of faith, and that faith in Jesus, love for Jesus, and obedience to Jesus is the grand dis- tinction of Christianity." 2 The numerous contributions from his pen at this period proved their author to be a man of 1 The Christian Baptist, p. 37. 2 Addresses, p. 320. 34 WALTER SCOTT vast knowledge and deep discernment of spirit- ual things, and speedily gained him a reputation scarcely inferior to that of the editor himself. While thus engaged in the triple service of teaching, preaching and writing, Walter Scott found time for courtship, which resulted in his marriage to Miss Sarah Whitsett. This pious young woman, though at the time a member of the religious body known as the Covenanters, was soon won to her husband's views, and shared without a murmur her husband's toils and pri- vations. Of his appearance at this period, one of his admiring pupils has preserved us this picture: "He was at this time about twenty-six years of age, about the medium height; slender . and rather spare in person, and possessed of little muscular strength. His aspect was abstracted, meditative, and sometimes had even an air of sadness. His nose was straight, his lips rather full, but delicately chiseled; his eye dark and lustrous, full of intelligence and tenderness; and his hair, clustering above his fine ample forehead, was black as the raven's wing." Some time in 1826, Mr. Scott, still dissatisfied with the work in which he was engaged, closed hi3 school in Pittsburg, and having secured a successor as pastor of the church, removed his family to Steubenville, Ohio. Failing yet to find a field which could assure him support in 35 MEN OF YESTERDAY the ministry of the Word, and being wholly de- pendent on his own resources, he again entered the school-room. Though the change was at first attended with disappointment, there was something almost providential in his removal within the borders of Ohio at that time. His new situation brought him within the limits of the Mahoning Association of the Baptist churches, where the leaven of new truth, im- planted by the debate between Campbell and Walker and through the monthly visits of the "Christian Baptist," was already beginning to work. In the autumn of this year,he attended the annual meeting of the Association, and, though not a member, was invited to deliver one of the principal addresses. While his presenta- tion of the Gospel message was with an origin- ality and power that fixed him in the memory of the occasion, nothing came of it at the time in the way of enlarged opportunity; and he re- turned to his school-room in Steubenville so dis- couraged as to abandon, for a time, further thought of securing a footing in the ministry. If God could not use him in the pulpit, he now determined to try and render him service in an- other way. The success of his contributions in the "Christian Baptist" led him to conceive the publication of the "Millennial Herald," a paper to be devoted to the defense of the Gospel, and to the advocacy of views of the millennium, in which 36 WALTER SCOTT he had become much interested. While Walter Scott was preparing to embark in this editorial enterprise, Alexander Campbell, on his way to the Association of 1827, visited him, and, after much persuasion, prevailed upon him to attend the meeting to be held in New Lisbon. That visit became the turning point in Scott's life, giving him to the reformation as its most accomplished evangelist and committing the Baptist churches of the Western Reserve to the. cause in which he was enlisted. The Baptist churches embraced within the Mahoning Asso- ciation were, at that time, with few exceptions, in a languishing condition. Conversions were few and indifference wide-spread. A few zeal- ous spirits, grieved at the prevailing indifference, urged, as a means of putting new life into the work, the employment of an evangelist, who should be sent among the churches. Walter Scott, though not a member of the association, was chosen for this important work. Distrust- ing his own abilities, and having, on account of many discouragements, planned for himself an- other career, it was with difficulty and only after prayerful, tearful consideration, that his consent was secured and the plans of his life changed. But yielding at last to the entreaty of his breth- ren, he accepted with all his heart, and dismiss- ing his school, giving up his paper, and taking leave of his family, he at once began the work 37 MEN OF YESTERDAY in which he was ultimately to distinguish him- self. At first his efforts were unsuccessful. He had studied the Word of God long and prayer- fully. Its message and method had smitten his heart, and he resolved to try the experiment of preaching the Gospel according to the Newv Tes- tament model; but after his earnest appeals no- body responded. It was so different from the revival methods in vogue, that men were dis- posed to question rather than obey. Instead of giving way to traditional prejudice, he said to himself, "This is the way of God, and ought to succeed, and with his help it shall." After two or three unsuccessful efforts, he began at New Lisbon. Here he was soon to wit- ness the removal of the barriers and the triumph of the cause that was near his heart. On the first Sunday after his arrival, an eager throng filled the meeting-house where he was to speak. He preached a discourse of great power, unfold- ing the procedure by which men were made Christians in the primitive church, and urging men to accept Christ upon the terms offered by Peter on the day of Pentecost. As his discourse drew to a close, an intelligent man was seen to enter the door, and, at the invitation, having heard but the closing sentences of the sermon, he pressed through the crowd to accept Christ upon the conditions which Mr. Scott had quoted. 38 WALTER SCOTT That man, William Amend, had long been wait- ing for such an opportunity to obey Christ, and now became the first fruits of a mighty revival, which not only continued to attend Mr. Scott's ministry from that moment, but which spread with its Pentecostal blessing wherever the new way was proclaimed. The man, endowed, equipped, consecrated, had found his proper field, and from that day the name of Walter Scott became a household word to thousands of disciples whose lives were touched by his blessed ministry. I1V. GOSPEL TRIUUMPIS IV MANY PI'LACS. The work which opened so auspiciously at New Lisbon, under the preaching of Walter Scott, marked the beginning of a new revival era, which, in its far-reaching results, is second only to that of Pentecost. It was not charac- terized by the deep feeling that attended the revival of religion under Jonathan Edwards at Northampton, beginning in 1740. Nor was it the scene of wild excitement and strange bodily exercises, like those which followed the preaching of George Whitfield and the early ministry of Barton W. Stone. It was marked by a quiet thoughtfulness, an un- wonted searching of the Scriptures "whether those things were so," and a final decision to obey the personal Christ, expressed in public 39 MEN OF YESTERDAY confession and scriptural baptism. Based upon an intelligent acceptance of the Gospel, it was saved from the peril of reaction which must follow a season of overwrought feeling, and as a revival of inexhaustible power, continues to the present time its season of refreshing, wherever the simple terms of the Gospel are faithfully presented. The conversion of William Amend confirmed Mr. Scott in his conviction that -the old way, announced by God's inspired messengers at Pentecost, was the right way. So the invitation was given from night to night, and large num- bers became obedient to the faith. Strange as it may seem, the reformers had none of them, up to this time, thought of mak- ing such a practical use of their discoveries. Thomas Campbell, it is true, had many years before announced as his platform, "Where the Scriptures speak, we speak; where the Scrip- tures are silent, we are silent." Alexander Campbell, in his debate with McCalla in 1823, had unfolded the design of baptism in terms almost identical with those now used by Walter Scott, and, in the "Christian Baptist," had can- vassed the whole ground of practical obedience to God. But what had been held by them as a theory, was for the first time used as a method of inducting men into the kingdom, as Walter Scott called upon his convicted hearers to 40 WALTER SCOTT "repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins." There had been widespread lethargy among the churches before the advent of Walter Scott. The Mahoning Association, though made up of God-fearing men, was no exception. Religious life was stagnant. Conversions were rare. The enemies of truth were defiant. For the year 1825, the seventeen churches which comprised the association reported only sixteen converts to Christ. The success of Scott in arousing the churches and winning converts soon opened before him a wide field. The tidal wave of revival once set in niotion continued to rise. Appeals came to him from every side for assist- ance. For the work which now consumed his strength he wvas eminently qualified. He had a voice of matchless sweetness and persuasiveness. His mind was well stored with truth and gar- nished with scriptural imagery. He was en- dowed with a rare gift of language by which the old story was clothed in most beautiful form. His heart was bursting with love for his match- less Savior and sympathy for his fellowmen. All his rare powers he had dedicated unre- servedly to the Master's use. With an original- ity bordering on the eccentric, and a courage that did not hesitate to speak the truth, however unpopular, he succeeded in drawing together 41 MMEN OF YESTERDAY multitudes of earnest listeners wherever he went, nor did he fail in convincing the most intelligent and bringing them to the acceptance of the truth he preached. As might be expected, a character so unique and a message so antagonistic to the prevailing instruction of the times, would soon encounter opposition and misrepresentation. The members of the Baptist Church, for the most part, received the Word gladly and welcomed the evangelist; but leaders of the other denominations became bitter in their opposition. Preachers warned their flocks against him, and charged him with preaching water salvation and ignoring the need of a change of heart. At last word was brought Alexander Campbell that Mr. Scott had become the author of rank heresy, and, fearing lest the young preacher, in his zeal and enthusiasm, had been carried beyond the bounds of prudence, he sent his venerable father to learn the exact state of the case. After a visit to the scene of Scott's labors and a careful oI)servation of the course he was pursuing, Thomas Campbell wrote his son: "We have long known the theory, and have spoken and published many things correctly con- cerning the ancient Gospel, its simplicity and perfect adaptation to the present state of man- kind, for the benign and gracious purpose of his immediate relief and complete salvation; but I 42 WALTER SCOTT. must confess that, in respect to the direct exhi- bition and application of it, for that blessed pur- pose, I am at present, for the first time, upon the ground where the thing has appeared to be practically exhibited to the proper purpose." 1 Notwithstanding the boldness of Mr. Scott's preaching and his independence of traditional forms, he was well received by the Baptist churches forming the association for which he labored. Wherever he went among them they speedily fell in with his way of thinking, and most of them, abandoning their creeds and cove- nants, determined, henceforth, to be governed by the Scriptures alone. It was a period of tireless effort. With his faithful horse, he traveled miles between ap- pointments, preaching and teaching the peol)le wherever he went. An eye-witness has thus de- scribed the scenes that were transpiring contin- ually under his ministry: "It was not uncommon for him to occupy the court-house or school-house in the morning at the county-seat, address a large assembly in some great grove in the afternoon, and have the pri- vate dwelling which gave him shelter crowd(led at night to hear him before he sought his needed rest. Sometimes the interest would continue until midnight; and in those stirring times it was not unusual for those who, on such occa- 1 Life of Elder Walter Scott, p. 158. 43 MEN OF YESTERDAY sions, felt the power of truth, to be baptized before the morning dawned. The beautiful Mahoning became a second Jordan, and Scott another John calling on the people to prepare the way of the Lord. Everywhere among the new converts arose men, earnest and bold as the Galilean fishermen, telling, too, the same story, calling their neighbors to repentance and bap- tizing them in its clear waters." 1 It is said that throughout that region at that time nearly every convert became a -preacher, either in public or private; and the New Testa- ment became the daily companion of every be- liever. By the close of Mr. Scott's first year in the evangelistic field he was able to report a thousand converts, languishing churches re- vived, and many new congregations planted. So remarkable had been his success, that he was unanimously chosen to continue the work, and consented, stipulating only that he be given "his Bible, his head and William Hayden," a zealous young preacher, as an assistant, promising with such an equipment to convert the world. Shortly after entering upon his second year of evangelistic labors, a call came to Mr. Scott to a field where victory was not to be so easily won, and where he was to experience the bitterness of the sectarian hate which was shortly to set all I Life of Walter Scott, p. 148. 44 WALTER SCOTT those who sympathized with Mr. Campbell adrift. The Baptist Church at Sharon, Pa., had heard of his earnest and successful labors among the churches of Ohio, and invited him to come to their aid. As soon as opportunity afforded he responded to their call. His clear, forcible, scriptural presentation of the truth soon led many to accept the Gospel. Upon a simple pro- fession of their faith in Jesus as the Son of God, they were baptized in the river near by. This was a new and unprecedented course for that place and time. No sooner had the evangelist left than the church discovered that his converts had failed to conform to Baptist usages. They had not given an experience before a church meeting. Their fitness for the kingdom had not been determined by the accepted tests. It was, consequently, decided that they could not be admitted into the membership of the church. A serious trouble soon arose. Not satisfied with keeping out new converts, the conservative por- tion of the congregation determined that all who sympathized with the new converts and shared in Mr. Scott's way of thinking, should be ex- cluded from the fellowship of the church. The 'result was the withdrawal of many of the lead- ing members of the church, who, together with those who had accepted Christ under Mr. Scott's 45 MEN OF YESTERDAY preaching, formed a new organization upon broad New Testament principles. This was but the beginning of a bitter con- flict which became widespread and which re- sulted in the complete separation of Baptists and those who accepted the principles of the reformation. When the Mahoning Association met in the autumn of 1830, such had been the leavening influence of Walter Scott's evangelism that it disbanded, and so ceased connection with the Baptist Church, which had already, as a de- nomination, repudiated all who were tinctured with the principles advocated by Alexander Campbell and his co-laborers. It was at this point that Walter Scott, in the estimation of all friends of religious co-opera- tion, "made the mistake of his noble, grand life" by leading in the overthrow of organized religious co-operation. Regarding the Associa- tion as "an ecclesiastical tribunal," he labored to accomplish its dissolution in opposition to the more practical judgment of Alexander Campbell; and men like William Hayden never ceased to deplore it. "It was at a juncture," wrote Isaac Errett fifty years later, "when the condition of numerous infant churches, and the widening fields for mission work required more than ever the combined wisdom and resources of the churches. But in a moment of rashness this system of co-operation was dissolved. The in- 46 WALTER SCOTT fant churches were left to struggle through the perils of infancy, or to die. The inviting fields of labor that opened on every hand were neglected or irregularly occupied by any preacher that could spare the time and labor, and the work that had gone so gloriously forward under the Association suffered seriously. We have been trying now for over thirty years to recover lost ground; and to this day we reap the un- happy consequences of what I cannot help regard as the folly of that hour." 1 But whatever the blame attached to Walter Scott in this matter, it was shared by a majority of his brethren, and was the legitimate result of the relentless war which was being waged against ecclesiastic domination by all the reformers. 1. PECULL4RITIA S AND POWEkll. The point at which we have now arrived in the career of Walter Scott marks the zenith of his fruitful life and affords us a good outlook from which to survey those qualities of heart and mind which endeared him to the people. Ile was yet comparatively a young man,- thirty-one; but he had risen to a position second only to that of Alexander Campbell in the esteem of the brethren. Never before had he shown himself possessed of such irresistible I Linsey-Woolsey and other Addresses, p. 335. 47 MEN OF YESTERDAY power as a preacher; and seldom again did he rise to the height of impassioned eloquence which characterized his three years' evangelism among the churches of the Western Reserve. His whole nature, always intensely fervid, was aroused. The vast multitudes that gathered to hear him, and the constant success that attended his preaching, called forth the best there was in him. He felt that upon the adoption of the principles which he advocated rested the victory of truth. It was not the narrow zeal of a bigot, but the broadening spirit of Christian liberty and human sympathy, that fired his soul. He saw Christ, and Christ only, and saw in him, rather than in the prevailing systems of theol- ogy, the hope of the world's redemption. What- ever was peculiar in the preaching of this man of God, was born of intense loyalty to Christ. These were great years in his life,-I feel almost justified in saying that they embrace all that is essential and enduring in his life-work. At a critical period in the history of the refor- mation, the churches among a most intelligent people were won to the cause of primitive Chris- tianity. Furthermore, in them, he set a pace in revival work, and whatever there is of good or evil in the present-day methods of revivalism among the Disciples of Christ. may be traced to him. In his method of winning attention, Mr. Scott 48 WALTER SCOTT was often regarded as eccentric; though, in fact, his eccentricities consisted, for the most part, of a deeper sense of the importance of Divine truth than that possessed by most men of his tiimme. He felt himself anointed of God to lead his chil- dren into the larger liberties of the Gospel. Iili his zeal as the messenger of the AMost High, his complete self-forgetfulness sometimes made hiim appear peculiar to cold and undemonstrative natures. His novel, original methods were sometimes quite surprising, but always successful. In the absence of the daily paper and regularly ap- pointed services, he would often resort to ineth- ods of his own in announcing his presence and mission in the community. On one occasion, meeting a group of children on the road holme from school in the village where lie desired to preach, in a kindly way, with good hunmor heam- ing from his face, he gathered themn about himi. Gaining their attention, he requested them to hold up their hands, while on their fingers, be- ginning with the thumb, he marked off the Gos- lel terms in the order in which he had formu- lated them,-faith, repentance, baptism, the remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Then he had the children repeat wvith himn, "Faith, repentance, baptism, the remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Spirit." Then he had them say it over again faster, until they 4 49 MEN OF YESTERDAY could all repeat it in concert. "Now," said he, "run home and tell your parents that a man will preach the Gospel to-night at the school-house, as you have it on the five fingers of your hand." The children ran away in great glee with their message, and at the appointed hour the house was thronged. They came out of curiosity, but were soon led to heights of spiritual vision of which they had never dreamed. On another occasion, when his announcement brought out only a few and they were character- ized by the most stolid indifference, instead of going on with the service, he asked all who were on the Lord's side to arise. No one stood up. He then asked all who were in favor of the devil to stand. Still there was no response. After a thoughtful survey of the house, he re- marked that he had never seen such an audi- ence before,-that if they had stood up either for God or the devil, he would have known what to do, but that he would have to study their case and try and meet it, and that on the next even- ing he would give them the result of his reflec- tions. He then took his departure, leaving them in amazement; but the next evening the house was not large enough to hold the people who came, and in the end a great victory was achieved. Another characteristic that made him greatly beloved by the people, was his intense sympathy 50 WALTER SCOTT5 with human need and his generosity in contribu- ting to human relief, always far beyond his means. He never thought of his own necessi- ties, and, I fear, sometimes forgot those of his family, when others seemed in greater need. He was always ready to share, though himself often reduced to the extremest poverty. He would sometimes go to the market for food and return with an empty basket, having given away the money with which the purchase was to be made, either to friend or stranger, whose real need seemed to be more pressing than his own. The largest property he seems to have owned was two cows, and this possession he did not long enjoy; for, finding a neighbor who did not have any, they were soon on an equality, each having one, the only difference being that the neighbor had the best cow. One intimately associated with him at that period writes: "These were pioneer days-days of -great trials and triumphs. Bro. Scott enjoyed the triumphs with a keen relish, and felt the crushing weight of pioneer privations and trials, as only such natures as his could feel. He had embarked his all in his plea for the primitive Gospel, and at that time there was no earthly compensation for such labors. He was poor, very poor; while I lived in his family it was not at all uncommon for them to be almost destitute of the common necessaries of life. He was a great believer in 51 MEN OF YESTERDAY prayer, and just at the point of greatest need help always came." But, whatever his earthly lot, Walter Scott had an unfailing fountain in which his soul daily delighted. It was the Word of God, no mere ornament in his home, but his companion by day and the subject of his meditation in the night watches. He loved the Bible, and he would at times burst forth in an apostrophe like this: "Oh, book of God! thou sacred temple! thou holy place! thou golden incense altar! thou heavenly shew-bread! thou cherubim-embroid- ered vail! thou mercy-seat of beaten gold! thou Shekinah in which the Divinity is enshrined! thou ark of the covenant! thou new creation! thou tree of life, whose sacred leaves heal the nations! thou river of life, whose waters cleanse and refresh the world! thou New Jerusalem, re- splendent with gems and gold! thou paradise of God, wherein walks the second Adam! thou throne of God and the Lamb! thou peace-protmis- ing bow, encircling that throne unsullied and un- fallen! Image of God and his Son who sit there- on, what a futurity of dignity, kingly majesty and eternal glory is hidden in thee! thou art my coIm- fort in the house of my pilgrimage! Let the kings and counselors of the earth and princes who have got gold and silver, build for themselves sepul- chers in solitary places; but mine, oh, be it 52 WALTER SCOTT mine, to die in the Lord! Then earth to earth and dust to dust, but the great mausoleum, the Word of God, be the shrine of my soul!"' V-I. THE COURSE FINISHED. The story of the remaining years of Walter Scott's life must be briefly told. They were busy years, not unfruitful of results, but the great victory of his life had already been won. Henceforth his energies were spent in his Mlas- ter's service, over a wide field, in many use- ful labors; but never again was he confronted by such a problem as that presented in Eastern Ohio, in the early years of his ministry, and never again (lid he witness such heart-cheering results. Although still in the prime of life, his severe and unremitting toil had told sadly on his health. Afflicted with dyspepsia and depressed in spirit, lhe ceased for a tine from evangelistic labors, and, in the autumn of 1831, removed to the vicinity of Cincinnati, leaving behind him thous- ands whose entrance into the kingdom of light and life and joy was secured by his logical, scrip- tural, warm-hearted presentation of the claimis of divine truth. On his removal to Cincinnati, he attempted to follow the revered James Challen as pastor of 1 Life of Walter Scott. p. 292. 53 MEN OF YESTERDAY the church. His fame had preceded him and much was expected. But both pastor and peo- ple were disappointed in the result. Missing the inspiration of great audiences and hundreds of converts, he fell below the expectation of his hearers. At last in despair he wrote Mr. Chal- len: "The flock are sighing and pining for their former shepherd; you must come back, you alone can satisfy them. I cannot and wvill not consent to remain with them, as long as there is any hope or prospect of your return." Not long afterward Mr. Scott removed to Car- thage, a village in the vicinity of the city. He found here a community without church or re- ligious privileges other than a Sunday-school, and given over to all forms of vice and dissipa- tion. It wps such a place as appealed to the sympathies of his warm nature. They were as sheep without a shepherd, and he set about at once gathering them into the school-house and instructing them in the principles of the king- dom. He was again in his proper sphere. With a heart bursting with love for humanity, he wept and prayed and talked, until he had those who had known only sin, weeping and praying. In a short time the entire character of the commu- nity was changed. Temperance and piety took the place of drunkenness and disorder. A church was established which has continued to the present day as a power for good. Here he WALTER SCOTT continued to reside for thirteen years, not as pastor, for much of his time was devoted to evangelistic work abroad; but the little church during all these years was the object of his fos- tering care, and enjoyed his labors and fellow, ship whenever other duties permitted. Hitherto Mr. Scott's labors had been confined to Ohio and Pennsylvania, but now a wider field claimed his service. In Kentucky, where the cause of reformation had made rapid progress, he was much in demand, and wherever he went his presence was a benediction. At last, wearied with the hardships and priva- tions of an evangelist's lot, he determined to devote himself to the quieter sphere of journal- ism. Returning with his family to Pittsburg, the scene of his early labors, he began the publi- cation of a weekly paper, called the "Protestant Unionist," advocating the principles of the reformation, but especially urging the union of God's people. In his intellectual equipment he was well qualified for the position he now occu- pied. A man of native genius and liberal educa- tion, none were better fitted than he to set forth the claims of the cause to which he had given his heart. But here, as at every turn in his path through life, the gaunt figure of poverty arose before him. Unable to meet his bills and pro- vide for his family, he was compelled, after a time, to suspend the publication of the paper. 55 MEN OF YESTERDAY Recognizing as he (lid the importance of the Bible and the value of its companionship in the home, he now did service as a colporteur. In this way seeking to bring the truth of God into the homes, he went from house to house with a basket of Bibles, selling or giving them away as circumstances demanded. He still continued to preach as he had opportunity, and the friend- ships and fellowship which he now enjoyed afforded him great pleasure. The few years spent at Pittsburg in this golden autumn were possibly the happiest of his life. But here, in 1849, a great sorrow cast its shadow over his life in the death of the heroic woman who, since 1823, had shared his labors and uncomplainingly endured the privations which fell to the lot of the pioneer preacher. This loss, together with the death of others very near to him, led him again to seek a new home, going this time to Kentucky, first to Covington and later to Mayslick, where his earthly pilgrim- age was to reach its end. He closed his life- work as he began it, in the school-room. In no place was he more at home and for no work was he better qualified. He was a born teacher of men. It was in recognition of his splendid ability as an educator that he was invited to address the Callege of Teachers which held its annual meetings in Cincinnati, and which em- 56 WALTER SCOTT braced among its members some of the ablest men of that period. As the shadows of his life lengthened, he sought to put his life-thought into permanent form, in the preparation and publication of a volume entitled "The Messiahship, or the Great Demonstration." Who better than he could un- fold in its matchless splendor the work of the world's Redeemer All his life long he had lived in an atmosphere of faith and adoration. Christ had been his theme, his hope, his joy. The preparation of this volume, revealing deep lessons of human experience and divine truth, was the fitting close of his literary labors. With the weight of more than three score years resting upon him, he now relinquished the work that Ihla consumed most of his active ministry. His last days were spent amid the excitement and anguish of the beginning of the great rebel- lion, to which his own sensitive nature responded with deep concern. He was a patriot whose love for country was only less intense than his love for Christ-the forerunner of the Christian-citi- zenship movement of to-day. Though a for- eigner by birth, the nation had few more loyal sons than he. ' I remeimber distinctly," he once said, "the moment I became an American citizen at heart; it was not when I wvent-through the forms of the laws of naturalization, but on the occasion of my 57 MEN OF YESTERDAY meeting with a procession headed by a band playing national airs and bearing a national ban- ner. Inspired by the strain, as I looked on the national emblem, I felt that under that flag and for it, if need be, I could die, and I felt at that moment that I was in feeling as well as in law an American citizen; that that flag was my flag and that this country was my country. " Animated by such a spirit, his heart bled over the threatened disunion. At the firing on Fort Sumter, only a few days before he died, he wrote: "Oh, my countryl my country! How I love thee! How I deplore thy present misfor- tunesl" These were the last words he ever penned. A few days later he fell asleep, rejoic- ing in the promises of a glorified Redeemer. And so passed from earth on the twenty-third of April, 1861, one of its choicest spirits, whose life and memory have been a benediction to thousands. Walter Scott was an important, may I not say providential, factor in the work of religious reformation to which his life was devoted. It was no small circumstance that brought this tal- ented young man to America at the opportune time, as men were searching for the old paths, that threw him at once into companionship with such a choice spirit as George Forrester, that led early to his association with the Campbells, and 58 WALTER SCOTT 59 that resulted in his selection as evangelist to go among the scattered Baptist churches of Ohio. Each step was important in the preparation of the man for the splendid service he was to ren- der. With a trained mind capable of a broad grasp of the truth, with a sympathetic heart that never failed to awaken enthusiastic response, with a loyal spirit that followed unhesitatingly in the steps of the Master, he was preeminently the man for the work to which God called him. None knew him better than his eminent co-la- borer, Alexander Campbell, and none were capa- ble of placing a fairer estimate upon his service. "Next to my father," writes the Sage of Beth- any, "he was my most cordial and indefatigable fellow-laborer in the origin and progress of the present reformation. We often took counsel to- gether in our efforts to plead and advocate the paramount claims of original and apostolic Christianity. His whole heart was in the work. He was, indeed, truly eloquent, in the vhole imn- port of that word, in pleading the claims of the Author and Founder of the Christian faith and hope, and in disabusing the inquiring mind of all its prejudices, misapprehensions and errqrs. He was, too, most successful in winning souls to the allegiance of the Divine Author and Founder of the Christian institution, and in putting to silence the cavilings and objections of the mod- MEN OF YESTERDAY ern Pharisees and Sadducees of sectariandom." 1 As a preacher, in his best moments he had fewv equals, but he was not always great. His efforts were characterized by peculiar unevenness, often disappointing to his friends and crushing to his own sensitive nature. This was doubtless in part due to extravagant expectations which it was impossible for any man to meet, and partly from ill health and attendant depression of spirits. Painfully conscious of his failure at such times, he was wont to remark: "The smile of the Lord was not on me to-day." But when he enjoyed the "smile of the Lord," few mien equaled him in the power to thrill an audience. Men were known, as they listened to his flights, to unconsciously rise in their places and bend forward, lest they should miss a word. Once in a discourse of unusual power, in which he un- folded the glories of redemption, Alexander Campbell, though naturally not demonstrative, was so filled with rapture and admiration that, as the preacher reached his climax, he shouted "Glory to God in the highest." In his great moments Walter Scott was sublime. But whether sublime or commonplace in his utter- ance, he was always loyal to the truth. I cannot better close this sketch of a noble life, than with this comparison between him and 1 Millennial Harbinger, 1861, p. 296. 30 WALTER SCOTT his distinguished co-laborer, Alexander Camnp- bell, from the pen of William Baxter: "In no sense were they rivals, any more than Moses and Aaron, or Paul and Silas; but like them, with different gifts, devoting their lives to the accomplishment of the same glorious end. Campbell was always great and self-possessed; Scott subject to great depression, and, conse- quently, unequal in his public efforts, but at times he knew a rapture which seemed almost inspiration, to which the former was a stranger. Campbell never fell below the expectations of his hearers; Scott frequently did, but there were times when he rose to a height of eloquence which the former never equaled. If Campbell at times reminded his hearers of Paul on lars' Hill, commanding the attention of the assembled wisdom of Athens, Scott, in his happiest mo- ments, seemed more like Peter on the inmeora- ble Pentecost, with the cloveni tongue of flane on his bead and the inspiration of the Spirit of truth in his heart, while from heart-pierced sin- ners on every side rose the agonizing cry, 'Mlen and brethren, what shall we do' " 61 This page in the original text is blank. B. W. STONE. I. BARTON W. STONE. I BEELIUV the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world, that whosoever believeth on him might not perish, but have everlasting life. I believe that all power and authority in heaven and earth are given unto him and that he is able to save unto the uttermost all that come to God by him; that in him are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; that it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell, the fulness of the Godhead, the fulness of the Spirit, the fulness of grace and salvation. When we see him we see the Father, his image, his character, his glory, and his perfection. Let me lose my life, before I would detract from my Lord one ray of glory.-Barton W. Stone. 84 BARTON W. STONE. 1. EARLY STRUGWLES. TVHE opening years of this century were the seed time of great moral and religious forces, which have, under God, made it the mightiest of all these Christian centuries. The spirit of the times was conducive to the march of reform and the development of now ideals in society and church. The triumph and extension of civil liberty had made men restive under all forms of eccle- siastical bondage. To read and think for them- selves, to follow Christ in the light of his own Word, were privileges which men were evcry- where beginning to crave. It was this desire that led Thomas and Alexander Campbell to in- augurate a movement for the restoration of primitive Christianity. But no single religious body to-day can claim the honor of recognizing this need or of seeking a pathway to larger lib- erty. Lofty spirits from the bosom of various communions and in widely separated regions, towering above their fellows, first saw the morn- ing light of God's new day, and became the prophets of a new order of things. 5 (65) MEN OF YESTERDAY There was James O'Kelly of Virginia, a mem- ber of the Methodist Church, who, even as early as 1792, protested against the authority of bishops, and was ultimately led, in his desire for greater liberty, to discard the name and the creed of his church, adopting, instead, the name Christian, and taking the New Testament as his only authority in religious faith and life. There was Abner Jones of Vermont, a mem- ber of the Baptist Church, who in 1800 gath- ered a small church about him, abandoning human names and creeds for the name Christian and the Word of God alone. In the same manner, Barton W. Stone of Kentucky, a member of the Presbyterian Church, in 1804, declared himself independent of all authority in matters of religion, save the authority only of the Word of God. Each in his desire for larger liberty in Christ and broader fellowship in his service, had acted independently of the others. It was an almost simultaneous outburst of latent feel- ing, showing wide-spread dissatisfaction -with denominational beliefs and barriers. Since the work of Mr. Stone culminated in his acquaintance with Mr. Campbell and the adop- tion of the principles which the latter advocated, his name deserves a place among the distin- guisbed pioneers of the great religious reforma- tion of the nineteenth century. 6B BARTON W. STONE The life of Barton Warren Stone reads like romance. Born in 1772, his cradle was rocked by the storm which burst in revolution, and his young life toughened in every fiber by the adver- sities and hardships of the frontier. Though a village in Maryland witnessed his advent, his father dying soon after, his mother took her flock, which was a large one, to what was then called the back-woods of Virginia. There, amidst the wild woods and rugged hills of a sparsely settled district, removed from the touch and knowledge of the great world, his early years were spent. Now and again the quiet of this community was disturbed by the raids of contending armies; family circles were broken by the departure of fathers and sons to the field of battle; and often the roar of artillery was heard, filling every breast with anxiety and fear. In such times and places little attention could be paid to the refin- ing influences which elevate and purify our human lot; and it is to be regretted that even religion had little place in the thoughts of the people. Vices took the place of homely virtues, and evil habits, learned in the army, were brought home by returning soldiers at the close of the war to become the fashion of all. It was in such a community that God was molding the life of a youth who should one day become his 67 8MEN OF YESTERDAY most efficient servant in startling into repentance transgressors of every form. If it presented hindrances to high moral and spiritual development, it at least served to fan the spirit of liberty and manly independence, which afterward were characteristic traits of the reformer. Here, too, in the midst of uniform ignorance, was somehow quickened a thirst for knowledge which the environments of young Stone gave little promise of satisfying. It was, however, his good fortune to be sent early to school, or perhaps it might better be called bad fortune, for he was placed under a very tyrant of a teacher, who abused and flogged his young pupil until, through fear, he was neither able to study nor recite. Later he was put to another school where a different spirit reigned. In its genial atmosphere he made such progress in reading, writing and arithmetic, that in a short time his teacher pronounced him a finished scholar, declaring his ability to teach him noth- ing more; and from this time he was considered a prodigy of learning in the community. Rude and limited as were these educational privileges, they had kindled a fire in the breast of young Stone which could not be quenched. Having learned to read, his delight, henceforth, was in books, and the neighborhood was scoured far and wide for its scant treasures of literature. But he records his disappointment at being able B8 BARTON W. STONE to find nothing but a few novels, which, though trashy, his famished soul devoured with avidity. But these were poor help to a mind fired with a love of letters, and he determined to explore other and wider fields for the knowledge he craved. Inheriting a small sum from his father's estate, at fifteen Barton Stone stipulated that it should be used in securing, if possible, a liberal education. His ambition, at that time, was to fit himself for the practice of the law. In the execution of this purpose lie entered an acad- emy in Guilford, North Carolina, where he began the study of Latin. He resolved now, as he declared, to "secure an education or die in the attempt." That his slender means might carry him as far as possible toward the goal of his ambition, he lived -on the plainest food, and applied himself with indefatigable energy in the prosecution of his studies. Time for sleep was reduced to the minimum of six hours, and every moment was sacredly appropriated to intellec- tual pursuits. In this way he outstripped his fellows, passing from class to class, until he had completed his academic course. While quietly pursuing his studies, an element came into the life of young Stone that changed the whole current of his being, robbing the law of one who would have been an ornament, and enriching the ministry with his rare talents. 