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The Biography of Elder David Purviance, with His Memoirs:
Containing His Views on Baptism, the Divinity of Christ,
and the Atonement. Written by Himself: with an Appendix;
Giving Biographical Sketches of Elders John Hardy, Reuben Dooly,
William Dye, Thos. Kyle, George Shidler, William Kinkade, Thomas Adams,
Samuel Kyle, and Nathan Worley.
Together with a Historical Sketch of the Great Kentucky Revival:

Electronic Edition.

Purviance, Levi


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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
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(title page) The Biography of Elder David Purviance, with His Memoirs: Containing His Views on Baptism, the Divinity of Christ, and the Atonement. Written by Himself: with an Appendix; Giving Biographical Sketches of Elders John Hardy, Reuben Dooly, William Dye, Thos. Kyle, George Shidler, William Kinkade, Thomas Adams, Samuel Kyle, and Nathan Worley. Together with a Historical Sketch of the Great Kentucky Revival
(spine) Biography of Elder David Purviance
ELDER LEVI PURVIANCE
viii, 9-304 p., ill.
DAYTON.
PUBLISHED FOR THE AUTHOR BY B. F. & G. W. ELLS.
1848.

Call number VCCB P986p (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)


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THE
BIOGRAPHY OF
ELDER DAVID PURVIANCE,
WITH HIS MEMOIRS: CONTAINING HIS VIEWS ON BAPTISM, THE
DIVINITY OF CHRIST, AND THE ATONEMENT.
WRITTEN BY HIMSELF:
WITH AN APPENDIX;
GIVING
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES
OF
Elders John Hardy, Reuben Dooly, William Dye, Thos.
Kyle, George Shidler, William Kinkade, Thomas
Adams, Samuel Kyle, and Nathan Worley.
TOGETHER, WITH A HISTORICAL SKETCH OF THE
Great Kentucky Revival.

BY

ELDER LEVI PURVIANCE.

DAYTON.
PUBLISHED FOR THE AUTHOR BY B. F. & G. W.ELLS.
1848.


Page ii

PREFACE.

        Nothing but a sense of duty, to the remains of a beloved parent, and the encouragement of friends, could have induced the author to undertake the following work. He felt much embarrassment, in his remarks, on the character of his subject, arising from the near relationship, which existed between them. But he trusts, the truthfulness of the few comments he has made, on the character of his father, will be justly appreciated, and courteously received by the friends, who kindly encouraged his efforts, to redeem from oblivion, the memory and remains of one, the labors of whose long life, were interwoven with all that is near and dear to the origin, progress, and history of that branch of God's beloved Zion, with which he was associated. If the subject of our pen, had been else than a relation, then had we felt a liberty, in expressing our sentiments freely, in relation to his theory and practice; but as we have been sparing of our remarks in this respect, we hope the reader will appreciate our position, and accept our apology. We should have been very happy, to have given this labor into abler hands, but as David Purviance kept no journal, and not even notes of his life, and as no other person could be obtained, to undertake the work, that was as well acquainted with his character, and the incidents relative to his life, as the writer, he has therefore engaged in it and done the best he could. What he has written is from his own personal knowledge, or from authentic sources, that may be relied on.

        The writer was young, when his father commenced preaching, but old enough to mark distinguishing traits, and interesting incidents in the life and character of a faithful minister of Christ. And for twenty-five years, he has labored with him as a son in the gospel.

        The memoirs of Elder David Purviance in two parts are entire from his own pen.

        The sketches given in the Appendix, are of Elders, who were particularly associated with David Purviance in the reformation, in the 19th century, and with whom, the writer has been particularly acquainted, Other articles have been prepared for the work; but they could not be inserted, without altering the arrangements with the printer, and making the work larger than was expected.

        The writer is fully aware, that there are imperfections, both in the arrangement and style, but as he has never made any great pretensions to science, and literature, he hopes that an enlightened public will grant him reasonable indulgence.

        The work is therefore, submitted to the world, with the honest hope, that it will be the means of adding something to general intelligence, and to the encouragement of virtue and perseverance, in the cause of righteousness.

NEW-WESTVILLE, OHIO, Sep., 1848.


Page iii

CONTENTS.
Biography of Elder David Purviance.

APPENDIX.


Page 9

BIOGRAPHY OF ELDER DAVID PURVIANCE.

CHAPTER I.

        His Ancestry. Col. John Pnrviance. Marriage. Serves in the Revolution. Moves to Tennessee. His Son is murdered by the Indians. Removes to Kentucky. Returns to Tennessee. A Revival, and split in the Presbyterian Church. He joins the Cumberland Presbyterians. His last affliction and death. His family.

        COLONEL JOHN PURVIANCE the Father of David Purviance, was a native of Pennsylvania, and was married to Jane Wasson, Aug. 2d 1764. Shortly after marriage, they settled on the south fork of the Yadkin River. Rowan (now Iredell) County, North Carolina. The country was new, but by industry and frugality, he procured a comfortable living for himself and family. He and his wife were both respectable members of the Presbyterian Church. He filled the office of Justice of the peace, for a number of years, with general approbation.

        At the commencement of the Revolutionary war, he volunteered in defence of his Country's Rights, and was appointed Lieutenant in the army. He behaved himself valiantly during the war, and was


Page 10

gradually promoted to the office of Colonel. He fought bravely for the liberty of his country, and rejoiced to see the Colony free. He returned with a thankful heart to the bosom of his family, and lived happily there until the fall of 1791. He moved with his family to Sumner County, Tennessee. The country there was almost a wilderness, and the savage barbarities of the Indians, much afflicted the small settlements, by stealing and taking away their horses, and murdering the citizens. In the spring of 1792, his second son, John Purviance, while in the field at work, was shot, scalped, and left weltering in his blood by the Indians; he was so near the house, that his wife could hear their savage yells, and she would have run to her husband in the midst of them, had she not have been prevented by the interposition of her friends. They had been married but a few months. Their only child (a daughter) was born after his death. Col. John Purviance becoming alarmed at these savage cruelties, left the place and moved to Caneridge, Bourbon County, Kentucky, where the inhabitants were less exposed to the barbarities of the Indians. He continued to reside there until the fall of 1800. He then returned to Tennessee, and settled in Wilson County. During all this time he continued an exemplary member of the Presbyterian Church.

        About the beginning of this century, a very remarkable religious excitement took place in the State of Tennessee, under the labors of James McGready and other Presbyterian preachers. In this revival many souls were converted from the error of their ways, to the service of the living God. The missionary fire


Page 11

began to burn in the hearts of many young men, who felt that a dispensation of the Gospel was committed to them. They were constrained to cry out "Wo is me if I preach not the Gospel." They were influenced by the spirit of God, to publish the Gospel to the world, and almost simultaneously proclaimed free salvation to all mankind. One Presbytery, without due regard to the rules and regulations of the Presbyterian Church, licensed about thirty preachers that had not a liberal education; this caused a division in the church, and gave rise to a new sect who call themselves Cumberland Presbyterians. They have since become a numerous and respectable Denomination. Col. Purviance was in the spirit of the reformation, and consequently united with the Cumberlands, and continued in full fellowship with them as long as he lived. His wife also, was a pious and worthy member of the same church. She died in the year 1810, being sixty-eight years of age.

        He died, Aug. 1823, being something over eighty-three years of age. His death was caused by a slight scratch on the heel from the fall of a stick of wood. An inflamation took place and caused his death in a few days. His constitution was yet good, and his mind but little impaired. When his Physician told him that if he had any unsettled business he had better have it attended to, for he could not live long, he politely thanked him, and manifested no concern about his situation. He lived a pious, devoted, and exemplary life; and met death with a firm hope in his Redeemer. He gave his favorite preacher (Thomas McDonnel) this text from which to preach his


Page 12

funeral sermon "Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." I. Cor iii. 11.

        Col. Purviance and his wife raised, and educated eleven children, three sons and eight daughters. They all lived to become heads of families. David was the second child. The youngest of the eleven is now over sixty years of age. The wholesome precepts, and godly example, given by their pious parents, have been honored and respected by them (probably) as much as any other family. We are encouraged to "train up onr children in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not depart from it." This has been truly verified in the case of this happy family. They were trained in the nurture, and admonition of the Lord. Although all of them who lived to be old, renounced some of the doctrines and usages of the Presbyterian Church. Yet the whole-some moral and practical precepts, taught and inculcated in the discipline of that church, they concientiously adhererd to, through life; particularly the observance of the Lord's day, which is at the present time so much desecrated by many loud professors of christianity; for which we have great reason to lament and be ashamed. The writer does not believe that this worthy family have ever dishonored their parents, or committed any act calcnlated to cause shame, or bring a blush over each others countenances.

        As the writer expects this work to be read by the children, grand-children, and great-grand-children of this respected family, he would say let us never suffer ourselves to degenerate from the holy principles of righteousness, honesty, and integrity taught by the precepts and example of our worthy predecessors.


Page 13

CHAPTER II.

        His Birth and Education.

        ELDER DAVID PURVIANCE was born in Iredell county North Carolina, on the 14th day of Nov. 1766. The Country was then new, and the opportunity for schooling not so good as desirable, but he was sent early to school, and made great progress in learning considering the ignorance and tyranny of the teachers of that age. His parents took great pains to have him well instructed in the principles and doctrines of the Presbyterian Church. He memorized all the Larger and Shorter Catechisms while very young. He was also well instructed in the good and wholesome moral precepts, contained in the discipline of that church, particularly the observance of the sabbath day, which he was careful to reverence and respect as long as he lived.

        When about twelve years of age he was placed in a seminary under the care of Dr. Hall a Presbyterian preacher, for the purpose of studying the Latin and Greek languages, and those sciences necessary to a preparation for the ministry. He prosecuted his studies with indefatigable industry; and made great proficiency


Page 14

in learning, considering his opportunity. It was during the revolutionary war, and he was the oldest son and very frequently he was detained from school, to assist the family in procuring a living, while his father was defending the injured rights of his country, and towards the close of the war he was sometimes sent an express for the army ; but when opportunity offered, he prosecuted his studies for several years, until finally his health failed in consequence (it was thought) of too close and intense application to his books. He reluctantly left the school, and afterwards regained his health, and engaged in teaching, and taught Latin and Greek, and the common branches of literature.

        He afterwards wrote for some time in the Clerk's Office in Salisbury, N. Carolina.

Illustration


Page 15

CHAPTERI III.

        His Marriage, and Settlement. His removal to Tennessee, and also to Kentucky.

        WHEN he was about 23 years of age, he was married to Mary Ireland, daughter of John and Martha Ireland, in the year 1789. Her father was a native of Ireland, and her mother of Irish descent.

        After his marriage his father settled him on a farm, on the south fork of the Yadkin river. There he commenced farming; but only continued about two years before many of his friends and relatives moved, some to Kentucky and some to Tennessee. He sold his possessions on the Yadkin, and moved with his little family, consisting of his wife and one child, (about nine months old,) and settled on the Cumberland river, near to Nashville, West (now middle) Tennessee.

        They continued there but a short time, before they found themselves unpleasantly situated. They were surrounded by the savages, engaged in stealing horses, burning houses, and murdering the inhabitants; and after the Indians slew his younger brother, John Purviance, he and his wife visited her father's family, and some near relatives, who had lately made a settlement


Page 16

on Caneridge, Bourbon County, Kentucky.--They were much pleased with the appearance and situation of the county, and through the solicitations of friends, and finding that they would not be so much exposed to the depredations of the Indians. They were induced to leave Tennessee, and in the fall of 1792 they emigrated to Kentucky, and settled near his friends, in Bourbon County.

        The following chapter is exclusively from the pen of William Rogers, Esq., of Caneridge.

        There is no man living, better qualified to give the following sketch than Bro. Rogers. He was a young man and lived a close neighbor to David Purviance, at the time he served in the State Legislature of Kentucky. There are many aged men yet living that will corroborate his statements.

Illustration


Page 17

CHAPTER IV.

        His settlement on Caneridge. Elected to State Legislature, debate with Breckinridge, debate with Grundy. He fails to be elected to the state Convention on account of his opposition to slavery. Sketch of the lives of Breckinridge, Garrard, and Grundy. The Lexington Insurance Company. The district court system. He returns from political life, and engages in the ministry.

        DAVID PURVIANCE selected for his future home a small tract of land about three miles south of Caneridge meeting house. The spot he selected was doubtless a fertile one, but when contemplated in the wilderness state in which he found it, the prospect for living was gloomy in the extreme. Covered thickly with tall trees of forrest growth, the ash, the sugar tree, the walnut, locust and other varieties common to that quarter of the country, superadded to these a solid brake of tall cane, so thick as to be almost impervious to man or beast, covered the whole face of the surrounding country.

        We have said the prospect for a living from the picture given, was rather dreary, and forbidding. David Purviance had no slaves to work for him, for from early and fixed principles, he was opposed to the institution of slavery.

        His fate is now sealed. He must either work hard or he must starve. He cheerfully and like a christian


Page 18

philosopher, (as he doubtless was) chose the former, He went to work with his own hands, he handled the implements of husbandry, he cleared off a spot and erected a cabin for a habitation. Next he cleared and reclaimed from its wild state, grounds sufficient to raise a supply for his family and flocks. Here in rural pursuits he passed several years in great contentment and obscurity. He was never disposed to seek an occasion to make himself known at any stage of his life. That kind of ambition was never an occupant of the bosom of the great and good Purviance.

        True, he was intellectually competent to any station, but it is equally true, that he was the most meek, unambitious, and unpretending of the race of man.

        But to our narative. Mr. Purviance lived and labored on upon his few acres, unnoticed and unknown, until early in the year 1795; during that year, memorable in the history of his life, we shall now proceed to record some events that occurred, that must forever interest the friends of David Purviance, and render his memory dear, very dear indeed, to his posterity.

        Little did the master spirits of that day, who ruled and shaped the Legislation of Kentucky, as best suited their policy and purpose, suspect, as they beheld this humble Caneridge farmer, in the garb of a laborer, sweating beneath a burning sun;--little did they dream, as they moved about in splendor and beheld the man we have described, that he was destined in a short time to arrest them in their unchecked career, and wrest from their hands some of their dearest measures, which by their sagacity and management in the halls of the legislation, had been brought


Page 19

to bear injuriously and oppressively upon the country.

        One or two of the most obnoxious of the measures in question, it will be necessary for the reader of the present day to be explained. At the session of -92, a law had been passed, giving original jurisdiction to the court of Appeals in all cases respecting the titles to lands. At the same session, the oriental court called Oyer and Terminer, was also established, and had exclusive jurisdiction in all cases, where the penalty of the offence extended to life or limb. These courts held their sittings twice a year, and only at the seat of government, which made it extremely inconvenient, expensive, and indeed oppressive to the citizens to attend them. To the poor occupant of the disputed lands it was in many instances, ruinous; while the felons of the country, mostly escaped unwhipped of justice; for it was rare to procure the attendance of prosecutors, witnesses, &c., at so great a distance, and at such sacrifice of time and money.

        Very few were interested in a continuance of the laws in question, except a band of eminent lawyers, who, at the time held an extensive and lucrative practice in the courts in question, and who unfortunately for the country, controlled, to a great extent, the legislative action of the state.

        The People, however became restless under such misrule, and, as early as the session of 1795, the original jurisdiction of the court of appeals in said cases, which had been found upon practice to be so expensive and mischievous, was repealed, and the court of Oyer and Terminer was abolished. This, however, only tended to increase the excitement on the part


Page 20

of the lawyers in question, and they at once put in requisition all their talents and influence, to revive those laws, and a fierce contest grew up between the court party and the people, which was kept alive for several years.

        When the election for 1797, began to approach, much interest was manifested through the whole country, upon this deeply interesting question; and as the canvass for members to the legislature began to open, great anxiety was evinced on the part of the people, to have men of the right stamp brought forward. This was particularly the case in Bourbon.

        This county, if not in advance, was certainly as forward as any other, in the work of reform and she determined to have suitable individuals for candidates.

        Gentlemen of the bar were most objectionable, as to that source, the people attributed the mischiefs complained of; still, it was considered by the more sagacious, that men capable of the advocacy of their cause, should be brought forward. To this end, Wm. Garrard jr., a young lawyer of high promise, and then, but recently embarked in the practice at Paris, was solicited to become a candidate; the more especially, as he was known to be sound in respect to the measures complained of. He, moreover, was a son of James Garrard who was then Governor of the state. He consented to run, and engaged in the canvass.

        David Purviance of Caneridge, to his surprise, was very strongly urged by members of his county, to become a candidate. He at length agreed to do so. provided he could make the canvass, without the


Page 21

degrading practice, then so prevalent among candidates, of treating for votes. His friends, although they approved his views in this respect, doubted his success unless he would yield, but this he firmly refused to do. But, he nevertheless, declared himself, and at once engaged in the canvass. There were now about a dozen candidates before the people, six only to be elected, that being the number of members in the lower branch of the legislature, to which Bourbon was entitled. The election came off in April, 1797.--David Purviance, William Garrard jr., James Smith, Charles Smith, Robert Wilmot, and John Grigg, were elected, but as our business is with the two former, the latter, although highly worthy men, will not again be referred to.

        There was a called session of the legislature in November, which however was continued on to the regular session; and altogether was the longest one it is believed, ever held in Kentucky.

        The house was, at the commencement, organized by the appointment of Edmund Bullock, speaker, and in due time proceeded to the regular business of the session. John Breckinridge, an eminent lawyer and statesman of rare abilities, was a member from the County of Fayette. For some days, he seemed to be the animating spirit of the house, and shaped and guided its action, as best suited his taste and wishes. None thwarted his plans, none attacked his position, or dared to enter with him the arena of debate. He held for the time, an unchecked rein over the movements of the house; but this order of things was now to be interrupted. At the proper stage, as seemed


Page 22

to Mr. Breckinridge, he introduced a bill to revise the criminal court, of Oyer and Terminer, and after a slight speech in its advocacy, obtained leave to take it up on a given day. This was a measure of weighty consideration, particularly with the two young members from Bourbon, Mr. Purviance and Mr. Garrard, who had been elected, mainly, in the hope of their successful opposition to that measure. Little else was talked of among members, until the day for its discussion arrived.

        When that day had arrived, Mr. Breckinridge, true to his purpose, rose in advocacy of this, his favorite measure; for it must be noticed, that at the time the court in question was abolished, he enjoyed the most extensive practice in it, perhaps, of any gentleman of the bar, in Kentucky. He began his speech, and continued it in a manner, so strong, argumentative, and pathetic, as greatly to excite, and indeed alarm his opponents. His speech was not only eloquent, fervid, and imposing, but very lengthy; for when the hour for the evening's adjournment arrived, he gave way, with leave to conclude the next day.

        During his speech, the opponents of his bill were in hopeless despair; they were alarmed at the expected result. That night, little was talked of by the members and numerous spectators, but the wonderful speech of the mighty orator, Mr. Breckinridge. And the interesting inquiry went the rounds, of who would dare a reply? A momentous question this, not readily answered. No member was to be found, who was willing to hazard himself, in so perilous a battle. Nay, the risk was too daring, too adventurous.


Page 23

        That night Garrard, for the first time, paid a visit to Mr. Purviance at his room, and his first salutation was, "Bourbon will look for a speech in reply to Breckinridge, to-morrow, and you, Purviance must make it.

        "I entirely agree with you" responded Purviance, "that Bourbon will look for the speech, but differ entirely, as to who shall make it. You, Mr Garrard, are a lawyer, and have been elected in the confident expectation of your opposition, in a speech, to the bill now before the house; and should you fail to do so, no apology will atone to your constituents, for the delinquency.

        These words of Purviance, spoken in truth and much candor, hung as a mill stone about the neck of Garrard, for he felt their weight.

        During their interview, each insisted upon the other to make the speech, but neither would promise, even to try. After Garrard retired, Purviance felt himself to be in a strait. He looked at consequences.--Should the looked for speech, not be forthcoming, on the ensuing day, the result would be disasterous, and what was of greater consequence to the country by far, a mischievous measure would again be fastened upon the people.

        And what did Purviance do? Did he fold his arms in idle and hopeless despair? No, that was not his character. What then did he do? Why he done, in this trying exigency, precisely as he had done, at the dense forest and canebrake a few years before; he went to work. He summoned to his aid the resources of a mind, that rarely lost any thing, worthy of retention,


Page 24

he prepared, as best he could, for the next day's battle, provided he should be forced to fight. From his best recollection of Mr. Breckinridge's unfinished speech, he noted his outlines of argument, and that same night, ere he slept, he pondered well a speech, which he then thought he might be compelled to make.

        On the meeting of the house, the next day, Mr. Breckinridge resumed his speech, and was, from the commencement to the conclusion, strong and imposing. He set forth in terms, argumentative and persuasive, the many reasons he entertained, in favor of the bill, for the revival of the court of Oyer and Terminer. That court, he said, had been sustained by the long usage and approval of Virginia, the parent commonwealth from whence Kentucky had derived her criminal code; and that it had been a dangerous experiment to abolish it. His zeal, his pathos, and unsurpassed powers for debate, were now all brought to bear upon the subject now before him. Deeply was he interested in the success of the bill; and it may be, he thought the good of the country required its reenactment. Be this as it may, he was never known to be more able in debate, than on the occasion in question. Mr. Breckinridge's concluding remarks, it is said were in a high degree alarming to the enemies of the bill.

        With a look of defiance and in tones of assured victory, he closed his two day's speech, much to the satisfaction of his friends, but to the great alarm and discomfiture of his adversaries, for they were struck aghast by the mighty efforts of the veteran orator.

        And now followed a scene worthy the pencil of the


Page 25

most exquisite painter. Silence profound, painfully perplexing, pervaded the whole house; looks, eagerly anxious, and portentious, were interchanged by the adversaries of the measure, under discussion. But its friends were in secret triumph, still no word was uttered, no reply was offered. No opposer of the bill rose up against it. All were dismayed.

        At length, Mr. Garrard arose, but not for a speech. He passed over the entire floor, to where his friend Purviance was seated, and seizing him by the arm, he exclaimed--"Do you make a speech, Purviance, for I cannot. He turned on his heel, retraced his steps, and took his seat.

        Purviance had now no choice left him; he must make a speech, or all would doubtless be lost. The array before him was most fearful. It was enough to dismay the most accustomed and undaunted speaker. Not only the members, but a vast assemblage of spectators had been attracted to the house to witness the speech of Mr Breckinridge, and were now all looking with intense interest, to see who would be courageous enough to dare a reply.

        None, it will be readily supposed, thought of the plain and unpretending Purviance, clad in simple homespun, modestly seated at his table; unnoticed and unknown, was the man, now destined to this fearful task, He had now become willing to make a speech, but how to perform it, he "found not." His heart, it is true, was inditing a good matter, but alas! his tongue was not "as the pen of a ready writer."

        But he had resolved to try himself on this interesting, and to his country, important occasion; and David


Page 26

Purviance was not the man to form a good resolve and not perform it Now came the moment of trial.

        By a mighty effort he arose and addressed himself to the speaker of the house. All eyes were turned towards him, some in pity, all in astonishment. None had ever heard him before in debate, for this was his first debut,--his first speech. Few indeed of his auditors knew, until that moment, that there lived on earth such a man, as they now saw before them, essaying to make a speech, in reply to Mr. Breckinridge. His manner and gesture were extremely awkward and unbecoming, compared with the highly accomplished gentleman, who had just preceded him. Mr. Purviance was so embarrassed, so confused for a short time, as to be much at a loss for language suited for the deep thoughts, that were agitating his profound mind.

        His friends were now more than ever, disheartened and discouraged at the unpromising prospect before them. His young colleague, Mr. Garrard, was in deep despair, he was indeed as one without hope. But if the opponants of the bill were in gloom, its friends were in secret triumph, for they now looked on its passage as certain.

        Their emotions, and their expectations were but of a short lived character; for very soon, the whole scene was changed. Mr. Purviance suddenly freed himself from his embarrassment, and evinced to that wondering assemblage, that he needed not the decorations of tailors, of velvets, and of broadcloths, to recommend him; that he stood, panoplied in the greatness of his mind, the undaunted champion of right principles. And now with much circumspection he


Page 27

proceeded to the accomplishment of the weighty task assigned him.

        With great deliberation, Mr. Purviance now took from the table his notes of Mr. Breckinridge's speech, and casting his eye over them, he, as by inspiration, reviewed the whole ground of debate; and intuitively moved forward in the execution of his purpose. His reply to Mr. Breckinridge was made in the same logical order, in which it had been delivered by that sound rhetorician.

        His style was simple, plain, and clear. His address so natural, so humble, so unassuming, as to captivate and charm his whole audience. His friends had now the heart to begin to look up; and as he advanced he became clearer and stronger. He stripped the arguments of his adversary of the false glare, cast around them, by the wily orator, and with a ponderous hand he pulverized the foundations on which they had been based. At this crisis in his speech, the friends of Mr. Purviance could scarce restrain themselves from outbursts of applause.

        As to his friend, Mr. Garrard, though a man of much gravity, yet such were the emotions of his mind, that, as by magic, he was attracted nearer and nearer the speaker; and ere he closed, he was planted at the side of Mr. Purviance,*

        * More than twenty five years after the debate, between Mr. Breckinridge, and Mr. Purviance, the latter, in a conversation with the writer, remarked, that the opportune manner of his colleague, Mr. William Garrard, on that occasion, helped him much. He knew him to be a competent judge of the merits of the speech, he was then essaying to make, and the hearty manner in which he approbated it, by his every look and gesture, inspired him with a confidence, that made his speech longer, and better, as he believed, than otherwise it might have been.

        Such was the innate modesty of Mr. Purviance, that he rarely mentioned his political performances to any one; and to none, but very particular friends. Had he been more free in this respect, his political history would have been more full. For it will be remembered, there were no reporters of speeches in the Kentucky legislature, at that day: and the journals are in manuscript.

        The writer addressed a letter to Mr. Purviance, some months previous to his death, requesting of him, an epitome of his public life. In reply to that request, he gave some encouragement to hope for such a document. But it is quite probable, he suspected it might be used in commendation of himself, and therefore declined preparing it; at any rate, be that as it may, none was furnished; and his oldest son, L. Purviance, who has the care of his papers, informs the writer, no paper of that character, is found by him, among the writings of his deceased father.


animating and cheering him
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onward, by his every look and gesture, to the mighty onslaught upon the veteran debater, Mr. Breckinridge. Mr. Purviance now closed this, his first speech, which he had delivered with a clearness, a fairness rarely witnessed. His skill, his logic and astuteness in debate, had been so striking, so strong and perspicacious, as to astonish to admiration the whole audience. What was still better and of greater consequence to the commonwealth, it fixed a conviction on the minds of the members of the house, not to be shaken. Nay more, Mr. Breckinridge himself, was wholly disappointed, and indeed greatly astonished, to find Mr. Purviance so thoroughly informed on a subject, which he had supposed him to be entirely ignorant of.

        Mr. Purviance took his seat, amid the plaudits and the heart cheering congratulations of his friends.

        Mr. Breckinridge again arose, and we regret to record, was guilty of an indecorum unworthy his great fame. He could not conceal the chagrin he felt from the sound drubbing, he had gotten from the hand of the young plebian;--it was more than he could patiently bear. And in place of terms respectful, and


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complimentary to, Mr. Purviance, for the possession of powers for debate, such as he had exhibited,--he, in expressions, rude and unkind, alluded to the humbleness and obscurity of the life and fortunes of Mr. P.; alledging, that it was impertinent and presuming, for one so obscure and wholly withdrawn from the walks of public life; so unskilled in the jurisprudence of the state, as he was, to assail, in the manner he had done, the policy and measures of one, so aged and so skilled, in this respect, as himself;--and, that he would not trouble himself or detain the house by arguments in reply to a speech, from such a quarter.

        Mr. Purviance again rose, and in much composure, said he admitted to the utmost extent, the truth of Mr. Breckinridge's allusions to his poverty and obscurity; that hitherto, his life had been passed in entire seclusion from the theater of public men, and measures;--that his days had been engaged in the culture of a little farm to provide for the wants of his growing family; and that, to the wealth, the honors, and blandishments of life, with which Mr. Breckinridge was surrounded, he could never aspire. In these advantages, that gentleman was far in advance of his humble pretentions. Nevertheless, he had supposed that in his character of representative of a free and independent constituency, he had the right to discuss any measure, or oppose any bill, introduced before that house, provided he done so, in a manner respectful to the house and rules of debate. These remarks he made with such candor and meekness;--with such kindness and forbearance, as started the tear from many an eye. Mr. Breckinridge found himself to be


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so signally rebuked, that he rose in an apology, which calmed the excited feelings of the friends of Mr. Purviance. As to himself, he had no grievances to be atoned for. If the audience had, a few moments before, been astonished to admiration at Mr. Purviance's powers in debate, they were now overwhelmed, at the unexampled kindness and forbearance of the Christian philanthropist.

        The bill of Mr. Breckenridge was now put to vote, and was rejected by a signal majority.*

        * Colonel Samuel Burke, of Cumberland county, Ky. a man of excellent sense, but one, who it seems, did not think of himself more highly than he ought to think, was accustomed, in his day, to tell, occasionally the following anecdote.

        "I was first elected a member of the Kentucky house of representatives, in the spring of 1797. The session met in November of that year, and in a very short time after the house had been organized, and was progressing with the business of the Commonwealth; I became convinced, that I had mistaken my proper vocation, when I left the walks of private life, and turned law maker. And I thought I saw other members also, who had as little business there, as myself. Of this class, there were, as I thought, a goodly number.

        But David Purviance from Bourbon, and a Mr. William Haycraft, from one of the southern counties of Kentucky, I took to be two members, peculiarly defective, in respect to qualifications, for the station in which we were then, unluckily found. But it must be remembered, I knew them not, and formed my opinion from external appearances only. I played Lavater, but how well, is to be seen, said Mr. Burke.

        I was fond of companions, but chose to associate with none, but my equals. These two new friends, I made sure, would suit me in that respect, and I would seek an intimacy, mainly for the reason, that they were, as legislators at least, as deficient as myself.

        Well, I did so, and things went on pretty much to my notion for some week or two. It is true, at times, I began to distrust Purviance a little, but on the whole, considered him safe; no danger of his deceiving me. Billy Haycraft I never doubted, for he never gave me the least cause to suspect him; and why should I. But as all sublunary hopes are liable to disappointment, so my expected reliance on my two companions, as every way qualified for my society, at least so far as Mr. Purviance was concerned, was suddenly and forever defeated.

        That renowned statesman, John Breckinridge, then a member of the house, from Fayette, introduced an important and favorite bill, which he advocated in a powerful and imposing speech. When he had closed, and taken his seat, no member seemed courageous enough to venture a reply. For a few moments all was anxiety. Nothing was heard. But in the midst of the deep silence and suspense, who should arise to reply to Mr. Breckinridge, but Mr. Purviance, a man of my own sort, as I had supposed.

        The whole audience, members and lookers on, were much surprised. As to myself, I was thunderstruck. I was truly at a loss what to think of the poor man; first I was vexed, then I pityed him, for I thought him harmless; and was grieved that he should in so signal a manner expose his weakness. But it was all a mistake, for soon he showed himself capable for the exigency. He deliberately went ahead, and delivered the best speech of the session, and sent Mr. Breckinridge's bill adrift; for it was rejected by acclamation.

        Well, I rejoiced at Mr. Purviance's success, but still I was left in a worse fix than ever; none to console me now, but Mr. Haycraft, for Purviance, it was demonstrably clear, had deserted our ranks forever, and placed himself, where we could never approach him.

        But it is due to that worthy man, Billy Haycraft, for such in truth he was, to say, that he never deceived me, he abided faithful. He and I served together through that session, and three others, in succession, and he proved himself to the last, to be just the man I had taken him for on first sight."

        The facts, on which the foregoing anecdote are founded, were furnished to the author of it, by William Mitchell Esq. an old colleague, from Bourbon, of Mr. Purviance for a number of sessions. Mr. Mitchell now resides in the county of Lewis, in Kentucky, which latter county, he has also represented in the state legislature. In his letter to the writer, dated May the 4th, 1848, Mr. Mitchell says, "I considered Mr. Purviance, as a legislator, equal to any man of his day. He mastered any subject, he undertook." "And as a Citizen and Christian, he was surpassed by none."


The attempt
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to revive the original jurisdiction of the court of Appeals, in respect to suits for lands, was also repealed at the same session of the legislature; and thus fell prostrate in the dust, a second time, these expensive and mischievous measures in the legislation of the country; and although half a century ago, they have never shown the slightest signs of returning life; demonstrating beyond question, that the obscure farmer of Caneridge, and not the astute lawyer of Fayette, best understood and appreciated the wishes and true policy of the people. Now for the first time in the history of the young commonwealth, were the great body of the community, the farmers, able to claim from


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their own ranks, a champion, in every way fitted to guide and defend their true interests. Such a man was David Purviance. He was honest, and capable for any exigency, as he proved himself to be on many occasions, during that, and subsequent sessions of the legislature. Although a plain farmer, Mr. Purviance was, a few days after his debate with Mr. Breckinridge, added to the committee of courts of justice; a high compliment this, and illustrative of the repute in which he was held.

        During the whole course of his legislative history in Kentucky, he was one of the most attentive members of the house of representatives. From an entire perusal of the old manuscript journals of the sessions of 1797-8, the name of David Purviance is found recorded on every call of the ayes and noes.

        Himself and Breckinridge were continued as members of the house, during several sessions after the one in question; and their intercourse was frank and respectful. Purviance always spoke of Mr. Breckinridge as a great and safe statesman.

        Felix Grundy, whose fame, as a lawyer. jurist, and statesman of eminent ability, has now been before the public, for half a century. He was, as early as the session of 1796, a member of the legislature, from Washington county, in the southern part of Kentucky. Mr. Breckinridge was also a member. He, as has been stated, was from the county of Fayette, in the Northern section of the state.

        At that session, the Green river settlers, as they were styled, forwarded a petition to the legislature, praying indulgence for the installments, there due to the commonwealth,


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for lands they had purchased from the government. Mr. Grundy, from the first, espoused their cause, and was soon styled the southern or Green river champion. Mr. Breckinridge opposed the indulgence asked for, and he, in turn, was dubbed the northern champion.

        During that session, and many a subsequent one, the subject of Green-river relief was agitated in the house, and many fierce rencounters in debate, between the two champions happened; Grundy generally the victor. When Purviance became a member in 1797, as has been stated, he found the petitioners before the house, and witnessed the debates of Mr. Grundy and Mr. Breckinridge, upon the merits of their case. Mr. Purviance took no share in the debates, but as the settlers were generally poor, and money hard to be obtained, he voted with Mr. Grundy for the relief prayed for.

        But at length at the session of 1799, Mr. Grundy introduced a bill, for relief in behalf of the settlers, so objectionable, as to determine Purviance, should it become necessary, to oppose it. It was hotly combatted between the two champions for several days, Grundy as usual victorious.

        Purviance now saw, that unless checked from some other quarter, Grundy would, as usual, succeed in getting his bill successfully through the house. But as himself and Grundy were on the best of terms, and moreover had usually gone together in respect to the subject in question, he resolved on a private conference, in which, he urged on Mr. Grundy an amendment, so as to make his bill more palatable. Mr.


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Grundy listened with respectful attention, to the proposed amendment of his friend Purviance, but was unwilling to yield, the more especially, as he was sanguine, from what had so far taken place in the discussion, that he would be able to get his measure passed in its present shape, and the conference ended.

        But when the bill was next brought up by Mr. Grundy for further debate, Purviance moved to adopt his amendment, which was stoutly resisted by Mr. Grundy; and an animated debate sprung up between them, and at length, the amendment of Purviance was adopted by a slight majority.

        Grundy felt himself somewhat disappointed; this was what he was not accustomed to. But, as a man of great resource, he bethought himself of a remedy, as he supposed, for the defeat he had sustained; and at once sought to avail himself of the expedient; it was to procure an amendment to the amendment of Purviance.

        This amendment of Mr. Grundy was so cunningly shaped, as to nullify the amendment of Purviance if accepted. But the latter had the sagacity to perceive the snare laid for him, and he attacked and exposed the maneuver without gloves; and after a spirited debate, it was rejected by an increased majority; Mr. Grundy was now not only disappointed, but vexed. He had not found it thus, when he done battle with Breckinridge.

        Though perplexed, he was not in despair. Mr. Grundy was not the man for despair, but expedients; and he now resorted to one rare indeed. Contrary to usage, he asked and obtained leave to withdraw


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his bill, with the amendment of Purviance appended. This accomplished, he, to the surprise of the house, came forward in a few days, with a bill entirely new; at any rate, the heading and verbiage was new, if the former substance was retained. The head or preamble of the new bill was remarkable for its plausibility, be its provisions what they might; and his introductory speech in its behalf, was of a very soothing and specious character.

        Mr. Purviance had now become wearied with this management of his friend, Mr. Grundy, and he rose in a speech against it, as soon as the latter took his seat.

        At the commencement he was rather humerous, a thing, very unusual with him, being a man of great gravity; this however, but served to increase the humor. The head of his friend's new bill, he said, was a most beautiful and captivating production--its eloquence to, so persuasive, as to be almost irresistible. For these, and many other reasons, that might be urged, he should be glad, he remarked, to preserve it alive, if indeed it could survive the dissolution of the corrupt and diseased body, to which it was allied. Should that, however, be impracticable, then it must submit to its fate, for the body of the bill was too lothsome to be preserved.

        Having indulged in these innocent and playful remarks, Mr. Purviance assumed his wonted earnestness, and proceeded in his attack upon the bill of Mr. Grundy, with a force and perspicuity so clear and convincing, as to result in its immediate rejection, by a still greater majority. Now, defeated at every point, Mr. Grundy became quite in a bad humor,--


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a thing very unusual for him. That evening he visitted colonel James Garrard, who was then Governor of Kentucky. He soon perceived, that Mr. Grundy was in an unpleasant mood, and the following dialogue took place between them.

        What Felix! has Breckinridge whipped you to day, that you appear to be in a pet?

        Breckinridge indeed! replied Mr. Grundy, you of the north, speak of him, as your champion; but I regard him not. I have battled with him many a time! nay more, have often thrashed him soundly.

        Pray tell me then, said the Governor, who has drubbed you, Felix? for some one has, I know.

        Ah Governor, said Mr. Grundy, you pride yourself in Mr. Breckinridge, as a mighty man of war; but I repeat, I fear him but little; He is not hard to defeat. But you have another man there, from the north. Withdraw him from the arena of combat; and I will measure arms with your Breckinridge, and have no fears for the result.

        Tell me, do tell me, Felix, replied the governor, who that can be? I thought you dreaded no member of the house, but Breckinridge.

        Dread, said Mr. Grundy. I told you I dreaded him not. Breckinridge has no alarm for me. But, as you seem desirous to know the man, to whom I allude, I will tell you. It is the plain farmer from your own county of Bourbon, David Purviance.

        Davy Purviance! Why Felix, You surprise me! Some fair Deliah has doubtless shorn you of your strength, that you let Davy whip you in a fair fight, for he uses no foul play.


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        Ah Governor! I can explain that matter, said Mr. Grundy, there is a dead majority of the house that go for Purviance, yea or nay, in all his measures; not only so, but would swear, that all he advocates must be sustained, as right; just what the country needs, and on the contrary, what ever he opposes, should be rejected, without much delay, by debate; especially should Breckinridge or myself chance to be the opponent.

        Thank God, said the Governor, for the pleasing intelligence you give me, Felix; it augurs well for the country, it betokens a healthy condition of the functions of the goverment; and moreover, promises success to my administration of its concerns.

        Why so, inquired Mr. Grundy?

        Davy Purviance, said the Governor, is an honest man; and an able and upright legislator; and I repeat it, I thank God, that a majority of the members have the wisdom to perceive it, and the honesty and independence to sustain him. Davy Purviance has no selfish objects or ends to achieve. He goes for his country, and the best interests of the commonwealth. And these are my honest opinions of the man, of his motives, and of his merits; and you Felix, I know, will unite with me, in the declaration of their truth.

        Here Mr. Grundy became entirely relaxed in his feelings, and freely gave place to his honest convictions, and heartily concurred in opinion with the Governor, that David Purviance was the great and good man, that he had represented him to be. And, as the Governor had uniformly approved of reasonable relief to the settlers, he recommended to Mr. Grundy


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before they separated, to seek a conference with Mr. Purviance, and for them to agree on a suitable bill, to be passed for their benefit. Mr. Grundy did so, and the matter was satisfactorily arranged, on behalf of the settlers.

        The foregoing anecdote was related to the writer, by the Governor himself, the summer before his death. None need doubt its truth. In the same conversation, the Governor remarked, that he had always considered it a real loss to Kentucky, that Mr. Purviance had retired from the legislative councils of the state, for other pursuits; as he had long known, that he was one of the most able, efficient, and faithful members, he had ever known, during the years he had served, as Governor of the commonwealth. Mr. Garrard further added, that Mr. Purviance had the unshaken confidence of the house, during the whole time he was a member; that he rarely shared in the debates, on minor or local questions. Such only as were of general interest comanded his notice. And from his permanent and abiding popularity, he was generally able to sustain his positions, in respect to measures of that character;--that he was doubtless, the only member of the house, from the farmer ranks, that was much feared by the legal gentlemen of that day. The latter he said, were many of them able and honorable members; but such a man as Davy, (as the old Governor familiarly called him,) was quite able, and occasionally needed, to check them a little, which he did with such meekness and wisdom, as to retain the respect of the lawyers themselves.

        At the session of 1798, the act establishing a penitentiary,


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was past, which was supported by Mr. Purviance; and its existence for half a century, has been approved, and is still cherished, as a wise and humane institution. At the same session was passed the law, authorizing the call of a convention to re-revise the first constitution of Kentucky, which had been formed in the year 1792. That act was advocated by Purviance, Breckinridge, and Grundy, for all three were for a revision of the constitution, but with motives totally different. Purviance and his party, in the legislature, wished the constitution to be so amended, and organized, as ultimately and gradually to abolish in Kentucky, the institution of slavery. Mr. Breckinridge and his friends wished the constitution amended, as to many of its provisions, but were entirely averse to interfering in any way, with the question of slavery, unless to rivet the chains of the bondman more securely.

        At the annual election, held in the spring of the year 1799. Mr. Purviance, Governor Garrard, William Garrard, and three others on the same side, were candidates in Bourbon, for a seat in the convention, these to be chosen, for the purpose of amending or rather forming a new constitution. These gentlemen were in favor of a plan, for the gradual emancipation of the slaves. Six other gentlemen were also candidates, who were in favor of the institution of slavery, as it then existed in Kentucky.

        The canvass was truly one of much excitement, but the result was unfavorable to Mr. Purviance, and his friends, on the slave question. His popularity had well nigh elected him, although Bourbon was a


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strong slave county. At the same election, Mr. Purviance was returned a member to the house of representatives, notwithstanding the prejudice attempted to be raised against him as an emancipator. Many noble spirits in Kentucky were with him even, on that questain: among them Henry Clay; but it is a fact, that only one member in the state, was elected as an emancipator.

        Mr. Breckinridge and Mr. Grundy were both chosen members of the convention, that formed the present constitution of Kentucky,--were both opposed to the emancipation principles, and to these two Gentlemen, mainly, is attributed the work of the present constitution, That instrument has enjoyed an existence of now near half a century, but the signs of the times at present, portends its certain and speedy dissolution.

        Had the gradual emancipation principle, contended for by Mr. Purviance, been adopted by the convention, the existence of slavery in Kentucky, would now be extinct. But that favorable moment for action, on this interesting and imposing question, was permitted to pass off without the country's availing itself, of the favorable action on this momentous subject, then within its grasp. The question is, doubtless, one of great magnitude, and is at the present time, greatly agitating the Union. What may be its results, time, the only sure revelator of the future, must unfold.

        It may not be out of place, to here offer a few facts, and reflections, in respect to those mighty spirits, who shared so largely, and acted so distinguished


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a part in the political scenes, that so agitated the country about the close of the last, and begining of the present century.

        And first, Mr. Breckinridge. At the session of the legislature, begun in November 1799, we find him still a member from Fayette, and by unanimous consent, chosen speaker of the house. At the session of 1800, he received again the unanimous vote of that body, for the same station. But ere the session of 1800 expired, he was, by the joint concurrence of both branches of the legislature, chosen senator of the U. S.; and on the 4th of March, 1801, we find him at his post, in the Senate Chamber, ready to aid Mr. Jefferson, when first inducted into office, as President of the United States, in conducting the goverment back to true republicanism.

        The next year, Mr. Breckinridge received from Mr. Jefferson, the appointment of attorney general of the United States, and of course, was a member of Mr. Jefferson's cabinet. He had now ascended the ladder of fame, almost to its topmost rung; had sustained among sage and patriotic statesmen, his high stand with a firm hold. With the President, he was a great favorite. But alas! for worldly renown. Death, in the height of his earthly glory, touches the bubble and it breaks. The next news that is heralded abroad, notifies the admirers of this truly great statesman, that he has exchanged his seat in the cabinet, for a lodgment in the grave. He died in December 1806, at the vigorous and manly age of forty six years.

        Colonel Garrard continued in the office of Governor, to the end of his second term, which expired in September


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1804; and then retired to his country seat, in Bourbon county, a few miles below Paris, on Stoner, where he spent the evening of his life, in tranquillity, and was much respected. His colloquial qualities were both entertaining and instructive; and possessing an ample fortune, he received and entertained, in good and welcome style, the numerous friends, he had made, in both private and public life. His old friend Purviance, rarely passed him without a call.

        He had long been a member of the Baptist Church, but he was not a sectarian. His piety was of a liberal and enlarged character, both in respect to his religious faith, and benevolent acts. He died a christain in a good old age, and was gathered to his fathers. He departed this life Jan. 1822, in the 74th year of his age.