69 MEN OF YESTERDAY His early life had been almost without relig- ious influence. The subject was rarely men- tioned in his home. His only knowledge of the Bible had come from its perusal as a text-book in the school-room, and it did not make any im- pression on his mind at that time. An occa- sional Baptist or Methodist minister had visited the neighborhood in which he was reared. These had at first enlisted his attention, but the bitterness of their attacks on each other's creeds at last filled his mind with confusion and dis- gust, and he turned away from both to a life of thoughtless indifference. Soon after entering the academy, the whole subject was brought before him in a new light. Great religious excitement prevailed. Thirty of his fellow-students had become the subjects of religious convictions. But it had not yet come to the thought of Barton Stone that he had a lasting interest in the blessings of redemption. He says: "I was not a little surprised to find those pious students assembled every morning before the hours of recitation, and engaged in singing and praying- in a private room. Their daily walk evinced to me their sincere piety and happiness. This was a source of uneasiness to my mind, and frequently brought me to serious reflection. I labored to banish these serious thoughts, believing that religion would impede my progress in learning-would thwart the 70 BARTON W. STONE object 1 had in view, and expose me to the frowns of my relatives and companions. I there- fore associated with that part of the students who made light of divine things, and joined with them in their jests at the pious."' Unable to stifle the voice of conviction in this way, he resolved, like Jonah, to flee from the presence of God. Packing his effects together, he declared his determination to seek another institution of learning, where the religion of Christ would not be thrust upon his attention. A storm, however, prevented his leaving on the day arranged, and after calmly reflecting over the situation he decided to remain where he was, attend to his own business and give the subject no more thought. Settling hack again into the old routine of his life, he was not long in discovering that such resolutions were easier made than kept. Ur. C()NVERS[IN. AND) CALL. The young student did not find the work of stifling his convictions as easy as he anticipated. For a time, it is true, he settled down to his books, undisturbed by that voice from with- in; but in an unguarded moment he accepted an invitation from his room-mate, a pious young mat, to accompany him a short distance in the country one afternoon to attend a religious 1 Autobiography, p. 7. 71 MEN OF YESTERDAY meeting. The preacher was a man of great earnestness, and before he had finished, the message had pierced Barton Stone's soul, and he rushed home to his room and out into the soli- tude of night to wrestle afresh with the ques- tion of religion, feeling himself the creature of despair, doomed to destruction. In the fierce struggle which followed, he tried to impartially weigh the subject. To accept the religion of Christ meant the displeasure of his relatives, the ridicule of his companions, the relinquishment of worldly honors, and a final adieu to all the pleasures he had coveted for himself. But on the other band his heart shrank from the awful alternative, the loss of heaven and eternal happiness. As the conflict went on, his better nature at length asserted itself, and he resolved "from that hour to seek religion at the sacrifice of every earthly good." The pathway which the young seeker now trod in his search for acceptance with God was not an easy one. He should have doubted the genu- ineness of his conversion had it been other than a painful process. According to the fashion of the times-and who dared ignore fashion even in the cut of his confession where creed was the pattern-due sojourn must be made at Doubting Castle, where the soul, tossed with uncertainty, racked with despair, enveloped in darkness, was condemned to await the good pleasure of an 72 BARTON W. STONE offended Father, who, in his OW[1 time, would visit the suffering penitent with the joy of his salvation. Anticipating some such long and painful struggle, the mental anguish through which Bar- ton Stone now passed was indescribable. For a whole year he was tossed on the waves of uncer- tainty, "laboring," he tells us, "praying and striving to obtain saving faith, sometimes de- sponding and almost despairing of ever getting it." Before him rose that mighty stumbling- block of total depravity; around him seemued to surge the fires of hell from which he possessed no power to flee. He studied his Bible; lie spent hours upon his knees in prayer; he went fronm pulpit to pulpit, seeking for light that he did not find; and under the strain of his anxi- ety his strength failed and rest deserted him. It was at last his good fortune to hear a young Presbyterian minister preach from the text, "God is love." The message came as a revela- tion to his soul. It touched his sensitive heart. It kindled a new hope within his breast. With the message still fresh in his mind he retired to the woods with his Bible. He searched the Scriptures, to find a new inessage recorded on every page. Wherever he turned, the assurance it brought him was "God is love." After many anxious weeks he had come at last to know the true meaning of the Gospel. God loved him 73 MEN OF YESTERDAY and would accept him now, indeed had always been ready to receive him. "From that time on," he declares, "till I finished my course of learning, I lived devoted to God." The error and the anguish of Barton Stone, like that of thousands since, was in trying to fashion his experience after the devices of men rather than upon the simple terms of the revealed will of God. With a soul at peace with his Maker he now took up his studies again with renewed zeal. Branches that were formerly irksome, he now pursued with pleasure, from the consideration that he was engaged in them for the glory of God, to whom he resolved to unreservedly de- vote his all. In the fires of his devotion he forged anew his plans for life. The legal pro- fession, to which he once aspired, was aban- doned. His great desire henceforth was to preach the Gospel, but as yet he had received no assurance of being called and sent. He com- municated his desire and his misgivings to his trusted teacher, Dr. David Caldwell, who encour- aged him to offer himself to the Orange Presby- tery of North Carolina as a candidate for the ministry. Accordingly, in 1795, he began his studies under the direction of the Presbytery. He must know something of theology, the being and attributes of God, the doctrine of the Trin- ity and kindred speculations, and the standard 74 BARTON W. STONE works of the day, upon these great doctrines, were put in his hands. The only book on the- ology which he had previously studied was the Bible. It had been his dailv comfort and guide. But as he began to explore the mystery of the attributes and relationships of the Deity, as taught by Witsius and others, his mind became confused. Doubt again cast its shadow over his pathway, and the religious exercises in which he had taken such delight and found such comfort, were discontinued, and for a time he thought seriously of relinquishing the ministry and engaging in some other business. A treatise of Dr. Watts, falling into his hands at this time, was read with pleasure by the young student of theology, who again saw his way through the mazes of speculation. The old desire so far revived that he came before the next Presbytery for examination, and was able to make a satisfactory statement of the grounds of his faith. Again his study of "systematic divinity from the Calvinistic mould" became so confusing to his mind that he determined to give up the idea of preaching. Gathering his all together he started for the State of Georgia, to visit a brother, and work out for himself a career along some new line. Here, through the brother's in- fluence, he secured a position as instructor of languages in an academy at Washington. The 75 MEN OF YESTERDAY atmosphere of the school, which was under the auspices of the Methodists, was religious, and here, again, a strong desire arose in the heart of young Stone to preach the Gospel. Determined to resume his theological studies at the end of the school year, he resigned his professorship, and started back to receive his license from the Orange Presbytery of North Carolina. Having received his license and an appoint- ment, in company with another young minister, Robert Foster, to do evangelistic work in the southern part of his State, the two set out on horseback for their new field of labor. Before they reached their first appointment, however, Mr. Stone's companion determined not to preach, declaring himself unqualified for so sol- emn a wvork. The resolution of his companion cautled him to question his own fitness, and again he (Ib.termine(l to ahan(lon the ministry. Mount- ing hi. horse, he started for Florida, hoping to escape from the unpleasant responsibility which his license had placed upon him, by seeking a home among strangers. Again Providence in- terrupted the execution of his design. At his first stopping-place he met a pious old lady, who knew him, suspected his intention, accused him of acting the part of Jonah, and in her friendly, motherly way urged him to continue in the good calling, and pointed him to the West for a field suited to the exercise of his gifts. Heeding the 76 BARTON WV. STONE advice of the good womhan, who l)rove(d to be the man of Macedonia in another guise, he pursued his lonely journey across the mountains into Tennessee, where he soon found scattered set- tlements, famishing for the bread of life, and there began a career which was destined under the providence of God to become a mighty agency in the restoration of the primitive faith. It was thus through many fiery trials and dis- couragements that Barton W. Stone found his way to God, and into a field of labor where God could use him. II. THE GREAT REVIV'AL, AT (]ANERIDGE. After a few mnonths' labor among the scattered settlers of Tennessee, Mr. Stone determined to visit Kentucky. The journey, though not a long one, was in those early (lays attended wvith many hardships and peril.-. Bands of Indians still menaced the dlaring frontiersmen, and constantly iml)eriled the traveler aIs he rode through the unbroken forest from settlement to settlenient. Many were the dlangers which the young preacher encountered, and many were the deliverances i hich he (levoutly ascribed to Providence. Preaching from place to llace as he found op- portunity, he arrived in the early l)art of the winter of 1796 at Cancridge, Ky. Here his min- istrv 'was so well received that he was invited to become the settled I)astor of the Presbyterian 77 MEN OF YESTERDAY Church, another church in a neighboring settle- ment sharing his labors and uniting in his sup- port. Endearing himself to. the people by his many admirable traits, and adding largely to the numbers and strength of the churches to which he ministered, it was decided after a year's trial that he should be formally ordained and in- stalled. This was the beginning of new, or rather the revival of old, troublcs. His mind had never been able to reconcile itself to some of the doc- trines of the Westminster Confession. Knowing that he would be expected to subscribe to this historic standard, he determined to re-examine the whole ground of theology as taught by the creed of his church. As the result of his re- search, he says, "I stumbled at the doctrine of Trinity as taught in the Confession. I labored to believe it, but could not conscientiously sub- scribe to it. Doubts, too, arose in- my mind on the doctrines of election, reprobation and pre- destination as then taught." In this state of mind he appeared before the Presbytery, but so serious were his difficulties that he asked to have the ordination deferred, candidly declaring his dissent from some of the doctrines taught by the Confession, but at the same time indicating his willingness to receive the Confession so far as he saw it consistent with 78 BARTON W. STONE7 the Word of God. Upon this qualified assent he was ordained. The reception of his ordination papers neither ended his own intellectual misgivings, nor his difficulties with his strictly orthodox ministerial associates in the Presbytery, as we shall here- after discover. His mind, from this time until he finally broke the fetters of religious bondage, was "contin- ually tossed on the waves of speculative divin- ity." "I, at that time," he says, "believed and taught that mankind were so totally depraved that they could do nothing acceptable to God, till his Spirit, by some physical, almighty and mysterious power had quickened, enlightened and regenerated the heart, and thus prepared the sinner to believe in Jesus for salvation." But he soon discovered that this cheerless doc- trine was inseparably linked with unconditional election and reprobation, from which his mind had revolted. The inconsistency of his position in calling upon listening multitudes to repent and believe the Gospel, at the same time declar- ing their helplessness to (1o anything, because of the total depravity of their state, well-nigh silenced his voice. It was long afterward that the subject of human depravity resolved itself in his mind in harmony with man's ability to accept and obey the truth, after this fashion: "That mankind 79 0MEN OF YESTERDAY are depraved is a lamentable truth, absolutely attested by the Word of God and confirmed by. universal experience and observation. To quote the many passages of Scripture which prove this point would be to transcribe a great part of the Bible. . . . Yet, though man be thus alien- ated from God, and prone to evil, he possesses rational faculties, capable of knowing and enjoy- ing God. If not, he has ceased to be a moral agent, and consequently is no longer a fit subject of moral government. He is a machine, incapa- ble of rational happiness. But this we believe none will assert." In his perplexity, as he began his ministry at Caneridge, he again made the Bible his constant companion, and devoted his time to a prayerful examination of its pages. But it was only after days of struggle, in which the mind of the unfor- tunate preacher lingered on the border land of skepticism and despair, that belief and reason and hope were restored, and the sensitive spirit of Barton Stone again found peace and comfort in the greatness of God's love. He at last came to the conviction, the doctrine of his creed to the contrary notwithstanding, that God did love the whole world, and that the only barrier to the salvation of every creature was their unbelief. From that moment of new light and joy, he began to part company with Calvinism, declaring it to be the heaviest clog on Christianity in the world, so BARTON W. STONE a dark mountain between heaven and earth, shutting out the love of God from the sinner's heart. In the joy of his new-found liberty, Mr. Stone received a baptism of power that made him one of God's choicest instruments in awakening religious society out of its apathy,and in prepar- ing the way for the great revival with which this century was ushered in. Born with his new con- viction of God's all abounding love, was an in- tense yearning to bring his fellowmen to the joy of such a salvation. While the fire was kindling in his soul, he heard of a great work of grace already begun in Southern Kentucky under the labors of James McGready. It was a sudden outburst after a season of religious apathy. This was in the spring of 1801. He was anxious to see for himself and learn the secret of this new revival movement. Hastening to join the throngs that were now being drawn together in a great encampment about this new John the Baptist in the wilderness, he witnessed a spectacle that baffled description. "Many, very many," he writes in his account of this remarkable revival, "fell down, as mnen slain in battle, and continued for hours together in an apparently breathless and motionless state; sometimes for a few moments reviving and ex- hibiting symptoms of life by a deep groan or piercing shriek, or by a prayer for mercy most 6 81 MEN OF YESTERDAY fervently uttered. After lying thus for hours, they obtained deliverance. The gloomy cloud which had covered their faces, seemed gradually and visibly to disappear, and hope in smiles brightened into joy; they would rise shouting deliverance, and then would address the sur- rounding multitude in language truly eloquent."I Returning from these strange scenes, Mr. Stone entered his pulpit at Caneridge with heart aglow with spiritual fervor. No longer shackled by the doctrines of election and reprobation, he took for his text the inspiring message of the great commission, " Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned." Old as was the text, it came like a new evangel to this people, who had known nothing but the hard terms of a Calvinistic creed. The audience was visibly affected, and he left them, promising to return in a few days. This was the beginning of one of the greatest revivals in history. On his return a vast multitude awaited him, and he had scarcely begun to picture before them the great salvation when scores fell to the ground as if smitten by some unseen hand. We shall allow Mr. Stone to describe the scene in his own lan- guage: "Some attempted to fly from the scene panic-stricken, but they either fell or returned 1 Autobiography, p. 34. 82 BARTON W. STONE immediately to the crowd, as unable to get away. In the midst of this exercise an intelligent deist in the neighborhood stepped up to me and said, 'Mr. Stone, I always thought before that you were an honest man, but now 1 am convinced that you are deceiving the people.' I viewed him with pity and mildly spoke a few words to him; immediately he fell as a dead man, and rose no more until he had confessed the Savior. " The report of this remarkable meeting soon spread through the surrounding country, and a vast multitude, estimated at from twenty to thirty thousand, crowded the roads with wagons, carriages, horsemen and footmen, all moving toward this solemn camp. All denominations joined in the conduct of the meeting. Party spirit for the time had disappeared, and all united in the great work of grace. It was a veritable Pentecost. Multitudes abandoned sin and entered the profession and practice of re- ligion. The meeting continued for six or seven days and nights, and would have continued longer, but food for the multitudes could not be found. There is an element of the mysterious in this great revival, of which B. W. Stone was the cen- tral figure, which may test our credulity. That these strange happenings occurred, we cannot doubt. 'I have been an eye witness of them," 83 MEN OF YESTERDAY wrote Mr. Stone, near the close of his life, "from the beginning, and am now over three score and ten years of age, on the brink of eter- nity." How much was due to the fanaticism of man and how much to the hand of God, we shall never know. That it was more than a momentary outburst of wrought-up feeling seems evident from some of its practical fruits. The revival had taken a deep hold on the community and was accom- panied by a moral transformation of society. Awakened himself to new conceptions of right- eousness, Mr. Stone emancipated his slaves, "'choosing poverty with a good conscience," and many others followed his example. The eyes of many were opened to just and proper views of the Gospel, and the growing religious inter- est gave promise of widespread triumph for Christianity, when it met with an untimely check in the return of the old spirit of denom- inational jealousy. Presbyterians, Methodists and Baptists, in their desire to see the lost saved, had for a time forgotten their differences. But, as the work grew in power and influence, each began to sus- picion the other of unfair methods in winning to their church standards the new converts, and to fear that the cherished doctrines of their confessions were in danger. The result of the strife which followed is vividly described by Mr. 84 BARTON W. STONE Stone: "It revived the dying spirit of party- ism, and gave life and strength to trembling in- fidels and lifeless professors. The sects were aroused. Methodists and Baptists, who had so long lived in peace and harmony with the Pres- byterians and with one another, now girded on their armor and marched into the deathly field of controversy and war. These were times of distress. The spirit of partyism soon expelled the spirit of love and union-peace fled before discord and strife, and religion was stifled and banished in the unhallowed struggle for pre- eminence." IV. A NEW DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. The Caneridge revival, whatever may be thought of its manifestations, had brought Barton W. Stone to another great crisis in his religious history. During its continuance he and a few of his co-laborers so far forgot the rigid standard of their church as to desire the salva- tion of the whole world, an d to turn their preaching to the accomplishment of this sub- lime purpose. In their zeal for the conversion of mankind they had ceased to preach the dead- ening dogmas of Calvinism, its unyielding de- crees, its hopeless depravity, its limited election and its withering fatalism. They had ventured to teach that God loved the world, the whole world, and sent his Son to save them on condi- 85 MEN OF YESTERDAY tion that they believed in him; that the Gospel was the means of salvation, but that this means would never be effectual to this end until be- lieved and obeyed by us; that God required us to believe in his Son, and had given us sufficient evidence in his Word to produce faith in us. if attended to by us; that sinners were capable of understanding and believing this testimony, and of acting upon it by coming to the Savior and obeying him, and from him obtaining salvation and the Holy Spirit; that God was as willing to save sinners now as he ever was or ever would be; that no previous qualification was required or necessary in order to believe in Jesus; that if they were sinners this was their Divine warrant to believe in him and to come to him for sal- vation. The effect of such preaching upon the people was to awaken them, as it were, out of the sleep of ages and cause them to feel their own respon- sibility. Those who had previously felt them- selves hopelessly beyond the pale of divine grace, were encouraged to accept the promises of the Gospel and rejoiced in their new-found privileges. But its effect upon the leaders of Presbyterian society was far different. It served to arouse their suspicion and awaken a spirit of hostility toward the offending preachers. For their heretical utterances, B. W. Stone and four of his co-laborers, Richard McNemar, 86 BARTON W. STONE John Thompson, John Dunlavy and Robert Mar- shall, were speedily brought to account by the Synod of the Presbyterian Church of Kentucky. Forseeing their fate before that body, they drew up a protest, declaring their independence and withdrawal from the jurisdiction of the Synod. As yet they had no thought of ceasing to hold to the Presbyterian faith, and that they might con- tinue in the service of the church organized themselves into an independent Presbytery. But soon finding this position an impossible one, and the whole system of doctrine out of harmony with their views, these young men now took an- other step in their work of reform. Renouncing their allegiance to all authority but that of their Divine Master, they resolved to be governed by his word alone. Rejecting the party name which they had so long worn, they called themselves Christians. From the curious document in which they announce the death of the Preshytery and their independence of all human authority in matters of religion, we quote a few items: "We will, that this body die, be dissolved, and sink into union with the body of Christ at large; for there is but one body and one Spirit even as we are called in one hope of our calling. "We will, that our name of distinction, with its Reverend title, be forgotten, that there be but one Lord over God's heritage, and his name one. MEN OF YESTERDAY "We will, that our power of making laws for the government of the church and executing them by delegated authority, forever cease; that the people may have free course to the Bible, and adopt the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus. "We will, that candidates for the Gospel min- istry henceforth study the Holy Scriptures with fervent prayer, and obtain license from God to preach the simple Gospel with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, without any mixture of philosophy, vain deceit, traditions of men or the rudiments of the world. "We will, that each particular church as a body, actuated by the same spirit, choose her own preacher, and support him by a free-will offering, without a written call or subscription, admit members, remove offenses, and never henceforth delegate the right of government to any man or set of men whatever. "We will, henceforth that the people take the Bible as their only sure guide to heaven; and as many as are offended with other books which stand in competition with it, may cast them into the fire if they choose; for it is better to enter into life having one book than having many to be east into hell. "We will, that preachers and people cultivate a spirit of mutual forbearance; pray more and dispute less; and while they behold the signs of 88 BARTON W. STONE the times, look up, and confidently expect that redemption draweth nigh." 1 In this act of dissent, B. W. Stone laid him- self upon the altar of sacrifice. Having with- drawn from the Presbyterian Church, he could no longer consistently labor for the churches which he had served with great acceptance for six years. Calling his people together, in tears he announced his new position, absolved them from further obligation to contribute to his sup- port, and without salary went out to serve his Master as he might find opportunity. To pro- vide for the wife, whom he had recently mar- ried, he turned his attention to the cultivation of a little farm. In this new role, he says: "I relaxed not in my ministerial labors, preaching almost every night, and often in the daytime, to the people around. I had no money to hire laborers, and often on my return home I found the weeds were getting ahead of my corn. I had often to labor at night while others were asleep to redeem my lost time." The ground which this new religious society, calling themselves Christians, had taken in re- gard to the Bible, soon drove them to modify their practices in many particulars. Among the firs changes was the abandonment of infant baptism as unscriptural. This was soon fol- lowed by dissatisfaction with their own baptism, 1 Autobiography, p. 51. 89 MEN OF YESTERDAY all having been sprinkled in infancy. To con. sider the question, a conference was called, and after friendly investigation and discussion it was decided that each member should act in accord- ance with his own conviction. As none among them had been immersed, it was a question whether anyone was qualified to administer bap- tism, which was finally settled upon the ground that authority to preach carried with it authority, to baptize. Id the performance of this newly discovered duty, the ministers first baptized each other and then their congregations. All this transpired in 1804, five years before Thomas Campbell formulated his famous declar- ation, and eight years prior to his baptism and that of his illustrious son in the waters of the Buffalo. It marks the beginning of a reforma- tion whose swelling current contributed, in no small measure, to the flood-tide which the move- ment inaugurated by Mr. Campbell a few years later, in another section of the country, has since reached. V. THE PROGRESS OF THE REFORM MOVEMENT. The labors of B. W. Stone were greatly in- creased by the independent stand he had taken on the Bible alone. Kindred spirits speedily rallied to his support. Churches quickly sprang up over a wide region, rejecting all standards but the Bible and refusing to wear any name but 90 BARTON W. STONE that of Christian. To minister to these scat- tered churches, Mr. Stone and his co-laborers now devoted themselves. Scarcely had the work been inaugurated, how- ever, before the very life of the churches was threatened by the appearance of a strange delu- sion. A semi-religious, socialistic movement, known as Shakerism, had some years before established several communities in the State of New York. Its leaders, hearing of the revolt against Calvinism led by Barton W. Stone, sent their missionaries to Kentucky, who soon made sad havoc in the newly planted churches. Many were carried off by this wild fanaticism, among the number two of the preachers who had gone out of the Presbyterian Church along with Mr. Stone. It was only by redoubled effort of Mr. Stone that the churches were saved froin this vortex of ruin. "I labored," says he in de- scribing his conflict with this delusive error, "night and day, far and near, among the churches where the Shakers went. By this means their influence was happily checked in many places;" and soon the cause began again to make rapid increase in numbers. A little later the two remaining ministers, who with Mr. Stone had thrown off the yoke of Pres- byterianism, abandoned the movement, reaffirm- ing their faith in the Westminster Confession, and returned to the Presbyterian fold. "'Of the 91 MEN OP YESTERDAY five of us," wrote Mr. Stone, at a later period, "that left the Presbyterians, I only was left, and they sought my life." Conscious of the integ- rity of his purpose, and convinced of the script- uralness of his position, Mr. Stone continued to preach to the churches far and near, to any who would listen to him, rendering his services gra- tuitously, and earning as best he could the sup. poit of his family out of his little farm. There was not then, nor at any time during his long life of service, anything mercenary in his work for the Master. His was purely a service of love, and his evangelistic labors at this period were wonderfully blest. Preaching the Gospel as he now understood it, multitudes flocked to his standard, and many flourishing churches were founded by him in Western Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. As an evangelist among the pioneer population of newly settled States, Mr. Stone was without a rival. His large, generous nature quickly won the confidence of the hardy frontiersmen. His zeal and originality awakened their interest and fixed their attention. His warm sympathies and strong emotions melted them to repentance and led them to obedience. Seldom did he preach a sermon that did not result in conversions, some- times scores coming forward to make public con- fession' at the close of a single address. At other times the wayside cabin with its lonely BARTON WV. STONE occupant received with gladness his message of hope. Here is a scene as described by himself: "One day as I was riding slowly along a small track to an appointment at night, I was passing by a small hut, when a woman ran out and called to me. I stopped my horse. She told me she had heard me preach on yesterday; and with a heavenly countenance she thanked God for it; 'for,' said she, 'the Lord has blessed my soul. Will you baptize me' 'Yes,' said I, 'gladly will I do it.' I dismounted and walked into the cot- tage. '0,' said she, 'will you wait till I send for my sister, a short distance off. She was with me yesterday and the Lord has blessed her too. She wants also to be baptized.' " There, in the depths of the forest, in a stream that flowed a short distance from the house, was witnessed a scene, as the two went down into the water in obedience to Christ, that rivals in picturesque- ness and simple beauty any recorded in the Word of God. On another occasion, as he was returning from one of his appointments he was overtaken by a gentleman returning from the same meeting, and the two continued the journey together. "I in- troduced the subject of religion," says Mr. Stone, "which I found not to be disagreeable to him, though he was not a professor. I urged him by many arguments to a speedy return to the Lord. His mind, I saw, was troubled and 93 MEN OF YESTERDAY vacilating as to his choice of life or death. At length we came to a clear running stream; he said, 'See, here is water, what doth hinder me to be baptized' I instantly replied in Philip's language, 'If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.' He said, 'I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and am determined hereafter to be his servant.' Without anything more we alighted and I baptized him." The labors of this faithful evangelist were accompanied by many trials and hardships. Affliction overtook him in 1809 in the loss of his only son, and a little later in the death of his companion. He now sold his little farm, ex- pecting to remove to Tennessee, but the breth- ren in Kentucky were loth to give him up. They promised to supply his family with every necessity if he would remain. He was finally induced to locate in Lexington, and as his brethren soon forgot their promise, he was com- pelled to enter the school-room for support. For this work he was eminently qualified and remarkably successful. After a time he opened an academy in Georgetown, which was equally prosperous. But while engaged in these duties he did not forget his higher calling, and contin- ued to preach with power and acceptance in all the regions round about. "The remembrance of these days," writes Mr. Stone in his autobiog- raphy, "and of the great and good works which 94 BARTON W. STONE were effected by nmy humble labors, will cause many to shout the praises of God to eternity." While engaged in his great work in Kentucky, Mr. Stone's pathway was crossed by another in whose breast was cherished the spirit of reform. That man was Alexander Campbell. The two first met in the autumn of 1824, and were not slow in recognizing each other's worth. Both had grasped the importance of a return to the primitive faith. Mr. Stone had been the first to take this ground, but Mr. Campbell possessed elements of leadership signally lacking in Mr. Stone, and it is doubtless due to this that to him is assigned the first place and to Mr. Stone the second in the great work to which their lives were devoted. This meeting of the two reformers led to a friendly interest in each other's work. At first there seemed to be irreconcilable differences between them. Mr. Campbell suspected Mr. Stone of cherishing unsound views respecting the claims of Christ. Mr. Stone suspected Mr. Campbell of error in his conception of the work of the Holy Spirit. But when these two men sat down at the fireside and talked over their differences, they found themselves so near to- gether as to throw the veil of charity over each other's imperfections and joined hands in the embrace of lasting fellowship. The generous spirit of Mr. Stone, in this 95 6MEN OF YESTERDAY union of two great natures, finds expression in the following declaration: "I will not say there are no faults in Bro. Campbell, but that there are fewer, perhaps, in him than any man I know on earth; and over these few my love would throw a veil and hide them forever from view. I am constrained, and willingly constrained, to acknowledge him the greatest promoter of this reformation of any living man." That this esteem was reciprocated by the great leader of the Reformation, we may gather from his words written at the time of Mr. Stone's death: "He was the honored instru- ment of bringing many out of the ranks of human tradition and putting into their hands the Book of Books, as their only confession of faith and rule of life, and will, no doubt, on this account, as well as others, long continue to be a blessing to those who, by his instrumentality, have already been, or may hereafter be, trans- lated into the fulness of the blessings of the Gospel of Christ." In 1832 the followers of these two religious leaders flowed together throughout Kentucky into a harmonious and lasting union. "This union, irrespective of reproach," says Mr. Stone, "I view as the noblest act of my life." VI. A GOLDEN SUNSET. "No man," said Solon, the Grecian sage, 96 BARTON W. STONE "can be counted fully happy till a happy death has closed a happy life." Upon this basis the career of Barton W. Stone was an enviable one from first to last. Always genial and sunny in nature, his closing years, as they reflected the joy that awaited him, resembled a golden sunset at the close of a summer day. His had been a dispensation of love from the beginning. The element of selfishness was as nearly eliminated from his character as that of any man that every lived. From the beginning of his ministry be had been engaged in a work of unselfish service. His love of sinners led him to preach the Gospel of salvation without remuner- ation, even at the cost of many privations and sacrifices. His love for a race of bondsmen led him to emancipate his slaves, and put his own hands to the plow in their stead. His love for his brethren made his whole life one ceaseless effort to bring them to the joys of everlasting salvation. "The goodness of his heart, the sweetness of his manners, his cheerfulness, his quiet, peaceable and obliging deportment great- ly endeared him to those among whom he lived." As he advanced in years these characteristics became more prominent, and his hold upon the affections of his people wherever he labored increased to the end. "Everybody loves Mr. Stone," said a fellow-laborer in the Gospel, "and Mr. Stone loves everybody." 7 97 MEN OF YESTERDAY After many years of service in Kentucky, Mr. Stone felt constrained in 1834 to change his field of labor. For several years he had edited and published a monthly religious journal called the "Christian Messenger," and he now sought a suitable place to continue its publication and at the same time to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ. With this object in view he located in Jacksonville, Ill., which furnished him a home during his remaining years. Here, as elsewhere, his supreme motive was to secure the union of God's children upon the one foun- dation. Finding two churches in Jacksonville, the Christians and Disciples, or as nicknamed by their enemies, "New Lights" and "Camp- bellites," he refused to unite with either until they had become one body in Christ's service. In 1841 Mr. Stone suffered from a paralytic stroke, which left him a cripple for the re- mainder of his life, and which with the accom- panying infirmities of age brought his active ministry to a close. He so far recovered, how- ever, as often to speak to the edification and deligbt of his brethren, his mind retaining its accustomed vigor and good cheer. As the old veteran of the cross stood facing the setting sun, the desire possessed him to visit once more the scenes of his early conflicts and victories, and to look into the faces of old com- rades, scattered throughout Indiana, Ohio and 98 BARTON WV. STONE Kentucky, whom lie had not seen for years. To gratify this desire the old pilgrim started on his last pilgriniage, a preaching tour throughout these States. The experiences of this journey were among the most touching of his life. It was like the triumphal procession in honor of some old Roman hero. Everywhere he was received with open armns. Multitudes, among whom his memory was sacred, would flock to hear him. Old men who had shared with him the hardships of the early pioneer days, as he entered their assemblies, would fall upon his neck in true patriarchal fashion, in tears, sor- rowing most of all that they would never again see his face. These meetings revived afresh their memories of conflicts, persecutions, sacri- fices, of joys and triumphs in the cause of truth, and as they clasped hands again they wept and rejoiced, they sang and prayed together, and then after the parting hand the aged pilgrim, leaning upon his staff, passed on to somne other scene of happy memories. In this way he continued his journey, at last reaching Caneridge, the scene of his early labors in the ministry. Here was witnessed a scene, as the venerable Stone again entered the pulpit of the old Caneridge Church, that baffles descrip- tion. Nearly fifty years before, in the bloom, of youth and radiant with hope, he had entered upon his ministry in Kentucky at this point. 99 0MEN OF YESTERDAY Here vast multitudes, sometimes numbering thousands, were held by his able presentation of the Gospel, and melted to tears and repentance by his earnest appeals. Now he stood before them. his form bent under the weight of years, his hair blanched by the storms of more than seventy winters, his eyes dimmed and his brow furrowed with many cares. Grey-haired veter- ans for miles around, forgetful of denomina- tional differences, had assembled to hear Mr. Stone preach his farewell sermon upon the spot that will ever be inseparably associated with his memory. The scene was most affecting. As he arose to speak "the silence of death pervaded the vast assembly, all leaning forward with intense interest to catch every word of the part- ing instruction of their father in the Gospel." Taking for his text the farewell address of Paul to the elders of Ephesus, he read and talked in turn with deep emotion. Tears started from his eyes and flowed down his cheeks as he dwelt upon the experiences of the past, and his emotion soon found reflection in his sympathetic audience. All wept as they recalled the scenes of other days, tears of joy over the great victories that had been won, and of sorrow over the sad havoc time had made among the ranks of that valiant army of re- formers. As the venerable preacher read, "And now, 100 BARTON W. STONE beloved, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more," the effect was electrical. The whole audience was convulsed with tears, and it was with great difficulty that Mr. Stone was enabled to close his discourse. As a parting hymn was being sung, he descended from the pulpit, grasped his friends who gathered round him by the hand, and as the song ended he kneeled down and prayed with a fervor and power that only those who are in sight of the promised land can pray. Thus ended one of the most remarkable gatherings in Christian history. As the old preacher passed out, supported by friends, he paused for a moment, looked about him at the old meeting-house, the marble slabs that marked the sleeping place of many of his friends, and then passed on, remarking with emotion, "I shall see this place no more." His anticipation of the final victory was short- ly realized. Only a few months later, after a sermon preached with something of the old evangelistic fervor, he was stricken down with fatal illness. Faith, hope and patience were never more beautifully exemplified than in his closing hours. When asked what he now thought of the doctrines he had preached, he replied, "I may indeed have held some erroneous opinions on minor points, but in the main I con- scientiously believe I have taught the truth, and lot MEN OF YESTERDAY have tried to live what I have preached to others. But it is not by works of righteous- ness that I have done, but according to His mercy, He saved me by the washing of regener- ation and the renewing of the Holy Spir-it, which he shed on me abundantly through Jesus Christ. It is of grace, it is all of grace." Thus he died, in the autumn of 1844, none more be- loved than he. He may at times have held errors in doctrine, but he was always sound in heart and correct in life, and left behind him a memory which should be cherished by all who love the cause to which his life was devoted. Barton W. Stone was not a great man. Intel- lectually he was not to be compared with his great co-laborer, Alexander Campbell. He lacked the depth of thought and power of dis- crimination that characterized the latter; and failing to take a comprehensive view of the great scheme of redemption, was often led into fruitless speculation and erroneous conclusions. He had failed to see what Mr. Campbell had dis- covered in the beginning of his dissent from authoritative creeds,-that it was a waste of thought and time to attempt to be wise above what was written. It thus happened that all his life long he was troubled over speculative questions, the doc- trine of the trinity, the nature of the atonement, 102 BARTON W. STONE etc. In his efforts at their solution he not only failed to satisfy his own mind, but often brought upon himself and his cause the grave charge of heterodoxy. That at heart he was a true fol- lowerof the Son of God, whatever the foolish ideas that at times filled his head, these words written but a short while before his death, amply prove: "I believe the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world, that whosoever believeth on him might not perish but have everlasting life. I believe that all power and authority in heaven and earth are given unto him,and that he is able to save unto the uttermost all that come to God by him; that in him are all the treasures of wis- (lom and knowledge; that it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell, the fullness of the godhead, the fulness of the Spirit, the fulness of grace and salvation. When we see him we see the Father, his image, his character, his glory and his perfection. Let me lose my life before I would detract from my Lord one ray of his glory.'' 1 But if not great, he was good. His life was without a blemish. His nature was perhaps too gentle for the stern times in which he lived, and for the severe conflicts through which he passed. Being reviled, he reviled not again. But, while bearing the enemy's reproach without resent- 1 Millennial Harbinger, 1845. 103 104 MEN OF YESTERDAY ment, he never swerved from the course which he believed to be right. Even his enemies in doctrine acknowledged that whatever the faults of his creed, his life was one of unrivaled beauty. It thus happened, that, without any special qualification for leadership, without being either a great preacher or profound thinker, he never- theless left his impress upon a generation of plain-living, hard-thinking pioneers, and con- tributed in no small measure to the triumph of a great cause in three States. He was great, enduringly great, in his goodness. This page in the original text is blank. JOHN SMITH. i I ,'i k II Ill. JOHN SMITH. FOR several years past, I have stood pledged to meet the religious world, or any part of it, on the ancient Gospel and order of things, as presented in the words of the Book. This is the foundation on which Christians once stood, and on it they can, and ought to, stand again. From this I can not depart to meet any man, or set of men, in the wide world. While, for the sake of peace and Christian union, I have long since waived the public maintenance of any speculation I may hold, yet not one Gospel fact, command, or promise, wvill I surrender for the world.-John Smith. 106 JOHN SMITH. I. A CHILD OF THE BACKWOODS. F RONTIER life a century ago produced many unique characters, "diamonds in the rough," which only needed the polish of education and culture to have shone with unrivaled splendor. To this class of gems belongs John Smith, a faithful preacher of the reformation in Ken- tucky, familiarly known as "Raccoon " John Smith. How he came by this distinguishing lpre- fix is not quite clear; but it seems to have attached itself to him after a characteristic sermon in his early ministry, which he prefaced by saying: "I am John Smith from Stockton Valley. In more recent years I have lived in Wayne, among the rocks and hills of the Cumberland. Down there saltpeter caves abound and raccoons make their homes. On that wild frontier we never had good schools, nor many books; conse- quently I stand before you to-day a man without an education. But, my brethren, even in that ill-favored region, the Lord, in good time, found me. He showed me his wondrous grace and (107) MMEN OF YESTERDAY called me to preach the everlasting Gospel of his Son." Whether then or not until later, it is sure that at an early period he came to be known as "Rac- coon" John Smith, a name which is associated with the most stirring experiences of the refor- mation inaugurated by Alexander Campbell. John Smith began his life in this world of ours, October 15, 1784, in a log cabin among the woods and hills of East Tennessee, whither his parents had moved a short time before his birth. The circumstances that drove them from Virginia to the wilds beyond the Alleghany Mountains, show something of the strength of conviction and character to which this child of the backwoods was heir. His father and mother had espoused the Baptist faith. But as Virginia, at that time, had an established form of religion, the Episco- pal, Baptists were a despised, hunted, perse- cuted people. They were described by their persecutors as "schismatical persons, so averse to the established religion, and so filled with the new-fangled conceits of their heretical inven- tions, as to refuse to have their children bap- tized.(" It was in defense of some of these people who were arraigned for "preaching the Gospel contrary to law," that the celebrated Patrick Henry once arose and exclaimed with electrical effect: "May it please your worships, what did I hear read Did I hear an expression lOB JOHN SMITH that these men whom your worships are about to try for misdemeanor are charged with preaching the Gospel of the Son of God" To escape from this galling oppression and to secure religious privileges which were so dear to him, George Smith took his little flock into the wilderness, seeking mercy at the hands of savage tribes of the forest, which was not accorded him by the savage spirit of religious intolerance. In his new home he was at least free to work out the great problem of his own destiny in har- mony with the dictates of conscience and the leadings of Providence. He was a Calvinist, at a period when Calvinism presented all those ele- ments of severity and unloveliness that make us shudder still at the word. "To labor for their daily bread and to wait with humbleness of heart for the Holy Ghost, were the two great com- mandments on which hung all his precepts and admonitions." The home in which John Smith spent his childhood, though rude in fashion and humble in dimensions, was "as comfortable and well appointed as any in all the country around." The house is described as a "(double cabin, built of logs, scalped within and without and daubed with clay. The floor was laid with puncheons, smoothly dubbed with an adze; a carpet or a rug was a thing unknown. A broad hearth was laid at each end of the house, and from the arches 109 1IEN OF YESTERDAY above the low chimneys were carried with sticks and clay. A ladder led from a corner of one of the rooms below to the loft above. Shelves rested on wooden pins driven into the walls, on which were placed the nicely scoured trenchers and a row of shining pewter plates." As was to be expected, in this home, sur- rounded by the uncleared forest, there was no room for idlers. To each child in such a house- hold some work was assigned almost as soon as they were out of the cradle. There was so much to do. A home in the backwoods, in addition to its domestic relations and duties, was a minia- ture manufacturing plant, where various indus- tries were carried on. The corn which supplied the daily bread had to be ground into meal by hand. The linen for summer wear was made from the raw material, and the warm winter garments were mlad(Ie from vool that wVas carded, spun and woven under the family roof-tree. These varied industries gave plenty of work for all, and though eight brothers and sisters had preceded him in the family circle, there were still tasks for John's tender hands. At six or seven years of age his "term of service began, and from that period of his life he knew no idle days. He gathered chips and fagots in the forest and piled them on the hearth; he hunted the shelly bark on the hills and stored it away for the evening blaze; he pulled the purple 110 JOHN SMITH crab-grass from the young corn, and plied his hoe among the garden vines. Through the hot summer days it was his task to run again and again down the long, grassy hill to the spring and bring back the dripping piggin for lips that were sure to chide him for the least delay. No day except the Sabbath, no season, whether of heat or cold, found him unemployed. Economy provided work even for stormy days." In a household so busily engaged in the strug- gle for material necessities but little attention could he l)aid to the intellectual wants. The schoolniaster was not yet abroad in the land, and it was only by the rarest chance that the aspiring youth f'ouled his way through the simplest rudi- ments of an education. In the Smith family this lack was partly met by the busy mother, who gathered her little ones about the winter's fire and recalled, for their instruction, the read- ings of her girlish days, and delighted them with stories of the past. Herself of Irish birth, and learned in "all the wild and beautiful legends of her native land, the stories and ballads that had touched her own heart when a child, became now, in the absence of books, the literature of her cabin-her children's poetry and faith." When John was about ten years of age, the first teacher appeared in the quiet valley where the family lived, and he was permitted to lay aside his work for a season, that he might make III 1MEN OF YESTERDAY good use of the opportunity for a schooling. So well (lid he improve the four months' term of this, his first, and for years his only school, as to master the art of reading and open the way to self-education. "Beginning with the first letter of the alphabet, he passed through the spelling-book, and at the end of the quarter was a tolerable reader of the New Testament." The Bible, the Confession of Faith, and a hymn- book-the entire family library-were now un- locked to his inquisitive mind, and were read and, though he found but little time for study, committed to memory. Thus in the heart of the wilderness was God fashioning the mind of one of the most interesting preachers of the Reform- atiou. When young Smith was in his twelfth year, the migratory spirit again seized the head of the family. Though George Smith shared in the prosperity of the valley of the Holston, which began to "smile everywhere with pleasant homes and cultivated fields," he determined to plunge into the wilderness once more, with a view to securing cheap lands and providing for the future of his growing family. Having sold his Tennessee farm, he set out, in the autumn of 1795, accompanied by John and an elder brother; on the trail that led across the Cumberland Mountains into the then unsettled territory of Kentucky, in search of a "goodly 112 JOHN SMITH spot where he might build a cabin, plant a patch of corn, and prepare as well as he could for the family" that wvas to join him in the coming sum- nmer. Here in a beautiful region, known a.s Stockton's Valley, the painf ul and laborious task of making a home in the forest was begun. Here, undaunted by the cold of winter or the perils of the wilderness, the ax of the pioneer prepared the materials for the house, and cleared a few acres of land. In order to pro- cure corn for the planting it was necessary to send a hundred miles through almost trackless forests. This task naturally fell upon John, as least capable of rendering service in the clear- ing. With a stout heart hie accepted the respon- sibility, and ill-clad, through wintry weather, without a guide, lie made the journey with a p1ack-horse, and returned with the needed sul- plies. It was during this winter of hardship that John began and completed his study of "mod(ern languages,"-with his ready memory picking up the uncouth tongue of Indian hunters, who built their camp-fires near the cabin. This, his only linguistic attainment beyond his vigorous mother tongue, he never forgot. In the new home, the life of the boy contin- ued its development along such lines as its rude surroundings stimulated. Of work there was plenty, and from his daily tasks he never shrank. Of opportunity for intellectual developmnent 113 MEN OF YESTERDAY there was none, and the thirst of the ambitious youth remained unquenched. Once a drunken vagabond, assuming the role of teacher, entered the valley and began a school, of which John became a hopeful pupil, but the incompetence of the master turned his ambition into disgust, and his natural humor led him to pranks which drove the teacher from the community in dis- grace. II. SEEKING ASSURANC-E WF SALVATION. At this period, John Smith's spiritual nature gave promise of being as untamed as the forest that surrounded his home. Unhallowed sports crept into the backwoods. Sunday horse-races and cards became the pastime of young men. For the latter John had a fondness, and would creep away on Sundays to spend the day with idle companions in his favorite game; but the grief and patience of the father at last touched his heart, and he threw away his cards, saying, "It is wrong to distress so good a father as ours; it is a sin and a shame." This proved to be the turning-point in the young man's career, and with it came the ques- tion of religion demanding his consideration. Indeed, the subject in some form had been kept before him since his earliest recollection. But the doctrine taught, at that time, was not very attractive to young hearts. Calvinism in its 114 JOHN SMITH severest type was prevalent. It taught a "hell of the most appalling type, into which even lit- tie children might be cast; an unalterable des- tiny for every one, regardless of his conduct or his creed, as God might have chosen him for heaven or doomed him to hell before he was born; a dread uncertainty that rested on his fate; his utter inability to understand the Scrip- tures, to believe or repent, to love God or to obey him, until endued with power from on high; the necessity of some supernatural sign or sensation, some miraculous voice or vision, as an evidence of pardon and acceptance with God." It was natural that John should imbibe the temper of his father's creed, and for him to expect, should he be among the elect, that some visible or audible manifestation of Divine ap- proval should be given him. The great revival which swept the country in the beginning years of this century was at its height as he began seriously to think upon the subject of religion. It was the theme he heard discussed on every hand, and he determined to investigate it as far at his limited resources would permit. Failing to find the way to assured salvation, he at last appealed to a good old Baptist preacher, Isaac Denton, a friend of the family, for light upon the subject which was beginning to agitate his mind. According to the prevailing notion, conversion 115 6MEN OF YESTERDAY was a change of a mysterious nature wrought out in the soul by supernatural agency. This change John now sincerely desired to experience. "What must I do," he inquired of the faith- ful minister, "in order to have this change of which you speak" "Nothing, John," was the reply. "God's grace is sovereign and unconditional. If you are his sheep you will be called, and you will hear his voice and follow him." "But when, Mr. Denton, will the Lord call" "In his own good time, John. He has worked out your whole life, and determined your destiny according to his own wise, but hidden and eternal, purpose. " "How, then, may I know," continued the anxious youth, "whether I am one of his sheep or not" "You will know it by your change when it comes; till then you can only wait on the Lord and hope." It is not strange that a young man with the keen intellect of John Smith should have turned from such instruction, saying, "Since my destiny is fixed and I cannot change it, I need not, then, give myself any concern. I have nothing to do." But his heart was not to be stifled by the for- bidding theology of his time. While stoutly, for a season, maintaining his unbelief, his posi- 116 JOHN SMITH tion was not satisfactory to himself, and he resolved at last to examine the subject in the light of the Scriptures. Though failing to find proof of the doctrines taught,, he became con- vinced of his duty to be a Christian; and know- ing no way of approach to Christ, he began earnestly and persistently to seek religion after the manner of the times. The illness and death of his venerable father, in the spring of 1804, deepened his interest in personal salvation, and from that time through many weary months, he sought for assurance of saving grace. In his fruitless search his agony was indescribable. He was taught that an indispensable step to salvation was to feel himself the greatest of sin- ners. This he tried to do, and then despaired of salvation, simply because he could not feel that he was "too wicked to be saved." A gloomy cloud overshadowed his sunny temper. His nights were sleepless and his days filled with torment. In vain he prostrated himself alone in the forest and prayed for the blessed assur- ance of his pardon. Finally, after a night spent in agonizing prayer, his heart seemed to throw off its burden, and he was happy. Returning home and relating his experiences to his brother William, the latter replied with joy, "You are converted, John, at last." He went to the house of God, expecting to offer himself for membership, but the weird experiences of others 117 MEN OF YESTERDAY sent him away in sorrow and disgust. His mind was again beclouded by doubts and despair, and he prayed the Lord to keep his poor heart from error and to lead him by the right way into the everlasting kingdom. Religious friends who had watched with solic- itude'the long and painful struggle of the young man, believed that a work of grace had already been wrought in his heart, and urged him to relate the facts before the congregation. This he did on the 26th of December, 1804, giving a plain statement of his religious struggles, and though his experience was lacking in the mar- velous element which characterized the conver- sions of that time, the congregation unanimously voted him the subject of a work of grace. TVc next (lay he was baptized, and at once entered into the active service of his Master to find in doing the peace he had failed to receive in seeking. No sooner had John Smith become an obe- dient disciple of Christ, than he was possessed with a desire to preach the unsearchable riches of his Word. But two obstacles rose before him, either of which seemed an insurmountable barrier to the realization of such a purpose. One was his ignorance. In his single brief term of schooling, he had barely learned to read, and his surroundings and occupation had left him without further means of self-improve- 118 JOHN SMITH ment. As he looked with yearning heart toward the ministry, he "wept at the thought that he was now a man without an education." No less serious was the hindrance which the popular notion of the time threw across his path way. It was regarded as an almost unpar- donable act of presumption to stand before the people as an expounder of the Scriptures with- out a supernatural call, and as yet he was with- out evidence of such a call to preach the Gos- pel. No voice spoke to his listening ear. No answver came to his earnest prayer. No sign met his expectant vision. In the face of these obstacles the wvay seemed completely blocked, so nothing remained for him to do but to continue in his labors on the farm. Going out further into. the wilderness, he pur- chased a tract of land, and began the laborious task of clearing away the forest. But one day the young man dropped his ax, abandoned his farm and went back home. A teacher had moved into the valley, and John Smith deter- mined to take advantage of this opportunity for enlarging his horizon and quenching his thirst. For a few weeks he drank with delight from the fountain of learning. Then the teacher, a wheel- wright by trade, found that making wheels was more profitable than training pupils, and dis- missed his school. Undaunted by this turn of affairs, and still fixed in his determination to get 119 MEN OF YESTERDAY an education, John arranged to assist his teacher in the shop for his board and the privilege of using his books at night. Thus he toiled during the day, and at night, by the blaze of the pine- knot fire, he sat down to his lessons, often wrest- ling with a difficult problem until the night itself was gone. At last circumstances compelled him to leave this improvised college and to return to his abandoned farm. It was then that the way be- gan gradually to open toward the larger service of Christ. His widely scattered neighbors were pious people, and, in the absence of churches and ministers, often gathered at night, after a day of toil, in each other's cabins, to sing and pray, and talk about their religious interests. At these meetings John Smith was present, when circumstances would permit, and his native tal- ent and education, in which he now surpassed his neighbors, gave him a kind of pre-eminence among them. As they met from house to house, they often constrained him to lead in prayer. In these religious exercises his confidence in- creased, his heart warmed, and he longed to enter into more active service. But still he waited for some audible call, some sign like the burning bush, which should assure him of the Lord's will. His brethren argued that if the Lord had given a man talent it should be used, and that if he 120 JOHN SMITH could not conscientiously preach, he miight at least, without fear of Divine displeasure, speak words of exhortation in their humble meetings. This he at last consented to do. The appoint- ment was made. The cabin was crowded. The service of song and prayer was inspiring. At the proper time, John arose to speak, but as he looked .into the upturned faces of his neighbors "a strange, bewildering torrent of feeling rushed into his heart. His mind was suddenly dark- ened. The thoughts which he had meditated for the occasion left him. He tried to recall thetn, but he could not. His lips quivered and he was speechles ;. Turning f rom the stand, lie rushed from the house into the darkness with- out. He fled across the yard like one affrighted, intending to quit a place where the Lord had thus rebuked him." In his precipitate flight he stumbled over some unseen object and fell to the ground. As he arose his mind cleared, his thoughts came back to him, and, feeling that he now had power to deliver his message, he de- tertnined to return to the house, where his hrethren still sat in mute amazement. Standing again in their midst, he spoke with a fervor and fluency that thrilled his listeners; and from that tire he continued in his humble way to lead those who were as sheep without a shepherd. But if as yet he listened in vain for a call from heaven to preach, he heard a voice in these 121 2MEN OF YESTERDAY neighborhood meetings that strangely impressed him. It was the voice of a maiden in song, and the impression made upon the mind of the young exhorter, now in his twenty-second year, was destined to be lasting. He sought her out in her home, and without needless preliminary arranged that Anna Townsend should become his wife; and on a stormy December day in 1806, he took her to his cabin in the forest to share his severe lot of privation and toil. As he now labored for the comfort and happi-' ness of his home, he continued to exercise his gift of exhortation, with increasing desire to devote his life to the work of saving his fellow- men. In deference to the judgment of his brethren, who urged him to lay aside all scruples and become their preacher, he at last consented to be ordained, and entered at once upon the duties of his new calling, while continuing to provide for his family by his labors on the farm. He now preached every Sunday, riding often many miles to his appointments, and gathering the people together "in their scattered meeting- houses, in their own log-cabins, in their still humbler school-houses, or in the dark, unbroken woods. " Nature had marvelously endowed him for the work of a pioneer preacher. "His well-toned voice and earnest manner, his fine common sense and unaffected piety, rendered him pre-eminent- 122 JOHN SMITH ly popular as a speaker; his genial humor, too, threw its sunny influence on all around him, and made him the delight of every fireside." As his reputation spread, flattering offers came to him from. the more favored portions of Ken- tucky, through which he was induced to travel on a preaching tour. Wealthy congregations, pleased with his originality and genius, offered him what was then regarded as a handsome salary to come and labor among them. But con- scious of his lack of education and culture, he declined these offers, while his soul, for the time lifted up with pride, planned ambitiously for the future. To John Smith, who had known only poverty and hardship, now came a dream of wealth. The South at that time presented a most l)rom- ising field. Large tracts of fertile land were thrown open to settlers in Alabama. By the sale of his farin and stock he could realize the sum of fifteen hundred dollars. With this sum he could enter ten thousand acres of land, which, with advance in pr-ices, was sure to make him a wealthy man. Gathering his possessions together, he set out with his family for Ala- bama in the autumn of 1814. Reaching his des- tination, he established his family in a cabin, while he went out to explore the surrounding country, with a view to selecting and purchasing lands. During his absence, in one awful night, 123 1MEN OF YESTERDAY his hopes and happiness were dashed to the ground. The cabin which contained his pos- sessions and his loved ones was burned to the ground. and two of his children and the money with which he had planned to purchase a plan- tation were consumed in the flames. The poor wife escaped only to die of a broken heart and be buried with the ashes of her children. Broken in spirit, John Smith himself, though a man of strong will and iron nerve, was at last stricken down with fever, and for weeks life seemed to hang in the balance, when the change came and he recovered sufficiently to retrace his sorrowful steps, empty-handed and alone, to the valley among the hills of Kentucky, from which he had moved a few months before, with wife and children and substance, proudly expectant of earthly fortune. III. WRESTLYING WITH C)C1TRINTAh, IHFFIC ULTlES. The severe trials through which John Smith had passed soon began to exert a modifying in- fluence on his religious views. As he reflected over his recent experiences, his aching heart re- volted from the unyielding and unfeeling articles of his Calvinistic creed, especially that portion embodying the doctrine of unconditional election and reprobation. "My children," he argued, speaking of the little ones who had been sud- 124 JOHN SMITH denly snatched from his bosom, "are happy, for they were innocent." Immediately after his return to Kentucky he began preaching again; but he was from that time harassed by doctrinal difficulties which gave him no rest until he turned from his creed to the New Testament, and discovered and accepted the Gospel in its primitive simplicity. But not- withstanding the doubts that clouded his mind, and the sorrow that overshadowed his life, his preaching, for a time, was witha p)0owVer that wvon all hearts. His personal appearance at this time was in no sense suggestive of the wonderful charm of his evangel. His al)pearance, as he joinedl his brethren in the meeting of the Baptist Association at Crab Orchard, shortly after his return, is thuis de- scribed: "lie wvore a pair of Ilome-s1)un cotton pantaloons, striped with copperas, loose enough, but far too short for himi, and a cotton coat, once checked with blue and white but now of undistinguishable Colors. His shapeless hat was streaked with sweat an(l dust. His socks, too large for his shrunken ankles, hung down upon his foxy shoes. His shirt was coarse and dirty and unbottoned at the neck." But if the ex- terior of this chosen vessel of God was not invit- ing, within it was garnished and adorned with all the graces of truth. As on the occasion above described he arose on an improvised stand under 125 MEN OF YESTERDAY the trees to speak upon the theme of redemp- tion, which was always near his heart, he gave utterance to a message whose beauty and power filled his hearers with amazement. As the vast assembly drew near that they might catch his words, "many who could not find seats or places to stand climbed the trees close by, and the very saplings swayed with people eager to see and hear. When the speaker reached the third and last division of his subject and began to paint the final glory of God's elect, the multitude arose and stood on their feet; and when he closed his impassionate exhortation every eye was weeping and every heart and lip blessed the man without an education." In the course of time John Smith again mar- ried, choosing as a companion a sensible and consecrated woman who lived in the neighbor- hood where lie ministered, and who cheerfully joined him in all his plans for the reformation of human society. Though as yet preaching the doctrines of his creed, he now found himself ill at ease. The strange inconsistency of his position embarrassed him. Why urge sinners to repent and believe the Gospel, when if elected they were already safe, and if among the non-elect they could not repent. As the situation flashed upon his mind in the midst of an impassioned exhortation, he immediately closed his remarks and sat down, 126 JOHN' SMITH saying: "Brethren, something is wrong. I amn in the dark. We are all in the dark; but how to lead you to the light or find the way myself, be- fore God I know not." Retiring to his humble home, he vent to God for guidance, pledging himself on his knees in prayer that lie would take the Scriptures as his only guide, and study God's Holy Word until the way was made plain. In the keeping of this pledge he began anew the study of the Bible. When his day's work in the field was done, he would sit by his candle with his Testament upon his knee, and often spend the whole night in solemn meditation in his search for the light. It was while in this state of mnind that the prospectus of a new religious journal, to be called "The Christian Baptist," was placed in his hand. The bold and independent course proposed by its editor, Alexander Campbell, struck a sympathetic chord in the heart of this stornm-tossed truth-seeker, and he determined to find out what this, then unknown, reformer had to say upon the questions that were disturbing his peace. Subscribing for the "Christian Bap- tist," the first numbers were read with great in- terest, and through them light began to break along his darkened pathway. Mr. Smith read each succeeding number with great care to dis- cover to which of the contending religious par- ties its editor belonged, and soon found himself 127 128IMEN OF YESTERDAY in a realm of truth entirely beyond the range of the popular systems. "We have no system of our own," wrote the editor of the "Christian Baptist," "nor of oth- ers to substitute in lieu of the reigning systems. We only aim at substituting the New Testament in lieu of every creed in existence; whether Mo- hammedan, Pagan, Jewish or Presbyterian. We wish to call Christians to consider that Jesus Christ has made them kings and priests to God. We neither advocate Calvinism, Arminianism, Arianism, Trinitarianism, LUnitarianism, Deism or Sectarianism, but NVew Testamentism. We wish, we cordially wish, to take the New Testa- ment out of the abuses of the clergy, and put it into the hands of the people." So thoroughly did these views accord with John Smith's notions that he determined at the first opportunity to meet with Alexander Camp- bell and learn from him direct more of the new order which he was inaugurating. In the spring of 1824 the opportunity presented itself. Mr. Campbell, on one of his tours through Kentucky, was to speak in a neighboring county, and Mr. Smith rode twenty miles on horseback that he might see and hear him. Of this meeting with Mr. Campbell, he afterwards said, "I then felt as if I wanted to sit down and look at him for one hour, without hearing a word from any one. I wanted to scan him who had been so much 12 JOHN SMITH talked of, and who had in the 'Christian Baptist' and in his debates, introduced so many new thoughts." For several days John Smith followed Mr. Camtipbell from appointment to alppointienlt, an inwrapped listener to his public discourses, and earnestly engaging him in conversation as they traveled along the way or sat under sonic hos- pitable roof. At last his mind cast off its fet- ters. The way, hitherto so clouded, became plain, and he left the company of the great re- former, resolved henceforth to devote his life to preaching the simple Gospel of the New Testa- nient. The step was, as he had anticipatel, attended with great sacrifices. Old friends forsook him. He had always stood high among his ministerial brethren, but now he was regarded with undis- guised suspicion. Soon the storin gathered wrathfully about himn. At the annual ileeting of the association in which he held membership charges were preferred against himn, amiong the most serious of which was that, instead of the King James translation of the Scriptures, "he had on two or three occasions in public, and often privately in his family, read from Alexan- der Campbell's translation." Without being given an opportunity to defend himself, he was placed under censure, and given a year in which to correct his views and change his ways. 9 129 MEN OF YESTERDAY Returning to his home, the way for a time seemed to close before him. The little farm was covered with a heavy mortgage. The churches that had obligated themselves to pay his debt in compensation of his services, now refused to make further payment. Nothing apparently re- mained but for hini to cultivate his farm with his own hands, and for a time to abandon the work of the ministry. Taking his ax he went into the woods with the heroic purpose first to free him- self from debt, and then to return to the defense of the faith which he now felt to be the teaching of the Word of God. But one day, reflecting upon the construction that would be put on his silence by his enemies, he dropped his ax, went to the house, and threw down his coarse apron at the feet of his wife, exclaiming: "Nancy, I shall work no more! Set whom you please to carry on the farm, but do not call on me! In all the land, there is not one soul to open his mouth in defense of the best cause under the sun! I am determined from this time forth to preach the Gospel and leave the consequences with God." With the courage of his convictions, John Smith immediately began to preach the truth as he now saw it and felt it. No personal consid- eration was allowed to interfere with the pro- gram he had marked out for himself. His heroic wife readily caught his spirit, and agreed to 130 JOHN SMITH carry on the farm that he might devote himself wholly to the preaching of the Word. But from a course so radical and perilous his friends earnestly sought to dissuade him. "Your more influential brethren," they argued, "will abandon you; you will get nothing for your preaching; your debts will press you to the earth, and your farm and home must eventually be given up." Their appeal was in vain. They had under-estimated the faith and courage of the man. "Conscience," Smith replied, "is an article that I have never yet brought into market; but if I should offer it for sale, Montgomery County, with all its lands and houses, would not be enough to buy it, much less that farm of one hundred acres." As John Smith now went from house to house, and neighborhood to neighborhood, to plead the cause of Christ and the "Ancient Gospel," his zeal knew no bounds. His heart was all aglow with his new-born knowledge of the truth, and with tireless effort he sought to win men to respect and obey the simple claims of the in- spired Word. So intense was his desire that he scarcely allowed himself time for food and sleep. After a busy day, he would often spend a greater part of the night in answering questions or meet- ing objections which his public discourses had provoked; or in helping some half-persuaded 131 2MEN OF YESTERDAY inquirer to a full acceptance of the Gospel; often going the same hour of the night to some neighboring stream to administer baptism, when a surrender had been made. Or if at home, the burden that was upon his heart and his thirst for the knowlege of the Scriptures would often in- terfere with his sleep, and he would arise and light his candle at midnight "to examine some word or text not yet understood," and(l which perhaps had confused him in his dreams. IV. THE TRIUMPH OF