        Mr. Grundy, at the time of removal from Kentucky to Nashville, Tennessee, or just before, was chief Justice of Kentucky. He was frequently elected to Congress from Tennessee, was also Senator in Congress, and Attorney General, during the administration of Mr. Van Buren. At the close of that administration, he was again elected to the senate. Mr. Grundy was also a churchman. His associations with christains were liberal. At the time of his demise, he was still a member of the United States Senate. He died, about 1842, at the age of some sixty six.

        But, as our chief buisness is with the life of that excellent man, David Purviance, while a citizen of Kentucky, we shall close with a few brief remarks, in respect to him. His last session was in 1802-3;


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he was a prominent actor in that body, during the seven or eight sessions he served. The Lexington Insurance Company, with banking powers confered, was a work of the session of 1802, it was opposed by Purviance. And the evils that grew out of that institution, proved a curse to the country; and at the same time, evinced the sagacity of Mr. Purviance.

        At the same session, the district court system was abolished, and the present circuit system of courts, was enacted; and has worked well. Purviance worked hard for the circuit system, but was stoutly opposed by the court party: as it was then styled, consisting of the judges, clerks, and the bar. The latter class, however, to their honor, be it noticed, aided in the good work of reforming the judiciary. The circuit courts still exist, and are popular with the community. And here closes the political life of David Purviance in Kentuky.

        As early as the year 1803, he had resolved, that in future, the ability, with which his maker had blessed him, should be employed, chiefly in preaching to his fellow men, that religion, which he had found to be so precious to his own heart. If ordained to the ministry, of necessity he must decline political life in Kentucky; for the constitution inhibits that class of individuals from the halls of legislation.

        But he, in this respect, was firmly fixed in his purpose, to proclaim and enforce, to the acceptance of mankind, that christian faith and practice, which he had so long realized, to be of more true and abiding value, than the attainments of earth. At the time


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Mr. Purviance retired from the councils of the state, his political character stood high. His prospects were flattering in the extreme. All this he must have been fully aware of; meek and unambitious, though he might be. Yet we find he had resolved, and that was enough, as we have again and again witnessed, in respect to this man of true, and undaunted moral courage. Like Moses, he chose rather to submit to poverty, and the loss of worldly fame, with his christian brethren, a poor and despised little band, than to enjoy, in all their glory, the emoluments and honors of public life, and worldly fame, for a brief season.

        We have said, that David Purviance was not ambitious; and he was not, after the sort, the sons of this vain world call ambition. Yet he was not without ambition to God. He was ambitious, that his name should be enrolled in heaven, in the Lamb's book of life. Then, however it might be disregarded on earth, it would be had in honor, and lasting remembrance before the Lord. This, of all distinctions, he considered by far the noblest.

        In the year 1803, as is known to all, Barton W. Stone, and other clergymen, seceded from the Presbyterian church, and shortly after, instituted upon the Bible. David Purviance was a ruling elder in the church at Caneridge, and he united with Stone and the others, and was shortly after ordained to the ministry. He preached extensivly and to great profit.

        He was the first preacher in the christian church, so styled, that publicly repudiated infant baptism, and insisted, that the immersion in water of a believing


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penitent, was the only baptism known to the New Testament.

        Elder Purviance has given a history of the first immersion, that took place in the christian church, in a recital of some early events, furnished by him to the biographer of B. W. Stone, which may be found at the 12th page of the life of Stone. That account is unquestionably true. The writer was present, and witnessed the occurrences of that memorable day. It took place early in the month of July, in the year 1807. That fall, Elder Purviance removed to Ohio. His departure from the church at Caneridge was deeply regretted.

        But he returned on many a visit, and was always welcomed in the most cordial and affectionate manner. He proved a blessing to many pious souls in his old Caneridge Church, on such visits. Many and many of his wise, and affectionate discourses are still vivid and warm to the heart of the writer, and he trusts will be more and more operative, till we meet again and embrace each other in the Kingdom of glory.

        The writer now closes these hasty sketches, of the political life and times of Mr. Purviance. His christian character, private and public; he earnestly recommends to the pen of the able and faithful historians who shall portray to the world, in its just light, the virtues and and excellencies of this amiable and venerated man of God.

WILLIAM ROGERS.


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CHAPTER V.

        A remarkable revival. Leaves legislating, and becomes a candidate for the ministry. A split in the Presbyterian Church. The Springfield Presbytery. Takes the name Christian. The last Will and Testament of the Springfield Presbytery, and the Witnesses' Address.

        The spring of 1801, witnessed a very remarkable religious excitement, which took place in Kentucky, known by the name of the "Great Revival." Mr. Purviance had professed religion in the state of North Carolina, when about the age of 20, and was at this time a Ruling Elder in the Presbyterian Church. He drank deeply into the spirit of the reformation, and received a license from the Presbytery to exhort. He was elected to the Legislature that summer, and served the next winter; but his mind and heart were very much in the reformation, and frequently, during the session, he obtained liberty of absence, on the afternoon of saturday, and rode home the same evening, some forty miles, and met the congregation on the Lord's day, and enjoyed himself well. When this session had closed, he placed himself under the care of the Presbytery, and became a candidate for the ministry. And as the constitution of Kentucky will not admit a minister of the gospel, to a seat in the Legislative councils, he was never after a candidate,


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for political promotion in that state. At the next sitting of the Presbytery, according to custom he was called on to deliver a trial sermon, He readily complied, but it was not very well received. There was a little too much liberality, and free salvation in it, to suit the sticklers for calvinistic orthodoxy. He was then examined on the principles and doctrines of the Westminister confession of faith. It was soon ascertained, that he would not, fully subscribe to the faith of this creed, consequently, he was continued on probation. While he was thus held in suspense, a charge was brought against Richard McNamer, a very talented and influential minister, for preaching doctrines contrary to their creed. He first appeared before the washington Presbytery of Ohio; from this his case was carried up to the synod at Lexington Kentucky. McNamer was willing to have all the doctrines he had preached, tested by the word of God; but this was out of the question, for they had " a law," and by this law he must be tried, and it was well known, that by it he would be condemned. There were four other preachers present, that believed, and preached the same doctrine, that he was charged with preaching. These were Barton W. Stone, John Dunlavy, John Thompson, and Robert Marshall. They very well knew, that if he was excommunicated, they would share the same fate. These five brethren, during a short recess of the Synod, drew up a protest against the proceedings in McNamer's case, and declared their independance and withdrew from Synod. This protest was immediately presented to Synod. The Synod immediately isued their bull of excommunication


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against them, and declared their congregations vacant. But the dissenters argued, that the act of Synod, in this case, could have no avail, as they had formally withdrawn. There were no charges, even preferred, against four of these brethren, before they withdrew themselves. They further insisted, that if their ministerial office was vacant by this act of Synod, that there was no authority in the Protestant Churches; for Luther was expelled by the Pope of Rome, after he had withdrawn, and there were charges preferred against him before he withdrew. These five brethren immediately formed themselves into a separate organization, and called it the Springfield Presbytery. David Purviance immediately withdrew, by letter, from the Presbytery, under whose care, he had placed himself, and forthwith became a member of the newly organized Springfield Presbytery, and was, by this body, immediately set forward to the work of the ministry. The Dissenters returned to the churches of their charge, and laid the whole circumstance of their withdrawal before them. This caused quite an excitement among the churches. But a majority of them adhered to their former Pastors, and united with the Dissenters. By this time, some of the Presbyterian preachers began, publicly and privately, to oppose the great revival; this, with the excitement, on the subject of the late secession, caused something of a declension in the work, especially in the Presbyterian churches. The Dissenters went on boldly, publishing and teaching the doctrine, that they had been charged with teaching. Viz., "That God loved the world, and


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gave his well beloved son to die, that whosoever believeth in him might not perish, but have everlasting life. That Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man." And "that there was no partiality with God. That the provisions of the Gospel were full and free provided for all mankind indiscriminately. That if sinners were lost, it was not because God had decreed it, but because they would not come to him, that they might have life."

        This doctrine was almost universally received, by those, who were in the spirit of the reformation. It also had a glorious effect, in removing the unbelief of mankind. They were taught, that they had the power, and facility of acting faith, and were exhorted to believe with all their hearts, in the Lord Jesus Christ, that they might be saved. They were also clearly shown, that the doctrine, that they had been taught from infancy, viz. That it was as impossible for man to believe, as to make a world, was not a doctrine of the Bible." McNamer, Dunlavy, and Thompson were in Ohio. Stone, Marshall, and Purviance, were in Kentucky. And the good work of reformation went on. But before one year had rolled away, they began to discover, that they had taken a sectarian stand, and saw clearly, that it would lead to a party spirit as well as practice. This they believed to be wrong, and calculated in its nature, to retard the progress of reformation. They, therefore, unanimously agreed to renounce their former name, with all man-made creeds, and acknowledge no name, but that given to the disciples at Antioch, (Christians), and no creed but the Bible. They then


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wrote and published what they called, The Last Will and Testament, of the Springfield Presbytery. As many of our readers will, (no doubt,) be desirous to know what kind of an instrument this is, we will here insert it.

        "FOR where a testament is, there must of necessity be the death of the testator; for a testament is of force after men are dead, otherwise it is of no strength at all, while the testator liveth. Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened except it die. Verily, verily I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground, and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. Whose voice then shook the earth; but now he hath promised, saying, yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, yet once more, signifies the removing of those things that are shaken as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain."--Scripture.


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The last Will and Testament of Springfield Presbytery.

        PRESBYTERY OF SPRING-FIELD, sitting at Caneridge, in the county of Bourbon, being through a gracious Providence, in more than ordinary bodily health, growing in strength and size daily; and in perfect soundness, and composure of mind; but knowing that it is appointed for all delegated bodies once to die: and considering that the life of every such body is very uncertain, do make, and ordain this our last Will and Testament, in manner and form following.

        Imprimis. 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.

        Item. 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.

        Item. 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.

        Item. We will, that candidates for the Gospel ministry henceforth study the Holy Scriptures with fervent


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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. And let none henceforth take this honor to himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

        Item. We will, that the church of Christ resume her native right of internal government--try her candidates for the ministry, as to their soundness in the faith, acquaintance with experimental religion, gravity and aptness to teach; and admit no proof of their authority but Christ speaking in them. We will, that the church of Christ look up to the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into his harvest, and that she resume her primitive right of trying those who say they are apostles, and are not.

        Item, 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 offences; and never henceforth delegate her right of government to any man or set of men whatever.

        Item. We will, that the people henceforth take the Bible as the only sure guide to heaven; and as many as are offended with other books, wich 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 cast into hell.

        Item. We will, that preachers and people, cultivate a spirit of mutual forbearance, pray more and dispute less; and while they behold the signs of the


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times, look up, and confidently expect, that redemption draweth nigh.

        Item. We will, that our weak brethren, who may have been wishing to make the Presbytery of Springfield their king, and wot not what is now become of it, betake themselves to the Rock of Ages, and follow Jesus for the future.

        Item. We will, that the Synod of Ky. examine every member, who may be suspected of having departed from the Confession of Faith, and suspend every such suspected heretic immediately; in order that the oppressed may go free, and taste the sweets of gospel liberty.

        Item. We will, that Ja----, the author of two letters lately published in Lexington, be encouraged in his zeal to destroy partyism. We will, moreover, that our past conduct be examined into by all who may have correct information; but let foreigners beware of speaking evil of things which they know not.

        Item. Finally we will, that all our sister bodies read their Bibles careful, that they may see their fate there determined, and prepare for death before it is too late.

Springfield Presbytery,

June, 28th, 1804. L. S.

Witnesses.
ROBERT MARSHALL,
JOHN DUNLAVY,
RICHARD M'NAMAR,
B. W. STONE,
JOHN THOMPSON,
DAVID PURVIANCE,

The Witnesses' Address.

        WE, the above named witnesses of the Last


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Will and Testament of the Springfield Presbytery, knowing that there will be many conjectures respecting the causes which have occasioned the dissolution of that body think proper to testify, that from its first existence it was knit together in love, lived in peace and concord, and died a voluntary and happy death.

        Their reasons for dissolving that body were the following: With deep concern they viewed the divisions, and party spirit among professing Christians, principally owing to the adoption of human creeds and forms of government. While they were united under the name of a Presbytery, they endeavored to cultivate a spirit of love and unity with all Christians; but found it extremely difficult to suppress the idea that they themselves were a party separate from others. This difficulty increased in proportion to their success in the ministry. Jealousies were excited in the minds of other denominations; and a temptation was laid before those who were connected with the various parties, to view them in the same light. At their last meeting they undertook to prepare for the press a piece entitled Observations on Church Government, in which the world will see the beautiful simplicity of Christian church government, stript of human inventions and Iordly traditions. As they proceeded in the investigation of that subject, they soon found that there was neither precept nor example in the New Testament for such confederacies as modern Church Sessions, Presbyteries, Synods, General Assemblies, &c. Hence they concluded, that while they continued in the connection in which they then stood, they were off the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, of


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which Christ himself is the chief corner stone. However just, therefore, their views of church government might have been, they would have gone out under the name and sanction of a self-constituted body. Therefore, from a principle of love to Christians of every name, the precious cause of Jesus, and dying sinners who are kept from the Lord by the existence of sects and parties in the church, they have cheerfully consented to retire from the din and fury of conflicting parties--sink out of the view of fleshly minds, and die the death. They believe their death will be great gain to the world. But though dead, as above, and stript of their mortal frame, which only served to keep them too near the confines of Egyptian bondage, they yet live and speak in the land of gospel liberty; they blow the trumpet of jubilee, and willingly devote themselves to the help of the Lord against the mighty. They will aid the brethren, by their counsel, when required; assist in ordaining elders, or pastors--seek the divine blessing--unite with all Christians--commune together, and strengthen each other's hands in the work of the Lord.

        We design by the grace of God, to continue in the exercise of those functions, which belong to us as ministers of the gospel, confidently trusting in the Lord, that he will be with us. We candidly acknowledge, that in some things we may err, through human infirmity; but he will correct our wanderings, and preserve his church. Let all Christians join with us, in crying to God day and night, to remove the obstacles which stand in the way of his work, and give him no rest till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. We heartily


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unite with our Christian brethren of every name, in thanksgiving to God for the display of his goodness in the glorious work he is carrying on in our Western country, which we hope will terminate in the universal spread of the gospel, and the unity of the church.

        This was one means of leading the people, to a close examination of the word of God, and many of the honest inquiring minds, soon began to discover, that some of those doctrines, they had been taught from their infancy, to regard as the fundamentals of Christianity, were not to be found in the Bible.

        Many of the self-styled orthodox, raised their warning voice, and the press and pulpit poured forth, bitter invectives against those men, that would presume, to call in question, any doctrine found in the approved system of their Church. But their Reformers were devout, prayerful, and humble; and the Lord made them "polished shafts in his quiver." And the good work of reformation went on, and many souls were converted to God, and new preachers and exhorters were raised up among them, that were willing to share their persecutions, toils, and labors, that they might reap their reward. Errors in doctrine were not only faithfully pointed out, but errors in practice were both privately, publicly, and fearlessly, opposed.


Illustration


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CHAPTER VI.

        His opposition to Slavery. The selection of four young men to aid in the ministry.

        Of Slavery, that national, and popular sin, Mr. Purviance was an unflinching enemy, although it had obtained the sanction of law, and the approbation of popular opinion. He examined and condemned it by the Gospel. The rights of the poor oppressed, and downtrodden slave, were publicly maintained, and defended, against avariciousness, pride, and selfishness. Eld. B. W. Stone, a faithful brother, and fellow laborer in Christ, not only Defended the rights of man by argument, but by example. He owned slaves, but he liberated them all, and made choice of living poor, and laboring with his hands, to obtain a bare competency for himself and family, rather than to feast on the gain of oppression.

        Eld. David Purviance never owned any slaves, but his father and fatherinlaw both did. He used his influence, to have them liberated; and accomplished his design; and rejoiced to see his family connections saved from the curse of the gain of oppression. A majority of the members of the Caneridge Church, that owned slaves, liberated them; believing it to be right to do unto the poor unfortunate colored people, as they


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would wish others to do to them, in like circumstances.

        Some, for a time, opposed emancipation, but after-wards became convinced of their error and liberated their slaves.

        David Purviance made no pretentions to the character of a poet. Yet he composed the following more than forty years before his death. It speaks the sentiments and spirit of the man.

On Slavery.


                         THE everlasting father,
                         The only living God,
                         Created all the nations
                         And made them of one blood.
                         He's holy just and faithful,
                         Respect he shows to none,
                         He lov'd the whole creation,
                         And gave them to his Son.


                         The Laws which he has given,
                         Teach universal love,
                         That mankind may be happy,
                         As angels are above.
                         Be not ye called masters,
                         Or rais'd in your own view,
                         But do the same to all men,
                         You'd have them do to you.


                         If Christ be our Redeemer,
                         His word we will obey;
                         If we possess his Spirit,
                         We'll walk in the same way,
                         Jesus was meek and humble,
                         And to the poor a friend,
                         He had no sable bondmen,
                         Who might on him attend.


                         For men of ev'ry nation
                         He di'd on Calvary,
                         The poor have heard his Gospel,
                         The captives are made free;
                         But some who say they're christian
                         The followers of the Lord, [ns,
                         Have bought or sold for silver,
                         The purchase of his blood.


                         The father hears their groanings,
                         He pities the opprest;
                         He knows the many thousands
                         Thus burden'd and distrest;
                         He sees immortal creatures
                         Converted into herds,
                         Abus'd by proud oppressors,
                         Who fancy they are Lords.


                         Ev'n some esteem'd as christians,
                         This evil do practice,
                         They treat their slaves with mild [ness,
                         Hard usage they despise;
                         But still it is an evil,
                         They are not free from blame:
                         Let not this cruel bondage
                         Disgrace the christian name.


                         He takes up little children,
                         That they may blessed be,
                         He says unto their parents,
                         Take; bring them up for me,
                         But some though called christians,
                         Them from their parents part,
                         And sell the tender infants
                         To men of savage heart.


                         His children are all brethren,
                         And he their common Lord,
                         They must around his table,
                         His dying love record:
                         But one is called master,
                         And claims as property
                         Another of God's family
                         Whom Jesus has made free.


                         God has made man immortal,
                         With a capacious mind;
                         Has giv'n to us his Gospel,
                         That wisdom we might find:
                         But thousands are degraded,
                         Bound in a slavish chain,
                         Depriv'd of all instruction;
                         And wisdom cannot gain.


                         He says relieve th' oppressed,
                         The yoke and bands unbind,
                         Be mindful of the fatherless,
                         And to the widows kind;
                         But haughtiness and avarice
                         Have grown to such a height
                         Their cries are disregarded,
                         Because they are not white.


                         O christians, be not backward,
                         To do your father's will;
                         Your light must not be hidden,
                         Your voice must not be still;
                         Be witnesses for Jesus,
                         And ev'ry sin forsake;
                         Drink not the wine of Babylon,
                         Lest you her plagues partake.


                         If you would follow Jesus,
                         You must the cross sustain;
                         Give up the HUNDRED TALENTS,
                         The Lord will you maintain.
                         God will destroy oppression,
                         And ev'ry captive free,
                         Take warning O slaveholder,
                         Lest judgments fall on the e


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        About this time, many talented young men were raised up in the bounds of Caneridge and Concord churches, who had become very useful and influential exhorters. David Purviance and Barton W. Stone, ascertained, that they could by no means fill the calls for preaching. They proposed to these two churches to select several of the most influential among them, and encourage them to travel and supply destitute neighborhoods, with meetings for worship. The two churches met accordingly, and appointed Andrew Ireland, John Purviance, David Kirkpatrick, and William Caldwell, and sent them out to travel as evangelists. They went forth two and two, and God blessed them and their labor, and made them a blessing to the world, and many new churches were raised up under their instrumentality. These four brethren were faithful to their calling, and became very influential and useful. Andrew Ireland and John Purviance were men of


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families, and could not devote all their time to the ministry, but David Kirkpatrick, and William Caldwell, spent their time and talents in the good work. Brother Kirkpatrick did not live long, he was cut down by the hand of death in the midst of his usefulness. Brother Caldwell went to Pennsylvania and married, but continued to preach, as long as he was able. A few years back he moved to Indiana, and not long since was called from his labor to his reward; but he has left a son a respectable preacher. The other two moved to Ohio, and both continued faithful and useful in the church. Both of them might have been ordained preachers, if they would have given their own consent. But they felt that they could be more useful in exhortation, than in preaching,*

        * At that time, the gift of exhortation was much encouraged in the church, and was useful and edefying, but since that time, pride and arrogancy have led men to aspire to be something when they are nothing, and instead of occupying the gift of exhortation, which God and nature had designed for them, they have assumed the station and character of preachers, and their usefulness is in a great degree lost.


and were humble enough to fill their proper place in the church. Andrew Ireland was called from his labors, in the midst of his years, and in the prime of his life. He deceased in the year 1823, being the 49th year of his age. He was one of the best of men, and very useful in the church. John Purviance is yet living, and in the 78th year of his age and is still able to exhort, his fellow men. But is now looking forward to the time when he will be called to depart and be with Christ.


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CHAPTER VII.

        His calling as a minister of the Gospel. He came well nigh destroying his health. Fasting, prayer, and meditation. The support of the ministry. His preparation to move to Ohio.

        Elder David Purviance was very zealous in the cause of his Master and spent most of his time in the gospel field. But like many young preachers, he came well nigh breaking down his constitution, early in his ministerial life.--His constitution was good, his voice strong, and his manner forcible, and energetic, and his anxiety, for the salvation of mankind great. He preached day and night, exhorted, sung, and prayed a great deal,--having no fears of his physical powers failing. But before he was aware, it brought on him a slight attack of dyspepsy, that afflicted him during his life. But by a regular course of dieting, he prevented it from injuring his constitution. Yet it was an impediment to him in speaking. It frequently caused wind to rise from his stomach that would obstruct his utterance for a minute or more at one time, which was unpleasant to him and also to his hearers.

        He was thought by many to be a little enthusiastic in some things. But I honestly believe, that but few pursued a more consistent and parallel course with


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the word of God, than he did. He was in the practice, before he expected to preach on some important subject, that needed deep research and much investigation, to set apart one day in the week to fasting, praying, reading, and meditation. He always, as long as he lived, most confidently believed in the efficacy of prayer, and the necessity of the aid of the Holy Spirit, in the administration of the word. But he also most firmly believed in the propriety of carefully studying the scriptures.

        He therefore "studied to show himself approved unto God, a workman that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." He considered it but little short of presumption, for a man to pray to God, for the aid of His Holy Spirit in the administration of the word, while he neglected to improve the powers and faculties, that God had given him; in order to store the mind with that fund of knowledge so necessary for every minister of the gospel to be in possession of, in order to be useful in his calling.

        Consequently, he studied the scriptures carefully, and prayerfully, and then trusted the Good Lord, "to strengthen him with might, by his Spirit, in the inner man, that Christ might dwell in his heart by faith." That he might preach the word with boldness, and be able to convince the gainsayers.

        There was one great difficulty, our fathers labored under in the reformation, that we have never been able to overcome to this day. We are too liable, in leaving an error, to run to the opposite extreme. Some had made merchandise of the gospel, and were growing rich by large salaries. This, as well as other occupations,


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was publicly exposed; but not at all times with that caution and due regard to propriety that is always desirable. Some young preachers*

        * I do not believe that Father Stone or Father Purviance was to blame in this case.


let their zeal overcome their knowledge; and in undertaking to expose the covetousness of the preachers, they forgot to teach the people their duty, and got them to believe that it was the preachers duty to feed the flock of God, proclaim the Gospel to the world, and warn sinners "to flee the wrath to come;" and that it was God's business, to feed and clothe the preachers; and the business of the preacher's wives to feed and clothe themselves and their children. These unhallowed and unreasonable views, contradict both the law of Moses and of Christ; and have been the means of staring out many of our preachers, that would have been very useful, had they not been compelled to go to digging, to avoid the disgrace of begging. I recollect once to have heard a preacher from the stand, quote this passage with great emphasis; "they which preach the Gospel, shall live of the Gospel." "Now," says he, "this is God's promise, and cannot fail; the preachers have nothing to fear." If he had first studied his lesson well, and noticed the connection fairly, he would have discovered, that this passage in 1st Cor. 9th chap. was not a promise to the preachers, but a decree of God, relative to the duty of the people towards their preachers. But such preaching had its effect. It is very easy to get mankind to believe error, where money is concerned. I believe the error alluded to above, has done more to impede the
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progress of the reformation, than any other thing in this world. When David Purviance first commenced preaching, he was in quite limited circumstances, he had but a small farm. I am his oldest child; I was then about twelve years of age, and my only brother about ten.*

        * I recollect of meditating on our situation, and concluding in my own mind, that I was doing almost as much good, as a preacher, and I believe yet, that I was doing more good than some preachers, for I was working hard, while my Father was preaching. In meditating on the subject of death, I rested easy, calculating, that God would not let me die, for if He did, my Father would have to stay at home to work, and consequently could not preach so much.


We assisted our mother to support the family, while our father spent the most of his time in the ministry. He traveled, not only in Kentucky, but in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Ohio. I believe he was instrumental in the hands of God of doing much good.

        In the summer of 1806, he traveled into Ohio, and bought a small tract of land on the east fork of White-water, Preble county. That same season he sent me to make some improvement on the land, and make some provisions for moving the family. on to it.

        A few families had emigrated from Caneridge, and made a small settlement here, in March, of this year. The country was then an unbroken wilderness,--an entire frontier; and more Indians to be seen than white people. Every first day of the week, the little colony came together, to sing and pray, and exhort each other. A few times during the winter, we were visited by traveling preachers, who fed us with the sincere milk of the word. In the spring of 1807, Elder David Purviance came here, to assist, in preparing for a summer's crop. He preached every sabbath, while


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he continued. Several families more had emigrated this spring, from Caneridge, and settled here. During his stay, he organized a church, with some 20 or 25 members, principally from the Caneridge church. This was the first church that was ever organized in this part of the State of Ohio. He then returned home to Kentucky, calculating to settle his business, and move the ensuing fall. During the summer, we received the intelligence, that he, with several others of our Caneridge brethren, had been baptized by immersion. This news caused considerable excitement in our little church. Some concluded, that the next thing we would hear, would be, that he was a shaker. Others were more reasonable, and like the noble Bereans, searched the scriptures, to learn what the book said on the subject of baptism. It was not long before the most of the little church became convinced, that the Apostolic mode of baptism, was immersion; but some very good members lived and died in the faith, that infant sprinkling was Gospel baptism.

Illustration


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CHAPTER VIII.

        His removal to Ohio. The Quaker. A revival in a Dutch neighborhood. Marshall and Thompson's attack on the church, and their return to Presbyterianism. D. Purviance's reply.

        During the summer of 1807, he sold his little farm in Kentucky, and settled up all his business there, and in September he emigrated with his family to Ohio, and settled on his little farm, in the midst of a dense forest, calculating to share the toils and privations, incident to a frontier settlement.

        The neighborhood increased by emigration, and the church increased, both by emigration and accessions, which greatly encouraged his heart. He became the pastor, and had the pleasure of immersing the most of them. He was very urgent for the people to do their duty; but where any of the brethren differed from him, on the subject of baptism, he never urged it upon them, or treated them coolly on that account. He had full confidence in all professed Christians, provided their general deportment corresponded with the Bible, notwithstanding, they might differ from him widely in opinion. He traveled very extensively, and preached to the frontier settlements of this State, and Indiana, and also made frequent visits to the older settled parts. He suffered


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much in traveling, in consequence of the country being thinly inhabited, and the roads extremely bad. But I never heard him complain of ill treatment, from the people; or that his lot was a hard one; but I have often heard him speak of the goodness of God, and the kindness of the people; although he received very little, as a compensation, for time and labor spent in the ministry. I have often heard him tell this anecdote,--as he was traveling between, where we lived and the great Miami, he had a wilderness to pass through.--Late in the evening, he came to the house of a Friend (Quaker:) he was kindly received, and entertained. In the morning he asked for his bill. Says the Quaker "does thee divine for money." "No, I do not divine for money." "I thought if thee divined for money, thee might pay money, but if thee does not divine for money thee may go."*

        * The Friends (Quakers) are much opposed to paying preachers, any certain salary; this is what they call divining for money; yet they make provision for their traveling ministers.


        Not long after we settled here, he was invited by a good old Dutchman, by the name of Jacob Shearer, (he was a member of the Dutch Presbyterian church,) to preach in his neighborhood, about seven miles from us; he made an appointment and went. It was a Dutch neighborhood, and very few professors of religion in it, but they came out to meeting, and gave their attention. He had delivered but a few sermons there, until one sabbath, while he was preaching, a man by the name of Henry Johnson arose to his feet, came forward, fell at his feet, and cried out, "pray for me." Others were invited forward, to unite with him in prayer; in a short time, he found peace and pardon,


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through a Redeemer's blood. He afterwards became a minister of the Gospel, and lived an exemplary and useful life. From this time, the good work went on and many souls were converted to God, among whom was Capt. George Shideler. Many of our readers know Elder Shideler, and have been fed with the sincere milk of the word from his lips.--

        As the generality of reformers, have been destined to pass through the ordeal of persecution and severe trials; so it was with our Fathers in this reformation. They met with much opposition from the different sects. But this was not so distressing, as division and persecution in their own ranks.

        The shakers carried off Richard McNamer and John Dunlavy; and about the year 1810 or 1811, Robert Marshall and John Thompson, two of the leaders in this reformation, became discouraged, and began to look back to Egypt, and finally came out in a pamphlet entitled,--

        "A brief historical account of sundry things in the doctrines and state of the Christian, or as it is commonly called, the New-light Church."--By R. Marshall and J. Thompson. Ministers of the Gospel and members of said church, containing their testimony against several doctrines, held in that church, and its disorganized state. Together with some reasons, why these two brethren purpose to seek for a more pure and orderly connexion."

        It appeared, that this publication, was calculated to pave the way, for their return to the Presbyterian church. For in a short time afterwards, they both went back together, and made their acknowledgments


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to the Synod, from whence they came out, and were restored to their former standing. This had its influence, and induced several young men, who had engaged in the ministry, and were considerably under the influence of Marshall and Thompson, to follow into the Presbyterian ranks.

        This course in Marshall and Thompson, led to a reply, which I will here insert in full.

OBSERVATIONS.

        Constitution, Unity, and Discipline of the Church of Christ, addressed to the brethren of the Christian Church, by David Purviance.

        "Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered."--Jeremiah.


        A PAMPHLET has lately fallen into my hands, written by R. Marshall & J. Thompson, which I have read with attention, and (at least as far as I was capable) with impartiality.

        As their publication chiefly consists of a statement of Errors, in Doctrine and Discipline, which (as they apprehend) exist in the church, and among the people, with whom I stand connected; I have endeavored to realize, that we are all liable to err; and often unwilling to see and acknowledge our errors. My prayer has been--"Lord show me wherein I have erred, wherein I am wrong, and lead me in the right way." I confess I do not view the Christian (or as it is frequently called, the Newlight) church, in the light represented by the brethren above named. But I apprehend it would be useless for me to state the difference


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in my views, as to matters of fact: and it is not my present design to enter into an investigation of doctrines.

        We all profess to have taken the Holy Scriptures as the standard of doctrine and discipline; and admitting that evils do exist among us, a question arises whether this is occasioned by any defect or insufficiency in the rules prescribed in the word of God; or, from a defect in our knowledge of those rules--and a want of faithfulness in the observance and execution of them.

        We all admit that the Lord is our lawgiver; and that the doctrines taught, and rules for discipline, prescribed in the sacred scriptures, are perfect; being dictated by the unerring spirit of God. It appears to me, if more is necessary, the defect can only be supplied by the same spirit; or that men who make, ordain, and establish other standards and forms for the church of Christ, or any branch thereof, ought to be able to show from the word of God, that they possess a delegated power from the supreme lawgiver so to do; otherwise their acts are unauthorised, and may be violated with impunity.

        I do not doubt the sincerity of those who adopt human standards: while I freely show my own opinion, and practise according to my own views, I am not disposed to censure those that differ from me. Their honest design may be, to preserve purity and order in the church; but I fear they are like Uzza, taking more pains than is pleasing to God. Nor do I believe that any argument in their favor, can be fairly deduced from experiment. It appears to me, that the only


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purpose answered by the creeds of sectarians, is, that they preserve their own peculiar tenets or notions; which descend from generation to generation, and serve to prevent mankind from free access to the pure unmixed fountain of truth.

        It is the opinion of Marshall & Thompson, that some other forms of Doctrine and Discipline besides the Holy Scriptures, are necessary to remedy the numerous evils, of which they complain. It appears to me, that they and I look thro' different glasses; I do not see that degree of corruption and disorder, which they represent to exist among us. I see the glorious work of God advancing, sinners bowing to his sceptre, and christians growing stronger and stronger. And I believe all that is necessary to heal disorders, and to perfect the body of Christ, is to attain a better understanding of the word of God, and practise accordingly.

        It is urged by many, that there is such a diversity among christians, both as to doctrine and practise, that it is expedient they should be divided into separate societies, and each regulated according to their own views. This reasoning appears plausible, but I dare not adopt the plan; because it leads to the establishment of divisions by human laws, which the laws of our supreme lawgiver expressly countermand.--I. Cor. i, 10. "Now I beseech you brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you." And moreover, it is contrary to the spirit which every believer receives, when he is adopted into the church of Christ. He loves God as his father, and all who


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are begotten of him, as his dear brethren. The spirit of Jesus, the living head, binds the members of his body to each other in love. In the same spirit we ought to abide. "As ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him." If a person had not a previous knowledge of different sects and names, in the church of Christ, he could scarcely form an idea of their existence, from reading the New Testament.

        Impressed with a sense of the necessity of understanding the principles and constitution of the church of Christ, and the scriptural form of church government, I have paid some attention to the subject, and shall endeavor to communicate my ideas to the brethren, hoping that some profit may arise to the church; and that wherein I may be incorrect or defective, such as are capable will be so kind as to point out the errors, and supply the defects; so that we may be fellow helpers together, and mutually aid in promoting the cause of truth.

        I shall proceed, 1. to speak of the church: and 2. of church government.

I. OF THE CHURCH.

        1. The church of Christ is one spiritual body, including all who believe in his name, and are quickened by his spirit. Rom. xii, 4, 5. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office; so we being many, are one body in Christ. I. Cor. xii, 13--For by one spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one spirit--John x, 16. Pet. ii, 5. Eph. iv,


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        2. The church is one household, having for its foundation the Holy Scriptures, Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone. Eph. ii, 19, 20, 21--Now therefore, ye are no more strangers, and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the houshold of God; and are built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone: in whom all the building fitly framed together, groweth into an holy temple in the Lord.

        3. The general church is divided into particular churches; as the church at Corinth, Ephesus, Smyrna, &c. Each having the same Lord, the same faith, or creed, the same laws and ordinances.--Eph. iv, 5.--One Lord, one faith, one baptism. I. Cor. vii, 17.--And so ordain I in all the churches.

        A particular church may be constituted of such number of believers, as local situations will admit.--We read of churches at particular houses--1. Cor. xvi, 19. Col. iv, 15.

        A church may consist of persons exercising divers gifts: an elder or elders, deacons and private members--Rom. xii, 6, 7, 8. Yet it does not appear that officers in a church, are essential to its constitution, or existence; but they may be appointed and ordained, when circumstances require, Acts xiv. Paul and Barnabas visited the churches, and ordained them elders in every church. The qualifications of an elder are delineated--Tit. i, 6--9. and I conceive, that when a person or persons are found in any church, possessing those qualifications, he or they ought to be ordained. Also it appears from Acts vi, that in Jerusalem when the number of disciples was multiplied,


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there arose a murmuring, because the widows were neglected; on account of which, deacons were appointed. In like manner, it appears to me, that when circumstances render it necessary, in any particular church, deacons, or proper persons ought to be chosen and ordained, to have the oversight and management of such things as are necessary, for the welfare and good government of the church.

        There are various duties incumbent on a particular church, for their mutual comfort and edification, assembling themselves together, uniting in social prayer, exhorting one another, &c. Heb. x, 25.--Mat. xviii, 19, 20.--Acts xii, 5.

II. OF CHURCH GOVERNMENT.

        That which comes under this head, may be included in the following particulars:

        1 Receiving members. This belongs to the church. Rom. xiv, 1. Him that is weak in the faith, receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. Rom. xv, 7. Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.

        The qualifications requisite to church membership appear to be "repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ." Acts xx, 21. Those who are united to Christ the living head, are virtually members of his body; and consequently entitled to


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the privileges of his church. I do not find that those particular points of doctrine, which distinguish the different sects of Christians at the present day, were called in question by the Apostles. The main point was, evidence that the professed disciple was a partaker of the same spirit. Acts x, 47. Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Ghost, as well as we. Acts viii, 37. And Philip said, if thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God. Acts ii, 41, 8, 12. Rom. x, 9.

        2 Church censures, or removing offences. Every transgression of the commandments of God, or holy precepts of the gospel, is an offence, and ought to be removed. II. Thess. iii, 14, 15. "And if any man obey not our word, by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count not him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother." In dealing with offenders, the primary object should be to retain and restore. Gal. vi, 1. "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted." The rule of proceeding prescribed, Mat. xviii, 15, 16, 17, ought to be invariably pursued. "Moreover if thy brother trespass against thee, go and tell him of his fault, between thee and him alone; if he shall hear thee, then thou hast gained thy brother, but if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more; and if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church." This rule of proceeding is more especially


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applicable in case of personal offences; but no doubt will apply, where one member is hurt with any improper conduct of another. And by thus acting in the spirit of meekness and love, every thing may be avoided which is calculated to aggravate the offender, or spread the scandal. First, the person aggrieved is to go alone. Second, he is to call the aid of one or two more. Third, tell it unto the church. If the offender is obstinately perverse, and cannot be reclaimed, he is to be excluded. But while there is hope of restoring him, the proceedings are to be within the church, separate from the world.

        Where a matter of scandal becomes notorious, and public censure is to be inflicted, the church is to act collectively; though it may be more particularly the duty of deacons to see that discipline is exercised, and such things removed as wound the body. 1. Cor. v. 1. It is commonly reported that there is fornication among you. v. 4--In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver such an one unto Satan. v. 11--But now I have written to you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother, be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner, with snch an one, no, not to eat. v. 13--Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

        Surely here are sufficient rules so far as relates to immorality, in practice. But the greatest complaint is, that the scriptures do not furnish an adequate remedy for the prevalence of erroneous sentiments.

        To which I answer,--That the word of God, is the


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only standard, by which we can fairly try and condemn error. If another standard is made, as a test of orthodoxy, it is as liable to be wrong as that which is to be tried by it. The church may err, with the perfect standard of divine truth in her hand; but if we give to imperfect creatures an imperfect standard of judgment, they are surely more liable to err. It is said--"Many who profess to believe the scriptures, differ widely in opinion." This may be the case, with respect to a confession of faith, or any code of laws, human or divine. But a man's saying he believes is not evidence of the fact. The Jews professed to believe Moses, but Jesus says--"If ye had believed Moses, ye would have believed me." In matters of opinion, which do not directly tend to licentiousness, or to the subversion of christianity, charity and forbearance are to be exercised. Rom. xiv, 4, 5. But the great question is--How far shall this forbearance extend? Or to what point shall it be limited? I answer, it must be limited by the word of God, the law which the great Legislator has ordained for the government of his church. I see no more authority for the church to make a law to excommunicate a member, than the supreme court of the state of Ohio has to make a law to sentence a man to death, or banishment. Whatever the private opinion of the judges may be, they are bound by the laws of the land; and if they transcend this, they are liable to impeachment. In like manner, if a member of the church is accused with heresy, we must have recourse to the word of God. For instance; suppose a man professes to believe the scriptures, and yet denies that


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Jesus Christ was literally born of the Virgin Mary; or that he was really crucified, and raised again from the dead; and argues (as I have have understood some do) that these things were figurative. How shall we prove that he is a heretic? We may have recourse to the second Epistle of John, 7th verse; "For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver aud an anti-christ." Also to Rom. x, 9. "That if thou shalt confess with thy heart that God has raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved"--and many other passages. I mention this as an example; and all such as come under the characters described, Titus i, 2. Rev. ii, 14, 15, 20. Or such as can be proven to be heretics, according to the scriptures. We know from Titus iii, 10, that if they cannot be reclaimed by admonition, they are to be rejected. In difficult or doubtful cases, the counsel and aid of the ministry or eldership ought to be obtained. Acts xv, 2.

        I acknowledge it has been the case, in the course of the revival, both before and since the separation from the Presbyterians, that with many individuals, a thirst for novelty has been prevalent, and some have been charmed with enthusiastic notions; yet I believe there is no better correctioe for these things than the word of God.

        3. Sending out preachers of the gospel. I do not find in the word of God, that any are authorized to exercise the functions of the gospel ministry, except such as are ordained and set apart to the sacred office, by the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery or eldership.


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Yet it is the privilege of the members of the body of Christ to exercise their gifts, "differing according to the grace that is given," and as shall be most for edification. Rom. xii, 6, 7, 8. If the spirit of Christ reigns in the body, every member (the eye, the ear, the foot, &c.) will fill his own place. I. Cor. chap. 12. Thus their several gifts will be manifested.

        It appears to have been'a practice in the primitive church, to give letters of commendation, to such as went out to exercise their gifts as public teachers. II. Cor. iii, 1. Also Acts xviii, 24 to 28. We learn that Apollos, an eloquent man and fervent in spirit, taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. He was not, strictly speaking, a preacher of the gospel of Christ; but Aquilla and Priscilla, having expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly, when he was disposed to go into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him. So I conceive, in the present state of the church, it is needful, that if any one believes he is called to labor in exhortation or preaching, the church from which he goes out being satisfied as to his qualifications, should give him a letter of commendation. And from II. Tim. ii, 2, it appears to me that at least one ordained preacher ought to act in concert with the church, in giving such letter. The form of the letter may be such as in the eye of the civil law may be called a license.

        It may be objected, that by this means ignorant, unqualified men, will come into the ministry. If some should set out who are not duly qualified, it will soon be manifest; and they ought to be dissuaded. If they


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are good men, they will discover they have stepped out of their sphere. If not, they are likely to sink for want of support and encouragement. And if any are found pernicious, and will not take counsel, or desist, they may be dealt with as offenders. Those who are found useful, having made sufficient proof of their ministry, may be ordained. This is nearly the plan we have pursued. And though I hear of an ignorant or corrupt ministry, I know them not. Some have risen from private life to public usefulness; and the weakest within my knowledge, is (I believe) doing some good.

        ORDINATION is to be performed by fasting and prayer, and laying on the hands of the Presbytery. Acts xiii, 3, 14, 23. I. Tim. iv, 14. II. Tim. i, 6. I cannot find that there are different offices appertaining to ordained preachers. "Elder," and "Bishop," are only different names for a person exercising the same office. Tit. i, 5--7.

        Elders are required to be subject one to another.--I. Pet. v, 5. An Elder, chargeable with any thing contrary to truth and righteousness, ought to be dealt with by such of his brethren as have opportunity, in order that the evil may be removed. If this measure fails of success, the matter ought to be referred to such a convention of the eldership, or preachers, as the nature of the case may require. Acts xv, 2, "When therefore, Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined, that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem, unto the apostles and elders, about this question. v. 6, "And the apostles and elders


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came together for to consider of this matter." The apostles and elders having decided the question, sent their decision, by letter, to the church; of which the following is a part: v. 24, "Forasmuch as we have heard that certain which went out from us, have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, ye must be circumcised and keep the law; to whom we gave no such commandment."

        It may be said, that this was a question of doctrine, and will not apply to immorality in practice. I can see no difference; because morality is as requisite a qualification in a bishop or elder, as soundness in the faith or aptness to teach. I. Tim. chapter iii. Tit. chapter i.

        It may be objected farther, that an elder may refuse to be subject to his brethren, and yet continue to preach. I answer, the churches are not to receive such an one. The church at Ephesus tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and found them liars. I do not apprehend they instituted a judicial process; but they tried them by the word of truth, and rejected them. Also, read II. John, x.

        It would be too tedious to answer every objection, which may be started; but I rest assured, that as long as the spirit of Jesus reigns in the church, and as long as his people trust in him, and follow his word; he will clear their way through every difficulty. I think it dishonoring to the king and head of the church, to suppose that the laws he has given are insufficient for the government of his kingdom.

        4. Support of Ministers.--It is required of the church to contribute for the support of those who labor in the


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gospel. I. Cor. ix, 14. "Even so hath the Lord ordained, that they which preach the gospel, should live of the gospel.

        As complaints were made in former days, that the widows were neglected; so complaints are now made, that the preachers are neglected. And as seven men duly qualified, were chosen and set over that business; I think the example sufficient for the church, whenever it becomes necessary, to choose a competent number of suitable persons, who may be ordained, and attend to this and other exigencies.

        It is a matter of importance to keep the proper medium, between making the preaching of the gospel a mercenary business, and robbing God of the free-will offerings, he requires for its support.

        Under the Mosaic dispensation, tithes and offerings were required for the support of the priesthood. The people are charged with robbing God, by withholding them. Mal. iii, 8. In consequence of their bringing them into the store-house; an abundant blessing is promised.--v, 10. Something similar is found in the New Testament. Gal. vi, 6, 7. Let him that is taught in the word communicate to him that teacheth in all good things. Be not deceived, God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Paul commends the Philippian church for their bounty to him. Phil. iv, 17. "Not because I desire a gift, but I desire fruit that may abound to your account." And concerning collections for the saints, he gives order, that every one lay by him in store. I. Cor. xvi, 2.

        Upon this subject, the word of God, is sufficiently


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plain; and surely christians need no other rule to compel them to their duty.

        Bonds and calls have often been the cause of murmuring between preachers and people; and appear to me contrary to the spirit of the gospel. II. Cor. ix, 6, 7. "But this I say, he which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully, shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart; so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver."