THE REFORMATION. The preaching of John Smith, so different from that of the times, so far removed from con- ventional forms, and so new and strange in doc- trine, at once awakened new interest in languish- ing churches. Calls now came to himn from so many quarters that he seldom had an opp)ortu- nity to enjoy the fellowship of the family to which he was warmly attached. He endeavored, if possible, to look in upon the home once a week; but this purpose he was not always able to carry out. "He would tarry at some distant place, preaching and baptizing till the week was nearly gone, and then, dismissing the people at a late hour, ride hurriedly through darkness, some- tinies through mud and cold and tempest, in order to keep his promise with his wife. At other times, when going from one part of the district to another, he would pass along by his 132 JOHN SMITH own house, but too much hurried to stop and rest, would linger awhile at the gate, and gather- ing strength from her words of cheer, press on to his distant appointment." It is related that on one occasion, as he thus hurried from one appointment to another, he stopped at home just long enough to change his soiled linen for clean. As he was about to leave, his wife remarked, with a gentle rebuke in her tone, "Mr. Smith, is it not time you were having your washing done somewhere else We have attended to it for you a long time." The patient heroism of faith finds few better illustrations than in the wife of this tireless pio- neer. Upon Nancy Smith rested the burden of the family and the farm. When help could not be secured, she would go forth herself into the busy field to tend the growing crops, or to super- intend the gathering of the harvest, that her faithful husband might devote all his energies to the cause which they both loved so much. His preaching brought no material recompense to relieve their pinching poverty. Though he labored incessantly for the salvation of his fel- lowmen, nobody ever thought of contributing to his support, or if they felt inclined to minister to him in temporal things, were probably too poor. During the five years, from 1825 to 1830, in which he laid the foundation of the cause of the Reformation in Kentucky, he never received 133 1MEN OF YESTERDAY a dollar for his services, or compensation of any kind, save the remittance of his debt to a friendly merchant in a neighboring town for a small bill of goods. The result of such zeal, such labor, such sacri- fice, brought its reward to this devoted messen- ger of truth in a richer blessing than any that material prosperity had to offer. His message was gladly received. Multitudes gathered to hear him, and many received with gladness the simple Gospel which he now felt himself com- missioned to preach. A revival of religious in- terest began to follow the track of his itineracy, and he had the satisfaction of seeing hundreds, who had held aloof from the religious systems of the day, now turn to the Lord. As he returned from such fields of victory he was sometimes lifted above earthly concerns, and would walk the floor of his humble home and sing with strange enthusiasm: "0, tell me no more of this world's vain store; The time for such trifles with me now is o'er. " So fruitful were his labors that within a period of six months he was able to report seven hun- dred conversions and five new churches organ- ized. But more still, he had established a great cause in the hearts of the people. A course so out of the usual order, so. original in message and method, was sure to offend the accepted leaders of religious society, and these, 134 JOHN SMITH without respect of party affiliation, were soon arrayed against him. Although he had renounced the Calvinistic theory of conversion, and had laid aside its un- yielding creed for the New Testament, he still considered himself a Baptist, and lived in fellow- ship with those who "stood resolutely by the o0l church covenants," hoping that his brethren would one day accept the ancient Gospel. But his genial, fraternal spirit was far from being reciprocated by the Baptist ministers with whom he associated. Once, meeting an old acquaintance, Smith said to him kindly, "Good morning, my brother;" to which the other scornfully replied, "Don't call me brother, sir! I would rather claim kin- ship with the devil himself." "Go, then," said Smith, "and honor thy father." But the bitterness of opposition did not always end in harmless railery. It too frequently re- sorted to misrepresentation and other unchris- tian means to check his growing popularity and influence. Churches were closed against him, compelling him to take his audience to some neighboring house, or hall, or, in fair weather, to some friendly grove. But, whatever the dis- couragement or hindrance, he continued to preach. Usually he laid off his "discourses, which were two or three hours long, into three divisions, according to the objects he had in 135 31EN OF YESTERDAY view; in the first he corrected misrepresenta- tions; in the second he exposed popular errors; and in the third he presented the simple Gospel to the people." Having taken his stand upon the Bible, he felt himself secure. The truth made him fearless, and his courage at last won respect for the unpopular position to which he held. The years 1829 and 1830 were great years in the ministry of John Smith. In them was wit- nessed the fruition of years of self-sacrificing labor, and the triumph of the ancient Gospel on the soil of Kentucky. Few have been the heroes of the cross in mod- ern times whose lives were more completely given to the cause of human redemption. He forgot everything in his passion for souls and a pure Gospel. He literally sowed in tears, and what wonder that his heart was filled with re- joicing as he witnessed the maturing of a har- vest that far surpassed his fondest hopes. Only once, as the storm of religious conflict thickened about him, did he seem to waver. It was near the close of 1829, and just before the final crisis which set the reformers adrift as an independent communion. He had grown weary of the continual strife about him, and still groaned under the burden of debt that rested upon his little home. His ministry had been without money and without price, and the com- 136 JOHN SMITH munities in which he labored had been willing to accept his services on his own terms. But he now determined to do something for the greater comfort of his family, and went home that he might devote the ensuing year to the cultivation of his farm. His heroic wife heard his plans, but refused to accede to them. She assured him of her willingness to continue the management of the farm, while he continued to cultivate the field in which the Lord was so wonderfully bless- ing his labors. At the same time his chief cred- itor came to him and said, "Go on and preach as you have been doing, and never mind that note. " These encouragements fixed his purpose. He would continue in his tireless defense of the cause of the Reformation until it was firmly estal)lished throughout Kentucky. He saw be- fore him a fierce conflict, and now aroused him- self anew to the work of wresting the association in which he had previously labored from the dominion of sectarian teachers. The spirit of sectarian zeal and hate was never more bitterly manifested than during these two years. The visits of the "Christian 1Baptist" and the fearless preaching of John Smith had already created a profound impression through- out Kentucky. Many there were who hailed with delight the new order of things. The ranks of its advocates were strengthened by some of 137 1MEN OF YESTERDAY the most able preachers of Kentucky, among whom were Jacob Creath, Sr., and Jacob Creath, Jr., scarcely second to John Smith in ability and influence. But the success of this new evangel only in- tensified the hate of the opposition. No longer satisfied with misrepresentation, and with clos- ing the doors of their churches against him, the leaders of Baptist society began to formulate measures for the forcible expulsion of all who gave heed to M1r. Smith's plea for a restored church. As this purpose of the opposition spread from church to church and association to association, the fearless champion of reform threw himself into the breach, and with his rug- ged eloquence sought to stay any attempt at dis- ruption, and to preserve the peace and order of religious society. As the heat of this controversy grew intense, the genial spirit and good-fellowship of John Smith were only the more manifest. In the excitement of the times he alone was calm. Amidst the cloud of angry faces that often de- nied him a hearing, his countenance alone was lit up with a friendly smile. When the church doors were locked against him by some un- friendly hand, he would speak to those who gathered to hear him on such occasions in the woods, refusing to sanction any act of violence by which admittance might be gained. 138 JOHN SMITH Though from this time in the thickest of the fight, he was a man of peace; and while others "gnashed on him with their teeth," he only replied in pleasantries. The principles for which he now contended were the right of free speech and private judg- ment. As railing accusations were brought against him and those who shared his views, he would usually seek the opportunity of replying, but was invariably refused the simple privilege claimed. The following scene is a characteristic one: At a council of the Baptist churches at Goshen he arose to correct a brother who had attempted to report his views on a certain subject, but he was no sooner on his feet than "they cried out froni one end of the house to the other, 'Don't let hin speak, Brother Moderator!' 'Put him down! Put him down!' lie turned and looked on them for some time, with a face that calmly brightened as their frowns grew dark. 'When their noisy protestations were over he sai(l, 'Will you not let me tell the brother what I said' "'Put him down!' was everywhere repeated, and their cries became louder each moment, for he stood there and patiently smiled at their clamor. The Moderator for awhile utterly failed in his attempts to enforce decorum, but a happy expedient at last occurred to him, and he made one more attempt to quiet the tumult. Calling 139 MEN OF YESTERDAY the boisterous messengers to order in a loud voice, he said: "'I decide that Brother Smith ought to be allowed to explain himself, but he must do so in a whisper to the brother, who will then report it to the council.' " Accepting the privilege now granted to him, Mr. Smith whispered his explanation so loud that not only the brother for whom it was in- tended, but the entire congregation distinctly heard, much to the discomfiture of the hostile leaders. For the right of private judgment he con- tended with equal earnestness. With character- istic magnanimity, he was willing that others should enjoy the privilege that he claimed for himself. He saw in the extreme Calvinism of some of his brethren no reason why he should cease to affiliate with them. He was willing to live in communion with all who were willing to accept and obey the Savior, even though they differed widely in matters of opinion. His lan- guage to them was, "Although we cannot con- sent to he bound by customs which the Word of God does not enjoin, yet we desire to live with those who differ from us, provided they will allow us the privilege which we accord them, of thinking and acting for ourselves." But upon this ground he was not permitted to live in the enjoyment of the peace he craved, for the "zeal- 140 JOHN SMITH ous intolerance of the clergy regarded every dis- senting view as heretical, condemned reform as innovation, and stigmatized freedom of thought and action as downright heresy." The effort of John Smith, therefore. to main- tain the unity of the Baptist Church on the broad platform which he had framed for himself, was soon found unavailing. The unyielding policy of those who were antagonistic to the principles of the Reformation, was to deny fellowship to those who joined in the search for a more excellent way. "Seek first to reclaim these reformers from their errors," was the method now sug- gested. "If your efforts should fail, invite them to leave you, and to practice their reformation to themselves. If they will not go at your request, separate them from you in the best way you .can. The fire thus kindled spread from association to association. The first to yield to the schis- matic spirit was the North District Association, where the principles advocated by Mr. Smith were all but universal. The remnant of eight churches out of the twenty-six comprising the association withdrew, organized themselves into the Baptist Association and excluded the other eighteen. The other associations of the Bap- tists resorted to the same expediency, and so complete had been the work that by the autumn of 1830 there were two distinct religious com- 141 MEN OF YESTERDAY munions where there had formerly been one. But such had been the efficiency of John Smith's labors that the Christian Church emerged from the smoke of religious strife a strong and influ- ential body. V. THE CLOSING LABORS OF THE REFORMER. We have now traced the career of John Smith to the point of its greatest victory. From this point onward to the close of his more than four- score years, he was not less ardently attached to the cause for which he had so earnestly con- tended, but his lot fell in more pleasant places and more peaceful labors. The separation of Baptists and Disciples found him the recognized leader of the new religious society in Kentucky. Henceforth his whole energy and strength were consumed in setting in order the things lacking and strengthening the faith of the brethren. At this time the Reform- ers were about eight thousand strong in the State and represented by an intelligent, pious member- ship. During the winter and spring of 1831 he gave himself unreservedly to the rejected churches of the old North District Association, organizing them after the New Testament model, and press- ing the claims of the primitive Gospel to larger conquest. While thus engaged, a yearning seized his heart to go back to his childhood home, which he had 142 JOHN SMITH not seen in many years, and to preach to his relatives and old neighbors the things which he had come to regard essential to the larger vic- tory of the Gospel. The home-coming proved a painful one. A rumor that he had renounced the old faith and become the victim of "la ruin- ous delusion" had preceded him. Instead of the friendly greetings he anticipated, he vas met by those whom he had once regarded as friends with coldness and aversion. As he continued his painful journey, he now dreaded most the meet- ing with his aged mother, who still clung to the old, hard Calvinism of herearly creed. "I felt," said he, "that I would rather meet in fierce de- bate a ten-acre field of men than that dear old mother, whose heart I had so deeply distressed by a course that she could not be made to under- stand or excuse." But sad as that meeting was, the mother-heart was able to overlook what oth- ers could not forgive, and he left her comforted, but secure in her old faith. The most conspicuous and happy service of John Smith in the years which followed was that which culminated in the union of the followers of Alexander Campbell and Barton W. Stone, or as they were then called, Reformers and Chris- tians. Up to the time of the expulsion of the former from Baptist fellowship these two reform movements had looked upon each other with anything but friendly regard. While each had 143 1MEN OF YESTERDAY set out toward the same goal, prompted by the same motives, and professing allegiance to the same standard, they at first failed to recognize the integrity of each other's efforts. The differ- ence between them was thus stated by their re- spective leaders. Mr. Stone presented the "Bible as the only creed, and Christian as the only name" upon which united Christendom could stand. Mr. Campbell urged "belief with all the heart that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and obedience to his authority in the ordi- nance of baptism" as the only Scriptural pre- requisites to membership in any Christian con- gregation. After much friendly discussion between the great leaders of the two movements, it was decided to call a meeting of the representative men of the two brotherhoods at Georgetown, Kentucky, to seek a way, in the providence of God, to unity. It was decided to hold a four days' union meeting, embracing Christmas day of 1831, and, on New Year's day following, a similar meeting was to be held at Lexington. In the preparation for these important efforts, John Smith resolved to devote what time he could spare from the needs of his family to the labor of conciliation and union. At the time appointed for the final conference at Lexington, Smith and Stone were selected to address the assembly and set forth the Scrip- 144 JOHN SMITH tural ground of union among Christ's people. On this occasion John Smith gave voice to the conviction of the mingling brotherhoods, as he closed his discourse with these words: "For several years past I have stood pledged to meet the religious world, or any part of it, on the ancient Gospel an(I order of things, as presented in the words of the Book. This is the founda- tion on which Christians once stoo(I, and on it they can, and ought to, stand again. From this I can not depart to meet any man, or set of men, in the wide world. While for the sake of peace and Christian union, I have long since waived the public maintenance of any speculation I iimay hold, yet not one Gospel fact, commandment or promise, wvill I surrender for the world." In much the same spirit Barton W. Stone fol- lowe(l with an address on the importance of giv- ing to the world a demonstration of the unioI which would follow the ablan(lonlment of creeds, as instruments of division, an(I in conclusion offered his hand to Mr. Smith, wvhmo grasped it in a rapturous spirit of brotherly love, and the union was virtually accomplislmed. Together they now broke the comnemorative loaf, and with a pledge to brotherly love the assembly dis- persed. The part which Mr. Smith had taken in pro- moting the cause of union soon brought him into conflict with the illiberal spirit still to b- 10 145 iMEN OF YESTERDAY found here and there among those who had pro- fessed to cast aside their creeds. He was ac- cused of surrendering the essential elements of faith for which they had so heroically contended in the past, and of having "injured, if not ruined, the cause, and wounded, beyond expres- sion, the brethren that so much loved him." It was with a heavy heart that he now set out to meet these objections, traveling, as he had for- merly done, far and wide, and by his broad Christian spirit and his irresistible power of address leading the churches, as he went, cor- dially with him into the union. From this time on, Mr. Smith's energies were consumed in enlarging the borders of Zion. Few men among us have surpassed him in the work of winning souls. Wherever he went multitudes thronged to hear him, and large num- bers became obedient to the faith. But if the friends of the simple Gospel message rejoiced in its spiritual triumphs, the enemies of the truth, as he saw it, had reason to dread him. As in the early days he attacked the strongholds of sectarianism, so now, with his keen wit and homely logic, he put to flight the champions of Universalism, Spiritualism and other modern phases of unbelief, in repeated encounters, at the same time greatly strengthening the faith of the churches. As age came on and his children went out 146 JOHN SMITH from home, John Smith and his Nancy, who had borne her full share of the privations which fall to the lot of the pioneer preacher, left the farm, and purchasing a home in Mt. Sterling, designed to spend their declining years in quiet among the friends to whom he had ministered for a quarter of a century. But trouble arising in the church over an unworthy successor, robbed him of the beautiful hope that he would live out his patriarchal days among a people whom he loved as his children. He now turned away with a heavy heart, and securing a home in Georgetown, settled down beside John T. Johnson and other heroes of pioneer fame. Here the quiet shades of evening gathered round and his great soul rejoiced in the near prospect of its reward. As he waited and watched, the promises of the Gospel he had tried faithfully to preach cheered each declining day. "What a great failure, after all," he remarked, "would my long and checkered life have been, but for this glorious hope of a hereafter." Thus on Feb. 28, 1868, while on a visit to his daughter in Missouri, he fell asleep. "True, genial and pious; the good loved, and all respected him." John Smith was a typical pioneer. What Daniel Boone and David Crockett were to the early social and political life of Kentucky and Tennessee, John Smith was to religious society 147 1MEN OF YESTERDAY of that period. The lonely backwoodsmen, hewing out their homes in the unbroken forest, constituted his first parish. The log-cabin fur- nished him a home and frequently a meeting- place for those drawn together by his rugged eloquence. The poverty, the hardship, the peril of that sturdy generation of empire-builders, were all familiar to him. Like the people to whom he ministered, he knew little of the great world that lay beyond, and but for his familiar- ity with the Word of God would have been ac- counted an ignorant man. But in the knowledge of divine things as re- vealed in the Scriptures he had few equals, and was an antagonist to he dreaded in any theolog- ical combat. To that generation of simple- minded, hard-working pioneers, he was a prophet of unrivaled power; a teacher whose message, clothed in the rugged imagery of the frontier, smote their hearts; a leader whose fear- less steps they did not hesitate to follow. His uncouth appearance, his homely phrases, his rude manners, were the product of the times and not the essential characteristics of the man. For within was a heart as tender as a woman's, a chivalrous spirit that would have done credit to an age of knight-errantry, and a moral pur- pose that reflected the noblest ideals of Chris- tian faith. Of his peculiar characteristics and power as a 148 JOHN SMITH preacher, Walter Scott, his devoted friend and co-laborer, has left us this vivid picture: "Quality of voice-guttural, dry and husky; articulation-measured, slow, perfect; emphasis -natural, striking; tone-drawling; action- nervous, indicating, Down with the enemy; lau- guage-always sifting out the sense; logic-sure, sharp, killing; rhetoric-borrowed from all sources, in nature, from the sun down to the spark of the firefly; in society, from the king to the beggar; in art, from the sublimest to the meanest of human fabrications, and in religion, everything; eloquence-sparkling, shrewd, and bordering sometimes on the indescribable. But let a man take care how he resigns himself to Smith's wit. It is used, as some dangerous animals use their feelers, simply to ascertain where the prey lies; when that is done, the wit is ended, and then woe betide the man that smiled.'" In him God's grace found a channel through which its blessings flowed to thousands, and a new and untried cause a champion whose fear- less defense made truth victorious in the face of every foe. 149 This page in the original text is blank. - ISAAC FRRPTT. II II i I i I Iv. ISAAC ERRETT. Wz talk of the wonders of the world, but to me the sub- limest of wonders is a genuine man or woman, successfully battling against the witcheries of sin and sense, and overcom- ing all earthly gravitations in a determined ascent to the mountain-top of truth and righteousness. Anxiously, trem- blingly, he touches the keys until be is sure he has struck the true key-note of existence. Carefully, prayerfully, sleeplessly he surveys the heavens until he detects the pole star of his hopes. Through a thousand fears and strifes and experi- ments, he succeeds in rigging and trimming his vessel, and obtaining charts and compasses that he can trust, and then committing himself to the God, who ruleth the winds and stayeth the raging of the seas, he ventures bravely out on the voyage of life.-Isaac ErreU. 152 ISAAC ERRETT. L EARLY TRAINING FOR WORK. A MONG the molders of the later history of the Disciples of Christ, none occupy a more prominent place than Isaac Errett, the subject of this sketch. He belongs to that second gener- ation of nineteenth century reformers who en- tered into the lahbfrs of Alexander Campbell and the early pioneers, and who by a broad- spirited leadership made the splendid triumphs of the last half century possible. His father, Henry Errett, came from the north of Ireland, the birthplace of so many of our sturdy pioneers. Landing in the city of New York about the time the Campbells began their work in Western Pennsylvania, he early became a champion of the cause they advocated. Mr. Errett, upon his arrival in America, found cm- ployment in a large mercantile establishment, where his integrity and talent soon won for him the position of confidential clerk. But what- ever the demands of business, he did not suffer his daily cares to check his ardor or lessen his labors in the Master's work. In the days of (153) MIEN OF YESTERDAY small things, he did not hesitate to take his stand with an unpopular cause, and was soon the recognized leader of the religious society to which he belonged. Amidst the hurry and din of the American metropolis, Isaac Errett was born on January 2, 1820, the fifth son in a family of seven. His life, from earliest childhood, was that of a typ- ical American boy, and his early struggles and final achievements present those admirable ele- ments of pluck and endurance, which have char- acterized so many men of note in our history. It was the misfortune of this boy at the early age of five to be left fatherless, and his greater misfortune, a short time after, to have come under the care of an unsympathetic step-father. The only contribution of the latter to the suc- cess of the growing lad, was the cultivation of a self-reliant nature, by withholding the assistance and encouragement which should have been given. Many privations and hardships fell to the lot of Isaac, along with the other children, which, but for his genial nature, might have embittered his whole life. That the step-father, a Scotchman, was unnecessarily harsh, we may gather from the old man's confession, years afterward, when the boys, in spite of his neglect, had grown up to be useful men. "To think," said he, "what gran' men they are, and I did na help them on their way up I They were a' good 154 ISAAC ERRETT boys and very bright; and to think I did na, see it. I canna forget, I canna forgie mysel' that I was na a father to 'em." It is impossible, in this formative period of Isaac Errett's career, to discover the secret of the after-life of influence and power. Of edu- cational advantages there were none to speak of; but during the residence of the family in the city of New York, Isaac enjoyed an occasional term in the public school, his only school priv- ilege, and somehow, between the ages of five and ten, contrived to secure the rudiments of an education. His early religious training, however, was looked after with greater care. The pious mother esteemed it her duty, whatever the bur- dens of her busy life, to see that her children were brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. The home was made a sanctuary. The Bible was the text-book of the fireside. Those who assembled there breathed an atmos- phere of faith. It is doubtless due to these early influences, that Isaac-was saved from ship- wreck in those years of hardship and repression that followed. A short time after the advent of the step- fathb,'r, the exigencies of the family led to their removal to a farm in New Jersey, while the head of the family continued to work at his trade in the city. Here the boys were put to work, in a 155 1MEN OF YESTERDAY large measure earning their own support. In this hand-to-mouth struggle for existence in the free open country they became toughened in every fibre. There was little encouragement, no opportunities, abundance of work, the plainest of living-altogether affording a school that is not to be despised in the training for heroic service. When Isaac was about twelve years of age, the migratory spirit of the step-father led to the removal of the family to Pittsburg, then scarcely more than a frontier town. Here were repeated the hardships with which he had become familiar in New Jersey. The step-father had purchased a small farm and an interest in a mill, and he, along with his older brothers, was kept busy at one place or the other, as occasion demanded. Burdens were put upon his young shoulders that were heavy beyond his years. Winter amid suim- mer brought its continuous round of work. The awakening thirst of the boy, as he began now to dream of a larger life, was met by repression. His way seemed hedged in. It was while struggling under this load and in the face of these discouragements, that Isaac began to think seriously of the claims of his Master upon his heart and his service. Though every other avenue seemed closed to him, he could at least surrender himself to the authority of Christ and trust him for guidance. 156 ISAAC ERRETT Having resolved upon this step, like Andrew, he first went to find his older brother, Russel, to urge him to like obedience, and together they obeyed Christ and entered the church. The be- ginning of a religious life at the age of fourteen, soon grew to be an absorbing passion. Almost at once, and that, too, at a time when young peo- ple were not encouraged to active service, he be- gan in a humble way to exercise his talents, and, as opportunity afforded, would deliver a brief exhortation or lead in public prayer. While he took great comfort in Christian serv- ice, the burdens of his daily life were not less- ened. Hard work and severe treatment contin- ued to fall to his lot; and his shabby clothes, ill-fitting, usually those cast off by his older brothers, became a heavy cross to him, especially when he appeared in public. At last, he resolved to break away from the tyranny of the step- father, which had become intolerable, and through the aid of his solicitous mother secured a position in a book-store. It was a providence in the life of this youth that brought him into companionship with books, even if it was in the humble capacity of an errand-boy. He ambi- tiously grasped the opportunity and made it a stepping-stone to usefulness. The duties of his position were not heavy. His employer was a kind-hearted man, who allowed him the privilege of reading during his leisure moments. This 157 1MEN OF YESTERDAY privilege ho eagerly embraced. His years of in- tellectual denial had whetted his appetite. His mind, though undeveloped, was keen in its grasp and only needed the touch of the great thoughts of some great thinker to stimulate it into activ- ity. The store now became his college. The volumes, wvhich made up the small collection upon the shelves, were his teachers. Day by day his horizon widened. A new world opened be- fore him and he began to dream of larger achieve- ments, and to look about him for a field in which lie could best serve his race. Although he re- mained but a year in the book-store, that year had enkindled his soul with a purpose, which, like a guiding-star, led him through all his busy years. What to do next, was the question that now confronted Isaac, as he left the book-store. It is a great moment in the life of a young man when he finds himself happily at work in the place for which nature and Providence have fit- ted him, but it is not always easy to find. With many it is an achievement that comes only after many futile efforts, many unwise beginnings, often many misspent years. In the case of young Errett, the way God in- tended him to go did not at once appear. As he atarted out to do for himself in the world the future was veiled. Poverty had thus far been his only heritage. Every door to culture and 158 ISAAC ERRETT preferment had not only been closed but locked against him. Even now, as his horizon began to expand a little, as a result of companionship with the books which he had dusted and read in the store, the distance between his ignorant self and the culture for which he thirsted seemed immeasurable. But he was not without encour- agement that his dream might some day be real- ized. Had not others overcome difficulties as great Among the books on the shelf of the store, where he served in the humble capacity as errand- boy, was the autobiography of Benjamin Frank- lin. As he followed the career of the poor printer, through many struggles, to the position of eminence and learning which he ultimately attained, this hero became his ideal. What had been done he would at least attempt. Fired with this ambition, Isaac sought and gained ad- mission to a printing-office, determined to use it as a stepping-stone to some field of larger use- fulness. In the execution of his purpose, he bound himself as a printer's apprentice and at once entered into his new duties, resolved "to master the whole art and mystery of it." Though but in his seventeenth year he brought to his task the seriousness and thoughtfulness of one of mature years. He was not long in dis- covering his deficiencies, and soon found that to attain the highest success as a printer, he must 159 1MEN OF YESTERDAY increase his stock of knowledge. To do this required a heroic effort. That he might have books, he determined to practice the most rigid economy, and by preparing his own food actu- ally succeeded in living on a dollar a week. Purchasing a grammar and other books with his meagre savings, he began in earnest the work of self-education with a view to making a complete success of his undertaking. All his spare time was now employed in study, and by diligence he soon became a successful compositor. But while he sought intellectual development, he lid not neglect the culture of his heart. lie was first of all a Christian, and woul(l not allow his worldly ambition to interfere with his relig- ious growth. It was at this period of self-de- privation and tireless effort that he adopted as one of the rules of conduct the following: "I will, with the help of God, rise at four o'clock and spend until six in reading the Bible and prayer." Unconsciously, in these quiet morning hours, be was preparing himself for the place he was destined to occupy as a public servant of Christ. Like many another ambitious youth, he was not content with the mere mechanical work of his trade. He had begun to think, and his thoughts were struggling for utterance. In the office where he served was published a weekly journal, "The Intelligencer." To this journal 160 ISAAC ERRETT he offered occasionlal contributions from his own pen. These early productions were well re- ceived by the public, and while lacking the charm of his later writings, at once marked him out as a young nian. of talent and promise. After a time Isaac Errett was asked by his employer to become the editor of the journal to wvhich he had contributed from time to tinie, and wvas intro- duced to the public, which from this time on he was destined to serve in some conspicuous capa- city, as a "young gentleman of good talents, -sound morals, and an exemplary citizen." While he had found the plaLce in which he wvas later to distinguish himself, he was not thou aware of it, and after a short experience in edi- torial labors, turned his attention to another field. Still seeking for his proper place in. the world, he was now induced to leave the printing busi- ness, and decided to turn his attention to teach- ing. A district school was offered himt, wvhich, with some misgivings, lie accepted. In view of the deficiencies of his early ec(leation this Was rather a hazardous undertaking, and had lhe beeuI less resolute an(l gifted, 1miglit have resulted it) ignominious failure. But wvhatever hie laeked in. acquaintance with the text-books lie made up in determination. "'I hadL freq(uently," lixe Says, ''to sit up) late at night to keep alIwafld of iny scholars in sonie branches that I und(lertook to ll 161 6MEN OF YESTERDAY teach, and succeeded beyond my expectation in advancing the scholars and giving satisfaction." Had he been contented with the vocation of teacher, he had now found a place where he was sure to succeed. A larger school was now offered him, and with a salary of five hundred dollars he felt himself, for the first time, beyond pinching poverty. Accustomed, as he had been during his apprenticeship, to small wages and scant living, his salary was to him a princely sum. He could now buy books and gratify, as never before, his thirst for knowledge. Indeed, in spite of the neglect of his early years he was fast becoming a well-educated man. The book-store and print- ing-office had both been important factors in his education, but it is safe to say that the best school he ever attended was the one taught by himself, in which he was at once teacher and pupil. If. A WORKMA N TUfAT NEpound;EDKTIT NOT To BE A.SIIAMIED. While in the school-room, the way opened to another field of service, to which Mr. Errett's life, from this time to the end, may be said to have belonged. It was a call to the ministry of the Gospel. A devout and earnest disciple, a reverent stu- dent of the Word, and a faithful servant of Christ, it had as yet never occurred to hin that 162 ISAAC ERRERTT he was able to preach. Indeed, the ministry among the Disciples of Christ at that period pre- sented few inducements from a worldly point of view. The churches were few in number, small in membership and poor in purse. In this con- dition they depended, for the most part, upon mutual edification, using such talent as the church possessed. It thus happened that young Errett was often called upon to assist in con- ducting the worship, and in a humble way made use of his talent in the Lord's day service. It was with no intention of becoming a preacher, but rather in fulfilling what he felt to be his duty as a private member, that he was learning how to preach. His remarks were usually brief and un- pretentious, but it was observed that they were always to the point. There was a freshness, a warmth, a helpfulness in his utterances which pleased his hearers, and brought hiiu into promi- nence in the church. In the meantime he was working and strug- gling to make his way in the world, devoting much of his time to writing and speaking; "the latter," he says, "not so much because I wanted to, as because circumstances combined to force me into it." At length an appeal was made to him to pre- pare and preach a regular sermnon. Tile cliurch was failing to reach and save the lost. Those who knew hinm best felt tm;at he pl;osessel the 163 M14EN OF YESTERDAY talent which would supply their need. The young teacher reluctantly gave his consent, and at the appointed time appeared before the congrega- tion. As he arose in the pulpit to preach his first sermon, he is described as a "tall, slender, smooth-faced, pale young man. He had the student cast of countenance, and looked like he had long been burning midnight oil." His utter- ances pleased and charmed his hearers. He had made a happy beginning in a new field of service. His effort was received with enthusiasm, and from that time it was understood that Isaac Errett was to be a preacher of the reformation. and all predicted that in him the cause had found an able champion. He had at last found his place and his work in the world. Mr. Errett had but entered upon his twentieth year, when he essayed to preach his first dis- course. For a youth, without college education or theological training, he was possessed of rare talent as a public speaker. Nature had made him a preacher, and endowed him with all the requisite qualifications,-commanding presence, persuasive voice, spiritual earnestness and intel- lectual keenness. His neighbors discovered in him the elements of success, and began to urge him to enter the ministry. Frequent demands were now made upon him for sermons; and while he heartily responded to these calls, he shrank from committing himself 164 ISAAC ERRETT to a work for which he felt so poorly qualified. So, for several months, he continued in the school-room, preaching an occasional discourse on Sunday, and demonstrating with each new effort his fitness for the wvork. Finally, yielding to the solicitation of friends, he resigned his place as teacher, that he might devote himself exclusively to the pastoral care of a mission that had been planted in another part of the city. If anyone imagines him actuated by mercenary motives, in entering the ministry, he need only compare the figures representing the salary sur- rendered with that received. Measured from a financial standpoint, he, at that time, made a great sacrifice when he left the school-room for the pulpit. In the former position, he had, an assu red salary, which, though modest, )rovrided for his necessities; in the latter, he was largely recompensed in plrom)ises that were forgotten an(l assurances that did not materialize. But the young preacher had entered the field. for spiritual conquest, not for worldly gain. Like Paul, he knew both how to be abased and how to abound; and to one who, in the days of his apprenticeship, had lived on one (lollar a week, the question of compensation was not a very serious one after all. In the new field Isaac Errett felt the need of companionship in his work, of one closer thlma a friend, "to stimulate and uphold him." Ile 165 16EN OF YESTERDAY was not long in finding a member of his flock entirely to his liking, who was ready to share with him the honor and the poverty of his posi- tion. The increase in his responsibility and ex- penses which a wife brought, caused his adimir- ing people to come forward with the munificent salary of three hundred dollars promised in hard cash, but which, we have reason to believe, was materially diminished before it found its way into the ministerial purse. But whatever the load of anxiety laid upon the heart of the young pastor and husband, in keeping his accounts straight and the wolf of hunger from the door, we know that he was suc- cessful in the work to which he gave his heart and hand. Struggling through discouragements, growing in power and reputation, he continued through four years, wvhen at last necessity led him to change. His reputation as a preacher of promise had reached across the line into Ohio, and a call now came to him from New Lisbon. This church was one of historic interest in the movement of the Disciples. Here the Baptist Association had met which employed Walter Scott to labor among the churches of the Western Reserve. here that prince of evangelists had won his first great victory in his new evangelism. This church had been one of the first in the State to adopt the principles of the Reformation. It 166 ISAAC ERRETT was no small honor that the young preacher should receive a call to such a church. But much of the early glory had departed when Isaac Errett came among them. Dissensions had arisen, and many hindrances were in the way. Such, however, was the energy and ability of the young man, that he soon gaine(l the re- spectful hearing of all parties and witnessed the rapid growth of the church in numbers, zeal ind good works. It was while engaged in this work that Isaac Errett dedicated himself irrevocably to the min- istry of the Word. Alany years later, wvlheni called back to the scenes of his carl'y labors, lie wrote: "In the weakness and tremblinug anxiety of that time, the church at Nev Lishon extended a cordial sympathy and a hearty co-operation. and the leading men of the community gave us a generous confidence and approval, and the qules- tion of our calling for life was settled here." Ilere again was experienced thallt strulgglCe with pinching poverty which liald been Mr. Errett's unfailing companion since( first ie had enlteredl the ministry. Ile had beeni p)romisedl a salary of fivc hundr(eic4d (dollaIs. The tirst year it was VithI a hard struggle that tihe church had raised half tlat amount. The second y-ear his salary wVas reduce(1 to two hundred and fifty dollar.s, allo- ing the l)reacher one-half of his timno to dlev-itv to evangelistic labors. Thie third year lhe was 167 1MEN OF YESTERDAY compelled to raise his entire salary in the field. But still he labored on with heroic self-abnega- tion, winning in reputation and in spiritual fruits what he failed to gain in purse and store. He was beginning to be recognized as one of the ablest preachers of the Reformation. Often driven out from the home church by sheer want, he was enlarging his acquaintance with the brotherhood and preparing himself for the man- tle of leadership that was ultimately to fall upon his shoulders. The cry of necessity must at times be heard. One cannot always live on the good wishes and praise of friends. Much as Mr. Errett loved and was beloved by the New Lisbon church, he could not ignore his obligation to his growing family. He found it impossible to keep them in the most humble way, and keep even with the world; so he determined, after five years of faithful ser- vice, in the face of the protest of every member of his church, to accept a new field. North Bloomfield, at that time, presenting a more promising outlook, he removed, in 1849, to that point. While the field was small and compara- tively unimportant, it contributed an important element in the fashioning of the leader, since it afforded him time for study, and also time to extend his acquaintance with the brotherhood, and to turn his mind to larger interests. He then became one of the movers in the establish- 168 ISAAC ERRETT ment of the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute, now Hiram College, and a leader in the organ- ization of the churches of Ohio for missionary effort. One incident at this period is deserving of remembrance. At one of his appointments, through some misunderstanding, but one auditor was present. Mr. Errett resolved to improve the opportunity, went through the service much in the usual order, with singing, the reading of the Scripture and prayer, preached a sermon with his wonted zeal, gave an invitation to which his solitary listener responded. The con- vert of that occasion was Edwin Wakefield, afterward a preacher of the Reformation, who has been instrumental in winning thousands to Christ. A more important field now claimed Mr. Errett's service, where the climax of this period of his life was reached. The church at Warren had enjoyed an occasional visit from him, and in 1851 prevailed upon him to become the pastor. The five years spent with this promising church were perhaps the happiest and most useful in his early ministry. Here he not only built up a strong congregation at home, but he went out into the regions about, holding meetings, organ- izing churches, encouraging the weak, and infus- ing his own earnest spirit into the struggling missionary enterprises of the brotherhood. As 169 MEN OF YESTERDAY pastor, evangelist and missionary secretary, he was kept busy, but he still found time for other service, championing the cause of Christianity against Spiritualism in public debate, and ad- dressing the American Bible Union on the needs of a revision of the Sacred Scriptures. But fruitful as his ministry had been, in 1856 he was constrained to leave this promising field on a pilgrimage that for a time threatened to rob the brotherhood of his talent. There are but few, perhaps, who have not, at some period of life, had thrown about them the glamour of anticipated fortune. The way to easy riches has seemed about to open. An atmosphere of enchantment enveloped them, and air-built castles beckoned their entrance. The preacher has not always been deaf to the voice of the enchantress. The way to earthly riches may not seem to he exactly in line with his calling, but consciduce easily sootlies itself with the promise of the righteouis use of the wealth which seems to be within reach. Mr. Errett, though a han of strong conviction and strong character, was no exce)tiol. Tlie hard lines of his life as a l)astor, the continual battle with necessity, led him now to listen to such a voice. Ile would not make merchandise of his ministry. Thast had never enteredl his mind. With heroic self-denial he had refused again an(I again tempting calls to larger fields 170 ISAAC ERRETT with ample salaries. But while engaged in his labors at Warren, the temptation came to hitm in a new guise. A company of brethren had been organized for the purpose of establishing a mill- ing business in the lumber regions of Michigan. Mr. Errett was infvite(l to go with them, become a partner in the business and general inllnarer, and at the same time a preacher of the Reforin- ation in the regions round aI)out. It was repre- sented to him that he would very soon become in(lependent from a worl(lly point of view. The business was legitimate and safe. By the most conservative figures of the business inhn wlho were to become Mr. Errett's associates, the profits would lift theuui all into affluence. The prospect ha(l its a(lvantazes. A vision of long-desired opportunitie.s of study an(d travel arose before him. His chil(lren, too, s514)11(1 have the e(lucatiomlal privileges lie desired. Moreover, lhe would l)c free front the emha:rr:ass- mnents of an empty purse and dependence upo)n1 an ungenerous public. Ile could theut throw himself unreserve(ly into the Lor(l's work. --It would be an untrammeled life; lhe would he his own nIaster, ammol could wVork when amid where aind how it miight seem good to him. Alto- got'ler, it waVs IL rose-colore(d prospect. and it fascinated huimui. Ev'ery indlueemienit was lprtesettted by his Ohio friends to dhisuade ilim front going. Splendid 171 MEN OF YESTERDAY f6elds invited him. Leading pulpits were at his command. Ample salaries were offered him. Prominent brethren joined in the effort to change him from his purpose. His removal to the sparsely-settled frontier of Michigan seemed to them a needless burial. His talents were needed among the churches of the Western Reserve, which were rapidly growing in numbers and influence. The backwoodsmen, to whom he proposed to devote his ministry, would not appreciate his splendid genius. But all their efforts were unavailing. His bonanza was hidden in the far-away forests of Michigan, and there he would go. So in the spring of 1856, he left the old scenes and asso- ciationD behind, on his way to supposed fortune, but in reality on his way to misfortune and dis- appointments. He had scarcely reached his des- tination when the enchantment was dissolved, and a cheerless prospect confronted him. The milling business did not bring its anticipated returns, and was in time abandoned. The fami- ly were almost continuously prostrated with the fevers of a malarious region. Hardships un- numbered gathered around this isolated home. But in the face of misfortune, sickness and discouragement, Mr. Errett did not forget his calling as a minister, nor did he neglect to in- prove every opportunity which his bare sur- roundings afforded. Scattered among the pine- 172 ISAAC ERRETT woods were pioneer families. They were like sheep without a shepherd. Many, like himself, had come from circles of refinement and were struggling heroically with hardships and discour- agements. To these Mr. Errett bore a message of hope. In the absence of churches and relig- ious society, he went to the school-houses and town-halls, and was soon preaching two or three sermons every Sunday to delighted audiences. Then as winter came on and his daily labors were lightened, he began a series of revival meetings in the surrounding neighborhoods, which were wonderfully blessed. While the fortune he had dreamed of never materialized, and he was destined to return to Ohio after a few years as poor as when he came, Providence made use of this misfortune to disseminate the plea for primitive Christianity over a wide region. It was at this period that the churches at Ionia an(l Muir, which have since become cen- ters of influence in Michigan, were planted. "As the result of the Divine blessing upon his faithful labors," writes Mir. Lamar, his biogra- pher, "about five hundred persons in the county an(l abott one thotusand in that part of the State were brought to the feet of the great Teacher alndl organized into a number of strong and inlflu- elntiaLl churches.'' 173 7MEN OF YESTERDAY III. FAITHFUL SERVICE IN A NEW FIELD. The gloom of the backwoods was not able to obscure the light of one of Mr. Errett's genius. Though he had retired for a season into the wil- derness, he was not unmindful of the interests of the growing brotherhood to which he had pledged his service. He anxiously watched the drift of this movement, and again and again, during this period, his voice rang out from the woods,, warning his brethren of dangers, and encouraging them to increased activity in the work of evangelization. His pen was also busy. He had observed with deep solicitude the nar- rowing, sectarian tendency of some of the later leaders of the Reformation. He felt this to be the death-blow of the work inaugurated by the splendid genius of Alexander Campbell, if not speedily checked. Into the work of enlarge- ment be, therefore, threw his great energies. It was amid the difficulties and (liscouragements of this period that he wrote "Walks About Jerusa- lem," seeking through its pages to emancipate the brotherhood from the loveless legalism of ultra-conservative leaders. As was to be expected, an appreciative broth- erhood would not suffer hinm to remain long in retirement. His services were needed in a larger field. In 1857 he received an urgent call to become the corresponding secretary of the American Christian Missionary Society. While 174 ISAAC ERRETT continuing his residence in Michigan, he accepted the appointment, and set about at once seeking to infuse new life into the missionary enterprises of the brotherhood, at that time strongly anti- missionary in sentiment. This position he held for three years. These were busy years, beset with hindrances, but fruitful of results. In the summer lie traveled far and wide, seeking to enkindle a missionary interest. His winters were devoted to evangelistic labors among the churches of Michigan. The slavery question, too, was now uppermost. The pro-slavery and anti-slavery lines were closely drawn. In the churches of the Reforma- tion both elements were strongly represented. Other religious bodies were being rent asunder upon this rock. Though himself an anti-slavery man, Mr. Errett now strove to prevent the churches fron yielding to extremists. It seemed for a time that his efforts were to prove futile. In 1858 steps were taken to organize an anti- slavery missionary society by those who re- garded Mr. Errett's moderation as a surrender to the slave-power. A small company assem- bled in Indianapolis and the new missionary society was formed; but calmer judgment, in time, prevailed, and the churches, while differ- ing widely and sending contingents to each of the contending armies, remained a united broth- erhood. As the war-cloud gathered and passion 175 7MEN OF YESTERDAY ran high, Mr. Errett, perhaps, did more than any other man to keep the good ship Zion from stranding and going to pieces. The years through which Isaac Errett was now passing were busy, trying, fruitful years. He had accepted the pastorate of the church in Detroit, but continued to manifest a deep inter- est in everything that concerned the welfare of the brotherhood at large. It was an epoch- making period in our history. Old things were passing away, all things were becoming new. In the heat of civil war the social, political, indus- trial life of the nation was being recast. The church was not to escape the molding influences at work. It was, also, beginning to feel the throb of the new life that was everywhere mani- fest. Mr. Errett at once caught the spirit of this new dispensation, and was among the first to recognize the need of putting the religious forces abreast the times. A new era of con- quest demanded new methods. These he now urged with voice and pen, at every opportunity. But his progressive spirit was regarded with alarm by many of his brethren. They had failed to distinguish between matters of expediency and Jemusalem Gospel. They regarded his pro- gressive notions as a surrender of the great plea for the restoration of primitive Christianity. Thus it happened that while engaged in the 176 ISAAC ERRETT quiet duties of his pastorate in Detroit he be- camne the target of much unkind criticism. The conservative element of the church was gather- ing under the leadership of Benjamin Franklin and the "American Christian Review," and was then a somewhat formidable force. It regarded itself called of God to resist the liberalizing influence of this liberal leader. Every act of his wvas passed upon by this tribunal of soutid- ness. A plain statement from his pen on the position of the Disciples, was denounced as a creed; and his friendly attitude toward other religious bodies was construed into an unholy ambition for popularity. It became evident to the friends of the cause to wvhich Alexander Canmpbell had given his grand life, that, if the movement was not to degenerate into a narrow, illiberal sect, a new agency must be employed to leaven the public mind. Nothing, they felt, could render more efficient service than a religious journal, devoted to the cause of a broad, unldenolminational Christianity. The "lMillennial IHarl)inger,' it is true, was still a representative of the best thought of the movement. But it was only it monthly, an(l in its character )artook more of a magazine than a newspap)er, and was not adapted to the new conditions that confronted society as the var-cloud cleare d amwav. In this situation caine a demiand for a weekly 12 177 MEN OF YESTERDAY paper that would properly represent our posi- tion, and which, while "true to the letter of the Gospel, would also be true to the Gospel spirit." "There had been for years," writes the editor of the "Christian Standard," many years later, "a growing desire among the Disciples for a weekly religious paper of broader range, more generous spirit and a higher order of literary skill and taste, than any that had yet appeared under their patronage." As this desire began to find expression among a growing constituency of liberal-minded lead- ers, all eyes were turned toward Mr. Errett as the man best qualified to inaugurate such an enterprise. He had now reached a position of influence which placed him clearly in the leader- ship of the aggressive portion of the church. While the lines of his life had mostly been cast in the channels of pastoral and evangelistic labors, he was not unacquainted with the use of the pen, or the responsibilities of an editor. As a printer's apprentice he had not only learned to set type, but to express his ideas in an attractive literary style. During the years in- tervening he had written much for the press. Addresses, tracts, and books had revealed his power as a writer. In addition to his pastoral labor, at this period, he was serving as contribu- ting editor to the pages of the "Millennial Har- binger," and his terse, practical essays were 178 ISAAC ERRETT attracting general attention, and preparing the way for the reception of the message that was to consume his afterthought. In deference to this general desire, Mr. Errett, while yet pastor in Detroit, planned the publica- tion of a weekly religious paper, such as the times called for. But before he was able to put his plans into execution, an unhappy circum- stance, such as too often falls to the preacher's lot, led to the severance of his relation as pastor, and his return to Muir, and consequently the abandonment, for a time, of the project. In the meantime, his friends, unwilling that the enterprise from which they had expected so much should fail, were vigorously at work, and on December 26, 1865, succeeded in organizing a Christian Publishing Association which was to furnish the capital needed in the publication of a religious weekly. Mr. Errett was invited to become editor-in-chief. The paper was to be called the "Christian Standard." Cleveland was designated as the most suitable place for its pub- lication. Accepting the trust imposed in him, Mr. Errett wvent vigorously to work. Plans were formulated, offices secured, the details arranged. So speedily was the matter pushed that on April 7, 1866, the first number of the "Christian Stand- ard" appeared. The high standard which the editor set for himself appears in the initial number. "Our enterprise," he writes, "is un- 179 LMEN OF YESTERDAY dertaken from a deep conviction of the necessity of an increase of spiritual forces for the regen- eration of society. There is a three-fold object before us, which every enlightened Christian must and will approve: 1. The turning of the world to Christ. 2. The union of believers in the fellowship of the Gospel. 3. The education of Christians into a nobler spiritual life." By a strange coincidence the career of Alexan- der Campbell closed, as that of Isaac Errett, as editor, began. The news of the death of this grand old man reached the editor as he was pre- paring the first issue of his paper, and the first page was devoted to his memory. The mantle of Elijah had fallen upon the shoulders of Elisha. The appearance of the "Christian Standard" marked a newv era for the Disciples of Christ. A turning-point had been reached, and it Ivas largely through the influence of the "Standard" and its supporters that new spiritual forces were then set in motion, which have since contributed to the unprecedented growth of the brother- hood. In the founding and development of a relig- ious weekly, Mr. Errett also found his proper sphere. Like Horace Greeley, he seemed to possess an innate genius for editorship, a sixth sense by which he discerned the people's needs. It was through this great channel that, for the ISO ISAAC ERRET8 rest of his life, Mr. Errett "poured forth the fullness of his vast intellectual and spiritual re- sources, gladdening and blessing hundreds of thousands wherever the English language is spoken. " But the management of such an enterprise as that which now engaged the editor, was not without its peculiar perils. He succeeded, if not in coming up to his ideal, at least in making a good paper. Its pages breathed a sweet spirit of Christian charity. Its readers were pleased. Its influence was sure to result in the enlarge- ment and strengthening of the church. But as a financial venture it was not a success. Sub- scriptions came in slowly. At the close of its second year it had not begun to pay expenses. The stockholders became discouraged, and at last abandoned the enterprise, turning the paper and its debts over to Mr. Errett, to work himself out of the trying situation as best he could. Unlooked for and weighty responsibilities now rested upon him. It was a critical time. He resolved, if possible, for the sake of interests that were dear to him, to continue the publi- cation. The great energy of Isaac Errett was now taxed to the utmost to keep the business side of the "Christian Standard" from bankruptcy. Almost certain ruin stared him in the face; and yet he struggled on hoping against hope. He 181 1MEN OF YESTERDAY believed in the power of the press. He was pro- foundly confident that the "Standard" had a mission. He had studied carefully the situation that confronted the Disciples of Christ, and foresaw the utter defeat of a great cause, unless the course of opinion could be changed, and the rank and file of the church saved from the nar- row, sectarian trend of some of its self-appointed leaders. To lead his people back to their primi- tive liberty, was now his editorial ambition, and he was ready to catch at any straw that would keep his paper afloat a little longer in the accom- plishment of this mission. It was while clouds of despair were thickening about him that a way to success seemed to pre- sent itself. A new college enterprise was then being set on foot, at Alliance, Ohio. A great educational institution was to be planted, over which Mr. Errett was asked to preside. It was represented to him that, in addition to the splen- did buildings being constructed, a large endow- ment fund had been raised, and that it was sure, in the future, to be the great religious center of the Disciples. An ample salary was assured him, and as his new duties were not to interfere with his connection with the "Standard," he eagerly accepted it and moved to the new scene of labors. The scheme proved to be a bubble, and in three years Alliance College had added another 182 ISAAC ERRETT chapter to the unfortunate educational record of the Disciples. Before the bubble burst, how- ever, Mr. Errett had severed his connection with the institution, finding it impossible to bear the responsibility of two struggling enterprises. His heart was in the "Standard." He could not see it die, nor was he willing that it should pass into less tender hands. But the crisis was now at hand. The support he had hoped for was not received. He could go no further. He made a last call for help froin his brethren, in vain. Many appreciated his efforts and enjoyed his paper, but were not ready to share in his sacri- fices. But one course remained. That was to abandon the enterprise and surrender the cause. It seemed to be the inevitable, and Mr. Errett resolved to meet it with a brave heart. "I see before me," he said to a friend, "a heavy loss, but this is nothing compared with my sorrow that the paper must stop; nevertheless we must have courage to meet defeat, if defeat must come, and I shall try to accept the whole situation with calmness and act as becometh a man." In this darkest hour, the Gethsemane of God's servant, help unexpectedly came. A business man of Cincinnati and an experienced publisher, R. W. Carroll, offered to assume the responsi- bility of publishing the "Christian Standard," if it were removed to that city. The offer was 18 MEN OF YESTERDAY accepted, and the paper and its editor entered upon a new career of service. IV. TRE PROGRESSIVE LEADER. The church was now at its hour of greatest peril, and needed the help of a strong hand. As yet it had not been able to adapt itself to the new conditions, the new spirit of progress which had followed the war. With many, whatever had prevailed among the practices of the fathers during the fifty years previous, had all the weight of Divine authority. Every change in method or expediency was denounced as apostasy. In- stead of going back to Jerusalem, men stopped at Bethany, and that which Campbell had taught in bringing order out of the chaos of 1830, was regarded as equally essential in adjusting the church to its environment in 1870. At this critical and important period, Isaac Errett, now freed from the embarrassment of an unprofitable enterprise, threw himself with his great strength into the cause of Christian liberty. He was, by his invaluable service, to become the second emancipator of the Church. Campbell had led the Church out of the bondage to writ- ten creeds which had fostered sectarianism; but Errett was now to render no less important serv- ice by leading it out of bondage to the unwritten traditions of the elders, which was scarcely less sectarian in its tendency. By his clear, forcible, 184 ISAAC ERRETT logical presentation of the truth, he enabled his readers to distinguish between matters essen- tial-Scriptural, permanent, and matters of ex- pediency,-temporal, clanging. While men of narrow mind and short vision were caviling about a settled ministry, mission- ary co-operation, friendly recognition, Sunday- schools, church music, etc., MrI. Errett was un- furling the banner of liberty in Christ, declaring in reply to those who accused him of apostasy, that "any attempt to introduce or enforce any- thing as a matter of faith or duty which the apostles (lid not enforce in the name of our Lord, would be a step in apostasy. Anl any attempt to compel uniformity in thinking or in practice, where the apostles have left us free, was virtual apostasy." Upon this platform Mr. Errett defended the principles, which have now come to be recog- nized as the very essence and strtength of our movement, in its message to the religious world and its plea f. r a united church. At no point in this controversy was the battle more fierce than over the question of church music. It is easy for us to-day to see how all this came about. Previously, life had been too hard a struggle with most people, to allow them to give atten- tion to the cultivation and gratification of refined tastes. The bare necessities made up the equip- 185 MEN OF YESTERDAY ment of home and life. Having never enjoyed in their homes, they did not miss in the house of worship, that which contributed to their comfort or pleasure. But after the war came a season of unwonted prosperity. The old cheerless cabin gave place to the home of comfort. The bare floors were hidden by cheerful carpets. The hard-bottom chair was cast aside and rich up- holstery installed in its place. The children were sent to seminary and college, and came back with awakened minds and cultivated tastes. In- struments of music added to the cheer of the home. Everything had suddenly changed- everything but the old square, unpainted meet- ing-house, with its cheerless walls. uncomfort- able seats, and uninviting service. An unpro- gressive, unobserving leadership had accepted these as essential, and regarded them almost as indispensable to soundness of faith as belief in the Son of God, or obedience to his express commands. Mr. Errett saw clearlv the hand of God in this new march of civilization and sought to bring the church into harmony with these new condi- tions. He saw in the building of new, attractive houses of worship and the use of instruments to aid the singing and all other accessories of a well-ordered service, not the result of pride, or vanity, or worldliness, but the inevitable conse-- quence of growth and culture. "The change, 186 ISAAC ERRETT was indeed wonderful, but it was normal, and most blessed-the sign of a true life and the nec- essary precursor of abundant fruitage." Mr. Errett, in view of the bitterness which the music question was bringing into many of the churches, wisely counseled peace, the exercise of charity and forbearance. But he foresaw and hailed the inevitable as a real aid to spiritual worship. The argument against the organ as an innovation he met in a way that soon brought most fair-minded people to his way of thinking. "When they preach," he wrote in answer to the cry of innovation, "they go into a meeting- house, which is an innovation, and take up a hymn-book, which is an innovation, and give out a human hymn, which is an innovation, and this hymn is sung to a tune, which is an innovation, by a choir, which is an innovation, by the aid of tune-book and tuning-fork, which are innova- tions. They also read from printed Bibles, which is an innovation. Yet who dreams in all this of any innovation of the law of God or the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ." In time, the counsel of Isaac Errett and the many wise men who gathered around him pre- vailed; and the church, emancipated from every creed, written or unwritten, but that acknowl- edging the Divinity of our Lord, entered a new era of conquest. In his conflict with the do- nothing, the anti-everything spirit of the conser- 187 MEN OF YESTERDAY vative element of the church, he had saved the day; but be did not at that time realize the com- pleteness of his victory. It was, therefore, in a rather gloomy frame of mind that he cast the horoscope of the year 1872 in his paper. "We grow nervous," he wrote, "about the wel- fare of the church, the fulfillment of prophecies, the triumph of truth and righteousness in the earth. Everything seems to be going wrong. The former days were better than these. Wick- edness abounds, infidelity is bold and defiant; the people are at ease in Zion and our zeal is paralyzed by our unfaithfulness." Two foes confronted him. There was a re- ncwe(l attack of sectarian hate from without. It had been confidently predicted by the enemies of the movement that the brotherhood built up under the leadership of Alexander Campbell was only held together by the "force of his great name and his powerful personality; so with his death they would speedily disintegrate and come to naught." A half dozen years had now passed. Instead of decay, the Disciples were gradually coming to a position of religious importance. To check, if possible, the progre. s of the movement, the old method of misrepresentation and calumny, so familiar to the pioneers, was again employed. But in Mr. Errett they found no easy antagonist. As a controversial writer he was, perhaps, without an equal,-clear, incisive, 188 ISAAC ERRETT convincing. He clearly grasped the situation. lie was able to meet misrepresentation as no other man, because he had breathed in the very genius and spirit of our movement, and was able to interpret it in a way that commanded the admiration and the acceptance of the unpreju- diced thinker. A more serious obstacle to enlargement was the element of dissent within the ranks. Many of the churches were wasting their energies in unseemly dissensions about "plans," and doing nothing for the evangelization of the world be- cause they could not agree as to the "Lord's plan." It had thus happened that while professing loyalty to the great commission above that of any other people, they had failed to respond to its marching orders. While living in the midst of the mightiest missionary century, in which God wvas clearly opening the way to the conquest of pagan lands, they had strangely failed to hear Christ's command to go. It is true, Mr. Camp- bell had discovered the purpose of God before the close of his life, and had pointed to the nations lying beyond as a hopeful field for the spread of the Gospel; but, at his death, no defnite work toward this wider evangelism had been begun, and men, going back to the "Chris- tian Baptist," had found comfort in shutting their hearts and purses to the cry for hell) from MEN OF YESTERDAY pagan lands. It was claimed that "as there was no apostolic precept nor example demanding missionary societies, their formation was a de- parture from the fundamental principle of the Disciples' plea and was manifestly unauthorized and sinful." "We had," says one of our later writers, "turned our backs on our own destiny and were marching straight to oblivion and decay." It was at this point in his career, that Mr. Errett was destined to render his most valuable service to the cause of primitive Christianity as the champion of missionary co-operation. To use the language of another: "Underneath all our mission work, State and general, lies the great principle of co-operation. This is the law of gravitation in our world of usefulness, and Mr. Errett is our Newton. This is the center of light and power in millennial astronomy, and Mr. Errett is our Copernicus. To grasp strong- ly and clearly that principle, to wrest it from spiritual Saracens, after years of fierce battle, and.build about it a great people, heirs to the crown of destiny, this, by all odds, is Isaac Errett's greatest work." In the earliest years of his ministry, he had manifested a deep interest in the work of mis- sions. Feeling the need of some agency for the extension of the cause within the borders of his own State, he became one of the prime movers ISAAC ERRETT in the organization of the Ohio Christian Mis- sionary Society, which was among the first attempts at co-operative effort upon an extended scale, since the dissolution of the old Mahoning Association of the Western Reserve. At a later period he was chosen Corresponding Secretary of the American Christian Missionary Society and rendered valiant service at a perilous time, when many of the leading brethren were sus- picious of the whole movement toward co-oper- ation, fearing the re-establishmetit of an eccle- sia-stical tribunal. But it is in connection with the Foreign Chris- tian Missionary Society that Mr. Errett's name will always be most intimately associated. As he now studied the needs of the movement from his vantage ground of knowledge and experi- ence, he began to feel that not only the salva- tion of the pagan world, but the salvation of the church itself, demanded that we, who claim to be guided by the will of the Master expressed in his written Word, should get in line with God in his express design of world-wide evangeliza- tion. He was sure that we would never take our rightful place among the religious forces of the age, until we enlarged our plans of conquest so as to embrace all the nations of the earth. We must be a missionary people in the fullest, broadest sense, or tear down our banner and retire from the field. 191 1MEN OF YESTERDAY As early as 1873, in the columns of the "Chris- tian Standard," he advocated the organization of a society that should turn its attention exclu- sively to the foreign field. In the autumn of that year he urged the matter upon his brethren in their National Assembly. For some reason no action was then taken. While men were meditating upon his suggestion, and hesitating and wondering how it could be done, Mr. Errett turned to the women. Here was a great, unutil- ized force. Their hearts were always responsive to every appeal for Christian devotion and sac- rifice; and he urged that they were capable of great service at this critical period. Quickly re- sponding, the Christian Woman's Board of Mis- sions was organized, and at the General Conven- tion of the churches in the autumn of 1874 obtained recognition as a legitimate agency "in the great work of sending the Gospel into all the world," and always afterward found in Mr. Errett a friend and helper. The climax of our missionary movement was reached the following year when the organiza- tion of the Foreign Christian Missionary Socie- ty was effected. The annual convention had met at Louisville, Ky. Mr. Errett, as President for that year, in his annual address, had again called the attention of his brethren to the sub- ject that was on his heart, reminding them that "no people had ever been blessed in their home 192 ISAAC ERRETT enterprises without a foreign missionary spirit and work." Others joined in urging the for- ward movement. An earnest brotherhood rep- resented in the convention heartily responded. The hour had come. The Foreign Missionary Society was born, and in recognition of his ser- vice selected Isaac Errett as President, a posi- tion which he held until his death. It was the beginning of a new era for the Dis- ciples of Christ, and marks the period from which we may reckon their unprecedented growth. V. THE LAST YEARS. The purpose for which God called Isaac Errett from the ranks of the Disciples was largely accomplished with the organization of the For- eign Christian Missionary Society. He had "led us out of the bitterness and darkness and bond- age to a narrow, opinionated legalisii, to the sweetness and light of the liberty wherewith Christ bath made us free;" and the fitting climax of such a career was to crystallize the energies of the church for the prosecution of a great world-embracing enterprise. The remaining years, though fruitful, were without incident that added either to the great- ness or the permanence of Mr. Errett's fame. He had reached the height of his splendid career, but fortunately he was able to maintain himself 13 193 MEN OF YESTERDAY at that high level to the end. There was no unhappy decline, no weakening of intellectual powers, no departure from a lofty ideal. He had no occasion to recede from the positions he had taken, and no reason to lament the course of events which he had helped to direct. He continued to watch with unabated interest the progress of the movement to which were given the best years of his life, and with pen and voice gave such counsel as, in his mature judgment, would lead to enlargement. As a writer, he continued to drive a tireless pen. Not only were his contributions to the edi- torial columns of the "Standard" uninterrupted, but he was able to add several volumes to our permanent literature. It was at this period that, in the quiet of the home, as the shades of evening gathered about, his mind turned afresh to the Word of God, to meditate upon its mar- velous beauty and profound lessons; and as he meditated, to write in his best style, the chapters of "Evenings with the Bible," enriching our lit- erature with three splendid volumes. It was in recognition of his Biblical attainments, as well as a compliment to the growing importance of the people whom he represented, that be was, in 1884, chosen a member of the International Sunday-school Lesson Committee, a position which he filled with credit until the close of his life. 194 ISAAC ERRETT As a public speaker he was continually in demand. With the removal of the "Standard" to Cincinnati he had ceased to minister to a con- gregation as pastor, with the exception of a short period in the city of Chicago. But as the servant of the brotherhood his talent was not suffered to be idle. Conventions, anniversaries, dedicatory services, made large drafts upon his strength and energy. No meeting of his breth- ren, in representative assemblies, was complete without him. None were listened to with greater pleasure. What manner of man he was as he stood be- fore his brethren on great occasions, where much was expected of him, may be gathered from the volume entitled, "Linsey-Woolsey and other Addresses," published a few years after his death. These addresses were selected from his best efforts, and covering a wide range of themes-missionary, literary, popular-they make a most readable collection. The charm of a great personality and the music of an attrac- tive voice are lacking, but the thoughts of a great thinker, clothed in his best style, are there. As he advanced in years, storm-clouds that tried the very fibre of his faith and fortitude swept across his path. From the bosom of his own family, those to whom he looked for the realization of his highest parental hopes, were 195 MEN OF YESTERDAY mysteriously taken. Of that stalwart group that stood about him in his earlier struggles few were left. The innermost circle of his earthly friendships was broken by the assassination and death of President Garfield. Each new afflic- tion called from him some new expression of his unfaltering trust in the Divine Providence; but, in time, the strong physical frame was shattered by these repeated blows, and friends began to feel that his work was accomplished. But notwithstanding his increasing infirmity, he continued to manifest a deep interest in the public enterprises of the church. As President of the Foreign Christian Missionary Society, he was its guiding spirit. At each annual gathering his voice was heard, always urging the churches to the accomplishment of larger things. What changes he was permitted to witness before he laid down the gavel! The infant society, with- out friends, or field, or a single trained mission- ary, grew, during the few years in which he was permitted to share in its counsels, into a strong organization with mission stations planted in many pagan lands, and scores of competent and consecrated men and wvomen sent as torch-bear- ers of truth to the benighted peoples. It was in recognition of his splendid service in the interest of missions, that his friends, in the autumn of 1886, urged their beloved Presi- dent to visit the Holy Land, generously provid- 19 ISAAC ERRETT ing for the expenses of the entire journey. Lit- tle did they dream that their well-meant kind- ness was to hasten the completion of Mr. Errett's career. Already sick and exhausted, the old veteran summoned all his strength for the journey. It was full of interest for one whose mind had dwelt continuously upon the scenes made sacred by the Saviour's foot-prints; and he determined that nothing of interest should escape his observation, no matter at what cost of bodily exhaustion. He saw with the freshness of vision of youth, and in his letters to the "Standard" described with a vividness that carried his readers with him as he traveled from city to city and land to land. But the overstrain of so extended and difficult a tour was too great for his enfeebled body. He re- turned to lay down the burden of toil and calmly await the end. Only once again was he permitted to meet with his brethren in their great National Assembly. Then, on December 19, 1888, the end came, and another of God's prophet s had passed from earth. Such, briefly, is the career of Isaac Errett as he appeared among his brethren in the service of Christ. He came at a peculiarly critical period in the history of a religious movement. A peo- ple had been led out of the bondage to creed and were painfully finding their way through an untried desert. Before they had come into the 197 MEN OF YESTERDAY full possession of the promised land their Moses had been taken from them. Isaac Errett was raised up to be their Joshua to lead them over Jordan, and it was through his valiant leader- ship that they were not overthrown by the Phi- listines. It is not strange that one of his intense nature should have made many bitter enemies as well as warm friends. Some were wont to almost regard him as the incarnation of evil, others as the sum of all perfection. That he was a man of like passions with ourselves must be conceded; but in the calmer judgment of the future, I think it will be discovered that he had few equals. "I know of no man among us," writes the vener- able President Loos in a private letter, "whose influence can measure with that of Isaac Errett. This influence began to become wide and strong from the day he became editor of the 'Christian Standard,' in 1866. It was he, distinctively beyond others, who gave the missionary cause- first in the State of Ohio, then in the American Christian Missionary Society, and finally in the Foreign Christian Missionary Society-its largest expansion and life." In this judgment all who are familiar with the history of the Disciples will concur. He was a prince and a leader among the hosts of Israel, and his memory will ever be precious to those who are devoted to the triumph of undenomina- tional Christianity. 