        BELOVED BRETHREN,

        Having gone through what I proposed on the subject of government, I shall conclude, by suggesting to you a few ideas, as they may occur to my mind.--From the short sketch I have given, I think we must acknowledge, that if we are corrupt and disorderly, it is not owing to any defect in the rules, by which we profess to be governed.

        We may see just cause of humiliation, when we take into view the course most of these men have taken, whom we have loved and esteemed as our fathers; who have been instrumental in bringing us to the ground on which we now stand; and by whose hands, God has often given many of us the bread of life. Their report of us is evil; let us bear the stroke without resistance. Let us be always willing to see our own errors, and endeavor to amend. Let us never fight for ourselves; but commit the cause to God. Let us "walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring


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to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace." The work of the Lord will not sink. Acts v, 38, 39. And now I say unto you, refrain from these men, and let them alone; for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought; if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it. The Lord knows who is right, and he will fight the battle.

        I have expected, for a considerable time, that some of our brethren would leave us. But I entertained a hope, we could part, like brethren, and enjoy occasional fellowship. I mentioned to some of them to this effect--"If we must part, let us part in peace, and live as good neighbors." One of them replied--"That is my mind; let there be no upbraidings."

        They complain of errors, and diversity of sentiment. I have no doubt there is some error and diversity of sentiment among us. But I had no idea of as much as they have suggested. Some of the particulars they have mentioned concerning Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost, I never recollect to have heard, from any among us.

        I am sensible my knowledge of "the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent, is very imperfect. But I know I love the truth: yet I confess my mind has been sometimes too much on the stretch after things which were of little weight. The knowledge all-important to us, is, to have right views of the holy character and perfections of God; of his will concerning us, and our duty towards him. The love of God is a glorious theme, but I think some of us in time past, have run to an extreme on that subject, by not keeping sufficiently in view, that although "God


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is love," yet he is a being of tremendous majesty; that he will maintain his righteous government; and finally take vengeance on them, who know not God and obey not his gospel.

        They complain farther, that notwithstanding our profession to love christians of every name alike, there are no people more ready to speak hard of other societies, &c. If this is true, with respect to any of us, let us do so no more. I have heard little of this lately, but I can recollect the time when I think some of us did in public speak against certain doctrines, in a manner that was rather offensive than edifying. And in private conversation, the errors we supposed to be in others, were dwelt upon more than was profitable. He is commonly wrong, and actuated by an evil spirit, who is often expatiating on the wrongs of others.

        I think also that brother Marshall, and I, and perhaps some others, erred in speaking too severely against creeds and books of discipline, which other dear brethren think necessary and useful. I think the holy scriptures sufficient, and the only foundation, on which the spiritual household, or body of Christ can stand united and complete, all fitly compacted and joined together; but she is God's building and God's husbandry, and we must not attempt to pull down and build up with our own hands; but walk in love, cultivate the spirit of unity, and let Jesus manage the affairs of his own kingdom.

        Human standards of faith and discipline may have their use. But permit me to observe, that when the fire of Heaven is kindled and rises to a flame in the church; when the love of God is shed abroad in the


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hearts of the people by the Holy Ghost, they cannot be confined to sect or party. They overleap all human walls, crying, union, union, with all the lovers of Jesus. The unity of the chnrch is not to be effected by an outcry against human systems and party names; but by ferveut charity and undissembled love. When the glorious revival took place in the Presbyterian church (and particularly in Tennessee) about ten years ago, those engaged in the work had little use for their confession of faith. Their hearts were enlarged to receive christians without respect to sect or name. They united with one accord in calling sinners to repentance, and in earnest prayer to God for their salvation. Young men were sent out in every direction, to exhort or preach the gospel; and though they could neither speak Latin nor Greek, and had but little knowledge of systematic divinity, their labors were owned of God, and attended with a blessing to many precious souls.--Numerous congregations were assembled, composed of people of various denominations. No doubt there was diversity of sentiment among them; but while they continued in love to one another, and zeal for the cause of God, and spake the simple truth, which they felt in their hearts; the Lord was with them in power and great glory.

        But as soon as they became careful about their rules and standards; and began to contend for their peculiar tenets; a declension took place. I know truth is precious: yet no doubt many who fear God and work righteousness, hold some errors; yea, we are all very imperfect in knowledge; and I suppose all believe some things that are not true. Rut if the


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Lord bears with our infirmities, shall we not bear with one another?

        Do we not all believe, "that there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus? That there is none other name under Heaven given among men whereby we must be saved? That we must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, receive his Holy Spirit, and repent of our sins? That without holiness no man shall see the Lord? And that the finally impenitent shall be punished with an everlasting destruction, from his presence?" Shall we then reject from fellowship, on account of things not expressly revealed, and concerning which honest souls may differ in opinion? Where this contracted, uncharitable spirit prevails, it is marked with deadness and barrenness, the tokens of divine displeasure. Whereas when christians, even of different sects, and different opinions, flow together in love, they are blessed with the smiles of Heaven, and the ont-pouring of the Spirit of God. The cause of Christ is deeply wounded, by the spirit of intolerance, which often appears in the preachers of the gospel; respecting constructions or opinions, which many feel themselves incapable fully to investigate and understand.

        But that soul is safe, who trusts the Lord, who believes what is plainly revealed, and practices what is plainly commanded. Prov. iii, 5, 6. I heard of a brother, of my acquaintance, lately, who had been confined for a considerable time, to a sick bed. I know he formerly had a talent for searching into things which were intricate and abstruse. I was


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told that in his sickness he used such language as this: "I find a few truths will do a dying man. It is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. This is enough for me." I will also mention a late remark of a sister in the Lord. Some difficulties being suggested on the subject of atonement, she obseved "One thing I know, which satisfies me--He was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification.

        When churches were constituted among us, having no other form of discipline than the holy scriptures, we were not only inexperienced, but in a great degree ignorant of the scriptural mode of government; having formerly been governed by other rules. On this account, some difficulties were to be expected. It appears to me, that to the present time, the subject has been too much neglected. This is one principle cause which has contributed to produce the present publication. And I hope that however imperfect it may be, it will be of some use, and at least open the way for farther examination.

        I once thought of publishing in connection with this, a summary of my views on certain doctrines; but I shall omit it at the present crisis, and exhort my brethren to ask help and direction from God. "His arm is not shortened that he cannot save, nor is his ear heavy that he cannot hear."

        Notwithstanding the gloomy representation made by our two brethren; upon a serious review, I must say, "the Lord has done great things for us." And I believe if we humbly wait on him, we shall see


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greater things than these. They say, "our expectations were too high." So far as our expectations were from God, they were not too high. But I do believe some of us, if not all, were too high; and must be brought low. Let us hnmble ourselves now, under the mighty hand of God, and he shall lift us up.

        I feel no disposition to engage in controversy; I have therefore avoided taking particular notice of the statements made, by the brethren Marshal and Thompson, But the following paragraph, which is found in their pamphlet, page 21, I think requires some remarks.

        "But at present we hold our standing, and claim our privilege in the connexion in which we have stood for these past years. We certainly have the privilege of preaching when and where we please, whenever there is an opening for it in the body; as others who differ from us in doctrine--and of communing with them, if we wish it. Those who belong to no particular sect, but to the general body of Christ, who give free invitations to christians of every denomination, cannot certainly refuse us this. If we should enter some church, that excludes the members of this connexion, or if we should form a body of our own, and exclude them, then we would be separated ftom this body, but not before."*

        * I will state a case for illustration :--A disaffected wife being determined to leave her husband, in order to justify herself in so doing, reports that her husband is a bad man; that she has lost all hopes of his reformation; and thinks it unsafe to continue with him in the conjugal relation. But for the present she holds her standing in his house, as wife, mistress and governess, and will do so until she can find another home; and claims the privilege of cohabiting with her husband, if she wishes it. She pleads that from the tenor of the marriage covenant, he cannot refuse her this. If she should marry another man, which she fully intends, then they would be separated, but not before.



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        What they mean or intend by holding their standing and claiming their privilege, I know not. There can be no union upon gospel principles, without the unity of the spirit. By their own showing, this bond is broken. In the next paragraph, the following words "Such a corrupt and shattered church," are used by them, and applied to the people with whom they just before claim the privilege of communion. They have commenced open hostility against us, and have represented us to the world in the most opprobrious light, even beyond hope of reformation. By their own public act, they have raised a bar in the way of fellowship; and until such concessions are made, on the one part or the other, that that bar can be removed and fellowship restored, we are separated. And whatever ideas they may have of external connexion, upon gospel principles, I see no foundation, for their claim.

        It is true, as they state, we give free invitations to christians of every denomination; but upon this very principle, that they are one in spirit, united in bonds of love. We do not shut the door which Christ has opened; bnt give opportunity to his disciples to obey their Lord's command.

        We give such invitations, that those christians in other regular societies, who are desirous, to have fellowship with us, may enjoy their privilege; because we believe they are our Father's children, and we are all one in Christ Jesus. According to the position taken, as above stated, a person may villify and reproach a church, and then claim, as a matter of right, the privilege of communion. Upon reading


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the pamphlet aforesiad, the idea was fully received by me respecting the authors; they are separated from us. The paragraph I have cited, surprised me; but in my view, does not alter the case.

        Paul speaks of some who had forsaken him; we have no account that he followed them with decrees of suspension or excommunication. And had they returned in the spirit of meekness and love, according to the gospel, he would no doubt have gladly received, them. Upon this principle, and no other do I conceive those men can expect to be received by us. With their own hands, they have put the bar in the way, which virtually makes a separation; and we must so remain, until such a change takes place either in them or in us, that we can be united.

        I do not mean by those remarks, to charge those men with impure motives. Let us not judge, but commit the matter to the Judge of all the earth, who will do right. Whatever our opinion may be, as to their statements, let us not censure them. I believe they think themselves correct. "But, ye beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God."


        By this time, there were none of the dissenters left, but B. W. Stone; and none of those, who signed the Last Will and Testament, but B. W. Stone and David Purviance. These two stood together, like loving brethren. Their motto was--"Stick closely to the word of God, and follow the Lord Jesus Christ." But


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they stood not alone, for God was with them, and raised up in a short time, many talented and devout young men, that more than filled up the broken ranks; and the cause of reformation went on, and the Supremacy of the BIBLE was defended and maintained, in spite of all opposition. There is one thing, that appears extraordinary. About the time our Fathers came out in Kentucky, and took their stand on the BIBLE, several others, in the United States, came out on the same foundation, renouncing all human creeds and pleading, that the Bible, and the Bible alone was all sufficient, to govern the church.--In the South, James O'Kelly and others, left the Methodist Episcopal church, and Elder Jones and others, the Baptist church in the East. And many other individuals in different places, arose above all the shackles of human creeds, and acknowledged the all-sufficiency of the BIBLE, for both doctrine and discipline.

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CHAPTER IX.

        His election to the State Legislature of Ohio. A bill to repeal the black laws. Part of a colored family kidnapped. A negro man murdered.

        MR. Purviance had lived in Ohio but a short time, before his character, as a statesman and politician, began to be known, and in the autumn of 1809, without his solicitation, his name was brought before the public, as a candidate to represent Montgomery and Preble Counties, in the State Legislature. He was elected and served one year in the house of representatives. In 1810, he was elected to the State Senate, and served one term, of two years. In 1812, the district being changed, he was elected again to the Senate by Preble, Darke, and Miami Counties. He served these Counties four years in the Senate.

        He was modest and unassuming, and sought not a display of his talents; but gradually his worth became developed and the farmers and mechanics, (who formed a good portion of the Legislature at this time,) found that they had a man in their ranks, capable of defending the rights of all classes, and detecting the sophistry of designing politicians and demagogues.--His labors in the house soon became incessant; for although there is much talent and good judgment among the farmers and mechanics, yet but few of them


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are capable of forming and writing a bill correctly.--This class having all confidence in the ability and integrity of David Purviance, applied to him to do their writing, consequently the labor was immense. The writer recollects to have heard him speak of several occasions, while he served in the Ohio Legislature, that there were but few men in the house that were capable of writing a bill correctly. He observed, that there were objections to having too many lawyers in the Legislature, yet he said, some were necessary, and it was difficult to do without them, as they were generally well qualified to bring up business correctly.

        A gentleman who served with him in Ohio, remarked, that "but few preachers ever became popular in the Legislature;" "but," said he, "Mr. Purviance was both a popular and a useful member."

        He was in the State Senate when the seat of government was located and established at Columbus.

        He gave his influence and exerted his ability, in establishing and regulating the Ohio Penitentiary.--This institution was based upon principles, calculated to perpetuate its utility. It has improved in structure and system, until it stands, as respectable as any institution of the kind in the Western States.

        He was also instrumental in the location of the Miami University at Oxford. This produced some interesting excitement. Congress had donated to the State of Ohio, a township of land, consisting of about 22,000 acres, for the purpose of establishing a College. This was located in the North-west corner of Butler County. The southern part of the state, wished the University to be established in Cincinnati, but Mr.


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Purviance with others, insisted, that the actual settlers, in the College township, had taken their leases, with the expectation, that the University would be located on the premises, and also, that it would enhance the value of the land, and add to the usefulness of the institution. They succeeded in getting it permanently located at Oxford, and David Purviance was appointed one of its trustees, it received his fostering care, for many years, while it was in its infantile state. It has now grown to be one of the most respectable literary institutions of the west.

        But finally a circumstance occurred, that was used as a pretext against him, and prevented his election.

        A bill was introduced to repeal, what are now called the Black Laws of the State of Ohio. Mr. Purviance supported the bill, from the very good reasons, that he believed the present law to be both unconstitutional and unjust. He made a most powerful effort, in favor of the natural and constitutional rights of man, in an argumentative speech. He insisted, that the law requiring black and mullatto persons to give bail, that they never might become a township charge in this State, was a violation of the 13th Sec., of the 8th Article of our constitution, which says,--"excessive bail shall not be required." He contended that if it was not excessive bail, for a man to give bond and security, that he would never become poor, then there was no such thing as excessive bail. He further plead, that the law imposing a fine on any person for hiring or harboring black and mullatto persons, and also prohibiting them from giving testimony in any case against a white person, was a violation of the


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1st Sec., of the 8th Article of our constitution, which says--"all men are born equally free, and independant, and have certain natural, inherent, and unalienable rights, among which are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety," &c.

        He defended the rights of the colored population, 1st. On constitutional principles, 2d. From the principles of humanity and general benevolence, and 3d. From the spirit practice, and precepts of the christian religion. So strong and powerful were his arguments against the present law regulating black and mullatto persons, that his strongest opposers were confounded, and could make no plausible defence.

        So interesting and pathetic were his appeals in behalf of this downtrodden and injured race, that very many of the audience were moved to tears.

        Yet notwithstanding all this, such was the popular prejudice against the negroes, that when the vote was given, the bill was negatived by a small majority, and these unconstitutional laws, regulating colored people, stand yet on our statute book, a disgrace to the great and flourishing State of Ohio.

        The reasons that stimulated the friends of the constitutional rights of all men, to introduce the bill alluded to above, to repeal the laws regulating the blacks were these.

        Several colored persons had been kidnapped, and carried off in the night, by white persons; negro testimony could have been obtained against them, but no other, consequently they went unpunished, and a poor


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distressed family were deprived of their children, and could get no redress; and this in a state, that boasts of her liberty and benevolent institutions. Another desperate case had taken place in Ohio, at the relation of which, the feelings of every philanthropist shudders. A white man had become enraged at a black man, and meditated revenge, he learned that the negro had come into town, and taken his lodging for the night with a colored family. He prepared himself with a deadly weapon, rushed into the house in the dead hours of the night and stabbed him to the heart, in the presence of the family, and left him weltering in his blood. This inhuman wretch passed about with impunity, because the eye-witnesses were a little darker skined than himself; but having much more veracity, (no doubt). But with all this before the minds of our Legislators, a majority voted against a redress; and when the next election was coming on, it was blown over the whole district, that David Purviance had plead and voted to repeal the law, regulating black and mulatto persons in Ohio; but he had no concessions to make, he had the approval of his own conscience, and felt, that he had the approbation of his God. Political denounciation and popular prejudice, could not deter him a moment from his duty. The honors of the world, and the desire of wealth and ease, could never induce him to move one inch beyond the bounds of duty. Like a real patriot and christian, he submitted to the decision of the ballot box without a murmur or complaint, after serving the people of Ohio faithfully, seven years in succession, in the State Legislature. During this time, the


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war of 1812, took place. He was a great friend of peace, and much opposed to the spirit and practice of war; yet he believed it to be right, to defend our lives and liberty; with these views, he labored assiduously while in the Legislature for the protection of our helpless frontier settlements. He was again elected and served in the Legislature in 1826. He was firmly devoted to the interest of his country, a genuine persevering Republican, and never sacrificed honor and integrity for popularity and wealth.

        He was an able and clearheaded politician and understood the general and leading principles of our government well.

        He lived to see our country rise from a small and feeble Republic, to a great and powerful Nation. And the Western States, from a wilderness with but few civilized inhabitants, almost destitute of the conveniencies of life; to be covered with cultivated fields, pleasant mansions, beautiful towns, and splendid cities. With good pikes, railroads, canals, and steamboats supplying them with all the conveniencies and luxuries of life. And also the magnetic telegraph, carrying the news from the Eastern to the Western cities, in a moment of time. Above all this, he rejoiced to see the advance in the improvement of the mind. The opportunities of education, have increased with the population. When he first settled in Ohio, (I believe,) there was not a school or school house within ten miles. The first school organized within reasonable distance, he taught himself, in his own kitchen, for the purpose of educating his own, and a few of his neighbor's children. But he lived to see


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every neighborhood around him, accommodated with comfortable school houses; with schools conducted under a regular system of education; and poor men's children, as those of the rich, entitled to the privilege of a liberal education.

        For the last twenty years of his life, he took no very active part in politics, or in political controversies; but as long as he lived, he kept his eyes open to the political movements of the nation; and was often made to mourn, to see principle sacrificed to party ambition. He never missed an important election, when he could be there. He firmly believed that it was the duty of every republican, to defend his country's rights, at the ballot box. He very much regretted our late war with Mexico. He served in the legislatures of Kentucky, and Ohio, fifteen sessions. He was also on the electoral ticket in 1812, when Madison was elected to the Presidential chair, the second time.

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CHAPTER X.

        His Pastoral duties. An Excitement, and Division, in the Church at Paris. Eld. Stones Visit.

        The church under his care spoken of above, organized in 1807, increased and flourished, until it became so large, that it was inconvenient for all to meet at one place, for worship. By mutual consent a second church was organized, out of a part of the first, and called Shiloh church. Each church built a good and comfortable house. He had the pastoral charge of both churches, for a number of years. They continued to increase under his care. Several preachers were raised up, and from the Shiloh church several preachers, and many members moved to the west, and carried the gospel to other parts. He out-lived the most of the first members of these churches. When we look round in the house of God, we find but a few of them, and the locks of these few, are whitened with age--their bodies bending to the tomb--and their souls aspiring to glory. The ravages of time, have brought the two meeting houses, (spoken of) to decay; and others have been reared up, to supply their places. The churches are yet in existence; but it is to be lamented that they are not in as prosperous a condition, as they once were. A declension has taken place,


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which he saw and lamented much. The first church spoken of, known for many years by the name of the new Paris church, continued to prosper; and in the years 1838-9, it was a respectable, and happy church--notwithstanding, there was some diversity of opinion, on the subject of baptism. But Eld. Purviance, with preachers that labored here, endeavored to cultivate a spirit of love and forbearance, one towards another; and a majority of the church seemed determined, to avoid every thing that was calculated to cause a division, or create any prejudice. Although, he never believed in the doctrine of baptism, for the remission of sins, as published by A. Campbell, and others; yet he had all confidence, in the honesty and piety, of many of those who did believe it; and by a cautious and forbearing course, we got along for the most part, in peace and harmony; and rejoiced to believe that we could live together in christian love; notwithstanding a difference of opinion existed. But in the fall of 1839, by some means a stranger, by the name of James. M'Vey, was encouraged to preach here. He was a man of doubtful character, but unknown to the church. He was a peculiar genius, and well calculated to deceive mankind. He commenced a protracted meeting, and continued it, until he got up an extraordinary excitement, and baptized near eighty persons, for the remission of sins. He continued visiting this church, until he got up an unpleasant spirit, that finally brought about a division in the church,*

        * This with some other difficulties that occurred here, has caused more scepticism than any other thing that ever transpired in this part of the world.



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that was distressing, and calculated to wound the the cause of Christ, and destroy the peace of good brethren. This was very distressing to D. Pnrviance.

        After this, that once blessed and happy people, were known and distinguished, by two names, one part was called "the Old Christians," the others "the Reformers or Campbellites." Neither party was willing to acknowledge any sectarian name, but desired to be called Christian. David Purviance, some years previous to this, had resigned the pastoral care of this church. He had his standing and membership in the Shiloh Church, but very often met with the New Paris Church. He always stood on, and occupied the same ground, that B. W. Stone, Himself, and others, took more than forty years before--That is, that christian character should be a test of christian fellowship. He believed that immersion was the scripture mode, and believers, the subjects of baptism. He was careful to urge baptism, as a duty incumbent on all believers. Yet he always kept in view, the influence that former teaching had upon the mind; and recollecting that he was once an honest Pedobaptist himself; he never could reject from his fellowship, those that he believed were honestly serving God; notwithstanding they might differ widely from him, in other particulars.

        In the month of June 1843, we received a visit from our aged, and respected father in the gospel, B. W. Stone. We were carrying on a protracted meeting, in the town of New Paris; when he arrived. He came into the meeting house, on the afternoon of the Lord's day. There was a large congregation. Eld. Elijah Williamson,


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was in the stand preaching; when Father Stone came in, and walked up the aisle; many of the eyes of his old Caneridge friends fell upon him, as he passed on slowly towards the stand. But Alas! how different his appearance from what it was twenty five years ago. Instead of that robust form, beautiful symmetry, and elastic step,--we beheld, an emaciated form,--worn down by fatigue, and enfeebled by disease; leaning upon the top of his staff; bending his course forward until he reached the seat, in front of the stand, where several of the companions of his youth were sitting, listening to the word of life. He quietly took his seat, and the preacher proceeded in his discourse, without interruption; not knowing who was before him. When he closed;*

        * I observe a slight difference between the statements above; and that given by Brother Rogers, in B. W. Stone's Biography. Brother Rogers received his information from others; and it is not strange, that there should be some trifling mistakes. The writer was present during all this meeting.


a song was raised, and David Purviance arose from his seat and walked across in front of the stand, until he met his old and tried friend and brother. Eld. Stone seeing him coming, arose to his feet. They embraced each other in their arms, and burst into a flood of tears. They hung upon each others breast, with feelings of affection, that seemed to move the whole house; while many stood waiting to extend the warm hand of affection, to their aged Father in the Gospel.

        On the next day, (Monday,) a very large congregatiou came together, expecting to see Father Stone and hear him preach. When he arose in the stand, every eye in the house was upon him. He cast his


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eyes over the audience with that intelligent look, that marked his former years. He recognized before him, many of his aged brethren, that had heard him preach in the days of his strength. His feelings appeared almost to overcome him.--

        After making a few remarks in reference to his age, infirmities, and inability of both body and mind, he opened the New Testament, and read the first six verses, of the 4th chap of Paul's letter to the Ephesians, and gave us a very appropriate lecture. He dwelt with peculiar interest on the 3rd verse, "Endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace." He was pathetic and affectionate in his address, and we could discover something of Father Stone, in his voice and manner; but a great deal of that native eloquence, and energy, that marked his earlier days, had sunk under the weight of years, and affliction. The thought that we were hearing him for the last time, gave weight to his admonitions, we felt as if we were listening to the dying charge, of an affectionate Father. After he was through with his discourse his son Barton Warren Stone prayed. Then Elder Stone came down from the stand, and mingled among his old friends. (I suppose that he had not for years been surrounded with so many of his old Caneridge companions). Here were Elders David Purviance, John Adams, and Nathan Worley, David Ireland, John Purviance, and David Foster, all between 70 and 80 years of age; with many others who were but a few years younger, all from Caneridge, except Elder Worley, and he had long been acquainted with Elder Stone. We mingled and crowded together for the last time,


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on earth. The scene was solemn and interesting, beyond description, to see so many who had almost arrived at four score years, with their locks almost as white as the driven snow, while the tears of affection flowed down their furrowed cheeks. They spoke of former years and future prospects.

        A great many of the congregation were moved to tears, and all appeared to feel interested in this solemn and momentous scene. O! How strong the tie, how warm the affections of kindred souls. They praised God for his amazing goodness and love, and united together in humble prayer to God, for grace to guide them safely through their few remaining days. Several aged sisters pressed forward to gain the hand of their aged Father in the gospel, and called to mind the labors and toils of by-gone years, when the time had rolled on to take the parting hand, David Purviance addressed the congregation in a very affectionate manner.--He spoke of Elder Stone's devotion to the cause of the BIBLE, his toils, labors, age, and afflictions. He said Brother Stone had spent his time in the work of the ministry, and worn himself out, laboring for the good of mankind, and very modestly asked the people for a contribution for his special benefit.--The Deacons of the church then passed through the congregation and received a very liberal, free will offering from the people and handed it to Brother Stone, which he received, but not without tears of gratitude.

        Those aged veterans of the cross, took an affectionate leave of each other to meet no more on earth.--But the parting with some of them was but short.--Elders Stone, Worley, and Purviance are already gone


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from labor to reward, from the warfare to receive the crown, which the Lord the righteous judge will give them. *

        * It is well known, that David Purviance and Nathan Worley, differed some in opinion from B. W. Stone, on the subject of the design of baptism; but this had nothing to do with their christian affections, one for the other.


CHAPTER XI.

        The Character and Death of his Companion.

        HIS wife, Mary Purviance, died, in the year 1835, in the 73 year of her age. I recollect, that in ancient times, those who stayed by the stuff, shared equally in the spoils, with those who went on to battle.--I am sure if David Purviance receives any reward for his labor in the ministry, that his wife will have a full share; she was willing to live poor, and toil through many difficulties, that he might have the opportunity of proclaiming the everlasting gospel to a dying world of mankind, and warning sinners to flee the wrath to come. She was always careful not to throw any obstacle in his way, or discourage him from what he felt to be his duty. She was careful to observe and maintain the same order in her family, when her husband


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was absent, that was observed when he was there. The family alter, was never forgotten. She called her children together every morning and evening, and read a chapter or caused one of her children to read one, and then kneeled down before God in humble prayer. She was an every day christian. Her example was loud preaching to her children. If they miss heaven, they can never charge it to the example of their parents. They had two daughters die, (both in the very bloom of their days,) about eleven and fourteen years before their mother, which left them five living children. At the time of their mother's death, they were all married, and scattered, about fourteen miles apart. On the Monday before she died, she saw them all at their own houses, came home in the evening. In a day or two afterwards she took sick, and on the next Lord's day, her spirit fled to the better world. She lived the life of the righteous, and her last end was like his. Her husband bore this loss with christian fortitude, and philosophy, believing his loss to be her gain.

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CHAPTER XII.

        His employment in old age. His manner of preaching. His distress on account of the lethargy of the church.

        AFTER the death of his wife, he lived with his son John Purviance, and in a good degree, gave up the cares of this world. His great concern was to be useful to mankind and to glorify his God, by an humble obedience to his commands. He spent considerable of his leisure time in visiting the afflicted, and consoling the distressed. He never enjoyed himself better, than when he was adding to the happiness of his fellow beings.--

        As the debility of age began to steal upon him, he in some degree changed his manner of preaching, he became more practical in his sermons, and exhortations. Although he was always a practical preacher. Yet in the former part of his ministry, he often treated on doctrinal points, and took hold of controversial subjects. He was strong in argument, and scarcely ever forgot his leading object, until he had (in his own mind,) fairly and honorably established his position, and entirely demolished the arguments of his opponents.

        For the sake of young preachers, I will relate one


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thing, that I have often heard him state. He said that when he first began to preach, he thought it was important, to bring every argument and proof he was master of, to bear on his subject, and by this course, he made his sermons too tedious, and frequently wearied his audience. But said he "I have learned, that when any fact is fairly established, further proof is unnecessary." His zeal for the cause of Christ, did not abate with his bodily strength; as long as he lived. He continued "fervent in spirit serving the Lord."

        One thing that distressed him much, in the latter part of his life, was the cold, indifferent, lukewarm, state of the church. He saw a great lack of spirituality in the religious exercises of professed christians, he thought he saw a cold indifference manifested on the subject of prayer, which he said was always a very sure mark of unbelief and apostasy.

        He continued firm and independent in his views of Gospel truth. But charitable and forbearing towards those, who differed from him in opinion, and the longer he lived, the more he seemed to delight in christian charity.

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CHAPTER XIII.

        His Character, as a Man. A Citizen. A Husband. A Father, and Grandfather. Punctuality. Kindness to the Opprest.

        Eld. Purviance's independence of mind and moral courage, created him some enemies in the course of his life. Sectarian bigotry poured forth a shower of persecution, from her clerical batteries, against him; but she only wasted her strength, without ever reaching the object, she designed to affect. For he was so well shielded by truth and honesty, that it was difficult for the tongue of slander, to touch him. No charge of immorality could ever be successfully brought against him. His character ever stood unimpeachable; 'His enemies themselves being judges.'

        During his long life he lived entirely free from all litigations, he never was sued, and never sued any person. When taken down in his last sickness he was not a dollar in debt. He "owed no man any thing."

        In the domestic circle, where a man's true character is easiest seen and best known: he showed himself to be a truly good man. As a husband, he was affectionate, tender, faithful, and obliging. As a father, he was kind, attentive, and accommodating; he delighted in promoting the happiness of his children, and loved, the company of his family. He was indulgent


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to his children, but would never yield to their caprices, so far as to give his consent to anything that he believed to be wrong. He endeavored carefully to "bring them up in the fear, nurture, and admonition of God." The worship of the living God was regularly observed in his family. He early in life resolved with Joshua "as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Towards, the latter part of his life he took great pleasure in the society of his grandchildren. He took great pains to teach and admonish them, and to take care of them.

        He was always ready to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit the sick. "Many of the poor will rise up and call him blessed."

        One particular trait in his character, was punctuality; he seldom failed to meet his promises and appointments, precisely at the appointed time. Generally, when he left home, to be gone any length of time, he would tell his family, when they might expect him home; and during his long life he scarcely ever failed, to be with them, by the appointed time. A sense of duty, coupled with a due regard for the happiness of mankind, led him to avoid, keeping any person in suspense; looking for him after the appointed time, (as too many do.)

        The defenceless and the oppressed, could always find a friend and benefactor in David Purviance. The following circumstance will show his zeal in behalf of the oppressed, and his benevolence towards helpless innocency. Although he never would take any part in protecting a runaway slave, he considered it a violation of our national compact, but he would do


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every thing reasonably in his power, to protect the legal rights of the colored people.

        While Indiana was under a territorial government, a colored family came into Wayne county to reside; some time afterwards, a gentleman from Kentucky, had them arrested, taken before Esq. Kibby, an intelligent Justice of the peace, upon the pretext, that the woman and children were legally slaves. Some of the citizens of Wayne county friendly, to the rights of all men, felt it to be their duty to have the case fairly investigated.

        They sent for David Purviance, to attend the trial, he was there in due time. The plaintiff's claim was laid upon the principles of inheritance by decent. The history of the case is this,--the man was legally free. (The plaintiff laid no claim to him.) The woman had been born in Pennsylvania, and by the laws of that state, was also entitled her liberty; bnt while young, she was moved to Kentucky, and held in bondage. The husband entered suit in court, in the eastern part of Kentucky for the liberty of his family. But before the trial came on, the negroes were sent off down the Ohio River, by the pretended owner, it is supposed to prevent the trial, and to sell all of them, But some benevolent friend at Maysville, learned the circumstance, and posted off in all haste to Cincinnati, and gave information of this clandestine affair; and through the interposition of some kind friends, these unfortunate creatures were released. But they were afterwards arrested in Cincinnati upon the plea, that they were slaves; but the plaintiff failed to establish his claim, and they were again liberated. They then


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moved to Wayne county Indiana. But they were doomed to be harassed more and more. There was no settled Lawyer in Wayne county, at that time, but there was one present, from an adjacent county, (supposed to have been there, at the solicitation of the plaintiff.) He took no part in the investigation, except (upon request) to give some explanations of law. Esq. Kibby examined the evidence fairly. The plaintiff (it is supposed) became fearful of his cause. He touched the lawyer, and they went to one side and after a short conference returned. The attorney then came before the court and stated, that he had taken a fee from the plaintiff; and insisted, that the trial be postponed until next morning; this was assented to.

        David Purviance did not fold his hands and carelessly await the result. He obtained the constitution and laws of the United States, and the laws of Indiana and never suffered himself to sleep, until he felt himself prepared to defend the rights of an injured and helpless family. The next morning with anxious and throbbing hearts, the parties returned to trial. The investigation was entered into, with much interest. The gentleman of the bar urged the claims of the plaintiff in an able and eloquent speech.*

        * This attorney is yet living, and stands high among the legal characters of Indiana; and fills an important office in the state, and with all, he is a thorough going Abolitionist.


        It would be impossible for the pen of the ablest and most discriptive writer, to fully paint out this scene.--On the one side was seen the plaintiff, eager for success, and much animated with the expectation of


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gaining several thousand dollars, in human flesh.--On the other hand sat a poor injured and downtrodden family, with all the sympathetic feelings of humanity, almost in hopeless despair. Their liberty and happiness for life, were at stake, and no Lawyer to plead their cause, and no money to pay for counsel. With wealth, talent, and worst of all, the prejudice of education against them. But at this important crisis, when hope had nearly fled and despair seemed to give a new tinge to the african hue; David Purviance arose, and modestly requested to be heard in behalf of the defendants. There were no objections, for there were no fears. It was not expected that a plain man, making no pretensions to the practice of the law, could say much to purpose, in so intricate a law case. But what a signal disappointment. He took hold of the case systematically, rehearsed the evidence, and applied the law and constitution, with uncommon ability, and then advanced to the attorney's arguments, and perfectly demolished them, and entirely removed the sandy foundation, on which they were based. He adverted to the injuries sustained by this degraded race, and plead in the most masterly manner, for that justice, that law and righteousness demanded.

        What a sudden change. The plaintiff's countenance indicate fears of disappointment, and the poor negroes raised their heads, and began to show their teeth and the white of their eyes, and looked as if hope had anew sprung up in their hearts, so full, as to push the tears in a flood down their cheeks, David Purviance took his seat, fully conscious of having discharged an important duty.


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        The Lawyer then arose, and made a few closing remarks, but never attempted to answer his opponents arguments, but concluded like a gentleman by observing, "I always knew Mr. Purviance was a man of talent, but now" says he "I know him to be a man of particular ingenuity." The court decided in favor of the defendants, and they were again liberated.

        But it is to be lamented, that this unhappy affair, did not stop here. The plaintiff stimulated by that desire for earthly gain, too common among those whose treasure is in this world, went to Corodon, (which was then the seat of government of Indiana) and obtained a warrant from the Supreme Court and put it into the hands of the Marshal of the State, and had these unfortunate creatures arrested again. They gave satisfactory bail for their appearance at Corodon in a given time. David Purviance immediately went into Kentucky, in order to procure a sufficiency of testimony for their defence. Robert Hill and John Pool, two worthy members of the Church of Friends, conveyed these colored people through the wilderness of Indiana, a long and tedious rout, and arrived at the seat of government in due time. David Purviance met them there, well prepared (as he thought) to defend the helpless mother and children, from the tyrannical yoke of oppression.

        They employed competent counsel, and prepared to defend the injured. But to their disappointment the Judge refused to investigate the case farther, than to hear'the plaintiff's claim, and decided that the negroes be carried back to Kentucky, that they might stand their trial there, and they were put into the


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hands of the plaintiff. Their Attorney, and David Purviance remonstrated against such a course, and insisted on an investigation; but the Judge was inflexible.

        David Purviance, Robert Hill, and John pool returned home, feeling that they had done their duty, but truly sorry to see our liberal institutions so prostituted, as to wrest from helpless innocency, those rights, that our laws and constitution were designed to protect.

        The writer is not fully aware of what became of this afflicted family, but if correctly informed, the husband, by the assistance of the Marshal Mr. Vauter, made a compromise with the plaintiff, and retained, at least part of his family, by paying a certain sum. The mother lived but a short time. Those troubles and exposures were more than she could bear. The color of skin does not change the feelings and sympathies of the soul, "God has made of one blood all nations of men." We doubt not, but many mothers when they read this little narrative, will conclude, that this woman endured more trouble and fatigue, than they could pass through and survive.

        He has for the last twenty years, been very much devoted to the cause of Temperance. He became a member of the first temperance society, ever organized near where he lived. As an individual it could by no means benefit him, for he was already as temperate in all things, (we believe) as any man. Yet he felt it to be his duty, to throw all his influence on the side of humanity; he fearlessly took hold of every opportunity, that he thought was in its nature calculated


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to ameliorate the condition of mankind, and save the poor inebriate from the vortex, to which he was hastening, and also to deliver their care-worn and afflicted wives, and their neglected, and almost forgotten children, from disgrace and poverty. In the year 1841, he went in with his whole heart into the Washingtonian reform, by this time, he had fully discovered, that nothing short of total abstinence, could save the drunkard, and he calculated that it was the surest plan, to prevent the youth and others, from becoming intemperate. He never became a son of temperance,--he never had been a member of any secret association. He was always cautious of entering into new things, he never made any opposition to the sons, but he watched carefully the effect of their organization, he always judged the tree by its fruit, and if he found the fruit to be good, he was ready to save the tree. Before his death, he thought he discovered good resulting from their exertions, and was happy to see it. He was slow to decide on new or controversial points, but when he had once taken his stand, he was hard to move. He was a great friend to benevolent institutions, particularly Bible societies and Sabbath schools.

Illustration


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CHAPTER XIV.

        His last trip to Conference. His chills and fever. The death of his Grand-daughter. His last affliction--death and funeral. An account of his death and funeral, by Eld. E. Williamson. Obituary by a Catholic.--By O. H. Kendrick.--By his Grand-son.

        DURING the summer of 1846, he enjoyed good health. He rode to the Miami Conference, 50 miles from his residence, and returned home the first of September. The same fall, he was taken with the chills and fever, which reduced his strength very fast; but after he recovered from the disease, his strength measurably returned. When spring returned, the chills returned. He sunk under them, and became very feeble; but finally, the disorder was removed again, and his health and strength, in a good degree returned, and he was once more able to preach. No man took more delight in the social worship of God than he did. He seemed always glad, when the time arrived, to meet at the house of God. His moral courage never failed him. The last sermon he ever preached, was in New Westville, a very few weeks before his death, to the church with which he had, his standing, and had been in the habit of meeting with, and preaching to, for more than thirty years.

        On the 29th of July, he attended the funeral of his Grand-daughter, Mary Ann Mitchell, wife of Doctor


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Robert S. Mitchell, and daughter of John Purviance. Her mother had died, when she was a child, and her Grand-Father raised her.

        When he saw her laid in the coffin, he was much affected; recovering himself a little, he addressed the audience in a very pathetic manner. He spoke of her affable and amiable character, from a child; and her upright and christian deportment in life, and also of her patience and resignation under affliction, and of her confidence and hope in death. He then concluded, by shewing the great necessity of the christian religion, in death, and told us how much it rejoiced his heart, to hear MARY ANN, when near her last, manifest such a strong confidence in the LORD JESUS CHRIST. This was the last public speech he ever made. It was on Thursday. He followed his Grand-daughter to the grave-yard, returned home, "sorrowing, not as those who have no hope." On the Saturday following, he was taken with the fever and bloody flux.--That evening, his mind appeared a little fluctuating, for a short time, after this he was perfectly rational, through all his afflictions. His children and many friends, gathered to see him. He conversed with us freely; spoke calmly of death, and said that he had no particular choice, between living and dying. He said, that if he lived, he could not expect to do much more good in this world, for he could not expect to live much longer, if he recovered from this sickness. He appeared to feel, that his work was done, and well done; that he had "fought the good fight, had finished his course, had kept the faith, and that henceforth there was laid up for him, a crown of righteousness,


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which the Lord, the righteous Judge would give him."

        His sufferings were truly severe, yet he bore them with christian fortitude and resignation, and not a murmur was ever heard to escape his lips. He appeared to enjoy the company of his children and visiting friends, much better, than what is common for persons low in sickness. Through his affliction, his Grand-son, Doc. Samuel W. Purviance, continued almost constantly by his bed, aided by the counsel of several able Physicians. He said to the Doctor, a few days before his death, "Samuel, I have taken your medicine, you have done all for me you could, and it appears to do me no good, now I wish you just to let me be, and give me no more medicine." The Doctor replied, "Grand-Father, we think it right to use the means." He answered, "you have used the means, but they have no effect, and now do not neglect your other patients, on my account, for you cannot benefit me."

        He soon became unable to converse much, but to his last, he could make us sensible of what he wanted. He gradually declined, until the 19th of Aug., 1847; at 3 o'clock P. M., he expired, without a groan. His children were all at his bed-side, when he died. His funeral was attended on Friday, the 20th, at which time, a very appropriate discourse was delivered, by Elder Elijah Williamson, from Ps. 17, 15, "as for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness. I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness."

        If he had lived until the 14th of Nov., he would have been 81 years of age, having been a faithful and persevering preacher of the gospel, for forty-five years.


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        His children are much gratified, to reflect on the respect shown to their Father, by all classes, in his last sickness, death and funeral. They believe he was beloved and respected by all, who knew him; and those who knew him best, loved him most. That kindness and familiarity, with which he treated all, particularly children, led them to love him. He was almost universally called "Uncle Davy." His kind attention to the sick and afflicted, will never be forgotten, until the present generation pass away. The writer has visited several sick persons in the neighborhood, since his death, who said to him, "Oh! how we miss Uncle Davy, he used to be so good to come and see us."

        As his funeral procession passed in and through the town of New-Paris, business was suspended, shops closed, and the citizens gathered to the meeting house, to take the last look on the venerable form, that had so often stood before them, and dispensed to them the word of life. As the procession passed along the street towards the grave-yard, the little boys and girls crowded the side-walks, and their little eyes seemed to follow with unusual interest, the hearse as it passed on to the house, appointed for all men.

        The following found in the "Gospel Herald," vol. 4th, pa. 237, is from the pen of Elder Elijah Williamson.

GREENVILLE, Ohio, August 21, 1847.

Brother Williamson:--

        I have just returned from the burial of Elder David Purviance, who deceased on Thursday, the 19th instant, at about 3 o'clock, P. M. I arrived


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at the house of Mr. John Purviance on the same day, a little after dark, and found it truly the house of mourning.

        I could scarcely suppress my feelings when I entered the room where the corpse lay. A death-like silence pervaded it. Death had done its work. A father in Israel had fallen--another watchman had been removed from the walls of Zion: his work was done; but it was well done. I felt in my heart to sympathize with his children and relatives, who deeply felt the loss of one held so dear in their affections. Some of the circumstances of his death were soon related to me by his son, Mr. John Purviance, when he spoke of his lamb-like patience in affliction, his entire resignation to death, the Christian fortitude and calmness with which he met the king of terrors, and his entire willingness to depart and be with Christ: I felt to exclaim, "let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his." The next morning I took a view of the corpse of him, whose fatherly admonitions and instructions I had so often heard with the deepest interest.

        The emaciated form lay still and cold in the arms of death; but the countenance retained, in a remarkable manner, its former appearance, strongly marked with that deep thoughtfulness and intelligence, which, during his life, it so conspicuously developed; but which had not been effaced by the ruthless hand of the destroyer. In viewing the corpse, thoughts similar to the following, were strikingly impressed on my mind:


                         O! death, is this the work which thou has done?
                         Wilt thou not spare the aged nor the young?


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                         Shall tenderest ties be broken by thy hand?
                         The life of man be measured by a span?


                         Are men of wisdom, doomed to own thy sway?
                         And purest minds, thy mandate to obey?
                         Shall thy dark reign endure in endless night?
                         And rule o'er mortals as thy sovereign right?


                         No! cease thou king of terrors, cease to boast;
                         Jesus has died: behold, thy power is lost:
                         Thy chains were broken when my Christ arose,
                         And on his breast, his saints find sweet repose.


                         Then sleep dear father, sleep in Jesus' arms,
                         Thou hast to us proclaimed his lovely charms,
                         And in his image thou shalt soon arise,
                         To see thy God with unbeclouded eyes.

        Soon after this, some of the relatives began to collect; among whom was the bereaved Doctor Mitchell, who had so recently lost his amiable companion and son: his appearance soon attracted my attention, as he was leading his little motherless son by the hand. I deeply sympathize with him in his loss, and pray that his bereavement may be sanctified for his eternal good.

        By 1 o'clock quite a congregation of relatives, brethren and neighbors had collected. All seemed to feel, and take a deep interest in the occasion: indeed, such was the general interest manifested, that the merchants in Paris closed their store doors, and suspended business before the procession arrived. This, in some degree, shows the esteem in which this able and devoted minister of the gospel was held by his neighbors.

        Before the procession was formed, weeping children, relatives and friends surrounded the coffin to look once more upon the form they loved.

        But I discovered a striking difference between them, and those I had seen, on similar occasions. They


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mourned not "as those that have no hope;" their tears were not the tears of discontent; their sighs were not the sighs of despondency and dispair: no; they were the spontaneous effusions of hearts deeply imbued with sensibility and affection, and reminded me of cases where necessity requires friends to part for awhile, with the expectation of soon meeting again, with such an improvement in their condition as to make them much happier together, than they had ever been. Sorrow filled the heart; but a lively hope through Jesus lighted up the countenance. O! who would rend the hearts of relatives and friends, with the anguish occasioned by dying an infidel? The procession was one among the largest I ever witnessed; which proceeded to the new chapel in Paris, and thence, (after a sermon had been delivered on the occasion) to the grave-yard a little out of the town, where the remains of the aged and venerable father were deposited with many of his relatives, to sleep in the arms of a merciful Redeemer, till the trump of God shall break the slumbers of the tomb, and Jesus, the king of saints unlocks the graves of all his people, and leads them triumphantly from labor to reward, and from warfare to a complete and eternal victory over death, hell and the grave.