198 This page in the original text is blank. B. W. JOHNSON. V. BARTON W. JOHNSON. CHRIST says, "Larn of me." No man can, unless he comes to the Great Teacher in a teachable mind. It is a sac- rilege to approach the Sacred Word in order to project into it our theories and to make all bend before them. Only he who comes with the docility of a little child will be made a partaker of the secrets of Divine Wisdom. The Lord still conceals great truths from the self-opinionated, wise and rrudent, and reveals them unto babes. The only state of mind fit for an investigation of the Holy Scriptures is that in which, putting out of sight our own wisdom, we come, say- ing, "Speak, Lord, thy servant heareth."-B. W. J-ohnon. 200 BARTON W. JOHNSON. 1. YOUTHFUL LABORS AND AMBITIONS. T H religious work begun by Alexander Camp- bell and that group of choice spirits that gathered around him, in the early years of this century, must have ultimately failed but for the generation of Christian heroes that followed and kept the movement from crystallizing into a narrow, bigoted sect on the one hand, or from surrendering the essential elements of Christian faith on the other. Among these disciples of Campbell and of Christ, whose guiding hand is seen in the broad- ening and spiritualizing of the Christian Church, were none who threw themselves more unre- servedly into the cause than Barton W. Johnson, to whose memory this sketch is to be devoted. Like most men who have left an impress for good on human society, his early life was devel- oped amidst surroundings that called forth those elements of strength and courage, which, tem- pered by the refining influence of Christian faith, give to character its sweetest charm and greatest power. MEN OF YESTERDAY In 1832, near the present town of Washing- ton, Illinois, on one of those charming spots where primeval forests melt into waving stretches of prairie, a log-cabin reared its unpre- tentious roof to shelter John and Martha John- son, as worthy a pair as ever trod life's path- way together. Here, in October, 1833, their first born, Barton Warren Johnson, began a career which was one of increasing usefulness to the end. It seldom falls to the lot of a boy to possess a better heritage of ancestral worth than he. His parents had both been schooled in the perils and hardships of frontier life from early childhood. Together their families had located in Eastern Illinois when the shelter of a block- house was necessary to protect them from raid- ing Indians. Though far removed from the refining influences of polite society, they were not strangers to that school where the highest and noblest type of refinement is taught, the school of Christ. The families which composed this little world, the Johnsons, the McCorkles, the Ledgerwoods and the Palmers, were people of deep religious convictions. They had, at an early day, espoused the cause advocated by Bar- ton W. Stone, and later followed their leader in his union with the reformation inaugurated by Alexander Campbell. Under the fostering care of a Christian home, the early character of Barton Johnson received 202 BARTON W. JOHNSON the stamp of nobility. From his father he in- herited a generous, unselfish nature; from his mother, who was a Mc(orkle, and in whose veins was the blood of the Malcolms of Scot- land, a strength of character and a determina- tion which never knew the meaning of the word "impossible." When within the space of a few months, in the town of Washington, two new church buildings had been constructed and de- stroyed by fire in succession, the entire congre- gation gave up in despair, with the exception of Martha Johnson, who, with her unyielding de- termination aud energy, led the way to the suc- cessful construction of a third. This character- istic marks the life of young Johnson fromn his earliest development. The struggles of this pioneer couple necessa- rily placed heavy burdens upon every member of the family. At a very tender age, Barton was put to work to aid in the battle with hard neces- sity. Work with him was never regarded as a slavish task, but as an opportunity to share the burdens of those whom he loved, which was ever his delight. He had not reached his tenth sum- mer before he took his place behind the plow, and was ready to lend a helping hand wherever it would contribute most to the family comfort and the development of the farm. But as his young body bent to the labor necessity had laid upon him, he was not unconscious of a thirst MEN OF YESTERDAY within that craved a larger and fuller life. He seems to have been born with a hungry mind, which, feed it as he would. he was never quite able to satisfy. His parents, recognizing this craving for knowledge, were ready to respond as far as their slender means and narrow sur- roundings would permit. They became the lib- eral patrons of the schools of the neighborhood, and saw that Barton was permitted to attend school during the few months which each winter provided. Here his superior nature revealed itself in the quickness with which he mastered his text-books, and the spirit of subordination which he manifested toward those who had a rightful claim to his obedience. It is related that, in accordance with a time- honored custom, the pupils upon one occasion organized themselves to reduce to subjection a teacher who bad refused a Christmas treat. Young Johnson at first joined the rebellion, which barricaded the door of the school-room against the teacher's entrance. But no sooner did that functionary appear than the old spirit of obedience gained the mastery in his breast, and he hastened to surrender and lay down arms, to the mortification of his confederates, but to the delight of his teacher. The text-books of the district school failed to satisfy his desire for knowledge. He had some- how come to believe that there was a larger 2D4 BARTON W. JOHNSON world of thought. His inquiring mind longed to drink from the great fountain of truth which he became convinced must flow somewhere. The neighborhood was, consequently, scoured for books, with the result that some choice volumes were brought to his knowledge. These created thirst for others, and as the family resources would allow, books were bought. Thus, in winter, the long evening hours were spent por- ing over great volumes almost as large as him- self. In summer, the noon hour and other mo- ments of release from labor, were devoted to study. In this way, before he was scarcely in his teens, he read and mastered such books as Rollin's History, Gibbon's Rome, Hume's Eng- land, Dick's Works, D'Aubigne's Reformation, and Paradise Lost, laying the foundation of his remarkable historical knowledge, which was, through life, the wonder and admiration of all who knew him. It once happened that in the busiest part of the season, young Johnson learned of a set of Gibbon's "' Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," which he could have the privilege of borrowing, volume at a time, providing each volume were returned at the end of the week. Such was his industry that he was able to complete each volume within the allotted time until the six had been read, while at the same time making a full hand in the field. 205 MEN OF YUSTERDAY While thus devoted to books, young Johnson was not insensible to the world about him, nor without those finer feelings and sympathies which give youth its charm. No thought of cruelty, even to the least of God's creatures, was ever suffered to enter his heart. He was never able to enter into sports that caused pain, nor could he tolerate it in others. One evening as he was returning from school, he saw one of his schoolmates sitting on the edge of a bridge that spanned a small stream, amusing himself to the discomfiture of some frogs in the water beneath. Barton watched the cruel sport for a moment, then gave expression to his indignation by shov- ing the boy into the water, as a deserved pun- ishment for his heartless enjoyment. As was most fitting in a nature so tender, its most beautiful expression was seen in his love for his mother. For her he gladly bore the heavy burdens, almost too heavy for his tender years, which circumstances had placed upon him. For her be sought the development of whatever talent he possessed. To her his thoughts con- stantly and anxiously turned. When separated from her for a season, he wrote in his diary: "I have a mother who knoweth the inmost secrets of my heart, and whom I love better than life; a mother, who seemeth, whenever I am with her, to complete the circle for which the heart yearns." 2DS BARTON W. JOHNSON It was in this boyhood love for mother and youthful ambition for knowledge, that the char- acter of this friend and servant of humanity was molded. II. FORMATIVE INFLUENCES AND EFFORTS. In the early experience of every life are two important decisions-the one affecting character and the other determining its sphere of achieve- ment-one's attitude toward religion and the choice of a vocation, With Barton Johnson the first of these early became the subject of serious thought. Sur- rounded by the influences of a Christian home, brought up to respect and honor the religion of Christ, the desire to live a Christian life was hardly absent from his mind from his earliest consciousness. Unlike the early pioneers, he was not called upon to grapple with the bewil- dering conclusions of speculative theology, or pass through months of conflict in gaining the assurance of peace with God. The story of his conversion is, consequently, easily and briefly told. The church to which his parents belonged demanded, as a condition of membership, the acceptance of a personal Savior through faith and obedience. To these demands his young heart readily yielded, and at the age of sixteen he determined to make the personal surrender of his life to the authority and leadership of Christ. 207 MEN O YESTERDAY Under the preaching of Father Palmer, he obeyed the Gospel and united with the Christian Church, never for a moment afterward to regret his decision, or to question the ground of his faith. Soon after this, young Johnson was called upon to make another choice which contributed largely to his future usefulness. He had ad- vanced to the limit of the instruction afforded in the district school, an attainment with which most young men of his acquaintance were sat- isfied. But through his companionship with books he had been ushered within the portals of a new world which he longed to explore. When, therefore, his father offered him his choice be- tween an eighty-acre farm and a higher educa- tion, it did not take him a moment to decide. The farm without an education meant the stifling of all his cravings and ambitions. He felt that with the advantage of a trained mind he could earn the farm if he desired, and enjoy it the better for having brought himself into communion with the spirit of wisdom. His choice led at once to his matriculation in Walnut Grove Academy, now Eureka College. Here for two years he pursued his studies, amid the rural surroundings with which he was famil- iar and in the companionship of kindred spirits. That he might lighten the home burdens, he continued to render what assistance he could,, 208 BARTON W. JOHNSON spending all his vacations and holidays in labor on the farm. In the busy season of corn-gath- ering, he often walked home the entire distance, eight miles, on Saturday morning before break- fast, that he might be able to join the huskers at sunrise in the field, returning to his studies Mon- day morning. It was during these early days of student life that the purpose of entering the ministry finally took definite form. Without having declared himself, he always expected that he would preach. That expectation was unexpectedly realized when he wvas in his nineteenth year. During one of his summer vacations, the home church was without a pastor, and one of the elders, without consulting the young man, an- nounced that on the following Sunday Barton Johnson would preach. It was not in him to run from duty, so the responsibility thus thrust upon him was accepted. That first sermon was a marvel both in its length and fidelity to the Scriptures. The theme selected was "Prayer." Taking the Bible concordance, he gathered to- gether all the passages of Scripture to be found relating to the subject in hand, committed them to memory, and for nearly an hour and a half spoke in the words "which the Holy Ghost teacheth," without any admixture of human opinion or suggestion. The sermon was not a thrilling one, but the audience of farmers and 14 ,209 2MEN OF YESTERDAY neighbors listened patiently to the end; and the young preacher had at least made a beginning and had not lacked for material. From that time his ambition was to become an effective, acceptable preacher of the Gospel, and all his energies were employed in preparing himself for this work. As the course in the academy was limited, it was decided in family council, in the fall of 1854, that he should enjoy the larger advantage of a college education. Bethany was at that time the Mecca of the Disciples. Its sage was then in the fullness of his power and reputation. To sit at the feet of Alexander Campbell was thought by his humble followers to be the great- est privilege that a young man could enjoy. There was another motive which led to the choice of Bethany College in this family council. It was that young Johnson might have a wider sphere of observation and acquaintance than the academy in the woods afforded. While he was well advanced in the knowledge of books, his knowledge of the world of fact was very limited. The town had not invaded the country, as now; and the country seldom went to town. He had never traveled more than a few miles from the place of his birth. Rusticity marked his dress, his manner, his bearing. COD8ciOUS of lack in these particulars, he was extremely diffi- dent. But, if the horizon was narrow, the intel- 210 BARTON WV. JOHNSON lectual vision was nevertheless clear. If his appearance was awkward, it could not conceal the generous sympathies which he cherished, for within his homespun coat beat a noble heart. It was, therefore, no small trial, much as he thirsted for knowledge, to tear himself away from those whom he knew and trusted, for a journey so far from home, and to become the associate of men whom he regarded with almost reverential awe. At Bethany, he at once took a front rank among the students. Entering the Junior year, he was able to complete his course with distinc- tion, dividing first honors with a classmate in a class of twenty-seven. But it was not so much his success in the class-room as other distin- guishing traits that mark his college career. His conscientiousness and tenderness of heart soon won him the friendship of all. Especially the friendless among the students found in him a sympathizer and helper. He could never stand by and see the weak imposed upon. Though a member of the advanced classes, he always had regard for the lower class men, and these looked to him for aid and protection in all their troubles. At a time when the representatives of the slave aristocracy, even in a place like Bethany, were asserting their claims to social superiority, he was not ashamed to espouse the cause, and rise in defense of, the poor boys who 2it MEN OF YESTERDAY were struggling against odds to secure an educa- tion. He was never a patrician. He then, and ever after, counted himself one of the common people and found in them his warmest friends. But along with his modest, retiring manner, Barton W. Johnson was not unconscious of his own powers or without a high aim. Even as a student he had placed a private estimate on him- self and cherished aspirations which, had he made them public, would have smacked of egotism. "My field is the world," he writes in his diary, "and did it not savor of egotism I would record the fond aspiration that the world will be the better off for my existence. But bear in mind, reader, if ever a stranger's eye looks upon this thought-record, that it is intended for me alone. If I am egotistical, it is private egotism." This was true of him through life. Conscious of his own mental strength and resources, ani- mated by a desire to save his race, he was, how- ever, never heard to speak in his own praise or known to thrust himself into prominence. He literally took the lowest seat in the assemblies of his brethren. When the call came to him to render some public service, he never shrank from the responsibility, but he never sought dis- tinction. Following his graduation at Bethany, in 1856, the first thought of the student was to find a 212 BARTON W. JOHNSON foothold in the world he was to serve. lie had already fully determined upon tho ministry as his ultimate field of labor. But the pulpit did not then provide for the support of the preacher as now; nor was the young and inexperienced candidate for the ministry the special favorite of churches that had been built up by the veterans of the reformatory movement. Forty years ago but few churches among the Disciples in the West were able to support the man who min- istered to them in spiritual things. Most preachers were compelled to supplement their meager salaries by labor in other fields. Many, like Paul, labored with their own hands to sup- ply their necessities, which in those days of "plain living and high thinking" were never great. Those who had enjoyed sufficient educa- tional advantages found easy access to the school-room, where they taught during the week, while ministering to some needy congregation on Sunday. It thus happened that Barton Johnson, while unwavering in his determination to preach the Word, sought, upon leaving college, a situation as teacher, as a means of earning his support while he preached the Gospel to those who were either too poor, or too indifferent, to sustain a settled pastor. A promising opening for a pri- vate school having been found in Bloomington, Illinois, he determined to make his start in life 213 4MEN OF YESTERDAY in that place, and in the fall of 1856, having re- ceived assurances of a liberal patronage, he entered the school-room. A glance at the young man who then stood on the threshold of his career, will reveal the secret of his later success. He had just com- pleted his twenty-third year. By dint of hard study and untiring application, he had made himself the master, not only of the subjects taught in college, but of a wide range of knowl- edge. To this fullness of knowledge, he added a deep seriousness of purpose, which character- ized all his undertakings. This element of his nature, the predominating one through life, is continually portrayed in the thought-pictures which he has left of himself at this period. He lived in continuous touch with the Infinite, and found help in Him when all else failed. After a day of trial and discouragement in the school-room, he writes in his journal: "The gloom has been dispelled by the rays of light and enjoyment concentrated on my mind, by an evening's study of the Scripture." Then as he felt oppressed by the sin and folly of society, his mind would turn toward the golden dawn of the world's better day, and he would write: "God grant that ere long sin and sorrow may cease, and Jesus and joy unalloyed may come. May I live to see the dayI Savior, hasten thine appearing. The hollowness, the- sinfulness, the 214 BARTON W. JOHNSON sadness of earth make tue grow heart-sick and sigh for the joyous period when all will be pure and holy and happy. Let me, let all mine, keep their lamps trimmed and burning, for we know not what hour the Bridegroom cometh." At all times he -cherished the laudable ambi- tion of making himself worthy of the calling he had chosen. Feeling the need of stricter self- discipline he drew up these rules for his guid- ance: "Whereas I wish to elevate myself intel- lectually, morally, spiritually, since I am. not satisfied with my effort or my advancement, Resol'ved, 1st. That I will rise every morning before five o'clock. 2d. That I will refrain from all reading, the object of which is present pleas- ure. 3d. That I will devote my time to three departments of study-history, connected with the Bible, nature and revelation. 4th. That I will often ask the assistance and direction of God, from whom I must derive all my strength." Most beautiful, too, was his devotion to his mother. "What a blessing to me," he writes among his thoughtspictures, "is and has been my mother. I should not repine, but thank God that he has thus blessed me." Again, "I have felt a little homesick and would go home to- morrow, if I could. Would that I could always have my mother with me. May God long pre- serve her." It was at this early period, while the soul was 215 2MEN OF YESTERDAY working out its first serious problems, that an invitation came to Mr. Johnson to embark upon an enterprise that was ultimately to become his life-work. He was offered the editorship of the "Evangelist," a little monthly devoted to the de- fense of primitive Christianity, then struggling for existence. While a boy on the farm he had frequently contributed to the columns of the county paper, and had shown decided talent as a writer, but he felt that the time was not yet, and declined editorial honors. Meanwhile, his work in the school-room and in the pulpits of neighboring churches, where he preached on Sundays, engaged all his energies. His education and talent soon brought him as many pupils as he could look after. While many were serious young people, seeking to fit themselves for usefulness, a few were incorrigibles from the pub- lic schools, who, under his power as a disciplina- rian, were soon reduced to subjection and proved in the end some of his brightest scholars. Of the young men who came under the touch of his master-mind in that school, several afterward attained distinction, two became members of Congress,and one Vice-President of the United States. The most important result of that winter's school, so far as his own future was concerned, was the choice of one who should share his labors and sacrifices. He soon discerned, among 216 BARTON W. JOHNSON that company of bright young men and women, one more interesting than the rest. The attach- inent in time became stronger than that of teacher and pupil, and ended' in his marriage, in the summer of 1858, to Sarah Allen, to whom he always generously ascribed much of his success in the service of Christ. It required no prophetic vision to predict for the young teacher a successful career as an in- structor, had he chosen the school as his field. So remarkable was the success of his educa- tional venture that he was offered the superin- tendency of the schools of the city, if he would remain. But the young man had other plans. "It seems to me," he wrote in his journal, "that my mission cannot be fulfilled in this contracted sphere." Feeling that his life should be more thoroughly devoted to the brotherhood with which he had early cast his lot, deeply interested in the triumph of the cause that was dear to his heart, he turned his back upon the flattering offers made him for a professorship in Eureka College, where he received in compensation for his first year's service a salary of two hundred and fifty dollars. But the decision and the sac- rifices attending it he never regretted, since it endi3led him to throw his strength unreservedly into the work of human redemption, both as a preacher and an instructor of preachers, in which 217 MEN OF YESTERDAY positions he was eminently successful, accom- plishing an inestimable amount of good. III. FRVITS OF THE EARLY HARVEST. During Mr. Johnson's early prime, his ener- gies were divided between teaching and preach- ing. It would have been difficult to have deter- mined to which department of labor he belonged, so unreservedly was he devoted to each, always carrying on the work of two men, and almost from the beginning bearing his burden upon shoulders that were weakened by ill health. Ex- cessive study while in college and excessive labor afterward, early left him the victim of disease, and nothing but an indomitable energy kept him at work. Having accepted the chair of mathematics in Eureka College, Mr. Johnson at once demon- strated his fitness for the position by the thor- oughness of his instruction and by the enthusiasm he created in the minds of his students. He had the faculty of inspiring those who came under his influence with his own pure and lofty ambi- tion, and quickening in them an aspiration to be of service to the race. Many who have since become leaders in various lines of human bene- faction, generously acknowledge their indebted- ness to him for the first impulses to this larger service. Says one who sat in his class-room at this early period:. "In the early days of Eurek t 218 BARTON W. JOHNSON College, B. W. Johnson was my teacher, and his home for a considerable time was in my father's house. I knew him well, and his life and influ- ence were every way helpful. His robust faith and reverent piety, his lofty aim and earnest endeavor, his pure and noble life, abide as a delightful aroma of these fast-receding days." Another of his students, who has since attained national distinction, writes: "He was my teacher from 1859 to 1861. He was a good teacher. After leaving Eureka College, not being able to complete the course, he spoke words to me of wisdom, tenderness and good cheer, which have gone with me all these years. I am greatly in debt to B. W. Johnson." Such was the recog- nized ability of the young educator, that after a few sessions he was promoted to the presidency of the institution, to succeed Chas. Louis Loos, upon the resignation of the latter. To this new position of responsibility his splendid executive ability had especially fitted him, and under his wise management, until the storm of civil war made havoc of all peaceful enterprises, the insti- tution flourished. But if his influence was a benediction in the school-room, it was not less so in his relation to the church. During most of the period of his residence at Eureka, he preached for the church at that place, sharing the labors and responsi- bility of the pastorate, much of the time, with 219 MEN OF YESTERDAY other members of the faculty. In the pulpit he was looked upon as a man of more than ordinary talent. As a preacher, he possessed a power which was peculiar to himself. He was never an orator, and was lacking in many of the graces we have come to couple with pulpit eloquence. In manner and gesture there was an element of awkwardness which he was never able to master. In his delivery he paid little regard to elocution- ary effect. But there was a genuineness in his whole hearing, and a peculiar magnetic power in his expressive eyes as they swept a congregation, that riveted and held the attention of all. It was when he spoke, however, that his power over an audience became irresistible. He never talked commonplace. He always had something to say worth listening to. He was a reader, and always came to his task with a full mind. He was an observer, and was able so to mingle the fruit of his observation with the treasures of his library as never to seem bookish. Ile was a thinker, and every sentence that fell from his lips was molded in a brain whose ideas flowed as clear as crystal. Thus his sermons, while rich in scriptural and historical truths and illustrations, were always fresh, practical and helpful. His great literary attainment, his quick perception, his practical wisdom, his deep earnestness, his painstaking preparation, his unquestioning faith, and his unwavering loyalty to the Word, s8o0n BARTON W. JOHNSON won him a recognized place as a strong Gospel preacher. It was at this busy, trying period that Mr. Johnson demonstrated his ability as a man of affairs, laying the foundation of the competence which he ever afterward enjoyed. Notwith- standing the meagerness of his salary and the throes of a financial panic that swept the coun- try, by dint of industry and economy, in which his young wife became an equal partner, he man- aged to build and pay for a comfortable home, which became the nucleus of later acquisitions and enabled him to dispense with a liberal hand to every worthy enterprise. In the summer of 1863, Mr. Johnson, after a half dozen years of faithful service as instructor, determined to change his field of labor. That year presents one of the darkest points in our moral history. The smoke of conflict covered the land. The success of the Union was almost despaired of. In the hour of public calamity young men, who had planned for themselves a career of learning, abandoned the school-room for the defense of the common cause. The col- lege halls were deserted. In this hour of trial none suffered more than the brave, struggling young college of the Disciples of Illinois. W hile Mr. Johnson was pondering what course to pursue, a call came to him to become the Cor- responding Secretary of the American Christian 221 MEN OF YESTERDAY Missionary Society. Though questioning his fit- ness for the work, he determined to make the trial. At a period when many of the leaders among the Disciples were turning their faces upon their destiny, and throwing obstructions in the way of missionary progress, he was enthusi- astic in his support of any aggressive movement that would win the world speedily to Christ. Throwing himself with his great energy into the work in hand, he was able, during his year's service, to lift the cause out of the debt into which it had fallen, and to put new vigor into the missionary agencies of the church. He was re-elected Corresponding Secretary, and urged to continue in the service of the Missionary Soci- ety, but a call coming from his Alma Mater, he resigned to accept the chair of mathematics in Bethany College. Here he enjoyed fellowship with the illustrious founder and president of the college, now nearing the end of his eventful career, and maintained his reputation as a scholar and educator. Soon after Mr. Campbell's death, in 1866, he returned -to the West. Having accepted the pastorate of the church at Lincoln, Illinois, he now, for the first time, devoted himself exclusive- ly to the ministry of the Word. Here, though but little past thirty, he seemed to be nearing the end of his labors. Ill health crippled his every endeavor. But, with inborn energy and 2S BARTON W. JOHNSON an abiding faith, he persevered, often preaching with remarkable fervor when he had scarcely strength enough to stand before his audience. Thus, through pain and weakness, he was able, during his two years' pastorate, to achieve a degree of success that endeared him to all his people. Recovering in some measure his health, Mr. Johnson's restive spirit was not content with the circumscribed field of his pastorate. He felt himself capable of greater labor and was con- scious of unusual talents. When, therefore, in the summer of 1869, a call came to him to the presidency of Oskaloosa College and the pastor- ate of the church, then one of the strongest in the State of Iowa, he promptly accepted the position. Here for three years he performed the double labor of instructor and preacher. Here success constantly attended his efforts in both fields of activity. The young college over which he presided, reached the climax of its prosperity during his administration. Hundreds of students were drawn together by his influence and reputation. His class-room was always crowded. He pos- sessed the rare faculty of creating an enthusiasm for knowledge, and the power of so imparting instruction as to forever fix the truth in the mind of the learner. His pulpit, too, was made to reflect the best 223 MEN OF YESTERDAY thought of his time; and here he was able to accomplish, what is within the power of but few ministers of the Gospel to-day, the building up of a prosperous, spiritual church by the mo- mentum of his pulpit effort, unaided by house to house labor. But the intellectual and physical strain of such an effort,-preaching two sermons each week that were replete with thought and wis- dom, and throwing his energy into the work of the class-room five of the remaining days, besides attending to the multiplied concerns of college and church,-were too much for his deli- cate organism, and he was compelled to surren- der the one or the other of his positions, or abandon the field altogether. Finding, as he ever did, his keenest delight in preaching the unsearchable riches of Christ, he turned to the pulpit and continued for several years as pastor of the church. This closed forever his career as teacher in the class-room, though he never ceased to be the teacher of a many times larger constituency that looked to him for instruction. Throughout his life he continued to manifest a deep interest in young people and their intellec- tual aspirations. It was about this time the writer first formed the acquaintance of Mr. Johnson, which, through his deep interest in young men, was cemented into lasting friendship. I shall never BARTON W. JOHNSON forget how as a student, then startlingly ignor- ant of the great world of letters, and yet hun- grily gazing at the crowded shelves of an enter- prising bookseller's shop, he came in and paused before the trembling youth to inquire of his in- tellectual desires, and to offer a few helpful suggestions as regarded the course of reading to pursue, and then passed on. In that brief inter- view he touched a chord that never ceased to respond to his kindly interest. This interest he was constantly manifesting toward all. He had an instinct for the discov- ery of a young man or woman with an aspira- tion, as true and unerring as the scent of a trained fox-hound; and having found the object of his search, he was always able to fire with hope and fan into zeal a high and holy passion for achievement. In this way, as pastor, he was able to gain a strong hold upon the young mem- bers of his flock. It was not the result of any affected cordiality, or sentimental friendship, bout of an unfeigned interest in their plans and purposes, their aims and ambitions. In this work, the center of power and influ- ence, next to the pulpit, was his study, where, surrounded by his books, he was always most at home, and greatest because freed from the em- barrassments which he always keenly felt in assemblies. He was never so happy as when thus surrounded, helping to solve some intricate 15 225 2MEN OF YESTERDAY problem for another, or pointing the way out of some difficult situation, or unbosoming himself of the rich treasures of his own mind for the instruction of his friends, or in aiding in the selection of some book that would especially fit the' need of the young mind and satisfy its thirsting. As pastor, in the modern sense, he might, during those busy days, have been regarded as a failure by some. The figures representing the number of calls upon his parishioners would not have looked well in an annual report. He had a very meager stock of small talk and was not much disposed to run from house to house to pass the time of day. But somehow he gradual- ly knit the heartstrings of his people into the fabric of his achievement, and his own hearth- stone became the center of the religious life of the church. If he made few calls, many were the calls he received from those seeking help or counsel, and hearty was the welcome always accorded them, and strong and lasting were the friendships thus cemented. One needed to know him to discover the warmth and tenderness of his nature. To the casual acquaintance he may have seemed stern and unsocial, but when once the barrier of his diffidence was melted away by closer fellowship, never was nature more cordial than his. Nor was his friendship restricted by artificial social lines. His own retiring manner 226 BARTON W. JOHNSON seemed to inspire a confidence which encour- aged the lowliest of Christ's disciples to come to him as a friend. While scholarship and cul- ture loved and admired him, and he appreciated nothing so much as the fellowship of these con- genial spirits, the ignorant and poor were drawn to him, and he never felt himself too wise, or found himself too busy, to bestow upon them the best of thought and resources at his com- mand. I have dwelt somewhat minutely upon this characteristic of his ministry, during his pastor- ate in Oskaloosa, because it reveals the charac- ter of the man in all his life-work. At first he was admired because of his scholarship, then loved because of his unselfish interest in the welfare of his people; and he never labored in a field where his removal was not regretted, and where he would not gladly have been welcomed back at any time. Thus at Oskaloosa, De Soto, Iowa, Chicago and St. Louis, where he labored at different times and under varying circum- stances, he left congregations that revered and loved him as a father, and that are still disposed to associate their happiest experiences with his memory. IV. IN LABORS MORE ABUNDANT. We have now traced the career of Mr. John- son through what, in view of his later achieve- 227 MEN OF YESTERDAY ments, might be termed its preparatory stages. Hitherto his labors had been limited, circum- scribed. The class-room, the congregation marked the boundaries of his field. He was considerably past forty, when, in 1877, a new field of service opened to him, in a call to be- come the editor of "The Evangelist," then pub- lished in Oskaloosa. In accepting the position of editor, he was compelled to relinquish a suc- cessful pastorate in DeSoto, Iowa, where he had endeared himself to the people, and passed from the service of a congregation to the service of the brotherhood. To this new field of labor he brought the ele- ments of success. These were his untiring energy, his unlimited capacity for work, his unfaltering faith, his indomitable courage, his wealth of learning, his clearness of vision, his practical common sense. But perhaps his most conspicuous characteristic was a happy combina- tion of conservatism and progressiveness which kept him, like the skillful old mariners, when sailing between Scylla and Charybdis, from