        The following Obituary, is from the "Eaton Register." It was written and communicated by a Roman Catholic, who had from his boyhood been acquainted with David Purviance.

OBITUARY.

        DIED.--On the 19th instant, at his residence, near New Paris, ELDER DAVID PURVIANCE; in the


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81st year of his age. As he has long been a very public character, in all the wide circle of his acquaintance, his numerous friends will deeply feel and deplore their loss. He was a native of North Carolina. And when a young man, he was one of the early adventurers into Kentucky; and settled at Cane Ridge, in the great canebrake, from which the settlement and congregation took its name. About forty years ago, he was one of the pioneers that settled in the wild forest on Whitewater; where he has ever since resided. Thro' his long career of public life, he was eminent and popular as a statesman and a preacher. He was a long time one of the most popular and useful politicians in the State of Kentucky, was seven times successively elected to the Legislature from Bourbon county. And several times he represented this county in the Ohio Legislature, and was esteemed one of the most able and influential members. In particular, he distinguished himself in his zealous and powerful opposition to the law regulating black and mulatto persons, which he thought unjust and unconstitutional. On this occasion he made such a powerful and impressive speech in favor of the poor injured and despised Africans both bond and free, that brought tears from almost every eye. It was said that some of his most violent opposers wept. He was always a zealous opposer of slavery. When the Constitution of Kentucky was formed, he was a candidate for the Convention, and would have been elected, but for his abolition principles. This was the principal question at issue. And at the public meetings of the people, he made warm and eloquent speeches in opposition


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to slavery; and so great was his popularity and influence, that he was nigh being elected a member of the Convention in a slave State! But although he was always a zealous and powerful opposer of slavery, he never would give any countenance to the present movements of the abolition party. He viewed their political party organization as dangerous and impolitic, tending rather to aggravate the great evil of slavery, than to remove it; and tending to the dissolution of the Federal Union. That it was calculated to excite opposition between the northern and southern States; the great danger of which Washington so earnestly admonished the American people, in his Farewell Address.

        Our deceased friend, with his learning and talents, had he devoted his life to political affairs, might have filled some of the highest places in the government. Instead of passing a long life in an humble cabin, in an obscure little valley, he might have lived in a splendid mansion in some grand metropolis. But his mind was led another way. His life was principally devoted to the cause of religion. This he esteemed the most important cause on earth. He was trained up for the ministry in the Presbyterian church; and was a probationer when the Springfield Presbytry seceded from the Synod of Kentucky. He joined with the seceding party, and was ordainad and became a member of that Presbytry. Soon that constituted body published its "Last Will and Testament," and was dissolved. Its members disclaimed being the leaders of a party, denounced all sectarianism; and professed to sink into the general church, the great


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body of which Jesus Christ is the head. As a party they wished to dissolve, like a little drop mingling in the ocean. They declaimed against all names of distinction among the professors of Christianity but that of Christian. And they claimed all good christians as brethren of the same body. Such was the origin of the Christian denomination, sometimes called New Lights.

        Our illustrious deceased friend was one of its principal founders; and one of its most efficient and successful preachers. Filled with ardent zeal, he was often excessive in his labors. Sometimes he traveled and preached until his strength was exhausted, and his lungs failed, so that he would have to refrain from preaching until he was recruited. Such was the manner of his life, until he failed with age. By patient continuance in well doing, he still sought for glory, honor and immortality; and the christian hope was the anchor of his soul in death. In passing the dark valley, he feared no evil.--His powerful and impressive eloquence was often heard and felt from the sacred desk, and in the legislative halls, but we will hear his voice no more. He sleeps in death! A large concourse of his friends and fellow citizens followed his remains to the grave. Thus men of eminent worth and virtue should be honored when they die. Many differed from him in his religious opinions; but all highly esteemed his character; and his memory to all is dear. The humble writer thought some of his religious opinions wrong. But having known him for more than half a century, he felt that this brief biography and eulogy of his character was justly due to his memory.


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        The author of the following, taken from the "Religious Telescope," is a preacher of the Gospel, in good standing in the United Brethren in Christ Church.

ELDER DAVID PURVIANCE.

        DIED, at the residence of his son John, in Preble county, Ohio, on the 19th inst., Elder David Purviance, a Minister of the Christian connection.

        In reviewing the life and character of this great man, we are sensibly struck with the great importance and availability of human action, when coupled with grace in the cause of human redemption. About forty years ago, this venerable man, in connection with B. W. Stone and others, seceded from the Presbyterian Church in the State of Kentucky, and as brethren united in the cause of God, they labored most efficiently in the cause of a full, free, and sufficient salvation, which at that time was a most unpopular doctrine, and as a matter of course, met with the most uncompromising opposition. They, however, labored with the characteristic zeal of true disciples, and the Lord crowned their exertion with almost unparalleled success. Multitudes adopted the faith, and revival succeeded revival, until like a halo of glory, the benign influence of religion overspread the land. After having spent some time in Kentucky, he removed to the State of Ohio, where the same success attended his labors; the gospel preached had its desired effect; many souls were converted, and Churches formed in different parts of the country, among the most important of these, was the "Shiloh


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Church," which according to information was established about thirty years ago. In its erection he was its principal agent, and for many years its able and faithful pastor. At this place he held his standing as a Church member, and although he is now dead, yet he will live long in the remembrance of those who knew him. Even while writing, my mind returns again to the days of my boyhood, when by the hand of my father and mother, I walked to the old school-house in the neighborhood to hear Grand-pap Purviance preach. With him are associated my earliest religious conceptions, and should it ultimately be my unspeakably happy lot, to join the "general assembly and Church of the first-born," in the kingdom of glory, I now think that I must esteem this good old patriarch as one of the first means employed in the accomplishment of that stupendous work. But he is gone; death has claimed him for his own; he now sleeps in the tomb, while the veil of death, with its mantling drapery, envelopes his mouldering dust. His affliction though severe was characterized by patience and resignation, and although four score years had fur-rowed his cheeks and silvered his locks, with the fullness of years and in the fruition of his glory, he bade farewell to his family, his brethren and the world, and silently passed to "that bourne whence no traveler returns.

O. H. KENDRICK.

New Westville, Aug. 23d. 1847.

        The following is an extract from an obituary, written a few days after the death of Eld. David Purviance, by his grand son:


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        "Upon the character of Eld. Purviance I need make little remark. There is little likelihood that it will be misconceived or forgotten. His memory, and the memory of his many virtues, are embalmed in the hearts of all who knew him.

        The spheres of his action were various and extended; and the stations which he was called upon to occupy in the world were numerous and responsible;--yet, in all of them, he was honored and respected, and the scrupulous faithfulness and unwavering integrity with which he discharged his arduous duties, abundantly evinced, that the great and paramount rule of his action was a high sense of obligation to his country and to his God.

        As a neighbor and a friend, he was characterized by affability, gentleness and fidelity. As a citizen, he was distinguished for his love of order, respect for the laws, and zealous devotion to the country of his nativity. As a legislator, he was remarkable for the upright independence of his views, the fervent energy of his action, and his constant devotion to the cause of Universal Liberty.

        To his great worth as a parent, the undying affection of his numerous family bears ample testimony.

        But it is as a Christian, and a Minister of the Gospel that we view him with most lively interest. 'Tis here, that we see the complete development in their greatest lustre, of all those noble qualities which distinguished him as a man.

        Embracing religion in early life, through the whole course of his long protracted pilgrimage, he was never known to falter in its pursuit. His religion was


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not like the evanescent flash of the nocturnal lightning, which is followed by darkness as profound as that which preceeded it; but more resembled the perpetual effulgence of the sun in the heavens, whose brilliancy is never dimmed.

        The peculiarity of the religious views which he embraced in youth, manifested that independence of thought and of action which characterized him thro' life; and the influence which those views exerted on the moral tenor of his course, speaks much in their favor.

        As a preacher, though never backward in the reproof of sin, he was ever popular among all classes of hearers; and though firm and zealous in the maintenance of his peculiar tenets, yet, his exemplary piety commanded the esteem; and the softness of his manners, and sweetness of his disposition, procured him the love, even of his opponents.

        His death was peculiarly glorious and happy as it crowned a life no less so. Nor were the resignation and even joy with which he met his doom, the result of a visionary delusion, but of great study of his life.

        He practically exemplified these beautiful lines from Bryant:


                         "To live, that when thy summon comes to join
                         The innumerable caravan, that moves
                         To the pale realms of shade, where each shall take
                         His chamber in the silent halls of death;
                         Thou go not like the quarry slave at night,
                         Scourged to his dungeon: but, sustained and soothed
                         By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave,
                         Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
                         About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams."

        We will now present our readers with the Memoirs of Elder David Purviance written by himself,


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in two parts. These were written about 11 or 12 years before his death. The writer feels clear in saying, that the leading principles and doctrines contained in these Memoirs, he continued confidently to believe as long as he lived; he carried them with him to his grave.

CHAPTER XV.

Memoirs of Elder David Purviance.

PART I.

        His religion. Early instructions. His exit from Presbyterianism
The Shaker difficulty. His views on the subject of Baptism.

        I HAVE numbered nearly my three score and ten years. I am not able to preach very much, consequently have the more use for my pen. I have written the treatise to which this is prefixed, for my own satisfaction, and hoping it might be beneficial to others. And it may be a small memento to my friends and brethren, after "I shall have gone the way of all the earth."

        I have expressed my views on some controverted points of doctrine with unreserved frankness and plainness. Yet in a manner not calculated to offend any christian. Particularly


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on the subject of baptism and the design of that ordinance, it appeared to me, that the present state of things demanded from me something explicit and unequivocal; but throughout the whole, I have enjoyed that "Love, which worketh no ill to his neighbor." When that is wanting, we may try to use smooth words, but the bitter water is likely to leak out. It appears that almost every association of men (especially young theologians,) esteem themselves as the luminaries of the world, and wonder at the blindness of those who do not see the light. In one respect I am like all all the rest, i. e. I believe I am right. But I have learned, by long experience, not to be surprised, nor the least disquieted, because others believe differently.

        I have been a professor of the christian religion for more than fifty years; and for about thirty-three years, I have been endeavoring to preach the gospel of Christ.

        In reviewing my past course, I see many changes in matters of opinion; but I have never changed my religion. My religion is LOVE, and I am happy in reflecting, that in this all christians agree. Love is the proper criterion or evidence of true religion both to ourselves, and to the world. I. John, 3, 14.--"We know, that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." John 13, 35.--"By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." Rom. 13, 10.--"Love worketh no ill to his neighbor:" But on the reverse, it inclines to acts of beneficence; therefore saith James, "Pure religion and undefiled before God and


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the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows, in their affliction," &c. In vain is that faith, that does not work by love--and in vain is every effort to promote unity in the church or among religionists, where love does not predominate. "Perfect love casts out fear,"--it inspires with boldness, not only to speak, but to obey the word of the Lord; and his commandments are not grievous. But it saith, "In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves." "Let all your things be done with charity."

        I have no doubt, that creeds and confessions of faith, have been a source of strife and envying; but they may be opposed in a manner which is calculated to widen the breach.

        It avails but little for a person to declaim against bigotry and sectarianism, saying his creed is the Bible, and he is certainly right. It is true his creed is right, but his judgment and practice too may be erroneous. With equal confidence, another and another and another may claim to be right, and finally the pope may claim infallibility; and commonly he who is the most clamorous and censorious is the farthest wrong.

        Divers ecclesiastical forms and governments have been entailed upon the present generation, in like manner as monarchial and aristocratical governments have been on most nations of the world, and could they all, both ecclesiastical and civil, be abolished with one blow, I should doubt the expediency of the measure. It seems to me requisite in both cases, that the people should be enlightened and receive the principles and spirit of freedom in order duly to appreciate


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and enjoy its blessings, and there is no more criminality in being born and educated under an ecclesiastical form of doctrine and discipline. than under the government of a king or an emperor. Hence, diviversity of sentiment and practice among professing christians is not only inevitable but innocent, in the present state of things. For illustration on this point, and hoping it may be profitable to others, I shall proceed to give a biographical sketch of my religious course thus far through life.

        I was born a presbyterian. My father and his preacher or bishop were presbyterians; and as soon as I was teachable, they instructed me faithfully in their system of doctrine, which I implicitly believed.--I memorised the chatechisms larger and shorter, not doubting the truth of one sentence therein contained, and although my heart was little affected, I had the system in my head, and could argue and contend for the doctrine. Now let me ask, was it not inevitable? and are not those whose parents and preceptors are Methodists, Baptists, Quakers, &c., inevitably influenced to believe as they are severally taught, and without criminality too? Nothing more nor less can be reasonably expected in their infantile state, and thus the mind receives an early bias which the majority retain through life.


                         "'Tis education forms the common mind,
                         Just as the twig is bent the tree's inclin'd."

        But to proceed: In process of time my mind was enlightened, I had some just views of the majesty and holiness of God, and of my own wretched sinful state. I had been previously taught to repeat the


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Lord's prayer, and perhaps some others. But then I began to pray indeed, and the prayer of the publican suited me precisely. I persevered in secret prayer, and ere long my soul was comforted and glowed with love to God and to all mankind. I felt a sweet nearness and union with every one who (I believed) possessed the same spirit; yet a thought of being any thing else than a Presbyterian did not enter my mind, and having not yet come to the age at which it was usual for persons to apply for admission to the full communion of the church; I kept back and after some time relapsed, and for a considerable time neglected secret prayer. But again I was bro't to mourn for my sins and backslidings and renew my engagedness: and finally applied to our preacher, old Dr. Hall; was examined as to my exercise and experience, and admitted to the communion-table.--From that time till after my removal from North Carolina and settlement in Kentucky, I recollect nothing worthy of particular notice. In the year 1792, I came to Caneridge, Bourbon county, Ky. There was some appearance of a revival; meetings for preaching and prayer were frequent, and I got into difficulty and distress on the doctrine of election and effectual calling. To show the cause of my distress more particularly, I shall quote the following: larger Cat. Qu. 59,--"Redemption is certainly applied and effectually communicated to all those for whom Christ hath purchased it, who are in time by the Holy Ghost enabled to believe in Christ according to the gospel." Qu. 68,--"All the elect and they only are effectually called, although others may be, and often are, outwardly


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called by the ministry of the word, and have some common operations of the spirit," &c. I did not call in question the truth of the doctrine. I looked on my friends and associates with ardent desire for their salvation; I saw many of them living without hope and without God in the world, and said in my heart: "poor creatures, they cannot help it; if they are not of the elect, if redemption has not been purchased for them, they must perish and that without remedy,--it is hard." The thought that God was hard, wounded my conscience and increased my distress. I communicated my difficulty to some brethren, and was recommended to some Presbyterian books, (and I thought of reading no others;) I read but found no relief. I recollect after reading a sermon published by David Rice, in whom I had great confidence, and who, I yet believe, was an excellent man; I met a friend, whom I esteemed a wise and good man, with the book in my hand. He inquired what book it was? I answered, Mr. Rice's sermon on election. He replied, it is an excellent piece. I observed, it contains a number of good things, but still, there is something dark to me. He asked, what is that? I answered, after all he has said, it appears to me that the reason why one is taken to heaven and another sent to hell, is, because God has ordained and will do it. He said, that is the truth--God is a sovereign. Afterwards I mentioned my difficulty to Samuel Wilson, who since became a preacher and settled on Deer creek, Ohio. He handed me a book which he thought would help me. I took it home, and commenced reading with eager hope of relief.--


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The writer proceeded to show the stability and certainty of every thing contained in the covenant of redemption; the faithfulness of God in his promises, and that not one included in the covenant could possibly be lost; but to guard against armenianism, he added: "The salvation of the non-elect must remain as it ever was, an impossibility," as soon as I read that sentence, I dashed the book across the room and never opened it again. After sometime, I concluded the subject was too profound and intricate for my capacity;--that God will do right, and there let the matter rest.

        Soon after I became engaged in politics, and was elected a member of the Legislature of Kentucky, and so continued till the commencement of the great revival (so called,) I think in the year 1801; and although there was some disorder and enthusiasm, and even fanaticism among us, I mnst bear my testimony that it was a glorious work of God,--and I know several persons, even in Preble county, who can yet tell the great things which they witnessed and experienced at that time. They then set out, and are yet bending their course for Glory. We professors, who had been rather languid and lukewarm, were stirred up and became fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. I could adopt the language of the Psalmist--"I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of God, than dwell in the tents of wickedness. One thing have I desired of the Lord and that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and inquire in his temple." I was moved to speak publicly in exhortation,


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and after some time, I offered myself to the presbytery as a candidate for the gospel ministry. I concluded to abandon my political calling; as agreeable to the Constitution of the State, a preacher of the gospel was not entitled to a seat in the Legislature. As respected literary qualifications I informed the presbytery that for several years I had paid no attention to the Latin and Greek languages, and would not undertake to revise them. However they examined me slightly, and received me. By Bro. Stone's direction, I had prepared a written discourse which I read privately,--I shall pass over further particulars here.

        I think on my return from Presbytery, in company with B. W. Stone, I asked him what books I should read in order to prepare for an examination on divinity? He answered, "Read the Bible." From reading that holy, precious book, I received it as a certain truth: that Jesus by the grace of God tasted death for every man. I learned that the invitations of the gospel extended to every sinner--and I believed sincerely. Sometimes I read other books and found that even Calvinistic authors occasionly held forth the same truth, to the joy of my heart. Instance the following--I think from Erskine:


                         Gospel offers but a sham we make,
                         If ev'ry sinner has not right to take.

        Here I commenced my exit from Calvinism; and have never desired to return. I soon learned that the doctrine I had embraced, was condemned by the leading members in Presbytery; but I determined that whether they granted me license or not, they should


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not be deceived; consequently in my popular or trial discourses and examinations on divinity, I held forth the doctrine explicitly: that Christ died for all men. It is inexpedient to give a particular detail of the occurrences which ensued. I will remark, however, that my case was somewhat different from that of a youth directly from college. I had been associated with men of every grade and rank. I had been in the habit of investigation and public debate, and I endeavored to maintain my position and prove the doctrine from scripture, which (by the by) was not a hard task. I now recollect only one case in which I found serious difficulty; and had I understood the doctrine of atonement as I now do, that would have been easy. The case was as follows: Joseph Howe stated the case.--"Jesus either died for all sins of some men; or for some sins of all men; or for all sins of all men." I was called on to answer. I hesitated; I think I chose the last, and said that men were condemned for rejecting the salvation provided and freely offered.

        But said he, "unbelief is a sin and included, and all must inevitably be saved in case he died for all their sins. I was puzzled; but I recollect another case, in which I thought I puzzled him and some others. I asked is not the sinner condemned for disbelieving the truth? answered, Yes. Question. If Jesus did not die for him, would he not believe a lie, should he believe in him as his Saviour? I remember a stare, but if an answer was given, I do not recollect it. Upon the whole license was withheld, and I was continued as a candidate.

        Notwithstanding all that happened and my change


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of sentiments, my religion was not changed, except in degree. I trusted in the same God. I possessed the same spirit; I loved the men who composed that Presbytery. I believed they acted conscientiously according to their faith and judgment. I will now return and notice some things which occurred in the course of the revival before mentioned. The work was so extraordinary that some pious people doubted the reality of their religion, because they were not subjects of the same exercises, and did not feel the same power that others experienced. We yet retained the Calvinistic idea of the perseverance of the saints. I conversed with several friends in that situation, and participated in their distress; my own wife in particular. Our common course was to retrograde, to the time and place of their conversion, in order to ascertain whether the work was genuine. And when we arrived at the first stake we found it encompassed with darkness. Finally, I became convinced we were wrong. I said to my wife, I do not believe you will ever find relief by going backward. You need not examine whether you had religion 12 or 15 years ago; have it now. Grace is freely offered, believe the gospel, ask and ye shall receive. After a pause she said, how shall I get faith? It is the gift of God. I was staggered and hesitated, but after some reflection, I replied, I believe we have been wrong about faith. Now is God's time, on his part all things are now ready, he requires no delay--venture on his word. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. It was not long afterwards that she obtained a new experience; and I believe never


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again went backwards to hunt for religion. She has finished her course, she has kept the faith, and I have no doubt has attained the crown of righteousness. I was in the habit of public speaking, and I saw the light but not so clearly as to leave the ship and walk on the water.--Sometimes I would step out and hold forth grace entirely free and entreat and invite sinners freely to receive. Again I would step back and say within myself, surely God must work in them by his spirit--He must give them faith. While I was thus halting, Marshal and Stone and others ventured quite out, and preached boldly and clearly on the subject of faith; it may be expected I was not long behind. I seen "men as trees walking," with a little help, "I saw every man clearly." Before the next session of the Presbytery, there was a meeting of the synod, the particulars I need not relate. Marshal, Stone, M'Nemar, Thompson, and Dunlavy became separate; and I by letter withdrew from the Presbytery, and was licensed to preach to preach by the separatists. We denounced as heretics and truly there was a great change in theory; but my religion was still the same. The same principle of love was in my heart, I felt the spirit of union and fellowship, with all christians, even those who rejected us and cast out our names as evil, so far as I could believe they were honest, and endeavoring to know and do the will of God.

        Efforts were made to put us down; but the Lord was with us, and we were successful. We stood firmly in defence of the gospel, and sometimes made direct attacks on the Calvinistic system. Upon a review I think sometimes I was too severe. Christians are


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represented by a candle placed in a candlestick and set on a table. The candle gives a constant light, but exercises no coercive means. Christians are to shine--holding forth the word of life; but unless this is done in the spirit of meekness and love, and beholders see our good works, they will not glorify our Father who is in heaven.

        We had much opposition to encounter, and frequently we were severely censured by some of our best friends, and persons whom we esteemed as Christians. In this class was my father who lived in Tennessee. He heard of my apostacy and wrote me a letter severely reprobating my course. I believed he was a Christian and thought it best at his advanced age, to avoid disputation, and let him get along as easily as possible in his own way. Ere long, however, I visited him and other friends in that country. In general I did not avoid disputing with him; but found it best on some occasions, to use arguments and throw difficulties in his way. The doctrine of faith, was at that time, the main point in dispute.--An old acquaintance came to my father's, while I was there, who appeared to be inquiring and seeking for information. I endeavored to show him that although God was the author of our faith, he became so by giving us testimony, or sufficient evidence, that for this purpose miracles were wrought and the scriptures written.--John 20. 31.--These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. Thomas was unbelieving, but did not expect faith to be given any other way, than by stronger evidence. "Except


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I shall see in his hands." &c. Jesus gave him the evidence he required, and said, "Be not faithless but believing." My father said, "If I can act faith myself, I will not give God all the glory." I thus replied: whether do you glorify God the most, by believing or disbelieving his word ?--I added if a man testifies a fact, and you believe his testimony you please and honor him; but, if you say I cannot believe, it is highly offensive. "Ye believe the witness of men the witness of God is greater." The other man said, "I never thought of that before," and there was little more said.

        On a subsequent visit to my father's he mentioned the doctrine of imputed righteousness, as an essential, which he charged me with denying. The sequel was in substance as follows. I asked him what he understood by imputed righteousness? He answered: The righteousness or obedience of Christ accounted to us as ours. And, said I, our sins imputed or accounted to Christ as his. He answered, Yes. Now, (said I,) the law requires of us perfect righteousness; Christ has rendered it, and it is placed to our account. This would appear amply sufficient. But our sins are all imputed to him, and he has borne or paid the penalty in our stead, this must gain us an acquital. It appears to be two fold satisfaction and will all this do? Must we not do righteousness or be condemned? I proceeded, "Love is the fulfilling of the law," and I know you cannot be satisfied without the witness in yourself that you love God and keep his commandments. He agreed that he could not. After a little more conversation he started to a Presbyterian


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meeting, and I expected he would carry the difficulty to his preacher; and that on his return I would get some answer, but I heard no more of it. I once believed the doctrine of imputed righteousness and imputed sin, and sometimes was comforted from the belief; but upon examination I could not reconcile it with scripture and reason.

        For illustration I will state a case. The law of our land requires certain service, to be performed by individuals, and the penalty of death is annexed in case of failure. One man fails, and a substitute appears and is accepted and performs the service, which is imputed and placed to the credit of the delinquent.--Is he not clear? No, the penalty of death according to the law must be endured; the substitute submits and dies in his room? Is the law now satisfied?--No, the law yet demands obedience from the delinquent, and must be fulfilled by him, or he must die. Other individuals not only fail in point of obedience, but become active enemies to the government. They are condemned, and must die. Is there any hope in their case? None but in mercy. There is mercy in the government. The governor can grant reprieves and pardons. They present their petition--acknowledge their transgressions, and that they are justly condemned: but if pardon can be obtained, they are disposed henceforth to become loyal and faithful citizens and subjects. They are fully pardoned. So under the gospel, a debt paid cannot be forgiven. Luke 7, 41.--"A certain creditor had two debters: the one owed five hundred pieces, and the other fifty; and when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave


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them both."*

        * On the doctrine of atonement, imputation and vicarious sufferings; I labored longer and experienced greater difficulty than on any other subject--the particulars I have omitted. I will here observe, that my starting place to get my mind clear on that subject, was Lev. 16, 19, to 30; then I discovered that the design of atonement was to cleanse or purify, and thus to reconcile to God. Thence I was lead to Heb. 9, 13, to 23; any one who will read theese scriptures may see the connection.


I do not recollect that my father ever afterwards mentioned a controversional subject to me, he heard me preach frequently and appeared to be reconciled and comforted. But after my departure, (as I was informed) his preacher infused prejudice into his mind. I suppose they had a care for the good old man, and were afraid he would be subverted or turned away from the faith, but I was sorry that they troubled him. He had been somewhat turned, for he was then a Cumberland Presbyterian.

        For some time before our separation from the Presbyterians, there were complaints against some preachers as being hetrodox, and especially R. M'Nemar was harrassed with charges for false doctrine. During the time of those trials, he appeared to be a humble spiritual man and a good preacher. But after the separation--when we were blessed with success, and he seemed to occupy the place of a leader and was sustained and followed by a large and respectable body of people: It appeared to me, that like Hezekiah, "he rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him, for his heart was lifted up." I also discovered some traits of the same detestable pride in John Dunlavy. They were not content to abide in the simplicity of the truth. They became fanatics, and were prepared for an overthrow--when the Shakers entered in among us and swept them off with


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others who were led into wild enthusiasm. The shock to the church was severe--but it terminated for good. It served as a warning to us to watch and pray, and cleave to the Lord and to his word. We heard the word of the Lord: "Is there no king in thee, is thy counselor perished." M'Nemar was gone, but Jesus Christ had not joined the Shakers. The bond of union and fellowship was dissolved between us and those who had received the Shaker testimony. They were moved from "the foundation of the apostles and prophets," and had received a new revelation--"another gospel." "They went out from us, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us." We found their character delineated: 1st Tim. 4, 1. "Some shall depart from the faith giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils." In my judgment, this is the proper criterion of christian fellowship. Those who are built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. Eph. 2, 20. Who walk in the light as he is in the light, have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, his son, cleanseth them from all sin. 1st John, 1, 7.

        The preachers, who had (at the time the Shakers came,) associated themselves together as fellow-laborers, were few in number. Matthew Houston, formerly a popular Presbyterian preacher, had joined us. He went to the Shakers. It was a fiery trial: but the word of the Lord can afford relief in every case. Thence we learned not to think it strange concerning the fiery trial, &c. That the church was the Lord's building,--and on the rock, and the gates of


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hell should not prevail. We found the word confirmed, as written: Acts, 20, 29, 30,--"For I know that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock: Also of your own selves, shall men arise, speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them." I have thought there might be something providential in the coming of the Shakers, although some honest and precious souls were seduced and ruined by their means; yet a growing fanaticism was drawn out of the church, which threatened the most deleterious effects.

        The next occurrence of sufficient importance to be noticed in my history relates to baptism. Having been born and educated in the Presbyterian church, I was (I think innocently and honestly) a pedobaptist. Occasionally I doubted as to the scriptural warrant for baptizing infants; but in such cases I had recourse to books written by pedobaptists, and from time to time became (as I thought) re-established. Soon after the birth of my last child, being June 6th, 1805, I thought of having her baptized. After some reflection, I concluded to betake myself to the new testament, and endeavor to read and examine it throughout, as though I had all yet to learn on the subject of baptism. I accordingly proceeded, until I read Acts 2, 41.--"Then they that gladly received his word were baptized, and the same day were added unto them about 3000 souls." That passage struck my mind with weight and decision. It appeared to me that baptism was the initiatory ordinance by which they were added or joined to the church. I thought within myself: were not some of those 3000 heads of


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families? But it seems that those and those only were baptized who received the word. Next I read Acts 8, 12.--"But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized both men and women." I asked myself: Had they not children? Also verses 37, 38; and again Acts 10, 47.--"Can any man forbid water that these should not be baptized, who have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?" Here again at the opening of the gospel to the Gentiles, Peter commanded those only to be baptized, who had received the Holy Spirit.

        I passed on to chap. 16, where we have an account that Lydia and her household, and the jailor and all his, were baptized. I recollect that from hence an argument was drawn in favor of infant baptism; but from verse 40 it appears that the household of Lydia were brethren, and from verse 34, that the jailor "rejoiced, believing in God with all his house." Also, 18, 8. "Many of the Corinthians hearing, believed and were baptized."

        From the whole history of the acts of the Apostles it appeared to me, that it was their uniform practice forthwith to baptize and thus receive or add to the church all those and only those who professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and were willing to take upon themselves his name and religion. The baptism was a token or badge of that profession, and they were thereby distinguished and known as his disciples and followers. Afterward my mind turned to the covenant made with Abraham, Gen. 17, 7.--"And I will establish my covenant between me and thee, and thy


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seed after thee in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee and thy seed after thee." This taken in connection with some other scriptures I had considered as the strong ground and foundation of the right of infants to baptism. Upon an examination of those passages of scripture (I at least thought) I discovered an error in the application of the promise to the seed of believers in Christ, because so far as the covenant relates to the gospel day; believers themselves only are the seed or children of Abraham. The promise is not applicable to their natural seed or even to the natural seed of Abraham.--Rom. 9, 8.--"They which are the children of flesh, are not the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. None except believers in Christ have any part or lot in the matter.--Gal. 3, 16.--Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made, he saith not, and to seed as of many, but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ. Ver. 27, "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ." Ver. 29, "And if ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

        The preaching of John the Baptist appeared to confirm this doctrine. Mat. 3, 9, 10, 12.--"And think not to say we have Abraham to our father, for God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham. And now also the axe is laid to the root of the trees, every tree therefore that bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewn down and cast into the fire, &c. John was the precusor of Christ, he was sent to prepare the way of the Lord, who was obout to set up his kingdom,


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and to erect a spiritual house; therefore, John taught the Pharisees and Sadducees, who came to his baptism, the necessity of reformation in order to prepare them for admittance; that a right could not be claimed from natural descent, as was the case under the former dispensation. At the close of this examination, my conclusion was that had I rightly understood the subject when I was received into the church, I must and would have been initiated by baptism. But I did not realize the obligation or necessity at that time; moreover, as we had experienced many difficulties, and passed through a fire of opposition, I did not wish to incur a new difficulty, or kindle another fire, should it even be done by water. I therefore thought it best to be cautious, and measurably silent on the subject. Here I rested for a while, till a person who made profession of her faith, applied to brother Stone for baptism by immersion. He appointed a meeting for that purpose at a suitable place. A large congregation assembled. Brother Reuben Dooley attended the meeting and preached a sermon on the occasion. I was there also. After the person on whose account the meeting had been appointed, and another woman were baptized, a man who was a member of the church applied to brother Stone for baptism. He made a short address to the congregation, in substance as follows: "I hope my brethren will not be hurt, at me, I am going into the water for conscience sake. Peter says, 'Not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God.'--I was baptized in infancy, but cannot rest satisfied; it is a command of God to be baptized,--and I cannot


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have the answer of a good conscience, unless I obey the command." His words reached my heart and roused my conscience. I prayed, like Saul on his way to Damascus: "Lord what wilt thou have me to do." Soon after, the words spoken by Mary came to my mind: "Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it." I asked myself,--what does the Lord say? I soon recollected the answer: "Repent and be baptized every one of you," &c. I determined to go forward; yet I had a fear of exciting new difficulties or divisions in the church. Our preacher, who were at that time associated together, were comparatively few.--The Shakers had lately made an inroad and carried off M'Nemar, Dunlavey, and Houston. I knew that the belief of Marhall and Thompson, respecting baptism, was contrary to mine,--and I did not know the sentiments of Stone and Dooley on the subject. I called Stone and Dooley aside, and made known to them my mind and determination, and asked Stone to baptize me--to which he consented. I mentioned, that the only thing I regreted, was, hurting the brethren. Dooley replied,--"The best way to please brethren is to please the Lord." I then addressed the congregation publicly, and made a concise statement of my views on the subject of baptism. Before I went into the water Dooley said to me: "After you are baptized, I shall want you to put me under the water,"--which I did. I also immersed a number more, before I came up out of the water. Not long after Stone was baptized. A few made violent opposition, to their own hurt. In general, moderation and forbearance were exercised. We seldom preached


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on the subject: but recommended to the people coolly and deliberately to search the scriptures--and thus the work progressed, until baptism generally prevailed, without serious injury to the cause: Whereas, had we been pressing and urgent, and had we charged our opponents with bigotry and adherence to human tradition, I have no doubt much mischief would have ensued. Yet forbearance may be exercised to an extreme. We ought not to shun to declare all the council of God, and teach the people to observe all things whatsoever the Lord has commanded.

        I think it necessary to enlarge on the mode of baptism. After I became convinced that believers only were the proper subjects for baptism, I experienced no serious difficulty respecting the mode, and I think in general, the case is similar with others. They read, that Philip and the Eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him; that Jesus was baptized by John in the river of Jordan--that he came up out of the water, and the Holy Ghost descended upon him; and they are willing to follow their leader down into the water.--And in this day, few (if any) deny that immersion is gospel baptism, or that that mode was practiced in the primitive church,--though some suppose that the mode of sprinkling was also practiced and may suffice. It seems to be more important for us to ascertain and understand the design of the institution. I have already touched on this point, by showing that baptism is an initiatory ordinance; that believers in Christ, by being baptized in his name, openly put on Christ, and are marked and designated as


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his disciples and followers. As a corroborating proof, I refer to 1st Cor. 12, 13, 14,--Every one of you saith I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ. Was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you but Crispus and Gaius,--lest any should say that I had baptized in my own name. The argument of the Apostle implies, that had they been baptized in the name of Paul, there would have been a propriety and consistency in one saying, "I am of Paul," a Paulite or a disciple of Paul. Moreover, the ordinances of the gospel are memorials and testimonials of the most important facts, viz.: The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. 1st Cor. 11, 24, 25, 26,--This do in remembrance of me,--For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.--Thus the death of Christ is remembered and attested. His resurrection is equally important, which is signified and attested by baptism: Rom. 6, 4.--Therefore, we are buried with him by baptism into death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also should walk in newness of life. It also appears, from the verse last quoted, in connection with the 2d and 3d next preceding, that baptism is a sign or declaration of our death to sin and life to holiness: 2d,--How shall we that are dead to sin live any longer therein. 3d, Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized unto Jesus Christ were baptized unto his death. 4th, Therefore, we are buried, &c., as above. By the act of the believer, in baptism he testifies that he is dead to sin, and henceforth to walk in newness of life.


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        Before I proceed further, I will notice a difficulty which presents itself, which I will endeavor to solve by asking and answering a question. If baptism is an initiatory ordinance, by which believers are inducted to the church of Christ; how can you fellowship as christians, or acknowledge as church-members, unbabtized persons. Answer: The church of God is a spiritual house, 1. Pet. 2, 5. "The building is cemented by the spirit of God," Eph. 2, 22, 4, 3. For illustration, I will state a matter of fact. A man who was a native of Ireland, at an early period, immigrated to and settled in Ohio. He was a professed republican, and enjoyed all the privileges of a citizen of Ohio. He filled several important civil offices, and discharged the duties pertaining to them with fidelity. Finally it was discovered that he had not been naturalized, agreeably to the law of the United States, and consequently was proscribed as an alien. But being in spirit and practice a citizen, as soon as his attention was properly turned to the law, and he realized its obligation, he complied there with and became naturalized. He had been held in full fellowship before as a citizen, in a legal point of view, his state was now changed; and his friends and associates were pleased and gratified by receiving this additional proof of his fidelity and attachment to the government; and had he not complied with the law, when he was convinced and understood its requirements, he must have been disfranchised; the bond of fellowship would have been dissolved, and he must have been treated as an alien. The application is easy. The law of the kingdom of Christ, as respects


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the mode of induction, has been measurably hidden and overlooked; so that many who are in heart and in spirit, fellow-citizens with the saints, and virtually of the household of God; have remained ignorant on the subject; but as soon as they are convinced that their head and lawgiver requires it, they will obey and be baptized. "Thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness," otherwise they will become alienated.

        There yet remains an item, which relates to the design of baptism, which claims a serious consideration; viz: "For the remission of sins." As some difficulties have arisen and differences of opinion exist on this point, I shall be somewhat particular, and endeavor to state explicitly, what has been the result of my enquiries and examination of the scriptures.

        On the day of penticost, when those who heard the word from Peter believed, and being pricked to the heart, enquired, "Men and brethren what shall we do?" The apostle answered, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins," &c. Hence some have concluded that the special and prominent design of the institution of baptism was, 'for the remission of sins.' That God's plan of forgiveness is on condition of faith, repentance and baptism, and that remission of sins is suspended on those items as a condition.--Some who have embraced and advocated this as the gospel plan, have admitted that many under the gospel have obtained pardon and received the spirit of adoption, prior to baptism; and consequently that baptism is not a "sine que non" or indispensable condition.


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Thongh I never did perfectly coincide with them in sentiment, yet I have felt reconciled and not disposed to dispute. Inasmuch as I thought they had (at least) some plausible ground for their idea. There are others, who (according to my judgment) have gone to such an extreme, that I have felt a repugnance, and have expressed my disapprobation of their doctrine. But after mature deliberation, I am constrained to admit, that though these last mentioned may be the fartherest wrong, yet they are the most consistent. To place this matter in a clear point of light, I will state their scheme throughout, to the last exreme:

        1. Faith, Repentance and Baptism are the items connected together as the condition of forgiveness, according to the gospel plan.

        2. Consequently, forgiveness cannot precede baptism.

        3. Experience of religion before baptism, is a delusion.

        4. Pardon is an act of God, done for us not in us; consequently, internal feelings are no evidence.

        5. Baptism is the evidence by which a person may know that he is pardoned.

        6. A sinner cannot pray acceptably before baptism.

        7. Any christian may administer baptism.

        8. Invite all christians to the Lord's table, but acknowledge none as christians, who have not been immersed.

        I know some brethren who believe in baptism for the remission of sins, disapprove some items contained in the above statement, and perhaps may apprehend


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that I have exaggerated. But there is indubitable testimony that others have gone the whole length, and I shall proceed to show their consistency and test them by the scriptures.

        The first and second items may be taken in connection. If baptism is included in the plan or condition of forgiveness equally with faith and repentsence, one may be dispensed with as well as another. Therefore, according to the plan, he is consistent who denies that forgiveness can precede baptism. For though it is not written, he that is not baptized shall perish or shall be damned,--yet it is written, "Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish," and "he that believeth not shall be damned."

        3. Experience. It has been stated thus: "The word of God is the rule, and not feelings or experience. A person may believe his sins are pardoned before baptism and be happy in believing so,--but it is a delusion." This is perfectly consistent with the foregoing.

        But let me examine my experience. Jesus spake a parable concerning a Pharisee and a Publican:--The Publican smote upon his breast, and prayed "God be merciful to me a sinner," and went down to his house justified. That was my experience--I thus felt and thus prayed. Again I read, "Being justified by faith we have peace with God." That was my experience: I had peace in my soul; I was reconciled to God--to his will, and to his ways: but I had not learned baptism. I may be told, "You had not been rightly taught, therefore your experience was wrong.' But so far as my experience agreed with the word of


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God, I concluded that I was right.

        4. Pardon is an act of God, done for us; therefore no internal evidence.

        Now I ask, how or where is this act done? Is it done in the court of Heaven, or in the mind of God, or in the water? But I have an explanation, by a simile I heard in a popular discourse. The speaker stated the case thus: "A criminal is under sentence of death, application is made to the Governor for a reprieve--a pardon is granted, it is made out in due form containing a condition, that he must depart out of the State. Now he is not pardoned while he remains in the State. The moment he crosses the State-line, he is pardoned and lie may know it. So God has granted pardon to sinners in the gospel, sealed with blood, on certain conditions--and when a sinner performs the conditions, he is pardoned and not before--and he knows it. Hence it appears, that the act of God in granting pardon, "done for us and not in us," was done before we were born." From the above simile, we see at once the consistency of the fifth item in my statement, and that according to the plan, the knowledge of forgiveness depends simply and entirely on a person's own act. Moreover, we see the consistency of the sixth item, and that prayer is perfectly useless, to say the least. That a sinner need not pray for forgiveness either before or after baptism. There would be no sense nor consistency in the culprit petitioning the Governor for a reprieve, after it was made out, signed and sealed.--Let him cross the State-line; he need not petition afterwards; he has his pardon, and he knows it.


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        It is scarcely necessary to take up time to prove that this part of the scheme, (however consistent it may be with the residue) is unscriptural. Sual of Tarsus prayed--and the Lord heard him, and said to Annanias, "behold he prayeth." Jesus prayed to his Father, to forgive the mocking reprobates that surrounded his cross. I have already mentioned the parable of the Pharisee and Publican; recollect also the parable of the Prodigal Son,--he returned to his Father, confessing and praying. Those parables were certainly intended to show us how sinners may return to God, and obtain forgiveness. Besides the penitent prodigal, had better evidence of his forgiveness and acceptance than his own act. He was embraced by his Father, he was richly clad and bountifully fed. So I believe when sin is pardoned, it is truly remitted, it is put away, the soul is set at liberty, made free from sin, and experiences a deliverance, and knows God has done a gracious work in him as well as for him, Ps 66, 16--20. Rom. 6, 22, 8, 15, 16. I have not found in the bible that baptism is once named as an evidence of pardon or acceptance with God. It is true we must keep God's commandments, that we may have confidence towards him.--But the Holy Spirit is designated as a witness which God has given to them that obey him. Acts 5, 32, and John 3, 24.--"And he that keepeth his commandments, dwelleth in him, and he in him; and hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the spirit which he hath given us." Keeping the commandments is requisite, but "we know" by the spirit which God hath given us.--John 4, 13,--"hereby we know that


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we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his spirit."--2 Cor. 5, 5, 6. Eph. 1, 13, 14.

        7. Any christian may administer baptism. I do not recollect to have heard more than two preachers advocate this doctrine in public; and some may be at a loss to see how it is connected with the plan. But it is used to obviate a weighty objection. The gospel plan admits of no delay. "Now is the accepted time."--"All things are now ready." If a sinner is taught that baptism is an indispensable prerequisite to obtaining forgiveness, and receiving the Holy Spirit; an insurmountable obstacle is thrown in his way, unless some one is on the spot who is authorized to administer the ordinance; therefore it is argued that all christians are equally authorized to teach and administer gospel ordinances, and that the office of an ordained gospel ministry is extinct; that according to the new testament it expired with the Apostles. But even this does not fully obviate the difficulty. From various causes baptism may be impracticable at the present time. And the penitent, inquiring soul, instead of obtaining mercy and receiving the blessings now freely offered in the gospel, may sink into darkness despondency and death.

        It may be proper, however, to examine whether this item can be supported by scripture. It appears to me that if the office of a gospel ministry has expired, no person is authorized to baptize. John the forerunner of Christ preached and baptized. The Pharisees heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John.--(Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples.) His disciples last mentioned,


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were no doubt the twelve whom he had chosen and ordained; they acted officially in his name and by his authority. Therefore those whom they baptized, were called his disciples. All those who were baptized by John, were called John's disciples.--Again, Jesus said unto the eleven (Judas was gone) "Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." From all which it appears that the act of baptism was official, and performed by public teachers duly authorized. And the commission given to the eleven is concluded in the words following: "Lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." "Alway," relates to time, and the time specified is, "the end of the world." Those men have long since left the world; hence we conclude that the promise, "Lo I am with you alway," &c. pertains to the office.--and that teaching or preaching, and baptizing are special duties pertaining to that office, which shall continue till the end of the world.

        I shall adduce a few other proofs from scripture, to show that the office of a gospel ministry did not expire with the Apostles; and that it is not the province of any one, at his own pleasure to assume the office, and discharge the duties thereof; but it belongs to the ministry to induct to the office, those who possess the requisite qualifications; and ordain or set them apart to the work. Acts xiii. 1, 2, 3.--Now there were in the church that was at Antioch, certain prophets and teachers. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Ghost said separate me Barnabas and Saul, to the work whereunto I have called them. And


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when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. From Rom. i. 1, we may learn to what work they were called and separated. "Paul a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an Apostle, separated unto the gospel of God. I Tim 4, 14.--Neglect not the gift, that is in thee, which was given the by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery. That the gift here spoken of, is that of teaching, appears from the sequel. 'Take heed unto thyself and thy doctrine, &c. Col. 4. 17, "And say to Archippus, take heed unto the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it." Special instructions were given to Timothy and Titus as to ordaining others to the work. II Tim. 2. 2,--"And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also." Tit. i. 9,--"Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine to exhort and convince the gainsayers." 1st Tim. 3. 1,--"If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless,"&c., as if he had said: Though he desires a good work, you must examine and see whether that he possesses the requisite qualifications, as herein specified. 5. 22, "Lay hands suddenly on no man." Be not hasty in ordination. This is a point which merits more attention, but what I have said may suffice for the present.

        The 8th and last item, is perfectly consistent with the preceding part of the plan; and though, as far as my knowledge extends, baptism has seldom in express language, been made a term of communion or admission


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to the Lord's table--yet if the scheme is correct and scriptural, it ought to be done, and if it should prevail it must there terminate.

        Upon the whole, it appears to me, that although the plan is consistent with itself, it is unscriptural; and consequently, that the special design of the institution of baptism was not "for the remission of sins." The only place which I have found in the new testament where baptism is mentioned "for the remission of sins," after the opening of the gospel dispensation, is, Acts ii. 38. I know some brethren, (to whose judgment I pay great deference, and whose honesty I have never doubted,) consider this as positive proof. But before we settle certainly the meaning of one text, and build a system thereon, let us examine others, and compare and see how they are reconciled. We will commence with Acts 18. 24 to 27,--"And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord, and being fervent in spirit, he spake and taught dilligently the things of the Lord--knowing only the baptism of John.--Whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.--And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote exhorting the disciples to receive him; who, when he was come, helped them much who had believed through grace.--For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, proving from the scriptures that Jesus was Christ." From the characteristics here given of Apollos, it appears that he was an


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eminent, faithful and useful preacher of the gospel, while he knew not, consequently neither taught nor practiced baptism--"in the name of the Lord Jesus, for the remission of sins." It does not appear that Aquila and Priscilla were disposed to oppose or reject him; but "took him unto them," [I suppose invited him to their house or lodging, as christians are apt to do, with preachers whom they love and esteem,] and it is probable, instructed him on the subject of baptism. "And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia; the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him," &c. Now the disciples were christians,--believers in, and followers of Christ. The name, christian, properly belongs to the disciples of Christ. Acts 11. 26,--"And the disciples were first called christians in Antioch."--That none except real christians are disciples--see Luke 14. 26, 27,--"If any man come to me and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple. From Acts xix. 1 to 7, we learn that there were disciples who had not been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus: "And it came to pass, that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus and finding certain disciples, he said unto them, have ye received the Holy Ghost, since ye believed? and they said unto him, we have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost, and he said unto them, unto what then were ye baptized? and they said, unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John


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verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, they should believe on him which should come after him, that is on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues and prophesied, and all the men were about twelve.*

        * Extraordinary gifts were conferred, by the laying on of the hands of the Apostles. But the disciples of Christ did enjoy his spirit, previously to receiving those gifts. "For if any man have not the spirit of Christ he is none of his." It appears from Acts viii. 12, 17, that those extraordinary gifts were conferred by the hands of the Apostles, and that the power did not belong to inferior officers or teachers.


It may be said, that these twelve had been baptized by John, for the remission of sins; if so, and they were disciples, they were not--they need not be baptized again in the name of the Lord Jesus, for the remission of sins. It proves at least that that was not the special design of Christ's baptism. But John preached repentance, for the remission of sins; and baptized on the profession of repentance. "They were baptized in Jordan, confessing their sins."

        It is worthy of notice, that when these disciples said, "we have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost," and Paul inquired, "unto what then were ye baptized?" He had reference to the mode of administering the ordinance, viz: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; for had they been thus baptized, they must have heard of the Holy Ghost. We will now proceed to examine the opening scene, the promulgation of the Gospel, the proclamation of the remission of sins to the Gentiles:--


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        The first sermon was preached by Peter, and is recorded, Acts, chap. 10. He preached Jesus of Nazareth, his death, his resurrection from the dead, and concludes, v. 43, "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name, whosoever believeth in him, shall receive remission of sins."

        44. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on them that heard the word. 45. And they of the circumcision, which believed; were astonished, as many as came with Peter' because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47. Can any man forbid water that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? The import of the question appears to be as follows: Since God has borne witness, that he has accepted these dear people, and given them the same spirit that we Jews have received, who can object to their being baptized into the same body, and received into fellowship? This accords with the word of God by Paul 1st Cor. 12 13. For by one spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free, and have been all made to drink into one spirit.

        Chap. 11, 2. And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him. 3. Saying, thou wentest in to men uncircumcised and didst eat with them.

        From the sequel we learn, that Peter rehearsed and expounded the matter to them, and concludes v, 17. Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift,


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as he did unto us who believed, on the Lord Jesus Christ, what was I, that I could withstand God? The same reason is assigned here as before: "God gave them the like gift;" they had received the same spirit. Some argue that the gift was miraculous, speaking with tongues, consequently not a proof that their sins were forgiven; or that they were not baptized for the remission of sins. Answer. Peter had heard the exercise and experience of Cornelius till the time of his arrival. He found a people with ears and hearts open to attend to the word. "We are all here before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God." He preached the gospel, and the evidence was clear, that by the hearing of faith they had received the spirit. They magnified God--they were happy. He was so fully satisfied, that he did not even require a formal profession of their faith, but commanded them to be baptized.

        But it seems to me, when we hear Peter a third time, every doubt must vanish. His narrative is again told and recorded. chap. 15. We will give an extract. "Ye know how that a good while ago, God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel and believe.

        And God which knoweth the hearts bear them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us. And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith."

        Now let us inquire, how did God bear them witness? "God which knoweth the hearts bear them witness,--purifying their hearts by faith." I understand, that by faith they received the Holy Ghost, and


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by its influence their hearts were purifyed. Rom. 8, 16. The spirit itself beareth witness with our spirits, that we are the children of God.

        We have now taken a general view, of the introduction of the gospel among the Gentiles; and I can honestly say that throughout the whole, I do not discover the slightest intimation, nor any ground to believe that they were baptized for "the remission of sins." Or that it was ever named or taught to them or to any other Gentiles; that the design of the institution of baptism was for that purpose.

        I admit that from that memorable text, Acts 2, 38. Repent and be baptized, &c., there is some plausible ground for the idea, which has been received by many, that the design of the institution of baptism was for the "remission of sins," and that the sinner must repent and be baptized previous to receiving the Holy Spirit. And I agree with those moreover, that their conclusion is just, that God has not two plans of remitting sins under the gospel.

        But it seems to me clear, that those who believed the word, at the house of Cornelius were pardoned and made free from sin and did receive the Holy Spirit before baptism was even named in their hearing.--And that on those premises Peter founded his argument for their baptism and proposed the interrogatory to his Jewish brethren. Can any man forbid water? &c. Besides, I conclude that if the design of baptism had been for remission, it would be found so expressed in the New Testament after the day of pentecost and more especially, at the opening of the gospel to the Gentiles.


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        In order to reconcile the preaching of Peter and his course of procedure, at pentecost and at the house of Cornelius, it may be proper to notice the difference in the circumstances and situations of the people whom he severally addressed. The Jews to whom he preached on the day of pentecost, had openly denied and rejected the Lord Jesus, they had taken and crucified him, with wicked hands, and imprecated his blood upon themselves and their children. No doubt when they believed the truth and were convinced of their sin, their case appeared desperate. They inquired, "Men and brethren what shall we do?" Is there any hope in our case? is there any remedy? Peter answered, "Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins," &c. "And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying save yourselves from this untoward generation." The sermon is not written in full, but we have the substance. The import appears to be as follows: It is true you have done wickedly, but God is ready to forgive, "He is plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon him," and in order to obtain forgiveness you must repent, forsake your sins and turn to the Lord. Be baptized in his name; as openly and avowedly acknowledge him, as you have denied and rejected him; receive him as your savior, your Lord and your master. Be added to the little flock of his disciples to serve and follow him. On these conditions you shall be freely pardoned, and receive the Holy Spirit, for the promise is to you and your children, &c.

        On hearing and believing the gospel, the good tidings


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of pardon, joy and gladness, sprang up in their hearts, and they went forward in obedience, in baptism; they put on Christ and were added to the church. And if we go on to say, that, in baptism they received the remission of sins, I do not see that it will prove that the special design of baptism was for the remission of sins; or that other believers who repent and devote themselves to the Lord, to serve and follow him cannot be pardoned and have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ before baptism. God looks on the heart. He stands at the door and knocks, as soon as it is open he will enter in. Now is his time. Circumstances may render baptism impracticable tho' it may be in the heart to do all his will. That appears to have been the case with the people at the house of Cornelius; they were a praying people.--"He feared God with all his house." They were all present before God, to hear all that was commanded of God. They wanted instruction--they were ignorant of the gospel plan of forgiveness, and justification by faith. Their situation differed materially from that of the Jews, to whom the first sermon was preached. They were addressed accordingly. Peter preached the same Jesus to them as to the Jews,--his death and resurrection, and concluded, "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name, whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins."--They heard, believed, and received the spirit--according to Gal. 3, 2. And Peter said again:--"Put no difference between us and them purifying their hearts by faith." Yet, after all this, baptism was requisite. "He commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord;" but not for remission.


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        For a more perfect understanding of this subject, we will turn to Paul's rehearsal of his conversion, as recorded in Acts 22. 10 to 16. v. 10,--"And I said, what shall I do Lord? and the Lord said unto me, arise and go into Damascus,--and there it shall be told thee of all things that are appointed for thee to do." Hence we learn, that in answer to prayer, Saul was told to go into Damascus--and a promise was annexed, that there he should be farther instructed. He obeyed and went, and continued in prayer, till the promise was fulfilled; and Ananias came with a message from the Lord, a few particulars of which we shall notice:

        1. He was restored to sight, v. 13,--Brother Saul receive thy sight."

        2. His election, v. 14,--The God of our Fathers, hath chosen thee, that thou shouldst know his will, and see that just one, and shouldst hear the voice of his mouth.

        3. His call to the ministry or Apostleship, v. 15,--"For thou shalt be his witness to all men of what thou hast seen and heard."

        4. His baptism, v. 16,--"And now, why tarriest thou? arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."

        After all that the Lord had done for Saul, and what he had experienced, there was no reasonable ground for delay. He believed, he repented and prayed;--and in like manner, when we find a sinner believing, penitent and praying, we ought to hold forth the word of life to him, as Ananias did to Saul; and tell him to go forward--"Why tarriest thou? arise and


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be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." "Wash away thy sins," is a requirement made, "calling on the name of the Lord," is annexed as a means by which it is to be done. This accords with other scripture, Isaiah 1. 16,--"Wash you, make you clean, put away the evil of your doings--cease to do evil, learn to do well." Jer. 4. 14, "Wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved." Ezek. 18, 31,--"Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby you have transgressed--and make you a new heart and a new spirit," and to shew that prayer, or calling on the name of the Lord is a means of effecting this requirement, see Ps. 51. 2, "Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin." 10,--"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." A sinner must renounce and put away all his sins, and at the same time pray to God for grace and strength, and for a new heart and a right spirit. It seems to me unnecessary to say any thing more on this point. If there is the semblance of proof therein, that the design of baptism was "for the remission of sins," I confess that I have not discernment sufficient to perceive it.

        Another text which claims our attention, is found in John 3. 5. To bring the subject fairly before us, I shall quote it with the context: v. 4,--"Nicodemus saith unto him, how can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb and be born?" 5,--"Jesus answered, verily, verily I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom


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of God." 6,--"That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit." I have heard two expositions of this text, and I will not undertake to determine which is correct. One is, that a man is born of water, in baptism. The other is, that by the phrase, "born of water," Jesus alluded to the first or natural birth,--answering the question of Nicodemus, "can a man enter the second time into his mother's womb and be born?" for it is added: "That which is born of the flesh is flesh," which implies that should he be born of his mother the second time, he would still be flesh; meaning that a man must not only be born of water, i. e. a natural birth, but of the spirit--a spiritual birth. I will remark, however, that the text is incompatible with the scheme of baptism for remission; because, a man must be born of the water and of the spirit before he can enter into the kingdom of God,--whereas, according to that scheme, he must enter the kingdom by baptism, and be born of, (or receive) the Spirit afterwards. I admit that the phrase, "born of water," may allude to baptism. Hence it is argued that baptism must precede, being born of the spirit. But from an attention to the scriptures we may see, that the writers were not very precise as to order, in stating the particulars, pertaining to the same thing. 2d Thess. 2. 13--"God hath from the beginning, chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the spirit, and belief of the truth." From the order in this text, it might be inferred, that sanctification of the spirit precedes the belief of the truth,--whereas, in several other places, the order is reversed, as Gal. 3. 2;--


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Eph. 1. 13; and as respects baptism, see Heb. 10. 22,--"Let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." That the last clause alludes to baptism, is generally admitted: but, "having our hearts sprinkled from and evil conscience," precedes it, which may imply, "being born of the spirit," or at least, freedom from condemnation, consequently in Christ Jesus, and freely justified.

        But there is also a difference of opinion respecting "being born of the spirit." Jesus says, "The words I speak unto you they are spirit and they are life."--And some believe that we are not to expect any other agency, or influence of the spirit of God, than that which is received in the word believed. That the truth has a powerful and salutary influence on the mind; that the spirit is there, and he that receives the word in his heart, and obeys it, is born of the spirit. Although in general this appears to be correct, yet when we enter into particulars, I think it will appear, that those who thus speak, stop short of what is thought in the word. Acts 2. 38, 39.--"And ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call."--The promise referred to by Peter is written in Joel 2. 28, "and it shall come to pass in the last days that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh." There is no more ground for limiting the promise, to the apostolic age, than for limiting repentance and baptism, with which Peter connects it.


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        But the promise of the spirit, is not the spirit which is promised, Yet believing the promise, we expect the gift from God. And consequently pray, agreeably to Luke 11. 13.--"Your heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him." And James 1. 5.--"If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not and it shall be given him." But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. Now, how can any person ask in faith nothing wavering? For his Holy Spirit, or for wisdom, or for any supernatural aid or spiritual blessing. If he believes all is in the word, and he has the bible in his hand? And in fact this idea renders prayer of very little use; and I have been asked repeatedly: If you pray for the spirit does it not imply that you have it not? I answer, I am always needy and dependent, I need new supplies of Grace, as I need daily bread; I need the aid and influence of his spirit always, and he has taught me to pray always. Eph. 1. 13.--"In whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise which is the earnest of our inheritance," &c. The soul who believes in Christ has not only the promise of all things needful for the life that now is, but for that which is to come. But the earnest is more than a promise. It is a part of the promised inheritance above, which is incorruptible, undefiled and fadeth not away. In covenants among men, an earnest is a part of a stipulated sum paid in hand; in confirmation and assurance that the whole shall be paid according to covenant or promise. So, (not in believing the word, but) after ye believed, ye were


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sealed, &c. God by his own spirit makes the seal, the impress, which is in his own image or likeness. "God is love," and every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God." He more than believes, he knows, "he has a hope that maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost which is given unto him." Rom. 5. 5. Also, 2 Cor. 5. 6. "Now he that hath wrought us for the same thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord. It is the spirit, the earnest that gives that confidence, "perfect love casteth out fear." It is heaven begun below, admitting the phrase, "born of water," to mean baptism. Persons may by that institution externally, or apparently enter into the kingdom. But without the spirit, it is merely nominal; and they cannot be fitly compacted and joined together. But those who are born of the spirit, are builded together for a habitation of God through the spirit.

        I have been admonished, by some of my brethren, to beware, lest by arguing that a person may obtain forgiveness, and be saved without baptism, I should encourage them to live in disobedience to a gospel ordinance, which is connected with salvation. Mark 16. 16.--"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." 1 Pet. 3. 21.--"The like figure whereunto even baptism doth now save us," &c. To which I answer, that a person must know and have it in his power to do the will of God, before he is condemned for failing to perform it. James 4. 17.--"To him that


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knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.' According to Rom. 2.29.--"He is a Jew which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter." And Rom. 4. 11.--"Abraham received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had, being yet uncircumcised." In like manner under the gospel, those who receive "the circumcision of the heart, in the spirit;" will submit to and receive the sign or external rite of baptism, as soon as they learn the gospel requires it, and opportunity serves; otherwise they will come into condemnation. Thus far I believe baptism is connected with salvation.

        But it may be necessary to attend more particularly to the figure. 1 Pet. 3, 20, 21.--"When once the long suffering of God, waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water."

        The like figure whereunto even baptism doth now save us, (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ." Now if we inquire, how Noah and his family were saved by water, we find the answer, Heb. 11. 7, "By faith, Noah being warned of God, of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house." He believed God, he prepared the ark, into which they entered, and were borne safely upon the water; whilst the unbelievers were overwhelmed and perished. We may more easily understand the figure, by transposing the words in the parenthesis, and read the text thus: "The like figure whereunto baptism


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doth save us, now by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (Not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, &c.") Not the application of water to the body; but baptism is a figure of, and a declaration of our faith, in the resurrection of Jesus Christ by which we are saved. Agreeing with Rom. 10. 9. "If thou wilt confess with thy mouth, the Lord Jesus, and believe in thy heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

        If Noah and his family had not entered into the ark, after it was prepared, they would not have been saved by water. So if we are not in Christ Jesus, the antitype (or ark prepared for us) baptism will not save us. Upon the whole, it seems to me, that with respect to many, who believe in baptism "for the remission of sins," the difference between us is merely nominal. I agree that a believing, praying penitent (like Saul of Tarsus) is a fit subject of baptism. They admit that a penitent may pray, and that God will hear his prayer before baptism.

        I was much pleased with the following expression from one of them lately : "I should doubt the truth of any doctrine, which will discourage prayer in either saint or sinner." Now it appears to me that the doctrine, that "baptism is a prerequisite to forgiveness and receiving the spirit," has that tendency. Every true penitent desires to depart from all iniquity, and to have respect to all God's commandments. But there may not be a present opportunity for babtism. Is he then to pray to the Lord to pardon his sins, and bless him with the gift of his spirit at some future period when he can be baptized? Certainly not.--


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The true penitent confesses his sins, and desires, and prays for present pardon and present salvation.--And surely God will hear. For now is the accepted time. "He is ready to forgive and plenteous in mercy unto all that call upon him." Surely the penitent, praying soul is not to be answered, that he must wait and remain under the power and guilt of sin, till baptism can be administered.

        But I suppose the brethren have some way of reconciling that which I view as an incongruity. Yet it still appears to me that those are the most consistent who discard prayer entirely until the person is baptized. Though I believe they are the farthest wrong; and generally they speak with so much confidence and assurance, as scarcely to admit the possibility that they are wrong. But notwithstanding all our differences, I hope in general, we are honest; and that our reformers, who have adopted the scheme in full, as before stated, (if they do not esteem others better than themselves) will admit that others are as honest and intelligent; and that they are fallible as well as others; and upon a calm review, that they will see they have erred from the truth, and reform again.

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CHAPTER XVI.

Memoirs of Elder David Purviance.

PART II.

        I SHALL first proceed to state some particulars in relation to the person and character of Jesus Christ : and as this is a subject of vital importance, I desire to approach it with reverence and godly fear. All christians desire, truly; to worship, to exalt and honor, the true God, the Father, and his son Jesus Christ. In order to do this, we must know them. "This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent"--and to attain that knowledge we must continue in his word. Jesus says, "to this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I might bear witness to the truth." We must believe his whole testimony and not transcend it. "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed, and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." For many years after I had made a public profession of the Christian religion, there was nothing pertaining to it more repugnant to my views and feelings than the


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denial of the divinity of Jesus Christ as I understood it, i. e. That he was very and eternal God.

        About the time I abandoned a legislative or political calling, with a view to the gospel ministry, James Garrard, then Governor of Kentucky, who had formerly been a Baptist preacher, sent me a pamphlet which had been lately reprinted in Frankfort. The author's name was Emlyn, and I think his book was written in prison, where he was confined under a charge of heresy, having renounced the doctrine of the Trinity. My high respect and esteem for Governor Garrard served as an inducement to read the book, though I firmly believed the doctrine it contained was erroneous. I was pleased with the manner and style of the writer, yet as I proceeded in reading, I endeavored to find answers to refute his arguments.--At length he quoted Mark xiii, 32--"But of that day and hour knoweth no man; no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." I had my answer ready, viz: That he spake of his human nature; that as man he did not know. But the author proceeded to show that the Father only did know, and to illustrate the point he used a figure, which I will state according to the best of my recollection.--"Suppose that I have two eyes, the one is strong so that I can see objects at a great distance, the other is weak and the sight circumscribed to a small compass; and there is an object at such a distance that I can only perceive it with my strong eye; and speaking of it, I say that I cannot see it, that my Father and he only can see it. Suppose I should be told that with my strong eye I could see as far as my Father, could


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I exculpate myself by saying I alluded to my weak eye? Would I not be told that my language implied that I did not see at all, or any way?"

        His reasoning appeared to be fair, and consequently my answer (which I had borrowed from the Father's) insufficient. I was frustrated and disarmed; yet I dreaded his doctrine. I thought it was derogatory to the character of the Saviour. Moreover, I considered that standing as I did, a ruling Elder in the Presbyterian church, to be subverted or shaken in the faith would bring me into a dilemma, and be attended with vexatious consequences. I therefore concluded to read the book no farther, and laid it aside for that time. But what I had read left an impression on my mind, which caused me to notice the scriptures more particularly; though for many years I was inclined to interpret and understand the Word so as to correspond with and sustain the doctrine of the Trinity. In the meantime, I procured the perusal of a book (the title prefixed I do not remember,) commonly called "Watts" Glory of Christ." He undertakes to prove the pre-existence of the human soul of Christ; he shows that he appeared to the patriarchs and to Moses; that he bore the name of an angel, and (I think) that he was called Lord, perhaps God.

        I was generally pleased with the work, but was not fully satisfied or established, until I attained the idea that the Being whom Watts denominated the human soul, was truly the Son of God; the same whom Paul calls "the Lord from Heaven:" I Cor.xv, 47.--"The second man is the Lord from heaven."--


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That the scripture no where speaks of Christ having or taking any other soul. John vi, 38, "I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me." Heb.x, 5, "Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, sacrifice and offering thou wouldst not, but a body hast thou prepared me." The doctrine, that the Son of God, the Lord from heaven, became united to a human body, so as to be the soul of that body, and the man Christ Jesus, may be offensive to some good people; but I beg their candid attention to the scriptures, in proof of this point. Heb. ii. 14, "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also, himself, took part of the same, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil." Rom. ix. 5, "Whose are the Fathers's, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen." Rom. i, 3, 4, "Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead." From the connection of the above quotations, we may see that Jesus is spoken of in his highest character. "He took part of the same, that through death, (that is flesh and blood,) that he might be capable of suffering and dying."--"The seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power," &c. Hence it is easy to understand II Cor. viii. ix, "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich yet for your sake he became poor, that ye


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through his poverty might become rich." The eternal unchangeable God did not become poor; the child Jesus was born in poverty, consequently could not become poor. But to show more clearly how the son of God became poor, I will cite the following scriptures. Heb. i. 1, 2, 3, "God who at sundry times and divers manners spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds, who being the brightness of his glory and the express image of his person, when he had, by himself, purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high. Col. i. 15, 16, "Who is the image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature. For by him were all things created that are in heaven and in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him and for him." These words, "created by him and for him" are synonymous with those in Hebrews, "whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds." An inheritance is a patrimony which descends from an ancestor to a legal or an appointed heir. A father may accumulate great wealth by the agency or instrumentality of his son, and the son may finally receive the estate by heirship and be very rich, but he did not previously possess it in his own right.--Thus it appears Jesus was rich.

        "The image of the invisible God." These words are synonymous with "the express image of his person." The image of a person is not, cannot be, the


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person himself. "Adam begat a son in his own likeness, after his image." Yet Seth was not the first man Adam.

        In the next member of the sentence we see how he became poor. "When he had, by himself, purged our sins." The same person who was thus glorious and rich, became a sacrifice, shed his blood on a cross to purge away our sins, "by himself," not by another, a true body and a reasonable soul mysteriously united to him. And the same person is again rich. "Sat down on the right hand of the magesty on high." That which is written Phil. ii. 6 to 11, is so much in point that I will insert it here:--"Who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men and being found in fashion as a man he humbled himself and become obedient unto death, even the death of the cross; wherefore God also hath highly exalted him and given a name which is above every name," &c.

        The phrase, "Form of God," is tantamount to, "Image of God," in Hebrews and Col. "Equal to God," Dr. Doddridge a Trinitarian translates, "as God;" at any rate, the same god-like glorious person being found in fashion as a man, humbled himself and become obedient unto death." Wherfore God also hath highly exalted him," the same identical person. Surely all this cannot in any proper sense be applicable to the eternal God, neither can it be applicable to what Trinitarians term; the manhood or human nature of Christ. Because he hath given him a name


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which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, &c. But Jesus was exalted as a reward for his fidelity, and in answer to his Prayer John xvii, 4, 5. "I have glorified thee on the earth, I have finished the work, thou gavest me to do, and now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." Surely the person who thus prayed had a glory before the world was, of which he was divested. But according to the trinitarian theory. The Son as God never was divested of his glory, and as man, he did not exist, before he was conceived and born of Mary. But to proceed Heb. i, 4. Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. This will not apply to the eternal God, for he never was "made better." From v, 5, we learn that the more excellent name, which he obtained by inheritance, was Son.--"For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son this day have I begotten thee," which proves that there is a divine dignity, a godlike superiority to other intelligent beings, attached to the name "Son of God. To prove this more fully, when he was brought into the world, and made in the likeness of men, all the angels of God were commanded to worship him, as appears from v, 6.*

        * Worship, is homage or reverence to a person of superior character or dignity. David was worshiped as king, 1, Chron. 29' 20, Jesus was worshiped as the son of God, Mat. 14, 33. Then they that were in the ship, came and worshiped him, saying, "Of a truth, thou art the Son of God."


and farther to exhibit his divine and glorious character, it is written v, 8, 9. 'But unto the Son he saith, thy throne, O God, is forever and ever, a sceptre of righteousness, is the
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sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity, therefore God even thy God hath anointed thee, with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.' Which shews that he not only obtained by inheritance, the more excellent name, Son, but the name of his Father, GOD. This text is taken to prove his supreme deity, but it shows that he had a God over him who anointed him, above his fellows; which I understand to be the angels who are mentioned in the context. For if by 'his fellows' is meant the Father and the Holy Ghost (as some suppose,) Then the Father must have anointed him with the Holy Spirit, above them both. Moreover; as there is one supreme God, who is a Spirit uncompounded and undivided. If the Son is the supreme God. The Father is the same God, then it would appear; that God anointed himself in the person of the Son, with himself in the person of the Holy Ghost. But the name or title God is sometimes given to men in scripture Ex. 7, 1, 22, 28, Ps. 82, 6. Therefore though the Son is entitled to divine honors and titles, and is far superior to angels and all created intelligences; yet he testifies John 14, 28. My Father is greater than I, and when I simply believe his testimony; that he is the Son of God. That God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, &c. That he spared not his own Son but delivered him up for us all. That the Son willingly undertook, as he saith, "I delight to do thy will O God." I think I can understand the anointing and see a beauty and consistency in the Gospel.


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        I shall adduce a few texts, to place the subject in a clear point of light. Isai. 61, 1. The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach good tidings to the meek, &c. John 3, 34.--For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. Mat. 3, 16, 17. And lo the heavens were opened unto him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon him; and lo a voice from heaven saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. To view the man Christ Jesus, as a human soul and body, which never sustained a more dignified character or preexistent state. I cannot understand his language. "What and if ye shall see the son of man ascend up where he was before," or his prayer. Father glorify thou me, &c.--John 17, 3." But when I view him as Gods own beloved son who was in the bosom of the Father, before man was formed or angels made, and see him descending from the bright relms of Glory, to this dark domain of sin and death. To illuminate a benighted world, and bring, and proclaim salvation full and free to countless millions. My soul is won, my heart is warmed by love divine. "We love him because he first loved us." But again when I view him bearing his cross, sacrificing his life, for our redemption; rising from the dead, ascending as he said, "To my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." I can join the song of the redeemed, whom John in vision saw, and heard saying; "Worthy is the lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, and wisdom and honor and glory and blessing." It appears


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that the revelation, of which the words last quoted, is a part, was given to Jesus after his ascension. The book commences, as follows: The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, &c. He appeared to John. But though John says, "I saw one like unto the son of man, yet his appearance was so glorious that he fell at his feet as dead," and to remove all fear, Jesus said, "I am he that liveth and was dead, and behold I am alive forevermore, and have keys of hell and of death." This shows that the same person who died on the cross, is the glorified powerful son of God. He has the keys. By his tremendous voice he'll raise the dead; and in god-like magesty appear to judge the world. Hear the language of the angel to the men of Galilee. "Why stand ye gazing up into heaven: this same Jesus which is taken up into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." Acts 17, 31. Because he hath appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained, whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. By Jesus Christ God made the worlds; by him he upholds all things; by him he governs and rules over all; by him he saves sinners, and by him he will judge the world. To this point, see 1, Cor. 8, 6, "But to us there is but one God the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things and we by him." The one supreme God, is the Father, the head, the infinite source of all things; and one Lord Jesus Christ, the agent or medium by whom are all things. Jesus


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now administers the kingdom: but it appears that hi administration will terminate, 1 Cor. 15, 24. "Then cometh the end when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father, &c.--v. 28, and when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all." The son is contra-distinguished, being subject to God, who is all in all. Consequently the Father alone is supreme God.

        Some may desire to understand more definitely whether I believe that the Son of God, the Lord from heaven did suffer death? I answer. His spirit or soul inhabiting that body which was prepared for him, participated in all its toils and sufferings, as truly as our souls participate with our bodies. "His soul was exceeding sorrowful even unto death." He was tempted in all points like as we are. "For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he knoweth how to succor them that are tempted."

        Agreeably to the trinitarian plan, the human nature only suffered, of course they must look to the man Christ Jesus for succor. Whereas I look to him; "who is made higher than the heavens." "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost, that come unto God by him seeing, he ever liveth to make intercession for them." But I will solicit the candid and friendly attention of my presbyterian brethren, while I proceed to make some farther comparison of their views with my own, and I hope if I can show that mine contributes most to the honor and dignity of the Savior, their fearful apprehensions will subside, and they will give the subject a fair examination.


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        You Presbyterians (I might add Methodists and others,) believe there is one living and true God. In this we agree. You believe there are three persons in the Godhead God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost; and that each is the infinite God. Consequently I infer that each must be the same identical being, only distinguished by different names or titles. For there is one God, who is a spirit, and there can be but one infinity. I believe that God is one person, and that his Son is the image of his person, but not the same God. Heb. i. 1, 2, 3, God spake by his son, who is the express image of his person." You believe that God so loved the world that He ordained and sent His Son' and that the Son willingly undertook to be the Savior of sinners. In this we agree; but according to your plan, I can understand it in no other way than that God sent Himself, and that Himself willingly undertook because the Father and Son is one God, the same identical being. You believe that to accomplish the work of redemption, the Son took to himself a true body and reasonable soul. That as God he could not suffer, but did sustain the human nature to bear the wrath of God. I believe that the Son took to Himself a body which God prepared him, that He was capable of suffering, and did pass through death to accomplish man's redemption.

        Now I view your plan as a great depreciation of the Savior's Iove; because God the Son who willingly undertook was happy and glorious in Heaven during the whole scene of suffering, and the human nature which did suffer, and was sustained to bear the wrath of God, was brought into being for that express purpose


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without his previous knowledge or consent. But to proceed, God raised him from the dead, and made rhe same Jesus that was crucified both Lord and Christ. It is plain, from Phil. ii., that the same person who humbled himself and became obedient to death is highly exalted, that God hath given him a name which is above every name, &c. He is the Lamb that was slain. The saints in glory ascribe "salvation to God who sitteth on the throne and to the Lamb." John heard them "saying blessing and honor and glory and power be unto him that sitteth on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever."

        You believe that the human nature alone was the Lamb slain. But I confess I do not know what station you assign to the human nature in Heaven. I believe the Lamb that was slain is God's first begotten whom all the angels of God were commanded to worship, to whom all power was given in Heaven and earth: who is far greater and more glorious than all other beings in the universe, except him who is "all in all." Yet I believe his testimony, John xiv. 28, "My Father is greater than I." But still you may conceive that your scheme contributes most to honor and dignify the Savior who died, because he was united with God in the second person in the trinity. I believe that "in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;" yet that the God who was in Christ was the Father himself, Jesus says, "The Father that dwelleth in me he doeth the works." The man Christ Jesus never speaks of, nor addresses, nor claims union with God in any person but the Father.

        Now brethren if I cannot convince you that my


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views are right and they contribute most to the honor and dignity of the savior, let me exhort you to have charity and forbearance. I know I believe in the Lord Jesus Chirst, and I understand his word just as well as I can; and I do not believe he requires any more of me. I believe that he is the Son of God. Thus the Father testified: "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." Thus Peter testified; "Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God." Thus John testified. ' "These are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God." This he himself testified and never made a higher claim. "Say ye of him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world, thou blasphemest because I said I am the Son of God." On that ground he was accused by the Jews and condemned and put to death.

        "And when the centurion, and they that were with him watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and the things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, "Truly this is the Son of God." The whole of the New Testament was predicated on this truth, as the chief corner-stone, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God; and I am ready to think that the time will come when it will be a matter of wonder that it ever was necessary to use arguments to prove that Jesus Christ is not that God, whose Son he is. His enemies, the Jews, never accused him with saying he was God; but that God was his Father--from which they inferred that he made himself equal with God. They also charged him with assuming a power, by forgiving sins, which was the prerogative of God. His answer as recorded, John v. 19 to 30, places this matter in a very clear point of light.


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        In the first place he denies the allegation that he made himself equal with God, saying "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do." He then proceeds, unequivocally, to sustain the dignity of his character and office, and to claim the honor to which he was entitled as the ambassador of God to mankind; verse 22, "For the Father judgeth no man but hath committed all judgment to the Son, that all men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son, honoreth not the Father which sent him." Hence some conclude that he is God equal with the Father, self-existent and independent. But he proceeds to explain the matter more fully verses 26 and 27, "For as the Father hath life in himself so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man." John vi. 57, is to the same purpose:

        "As the living Father hath sent me and I live by the Father, so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me." Finally, after declaring his power and authority to raise the dead and judge the world, he concludes, verse 30, "I can of my ownself do nothing, as I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will, but the will of him that sent me." All authority, all power is given to him in heaven and earth. But that which was given was received, and not previously and independently posessed. He is the "one mediator between God and men," the medium of all manifestations, communications, and revelations from God. By him alone we have access to God; John xiv. 6, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no man cometh to the Father but by me."



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        Now, brethren, if after all that I have said you should adhere to your system and continue in the faith, that Jesus Christ is very and eternal God, I judge you not.

        I know there are some scriptures on which you rely that I have not noticed. I thought it unnecessary, because they have been explained by others, viz. Stone, Kinkade, Worcester, &c.

        I have never condemned you for believing the doctrine of the Trinity, but I have blamed some of your leaders for a course of procedure which appeared to me to be unfair and unchristian, viz. they give a distorted view of our doctrine' and in proof of their own, they use detached portions of scripture, and leave out of view their proper connection, and frequently seem to depend more on reproachful epithets than on solid arguments. It is much easier to cry out heretic, Socinian, Unitarian, &c. than to answer scriptural arguments.

        You believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. I believe he is the Son of God, but cannot believe there ever was a son who had not a predecessor. Your views appear as inconsistent and unscriptural to me as mine can do to you. But if we both prove that we love him by keeping his commandments, are we not brethren? Then "let us walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called, with all lowliness and meekness, forbearing one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

        In my former treatise, page 12, I stated that "On the doctrine of Atonement, imputation and vicarious suffering, I labored longer and experienced greater


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difficulty, than on any other subject." In this essay I shall give some explanation on those points, and state some particulars to show how I have been led, and how I have attained my present views.

        I had been early taught and always believed that Jesus died to satisfy the law and justice of God, in the room and stead of sinners, and (as far as I recollect) never had a thought to the reverse, till some time after I had engaged in preaching the gospel; being in conversation with John Thompson he introduced the subject, and advanced some arguments against the doctrine. My surprise was excited. and I suppose that had it not been for my undeviating confidence in him as a wise and good man, I should have rejected his new doctrine, without farther examination, as being subversive of all true religion. Immediately afterward we met in conference or presbytery. Marshall, McNamer, Stone and a few others were present, and we conversed freely on the subject.--Thompson and McNamar alone had embraced the scheme of pardon and salvation without payment or satisfaction; and they had not matured it so as to exhibit it with clearness and obviate objections. To the rest of us it was new and strange.

        After considerable conversation and reflection, I thought I discovered a beauty and glory in the scheme, and thus expressed myself, "I never saw the grace of God entirely free before."

        Stone did not appear to be moved from his old ground. He and I returned home, we resided in the same neighborhood. I read and studied some on the subject, and his whole mind was absorbed in it, so


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that he soon outwent me; but we were both for awhile on the reserve. Finally he came out in a sermon, on the last day of a communion meeting at Concord. His text was Rev. v. 9, "And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God, by thy blood, out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation."

        My mind was prepared for the sermon, and the subject was presented to my understanding with such clearness and simplicity, that, notwithstanding more than thirty years have clapsed, I think I can give the reader, in general, a correct view of it.

        1. By sin and iniquity man is alienated and far from God.--Isaiah lix. 2.

        2. The main design of Christ's death was man's restoration to union and fellowship with his Maker: to effect reconciliation, the change was requisite in man not in God. "Thou hast redeemed us to God."

        3. What sinners are redeemed from:--Erom all iniquity; Titus ii. 14. From your vain conversation; I. Peter i. 18. From the curse of the law; Gal. iii. 13. From the rigor of the Mosaic law, moreover, by faith in the Lord Jesus, the sinner obtains redemption in his blood, the forgiveness of sins--receives the Holy Spirit--brings forth the fruits of the Spirit--against such there is no law; Gal. v. 23. From the power of the devil; Heb. ii. 14, 15--and finally from death and the grave; Hos. xiii. 14.

        These different points he elucidated and proved, and christians appeared "gladly to receive his word." Though I thought few perceived that it would upset


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their scheme of vicarious atonement, for he said nothing directly on that point.

        After that time I rested measurably easy, perhaps too much so; I was satisfied as to the truth of the doctrine and preached consistently therewith, but did not make it a particular subject of sermonizing, nor take a great deal of pains in the examination of it.

        After some time I took a journey into North Carolina. In my absence, Stone published his letters on the Atonement. They were met by violent opposition, but after my return I took little share in the controversy. I concluded that as Stone had ventured into the field, if he was "contending earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints," that trusting in the Lord he would be enabled to defend it.

        So matters went on, till I removed from Kentucky to the State of Ohio in the year 1807. Prior to that time the Shakers had entered in, "grievous wolves--not sparing the flock."

        At their coming, there were but three of the old established preachers in the State of Ohio, viz: McNamar, Dunlavy and Thomson; the two former joined the Shakers. Thomson withstood them, and the Lord being his helper, he led the church through the fire. He was universally beloved and esteemed by the brethren. Indeed the language of Paul II Cor xi. 28, "That which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches," might in some sense have been applicable to John Thompson.

        There were some other younger preachers among us, but we all looked up to him as our foreman. I had deviated from his course respecting baptism, but


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we continued in the habits of intimacy and the most friendly intercourse. We preached consistently with the scheme of Atonement lately embraced, but did not enter into an investigation so as even to bring into view the particular points of controversy. It may be said we neither taught the people, nor advanced ourselves, on that subject.

        At length, during a meeting on Cotton Run, Thomson introduced the subject to me in private conversation, and said he believed we had erred respecting the Atonement of Christ. My attention was awakened. I realized the importance of the subject, and was ready to hear all he had to say. He advanced arguments in favor of vicarious or penal sufferings, and the effect was to bring me into serious doubts and difficulties.

        After my return home I engaged in a review of the doctrine. I had some Presbyterian books, in particular their Confession of Faith. I was willing to learn from them. I examined their explanation of the doctrine, and their proofs. But I had objections which to me appeared insurmountable. I will state a few.

        1. If Christ was accepted as a substitute or surety, and did fully discharge the debt, and make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to law and justice, in the room and stead of Adam and his posterity, they must all be free from guilt, on legal principles, there remained no place for forgiveness. The law, being satisfied, could have no further demand. Adam would not have been subject even to temporal death or exclusion from paradise.


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        2. Throughout the whole Bible, forgiveness is never predicated on the ground of payment or satisfaction, but on mercy. Mat. xviii. 27, "Then the Lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt." Luke vii.42, "And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both." Also, Mat. vi. 12, Col. iii. 13.

        Notwithstanding my objections, yet from several expressions in scripture, such as, "he died for our sins"--"He is the propitiation for our sins"--"Without shedding of blood, there is no remission," &c. I concluded that he did, in some sense, answer the demands of God's righteous law, so that his justice might be clearly exhibited in the punishment of sin; "That he might be just and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus."

        Under these impressions I went to a general meeting of the preachers in conference. There the subject was freely discussed. Marshal, Thompson, and Hugh Andrews were in the satisfaction scheme.--Stone was steadfast on the opposite side. I and some others were halting between two opinions, but all appeared to realize the importance of the subject, and to desire that it should be thoroughly examined and rightly understood. Finally it was agreed to appoint another meeting of conference, and that, in the interim, Marshall, Thomson, Stone, Andrews and I should severally write on the subject, and at our next meeting read and compare our views, and farther consider the subject. We who had been appointed to write, agreed to meet at Knob Prairie in Ohio, to have a private interview previous to the general


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meeting. We met accordingly, (except Stone.) We read and talked and examined, but my difficulties remained. That meeting took place shortly before the annual session of the General Assembly of Ohio, of which I was a member. I concluded that during the session I would devote my leisure hours (particularly on Sundays) to the examination of the subject, which I did by diligently and prayerfully searching the Scriptures. But I could not get the light I wanted to satisfy my mind. I concluded that when I returned home, I would go on to preach as well as I could, and on the subject of the Atonement I would simply quote the scripture and give no explanations.

        I commenced, but I was measurably in darkness and under a spirit of bondage and could not preach with liberty and comfort in my own soul, nor much profit to my hearers. My wife observed that I was not even free and cheerful in conversation, and inquired the cause. I told her the whole matter. She said she believed we had been going on right, and that I had gone back into darkness and bondage.

        Ere long my mind rested on the promise, Psalm 50. 15, "Call upon me, in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me." The word suited my case, for I was in trouble. I had been under the impression that there was something penal pertaining to the sufferings of Christ, and I had read and prayed to God to give me a right understanding of it. But now I prayed on this wise. "O God, deliver me from my trouble; set my soul at liberty, in any way and by whatever means thou seest right."

        Soon after, in reading the 16th chapter of Leviticus,


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I began to see the light. The quotation of a few verses may suffice at present;--verses 19 and 20,--"And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it and hallow it, from the uncleanness of the children of Israel. And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place," &c. Verse 30, "For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord."--I found the same thing in substance in other parts of the book of Leviticus, as xiv. 20, 53, xii. 7. 8.

        I saw satisfactorily that the design of the sacrifices of atonement under the law was to purify and thus reconcile to God. That they were never offered as substitutes for sinners, or designed to remove guilt or moral pollution.

        By reference to the epistle to the Hebrews I discovered clearly that the blood of sacrifices offered under the law, prefigured the blood of Christ which was designed (and which alone could avail) to cleanse from sin, Heb. 9, 13, 14. For if the blood of bulls and of goats and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ who through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Also, v. 22, 23. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood, and without sheding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves, with better sacrifices than these. See also Ch


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10, 4--10, "I saw that God was good, that his name was Holy, and that sin was the barrier between him and his creature man; and that Christ had died to remove it, "To put away sin, by the sacrifice of himself." "That he died for us, the just for the unjust to bring us to God;" Not God to us. The scripture nowhere speaks of Christ's reconciling his father to us, but "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself."

        After I attained this view of the subject, my way appeared to be open; and I progressed to other particulars which I may state in the sequel. And it appeared to me the reason why I could learn nothing by reading and praying while I was on the contrary plan, was; because I was searching for something that was not in the book.

        The time appointed for the assembling in conference, drew nigh, and I had been so long on the back track, that I had not time to write. The place of meeting was Mount Tabor, in Kentucky. I set out and on my way, thither, I met with Richard Clark; we traveled together and called on Bro. Marshall and tarried for a night, he read to us what he had written for conference. I advanced some arguments against his views; I thought he was at a loss for answers, and finally he said abruptly; "I am determined to abide in this Doctrine as long as I live." So we dropped the subject. Being assembled in conference, Marshall, Thompson, Andrews and Stone read what they had written, the three former in support of the scheme of satisfaction, and Stone on the opposite side. I apologised for not having written and asked the


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privilege to communicate my views orally, which was granted. The Lord being my helper, I spoke with ease and clearness. Several brethren said it was more satisfactory and had a greater effect than all that had been written and read. Marshall and Thompson having adhered to their views, soon after published a pamphlet, in which they represented the brethren and the church generally in a very opprobrious light; and as being in a state of anarchy, and stated respecting me, that at our private meeting at Knob Prairie, I was fully in their views, and at the conference last mentioned I was decidedly with Stone. I thought they might have known from several things which passed that I was not fully in their views; one circumstance I will state. We held a public meeting at Knob Prairie. Marshall administered the ordinance of the supper, he selected and read to be sung, a hymn containing the following lines:


                         "And Justice poured upon his head,
                         Its heavy vengeance in our stead!"

        I mentioned it in our private meeting, and said I could not sing those lines. Thompson said "I believe it is the truth."

        Richard Clark was present and replied, "you have stronger faith than me."