danger in either direction. The beginning of his editorial career marks one of those epochs in the history of the church, when everything depended upon the wisdom of the men at the helm. It was the period when the conflict over the organ, Sunday-schools, mis- sionary measures and kindred questions of 228 BARTON W. JOHNSON expediency was still troubling the churches. Isaac Errett, in the "Christian Standard," had thrown himself with his great strength into the cause of a more liberal, progressive movement, while Benjamin Franklin, in the "American Christian Review." became the apostle of con- servatism, branding as an unscriptural innova- tion every expediency which had not been in use among the early Christians. Mr. Johnson, while pleading through the columns of "The Evangelist" for the broader liberty in matters of expe(diency, at the same time was so true to the express commands of the Word and so clear in his presentation of the essential elements of Christian faith and practice as taught by the fathers, that he was always held in esteem, as one "sound in the faith," even by those who differed with him upon questions of church polity and measures of church progress. "The Evangelist," at once, became the ex- ponent of truth as applied to the daily lives of Christ's followers. It sought to become a family companion rather than an ecclesiastical measur- ing-machine. In realizing this ideal, Mr. John- son was among the first to attempt to interpret the events of the day in the light of their moral and religious bearing, and to denounce with all the fervor of a prophet exaumples of utiright- eousness, whether in social, political or religious life. His "Current Events," in which he pro- 229 MEN OF YESTERDAY nounced his judgment on living issues, was con- sulted as a moral barometer by thousands of his readers. As the influence and scope of "The Evangel- ist" widened, Mr. Johnson and his co-laborers determined upon the hazardous experiment of transplanting it in some center where better facilities might be enjoyed and a larger field made tributary to its support. Chicago was selected as presenting the greatest number of advantages, and from that city, in the autumn of 1879, the paper greeted its readers. The change proved a profitable one to publishers and editor; but the great strain of such an undertaking and the anxieties connected with the work again proved too much for Mr. Johnson's strength. His health gave way and he was compelled for a few months to relinquish his labors; but a win- ter spent among the orange groves and beneath the sunny skies of Florida, enabled him to return to his work with renewed energy. It was during his early experiences as editor that he first ventured to put the result of his study in book form. For years he had been at- tracted by the wonderful charm of the Book of Revelation. His diligent study of the Scripture and his rich historical knowledge enabled him to work out the meaning of the weird symbolism of the book, and to trace its fulfillment in the great world-movements which had passed into BARTON W. JOHNSON history. The product of these studies was first given as a series of lectures, afLerward published in the columns of "The Evangelist," and finally gathered together in a volume entitled "A Vision of the Ages." Whatever may be thought of some of the conclusions of the author, it is doubtful if any work treating on this fruitful field of investigation has ever presented such an array of historical facts to sustain its theories, or given a more hopeful and comforting view of the progress of Christian truth through the ages, and of its ultimate triumph among the nations of the earth. Exacting as were the duties of his office at this period, Mr. Johnson found time to look after the local interests of the churches struggling for existence in a great city. Casting his lot with a handful of brethren known as the West Side Christian Church, then meeting under every dis- couragement, he preached without compensa- tion and gave liberally of his means for the sup- port of the work, until he witnessed the growth of a flourishing, self-supporting church. The growth of the Christian Church at this period was unprecedented. A liberal, progres- sive leadership, the organization of the Foreign Christian Missionary Society, the elevation of James A. Garfield to the presidency of the nation, all contributed to the rapid numerical increase of a people who had hitherto urged 231 MEN OF YESTERDAY their plea in comparative obscurity and with varyingsuccess. Feelingthe need of a strong, united effort in permeating the rapidly growing church with lofty Christian ideals, the publish- ers of "The Evangelist" of Chicago and of "The Christian" of St. Louis, in 1882, decided to consolidate the interests of the two houses, and "The Cbristian-Evangelist," with B. W. Johnson and J. H. Garrison as its editors, was the product, and in this position Mr. Johnson continued until called from his labors. For this larger field Mr. Johnson had long been in training. A hard student from youth, he brought to his task a ripe scholarship. Con- nected as he had been with the various public interests of the church, he became a safe and helpful counsellor. Endowed with a capacity for intense application, he was able to accom- plish an amount of work that was always the surprise of those who knew him. Whether at home or abroad, in health or out of health, no week was allowed to pass without the prepara- tion of the allotted amount of copy. His editorials were replete with wisdom, and never failed to instruct, nor to point the march- ing host of God to victory. In nothing was he more fearless than in his defense of the Word of God against all its enemies. He held firmly to the view that the Bible in its entirety was the Word of God, and felt that God had given him 232 BARTON W. JOHNSON as a mission its defense against the attacks of higher criticism and so-called advanced thought. He had no sympathy with the spirit of liberalism that questioned the authorship of the Penta- teuch or the integrity of the prophets. He felt that along this line a great battle was being fought and that the future triumph of Christian- itv demanded that the integrity of the Bible as a w hole should be preserved. As he was com- plelled Dto lay down his pen, his only regret wvas that he could not have continued ten years longer to array his brethren in defense of the Word of God. As he continued to study and write, several vol- umes which have greatly enriched our literature grew up under his pen. Having undertaken, in connection with his editorial labors, the prepa- ration of a lesson annual for teachers and ad- vanced scholars in the Sunday-school, he devoted himself afresh to the study of the Word, and in addition to the ten volumes of the Christian Les- son Commentary, he prepared a commentary on John's Gospel, and the two large volumes of the People's New Testament. The latter was lpre- plared with great pains as an encouragement and an aid to Bible study for busy people, was re- garded by himself as his best contribution to the literature of the brotherhood, and remains a monument of his prodigious industry. In the midst of these busy years, M1r. Johnson 233 MEN OF YESTERDAY occasionally found opportunity to look about him. He was constitutionally a traveler. He had the traveler's instinct, the traveler's endurance, the traveler's enthusiasm. Outside of his books, his work and his home, nothing gave him such in- tense enjoyment as a journey through regions where nature was prodigal of her resources, or where antiquity had buried her mysteries. At such times his frail body forgot its limitations anrl he seemed as one possessed of the vigor and enthusiasm of youth. Fatigue left him, and he could walk faster, climb higher, endure more of the hardships and discomforts of travel than most stronger men. Had he not been a very busy man he would have traveled widely, and few men would have surpassed him in the inter- pretation of what he saw. As it was, travel was made his recreation, the only recreation he ever knew. Even then he did not cease to work, for the railroad train, the mountain, the sea-shore, became, for a time, his editorial sanctum, and he continued to write in his accustomed vein of what he heard and saw. Few men possessed keener powers of observa- tion than he. He did not merely look at a thing-he looked through it. This was true of him not only in dealing with problems of relig- ious moment, but in his study of men and move- ments about him. If he took up a book, he mas- tered it. If he turned his attention to a problem, 234 BARTON W. JOHNSON he solved it. If he walked abroad, he became what Emerson would call "a transparent eye- ball;" seeing everything, not only that which lay upon the surface, but the underlying beauty and spiritual significance. It was this characteristic that gave vividness and interest to his editorial correspondence when away from home, whether his journey took him across continents or only to some obscure village with its band of struggling disciples, that he might lend a helping hand ill opening a new church, or raising a debt, or cheer- ing the faint-hearted. In the summer of 1889 he wvas able to gratify a long-cherished desire of visiting the Holy Land. With characteristic thoroughness, before start- ing upon this journey, he spent weeks in his library in painstaking research. Though already possessed of a wonderful fund of historical in- formation he now examined encyclopedias, read travels, studied history, familiarizing himself with the places he expected to visit in his trav- els, refreshing his mind in old world happenings, and jotting down in his commonplace book a fund of information that few are able to bring back after months of observation and study in foreign lands. Thus equipped, in company with a number of friends, he sailed from New York, August 21, and continued his journey from place to place, and land to land, until he had compassed a dis- 235 MEN OF YESTERDAY tance of more than twenty thousand miles. The entire journey was enjoyed with all the relish of youth. The more so, since every place, though strange, introduced to him scenes and incidents with which his studies had made him familiar. It was not merely a passage through countries and cities whose location he had learned from geography, but countries and cities which his imagination peopled with heroes and martyrs, patriots and benefactors, who had lived and passed with their deeds into history. From Lucerne, Switzerland, he writes: "Our march has been a joy from the time we landed at Liverpool. What I have seen far sur- passes my expectation. The four days in Paris are indescribable. The palace at Versailles, costing 200,000,000, surpasses in splendor any- thing I ever expected to see, perhaps anything on earth. Switzerland is a gem, and Lucerne is beautiful. " Continuing his journey, Florence, Rome, Na- ples, Athens, each furnished stopping-places where the soul of the scholar was filled with delight. Ancient ruins, galleries crowded with treasures of art, modern palaces and temples- these were but the background of scenes upon which his mind rested. In Florence he seemed to walk the streets in company with Savonarola and to hear once more in St. Marks the thunder of that voice which shook Italy. In Rome, Vir- 236 BARTON WV. JOHNSON gil and Cicero and the Coesars were more real to him than Leo and Humbert. In Athens the echo of Paul's voice declaring the Unknown God on Mars' Hill, seemed to linger among the ruins that were crumbling about him. From this in- teresting spot he writes in his characteristic vein: "I climbed up to the top of the Parthenon and from its apex looked around upon the l)ano- rama that opens to the view. Every hill, rivu- let, shore and ruin that we see is famous. A short distance west is the rocky elevation so sacred in Christian story as Mars' Hill, or the Areopagus, where Paul addressed the Athenian philosophers on the claims of Christ. Its sum- mit is forty or fifty feet above the plain, and was reached by a series of steps, cut in the rock, which still remain. The amphitheater where Paul's audience sat can still be traced. A few of us had delightful worship, on Lord's day, on the very spot. No monument stands here to mark the place where the greatest man of his age delivered his remarkable oration; but he needs none, for Gentile Christianity is his imper- ishable monument. His voice is silent, but ad- miring millions on every continent read and admire the words that he once spoke in the midst of these monuments of Grecian great- ness. " The climax of interest and enthusiasm was 237 MEN OF YESTERDAY reached as the traveler looked down from Oli vet upon the City of the Great King. To one who had lived in constant fellowship with the Son of God no scene could be more enchanting. "As we stand in silence," he writes of the scene that burst upon him from the Mount of Olives, "too full for speech, and look upon mountains, valleys, homes and shrines, lit up by the splendor of the evening sun, what scenes come rising before our memories! What wonderful history could these silent mountains tell if God had given them tongues! Here in this narrow circle has been wrought out the most momentous history of the race." Retracing his steps, he returned home, having completed what was the most memorable and joyous experience of his life. Growing out of this journey was a unique volume which shortly appeared from his pen, entitled "Young Folks in Bible Lands." Representing himself the youth that he always felt himself to be when traveling, and his companions as boys, he has managed, through dialogue and description, to so interweave experience and history as to present an interesting and instructive book for young readers. V'. HOME AND HEAVEN. The few remaining years which B. W. Johnson was permitted to enjoy among us were quietly 238 BAPLTON W. JOHNSON spent at his post of duty, and though unevent- ful, they were, nevertheless, years of intense mental activity, when the fires of his inner nature burned with unwonted glow. It might have been said of him, as it was said of Doctor Lyman Beecher: "Had he husbanded his energies and turned them in a single chan- nel, the mental fire might have burned steadily on till long after three score and ten. But this was an impossibility. Circumstances and his own constitutional temperament united to spur him on, and for more than twenty of his best years he worked under a high pressure, to use his favorite expression, to the ne plus, that is, to the ultimate limit of physical and moral endurance." Mr. Johnson did not know how to rest. In only one way did he yield to the cry of his over- taxed strength, that was in changing the scene of his labors, without remitting in the least the number or measure of the tasks he had assigned himself. Feeling the need of refreshing country air, he was induced in 1887 to abandon the city for a time, and took up his residence in De Soto, Iowa, where he had endeared himself to the peo- ple in a former pastorate, and where he was held in great admiration and revered as a father. These may be counted among the happiest years of his experience. Here he wrote with almost ceaseless energy, and here he preached with great 239 MEN OF YESTERDAY acceptance. Here he refreshed his mind by companionship with the volumes that filled his library, and his body by exercise in his garden, or by social intercourse with farmers and neigh- bors with whom he lived on terms of intimacy. He loved the country. He loved the simple manners of country life, in which his early years were spent. He was a child of nature, and would gladly have spent his remaining days where the fragrance of field and the song of bird could be enjoyed, but the inexorable de- mands of business again called him to the city and to an untimely close of his useful life. It was during these quiet, busy days that the strongest and most beautiful traits of his char- acter were to be observed. To know him at his best, one must know him at the fireside, sur- rounded by family and a few friends. Others might admire him for his wisdom and scholar- ship, but only those who entered into this inner circle of his acquaintanceship could ever fully understand him. Here there was a freedom and a cordiality in his manner seldom manifest in the presence of strangers. The glow of his own fire- side seemed to melt down that element of reserve which was always more or less manifest in his association with the world outside. Here one caught glimpses of the depth and beauty of his conceptions, which his pen failed to trans- cribe and his voice was unable to utter in public 240 BARTON WV. JOHNSON address. His conversations were replete with wisdom, and an evening in his companionship would give one a better conception of the histor- ical bearing of a subject than could be gained from a week's reading. In the home he was loyal to every demand made upon him. He lived in the bosom of his family, and was never so happy as when wife and children were about him. As a father, he was strongly attached to his children. His ideas of paternal authority may have been a little more strict than those of most fathers, but it was always exercised with a kindness and pru- dence and wisdom that won their admiration and affection, and made it their chief delight to do what pleased him. Even after they were grown and had gone to homnes of their own, they never ceased to be his little girls, always receiving and heeding his counsel. His devotion and loyalty as a husband were always beautiful. Few men, of lives so busy and labors so ardent, have shared so largely in the companionship of wife. He always wanted her near him. When duty took him away he was always restless to return. He took her into his counsels. No decision was ever made without first submitting the matter to her for considera- tion, and no step was ever taken without her approval. By this course he was saved many a hasty, ill-considered decision, and much that, in 16 241 MEN OF YESTERDAY a nature like his, would otherwise have been a source of inconvenience and mortification to him, was repressed. His study was in a large sense the center of his life, but it was never his castle. Here, through many years, had grown up a large, well- selected library, which was largely a reflection of his intellectual tastes. As was to be expected, history predominated. A few well-selected poets filled a niche, though he was never devoted to the muse. For fiction he had little time, and, if feeling the need of mental recreation, usually read over and over his few favorites. "Pick- wick Papers" was with him an annual, and was read each time with increasing delight. In the- ology his library was always supplied with the latest. Advanced thought and conservatism, higher critic and traditionalist, found places side by side on his library shelves. Thus surrounded, his time was largely spent with his books; but he never sought their com- panionship with barred doors. He could always be approached by his family or a friend, and never became so absorbed in study but that he was able to pause for a moment's conversation, or give some needed counsel. Indeed, he was never so happy at his work as when his wife was quietly seated in his library near him. Often when she was engaged in her household duties, he would go in quest of her, and insist on her 242 BARTON W. JOHNSON bringing her work into the study by his side. say- ing he could work better if she were near. And when his. task was done it was always submitted to her before it was given to the public. If it was an article for the paper, he would read it aloud to her. If a sermon for the pulpit, he would preach it before her with all the fervor and elaborateness with which it was afterward delivered before the congregation. Though a man of letters and an acknowledged leader of religious thought among the Disciples, he shrank from literary or ecclesiastical titles, and refused to accept or wear them when con- ferred upon him. To him it was enough that he was a servant of Christ, and in this service it was his unfailing ambition to please his Master, satisfied if in the end he should hear words of approval spoken by Divine lips. We have traced the career of Barton W. John- son almost to its close. But one scene remains. That is the conflict that ended in final victory. Across his pathway for a time was cast a shadow; but it was soon dispelled, and the sun burst with undying splendor upon the brow of another of God's servants. In the autumn of 1893, the already frail body was again prostrated by disease. Rallying from the first severe attack, Mr. Johnson once more sought health in the sunny climate of Florida, 243 MEN OF YESTERDAY where a few years before he had been enabled to recuperate his exhausted energies. His life-long friend and co-laborer, Francis M. Call, accom- panied him, relieving him from all the cares and details of the journey, and loving hands minis- tered to him from day to day. Here he made a brave fight for life. He felt that his work for the Master was not done. He saw about him foes of righteousness which he longed yet to at- tack with his faithful pen. For a time, as week after week he felt his strength declining, his soul was enveloped in gloom. Sunny skies and spark- ling seas and fragrant groves lost their charm. The old home feeling grew stronger, and he pined for his own fireside. Here, once iagain surrounded by family and friends, his faith grew stronger and hope brighter; and as he caught glimpses of the far-away shore, he spoke to those who gathered around his bedside of the holy ambition that had burned within his soul, of his desire to have continued ten years longer on earth in the service of the cause he loved, but of his resignation to the Father's will. "I have tried," said he, as the pen fell for the last time from his grasp, "I have tried to be a faithful worker." At last the end came. In the early morning hours of May 24, 1894, as if there had already burst upon his soul the morning sun of eternity, he said, "'Reduce the light," and then fell asleep. 244 BARTON W. JOHNSON These were his last words. The morning light had broken, such a morning as can only fall to the lot of earth's redeemed children, as they bid farewell to its sorrows. What must have been the vision of that closing hour!, While his hand was yet strong he had painted this picture of heaven, which embodied his conception of the future life: "No place can be heaven to any being who does not take hLeaven to it in his soul. Heaven is a state as well as a place. No man call be happy unless he has the elements of happiness within. Some carry hell with them wherever they go. Heaven was a hell to Milton's Satan; heaven would be hell to the sinner steeped in sin, hating God and righteousness. In order to have an eternal heaven, we must havxe the love of heaven, of God an(l heavenly things, planted in our souls while below. "In the second place, we gain some idea of the bliss of heaven by the eternal absence of the things that distress us here. These frail bodies of ours are often bundles of pain so severe that we sigh for release. There arc those who are upon the rack day and night, and life is a long-drawn agony. How sweet the thought to these tired and weary ones, to all whose bodies are aching, whether it be from the burdens of toil or disease, to think of a home near at hand, where there is no pain any more, 245 MEN OF YESTERDAY where crying and tears are unheard and unseen for ever! These aching bodies of flesh and blood and nerve shall be exchanged for spiritual, incorruptible, undying bodies, which will never get out of repair, and hence will never suffer pain. And this fact also excludes another of the dark shadows which cloud our earthly life. With such bodies there will be no death in the eternal home, no funerals, no broken circles, no bereaved hearts, no mourners, none of that great sorrow that comneth sooner or later into every earthly household, and the dread of whose coin- ing always casts a gloom. "Then again, the curse of this present world is sin. Sin unsheathes the sword, devastates a country with war, burns cities, turns brutal sol- diery upon wives and daughters, opens the saloon, the gambling den, and the brothel, beg- gars millions of our race, poisons with slander, cheats, robs, murders, and indeed perpetuates every wrong that fills this world with wretched- ness. Who hath not felt its bitter sting! Who hath not known the sorrow of unmerited wrong! Who hath not traced his greatest misery to the presence of sin in this world! In view of this sad experience of our race there is no statement concerning the heavenly city which contains sweeter comfort than the assurance that 'there shall no sin enter there.' 'There shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither 246 BARTON W. JOHNSON worketh abomination or maketh a lie, but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.' Not in the holy city, but 'without, are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and niaketh a lie.' Never in that blessed abode shall the righteous soul be grieved by the sight of impurity or wrong; never shall the saint endure the sting of an angry, spiteful or slanderous tongue. There shall no shadow fall upon the spirit, no penalty for broken law, nor shall there 'he any more curse,' because the defiling touch of sin shall never stain that pure and holy home of the redeemed. There will be no discord in heaven, but union and peace forevermore. "I shall not draw upon my imagination for the employments of the happy dwellers. They will not be idle, nor will their employments be use- less. They have on earth worked the work of God, and they will work it still; their earthly life has been a continual growth in Divine knowl- edge, and heaven will not bring that growth to its end. If there be work forever for the angels, surely there will be work for God's redeemed children. But one of the most delightful pros- pects of heaven is the blessed company that shall gather in the holy, happy land. Socrates in the Phaedo is made to speak of the worthies beyond, whom he expects to see when he passes through the gates of which the hemlock was to 2-17 MEN OF YESTERDAY be the key. And what a holy and happy reun- ion will be ours on the celebrated shore! Not only our own sainted dead, the loved ones whom regretful memory still keeps near us, but the grand heroes of whom the world was not worthy, or who have laid themselves upon the altar of humanity. In that heavenly society we shall meet Judson, and Luther, and Savonarola, and the mighty hosts of sufferers, male and female, who loved not their own lives; the ever-glorious Paul, and the other members of that immortal band of apostles, evangelists and martyrs who put in motion the new forces that changed the world; the sweet and blessed women who told the first news of the risen Lord; and there, too, will 'gather many from the east and the west who will sit down in the kingdom with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob,' and the rest of the men of God of the infant world. 'There the saints of all ages in harmony meet, Their Savior and brethren transported to greet; While the anthems of rapture unceasingly roll, And the smile of the Lord is the feast of the soul.'" Beautiful and impressive as this picture is to us, how colorless it must now appear to him be- fore whose vision have unfolded the glorious realities of the heavenly abiding-place! 248 This page in the original text is blank. 0. A. BURGESS. VI. OTIS A. BURGESS. Ir anything is false, absolutely false, it does not take a man very long to find it out, especially if that falsehood chal- lenges all men everywhere in the open light of day. Christ's system has done that very thing. It has not remained in a corner; it has not sought the cover of darkness; it has not made its appeal merely to the unlearned and superstitious. But stepping boldly into open day, it has challenged the at- tention of mankind, and courted the severest tests to which advanced learning and wisdom have been able to subject it. It has stood the tests and proved its divine character thereby. -0. A. Burges. 250 OTIS A. BURGESS. L YOUTH AND EARLY LABORS. T HIS century of achievement has produced nothing so great as the men and. women who have directed its energies. Its inventions, discoveries and reforms, must ever give place to its inventors, discoverers and reformers. It has been pre-eminently a century of splendid man- hood and womanhood. We pause in admiration of its great characters, and to know them is to be irresistibly drawn by theni to a higher and holier purpose. In the midst of these splendid examples in the realm of religion, philanthropy, literature, art, commerce and industry, I have confined my attention in this series of sketches to those whose lives and influence were employed in the establishment and defense of a simple, apostolic Christianity. Among these, 0. A. Burgess may well take rank as a leader. While he occupied a place somewhat different from others whose achievements I have considered, in his own chosen sphere of labor he has rendered invalu- able service, and towers like a giant among the defenders of the Christian faith. (251) MEN OF YESTERDAY To know him was to feel the impress of a strong personality, to find one's self stretching to reach a loftier ideal, or aspiring to render- worthier service. It was my privilege to know him at that impressionable age when great men make their deepest and most lasting impress; and I here cheerfully record my debt to him as a teacher and a friend. He was one of the few men who have personally helped me to see further and deeper into the mysteries of this surrounding iworld, and whose life and memory have been a continual inspiration. As a friend his sympathies were unbounded; as a teacher of youth lie was a whole college in himself; as a friend and teacher in one, he possessed rare power as a character-builder. M1r. Burgess was fortunate in his parentage. He was a member of a house whose corner- stone was Plymouth Rock. Hiis ancestors, both paternal and maternal, were members of the Pil- grim Colony of 1637. They were of the stern Puritan type, rather too stern, perhaps, for the highest spiritual development; but they wvere successful in imparting to their descendants a strength and decision of character, of which 0. A. Burgess had his full share. They were en- dowed with the energy and independence which their untamed surroundings demanded, and w hen their liberties and privileges were en(lanl- gered, they were said, on the morning of the 252 OTIS A. BURGEESS Revolutionary outhreak, "to have been up before the sun." In a Puritan home in Thompson, Connecticut, Otis Asa Burgess was horn August 26, 1829. That his own childhood partook largely of his New England surroundings, and that from the same source he came into possession of a "large vital force, and affectionate and respectful obedience, and an early life of tasks and indus- try," is evident as we study the character and temper of the man. The home was one of re- ligious influence, but of a rigid type of religion that, in a boy of his independence of spirit, in time, came near making permanent shipwreck of his faith. A pious, devoted mother, whose beautiful character and gentle ways were always among his tenderest memories, sought to bring him up in the stern elements of her unsympa- thetic creed. But religion was so dismal a matter in those days, and the occasion of so many discomforts and hardships, repulsive to youthful spirits, that it was quite difficult for an inquisitive child to reconcile it with his simple ideas of Divine goodness. Indeed, comfort in worship was regarded as almost irreverent. Even in the rigid winters of a New England cli- mate, meeting-houses were unheated, and I have heard him tell how he would sit shivering by his mother, half-frozen, through the long, dry ser- viee, wondering at the inconsistency of a God 253 MEN OF YESTERDAY who allowed people to build fires in their homes, but forbid it in the churches. Those trying winter services and the rigid home discipline, for his father was of that stern type, almost tyran- nical, made the religion of his childhood any- thing but a pleasant memory; and almost before he had learned the meaning of it all, he had begun to doubt. When he wvas still a small boy, the family for- tunes led to their removal to Norwich, New York: This was in 1837, and the next ten years were spent, as best his surroundings would afford, in fitting himself for a place. This was no easy task. It was a period of privation. Opportun- ities were rare, and the privileges of a boy few. Most of this period he went to "that school of discipline from which so many great men have graduated-a farmer boy's life." With an occa- sional term in the district school, and plenty of opportunity among "the rocks and stumps" for physical exercise, he rapidly grew to manhood, strong, resolute and fearless. While still taught in the doctrines of strictest Calvinism, he passed through experiences before he had reached his fifteenth year that sent him, for a time, to the ranks of infidelity. His moth- er's death, which occurred about this time, left a deep impression upon his mind. The rebellion which had sprung up in his youthful heart seemed to give way at the touch of affliction. 254 OTIS A. BURGESS The memory of her faithful teaching, and the keen sense of his loss at her death, seemed about to accomplish her prayer for the salvation of her boy. He resolved, if possible, to share her faith, and began to seek earnestly after God. Ile resorted to the accustomed means of grace. It was an occasion of revival in the commu- nity. The mourners' bench wvas pointed out as the pathway to religious joy, and thither he vent for peace. With prayer and tears he sought the assurance of pardon. But all his efforts seemed unavailing, and he finally turned his back, not only upon his early religious training, but on religion itself, concluding that either he was "predestined to be lost, and was given over to hardness of heart," or that Christianity itself was a baseless superstition. It was a critical moment, and the wonder is, not that his heart rebelled, but that he was ultimately snatched from the ruin of infidelity to become one of the mightiest champions of the Christian faith, and the most fearless antagonist of modern skep- ticism. Whether at this time he had formed any defin- ite plan of life-work, can not be stated. If so, his plans were shattered, as later he bowed at the feet of Jesus, and pledged himself to his service. He, at least, very early cherished an ambition to deserve the respect of his fellow- men and win for himself a place of influence in MEN OF YESTERDAY the world, and he now felt that the only hope of its realization was to set about the task of get- ting the best education his circumstances would allow. He had reached his seventeenth year, and while left upon his own resources, he deter- mined to commence a course of study. For this purpose he entered Norwich Academy, a flourishing institution in the neighborhood. Such was his ability, industry and progress, that within a few weeks he was able to teach success- fully in the common schools. Carefully hus- banding his small earnings, after a time he accumulated sufficient funds to enable him to re-enter the academy, where he pursued his studies for a term of fourteen weeks, and fin- ished the entire course, except the classics. The young man now began to look about him for a place. His surroundings offered him, little encouragement. The newly settled West, then as since, was a land of promise for ambitious young men. Half a century ago it presented a field of unbounded resources and opportunities to intelligence and enterprise. If a man turned his attention to agriculture, vast unoccupied ter- ritory stretched out before him. If he deter- mined upon a professional career; there was plenty of elbow room anywhere. If he did not rise, it was largely his own fault. No matter how poor in purse, socially he found himself in the best society if he possessed any element of 256 OTIS A. BURGESS worth. Cordial friendship and warmi sympathy welcomed every new-comer who was in any sense worthy of respect. Thither young Burgess resolved to go. Gath- ering together his small possessions, in the fall of 1847, he started westward, like Abraham, hardly knowing whither he went, until the in- viting prairies of Illinois caused him to halt. The country, then new, seemed to present an ideal field in which to make a start in life, and stopping at Metamora, he began at once looking about him for something to do. It was a fortu- nate circumstance that brought him among the thrifty people of this little western village, and marks a turning point in his career. The school-room again offered him a place of anchorage, and he soon made himself a reputa- tion as an instructor and disciplinarian as the master of a district school. Ile fully identified himself with the new life around him, and was recognized as a leader both in the sports and the intellectual life of the community that enjoyed his services. But as yet the bitterness of his unbelief left its blight upon his nature. He had turned from the Calvinism of his childhood, the only phase of Christianity of which he knew anything. He had never heard of anything to take its place, and was consequently satisfied with his agnosticism. But he had not been long in his new field of labor until he heard of a pecu- 17 257 MEN OF YESTERDAY liar people, calling themselves Disciples of Christ, but whom society disrespectfully named "Campbellites." It needed little to induce him to join in the general ridicule of this new relig- ious order, of whom he heard only misrepresent- ation and censure. That he ever overcame his prejudices sufficiently to give respectful consid- eration to the truth as taught by this people, and to become a submissive disciple of Christ, is an amazing achievement of grace. II. NEW LIFE AND LABORS. It was some time after his removal to the prai- ries of Illinois that he had the privilege of attending a meeting conducted by a people he had come to hold in light esteem, and of listen- ing to their doctrine. It was more through curi- osity than anything else that he finally attended a service held in the neighborhood. It was his good fortune, upon this occasion, to hear Henry Palmer, one of the most worthy preachers of pioneer fame in Illinois. Instead of confusing dogmas, that had caused him to stumble and turn his back upon Christ and the church, he heard from this faithful preacher a simple plan of redemption unfolded, of which Christ was the center, and which appealed alike to his reason and to his heart. The message came to Mr. Burgess like a new revelation. He had, like Timothy, been trained in the Scriptures from 258 OTIS A. BURGESS youth, but it was a new Bible Father Palmer put into his hands after that first discourse. He went home determined to ascertain for him- self the truth of the doctrine that had been pre- sented. Taking up his neglected Bible, he was surprised to find that it really contained the mes- sage that had been presented, and that it was not the invention of the preacher. After that it required only a short period to convince him of the error and folly of unbelief, and then his heart bowed submissively before the simple truth of the Gospel, and on July 21, 1850, he was immersed upon a profession of his faith. This conquest of the Gospel gave to the world a devoted and able minister of the Word, a worker of recognized ability in the cause of Christian education, and an influential member of society. Upon his acceptance of Christ, Mr. Burgess began at once to recast all his plans. He had enlisted for service, and was ready to devote his life to his new Master in whatever sphere he could make himself most useful. He had now reached his twenty-first year. Thrown early upon his own resources, he was self-reliant and fearless. He had thus far toiled up hill all the way, and now that the fountain of his religious feeling was touched, he felt himself equipped with new power for a continued struggle. Undaunted by the limitations which early por- 259 MEN OF YESTERDAY erty had thrown about him, and with heart aglow with the zeal of his new faith, he determined to fit himself for the ministry of the Word. With this new purpose of a consecrated life, he deter- mined to thoroughly equip himself for his chosen work. Bethany College, presided over by Alex- ander Campbell, then in the full glory of his grand career, was at that time the educational center of the Christian Church. From its hails were being sent forth an army of educated young men who were to Ibe the moulders of our religious history for a generation. Mr. Bur- gess decided to go to Bethany. But in taking an inventory of his resources, he found that after paying his fare to this seat of learning he would have just four dollars and a half and a carpen- ter's hand-saw remaining. It. was a daring thing to attempt, but in his very make-up he possessed the element that was willing to take large risks when the issue depended upon sacrifices, labor and faith in Christ. So he started. He found it a struggle to maintain himself in college, but having put his hand to the plow, he would not turn back. He had already counted the cost, and resolved to shrink fromn no hardships. lie knew how to work with his hands as well as brain. All his resources were now drawn upon to secure the prize of an education. He did odd jobs as a carpenter on Saturdays and holidays. The vacations he spent in teaching. As hle be- 26D OTIS A. BURGESS gan to exercise his gifts as a preacher, he was soon able to add to his slender resources by preaching for some of the surrounding churches, though it must be confessed that from. this source his gains were largely in experience, rather than in dollars and cents. Yet in after years his heart always went out in gratitude to the breth- ren who took hold of him, and held him firmly by the hand, wvhen it was doubtful whether the scale would turn for or against him in his desire and effort to become a preacher. With a splendid physique, a richly endowed mind, and his great will-power, lie was able to endure and accomplish more than most young men; and while working his way through college he kept up with his class, receiving from the hands of Alexander Campbell, in 1854, the diploma of graduation. The next step for the young preacher was to secure a fieldl where he could contribute to the advancement of the cause of Christ. This was not so easy as it would now appear. Churches were then looking for old preachers of rich ex- perience and profound Biblical knowledge, and young preachers, like young lawyers and young doctors, had to begin at the bottom. Returning to Illinois, Mr. Burgess first found employment in connection with Walnut Grove Academy as its financial agent, and helped to secure the charter for its conversion into Eureka College. 