        When I read their pamphlet, I proceeded forthwith to write in order to prepare an antidote or answer, which I had printed and in circulation in a very short time. But I neither named nor noticed what they had said respecting me individually; that was of minor importance to the public. My aim was to rally the people, to show them that the foundation was


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sure; that Jesus was their leader, their king and law-giver; and that his law was perfect, and adequate to the government of his kingdom. It was the aim of Marshall and Thompson to abolish the christian church (so called,) they suggested in private conversation, that we had become so diversified, we had better dissolve, and scatter to the different sects, as we could be best suited. And it is remarkable that they effected so little: Surely the hand of the Lord was not with them. In Ohio, Thompson had been the leading preacher, and he was yet beloved and respected among us. I was the only preacher of much experience and age belonging to the christian church in this country. He commenced sounding a retreat, and endeavoring to establish the presbyterian system of doctrine. But it was generally remarked, that he did not preach with life and power as formerly.

        With a degree of reluctance and of necessity, I sometimes withstood him to the face. On a certain occasion, after he and I had both preached; a dear little woman (who had often been fed and blest under his ministry,) appeared to be mourning for him. She observed with doleful tone, "He has lost his hair." And so it appeared, "he had become weak and as another man." And though I still esteemed him as my superior; I found little difficulty in maintaining the truth, as I believed.

        I shall now proceed to state some further particulars which resulted to my mind, as I progressed in the investigation of the subject of atonement.

        It appears to me that in consequence of being educated in the Calvinistic system, I had a bias or prepossession


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of mind, which it was hard to remove, and that I had received an erroneous idea as to the meaning of certain terms, viz:--Sacrifice, Atonement, Propitiation, &c.; as though they were designed to affect God, to expiate or appease wrath or render him propitious. Whereas I am convinced that though the offerings were made to God, i, e, in obedience to his requirements, they were designed to affect us, that we might be acceptable and reconciled to him. Any thing done, or devoted to God, according to his will, is denominated a sacrifice, as, "the sacrifices of righteousness?" "of praise," of "thanksgiving," "a broken spirit" and "present your bodies a living sacrifice, Rom. 12, 1. The word "atonement," is only to be found in the new testament, Rom. 5, 11.--"We have now received the atonement."

        Respecting the term, "Propitiation;" I shall be somewhat particular. Rom. 3, 25, 26. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness, for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. To declare I say at this time his righteousness, that he might be just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.

        Let us particularly observe the phrase; "to be a propitiation through faith in his blood." He becomes so by faith. Now I understand, that a sinner who believes with the heart unto righteousness, is propitiated, reconciled to God, who was always propitious and therefore sent forth his Son, &c. The believer receives the righteousness of God as declared; his past sins are remitted. Yet God is just, he neither connives


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at sin nor dispenses with his law; yet he justifies the believer, who obtains redemption in the blood of Jesus, and receives that love which is the fulfilling of the law. And ascribes his whole salvation to free, unbought, unmerited grace.

        It seems that men are prone to view God as "an austere man;" as though his favor must be bought and his wrath appeased. Micah. 6, 7, 8, "Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,--Shall I give my first-born for my transgression:--He hath shewed thee O man what is good, and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly and love mercy and walk humbly with thy God." Read also Ps. 50, 8 to 15. He has no need of us, we can neither injure nor profit him. Of his own free favor he has ordained means to make us good and happy. And nothing short of this; not even all that Christ has suffered can satisfy the law or appease his wrath in behalf of the sinner while in sin. His wrath abides upon him, John 3, 36.

        So many different plans have been adopted by those who believe in the vicarious sufferings of Christ, that I shall not notice any one in particular, but treat the subject generally. Because it appears to me that the divine government never was established nor administered on the principle of substitution. I have found but one case in the bible where death took place on that principle, Gen. 22, 13. "And Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son." Consequently Isaac's life was spared; and it appears to me if Christ had in like manner been offered up in the


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stead of Adam and his sons they would not have been subject to death. But we will attend to particulars.

        All we know specifically respecting the law which was given to Adam is written Gen. 2, 16, 17. And the penalty annexed is death. "Thou shalt surely die." The language is definite and certain; it admits of no proxy. Let who will live or die, Adam shall surely die; and any other construction would seem to favor the language of the adversary. "Ye shall not surely die." But it is not said, "thou shalt die without remedy or beyond the possibility of being restored to life again." To learn the extent of the death threatened, we must attend to the result. And we find that as soon as they had eaten, a great change ensued. They became carnal, wanted clothing, were ashamed and afraid. They were alienated from God and sought to hide themselves from his presence.--This may be called spiritual death, for "To be carnally minded is death." Moreover they became subject to disease and pain and toil, and their bodies must return to the dust. It seems idle to talk of a proxy bearing the penalty in the room and stead of Adam, for he has borne it himself according to the true intent and meaning of the law. And as his posterity were seminaly in him, they are under the same condemnation of death as respects the body, Rom. 5, 12. Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, so death passed upon all men for that all have sinned, 13. "For until the law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law." From this as well as many other scriptures, I think we may learn that Adam's posterity are under


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the sentence of death and experience other evils on account of his sin, but his sin is not imputed, so that they are held accountable. In that sense, "The son shall not die for the iniquity of the father." "Every one must give an account of himself to God." Moreover that the change or mortality which has passed upon the body has a baneful influence upon the mind.

        "Fleshly lusts war against the soul." So that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. And the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men;" and "The wages of sin is death." "The soul that sinneth it shall die."

        Now if our sins were imputed to Christ, and he answered the full demand of the law, why does it remain in full charge against the sinner? Christ did not die a spiritual death, for that is enmity against God. He did not suffer eternal death, for he now lives forevermore. But it is said he suffered an equivalent, bearing the wrath of God for us. If the scripture said so, I should be bound to believe it. Wrath signifies anger, displeasure, hatred or fury. But Jesus says, "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life that I might take it again," John x. 17. He speaks frequently of his Father's love; but never of bearing his wrath or displeasure.

        I recollect once to have heard a preacher, (of good and respectable standing) expatiating on the sufferings of Christ, he first represented what he endured from the hands of men, in lucid and pathetic language, and added: "All this was light when compared with what he suffered from the sword of his Father's


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justice, which was plunged into his sacred bowels." Now we inquire.--Were all these sufferings in our stead, to satisfy law and justice? If so, it would appear that wicked men, were employed in executing the righteous sentence of the law; but not being able to inflict the penalty to its full extent; his Father gave the finishing stroke, and punished him more than they all. But if God alone did take vengeance and execute the penalty of the law, why did he deliver his Son to the buffetings of satan, and the cruelties and indignities which he endured from wicked men?--Were these extraneous, or sufferings of supererogation? Were they not beyond the requirements of, (and even repugnant to,) law and justice?

        Again, I have heard it argued, that he bore the wrath of God; because he expired suddenly, and before those who were crucified with him; so that Pilate marvelled. Hence, it would appear that he received the death blow, from his Father's vindictive hand, and that the Jews had not actually slain him.--Whereas the spirit of God charges them with the murder. "Whom ye have taken and with wicked hands have crucified and slain." Jesus never complained of any suffering or punishment directly from God. True, it is written, Zech. xiii, 7; "Awake O sword, against my shepherd, against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts, smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered." But from Ps. xvii, 13, we learn that wicked men is the sword, and he was delivered into their hands, by the determinate council and foreknowledge of God, that he might die for man's redemption. Jesus willingly undertook


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the glorious work, Heb. x, 5; "Sacrifice and offering thou wouldst not, but a body hast thou prepared me. Lo I come to do thy will O God." When his disciples were ready to defend him against those who came to apprehend him, he taught them that it was unnecessary, Mat. xxvi, 53, "Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels, John xviii, 11; "The cup that my Father hath given me shall I not drink it?" From Matt. xx, 23; we learn that his disciples should drink of the same cup. He prayed earnestly, and there appeared an angel from heaven strengthening him, Luke xxii, 42; "For the joy that was set before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Heb. xii, 2; "He cried aloud: my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me:" Matt. xxii, 46. Luke adds, "Father into thy hands I commend my spirit, and having said this he gave up the ghost." Forsaken me, we find explained, Ps.xxii, 1; "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?--Why art thou so far from helping me?" He was left to combat the powers of darkness, and to meet death in his most terrific form. Yet throughout the whole history there is not an intimation that he endured punishment directly from God or bore his wrath.

        To shew this (if possible,) more clearly, I will quote a few verses farther from Ps. xxii, 15--20; "Thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me, the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me; they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones; they look and stare upon me;


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they part my garments among them and cast lots upon my vesture. But be not thou far from me O Lord! O my strength haste thee to help me. Deliver my soul from the sword--my darling from the power of the dog." Read also Isaiah 1. 5, 10; after his resurrection from the dead, he did not even give a hint respecting law and justice being satisfied in the room and stead of sinners; nor did he teach or instruct his Apostles, his witnesses to preach the doctrine. Now if this doctrine is essential and [as some suppose] the foundation of true religion, we might expect to find it in explicit terms somewhere in the bible. But what do we hear? Luke xxiv, 45; "Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them: thus it is written and thus it behooved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem, and ye are witnesses of these things.

        It seems to me that the plan of vicarious sufferings is based on false premises. viz: That the law or government of God admits of no pardon: the penalty must be paid, to the uttermost farthing, the law is inexorable, like that of the Medes and Persians which bound the hands of the King so that he could not deliver Daniel, though he desired it and knew it was right. In every good government, human or divine, there is mercy as well as justice; pardon as well as punishment; and both imply transgression of the law, and no good government will punish the innocent instead of the guilty.


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        For illustration. Suppose that a highly respectable citizen, an intimate friend of the President of the United States has two sons, who are inimical to our government, and have engaged in a conspiracy to destroy the life of the President. The plot is discovered, they are tried and condemned by the law, and sentenced to confinement in the penitentiary during life. A petition is presented to the President for a reprieve. He answers, "I have no pleasure in taking vengeance, but every principle of our government forbids me to release them, until I have sufficient evidence that they are reformed and reconciled to me and to the government. Their father intercedes, and finally offers himself as their substitute that they may he released. It would be strange indeed, replies the President, "to release enemies, and receive them into the bosom of our government, and punish a friend, a worthy citizen in their room and stead. No, dear sir, if you hope for their release, labor with them, convince them of the enormity of their crime, reform them, that they may honor and obey the law and be prepared to enjoy the privileges of citizens.

        Mankind are taken captive by the Devil, they are bound as prisoners, and in bondage through fear of death. Yea they are dead in tresspasses and sins; the proper inquiry is,--Has God bound himself by his word, his truth, or any principle of his government, or attribute of his nature, that he cannot consistently interpose for man's redemption and recovery, and extend mercy and free pardon to sinners? I answer, No. Soon, very soon after the fatal disaster took place in the garden of Eden, the God of all grace revealed


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his purpose to raise up a deliverer, and break the tempter's fatal power. No sound principle, not even stern justice countermands the exercise of mercy and forgiveness to those who are proper subjects thereof, and pardon is an act of grace, the penalty or debt is remitted not paid. Gen. iii. 15, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed, it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." I understand the woman's seed, to be the same which was again promised to Abraham, and which the Apostle says was Christ. Gal. iii. 16.

        Bruising the head of the serpent, I understand to be of the same import with the words. John iii, 8, "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil." To accomplish this important end, the Son of God became the seed of the woman. "Forasmuch as the children were partakers of flesh and blood, he himself likewise took part of the same, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil, and deliver them who through fear of death were all their life-time subject to bondage." He did not "take part of the same, that through death" he might exempt or save them from dying, for they were already under the power of death, but that he might deliver them from death and bondage, by restoring them to life and liberty.

        This subject is placed in a clear light by the Apostle 1. John iv. 9, "In this was manifested the love of God towards us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through


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him." After the advent of the Son he taught the same doctrine. "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish but have everlasting life." Man has destroyed himself; but God hath said, "In me is thy help," and again, "I have laid help upon one that is mighty." "His own arm hath brought salvation." Of his own free good will, unbought, unsough, unmerited favor, he hath given his Son, he hath sent him to be the Savior of the world. And "He that spared not his own Son but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things." All is of grace, and "It is of faith that it might be by grace." "Not of works, lest any man should boast." For we are his workmanship, created in Christ unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Good works are requisite, but we must be in Christ in order to walk in them, for "without me ye can do nothing." And "he gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works." "It pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell." "And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace." "He came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance." They are required to believe in him, and receive freely all things that pertain to life and godliness. "I am the resurrection and the life, he that believeth in me though he were dead yet shall he live." "But as many as received him to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe in his name."


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        I cannot find that in the gospel scheme of salvation there is the semblance of payment to or purchase from God, and I shall proceed to show that the terms, ransom, price and redemption are used in scripture in reference to a deliverence by rescue and conquest, and not by an equivalent paid. Jer. xxxi. 11, "For the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he."--Prov. xxi. 18, "The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous." Isaiah xlii. 3, "I give Epypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee." Hosea xiii. 14, "I will ransom them from the power of the grave, I will redeem them from death. O death, I will be thy plagues! O grave, I will be thy destruction!" I. Cor. vi. 20, "Ye are bought with a price." I. Cor. vii. 23. I. Tim. ii. 6; Ex. vi. 6; II. Sam. vii. 23; Ps. cxxxvi. 24. The Messiah also is represented as a deliverer. Isaiah xlii, 6 and 7, "I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thy hand and will keep thee, and give thee for a convent of the people, for a light to the Gentiles. To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house." Isai. Ixi. 1, "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings to the meek, he hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound." Rom. vii. 24 a 25, "Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord."

        Here let me observe, that at first view, Chap. 53, of Isaiah may appear to give the idea that God did directly


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punish his Son, and that he suffered in our room and stead. But on a fair examination, I think it decidedly proves the reverse. Verse 4, "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted."

        The following explanation of this prophecy is given. Mat. viii. 16 and 17, "When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils, and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, himself took our infirmities and bear our sicknesses." Which proves that he bore our griefs and sorrows to deliver us from them. "Yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted."--This was an error. Verse 5, "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for iniquities, the chastisements of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed"--which shows that the design of his sufferings, "his stripes," was, that we might be healed, and not, as we thought, "stricken, smitten of God," &c. Verse 10 and 11, "Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him, he hath put him to grief, when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hands. He shall see of the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied," &c.

        God spared not his own Son, he delivered him up, thus he bruised him and put him to grief. But the same end is always kept in view, viz: the salvation of sinners, that a spiritual seed the travail of his soul


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might be brought forth. That thus he might justify many, and bear their iniquities. Save them from their sins.

        Another scripture which some have taken to prove the doctrine of imputed righteousness and substitution, is found Isaiah xlii. 21, "The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness sake: he will magnify the law, and make it honorable." As respects his righteousness, there is no doubt that he perfectly loved and obeyed his Father, and he acknowledges his obligation to do so. When John objected to his baptism, he said, "Suffer it to be so now, for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness." And again, he said to his disciples, "If ye keep my commandments ye shall abide in my love, as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love." From this we learn that he fulfilled all righteousness and kept the commandments for himself, and not for us in any other sense than as a pattern. "He hath left us an example that we should follow his steps." But "he is the Lord our righteousness." For an understanding of this phrase, see I Cor. i. 30, "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption." He is thus denominated, because in him God hath given us all spiritual blessings, and by faith in him we become partakers. Phil. iii. 9, "And be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith." The imputation of wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption would profit little without the possession or enjoyment of them.


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        In order to understand how Christ magnified and honored the law, it seems needful to inquire what law is meant or intended. As respects what some call "the Adamic law," none of Adam's posterity were ever under it, except as they experience the deleterious effects of the first transgression. But the law or commandment certainly terminated as to its binding force as soon as Adam was excluded from the garden, &c.

        In succeeding ages, God has given to mankind different laws or forms of government, as he saw best adapted to their then present condition. The scriptural history of the first ages of the world is very concise, we have not in detail all that God taught and commanded, or their particular form of government. We learn however that the saints lived by faith and in obedience. "By faith Enoch walked with God." By faith, Noah prepared an ark; and by faith Abraham obeyed the Lord. In the days of Moses, God gave to the nation of Israel a form of government and a code of laws distinct from the other nations, which was abolished and became extinct at the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Consequently we are not (and the Gentiles never were) under that form of government. "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder," &c., Isaiah ix. 16. "Christ is given as a leader and commander to the people," lv. 4. He is our lawgiver and king; and we are under a new dispensation or system of laws and government, entitled "The law of liberty." Moreover it appears from Rom. ii. 12, that in the final judgment men will be


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judged by the laws under which they lived respectively. "For as many as have sinned without law, shall also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law." Verse 16, "In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel."

        To answer the iniquity then as to the law which Jesus did magnify and honor. I think we must say, the Mosaie law. Because he was made under that law, (Gal. iv. 4.) and complied with its requirements, and fulfilled all that was written in the law and the prophets concerning him, Mat. v. 17. Yet whatever different requirements or forms of administration have been instituted, the divine government emanates from and centers in one fundamental principle, i. e. love. Mat. xxii. 37., "And Jesus said unto him, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy heart and with all thy mind." This is the first and great commandment, and the second is like unto it; "thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets This universal immutable law of love, Jesus has magnified and made honorable, and according to the plan of redemption through the Lord Jesus, none can be saved, but in conformity with the law. The gospel does not nullify this law, Rom. iii, 31. "Do we make void the law through faith, God forbid, yea, we establish the law." Nor does the law foreclose or countermand the exercise of mercy and free pardon, Gal. iii, 21. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid. Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. "The


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love of God is shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto them," and "love is the fulfilling of the law." "Against such there is no law." Yet mercy and pardon are exercised consistently with the principles of good government, so as to honor and not nullify the law. The hands of God never were bound by any law, so that he could not extend deliverance and free pardon to sinners who are the proper subjects thereof. Of his own free favor and infinite love he has sent his Son into the world, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison doors to them that are bound, and all who believe, and repent, and become willing subjects of his righteous government, are accepted as sons and daughters. He puts his laws in their hearts and writes them in their minds, he is merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and iniquities he remembers no more. They love God and keep his commandments, and his commandments are not grievous. They can say with the Psalmist "I hate vain thoughts, but thy law do I love." The law is satisfied and God is glorified.

        It is a doctrine of long standing, "that no man in this life can perfectly keep the commandments of God, but doth daily break them in thought, word and deed." Now it seems to me that that doctrine is calculated to sink honest souls into bondage and unbelief, and cause them to live beneath their privilege. Jesus certainly did undertake to save his people from their sins, to redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. It is the will of God even their sanctification. Being


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made free from sin, ye have your fruit unto holiness, &c. I know they are capable of sinning, but that they do of necessity sin daily, I think is an error. Because though we are weak, "our Redeeemer is strong;" and though, "Without him we can do nothing," yet saith Paul, "Through Christ which strengtheneth me, I can do all things;" and again, "Let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear." I believe that grace is sufficient for us and free to all, who live by faith and ask of God. Believers are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation; and it appears to me, dishonoring to God and to his Son, to suppose that he has given them laws which they cannot obey, and required of them the performance of duties to which their abilities are inadequate. I know it is said that "man lost his ability by sin, but God has not lost his right to command, that his law requires perfect righteousness, perfect and perpetual obedience, which man is utterly unable to render; that the law can make no abatement; it must have its demand which Jesus Christ as our surety or substitute has rendered, and that we are justified by his obedience and satisfaction imputed to us and placed to our account."--This plan does not appear to me to make the law honorable; it rather makes an excuse, or gives a license to violate the law. A person who is so inclined, will not feel much compunction for what he may deem little sins. As a professor once said to me in such a case; "I don't hold to perfection." And the plan is discouraging to those who desire to serve God acceptably; as a sister once said to me: she had


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doubted whether she ought to pray, to be sanctified wholly, and freed from all sin, inasmuch as it was not attainable in this life. Moreover, I think it not very honorable to the law, and government of the King and Lawgiver to say, that his kingdom consists of subjects who break the law daily, in thought, word and deed. And yet he accounts them all righteous, because he has obeyed the law himself, and placed his obedience to their credit, and became accountable for their sins and paid the penalty. All the laws which God has ordained for the human race, have been given to them in their fallen state, and were designed for their happiness. God had a perfect knowledge of their condition and ability, and his government is adapted to their capacity, as before stated, "Love is the fulfilling of the law." And we are not only required to love God and our neighbor, but to love our enemies, to do good to them that hate us, &c. It might possibly be gratifying to a person who has enmity in his heart against his fellowman to be told,--That though Jesus has commanded us to love God and our neighbor as ourselves, and even our enemies. Yet the requirement surpasses our ability, and that Jesus has fulfilled it himself for us, in our room and stead. But the person cannot be happy while his enmity continues. Sin is to the soul, like sickness to the body.--The soul must be delivered, made free from sin, and receive the Spirit of God; and the fruit of the Spirit is love. The living water flows spontaneously like the stream from the fountain. The commandment is not grievous, even to love his enemy; and he is happy.--He desires no abatement or modification of the law,


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nor substitute to fulfill the law of love, in his room and stead. And any diminution, as to the requirement of the law, would be a diminution of happiness, it would not be "the perfect law of liberty." It is true, sinners are in a wretched and miserable condition, "the whole head is sick and the whole heart faint." But Omnipotance has provided the remedy, and it is equal to the disease. In Christ he has given all things that pertain to life and godliness. Exceeding great and precious promises, that by these we might be partakers of the divine nature," 2 Peter i, 3, 4. By faith in Jesus in his word or testimony the soul partakes of spiritual life, and is purified or made clean. John xv, 3, "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you." Jesus said once to a leper. Luke v, 13, "I will be thou clean and immediately the leprosy departed from him." It would have done the leper little good to have been told, though your body continues to be leprous; yet I impute to you the cleanness and health of my body, therefore, I pronounce you clean. So as sin is a leprosy of the soul, when the sinner views its enormity as committed against a holy God, and cries out in the language of Paul, "O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death." It will afford him but little comfort to be told; "that all his sins were imputed to Christ, and that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to him. But he must remain in captivity to the law of sin and death while in the body." But let him believe the gospel, and obtain redemption in the blood of Jesus, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his grace, and what do we hear?--"The law of


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the spirit of life in Jesus Christ, hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin hath condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit,"--Rom. viii, 2, 3, 4. In this epistle, ch. vii, the apostle personates a character in unbelief, in bondage under the law. But when he turns to the Lord Jesus, he exhibits a very different character, and clearly shows the contrast. Read chapter 8. The gospel scheme is certainly adapted to man's helpless condition. At the same time that it requires obedience and good works, it furnishes the means and the ability. It does not require the sinner to work for life, but freely to receive life and all needful grace in Christ Jesus. That he may run in the way of God's commandments; and "blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life and enter thro' the gates into the city."

        The church of Christ is represented in the New Testament as a spiritual house, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a city set on a hill that cannot be hid.--John iii, 8, "He that committeth sin is of the devil." Verse 9, "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin." Verse 10, "In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil." The church has degenerated and fallen from her primitive light and purity: and it appears to me that the doctrine, that no man can keep the commandments of God, but doth daily break them, &c., and that we are justified and


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saved by the righteousness of Christ imputed, is calculated to prevent christians from rising and inspiring to their true character and glorious privilege.

        Independent of the grace of God we are destitute of righteousness and without strength. But "surely shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength." The people should be stimulated and encouraged to claim the promises, and to cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit and to perfect holiness in the fear of God. II. Cor. vii. 1.

        Divisions and contentions among professing christians will prevail until they attain and maintain the genuine spirit of christianity. But let the spirit of Christ rule; let them abound in love and good works. Contention will die and union succeed. I. John i. 7, "But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."

        John in a vision saw the glorified throng, 144,000 of all the tribes of Israel, and after this a great multitude that no man could number. They were not covered with a robe imputed to them. "But these are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

        It appears to me not only that the gospel as contained in the New Testament is adapted to mankind; but that the divine government in every age was perfectly good and calculated to produce the most beneficial results. Some may think that the law given by Moses, was rigorous and severe. And so far as related to the political and judicial administration


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of the government of the nation, those who were condemned according to law died without mercy.--Yet as respected a future state of retribution, pardon and life were preached in explicit terms, and I see no reason why a man who suffered the punishment of death under the law, might not, like the thief on the cross, obtain mercy. The thief was executed according to law, (and he acknowledges justly) yet his soul went to paradise. The law never was designed to give life to the soul. Those who lived by faith and obeyed the law were under its protection, and never complained that the law was rigorous, nor that they could not perform its requirements. Men were favored with the gospel long before the giving of the law; Gal. iii. 17, II Peter ii. 5. The gospel is still continued, and will be continued till the end of the world.

        The just have always lived by faith. Hab. ii. 4. And the believer receives life and strength to do whatever God commands. Heb. xi. 4, "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness, that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts." And though Cain was not accepted, yet God condescended to reason with him and manifested his good will. Gen. iv. 6 and 7, "Why art thou wroth, and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well shalt thou not be accepted?" &c. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death, and before his translation he had this testimony that he pleased God.--Heb. xi. 5, "And Enoch walked with God." Gen. v. 24, "By faith Noah being warned of God, &c., prepared


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an ark," &c. Heb. xi. 6, "Noah was a just man, and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God." Gen. vi. 9. And if we recur to the history of Abraham, we learn that having faith in God he received grace and strength to do all of God's commandments which are not grievous to that faith which worketh by love. His grace is sufficient for us, and free to those who believe, repent, and obey the gospel. Yet mercy is exercised consistently with the principles of good government, and so as to honor and not nullify the law. Rom. iii. 31. And in whatever form the gospel has been preached, under former dispensations, it is in a certain sense the gospel of Christ. Gal. iii. 17, "The covenant which was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul that it should make the promise of none effect."--Some think that the gospel scheme was introduced to answer the demands of the law, but the gospel has a long priority, and the law was added because of transgressions. Yet the law was not against the promises of God, for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. Gal. iii. 21. In that case the promises or gospel might have been abrogated. But the gospel was preached by the prophets. Peter says, "To him (Christ) give all the prophets witness." Pardon was granted on the same terms in their day as at the present. "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, let him return to the Lord, he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, he will abundantly pardon." Isaiah lv. 7.


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        Believers in that day were fervent in prayer to God, consequently they received grace and strength to do his will. They loved the law of the Lord, and obeyed his commandments, with cheerfulness and delight. Psalms x1. 1, "I waited patiently for the Lord, and he inclined unto me and heard my cry, he brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings; and he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God." Psalm cxix. 125, &c., "Give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies. It is time for thee, Lord, to work; for they have made void thy law. Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea above fine gold. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right, and I hate every false way." Surely the saints of old were ignorant of the scheme of imputed righteousness and vicarious sufferings as taught in modern times. They believed that the government of God was good, and adapted to their condition and capacity, and that in keeping his commandments there was a reward.

        When we view the characteristics of the church of God as described in the New Testament, I think we must confess that at present she is far on the back ground. Where is "the spiritual house," "the holy temple, builded together for a habitation of God thro' the Spirit.

        It appears to me that certain doctrines which have borne the stamp of orthodoxy, have a tendency to paralize the active energies of the soul, and cherish unbelief and disobedience. The scripture teaches, that without faith it is impossible to please God. But


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we have been taught that it is impossible to have faith in God, until it is infused or wrought in us by the Spirit. The scripture saith "Blessed are they that do his commandments." But we have been taught that no man can keep his commandments, but doth daily break them in thought, word, and deed, and that some who thus transgress, are justified by the righteousness of Christ imputed to them; but the scripture saith, "He that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous." Again. The scripture saith, "Be thou faithful until death, and I will give thee a crown of life." But we have been taught that the elect who are effectually called, cannot apostatize so as to be finally lost.

        The scripture saith, "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."


                         "Gospel offers but a sham we make,
                         If every sinner has not right to take."

        No obstacle should be placed in the way of sinners. They should be taught that God is in earnest, and encouraged to call upon him for mercy. "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." "But how shall they call on him in whom they have not believed." A sinner cannot, will not pray without faith. They should be taught that the testimony of God is sure, that it is attested and confirmed, "That they might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing they might have life through his name;" that God will give his Holy Spirit to those that ask him.

        Christians should be taught that "it is the will of God even our sanctification;" that his grace is all-sufficient.


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"If the Son make you free, ye shall be free indeed." And now being made free from sin and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness and the end everlasting life." That "the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin." For this purpose it behooved Christ to suffer and die. God, in the gift of his Son, has made the clearest display of the opposition of his nature to sin; and of his love to sinners, that could have been exhibited. "He is of purer eyes than to behold evil and cannot look on iniquity." "Nothing that defileth, that worketh abomination, or maketh a lie," can enter the high and holy place, and dwell with him who inhabiteth eternity.

        Grace and truth have come by the Lord Jesus; without him we can do nothing. But Paul says, "Let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably." Yet though we are saved by grace, and by grace enabled to serve God acceptably; "We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." No work, good or bad, no righteousness or unrighteousness of another person or being will be imputed or placed to his account.

        We may learn the same thing from the words of Jesus recorded by Mathew, Chap. 25th. In the parable of the man, and his own servants, it was said, to each of those who had rightly improved what was put into his hands. "Well done good and faithful servant." &c. And the slothful servant was condemned for neglecting to do what he might (not only


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possibly but) easily have done. And finally "He shall say to the righteous, come ye blessed of my Father,--For I was an hungered and ye gave me meat," &c.--And to the wicked, directly the reverse.

        If the professors of christianity will be truly the light of the world and the salt of the earth; let them cease from strife and provoke one another to love, and good works. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven."

        Jude gives the following characteristic of false teachers, "These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit." He exhorts the disciples as follows. "But ye beloved, building up yourselves, on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life."

CONCLUSION.

        Some sentiments contained in the foregoing treatise, may probably be denounced by certain theologists, as "damnable heresy." "This I confess,--that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things that are written in the law and the prophets,"--and the new testament.--Every candid man believes according to his understanding of the testimony presented to his mind. And it seems to me impossible for him to believe otherwise.


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Now, when I hear the testimony of Jesus, "I am the Son of God," It is impossible for me to believe that he is that God whose Son he is. Again when I hear him testify, "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life," &c. It is impossible for me to believe that he bore the infinite wrath of God. On these accounts, feeble, erring men may condemn me. But I am confident, that God who, "(as a father pitieth his children,) pitieth them that fear him;" will never condemn an honest man for not believing that which is not within the reach or arbitrament of his weak intellect.

        I admit that certain articles of faith are essential and proper tests of christian fellowship; but these may be found in the scriptures, in explicit terms. In many matters of opinion on various subjects, men may and do differ. And it is indecorous to impeach a man's motives or honesty in such cases. Of all classes of men, religious bigots are the most intolerant; whereas charity and forbearance are badges of christianity. I can boast of no high attainments, as respects my faith or knowledge of divine things, but I can say with Paul, "I know whom I have believed and that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day." And that day is at hand. I have nearly finished my course, I feel as though I was within one step of eternity. While I bid my brethren of every name a final farewell, permit me to add: For the honor of God and of the benign religion of Jesus Christ, henceforth, "Let us be kindly affectioned one to another, with brotherly love, in honor preferring one another."


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CHAPTER XVII.

        Remarks of the Author of B. W. Stone's Biography. Extracts from a letter written by D. Purviance and Published in Stone's Biography Page 120. A letter to a Sceptical Friend.

        David Purviance, the writer of this article, is now near fourscore years old. He was associated with B. W. Stone in the Presbyterian church; and after his secession from that church, was associated with him in the ministry in his reformation efforts. He is a man of considerable learning--great firmness and decision of character, and has done much for the cause of truth and righteousness. His candor, his piety, his sound judgment, his humility, are unquestioned and unquestionable. But we give way to this venerable man to speak for himself and for B. W. Stone.

        It is unnecessary for me to detail particulars respecting the separation from the Synod of Kentucky. Those preachers who became separate, namely, Marshall, M'Nemar, Dunlavy, Thompson and Stone, having constituted as a Presbytery, received me forthwith, and set me forward as a fellow-laborer with them. The congregations of Caneridge and Concord were declared vacant by order of the Synod; but the main body of the people adhered to Stone, and desired him to continue as their pastor. Soon afterwards he


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proposed to them to receive me as a co-partner and fellow-laborer with him; to which they agreed, which is another proof that he was not actuated by worldly interest, and the love of pre-eminence. From that time till the year 1807, when I removed from Kentucky to Ohio, we lived and labored together in perfect harmony and brotherly love. His manner and talent and mine, were somewhat different. He would preach the word and substantiate the truth, but seldom directly attack the opposite error. When error appeared to stand in my way, I was inclined to expose it; and upon a review, I think I was sometimes faulty in not being as tender of feelings as I ought to have been. At least I was not as much so as I am now in my old age.

        Stone and I once attended a meeting of days together near Lexington. On Saturday I preached; I took for my text, Acts x. 34.--"Then Peter opened his mouth and said, I perceive of a truth that God is no respecter of persons." In the discussion of the subject, I handled Calvinism without gloves. Next morning Stone said to me, that he thought my preaching yesterday was to hard; (said he) I met a certain woman after meeting, who said she would go home--she would not stand such preaching. After we had left the meeting, I said to him, that I would not repent for that sermon, for it was the truth, and I believed the Lord helped me. Well, said he, I suppose it was right, for that woman could not stay away; I saw her back again. More than a year afterwards, the woman met me at another big meeting. She reminded me of that sermon, and said she never


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got over it till she gave up Calvinism. Severity is sometimes needful. Saul spared Agag, but good old Samuel hewed him to pieces. For sometime after the separation we believed in the Calvinistic plan of Atonement; we only differed as to its extent. Calvinists hold that Christ, as surety for an elect number, satisfied all the demands of the law, and that they all (and not one more) must certainly be saved. We held that he satisfied law and justice in the room and stead of all men. They argued that if the debt was paid for all, Universalism must be true. We answered that unbelief, or the rejection of the proffered salvation, was the condemnation. They argued that if Christ died for all sins, of all men, unbelief must be atoned for as truly as other sins. Finally, we were led to question and examine the doctrine of vicarious suffering. When the subject was first talked of among us, Stone appeared to be slow and cautious. He felt the weight and importance of it, and being a man of deep study and research, he outwent the rest of us.

        Early in the year 1805, I went to North Carolina, and was absent from home nearly two months. During that time the Shakers from New York came into our settlement. Before I came home, they were gone to Ohio. I found our people in a commotion; some of my best friends and brethren were much shaken. They represented those Shakers as a very sanctified people; filled with wisdom and godliness. Others believed they were imposters, and were warm in opposition to them. I hastened to see Stone. They had been at his house; he had examined them calmly


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and deliberately; he said they spoke with great confidence--that they were insidious and artful, but he was confirmed they were impostors. He said many people had the notion that they were possessed of superior wisdom and talent, and that we could not compete with them. But, said he, we must not be afraid of them--we can confute them. They came among us several times afterwards, but Stone was firm, and had fortified me. We withstood them to the face. Some complained that we were intolerant; but being convinced that they were not building on the sure foundation, we were decisive in our testimony against them, both in word and deed. And the churches there sustained very little injury from them.

        The case was different in Ohio. Two of our preachers viz: Richard M'Nemar and J. Dunlavy, were carried off by those seducing spirits, and their congregations much injured. The shock was severe, and our adversaries seemed to expect our entire overthrow. But some good resulted to us from the disaster. M'Nemar and some others had become somewhat wild and fantastic; their hearts were puffed up before they were caught in the Shaker snare. We took warning to watch and pray, and cleave to the Holy Scriptures; realizing that Jesus was our king and law-giver, and that trusting in him and abiding in his doctrine, his church could not sink.

        In the midst of our trial with Shakerism, some of us became convinced that infant baptism was not taught in the Bible. We had so many trials and so much opposition to encounter, that we were cautious in speaking on the subject. With some confidential


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brethren we conversed privately, and found that there was a diversity of sentiment among us. John Thompson, who was a leading and very influential preacher, was a strenuous advocate for infant baptism. Many others believed with him. However, we rested quietly till in the year 1807, a young woman, who professed faith in Christ and joined the church, applied to Stone for immersion. In pursuance of which he published a meeting at a certain water on a day future, At the time and place appointed, a large congregation assembled. Reuben Dooley preached, and afterwards Stone immersed the young woman, and one or two more. I had not a thought of being baptized on that day when I went to the place; but during the exercises of the day I realized that it is a command of God, and I am bound to obey. I called Stone and Dooly aside and made known my mind to them, and asked Stone to baptize me; to which he consented. I remarked to them that the way of duty appeared plain, but I was sorry to hurt the feelings of the brethren. Dooly said the best way to please brethren is to please the Lord. I then addressed the congregation publicly. It was the first time the subject had been publicly named amongst us. We went to the water: before we went in, Dooly said to me quietly, as soon as you are baptized, I shall want you to put me under the water. Accordingly, as soon as I was on my feet, Dooly came forward, and a number more followed, whom I baptized before I came up out of the water. Stone was not baptized on that day. None of us urged the matter. We exhorted the people to search the Scriptures, and act according


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to their faith, and to forbear one another in love. And, in general, peace and harmony continued to prevail. Stone studied the peace of the church; and his character for candor and honesty was so well established, that by pursuing a prudent course, he preserved the people in the unity of the Spirit, and retained their confidence. In some churches there was opposition. and some prejudice appeared.

        The following letter was written by Elder David Purviance, but a few months before his death. The writer believes, it was the last effort, he ever made with his pen. We look upon it as the dying testimony of an honest man, in favor of that book by the precepts of which he had been governed for the last threescore years. He had hung upon its promises and on them he was willing to risk his souls eternal salvation.

Preble country, O., April 29th, 1847.

Beloved Friend:--

        In a short interview which I had with you some time past, you gave me to understand, that you did not believe in the Bible as a true or divine revelation from God. I have had a desire to have a free and full conversation with you on that subject; and. as you have removed from our neighborhood, I shall make a short communication to you by letter. I think you will not doubt that I am actuated by a principle of friendship and good will. My friendship to you, is the more confirmed by my recollection of your good father, whom I esteemed among my dearest friends--also both your grand-fathers. I can truly say that


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my friendly regard to your family connection, has been uninterrupted for more than fifty years. I cannot, in the compass of a short letter, enter into a full investigation as to the truth of Christianity; but that truth (as I believe it) is more precious to me than thousands of gold and silver. I have lived on earth more than four-fifths of a century, and, of course, am nearly done with earthly things; and take from me the hope of the gospel, my all is gone. That hope of immortality and eternal life is an unfailing source of peace and consolation, amidst all the ills of the present life, and disarms death of all its terrors. I think you will admit that a person who lives by faith in Jesus Christ, has decidedly the advantage of the unbeliever, both living and dying; and that his condition cannot be worse after death. Then, my good friend, if you should continue to be sceptical, I hope you will be cautious about sowing the seeds of infidelity. It cannot be profitable in the present life, and you must admit, that possibly you may be mistaken; and if so, the consequence may be fatal as respects futurity.--Some may apprehend that Christianity imposes restraints on mankind, which curtail their pleasurable enjoyments, and prohibit their acquisition of earthly treasure; but these things are deceitful. Their pleasures are poisoned and mixed with pain. "Godliness, with contentment, is great gain." I have never been wealthy, nor even in real want; and being content with what I have, I have enough.

        In this letter, I shall not pretend to enter into particulars; but shall submit some general remarks to your consideration.


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        We inhabit a world which abounds with wonders. The earth with her mountains, hills and vales, interspersed with springs and brooks and rivers, covered with trees, and fruits, and herbs; enlightened with sun, moon and stars; a suitable habitation for a vast variety of animal beings, which are mortal and subject to decay, yet so constructed that they propagate; and the existence of every species is continued from generation to generation. Man evidently occupies the highest grade among earthly animals; and being endued with reason and reflection, he is led to enquire, how have all these things come to pass? Have they originated, and do they thus continue by casualty or chance? Reason seems to dictate that there is an All-wise and Almighty Being, who has created and who governs the world and all things which are therein. Reason further suggests that, that Almighty being must have endowed man with his intellectual faculties, and with the capacity of speech, and of having social intercourse and interchanging thoughts with his fellow-man; and, if so, it is very desirable that man should know the character of his Creator, and what his will is concerning the workmanship of his hands. Is it not reasonable to expect such a revelation from God? One answer, we can read his character in his works. But reason enquires, is he good? If so, whence so much evil as we see in the world? so much affliction and wickedness, fraud and malice and murder? Why must we die? and what our destiny after death? The believer in the Bible, and he only, can satisfactorily solve those enquiries. He answers, God has made a revelation to man; He is good, and at first made all


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things very good. Death and all the evils we experience are the consequence of sin, of man's transgression of God's righteous law; yet that God who is rich in mercy, has devised means for man's restoration to a state of immortality and eternal life. The way of salvation is plainly revealed in the gospel of Christ, and all who believe in him and submit to his will, shall be freely pardoned and eternally saved. At this point your objections arise; but I have not room to notice particular objections now. I will only remark, that to our limited capacities and imperfect understanding, difficulties and discrepancies may appear, which are perfectly reconcilable; and difficulties may arise from our imperfect knowledge of the idiom and forms of speech, which were in use when the scriptures were written; and their being often transcribed and translated, may increase the difficulty. A person who is disposed to eavil, will always find objections. In my view, the best method is to attend to main leading points and examine them critically. I think it is admitted on all hands, that Jesus Christ did live in Judea, that he was a public teacher, and claimed to be the Messiah, the Son of God; and that he was crucified under Pontius Pilate. The Jews carefully kept and preserved their records, their law and prophecies. At the time when Jesus entered his ministry, they were expecting a Messiah, a mighty personage and deliverer but the views of the majority were haughty and carnal. Jesus claimed to be the promised Messiah, and had he been an imposter, he would have conformed to their views and wishes in order to gain their favor. Instead of this, he reproved them for


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their wickedness and hypocrisy, and taught doctrine more spiritual, humiliating and self-denying, than they were willing to receive; consequently, they hated him, and procured his death on the cross. As to matters of fact thus far, there is little disagreement. The main question or point in dispute, between Jews or infidels and Christians is, Did Jesus rise again from the dead on the third day? Let that question be answered and proved affirmatively, and the truth of the gospel is confirmed beyond all controversy. I want you to examine the evidence on that point carefully and impartially; to my mind it is clear and satisfactory. I believe in my heart, that God raised him from the dead and that he is alive forever more.

        Another particular to which I wish to call your attention is, the history and epistles of Paul, the Apostle. If Paul was an honest man, and his testimony entitled to credit, there can be no reasonable doubt as to the truth of the scriptures. To my mind, the history or biography of Paul, as contained in the Acts of the Apostles, bears as genuine marks of authenticity, as any other history whatever. The evidence that he lived and sustained a prominent public character, during the reign of Augustus Cæsar, is as clear as that Cæsar and Felix and Agrippa lived and were such. The principal events which are detailed bÿ his biographer, were matters of public notoriety; done in open day, in the face of the world. He was arraigned before the high authorities of the Romans. He appeared to be calm and deliberate, yet bold and manly in his defence, and respectful to the courts. His language was pungent and his argument powerful.--


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So that Felix trembled, and Agrippa was almost persuaded to be a Christian. Now, can we suppose, that a book setting forth such notorious facts, could have been written, or could have obtained credence, if it had not been true. In my judgment, it is contrary to reason and common sense, to admit such an idea, and that the history is certainly true.

        Saul, of Tarsus, (also called Paul,) an eminent, learned and persecuting Jew, being miraculously arrested and converted to Christianity, renounces the world with all its wealth and fame; he glories alone in the cross of Christ, and becomes a zealous and successful preacher of his gospel. As to the epistles to which his name is prefixed as the author, we now enquire, are they genuine?

        I can see nothing in the epistles which has the semblance of imposture or deception. They appear to proceed from a spiritual mind and an honest heart.--They contain sound sense, solid argument, and a pure morality which surpasses every thing of human invention I do not believe any impostor would or could dictate so many good things. Read them carefully, or at least, select portions. I hope, if you will read the 12th chap. of the epistle to the Romans, you will agree with me that it is genuine, and that it is of divine origin.

        The suggestions I have made, are little more than an introduction to the subject. If you will answer this letter, I may write again, if you desire it. Farewell.

D. PURVIANCE.


        The friend to whom the foregoing letter was addressed,


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dressed, had lately become in some degree sceptical. David Purviance was much distressed in consequence of this change in his mind. He had been raised and educated, by religious parents, and was once a professor of christianity himself. He always sustained a good character, and possessed considerable talent, and is capable of exerting great influence in society. David Purviance had great anxiety that this influence should be thrown into a proper scale.

        The writer does not know that the above letter was ever answered.

Illustration


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APPENDIX.

Biographical Sketch of John Hardy.
CHAPTER I.

        His Birth. Marriage. Conversion. Removal to Ohio. Ordination.
His Character as a Preacher. Last sickness and death.

        ELDER JOHN HARDY, was born in Dinwiddie County, Virginia. on the 17th day of November, 1779. His parents removed when he was young to a frontier settlement of Kentucky during the Indian hostilities. John Hardy professed religion during the great revival in the year 1801. He very soon afterwards became convinced, that a dispensation of the gospel was committed to him, and that it was his duty to improve the talent God had given him, in admonishing his brethren to do their duty' and exhorting sinners to flee the wrath to come. He had very great difficulty, in overcoming his natural timidity; but through grace he finally overcame so far as to venture upon the all important duty. He


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was married to Rachel Downing on the first day of March, A. D. 1803, and in the fall of 1808, he removed with his little family, to Preble County, Ohio, and bought a small tract of land on Paint creek, within four miles of Eaton, the County scat. On which he commenced opening a farm in the midst of a dense forest. This, with the cares of a young family occupied a good part of his time. But the great worth of souls, and the obligation that he felt himself under to his God and his fellow men, bore with ponderous weight upon his mind, and when opportunity offered he would sometimes venture to exhort his fellow men to seek salvation through the Lord Jesus.