26i MEN OF YESTERDAY He then and ever afterward felt that the future of the Disciples of Christ depended upon the successful establishment of institutions where Christian education could be given, and threw his great energy into this cause as did few other men. Soon after his return from Bethany, Mr. Bur- gess formed an alliance which proved every way helpful to him throughout his busy life,-that was his union in marriage with Miss Nannie Ledgerwood, who as Mrs. 0. A. Burgess, still survives him to carry on the Master's work which he, in the strength of his prime, was com- pelled to lay down. Those who know of Mrs. Burgess' devotion to the cause of Christ, and of her consecrated service in leading the sister- hood of the Disciples in their world-wide minis- try, need not be told that one of the contributing elements to the success of the young preacher and educator, was the co-operation of his de- voted Christian wife. While it had been the purpose of Mr. Bur- gess, from the moment of his conversion, to become the messenger of the religion he once had ridiculed and rejected, the way had not yet opened for him to devote his whole energy to the ministry of the Word. In the meantime he gave his attention to the work of securing for the growing West better educational advantages. Having succeeded, as financial agent, in put- a28 OTIS A. BURGESS ting Eureka College on a better financial basis, he was given a place on its Faculty, in the fall of 1855, as "Professor of Natural Sciences, Mental and Moral Philosophy, and Lecturer on Sacred Literature," a range of instruction rather broad and diverse for a young man but recently out of college himself. But the specialist had not yet made his appearance, and the public was not so exacting as now; and Mr. Burgess found him- self fairly equipped to instruct the young men from the country who filled his class-room. He was no novice in the field of education, since he had had considerable experience as a public school teacher, and if his scholarship was yet limited, he possessed the inspirational faculty of breathing life into abstruse college studies, and exciting among his students a passion for knowl- edge and unbounded admiration for the gifted teacher. But he had set out to follow his Master in a different field, and though his life was destined to be spent largely in the training of young men and women, he now had other plans. His in- tense religious zeal would not be contented within the limits of the class-room. He believed so firmly in the plea for the restoration of Primi- tive Christianity that he longed to be out in the field as its aggressive champion. He belonged to the church militant in the most literal sense of the term. Without vanity or egotism, he felt 263 MEN OF YESTERDAY himself possessed of talent which could be made to serve the cause he had espoused, in a larger field. His brethren shared in this conviction, and, at the close of the first year in Eureka Col- lege, he was called to minister to the churches of Washington and Metamora, Illinois. Here for a period of five years he carried on a vigorous campaign against the enemies of Christ, winning converts, strengthening the churches, and mak- ing for himself a reputation throughout the brotherhood as a preacher of extraordinary power. Once during this period of his setrvice his courage failed, and, with a fainting spirit, he decided to abandon the ministry. It had been a hard struggle to secure support from the weak churches for which he labored. To sustain the work and keep himself from debt, and hunger from his door, he turned his attention to farm- ing as well as preaching. At last "he decided to quit and go farther West. He had a pair of horses to sell, and hearing of a man about twenty miles away who wanted to buy a pair, he started out to see him. On his way he stopped at a small town where a meeting at the time was going on. He preached at night, and the next day started on to complete his journey. The man did not buy his horses, and on his way home he again preached and continued the meeting 26g OTIS A. BURGEESS with a large number of additions. -This was the establishment of him in his life work." It may be well to pause here and study the man as he stood before his fellows in the early years of his ministry. Nature had fashioned him for a leader, a man of mark among men. He had an air of manly independence which manifested itself in his look, his word, his action. There was a fear- lessness in his manner an(d method of presenting the truth that at once won the respect and con- fidence of his hearers, and contributed to the success of his ministry. In stature he was tall, slightly stooped, save when he drew himself up to hurl some shaft of truth against the defenses of his antagonists. His eye was black and piercing, and blazed with the fire of his inner nature when aroused, twinkled with merriment when engaged in friendly intercourse, and then reposed into almost melancholy when pondering upon the graver problems that occupied his mind. His long, flowing beard, black as night, prominent nose and expansive brow, combined to form a figure and features that were sure to impress a waiting audience with expectations that were seldom disappointed. In keeping with his physical and intellectual characteristics was a splendid, deep, rich voice, that contributed to 265 MEN OF YESTERDAY the feeling of massiveness when he spoke. His conceptions of things, too, were as large as his personal bearing, and one never listened to him without the consciousness of an enlarged hori- zon, feeling himself the part of a greater world, the possessor of undreamed of blessings, the recipient of unbounded grace, the servant of an infinite Master, the heir of inconceivable riches. The following picture from the pen of a life- long friend will be recognized by those who knew him: "No one felt the dignity and glory of his calling more than he. The august, representa- tive character of his office was never lost sight of by him. He always had upon his heart a message, and this he uttered with all the thought, fervor and pathos of his strong nature. He had an inexpressible contempt for pulpit platitudes, or pulpit sensationalism. He always dealt with weighty matters, and his sermons were grave, strong, manly sermons, often con- taining passages of unpremeditated beauty and noble eloquence, that moved mind and heart to clearer thought and better conduct. In manner this message was sometimes with the impetuos- ity and terrible energy of Elijah, and then again with the love and tenderness of John. In the heat of spiritual conflict he was a 'son of thunder;' in the communion of saints he had 266 OTIS A. BURGESS much of the simplicity and child-like love that the Apostle John had for the Master." Such was the man who stood forth young, strong and resolute as the champion of Chris- tianity against unbelief, and of a rational, script- ural Christianity against that founded upon human creed and tradition. During these early labors Mr. Burgess endeared himself to a large circle of friends. Beyond the borders of his charge he frequently went to carry on a cam- paign against sin, or to help some struggling pas- tor, or to establish anew the claims of Christ where infidelity had obtained a foothold. In these labors he was instrumental in winning many to Christ, and materially strengthening the cause of truth in the great Prairie State. The outbreak of the Civil War, in 1861, with its call to arms, broke into every peaceful enter- prise, even that of the ministry. The patriotic instincts of Mr. Burgess pushed him to the front among the first, and, as a captain of volunteers, he experienced all the dangers and hardships of army life, often on "the perilous edge of battle," and in "the imminent, deadly breach." In this capacity he served his country until after the battle of Pittsburg Landing, in which he took part. Soon after his health entirely broke down, and he was compelled to return to more peaceful pursuits. In the fall of 1862, Mr. Burgess resumed his 267 MEN OF YESTERDAY ministerial labors, accepting a call to the Central Christian Church of Indianapolis, then the fore- most church of the Disciples in the West. He was now in the strength of his early prime, keenly alive to every interest of humanity, and a recognized leader in every movement that would contribute to human progress. It was a peculiarly trying period. The excitement at- tending the equipment of armies and the news of battles, engrossed the public attention. But such was the strength and genius of Mr. Bur- gess' pulpit efforts that he was able to call back men's minds to the great central truths of Chris- tianity, and enlist them first in the service of Christ, as an essential step in their preparation for patriotic service. As a preacher he gave forth no uncertain sound. Having planted his feet upon the testimonies of the Gospel, his whole energy was enlisted in its proclamation and defense. He literally hid behind the Cross of Christ. . His sermons of this period arc strong in their presentation of the claims of the Bible and the evidences of revealed religion. Having in his early experiences lingered for a time in Doubting Castle, he knew how, as few have been able to do, to describe its gloom and to point the way out. As the recognized cham- pion of the Bible he was now often called upon to defend it against the attacks of skepticism in many places; the foreshadowings of his splendid 268 OTIS A. BURGEESS service in later years as the defender of the faith. During the busy years of 'Mr. Burgess' pastor- ate in Indianapolis, his growing reputation brought him into touch with the various inter- ests of the community and the church. He was never a man of one idea, and no single enter- prise was ever able to entirely consunme his energy. He was a many-sided man, and nothing of human interest was foreign to him. It thus happened that while his labors as pastor were earnest and productive of large results, he found time and inclination to go out into many lines of service, that extended his fame and endeared him to thousands. His ability as a public speaker made large draft upon his time. Anniversaries, dedications, occasions of moment, political and religious, brought him often upon the platform beyond the confines of his parish, and called from hinm his ablest efforts. In times of public exultation over victory, or public sorrow in calamity, lie was again and again chosen to give expression to the feelings of his townsmen, and the power with which he rose to great occasions never failed to justify his choice. I venture to quote the following from an address before the citizens of Indianapolis shortly after the assassination of Abrahami Lincoln, not only because it illustrates the tine eloquence of the speaker, but also be- 269 MIEN OF YESTERDAY cause of its portrayal of the ideal statesman and ruler: "I must think that the magnitude of Mr. Lin- coln's work has never been equaled in the his- tory of nations. With a bankrupt treasury; with stolen mints; with surrendered forts; with empty arsenals; with treachery at home and enmity abroad; with the startling revelation almost every day that a high and trusted official had turned a traitor; forsaken by those he deemed friends; abused, denounced and aban- doned by even more in number in the North than in the South-he took the helm amidst the wildest waves on wvhich ship of State ever rode, and, calm as the bosom of a placid lake, he stood unmoved, beating back the surging billows of scorn and hatred and treason, as the rock beats back the tempest-lashed sea. Amidst all this storm of wrath and sea of treason, Abra- ham Lincoln has never uttered a hasty expres- sion or made an angry speech. Neither the chagrin of disappointed office-seekers, nor the haste of over-zealous friends, nor the deep malignity of his most implacable enemies, has betrayed him into a single public utterance over which his warmest friends may blush. . . . A statesman without intrigue, a patriot without stain, a more than monarch without ambition,- his first, his last, his only thought the union of country and freedom for the people." 270 OTIS A. BURGESS HII. THE FEARLESS DEFENDER OF THE FAITH. As the storm of civil war cleared away, Mr. Burgess felt the throb of a new era, and with it the feeling of new responsibility. He foresaw dangers as wvell as opportunities; and believing that Christianity, and that the purest type of Christianity, presented the only safeguard against future calamity, he called upon his brethren for new deeds of devotion in extending the influence of the Reformation. So intense was his feeling of the greatness of the hour that he for a time abandoned his pulpit, to go out in the interests of the American Christian Mission- ary Society. In the summer of 1865, he traversed a wide section of the country in a campaign of missionary education among the churches, and gave his energies to raising funds for the more complete evangelization of America. After a short period of service in the interest of home missions, he returned to the care of his charge in Indianapolis, and continued in its uninterrupted service until the summer of 1868, when a call came to him to the Presidency of Northwestern Christian University, now Butler College. It was with no intention of abandon- ing the ministry that he accepted the position offered him. Indeed, he never ceased to be a preacher, and during the greater part of his career as an educator, upon which he now entered, he continued to minister to the church which had 271 MEN OF YESTERDAY become strongly attached to him. His energies from this time on were largely consumed in the interests of Christian education, and most of us who knew him in that period, think of him in the class-room as a teacher, rather than in the pulpit as preacher. Few men were better fitted for such a position t'han he. His early experience as district school- master, his former service in the college class- room, his wide experience among men, his rich acquisitions of knowledge, all contributed to his endowment for the work he now had in hand. There was an originality and daring in his method of investigation that presented a pecu- liar charm to the minds of young men. There was a ruggedness and positiveness in his manner of thought and style of expression that inspired confidence. There was a warmth and geniality in his intercourse with students that won, not only their admiration, but their friendship. Here, for more than a decade, with a brief interval spent in Chicago,' Mr. Burgess devoted himself to the work of quickening and directing young men and women in their intellectual pur- suits, and in their moral and religious develop- ment. In this capacity he might be called an educational reformer. He was among the first to advocate and try the experiment of the co- 1 From 1870 to 1872, Mr. Burgess served as pastor of the Indiana Avenue Christian Church of Chicago. 272 OTIS A. BURGESS education of the sexes upon a single standard of stu(ly anal excellence. The attempts at co-edu- cation, so far as tried in a few other Western colleges, had hitherto prepared a double course of study, a less thorough and difficult one for feminine minds. Of course, he had to endure his share of ridicule. It wvas claimeid that young men and women, if brought together in the class-room, would fall in love with each other, and that the standard of education would have to he lowvered to meet the mental capacity of the weaker sex. In defense of the ground he had taken, Mr. Burgess urged that the co-education of the sexes had a refining and restraining influence on both; that it establishes a social life in college which is as necessary to proper and coiiprehensive education as a knowledge of books, of literature, or science; and that an education together, a thorough1 knowledge of each other, and a pro- found and sincere respect for each other, wvill be far more likely to promote their future happi- ness than ignorance and false notions. A few years justified the wisdom of 'Mr. Bur- gess' course. It has led to the opening of nearly every institution in the land to young ladies upon the same terms as to young men, and has resulted in the honors being carried off repeat- edly by them in competition with the brightest coNlleoe men. 18 273 MEN OF YESTERDAY With Alexander Campbell, he believed that every educational system was faulty which did not seek the symmetrical development of man's entire being, body as well as mind, and spirit as well as body. So the Bible was made one of the corner-stones of instruction, and it was, perhaps, never made more attractive than as studied in Mr. Burgess' class-room. His ideals of educa- tion, kept constantly before the young men and women, find expression in his Inaugural Address as President of the University, of which the fol- lowing gives the key-note: "I trust you will give yourselves, with what- ever energy and ability you possess, that with so much gained here, you may be able, with God in your hearts and nature before your eyes, to continue a course of study that will lead you to the higher realization of the truly and thorough- ly educated, stopping not, nor being satisfied, until the life that now is shall find its comple- ment in the life which is to come." How anxiously, I might almost say agoniz- ingly, he looked after the moral development of his students as they passed through the tempta- tions peculiar to college life, we may gather from his own words: "When I see a young man just ready to enter upon the rugged duties of life, turning aside from the path of virtue and truth, preferring the nightly theater to the sacred home-circle, 274 OTIS A. BURGESS absorbed by the giddy whirl of the dance, en- ticed by the promised gain of the card-table, poisoned by the venom of the wine-cup; and when at length I see him preferring the house of revelry and shame to the house of worship and praise, I bow my head and weep, while in try heart I feel that he is walking in the footprints of the devil. "When I see a young lady filled with the haughty spirit of pride, impatient of parental restraints, watching with feverish anxiety the rose that blooms but for an hour, forgetting the amaranthine flower that blooms forever, and always adorning the body, but never the soul, my soul sickens within me as I exclaim, Alas! that woman-beautiful, fragile, lovely, noble woman should also tread in the footprints of the devil." Youth-promising, ambitious, enticed youth- always found in him a true friend and helper, and the impress of his lofty ideals was carried out into the world by thousands who came under his influence. In pursuing the career of Mr. Burgess through the various lines of service which he rendered Christianity, I have purposely omitted mention of his repeated conflicts with the enemies of the faith. From the day when he left the ranks of doubt to become a follower of the Son of God, until the day when he laid down the burden of 275 2MEN OF YESTERDAY earthly toil, revealed truth had Do bolder or more invincible champion than he. It has somehow fallen to the representatives of the Christian Church in our century to meet the enemies of the Bible; and it has been their honor to meet them in such a way as to utterly put thein to flight. Having no creed to defend but that contained in the Scriptures, no theolog- ical system to bolster up, no apology to make for denominational errors, they have occupied ground more easily defensible than that of other representatives of the Christian faith. In- trenched behind the Man of Galilee and his Gospel, they have never failed, to sustain the claims of the New Testament Church against those whose stock in trade was the imperfections of modern religious society. Alexander Camp- bell in his time did valiant service in meeting and vanquishing the foremost champions of un- belief. Mr. Burgess rendered scarcely less val- uable service to a more recent generation in his fearless conflict with all opposers of Christian- ity who could be drawn into debate, and in his courageous exposure of those who could not. From almost the beginning of his public min- istry Mr. Burgess was called upon to give ex- pression to the ground of Christian faith and hope, and he was perhaps more widely known as a defender of the Christian religion against the attacks of skepticism than in any other capacity. Z76 OTIS A. BURGESS It was in this field of religious service that he appeared at his best. He was constitutionally a debater. His keen logic, ready wit, fair schol- arship, close reasoning, vital magnetism and rare gifts of oratory, left him with few superiors in the field of polemics. As a preacher, while always instructive, he was sometimes disappoint- ing. But the presence of an antagonist fired his mind, and in the excitement of debate he rose to unwonted heights of eloquence, and never failed to more than satisfy the expectations of his friends. In discussing the claims of Christianity Mr. Burgess felt confident of his ground. With an aching heart he had once canvassed the whole field in his search for God and peace, and at last found all that he sought at the foot of the Cross of Christ. With such an experience behind him, he ever more made himself secure by anchoring his faith to the rock-truths of revealed religion. Skeptic, spiritualist, free-thinker, rep resenta- tives of every form of unbelief that rejected the claims of his Master, encountered in him a fear- less antagonist. But his most noted encounters were with Mr. B. F. Underwood, the apostle of free-thought and infidelity. In an attitude of defiance the latter went about the country, re- peating his tirade against Christianity, and call- ing upon its representatives to meet him in its defense or acknowledge their ground untenable. 277 MEN OF YESTERDAY The friends of truth soon discovered in Mr. Burgess one whom they could intrust with its defense, and from that time until Mr. Under- wood finally retired from the field he was called upon again and again to meet him in public de- bate. The success of Mr. Burgess' defense was usually attested by a revival of religion in the community where the debate was held, he him- self often remaining to gather in the fruitage. One sentence, rescued from this series of con- flicts with Mr. Underwood, uttered in defense of the doctrine of immortality, shows the keenness of Mr. Burgess' argument: "Can it be," said he, "that the lifeless clay of my body shall return into the parent dust, and that miserable clod live forever, while that which controls and regulates this body-the active, liv- ing, thinking, intelligent principle within me- shall only cease to be" But he was not always successful in bringing the enemies of truth to an encounter. They came in time to fear him and evade him. In the summer of 1872, a Mr. Denton delivered a series of so-called scientific lectures in Worcester, Mass. Throughout his effort was to throw ridi- cule on the Bible. At the close of the series he challenged the city to gainsay his statements. The challenge was taken up by the friends of truth. Mr. Burgess was selected as the most able and suitable man to defend the cause of 278 OTIS A. BURGESS Christianity, and he at once accepted the respon- sibility. But, arriving on the ground, he found it impossible to arrange terms with his opponent, -so nothing remained for him but to deliver a series of lectures in defense of the claims of the Bible. An eye-witness has left us this picture of Mr. Burgess as he appeared before the citizens of Worcester: "I had seen and heard many preachers before, but remember nothing to equal this occasion. As he took his place on the stand, every move- ment indicated that he was more than an ordi- nary person. And when the full, deep, rich tones of his voice rang out, and that eye- sharper than an eagle's and piercing as the Word he was about to defend-flashed over the assem- bled audience, there came an almost breathless stillness, which was unbroken for nearly two hours. His arguments were clear, pointed, and lriven home with, as it were, the blows of a mighty sledge-hammer. He appeared a tower of strength, mentally and physically. He was thor- oughly at ease in mind as to the truths of the Bible. His expression was free, often soaring into the sublime. In fact, everything he said or did was pregnant with meaning, and the very ideal of eloquence." Another defamer of Christianity whom he longed for an opportunity to meet in public de- bate was Mr. Ingersoll. But the wily skeptic 279 MEN OF YESTERDAY always succeeded in evading him, feeling much safer, in his tirade against the Christian faith, upon a platform where the ghost of an antagon- ist would not haunt him. While Mr. Burgess was never able to bring the silver-tongued blas- phemer to a face-to-face encounter, he was not of the temper to allow his bold sophisms to pass unchallenged. or the communities in which they were uttered to accept them as unquestioned statements of truth. So ably and logically and effectively did he meet every point urged against the Christian Scriptures that he was kept busy following in the track of the infidel lecturer, set- ting communities, in widely separated parts of the country, right upon these matters. In 1879 he received the following invitation from Washington, D. C., signed by many repre- sentative men of both houses of Congress: "The undersigned are desirous that a reply be made to the lecture of Col. Robert G. Ingersoll on 'Some Mistakes of Moses,' immediately after its delivery. As you have replied to it elsewhere, we are well aware of your ability to address yourself to the subject, and we are interested that it be done in the service of pure religion, at the City of Washington." It is to be regretted that the addresses of Mr. Burgess on this and other occasions "in the serv- ice of pure religion," have not been preserved. Aside from a few imperfect newspaper reports, 280 OTIS A. BURGESS and the recollection of those who heard this grand man in the defense of their faith, nothing remains of all that array of testimony by which he put to flight the armies of the aliens. To the very end he counted it his chiefest joy to lead his fellowmen out into the clearer light of truth respecting the authority of the Bible, the divinity of Jesus, the immortality of the soul, etc. "I wish it distinctly understood," he said, "that neither my brethren nor the cause I repre- sent shall ever be driven to the wall by infidelity, if what little ability I possess can at any time contribute to the defense and maintenance of the truth." He feared God, and because of his reverence "for the Father's authority his most vigorous intellectual efforts were made when his moral indignation was stirred by men who challenged the existence of God, the truths of revealed religion or the claims of virtuous living. With clearness of reasoning, with effectiveness of re- sources and in the manliness of free (lehate, he was a champion of truth and righteousness." IV. THE CLOSING YEARS OF A BUSY LIFE. In connection with his professional duties Mr. Burgess was always faithful to his obligations as citizen of a great Republic. From the day when he joined the ranks of his country's defenders on the battlefield, to the close of his eventful career, 281 MEN OF YESTERDAY he shrank from no service which the responsibil- ities of citizenship imposed. He manifested an active interest in great political movements. His public addresses were all patriotic in tone. This was especially true of those addressed to the young men and women in colleges. His ambi- tion as an educator was to make good citizens; and on occasions when important political inter- ests were involved, he would teach the boys prac- tical politics by leading them into the caucus, and arraying them on the side of righteousness. His patriotism was a recognized factor in the State where most of his busy years were spent. In recognition of his loyalty and ability, he was prominently mentioned as a candidate for the Governorship of Indiana in the campaign of 1880. While his friends failed to secure for him the nomination, he entered the political arena that year as the champion of James A. Garfield, and was, without doubt, one of the important factors in turning the tide in the State of Indi- ana in his favor and securing his election to the Presidency of the United States. Complications which grew out of Mr. Burgess' active participation in politics led him, early in 1881, to sever his connection with Butler Uni- versity and return to his former pulpit in the city of Chicago. He was now at what seemed the very zenith of his career. He had just en- tered upon that age which gave him wisdom and 282 OTIS A. BURGESS influence. His energy, faith and ability had secured him a position in the front rank of the advocates of primitive Christianity. The work upon which he now entered promised a field commensurate with his ability. Our forces were yet weak in the cities. But it was felt that the time for planting the reformation in these strongholds had come, and none were better qualified to win recognition in a great center of population than he. An orator of recognized power, a man of profound conviction and posi- tive faith, a tireless and enthusiastic worker, he combined the elements which, under favorable circumstances, would have won large results in any city. But the situation that confronted him was one of extraordinary difficulties. A check- ered history of a quarter of a century, with heterogeneous elements in the pews and councils of the church, combined to make a condition that refused to yield to the sledge-hammer blows of this "son of thunder." While heroically wrestling with these adverse conditions, Mr. Burgess continued to serve his brethren in a wider capacity. Almost constant demand was made upon him in the lecture-field in defense of the Christian faith against the at- tacks of infidelity. In the councils of his breth- ren, State and national, his voice was always heard as one of the strongest champions of world- wide missions. He was among the first to recog- 283 LMEN OF YESTERDAY nize and urge the claims of a distinctively heathen mission, to which his brethren had hitherto been oblivious. Everv movement that would in any way contribute to the progress of truth found in him a friend. But now a blow came from an- other quarter that well-nigh broke his heart, and without doubt hastened his untimely death. The friendship of Mr. Burgess for Garfield had become a passion. He had put his life into the campaign that in 1880 had secured his elec- tion to the Presidency. In this service he had not been actuated by selfish or political motives. Garfield was his brother in Christ. Together they had labored for the same great cause,-the restoration of Primitive Christianity. Mr. Bur- gess now saw in the elevation of his friend an opportunity for the advancement of the move- ment with which he was identified. Since the organization of the Brush Run Church by the Canp)bells on broad, New Testament principles, it had been the studied effort of sectarian lead- ers to keep the cause of reformation in the back- ground under the ban of unpopularity. Its ac- quisitions had largely been confined to the rural districts of the Mississippi Valley. The East had scarcely heard of the movement, and in the cities it had hardly gained a foothold. The effect of the election of Garfield, the Disciple of Christ, was, as Mr. Burgess had foreseen, to awaken a widespread interest in the hitherto un- 284 OTIS A. BURGESS known church. What might have been the result had he been permitted to complete his term of office, is a matter of conjecture. As it was, the bullet of the assassin that cut him down, went to the heart of Mr. Burgess. At the news of the tragedy he wept like a mother for her child. It seemed the blasting of all his hopes, the undoing of all his plans. The sting of disappointment never, from that hour, ceased to afflict him. Gathering his strength and suppressing his grief, he prepared and delivered a eulogy upon the lamented Garfield at a union memorial serv- ice in Chicago. It was among his last public efforts. From that time death had marked him for its victim. Failing health admonished him that he must surrender, at least for a time, the arduous labors of the ministry. A change of climate andl scenery was advised, and he went to Florida, hoping thereby to renew his strength. But be soon returned home, more debilitated than when he left, conscious that the end wvas not far away. "During the last few days he re- mained on earth his mind was occupied, yea, even po8sessed, with the great themes he was wont to handle when in the vigor of his strong manhood. lie was constantly impressing his thoughts on students whom he seemed to think were listen- ing to him, and a day or two before his death he prc:h(ed a sermon to an imaginary audience that 285 MEN OF YESTERDAY was perfect in its thought and full of the char- acteristics of 0. A. Burgess." Thus he passed away from earth, March 14, 1882, in the fifty-tbird year of his life. Though compassed by so brief a span, so intense had been his activity of body and mind, that he had been able to achieve more than most men in the allotted three score and ten. In this brief survey of a strong character, it has been my purpose to present, in rugged out- line, the career of 0. A. Burgess, with just enough of the minor detail to enable the reader to form for himself a conception of the man and his place among the forces that have contributed to the remarkable growth of the Disciples of Christ. Our view has hitherto been confined to his public labors-the teacher, conscientious and painstaking; the preacher, instructive and elo- quent; the debater, fearless and irresistible. In these closing words, let us take a closer view of the man as he appeared among his friends, and a brief glance at his permanent contribution to the cause that consumed him. The real character and worth of a man are not always apparent in his public labors. To know him one has often to meet him off duty, and to come within heart-touch through social inter- course. This was true of Mr. Burgess. There OTIS A. BURGESS was an air of commanding dignity in his public appearance that might easily be mistaken for an austere and autocratic disposition. A more inti- mpate acquaintance was sure to correct any such misapprehension. I well remember the strange feeling of com- mingled awe and fear with which I sought, for the first time, admission to his home. I had heard of him only as the annihilator of infidels, the man before whose thunderings opposition fled and doubt bid her face. I had prepared my- self for the cold formalities of one who held him- self aloof from my humble world. But with what surprise I found myself ushered into the presence of one whose cordial greeting and un- disguised personal interest at once disarmed all fear, and made me feel as much at ease as though he had been my father! And a father he was to the boys and girls who, in the old Butler days, gathered about him for instruction and advice. There was at times a brusqueness, an impa- tience in his manner, in dealing with human errors. He hated cant and sham as few men are capable; but withal his heart was as tender to the touch of human sympathy as a child. In beautiful combination were to be found force and tenderness of feeling. The inherited char- acteristics of his Puritan ancestry, mellowed by the congenial atmosphere of Christian fellowship among the Disciples, made of him an admirable 287 MEN OF YESTERDAY companion, and a sympathetic and unchanging friend. The character of the man is revealed in these words, oft repeated to the young men who, under his instruction, were preparing for the ministry: "Hide yourself behind the cross, so that in con- verting men and women they will be converted to Christ, not to you." It was characteristic of his own ministry that the cross was uppermost. His service to the cause of Christ at a critical period has contributed an abiding element to its success. As a preacher and defender of the truth he had few equals. The secret of his great power is well expressed by Prof. Benton, his life-time friend, in the following paragraphs: "He feared God. This was a conspicuous trait. It means sincerity, reverence for God's authority, and a sense of the Divine presence. These were never bartered away for public ap- plause; nor were his powers of thought, learn- ing or eloquence sold to Satan to soften down the hideousness of vice, or to argue God out of existence. His most vigorous intellectual efforts were made when his moral indignation was stirred by men who challenged the existence of God, the truths of revealed religion, or the claims of virtuous living. With clearness of reasoning, with effectiveness of resources, and in the manliness of free debate, he was a champion of truth and of righteousness. 288 OTIS A. BURGESS "He was loyal to truth. The pressing and ever present question of our brother was, What is truth This inquiry was never in the spirit of Pilate's skepticism, but in a reverent spirit, that believes in its reality and its value. The thought- ful lines on his face read thus: What is truth His firm tread indicated that he felt beneath him the solid rock of truth. Having deliberately and conscientiously sought the truth, he never shrunk from its consequences. He spoke it fearlessly, unconcerned about its reproach. He did not need to be backed by a crowd, and the fewer were the approving voices the more distinct and ringing was his own." It is to be regretted that more of his contribu- tion to the Christian thought of his time has not been preserved. A volume of his great addresses in defense of Christianity would be an invaluable contribution to the apologetic literature of the nineteenth century. But so intensely active was his life in publicly combating error, that he had little time for the quieter service with pen. The few essays, contributed to current literature, re- veal the same bold independence of thought and clearness of vision that characterized his lules- sage from pulpit and rostrum, and the same loy- alty to the Faith "once for all" delivered to saints. For example, in a valuable contribution on the "Drift of Modern Thought," he wrote: "Look at the system founded by Christ. The 19 289 MEN' OF YESTERDAY first attempt to improve on that resulted in an apostasy from it, and filled the world with con- tending factions about creeds. Late attempts to liberalize it have filled the world with silly prat- ing or downright blasphemy; while the Christ, seen through the system which in fact he found- ed, stands in glorious majesty, without a rival and without a peer." But while the thoughts have largely perished with the thinker, there is an abiding element in Mr. Burgess' service to which not only his own people, but a much larger religious circle are in- debted. If he did not silence infidelity, he ait least changed its whole method of attack, and drove it from its vantage ground in debate. Where is now to be found the enemy of the Christian faith, like Owen and Underwood, de- fying its representatives to a public defense of the ground of belief Since the day when Mr. Underwood retired from the field before the keen logic of 0. A. Burgess, no skeptic has been willing to subject his sophistries to the search- light of public investigation in debate. In a narrower, but scarcely less important field, the service rendered by Mr. Burgess to his brotherhood is still bearing fruit. At a critical period in the history of the Disciples, he stood beside Isaac Errett, B. W. Johnson, and other champions of Christian progress, and, by his fidelity to noble ideals, helped to save the church 290 OTIS A. BURGESS 291 from the narrow legalism that threatened to undo the work so well begun by Alexander Campbell a.nd his early co-laborers. As the cause for which they contended grows in importance, we believe the names of Walter Scott, Barton W. Stone, John Smith, Isaac Errett, Barton W. Johnson, Otis A. Burgess, and that noble band of worthies who with them have made possible the days of enlargement now upon us, will shine with increased splendor.