        The preaching brethren, (particularly David Purviance) observing that he had a peculiar gift for public speaking, and also that he was very modest and unassuming, encouraged him and opened his way as far as they could, by giving him their countenance and approbation. In the summer of 1810, he was ordained to the work of the ministry by Elders David Purviance, Hugh Andrews, and Richard Clark. He continued humble and devout, and very soon became a very popular preacher, and spent a good part of his time in the work of the ministry. He became in a short time, the Pastor of several very respectable churches. His talent and manner of preaching were calculated to render him both popular and useful.--His early opportunities were not very good, and his education somewhat limited. Yet it appeared, nature had lavished her gifts upon him, and grace qualified him for becoming a very useful Minister, by using his own industry in the study of the scriptures


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of divine truth. He was not what is generally called, a reformation preacher; although it is believed he was instrumental in turning many to righteousness. But he had a peculiar gift for building up the church, and feeding the flock of God. He was with propriety, called one of the sons of consolation. He was methodical and systematic in his discourses. His voice was soft and harmonious. All his gestures were easy and graceful. His countenance pleasant and agreeable. In reality, his whole manner was eloquent and interesting; well calculated to entertain and edify all classes, particularly those of a refined taste. But by no means a fawning sycophant. He admonished to duty faithfully; exposed error and vice with firmness, and was ingenious to point out the imperfections of man, and show a remedy. He was very far from being a fanatic. He never became enthusiastic; but was a friend to good order and propriety. He presented truth with clearness, and depended on the Bible to shield him from the sarcastic darts forged in the schools of bigoted sectarianism.

        The greater part of his labors were confined to eastern Ohio. But he did not forget the State of his boyhood; he paid several visits to Kentucky, and spoke the word of life to his former associates. But alas! In the midst of his usefulness, and at a time when his labors were much needed in the churches, disease and death appeared to single him out, and aimed its destructive dart, not only at him, but through him it wounded his family, and neighbors, and many friends, and particularly the churches of his charge. He was Pastor of the church of Christ at Eaton; and


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also, of the church at Burlington, Hamilton County, at his death. They both deeply felt their loss. In the fall of 1819, he was cut down with a fever that baffled the skill of his physicians. He suffered extremely, but bore it with all the patience of a philosopher and christian, and on the 25th day of October he expired, and left the labors and toils of this inconstant life, for the inheritance reserved in heaven for those who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

        He lacked but a few days of forty years of age.--This unexpected Providence of God, cast a sudden gloom over many churches in Ohio and the eastern part of Indiana, where his labors had been a blessing for the last few years; but their sorrow was not so much on this account, as on their own and their children's.*

        * The writer recollects perfectly, that when he first heard of Brother Hardy's sickness and expected death, that his conclusions were these: "Surely our good Lord will not let so good and useful a Preacher as Brother Hardy die, while his labors are so much needed in the church. But he was brought to feel that he was a poor short-sighted creature, and ought not to call in question, any of the Providential dealings of God. The Judge of all the earth will do right.


Elder William Gordon preached his funeral at Eaton; and the church at Burlington had a funeral discourse delivered in their Meeting house, to show their respect to their beloved Pastor.

        Elder Hardy, as a man, was obliging, benevolent and respectable. As a Preacher, he was studious, devoted, and exemplary; an ornament to society worthy of imitation. As a Husband and Father, he was affectionate, faithful, attentive and indulgent.


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CHAPTER II.
A Sketch of the Life of Elder Thomas B. Kyle.

        THOMAS B. KYLE was born in Pennsylvania in about the year 1779. His Father moved to Kentucky when he was in his boyhood, and settled in Woodford County. He professed the Christian religion in the 25th year of his age, and became a member of the Christian church. His Father and Mother were both members of the same church.--T. B. Kyle, soon after he professed religion, became powerfully impressed with the worth of souls, and felt it to be his duty to exhort sinners to repentance. But the cross appeared so heavy that he shrunk from the task; but the sense of duty compelled him to feel "woe is me if I preach not the gospel." He revealed his feelings to some of his young friends who encouraged him to the work. Finally he yielded; and the blessing of heaven rested upon him, and his tongue was made like the pen of a ready writer. He left his domestic employment (he was a mechanic) and gave his life to the work of an evangelist. He shortly left Kentucky and came to Ohio, and travelled and preached on the frontiers, to the scattered and destitute inhabitants of the wilderness. The writer became acquainted with him in the year 1806; that winter


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he paid a visit to a small settlement on White-water, in the north-west part of Preble County. He travelled for many miles through a dense forest to visit us. It could be no pecuniary object that led him to brook so many difficulties, and go, under so many privations, to preach to a few scattered sheep in the wilderness. He was married in the summer of 1808, to an amiable and accomplished young lady, the daughter of Judge Barbee, of Miami County. The Judge and his family were members of the Christian church. But Brother Kyle did not enjoy the society of his happy family long, before he was called from the family circle, and the field of his labor, to the rest that "remains for the people of God." The last meeting he ever attended, was at Col. Patterson's, near Dayton. At the close of his last sermon, he made an apology, and said he was feeble in body. Another person observed: "The body is the Lord's, he will take care of it." "True," said Brother Kyle, "But the Lord has placed us stewards over the body, and we ought to he careful, lest we be not prepared to give a righteous account of our stewardship." He went immediately home, and was taken down with (what is called) the milk-sickness, and lived but a short time.

        Thus he was cut down in the midst of his years, and all the future prospects and hopes of the church, as it respects his usefulness in this world, were suddenly blasted. He was in every respect an amiable young man. His mind was entirely beyond ordinary. He was a profound student of the Bible--a deep and logical theologian. His manner and appearance were gracefully pleasant. He was a beautiful orator.--


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Some good citizens pronounced him one of the best speakers of his day. He was a splendid young man; a gentleman, and a christian. He showed himself a pattern of good works.

Biographical Sketch of George Shideler.
CHAPTER III.

        Elder George Shilder's Birth, Marriage, Removal to Ohio, Convertion, Ordination, Life and Death.

        George Shideler was born in Washington County Pennsylvania, on the 12th day of May, 1776. He was raised and educated in that State, and married to Abigail Wolverton, daughter of Col. Wolverton. After marriage, he emigrated to Ohio, and resided in Athens County until the year 1806, when he removed to Preble County, and bought a tract of land and commenced a farm in the wilderness. The first season he felled the trees, cut off the limbs and brush and burnt it, then planted his corn among the logs, and cultivated it with his hoe. He had no fence around it and raised a tolerable crop. The writer was there the following winter. It looked quite novel to


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see the cornstalks standing among the logs in the midst of a dense forest. By the next year he was under the necessity of fencing his fields, to keep the stock from destroying his crop.

        On the first organization of the Militia of this county, he was elected to fill the rank of Captain, and made a very popular officer.

        In the summer of 1808, David Purviance commenced preaching in the neighborhood. The good "word of the Lord was quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword." It cut to the heart many of this little neighborhood; among them Capt. Shideler became powerfully convicted for sin, and cried to God for mercy, and continued most fervently at a throne of Grace, until he found peace and pardon, through faith in a Redeemer's blood. He came forward at the next meeting and publicly confessed the Lord. He gave a very satisfactory account of the exercise of his mind, and his determinations to serve sin no longer; and publicly declared his determination to follow the Lord Jesus Christ, through evil as well as good report, and requested David Purviance to baptize him. Eld. Purviance asked when he wished to be baptized, he answered "Now" "to day." The earth was covered with snow, and the waters locked in ice. A good old friend near him says, "why man it will kill you." He answered, "I am not afraid of that." The ice was cleared away, and they both went down into the water, and Eld. Purviance baptized him there, and he went on his way heavenward rejoicing.

        He was from this on, a bold and faithful soldier of


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the cross of Christ. And immediately commenced exhorting his fellow beings, "To flee the wrath to come and lay hold on eternal life." And in the year 1810, he was ordained to the work of the ministry, by the laying on of the hands of Elders David Purviance, and Abraham Voorhis. He gave himself up to the work of the ministry, and pursued a straight forward course. Traveled and preached much, and became very useful.

        There was something noble--commanding in his appearance. He was spiritual and devoted, very fervent in prayer. He was a good practical preacher, but was more successful in exhortation. He was forcible and powerful in delivery, and was what with propriety might be called a reformation preacher.

        He traveled in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. But the field of his general labors was in Ohio. Many souls were converted through his instrumentality. He is among those who have turned many to righteousness, and will shine forth as the stars for ever and ever.

        But in the midst of his usefulness he was cut down by the shafts of death. The last meeting he ever attended, and the last public speech he ever delivered, was in the public meeting house in the town of Eaton. On Monday at the close of a very interesting meeting, he came down from the pulpit and stood on the floor, and held up the Ensign of eternal Salvation, and in a very powerful and pathetic exhortation, invited sinners to enlisi under the Captain of our salvation. It was not without a salutary effect on the listening audience. He returned home in usual health. The


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same week he went to Hamilton Butler Co., on business, and was taken sick. He endeavored to get home, but became so very sick that he could not travel, and stopped at Br. Pollenger's in the bounds of the Bank Spring Church, twelve miles from home where he had been preaching for several years.

        His family were sent for. He was laboring under a fever over which the Physicians had no control. His friends and brethren, stood pensively at his bedside endeavoring to grant him some relief. But disease would not relax its hold until death had performed its office, and released the soul from the cage of clay.

        His remains were borne to the meeting-house in his own neighborhood, where his body was deposited to wait till the morning of the resurrenction. He left a wife and two daughters, and many friends to mourn the loss.

        He had been Pastor of the church where he lived, (Seven Mile Church) and also the Bank Spring Church for several years. By his demise these churches, were both left without a regular Pastor. Their loss was easily seen, the Seven Mile Church, finally sunk and is known no more. Some of the members are yet to be found attached to other churches.

        The Church at Bank Spring labored through some trials and procured another Pastor; and is now a respectable church, with a very comfortable house for worship.

        Elder Shideler taught by example, as well as precept. He was not among those who say and do not. He let his light shine. He was faithful in all domestic


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relations in life. He was kind and affectionate to his friends. The preachers always found a home at his house, and were made comfortable in his family.

        He died the 27th day of Aug. 1828, being over 52 years of age, having been a preacher of the Gospel eighteen years.

CHAPTER IV.
Elder William Dyer's Birth, Life and Death.

        WILLIAM DYER, was born in Pennsylvania, and emigrated with his Father to Ohio. His mother was, at her death, a member of the Baptist church. His Father and second wife, were members of the Christian church. William Dyer was ordained to the work of the Ministry, by Elder Nathan Worley, in the year 1818. He was a young man of exemplary character, and very promising. His appearance was grave and interesting. He bid fair to be a very popular and useful Preacher. But Oh! how uncertain are all human calculations. The messenger of death, like an unexpected visitor, came at a time


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not looked for, and blasted the prospects of his friends and the hopes of the church, and he was cut down in the bloom of his days, and prime of life. Leaving an affectionate wife, and a few small children to mourn their loss. Whilst the Church felt sensibly the stroke, and lamented the disappointment. His death was occasioned by a severe cold, that terminated in a fever. His funeral discourse was preached by Elder Samuel Kyle. Brother Dyer died shortly after the writer became acquainted with him, and consequently, he is not in possession of the information so necessary to perpetuate the memory of so good a man.--There was something in his manner and appearance calculated to make a favorable impression. He was an indefatigable student of the Bible. He studied to show himself a workman that need not to be ashamed, "rightly dividing the word of truth."

Illustration


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CHAPTER V.
Biographical Sketch of Reuben Dooly.

        Birth. Education. Conversion. Preaches to the Indians. The death of his wife. His removal to Ohio. His second marriage. Trip to Missouri. Sickness and death. His character and talents as a Preacher. The domestic circle

        EUBEN DOOLY, was born in Bedford County, Virginia, on the 14th day of November, 1773. His Father's name was Moses Dooly. He was an Elder in the Presbyterian church before his son Reuben was born. Moses Dooly emigrated, with his family, in the year 1781, and settled in Madison County, Kentucky. At this time, the savage barbarities of the Indians, compelled the settlers to live in forts strongly garrisoned, to guard against the cruel depredations of the savages. They felt that the white men were intruding on their rights, and they fought to desperation, to save their hunting ground. In the years 1782 and 3, many of the white people became discouraged, and were well nigh leaving the country to the Indians. The bloody defeat at the Blue Licks and several other cruel massacres took place in these years, which disheartened the settlers very much. But the fertility of the soil, and the scenery of the country, tempted them to risk their lives to gain


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appetites and passions, and became somewhat dissipated. Doctor Rice was their pastor; but in the great revival at the commencement of the nineteenth century, a very talented and devoted Presbyterian preacher, by the name of Samuel Findly, paid them a visit, and delivered a sermon on the parable of the prodigal son--Luke, chap. 15. His discourse was energetic and powerful, and the truth found its way to Reuben's heart. He saw clearly that it was not the Father's will that he should perish. He determined to arise and go to his Father:


                         "He said and hastened to his home,
                         To seek his Father's love;
                         The Father saw the Rebel come,
                         And all His bowels move.


                         Take off his clothes of shame and sin,
                         The Father gave command;
                         Dress him in garments white and clean,
                         With rings adorn his hands.


                         A day of feasting, I ordain,
                         Let mirth and joy abound;
                         My Sou was dead and lives again,
                         Was lost, but now is found."

        This change was so manifest, that all his acquaintances were constrained to acknowledge that he had been with Jesus. "His feet were taken out of the mire and clay, and placed upon a rock, and a new song was put into his mouth, even praise to God." His daily deportment proved him to be a changed man. But in a very short time, he had a severe trial to pass through. The missionary fire soon began to burn in his heart, and he felt it to be his duty to preach the gospel to others. But in the Presbyterian church, none are permitted to preach, who do not possess a liberal education, and understand the principles


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what they thought to be, almost the Edon of the world. Moses Dooly became very tired of being cooped in a fortress, where the associations were calculated to corrupt the morals of his children, and concluded, at all hazards, to move to his farm. Several others followed his example, and made a small settlement in the midst of the cane. They erected a school house, and endeavored to educate their children. It is difficult to imagine the feelings of those parents, when their children started for school. They felt it to be very uncertain whether they would ever see them again or not. In the settling of Kentucky, many children were carried off by the Indians, never to be seen by their parents again. At this school, Reuben Dooly received the greater part of his education. His Father had a large family, and being settled in a new country, he was necessiated to keep his sons closely at work, which prevented a further education. At the age of nineteen, with the consent of his Father, he went to a trade. In about two years, he became master of his business. He then returned home to his Father's. He then lived in Barren County, Kentucky, and there Reuben followed his trade for about two years, and then married Lean Raileback. His Father was still a ruling Elder in the Presbyterian church; and his children were raised to believe the doctrines contained in the Westminster Confession of Faith. The doctrine of unconditional election and reprobation, had a powerful influence on Reuben's mind, and finally, he came to the conclusion that he was one of those, God had eternally reprobated; and under these impressions, he gave loose reins to his


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disciples of theology, according to the creed of their church. In these particulars, he knew he was deficient. Yet these words seemed to follow him whereever he went: "Go preach my gospel." The impressions were so great, that they often overcame his physical powers, and he would fall prostrate on the ground, and lie almost in a lifeless condition for sometime. When he recovered from this state, he would frequently burst forth into an energetic and powerful exhortation, generally directed to the unconverted, which had a very salutary influence;--many through his instrumentality, were converted to God. After struggling on in this way for sometime, he yielded to the holy spirit of God, and determined to resist no longer, and stepped boldly out on the word of the Lord, and went from place to place, holding prayer meetings, and exhorting, and most fervently pleading with sinners to be reconciled to God.--He very soon saw the pleasure of the Lord to prosper in his hands. The missionary fire continued to burn in his heart, until it led him to preach to the Cherokee Indians. He went three successive times among them. He was very successful, and has often been heard to say, that he never enjoyed happier meetings in his life than he did among these poor neglected creatures. When parting with them, they always strongly solicited him to return and preach to them again. In returning home, the last time he visited them, his money became exhausted, and he was necessiated to give his hymn book to pay his passage over a river. After this, he prevailed on his friend and brother, David Haggard, to visit them and preach


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to them. Brother Dooly, resided at this time, in Barren County, Kentucky. In the year 1801, he attended the great Camp-meeting at Caneridge. Soon after the separation in the Presbyterian church, he became well acquainted with Barton W. Stone and David Purviance, and received the doctrines taught by these men, and united with them, and was in a short time, set forward to the work of the ministry.--From this time forward, he labored extensively in the gospel field, and was very successful in turning many to righteousness. In the summer of 1807, he made arrangements to move with his family to Ohio. His brother, David Dooly, went from his Father's in Ohio, to assist him. Soon after David arrived, he was taken sick and died. Reuben's wife also died four days after her brother-in-law. In this dispensation of God's Providence, brother Reuben Dooly was left alone, with five small children. He was thus compelled to abandon the idea of moving at that time. His brother-in-law, Mr. Huffman, took him and his children into his family, and brother Dooly was necessiated to work at his trade, and was measurably confined with his children that winter. The following summer, he made arrangements a second time to move, and in the fall of 1808, he emigrated to his Father's in Preble County, Ohio. His children were then taken by his friends and sent to school, and he again gave himself up wholly to the work of the ministry, and travelled and preached day and night. He was very successful in both Ohio and Kentucky. The Shaker's took great pains to ensnare him and proselyte him to the Shaker faith. They very well knew that his


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influence was great, and if they could succeed in leading him into their faith, that he would be a valuable prize. John Dunlavy followed him from place to place, and seemed determined not to give up the chase. Finally brother Dooly became impatient with his different intrusions, and said to him in the language of Paul to Elymas, the sorcerer. Acts 13: 10. "O full of all subtility, and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord." After this, he was no more perplexed with the Shakers.

        Elder Dooly took one preaching tour, that led him through Kentucky, Virginia, North and South Carolina. He met with some strong opposition from the different sects. But he never became discouraged--he trusted in the powerful arm of the Christian's God.

        In Norfolk, Virginia, he became acquainted with Rice Haggard, a very talented man of good character. He had once been a Presiding Elder in the Methodist Episcopal Church, but becoming somewhat disaffected with some of the doctrines and the discipline of that church, he had withdrawn. Dooly and he formed an intimacy that lasted during life.

        In about the year 1810, Elders Dooly and Stone commenced travelling together in Ohio. They were both widowers at this time. They commenced operations at Eaton, Preble County. The following extract from brother Stone's journal will be interesting: "We preached and baptized daily in Eaton for many days. No house could contain the people that flocked to hear. We had to preach in the open streets to the anxious multitude. At night, after service, the


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cries and prayers of the distressed in many houses around were truly solemn. Almost the whole town and neighborhood were baptized and added to the Lord. We left this place and preached and baptized in many other places. We were poorly clad and had no money to buy clothes. Going on at a certain time through the barren's, a limb tore brother Dooly's striped linen pantaloon's very much. He had no other, nor had I another pair to lend him. We consoled ourselves, that we were on the Lord's work and he would provide. He tied his handkerchief over the rent, and we went on and preached to the people.--That night we lodged with brother Samuel Wilson, whose wife presented brother Dooly a pair of home spun linen pantaloons."--Stone's Biography, page 73.

        Not far from this time, brother Dooly was on his way to some of his appointments, and the waters were high and difficult to cross. In company with his brother-in-law, he attempted to pass over seven mile creek in a canoe; the stream was so strong and ran so rapidly, that it carried them over a mill-dam, and precipitated them into the flood beneath. Brother Dooly felt that the prospect was very fair for drowning. But he was not afraid to trust that God who had been his help in days past. The force of the current carried them to shallow water, and they made their escape, but brother Dooly lost his hat. He pushed on towards his appointments--an elderly lady gave him an old low crowned wool hat; he received it with thankfulness and went on to preach. At one of his appointments he met a good brother that gave him a good hat and took his old one. No man was


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more resolute than he was. "Whatsoever his hand found to do, he did it with his might." His heroic mind soared above discouragements.

        In the year 1811, Brothers Dooly and Stone traveled to Tennessee in company. On their way the circumstances of their families came up in conversation, Brother Stone remarked, that they were commanded to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. And under existing circumstances, it was difficult to do it; for their children were measurably under the tuition of others, and further observed, that it was his opinion, that if they could obtain suitable companions, that it would be their duty to marry and situate themselves so that they could pay some particular attention to their children. This led brother Dooly to reflect on the situation of his children, they were scattered and moved from place to place.

        Finally he addressed a letter to Miss Rachael Martin, daughter of Samuel and Mary Martin, all members of the Cane-Ridge church; and made a proposition of marriage; he succeeded, and they were married in September, 1811. In her he obtained a pleasant, agreeable, and intelligent companion, and a kind affectionate and attentive mother to his children.--He now settled on a new farm in Preble County Ohio. He was not able to hire his work done; and, consequently had to labor with his own hands, to support his family. He was one among the most industrious men, and when at home worked excessively hard, and as soon as he could spare the time from his family, he would be out in the Gospel-field proclaiming salvation to a dying world.


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        In one of his preaching excursions, in Miami County, Ohio, he was afflicted with the milk-sickness, (a disease very fatal in the first settling of this country,) from this he partially recovered,--but never enjoyed uninterrupted health afterwards.

        Late in the fall of 1817, he went to Missouri, to preach, and continued during the winter, mostly in the neighborhood of Boons-lick,--his labors were much blessed. The following April he left for home, his way led through unbroken forests, and uncultivated prairies. The weather was unpleasant, and the waters high, and the accommodations poor. His health was much exposed and on his way he became very sick and feeble, and often while alone in the wilderness, he was compelled to stop and lie down, to rest. His horse was also sick and he felt that it was doubtful whether he would ever meet with his loving family and kind friends on earth again or not, but after a tedious and loborious struggle he arrived at home, and remained there until he recovered his usual health.--He then commenced traveling again; former difficulties could never deter him from what he believed to be duty. In the year 1821, he paid a second visit to Virginia, in company with his father. He continued for some time preaching principally in Bedford county, late in the fall he returned home. The following winter, through the strong solicitations of the brethren in Kentucky, he went and spent part of the winter with them.

        In Feb. 1822, on his return home the news met him, that his father was sick and likely to die. He traveled day and night, if possible to get to see him alive;


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but in this he failed, before he arrived, the spirit had fled from the house of clay to that "rest prepared for the people of God." He saw the body cold and lifeless, "but sorrowed not as those who have no hope."

        His health was poor at this time, and he appeared to have an impression that his race was almost run, and that "the time of his departure was at hand."--He procured the assistance of Elder David Purviance to hold a protracted meeting in his own neighborhood, at Point meeting-house. The word of God "was quick and powerful" at this meeting and "much good was done in the name of the holy CHILD, JESUS." Elder Dooly spoke but little during the meeting, until the last day of the meeting he spoke on the resurrection, he appeared to be perfectly carried away in the spirit of his subject. In view of that great tremendous day, he seemed to entirely forget his own weakness, and his soul was overwhelmed with the glorious prospect of eternal life, his bodily strength was some-what exhausted, when he closed. The congregation were in a flood of tears, and great solemnity rested on the people. The meeting soon came to a close.--As soon as he left the house, his wife said to him, "Reuben, I am afraid you have killed yourself." He answered, if I had been sure that I would have been carried of the house a corpse, I would have said just what I did say. This proved to be his last sermon, he was taken sick in a short time afterwards and was measurably confined to his room, until the 22nd day of April, 1822; he left all his toils, labors, and afflictions, in view of immortality and eternal life. He bore his last affliction with christian fortitude and resignation, and died without a murmur.


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        Elder Reuben Dooly, as a teacher, was zealous, persevering, industrious, and devoted.

        His inclination and talent were better calculated to render him useful as an evangelist or traveling preacher, than a settled pastor of a church. He had a peculiar gift of exhortation; but could not be esteemed a very systematic preacher: he was what is generally esteemed a reformation preacher. He presented truth in a very ingenious and forcible manner, his voice was strong and melodious, and his manner impressive, and when fully in the spirit of the gospel, the truth flowed from his mouth in a flood of living water, calculated to refresh, comfort, and strengthen the believer, and convince and convert the sinner, and reconcile him to God. We can truly say that he was the means in the hands of God, of turning many to righteousness. He was esteemed by many to be somewhat enthusiastic; but none (we think) that were well acquainted with him, doubted his honesty, but his uncommon zeal, and great fortitude; and that conscientious observance of what he believed to be duty, led some to think that he was on extremes; but there is no doubt but MANY, Yes! VERY MANY preachers at this time are on the other extreme, that is, they have too little zeal, ferver, and conscientiousness,--we have never heard a preacher on a death-bed complain that he had done too much in the cause of his master.

        In the domestic circles of life, where men's real character is best known, he showed himself to be a good man; although, from a sense of duty he was often from home, yet he felt this to be a great privation, for he delighted much in the company of his family;


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as a husband, he was faithful, tender, and obliging; as a father, he was affectionate and indulgent, but positive and unyielding in his principles of government, what he believed to be right had to be observed, he had no compromise with sin, he was kind and benevolent to both friends and strangers, he was careful to govern himself and to crucify the flesh with the affections and lusts, he has been often heard to say that his two greatest besetments were Sectarianism, and the Love of Money. While preaching once in the State of Kentucky, in company with Elder James Hughs, at the close of a protracted meeting, about thirty dollars were lifted by a collection, and divided between him and brother Hughs, after reflecting for a few moments brother Dooly handed his fifteen dollars to brother Hughs, and said, "here take this you need it more than I do."


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Elder William Kinkade.
CHAPTER VI.

        His early life and profession of Christianity written by himself. His Ordination. Becomes acquainted with the Latin, Greek and Hebrew languages. His Sermon at Joe. Craig's. His Sermon at Caneridge. His Settling in Illinois. He is a member of the State Convention, Slavery Prohibited. His Marriage. Sickness, and Death of his Wife. His Journey to New York. Writes the Bible Doctrine. His Character as a Writer and Preacher. His Return to Ohio. His Afflictions. The Amputation of his Leg, His Last Sickness and Death. His General Character

        Elder William Kinkade in his preface to his Bible Doctrine, has given a sketch of his early life, education and profession of christianity, which we here insert, for the satisfaction of our readers.

TO THE READER,

        The reader may wish to know how I got in possession of my present views of religion. I was born in what was then called the back-woods, in western Pennsylvania. My parents moved to Kentucky, when I was not more than three, or four years old. I received my first ideas of religion, from my mother, and I have no doubt but that her prayers and instructions, were the principal means which made me a christian.

        She told me there was a God and a devil, a heaven and a hell, and I believed her. She taught me the difference between righteousness and sin, told me that a virtuous life would secure the favor of God, and that a vicious course would not fail to draw on me his fiercest displeasure. She learnt me the Mother's Catechism, and taught me that unless I would pray to God, I could not be righteous in his sight. A belief of these things made me religious, and when I was not more than six years old I frequently went into the woods, or some other secret place, and kneeled by myself in prayer to God, when at the same time I did not know that any other person ever did so, for although my mother had taught me to say my prayers, when I went to bed at night, and when I got up in the morning, she never told me to go into secret, and pray by myself. I was raised in the Presbyterian Church, and still think they are the best religious sect I know, except the Quakers; and in some respects, they excel them. I learned the Presbyterian Catechisms, but never believed near all of them.


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        The Bible was my school-book, and I still think it is the best school-book in the world. In learning my lessons in the New Testament, I took up the idea that God was the greatest, and oldest person in existence, and that Jesus Christ was the next greatest; but I was just as far from thinking that he was as old, or as great as his Father as I was from thinking that I was as old, or as great as my father.

        I was under conviction for sin, almost all my life, and spent my days in sinning and repenting, till the great revival took place in the Presbyterian Church, in 1800, and 1801, when I was brought under still deeper conviction for my sins, and my trouble of mind increased till the 26th day of September 1802, and then at a large camp-meeting, God converted my soul; he removed the burden of guilt from my mind, shed abroad his love in my heart, and filled me with joy unspeakable and full of glory.

        I then refused to call myself by any name but that of Christian, bore a public testimony against all party names, and declared that I would take no other book for my standard but the Bible. I did not then know that any other person would unite with me to have no name but Christian, and take no standard but the Bible, but I thought it was right, and therefore determined to pursue it, let the consequence be what it might. I could have been a Baptist, a Methodist' or', a Presbyterian preacher. The two latter sects both, strongly solicited me to be a preacher among them, but I utterly refused, because I thought it would be better for me to go alone on the word of God, than to put myself under obligation to believe, and preach any system framed by fallible men. About that time the Presbytery where I lived, licensed near thirty preachers, that had not a liberal education, but this has since caused a division among them, and given rise to a new sect called the Cumberland Presbyterians.

        I have since ascertained that in different parts of America, there were hundreds who started about the same time that I did, and although they were generally unknown to each other, they took the same ground, and were actuated by the same Spirit. According to the best of my recollection it was about three years after I took this stand before I heard of Marshall, Thompson, Stone, or any other member of the Springfield Presbytery,

        I was raised on the frontiers of Kentucky, in the midst of the Indian war, where men were only respected in proportion to their valor and skill in fighting Indians, and killing wild beasts; and I verily thought to be a brave skilful warrior: and a good hunter was the greatest honor to which any man could attain.


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        When I got religion I had but little learning, I could barely read and write, and that but very indifferently. I then thought, and yet think, that God then called me by his Holy Spirit to preach the Gospel. On this occasion I had made a great sacrifice. I laid aside my leather hunting-shirt, my rifle-gun, and butcher-knife, and left my father's house and my beloved woods to travel and preach the Gospel. But before I started to preach, I thought it was necessary to buy a bible, and as I had no money, I agreed to work for a Presbyterian man for one. He let me have it for five days work, and although I had to grub bushes in a brier patch, I think it was the best bargain I ever made; I have it yet. It is a little pocket bible without note, comment. or marginal reference. By reading it, I formed my present views of religion, (which I committed to writing in all their essential points,) without the assistance of commentators, and before I had seen a concordance, nor had I at that time ever read a word from the pen of a Unitarian. After I had preached a while, I went to school to Doctor Stubs, who taught an academy in the neighborhood of Newport, Kentucky: there I got some more learning. Boarding and schooling were both very high, and I paid my way by working day's works.

        Although I have been a scholar in several schools, have travelled and preached more than twenty years, read several books, conversed with many men famed for wisdom, had many private and public disputes on various doctrines of religion; still all I have learned has only confirmed me in the great and leading truths of religion, which I first learned by reading the little bible that I earned by grubbing in a brier patch. I now feel thankful to God that the independence of mind which grew up with me in my native woods has never forsaken me. I have at all times dared to oppose any thing that I did not think was right. Although this course has always created me enemies, and rendered me unpopular, still I glory in it, because I think it is the course pursued by the ancient prophets, and by Christ and his apostles.

        I disown all party names. I do not profess to belong to any sect of Christians. I fellowship all good people of every name without regard to how much they may differ from me in doctrines. I have written this book as the sentiments of no sect, nor denomination of people. It is a sketch of my own views. If you are a Christian, or a sincere seeker of religion, I remain your brother, in the patience, tribulation, and hope of the kingdom of Jesus Christ.

WILLIAM KINKADE,

A Stranger, and Pilgrim on Earth.
May God guide us into all necessary truth.

New York, July 1, 1829.

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        William Kinkade commenced public speaking, under circumstances, that would have borne down and discouraged any man of an ordinary resolution; but he possessed a mind capable of surmounting the most obstinate difficulties.

        When he commenced preaching, his education was very limited, his appearance, gestures, and manner of expression, were all uninteresting--all that seemed to recommend him, were his upright conduct, his honest zeal for the truth, and his fervent devotion to the cause of God. These traits in his character, won the affections, and encouragement of some of the wise and good. They thought, they could discern in him some strength of intellect, that by proper cultivation might develop itself to the advantage of society. He was ordained to the work of the ministry, by David Purviance, and some other Elders about the year, 1809.--The writer was present at his ordination, and was much displeased with the officiating Elders for setting forward a man (as he thought) so poorly qualified to be useful, and respectable as a minister. But he was afterwards perfectly ashamed of himself when he discovered in William Kinkade, a giant mind, well stored with science, phylosophy, and Biblical knowledge, equal to any preacher of our day.

        In the school of Doctor Stubs, he became acquainted with the Latin and Greek languages He paid for his boarding, and instruction, with the labor of his own hands. After this, he went to Lexington, Kentucky, and boarded in the family of Elder Stone; and studied the Hebrew language, under a Prussian Doctor, a Jew, of great learning. He taught by lectures. In a very short time he became acquainted with this language, so that with the assistance of a Lexicon he could read and translate the scripturss with ease. By this time he was an excellent Linguist, and had stored his mind with a fund of useful knowledge.--"He conferred not with flesh and blood;" but gave himself entirely to the work of the ministry. He traveled in Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, proclaiming the gospel day and night, he carried it without money and without price; he was shamefully neglected by his brethren; he faithfully "ministered to them in spiritual things;" but they neglected to minister to him in carnal things.

        In the summer of 1810, he traveled from Ohio into Fayette County, Kentucky, in company with David Purviance, to attend a protracted meeting and conference. After they arrived, an eccentric Baptist preacher, of considerable wealth, and some notoriety known by the name of "old JOE CRAIG," came to D. Purviance and said to him, "Come, I want you to go home with me, and hold meeting at my house to night. I have killed a beef and have an abundance of horse feed, and we can accommodate


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all that will come, bring any of your friends along with you, that you please, we cannot all come here at night." It was agreed to, and David Purviance took William Kinkade, and some other friends with him, and they made their way to old Joe's, and found all things right; night came on and a house full of people were assembled. Billy Kinkade was put up to preach, he was an entire stranger; but poorly clad, and had been traveling some days, and his clothes not very clean, and upon the whole he made quite a diminitive appearance. The people stared, and looked somewhat disappointed; but it was not long before Billy got into the merits of his subject, and preached a very animating and interesting sermon, and astonished all present, who never heard him before. Old Joe got very happy, and after Billy closed his sermon, he got up to his feet and began to rub the side of his head with one hand, in a peculiar manner, and commenced praising God in a whining tone of voice, and said, "O! BLESS GOD. Our blessed Saviour rode into the city of Jerusalem on a POOR, LEETLE, SHABBY ANIMAL, BLESS GOD. I have been trying to get a blessing ever since this meeting commenced, but I could not get it; but, Bless GOD, he rode into my poor soul to-night, on the poor LEETLE shabby PREACHER, O! bless God."--The next morning he took Billy to one side and gave him a dollar.

        Brother Kinkade, like the other leaders in this reformation, brought some of the traditions of the Fathers with him, and for a short time practised infant sprinkling. At one time he was preaching in a grove, a brother brought his family of children forward to do for them, after the custom of the fathers. One little boy finding some objections in his mind to this ceremony; ran off, a short distance and climbed up a sapling, his father followed him and told him to come down, he said he would not, his father ordered him down; he swore, profanely, he would not come down. When brother Kinkade heard THAT, he said, "I will not baptize that one." In a short time after this he became convinced that the apostolic mode of baptism was immersion, and that believers were the only legal subjects,--and, consequently, he practised accordingly.--

        About this time, Robert Marshall and John Thompson began to retrograde towards Presbyterianism, and took several young preachers with them; but William Kinkade stood firm on the BIBLE, and plead its all-sufficiency to govern the church.

        He left Ohio and bought a small tract of land in Lawrence County. Illinois, and commenced a farm, while that country was under a territorial government. Illinois was admitted into the Union in 1818. William Kinkade was a member of the State Convention, when the constitution


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was formed. It is confidently believed that it was through his instrumentality that Slavery was prohibited by the constitution of that State. Never did a man exert himself more nobly in any cause, than he did in this. The contest was warm on both sides. The friends of Slavery, were determined to incorporate it with the future destinies of the State But William Kinkade (having lived in a slave state) was well acquainted with the principles and influence of negro slavery, and he was well prepared to defend the rights of an injured and down-trodden race He also ably and clearly showed the deliterious effects of slavery on community, particularly to the rising generation. He drew the contrast between the prosperity of the slave states, and that of the free states. He beautifully portrayed the rising prosperity of these states where every improvement and enterprise, are forwarded by voluntary labor He also showed positively, that slavery was incompatible with the principles of our republican institutions, and above all, that it was at war with the christian religion. The friends of slavery became much exasperated, and threatened to take his life. He told them he would as leave die in that cause as any other, and he supposed heaven was as near Illinois as any other place. The friends of liberty finally succeeded in barring from this young and flourishing state, this wretched curse of both white and black. Elder Kinkade in speaking of this struggle, always appeared to look upon it, as the most useful and interesting part of his life. He was afterwards elected to a seat in the senate of that state, and served two sessions. He was one of the most clear-headed and able politicians of his day.

        In the year 1823, he returned to Ohio, to seek for a wife, and was married to Anna Gregory, daughter of Samuel Gregory of Warren county. He moved his wife to his little farm in the Illinois. He continued to cultivate the soil, and preach the gospel, as much as he consistently conld; but he did not long enjoy his peaceful home. His wife's health failed, and being entirely away from all her connections she became discontented, and in about three years after marriage he removed her back to her father's in Ohio, where she continued but a few months till she sunk in death, under a pulmonary consumption. While Elder Kinkade was moving his wife from Illinois, he received a very bad hurt in his side by the upsetting of his carriage, that he never entirely recovered from during his life; but continued to suffer much, from a pain in his side. In the year 1828, Elder Kinkade traveled on a preaching tour to the east, and continued about two years, part of the time in New York City; during this time he wrote and published that valuable and interesting work, entitled BIBLE DOCTRINE. This


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book is original, and it is a fair sample of the man. It is masterly and hard to refute. He wrote considerable of this work standing on his knees; he suffered so much from pain in his side, that he could not sit to write; but his determined and enterprising mind was able to soar above difficulties that ordinary minds would have sunk under.

        His writings are plain, logical, and argumentative, and his style so simple that a child can understand him.

        As a speaker, he was not naturally very eloquent, but his manner was forcible, and his sermons were sensible, instructive, and systematic, and his arguments so firmly laid and so well arranged, that they were hard to refute. His appeals were energetic and powerful, and with all he was plain, humble, and unassuming, and to cap the climax, he was one among the most faithful and honest men in the world. Well did Pope say "an honest man is the noblest work of God."

        Brother Kinkade had something of a poetical genius; but he had no tune, he could not sing or even imitate singing; yet he was resolute "to try, and try again."

        He returned from New-York, to Ohio, (the writer believes,) in the fall of 1829, in very poor health. He was suffering from something like a rheumatic affection, some of the doctors were of the opinion that it originated from a disordered state of the lungs. It finally, settled in one of his knees, he suffered excruciating pain; his knee became stiff, and his leg stood at a right angle, and he was confined to his room, for some months, at his brother-in-law's, in Butler County; at length he concluded to have his leg amputated above the knee. He sent for a Surgeon of great celebrity, and the time was set to amputate the limb, the Doctor invited many Physicians to see the operation; they collected at the appointed time. The Surgeon spoke very lightly of the task, and a great deal of levity seemed to be manifested among those in attendance. Brother Kinkade observed all that passed, and became dissatisfied, with such conduct, he felt that it was treating him in the midst of his sufferings with contempt and impoliteness, and about the time they got ready for the operation, he told them he would not have his leg taken off at that time. They were much disappointed, and left. He then immediately sent to Hamilton, and called two respectable Physicians, and had his leg amputated in private. He said he did not wish to have a multitude there to sport over his suffering. He said to the Surgeons, when in the operation, "TAKE CARE, if you do not mind you will hurt me as badly as the pain in my knee does.

        He bore the operation without any particular moans or signs of distress, afterwards the wound healed very fast, and his friends rejoiced


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in believing that they would yet enjoy his society, and that the church would be blessed with his labors and counsels. In the course of a few months he was able to be moved to his sisters, (Mrs. Pottenger's,) a distance of 18 miles. But, alas! our hopes were soon blasted. During the time he was suffering with his knee and the wound caused by amputation, he suffered but little with the former pains, in his side and breast; but as soon as the sore (from amputation) healed, the pain in his side and breast returned, accompanied with a severe cough. He was destined to suffer for several months longer, under a seated pulmonary consumption.

        The writer visited him frequently in his last affliction. He always found him pleasant and cheerful, and ready to converse freely, and philosophically, on any subject of interest. He spoke of death with composure, and made full calculations to meet it in a short time. He said he would not give his hope of immortality and eternal life for all the world, yet he said that sometimes his mind was afflicted with clouds and doubts. The writer was of the opinion that these difficulties arose in consequence of the failure of his bodily strength, this, of course, had some effect on his mind. He had been in the practice of reasoning and philosophizing on subjects entirely beyond the reach of ordinary intellects. His doubts originated in matters that never perplexed common minds, for they never once thought of them. The mind of Kinkade was always aspiring, from an ignorant, illiterate boy, he arose within a few years (and that by his own exertions) to be a profound philosopher. He told his friends repeatedly, that he would die about the 20th of September, and gave directions concerning his fnneral, and where he wished to be buried, he requested his friends not to dress in mourning after his death; he said they ought rather to rejoice, to think he was free from all his sufferings; and gone to rest. He wrote the following plain and humble Epitaph, (as near as possible,) to be engraven on his Tomb-stone.

        "HERE LIES THE BODY OF WILLIAM KINKADE, WHO WAS BORN ON THE 22nd DAY OF SEPT.1783. HE HOPED HE WAS BORN AGAIN ON THE 26th DAY OF SEPT., 1802, AND DIED ON THE 20th DAY OF SEPT., 1832, AFTER PREACHING THE GOSPEL MORE THAN 25 YEARS."


        About one week before he died, he asked his sister to give him his shaving utensils, he said he would shave himself, for the last time. Within a few hours, after he was done shaving, he became delirious, and continued so until he died; while in this situation he was perfectly pleasant, and as innocent as a child, he appeared to be pleased with every thing about him,--and continued so till his demise.


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        He was interred in the grave-yard at Burlington, Hamilton County, Ohio. After being much afflicted for about four years, and nearly half that time measurably confined to his bed.

        Elder Kinkade was not as popular as some other preachers of far inferior talents. One great reason was, he was the HONEST man RIGHT out. Errors, in both doctrine and practice, "he handled without gloves." he could dislike nothing without showing his contempt to it. He would not excuse a wrong in his best friend any sooner than in his worst enemy, a fawning sycophant, and a superficial pretender, he alike despised. But a plain, unassuming man, whether illiterate or a philosopher, could approach him, and find him one of the most humble, intelligent, and instructive men in the world. He was one of the best companions for young preachers, he would in meekness and love, reprove their faults, and correct their errors; and like a father, instruct them in the principles of the christian religion.

        He was always firm to his purpose, alike unmoved by FLATTERY, or TERROR, he knew no fear. He was not among those who say, and do not. He was truly punctual in all things. In short, he was a great and good man.

Illustration


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CHAPTER VII.
Biographical Sketch of Samuel Kyle.

        His birth. Profession of christianity. Commences public speaking, Meets with discouragements. His character. Liberated his slaves. He serves in the legislature. His manner of preaching. Last trip to Indiana. A paralytic stroke. A conversation with his physician. Death.

        Elder Samuel Kyle was born in Monongahela county, Pennsylvania, his father emigrated to Kentucky and settled in Woodford county, when he (Samuel) was a boy. He professed the christian religion in the twentieth year of his age, and united with the Christian church. His parents had both been Presbyterians, but after the separation they united with the dissenters, and claimed the name given to the disciples at Antioch. Samuel commenced public speaking while young, under the solemn conviction, that it was his duty to occupy the talent his Master had given him, but he labored under serious embarrassments, in consequence of his own natural diffidence, and the discouraging sentiments expressed by some of his brethren.

        The following is from the Christian Palladium Vol. 6, pa. 220, written by Elder David Purviance, shortly after the death of Elder Kyle,

        BROTHER BADGER : Believing it to be a duty which I owe to the public, and to the memory of Brother Samuel Kyle, I desire to make this communication through the Palladium. He departed this life on the 8th of April 1836, and as I live remote from his late residence, and was not present during his last illness, I thought some other person could better give a biographical sketch and obituary notice. I therefore have delayed, until the neglect has become a matter of complaint. When I observe the qualifications of an Elder or bishop as delineated by Paul, it appears to me that brother Kyle did possess them in a degree surpassed by few, (if any,) of whom I have ever known. The first characteristic is, "a bishop must be blameless," This is all-important, it is indispensable. Surely the man who administers the word of the immaculate Savior, ought to have clean hands, a pure heart; "no corrupt communication should proceed out of his mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying." Samuel Kyle was "an example to the flock." I have known men who were more pious, but none who were more uniformly pious and exemplary, My first acquaintance with him was in Kentucky, about the year 1805,


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We had then commenced public speaking; he was humble and unassuming but, "fervent in spirit, serving the Lord." He then married, in which he was blessed of God. "A prudent wife is from the Lord."--In 1807, I removed to the State of Ohio, and settled in Preble county, Soon after, I met him at a public meeting in Miami county, where he was then living, and engaged in preaching, though not ordained. An application was made for his ordination--a few leading members in the church made objections. They thought his talents were inadequate to fill the office with dignity and respectability. It was a trial to a diffident, humble young man, but he bore it with patience and without murmuring. I never heard him utter a hard saying against any man. He waited on God; "he waxed strong in spirit," and "increased in wisdom, and in favor with God and man." Ere long he was ordained and "God made him an able minister of the New Testament." A few years elapsed when John Thomson, a popular preacher, who had great influence in that church made arrangements, and formed his plan to return to the Presbyterians. Much difficulty, and finally division ensued. The objectors above mentioned were with Thomson in sentiment, and returned to Presbyterianism. Kyle was steadfast, and contended earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints; but was prudent and moderate "in meekness, instructing those that opposed themselves;" so that, they of the contrary part, had no evil thing to say of him."

        Another characteristic of a bishop is, "not greedy of filthy lucre," which brother Kyle exhibited in a supereminent degree. He had a large family, he travelled and preached extensively, and received but little remuneration for his time and labor. Besides, his father-in-law who lived in Kentucky, owned a number of slaves; at his decease, they became the property of his heirs, agreeably to the laws of that state, Kyle and his wife were perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment, and determined not to live upon the gain of oppression. Some of the heirs who lived in Kentucky proposed to him, that inasmuch as he could not hold slaves in Ohio, they would take the negroes in their part of the estate, and let him have his full share in money, which would have amounted to more than four thousaud dollars. This would appear to have been a strong temptation to him and his wife, having a large and needy family. But they resolved that, as God in his Providence had placed those human beings at their disposal, they should not remain in bondage. He therefore claimed his full share, and brought them to the State of Ohio, that they might inherit that freedom to which, as the rational creatures


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of God, they were entitled. His business on earth was, to honor, feed and clothe his Lord and master, by doing good to mankind--Earthly treasure and worldly honor were light in his esteem. He once consented, was elected and served one session in the Legislature of the State of Ohio. I was a member at the same time from another County. He was a christian there, the same sober, orderly man, yet attentive to the duties of the office, that he might discharge his trust with fidelity. I cannot detail the purticulars of his last sickness and death. A considerable time beforehand he experienced a paralytic stroke, and was confined for a season, but measurably recovered, so that he was able to travel and preach. A second stroke of palsy laid him low, from which he never recovered. To us it would appear more needful to the church and to his family, that he should "abide in the flesh." But God in his wisdom and goodness, has called him to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. It has been suggested that a change had taken place as to his views of the gospel, shortly before his death, but I have had a satisfactory assurance, that he continued steadfast in the faith and doctrine which he believed and preached for many years.

        In remembrance of my departed friend, I can, with heartfelt consolation and confidence, adopt the language of inspiration, and "write, blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them."

        Elder Kyle was a faithful student of the bible, "he studied to show himself approved unto God a workman that need not to be ashamed." He made a very grave and interesting appearance in the pulpit. He was rather slow of speech, but his voice was pleasant and harmonious, and his manner areeable and impressive, and his discourses able and instructive. He was the means of many churches being organized in the Miami country. The Cove Spring church was raised up under his instrumentality. He lived and died in the bounds of this church, and had been its Pastor for many years. In Ohio, was the field of his general labors, but he travelled and preached considerably in other States. The last tour he travelled, was through Indiana; he preached a great deal and visited many of his former acquaintances from Ohio. He lamented much the cold and lukewarm state of the church in Indiana as well as in Ohio. He saw a great want of spirituality in religious exercises. He also observed many families where the alter of prayer was once kept in good repair and held in high esteem, that now it was thrown down and out of order or entirely demolished.--And the "God of this world was not only blinding the minds of them


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that believe not, but covetousness which is idolatry, had taken possession of many hearts where once the love of God and the Holy Spirit shone with refulgent beauty. Brother Kyle was a spiritually minded man. He was a member of the Miami Conference from its first formation. He was as a father in Israel. His counsels and admonitions are much missed in our deliberations. He always appeared to have the cause of God at heart, and was careful never to do or say any thing that was calculated to injure or wound the feelings of any of his brethren. He was charitable and forbearing towards those who differed from him in opinion. As a husband and father he was faithful, obliging and indulgent. Yet he was governor in his own house and was careful to raise and bring up his children in the fear, nurture and admonition of the Lord. He was a great lover of good order and strict propriety. He had determined to spend the remainder of his days in preaching the gospel. But early in the year 1835, he received a paralytic stroke from which he never recovered. His sufferings were long and severe. For about three months before his death he was measurably confined to his room. He bore all his afflictions with christian patience and resignation. His physicians (one a Presbyterian and the other a Methodist) informed him that they could do nothing more for him--that he would have to die. They then asked him how he felt reconciled in his mind. He answered them, "you have not held me as a brother, on the account of doctrine, but I am now willing to inform you, that I die fully confirmed in the faith and doctrine that I have preached for more than twenty-five years." He then asked them if they thought he had not been an honest man.--They answered: "Yes, we believe you have been in every respect, an honest man." On the 8th day of April, 1836, he left the trials and afflictions of this inconstant world, and went from labor to reward.--He left an affectionate wife and twelve children, eight sons and four daughters, to mourn an irreparable loss. Several of his children were professors of christianity at their father's death.

        The writer is at a loss for some dates in this imperfect sketch.--Brother Kyle was over fifty years of age. We feel that in the death of this good man, the ministry have lost one of their most useful and humble members, and the church one of its brightest ornaments, and his family one of the best of husbands and father's. Would to God that all our preachers were as studious, humble, devoted, charitable and exemplary as Elder Kyle was. Brethren, pray the Lord of the harvest, to send forth more faithful laborers into this harvest. It is great, but the faithful laborer's few.


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CHAPTER VIII.
Biographical Sketch of Eld. Thomas
Adams.

        His Father. Birth. Conversion. Impressions to Preach. Difficulties. Ordination. Marriage. Death of his Wife. His own affliction. His character as a Scholar, Speaker, and in Private Life. His Death and Burial. Remarks of the Writer.

        Major George Adams, the father of Elder Thomas Adams, served in the war against the Indians, at the close of the revolution, and was so badly wounded that his life was dispaired of. In the war of 1812, he filled the rank of Major, and commanded the guards on the frontier of Ohio. He was one of the early settlers in Montgomery County, Ohio. He was an exemplary member of the Christian church.

        Elder Thomas Adams was born near Dayton, in the year 1798. He professed the Christian religion, and united with the Christian church. when about 16 years of age. His father emigrated and settled again on an entire frontier, in Darke County. The opportunity for educating his family was poor, he was under the necessity of boarding his children from home, to school them. In this way, Thomas received a limited education. When quite young, he became solemnly impressed with the value of souls, and felt it to be his duty to warn sinners "to flee the wrath to come." He had moral courage sufficient to engage in any work that he believed God had called him to, "he conferred not with flesh and blood;" but immediately engaged in the all-important work of proclaiming the gospel to the world. He persevered through difficulties that an irresolute mind would never have overcome. His opportunity for improvement had been by no means good. His manner of address was awkward, and his language imperfect; and he spoke just as fast as his tongue could possibly run, upon the whole, he had nothing to recommend him but his upright deportment and honest zeal. It was a tax on the patience of any person of taste, to listen to him. Under these circumstances he met with very little encouragement from his brethren, particularly preachers; some of them treated him with neglect and contempt, but others believing him to be an honest and devout young man, endeavored to bear him up.

        Elder George Shidler once told the writer that he had received more persecution, for encouraging brother Thomas Adams, than he ever had from any other quarter in his life. The people became offended at him, because he would take him with him, and encourage him to speak.--But brother Shidler seemed to rejoice, to think that he had borne him


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up, and had not treated him as many others had done. He then spoke of brother Adams as being entirely his superior, and appeared to feel himself as a child compared with him. They had traveled one tour together into Pennsylvania. Brother Adams continued humble and devout, and was a constant student of the BIBLE. It was soon discovered that his mind began to expand, and his manner and language improve. He "studied to show himself approved unto God," and soon became a workman that needed not to be ashamed." In the summer of 1819, he went back into Pennsylvania, in company with his brother, George Adams and John Plummer, and on the 29th day of July he was ordained to the work of the ministry, by the laying on of hands, by Elders Isaac McBride and John Plummer, in the Clarksville church, Pa. He afterwards returned to Ohio.

        He not only stored his mind with Biblical knowledge; but entered diligently into the pursuit of Science. He forsook his rambling course of preaching, and measurably confined his labors to a few churches. In this way it is believed he was more useful, and had a greater opportunity of improving his mind.

        In the fall of 1821, he was reduced very low with the fever, and while laboring under this disease, hemorrhage of the lungs supervened to a very alarming extent, from this he partially recovered, but ever afterwards appeared disposed to consumption

        He was married on the 22nd day of May, 1822; to Ann Carnahan daughter of James Carnahan, of Hamilton Co., Ohio. She was an amiable and respectable member of the Christian church; but this happy, relation lasted with them but a few months, on the 9th of the following October, she was wrested from his bosom, and her affectionate friends by the hand of death, at which time he was lying very low in sickness himself, scarcely able to be taken into her room to bid her FAREWELL.--She was interred in the grave-yard at Burlington meeting-house. After his recovery, he continued to preach, and mainly supported himself by teaching school, and assiduously endeavored to store his mind with useful knowledge. He became an able critic in the English language, he also understood the Latin, Greek, and French languages well. His labors were measurably confined to Warren, Butler, and Hamilton Co's, Brother Adams is no longer the youth, we spoke of, at the commencement of this sketch. We find not the boy laboring under almost every embarrassment, immaginable.

        Reader, in your immagination you may travel as far to the reverse as you reasonably can, and you will not leave him in the rear.

        We find him now a perfect gentleman, a PROFOUND SCHOLAR, an able


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and LOGICAL REASONER, a real PHILOSOPHER and a BEAUTIFUL SPEAKER.--His language was chaste, his manner agreeable and interesting, his sermons METHODICAL and INSTRUCTIVE. If his bodily strength had been sufficient to fully command his voice he would have been one of the most SPLENDID ORATORS of his day. He lived and preached some in the latter part of his life, in Cincinnati, where it is thought he had but few, if any, rivals. In his private life, he was punctual, honest and obliging. In all his social circles he was pleasant and agreeable,--and to cap the climax, he was a Christian in life--as well as in PROFESSION. He was a great and good man.

        While teaching school in the neighborhood of Burlington, Hamilton County, Ohio, he was instrumental in keeping prayer-meetings in the neighborhood. A very remarkable religious revival took place, in which a goodly number professed the christian religion, among whom were several talented young men, who afterwards became eminent ministers of the Gospel of Christ. Wherever he went, he showed himself a pattern of good works.

        Notwithstanding all this, disease and death, (which do not respect any person,) called him away, from labor to reward, in the midst of his days. He suffered for about ten years under a pulmonary consumption, and died in Lexington, Kentucky, on the 8th day of May, 1831, in the 34th year of his age. He was buried in Lexington. Some years afterwards, his friends had his remains removed and interred beside his wife, in Hamilton County, Ohio.

        The writer was well acquainted with Elder Thomas Adams. He believes the foregoing to be strictly correct, much more might be said in his praise. The writer has a hope that this sketch will be of some benefit.

        First, From the example of Brother Adams. Let young men who are conscious, that it is their duty to improve their gift in public, be faithful, persevering, studious, humble, devout, prayerful and exemplary, and the God of heaven will bless them and make them a blessing to others.

        In the second place. Let it be a caution to the brethren, particularly the preachers, never to put any discouragement in the way of young preachers, "lest haply they be found, even to fight against God."

        What must have been the feelings of those brethren, who dis-countenanced Brother Adams, in the commencement of his ministerial labors, when they beheld the latent powers of his mind developed? and heard him with feelings of deep respect? and had to acknowledge his superior rhetorical powers? He occupied his talents until they increased to more than ten; while many with better opportunities, buried theirs in the earth,--and even what they once had, appeared to be taken from them.


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CHAPTER IX.
A Biographical Sketch of Elder Nathan
Worley.

        Parentage. Birth. Malcom Worley's education. Nathan Worley's education. Marriage. Profession of Christianity. Removal to Ohio. Marshall and Thompson's return to the Presbyterians. Ordination. A description of the man and his preaching. Character of his wife. Her death. His second marriage. His settlement in Germantown. His last sickness and death. His character as a man. His doctrine.

        Caleb Worley, the father of Elder Nathan Worley was a resident of Virginia. He and his wife were both respectable members of the Presbyterian church--he was for many years a ruling Elder. They emigrated to Kentucky and settled near Lexington in the year 1787. Mr. Worley died in 1790. After the separation in the Presbyterian church in the commencement of the nineteenth century, Mrs. Worley united with those who withdrew from Synod. She lived to be near one hundred years old. Nathan Worley was born in Botetourt County, on James River, Virginia, on the 7th day of January, 1773. He was the eighth child--his father and mother had fifteen children. The facilities for education at so early a period, both in Virgiuia and Kentucky were but poor; consequently, Mr. Caleb Worley was not able to give all his large family of children more than an ordinary education; but like many other father's in the Presbyterian church, he selected one son to whom he gave a classical education preparatory to the ministry. This election fell upon Malcom, an older son than Nathan. He was a talented young man, and bid fair to be useful in the world. He drank deeply into the spirit of the reformation, and took his stand on the Bible, and rejected all human creeds. He moved to Ohio when the country was new, and bought a tract of land in Warren county, of the very best quality. But unfortunately, his mind became somewhat unstable, and some of his friends believe he was insane, (or partially so,) and when the Shaker's made their appearance in the West, he was ensnared by them, and received their faith. Gave up all his personal property, and deeded his land to them, and continued with them until his death. The most of his children had left the Shaker's before their father's death, and went into the world destitute of any earthly inheritance from their parents.

        Nathan Worley received but a limited education. He was in his eighteenth year, when his father died. He was married on the 2nd of


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March, 1791, to Rachael Greer, daughter of Stephen and Ruth Greer, of Fayette county, Kentucky, but formerly of Greenbrier county, Virginia. They were both members of the Presbyterian church. In the same year that Nathan Worley was married, he and his wife both professed the christian religion, and became members of the Presbyterian church, but after the separation in 1804, they both left the Presbyterian church and united with the dissenters. In the spring of the same year, he came to Ohio and brought his son Caleb with him, who was then but a small boy, and raised a crop and made provisions to winter his family and flocks, in the neighborhood of Dayton, which was then an insignificant village, surrounded by a wild forest, interspersed with some small prairies, and a few cabins connected with little farms, occupied by the resolute pioneers of the West. In the summer he returned to Kentucky, and moved his family in the fall. In the spring of 1805, he settled on his own land, two or three miles south west of Dayton, where he resolutely, with his own hands, felled the forest trees; converted some of them into rails, cleared off the brush and surplus timber, and made a farm sufficient to raise bread, and vegetables enough to maintain his family and flocks.

        Little did he expect to live to see the whole country around him, almost universally under a high state of cultivation, with splendid mansions. Never a thought entered his mind while passing through Dayton--a poor, little, starved, sickly village; that he would see it one of the most beautiful towns his eyes ever beheld; a great manufacturing and commercial CITY, containing some 15,000 inhabitants, with many Macadamized roads passing to it, and a Canal running through it, carrying daily, many splendid boats filled with and bearing off the produce of the country, and bringing back the merchandize of the East and the luxuries of the world. But all this he lived to see with his own eyes. Nathan Worley had drunk deeply into the spirit of the great revival and reformation before he left Kentucky. He had taken his stand on the Bible. He believed all human creeds and sectarian names were calculated to foster bigotry and sectarianism. He carried the same hallowed fire with him to Ohio, and although the labors, cares and privations common to a newly settled country, bore heavy upon him, yet his zeal in the cause of God abated not. He was "fervent in spirit, serving the Lord." He introduced prayer meetings in the small settlements in the Miami valley--met with the people--sung and prayed and exhorted his neighbors "to flee the wrath to come and lay hold on eternal life." His Godly zeal and upright deportment shed a halo around him, that had a heavenly influence, and many


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souls were converted to God through his instrumentality. He had the entire confidence of his brethren, and was "of good report among them who were without." But during the early part of the religious life of this good man, like the generality of reformers, he was destined to meet with severe trials and discouragements. The preachers who were considered leaders in this reformation, he found to be but men, and several of them proved unstable. McNemar, Dunlavy, and Houston were led off by the delusion of Shakerism, in the year 1805. A few years afterwards, Robert Marshall and John Thompson began to look back to the land from whence they came out, and finally recanted and went back to Presbyterianism. They were both very influential and talented men; several young preachers and many lay members were carried with them. Some churches were divided, and others entirely broken to fragments. This coming so soon after the tremendous shock occasioned by Shakerism, was well calculated to try the faith of all those who had taken their stand on the Bible, to the rejection of all human creeds.*

        * Nathan Worley had almost unbounded confidence in Elder John Thompson, and seeing him returning back to Presbyterianism, it came well nigh shaking the good man's faith, and for a time (to use his own expression) he hung on the fence. But through the grace of God, he finally settled down on the Bible, and his motto through life was the Bible, and the Bible alone, for a rule of faith and practice.


But Nathan Worley had learned to "call no man master," but continued to lean on the arm of God, and looked to the Lord Jesus Christ, "the captain of his salvation," and by the grace of God he was borne above the waves that swallowed up many of the unstable and irresolute. Through all these difficulties, brother Worley, in humble prayer cast himself on the mighty arm of God. He continued to occupy his talents in a very useful manner, until the 1st of May, 1815, when he was regularly set apart to the work of the ministry at Major George Adams', eight miles below Dayton, by fasting, praying and laying on the hands of the Presbytery. Reuben Dooly and Hugh Andrews were the officiating Elders. Such was the interest taken by the church in this case, that they spent the day in fasting and praying with the Elders. This was as it ought to be, and (no doubt) God heard their prayers, and blessed the labors of Elder N Worley, and made him one of the most useful ministers of his day.

        From his ordination to his death, he gave himself almost entirely to the ministry of the Gospel. He constantly had the care, and was Pastor of several churches; but his labors were not confined to these alone. He traveled extensively in the western part of Ohio, and eastern part of Indiana, and also in Kentucky. He visited from church to church,


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and frequently preached where there were no churches. His commission was to all the world. The Methodists, United Brethren in Christ and other denominations, shared his labors. He was more useful to these churches than many of their own ministers were. The writer believes he had as little sectarianism about him as any man he ever knew; he also believes he was the most popular preacher he ever was acquainted with. Every thing about the man seemed to preach. His tall form, swarthy complexion, dark, hollow, piercing eye and thundering voice, with his gestures suited to his expressions, sending forth the truths of the everlasting Gospel, in the simple and forcible style of the Bible, could scarcely fail to effect every heart not callous by the frequent resistance of the Holy Spirit of God. He was a reformation preacher, and his great success was owing to a spiritual and forcible presentation of truth. He often enforced his arguments and illustrations by figurative language and similes, which he (in the general) happily applied, but we never heard him descend to those labored anathemas against the unrighteous, or frightful anecdotes common among what are called reformation preachers. If he preached terror, it was the terror of the Bible. He preached Jesus Christ and him crucified; and his glorying was in the cross of Christ. He always seemed desirous, in his public exhibitions, to keep the glorious character of God as manifested in his Son Jesus Christ, before the minds of his audience. Notwithstanding his popularity and influence, he was one of the most humble, unassuming and unpretending men in the world. His general deportment in public and private life, was a volume of instruction to all his intimate acquaintances. He was tender, affectionate, and devoted to his family--accommodating and obliging to all classes. He was firm in his purpose, and had an uncommon share of moral courage. He had the complete government of himself. The tongue--that unruly member, he bridled and kept it in full subjection. He never got into difficulty by unguarded expressions, either in public or private. His actions were founded on the broad basis of christian charity and universal benevolence. His brotherly affection extended to all whose general deportment corresponded with the Gospel. He seldom impugned the doctrines or motives of those who differed from him in opinion. He treated all classes and denominations respectfully, but made no compromise with sin. He reproved with plainness, and urged to duty with fervor. His sermons were (generally) illustrative, practical, and spiritual. The writer believes he was one of the most devout men he ever knew. In prayer, he seemed to feel himself immediately in the presence of God, and to


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have all confidence that He heard and would answer his prayers. He appeared, at all times, to realize himself dependent on God, and that the aid of his Holy Spirit was indispensable in the successful preaching of the word. It is believed that hundreds of souls will shine forth as stars in his diadem for ever and ever.

        Elder Worley was not among those men who were fond of new doctrines, but as soon as he was fully convinced of an error, he was happy to exchange it for truth. He continued longer in the faith and practice of sprinkling and pouring for baptism, than any other preacher in the connection; and also baptized infants, (the writer believes) after all the rest of the denomination had rejected it as unauthorized by scripture. He never was immersed himself, until the writer baptized him, in the year 1832 or 3. He never practiced sprinkling or pouring for baptism afterwards. He never believed that the design of baptism was for remission of sins, but believed that it was wisely designed to show our death to sin and our life to righteousness, and also to declare our faith in the burial and resurrection of the Savior, and to represent our own burial and resurrection.

        He continued to reside on his farm near Dayton, until after the death of his wife, which took place on the 8th of May, 1835. She was an amiable and excellent woman, and was truly a help suitable for him, and assisted him much by her advice and encouragement to duty, and also, by her economical life at home.*

        * There is no earthly blessing, on which the success and usefulness of a preacher so much depends, as a good wife. She prompts him to faithfulness; always has his clothes ready in time, so that he can meet his appointments. She hears him preach as often as she consistently can. In meekness she corrects his mistakes, and shows him where he might have bettered his sermon and made it more interesting and useful. When he leaves home to preach, he feels that he is followed by the prayers and well wishes of his wife. He rests easy concerning his children and family, knowing that the steward of his house is a good wife. He knows she will never unnecessarily, run him in debt, but will be frugal and industrious. She shares his toils. and will reap her reward.


After her death, he sold his farm with a design to assist his children some, who were all of lawful age and mostly married. He afterwards bought property in West Alexandria, Preble County, and moved to it. But spent the greater part of his time in the Gospel field, and labored with all the zeal and spirit of former years, for the good of the church, and the salvation of souls. Finally, his son that lived with him, married and moved to a farm. He then sold his property, and left West Alexandria, and gave up all the cares and concerns of this world, and visited
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from place to place, and city to city, and truly "his praise was in all the churches." None was more pleasantly received and joyfully heard. He scarcely ever failed to be at our Yearly or Conference meetings. He was not an officious member, but was ready to give his admonitions and counsel when necessary, which were always listened to with respect and attention by the assembly. He preached considerably in the city of Cincinnati, where, (after being some years a widower) he married a widow lady by the name of Pyle. She was a member of the christian church in the city. Afterwards, he bought property in Germantown, Montgomery County, Ohio, where they continued to reside until his death.

        The few latter years of his life, his health appeared visibly on the decline, but he still had an ardent desire to preach the Gospel. He loved it, and wished to recommend it to others; and frequently he preached when he was not well able. He wore out his life in the good cause of his Master. He was "faithful unto death," and no doubt has received the crown of life. The last time the writer saw him was at his own house, the November before his demise. We held a meeting of days within a few rods of his own door. He walked twice into the church during the meeting, and each time before he left the congregation, with difficulty he arose from his chair, and "leaning on the top of his staff," in a very pathetic manner, he addressed the church and people on the momentous subject of salvation. And although his whole physical frame trembled under the weight of years and affliction, yet we could easily discover some of that native energy and eloquence that so signally marked the days of his strength. He continued to suffer on through the winter with a severe cough, and a general debilitated state of the system. His physician said he was worn out. His memory had in some degree failed, but in other respects his mind continued firm and his confidence strong in the christian's God. He never was heard to murmur or complain of his sufferings; he seemed to believe they were "working for him, a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."

        Elder Nathan Worley, died on the 29th day of April, 1847, and was buried on the 1st day of May, beside his former wife in Dayton.

        Elder Rhineheart, a member of the United Brethren in Christ church delivered a discourse suitable to the occasion, in Germantown, before his remains were removed from town. This was according to brother Worley's request. He said he would prefer having one of the preacher's with whom he stood particularly associated, to preach at his death, but as none of them were near him, he requested brother Rhineheart to be invited to address the people at his death.


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        Elder Nathan Worley was not only great and good as a preacher; but in all the different associations in life, he proved himself to be a good man. As a husband and father, he was kind, tender, affectionate, faithful and obliging. His house was a place of worship. The alter of prayer, erected in his family soon after he first dedicated himself to God, was never suffered to become impaired as long as he was able to bow the knee before the throne of grace.

        As a neighbor, he was accommodating and obliging; as a citizen, he was punctual, liberal, and submissive. He never took any very active part in politics; he was careful to follow peace with all men, and to speak evil of no man. He was a pattern of good works--a christian in life and in death.

        It is due to the citizens of Germantown and vicinity to say, that there were but few of father Worley's own denomination or family connections living near him, but the members of all denominations near, paid due respect to him in his last sickness, and the citizens who professed no religion, seemed to vie with each other in benevolent acts towards this venerable man. Never have we known a man to die more generally beloved where he was best known.

        The writer speaks advisedly respecting father Worley, for he has been particularly associated with him in the ministry for the last twenty-five years. He is confident that no reader well acquainted with this good man, will say he has spoken too highly in his praise.--The writer feels it to be his duty to state a few things further, relative to this good man's views on some doctrinal and practical points.

        Elder Worley seldom entered into controversial points of doctrine; but when he did, he was plain and to the point, and generally established his position by the unalterable truths of the Gospel. His views on the divinity of Christ, and the atonement, were plain and consistent. The divinity of Jesus Christ he believed to be a fundamental doctrine of the Bible. But the doctrine of the trinity, he considered a dark, mysterious something, no where to be found in the Holy Book of God But he most confidently believed, that Jesus was the Christ--the Son of the living God.--Matt. 16, 16. He also believed the sacrifice given for a lost world, was nothing less than the Son of God. That very being by whom God made the worlds.--Heb. 2, 2. Also, that he had a glory with the Father, before the world was, "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.--John 17, 5. The reader, by attending to this chapter throughout, may easily contemplate Father Worley's exalted views of the pre-existence and divinity of the Son of God. He


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firmly believed that the "very God" could not die; and on the contrary, be viewed a mere human sacrifice insufficient to redeem a lost world; but consistently with the whole tenor of scripture, he believed that the only begotten of the Father, came down from heaven to suffer and die, "the just for the unjust, to bring us to God." "For verily, he took not on him the nature of Angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham."--Heb. 2, 16. This excellent and divine being, who was glorified with the Father before the world was, he believed, proceeded and came forth from the Father," and became a propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world.--1st John 2,2. He could by no means believe, that the wrath of God burned against the world until his Son came, but that "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.--John 3, 16. He did not believe that the propitiatory sacrifice or atonement was designed to work any change in God; for He is unchangeably the same. "But that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself--not imputing their tresspasses unto them, &c. 2nd Cor. 5, 19. "For it pleased the Father, that in him (Christ) should all fullness dwell; and having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself, &c.--Col. 1; 19, 20. From these, with numerous other passages to the same import, N. Worley was led to believe that no change was necessary on God's part, but that he was unchangeably what He is emphatically in scripture called, "LOVE;"--but that man had alienated himself from God, and became enemies by "wicked works."-"For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement."--Rom. 5, 10. Elder Worley did not believe that God loved the world because his Son came, suffered, and died the ignominious death of the cross; but he believed that God's love was so great to a lost aud ruined world, that he gave up his only begotten Son, to die for our sins, to bring us to God; and that Christ Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, "gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify nnto himself, a peculiar people, zealous of good works."--Tit. 2, 14.

        He also believed, that African Slavery was a sin against God, and the greatest curse that ever befel an American people.

        He farther believed, the spirit and practice of War, was directly opposed to every principle of the christian religion; and that all difficulties


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between Nations, might and ought to be settled by negotiation or arbitration.

        These doctrines and opinions, Elder Worley preached and believed, and continued to believe as long as he lived; and left his testimony in their favor, when on his dying bed This information, the writer has received from men of undoubted veracity, who were with him in his last sickness. He is willing to stand responsible for the truth of these assertions, because from his own personal knowledge, he knows that these were the doctrines believed by Elder Worley. Elder W. R. Rhineheart, who was with him much during his last sickness, has informed the writer, that he continued firm and unshaken to his last;--and further, brother Rhineheart states emphatically, "He" (N. Worley) "was the best man about here." He was "a pattern of good works." He lived respected, and died lamented by all classes and denominations who knew him.

CHAPTER X.
A Sketch of the Great Kentucky Revival.

        Nominal State of the Church. United Efforts, the Good Effects.--W. Roger's Testimony. Labors of Jas. McGrady. Concord Meeting. Point-Pleasant.

Cane-Ridge.

        The Good Effects of the Work. Obstructed by a Sectarian Spirit.--A Description. Falling Exercise. Jerks. The writers Testimony, and Remarks.

        I have lately read the Biography of Elder Barton W. Stone. In his Journal, written by himself; he has given an account of the GREAT REVIVAL, of religion, that took place in the begining of the 19th century. I also find that good man's views ridiculed, and his judgment, treated with contempt. I was young at that time; (in my 11th year;) but being an eye-witness of these things, I feel myself competent, to give evidence in the case. I believe the statements made by Brother Stone to be correct, and his opinion worthy of respect.

        Since the writer prepared a few historical sketches of this great revival for publication. He has read an article on the same subject, worthy of notice, from the pen of Brother William Rogers, of Caneridge, which he here inserts, by way of introduction to his own remarks.


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        "About the close of the 18th century, and the beginning of the 19th, the more pious of the clergy, and members of the churches of the respective religious denominations in Kentucky, beheld with emotions of useful and unfeigned regret, the moral desolations which prevailed in their ranks generally, to an alarming extent.

        The nominal votaries of religion were slumbering upon their posts, nor were they aware of the fatal delusion, until aroused from their lethargy by the astounding events of the great and exciting religious revival, now about to be witnessed in the west.

        Early in the year 1801, a year memorable in the annals of Kentucky, an anxious enquiry began to be instituted by the churches generally, as by common impulse, into the causes of the great spiritual delinquincies that prevailed among them: and at the same time to ascertain if practicable, a remedy, for the moral malady that so sorely afflicted them.

        The causes which similtaneously, and in parts distant and remote from each other, aroused the minds of so many thousands to such momentous enquiries as suggested, have not, and perhaps may not shortly, be so clearly ascertained and developed, as to be satisfactory, to ALL the religious orders of the day. With many it remains a mooted question, nor would the author of these reminiscences attempt its discussion. Nay he would not disturb it. It may not be amiss however to suggest that, a retrospection of the eighteenth century, then but recently forever closed upon the world, may have exercised some agency, in conducting the minds of that generation of men, to such reflections, as resulted in the great events that followed.

        We are often solemnly affected by the contemplations, incident upon the close of a single year, through an event of so frequent recurrence in the life of man. But the close of a century, and the introduction of another, is an era, in the life of man, witnessed by much the smaller share of onr race. The coming occurrenoies of the year in question, were at first indicated, in the manner already premised. And in a short time the people began to meet in small assemblages, for the purpose not only of inquiry, but for religious worship. The more experienced engaged in exhortations and prayers to God for a revival of his work.--Those meetings were well attended, and conducted with becoming gravity. The Bible, hitherto looked on as a sealed book, to be believed and understood only by the favored few, divinely illuminated, was now freely--and in the spirit of much candor read and examined. Its seeming difficulties were passed, and the minds of inquirers directed to the plain and practical teachings of that blessed book--much good was the result.


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        In the meantime ministers of the gospel had become greatly awakened to the discharge of their holy functions--their discourses were more clear and practical, and of consequence, far more interesting and effectual.

        The dogma's and speculations of the sects, were now in but little request, even among the celergy. Themes of a much more noble character inspired their hearts. The spiritual growth of their flocks, and the salvation of souls. And in this manner the interest for the christian religion increased daily. These remarks apply to the denominations generally. More especially, however, to the Presbyterian church, in the bosom of which the writer was born and raised, and for which he still retains favorable remembrances.

        The interest for the bible and the religion it teaches augmented daily, and the moral tensions of the public mind was now wound up to a high stage. When early in the month of April of the year in question: a phenomena in the religious history of the west, made its appearance in the south of Kentucky more than one hundred miles from Caneridge. It was in the language of that day, styled: "The falling exercise." The accounts of it narrated were wondrous to our ears. And still the wonder grew until the month of May: when the strange work was witnessed in the two churches of Caneridge and Concord, the former in Bourbon, the latter in Nicholas County. And both at the time, under the pastoral of the Reverend Barton W. Stone, a young gentleman of much purity and high respect for learning, for talent and amiability of manners, in the Presbyterian ranks.

        The exercise in question soon spread in all directions, and meetings for public worship were kept up with but little intermission, not only in these two churches, but throughout the great west. The Reverend Stone was a regular and distinguished actor in many of them.--The interest and the exercise was truly astounding--and thousands were the converts of that summer. Many a tall son and daughter of worldly pride was made to bear submission to Prince Messiah.

        In due time a great Camp-Meeting to be held at Caneridge, in the coming month of August, was published. Such was now the general interest of the public mind, that when the meeting came, it was attended by about 2500 souls. Persons were said to be in attendance from most of the States in the Union. Particularly, were gathered together, on that memorable occasion, the thousands of Israel, from all the religious orders of the land--Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, &c. &c., were there, as one mighty spiritual host, assembled together, to fight the battles of the Lord. They had come up to the help of Zion. They


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preached and prayed and praised together--they mutually labored together for the salvation of sinners. Their objects and aims were the same--there was no schism.

        Nay, more. Together, in sweetest, holiest, symbolic communion, they sat down at the one table of the one Lord, and together commemorated his sufferings and death--affording, to a gazing and admiring world, a monumental exhibition of an answer to the memorable prayer of the incarnate Jesus, to his and their Heavenly Father, for the union of His people. Such were the glories of the times that many good people thought assuredly, the millenium had began to dawn upon the world.

        During this meeting of about 8 or 10 days' continuance, hundreds were the converts. Very many indeed, were the subjects of the exercise in question. Numbers of them were the intimates of the writer. But for as much as he was himself never a subject of it--was at the time young and unexperienced. And moreover, as one far more competent, has already given to the world a history of the exercise, describing its operations, effects and results, the author of this hasty sketch, will not attempt to define it. Doubtless it was a strange and extraordinary work. He will say however, because true that, at the time he first winessed it, he was not entirely satisfied as to its cause, and tendencies. His mind wavered. He doubted. But it is equally true, that for now more than forty years, he has ceased to question its genuineness. Most of its subjects known to him (and he was intimate with many) have, by their pious and godly lives and their triumphant deaths, long since, stamped the seal of heaven upon its divine origin, and forever silenced its opposers. A few converts of that early day: some, subjects of the work in question, some not, all now greatly advanced, still survive the ravages of time, and are still buoyant with the good hope of heaven, begotten in their souls at that early stage of the Reformation.

        Christian Reader; pause while we propound a weighty question: can more with truth be said of like numbers of converts at any subsequent period of the Reformation; notwithstanding the greater light, in which we so much exult? Are we of the present day running the Christian race better than they? Nay more; do we run as well as they? The wise will look on these things, and learn instruction.

        At the memorable meeting at Caneridge, the early principles of reform, began to dawn. And at Caneridge some short time after the Rev. Stone, aided by the Rev. David Purviance, and a few others, "originated and give impulse to a new reformation wave, whose onward roll shall be commensurate, and coextensive with eternity."


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        The intelligent, the amiable and pious Purviance, now near four-score years of age, resides near New Paris, in the State of Ohio, and is at this time the only survivor of that Veteran band who, at that early date decided, to take the Bible as their creed, to the exclusion of all systems of human devise. He still teaches with a becoming zeal, the faith he, at the period in question subscribed to."

        In the beginning of the year 1801, we heard that a very extraordinary religious excitement had taken place, in Tennessee, and part of Kentucky, under the labors of James McGrady, and other Presbyterian preachers. Br. Stone paid a visit to those parts, where this work had commenced, early in the spring, and came home to the churches of his charge, Caneridge and Concord, thoroughly convinced that it was a great work of God. His preaching was more spiritual and interesting, and in a short time, the work commenced under his labors. The first I saw of it, was at William Maxwells in Caneridge. When we arrived, it was dark, we found the people in the yard, mostly standing on their feet, but when we went to the crowd we found many persons under both physical, and mental excitement. Some were happy, rejoicing in the Lord. Others were lying apparently almost lifeless. While many were praying to God most fervently for the pardon of their sins. Many professed, to find forgiveness and peace to their souls on that night The same week there was a meeting commenced, at Concord meeting house. Many hundreds gathered there with wagons and provisions, to camp on the ground. The work went on to the astonishment of all present. It took the name of the falling exercise, from its manner of operation. It was no uncommon occurrence, for persons while listening to preaching, exhortation, prayer or singing, to fall from their seat or feet to the ground, and some appeared almost in a lifeless condition; while others would cry to God in the most fervent manner, for mercy to their needy souls. Many when they felt deep and serious impressions, would attempt to leave the crowd and get to themselves, but scarcely ever went far before they fell their whole length on the ground, and their groans and cries would call a small crowd to them. By this means the congregation was often divided into many companies. A great many professed, to be converted from the error of their ways at this meeting. Shortly afterwards there was another meeting of the same description, at Point-pleasant meeting-house, on Stoner creek Bourbon County. This church was under the care of Joseph Howe, a Presbyterian preacher. At this meeting I recollect to have seen a young Lawyer; who came there a deist, from Lexinging. He had fallen to the ground, confessed his sins to God, and found relief


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from the awful guilt and condemnation of sin, and was now standing, on his feet, not pleading law, but pleading the cause of God and inviting sinners to the Savior. Children not more than ten or eleven years of age, were converted at this meeting. It was perfectly astonishing to hear with what judgment they spoke of the goodness of God, and the willingness and fullness, there was in the Lord Jesus to save all mankind. I knew a little girl not over nine years of age, who at this meeting became a subject of the revival; that lived a pious and exemplary life, and died in Ohio, after she became a woman, having her faith and confidence yet in that God that blessed her in childhood.

        THE GREAT MEETING AT CANERIDGE commenced on Friday before the third Lord's day of August, 1801. From the commencement the roads were literally crowded with wagons, carriages, horsemen, and people on foot; all pressing to the appointed place; till by the Sabbath day, the grove that was then open near Caneridge meeting-house, was filled with wagons, tents, and people. It was supposed that there were between twenty and thirty thousand people there. Elder Stone in his journal remarks "A particular description of this meeting would fill a large volume, and then the half would not be told," Stone's Biography pa. 38. For the sake of the present and future generations, I will attemt a faint discription.--

        From the very commencement, an uncommon solemnity appeared to rest on the countenances of the people. not unfrequently several preachers would be speaking within the bounds of the encampment withont any interruption to each other. Wagons, stumps, and logs were used for stands. The preaching and exhortations, were interesting and impressive. Salvation free to all mankind, was proclaimed, and the willingness of Jesus, to save all that would come, was urged universally by the speakers. "The word of God was quick and powerful, and sharper than a two-edged sword;" many sinners were cut to the heart, and fell prostrate under an awful guilt and condemnation for sin. This was not confined to any one class. The moral, genteel and well raised: the giddy and profane, the wicked, the drunkard, and the infidel, the poor and also the rich, as well as the proud and vain, with all their gaudy attire, were brought down by the spirit of the ALMIGHTY, and they appeared to have forgotten every thing in this world in view of their souls eternal salvation.

        I recollect having seen a small girl, not more than ten or eleven years of age, held np by a friend that stood in a wagon, while she invited sinners to the Savior All who heard her, seemed to be astonished at her eloquence and judgment manifested in inviting sinners to God,


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It appeared, that from the mouths of children, "God had ordained strength." "He took the weak things of the world, to confound the mighty;" and by this means, the most stubborn sinners were brought to bow to the Savior. At this meeting, and in this revival, there was a most solemn and interesting spirit of prayer manifested. In the crowds, tents, and wagons, you could hear fervent prayer. I have gone from the camp-ground into the woods, and it was difficult to get away from prayer; for more than a half mile, I could see people on their knees before God in humble prayer.

        This was not a sectarian meeting, although it was held at a Presbyterian meeting house. Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians were simultaneously engaged. Perfect friendship, unanimity, and brotherly kindness prevailed. They had come together, to the help of the Lord against the mighty, and "Zion was terrible as an army with banners." The meeting lasted six days--the last sermon that was delivered on the occasion, was by a Methodist preacher, by the name of Samuel Hitt. It is known only to God, how many were converted at this meeting. There were no means, by which, even to ascertain how many professed religion. The object of the meeting was not to build up any sect or party; but to bring sinners to the Savior. When the meeting was over, the people returned to their homes and friends.--There were many there from Ohio, and some from Tennessee, and the excitement spread with the people, and the young converts joined the churches of their choice; and the good work of reformation went on with irresistible force, and appeared like carrying every thing before it. Many were fully persuaded that the glorious millennial day had commenced, and that the world would soon become the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. But alas! That enemy of God and man, sectarianism, raised its hydra head, and "made war upon the saints of the most High God and overcame them," and the fair prospects of Zion were in some degree blasted. A cruel jealousy began to show itself among the leaders--some concluded that the spoils were not equally divided; others, that their craft was in danger. This engendered a disposition to draw off from each other, and the mighty army became weak by division, which always has a bad effect. If the preachers had continued in the spirit of the reformation, and all let fall their sectarian names, and united in one tremendous phalanx against sin and all unrighteousness, it is my humble opinion, that before this time, infidelity would have been driven from the world. Notwithstanding the pride and selfishness of little minded men, raised a barrier in the way of the work, and in some degree, obstructed it; yet, where the people


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continued humble and devoted to God, the good cause advanced, and sinners were converted to the Christian religion. But the bodily exercise (as it was called) seemed to change its manner of operation. The falling exercise became not so common, and the jerks succeeded.--These (if possible) were harder to account for than the former, and it is impossible for me, fully, to describe them. The first I saw affected with them, were very pious, exemplary persons. Their heads would jerk back suddenly, frequently causing them to give a yelp, or make some other involuntary noise. After this, nearly all classes became subject to them. The intelligent and the ignorant; the strong, athletic man, and weak, effeminate persons were handled alike by them.--Sometimes the head would fly every way so quickly, that their features could not be recognized. I have seen their heads fly back and forward so quickly, that the hair of females would be made to crack like a carriage whip, but not very loud. A stranger looking on, would have supposed that they would be killed instantly. Some wicked persons have taken them, while ridiculing, them, and have been powerfully operated upon, by them; others have taken them while trying to mimic them, and had them in good earnest. One thing that appeared almost (if not entirely) miraculous was, that among the hundreds that I have seen have them, I never knew or heard of one, being hurt or injured by them, more than this, they have told me that when they strove against them, and made great exertions to keep from them, they sometimes, felt sore afterwards; otherwise, they never felt any subsequent inconvenience from them.

        I have now given a short sketch of what is called the great revival, commencing early in the nineteenth century. I have no doubt that many of my readers will pronounce it a delusion. Some of that day, called it this: others called it the work of the devil, and some witchcraft. I am of the opinion, that but few, who honestly and carefully observed its operations, could pronounce it a mere human exertion. I will now give you my own opinion respecting this work:

        1st. I will speak of it negatively. It was not man's work, because it was beyond the power and control of man. It was not of the devil, because it had no had effect. It made people no worse. It neither injured them physically, intellectually, morally, nor religiously. 2nd. It was of God, because it was superhuman, and beyond the power and control of man, or any evil spirit. Its effects proved it to be of God. It brought sinners of every description to "repent of their sins and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance." The sceptic was brought to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. The wicked were


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turned from their wicked practices, to the service of the living God. The drunkard was led from his cups of intoxication, to the house of the Lord. Many of those characters, lived christians afterwards;--"fought the good fight, finished their course, kept the faith" and received the crown.

        Bigotry, selfishness, and sectarianism gave way before the spirit that accompanied this work. A great regard was manifested for the salvation of souls, and a very extraordinary spirit of prayer was felt among christians. So much love, peace, unanimity, forbearance, brotherly kindness, and charity, must be from the source and fountain of all GOODNESS. I have no doubt that the reason why some good men in these late days, speak and write against this work is, they were not in it; have never seen it, and know not what they say, not where of they affirm. Some has said, that none but weak-minded persons were subjects of these exercises. This is not correct. Men and women of the best intellects--of undoubted character, and of exemplary lives, were subjects of this good work. I am glad that Father Stone and Father Purviance have left their testimony in favor of it; and many are yet living, whose grey hairs tell the tale of a long life, and point to the bourne from whence no traveler returns, that will testify with me in this case.

        There is no doubt that in this, as well as all great revivals, there were some fanaticism, and some mechanical excitement, which had their effect but for a short time. It was also evident, that some persons with corrupt hearts, and wishing to be esteemed something, while nothing, acted the hypocrite and endeavored to counterfeit the good work of God, but this is no evidence that the work was not of God. There was a great difference between that revival and many of the excitements that I have since witnessed. In that, there was a great deal of prayer and wrestling with God, a very extraordinary travail of soul among christians for the salvation of mankind. Sinners were invited to the Saviour in a feeling and pathetic manner, and many were pierced to the heart--confessed their sins to God, and found peace and pardon through Jesus Christ, and afterwards continued faithful, and "walked worthy of the vocation wherewith they were called." But in these late days, many who profess to be called of God, to proclaim his word, do not follow the precept and example of Elijah, in waiting and looking to God till the fire comes down from heaven; but they put fire under, and it is nothing more than a blast:--something like a fire created by thrusting a lighted match into a bunch of dry straw--son over. I am glad to see religious excitements, but I desire


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to see them raised by the influence of Gospel truth, and sinners drawn to the Savior, and fully reconciled to God by the death of the Son.--The love of God exhibited in the gift of his Son, has a more salutary influence on the hearts of mankind, than any other thing that can be presented to their minds.

        We may excite the passions by the presentation of frightful and terrible things. But it is time and labor worse than lost, because its influence is of short duration, and leaves the creature more hard and unbelieving, and more subject to run into infidelity than he ever was before. Preachers are but men, and too liable to pride and vanity, and the name of being the instrument in the hands of God, of bringing a great number into the church, or of baptizing more converts than others, had led many into an intemperate zeal that has resulted in the final destruction of many souls. But in leaving one extreme we should be careful not to run to an opposite. I have no doubt that many seeing the evils resulting from fanaticism have sunk down into a "luke-warm" state and have nothing now but a form of Godliness, while they deny the power."

        We are required to have a zeal of God, according to knowledge. If we see the worth of souls and feel the cause of God at heart, as we ought, it will lead us to an extreme for the salvation of mankind. But we should always keep in mind that one soul thoroughly converted to God, is worth scores of nominal professors of Christianity.

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