"LATER RESTORATION LEADER!"
EMBRACING A VIEW OF THE ORIGIN,
PROGRESS AND PRINCIPLES OF
THE RELIGIOUS REFORMATION WHICH HE ADVOCATED
Originally By ROBERT RICHARDSON
Annotated by NewtonStein
CINCINNATI. STANDARD PUBLISHING COMPANY.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1897, by ROBERT RICHARDSON, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the District of West Virginia.
OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL
"LATER RESTORATION LEADER!"
EMBRACING A VIEW OF THE ORIGIN,
PROGRESS AND PRINCIPLES OF
THE RELIGIOUS REFORMATION WHICH HE ADVOCATED.
By ROBERT RICHARDSON
CHAPTER-1 - PAGES 1-100
CINCINNATI. STANDARD PUBLISHING COMPANY.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1897, by ROBERT RICHARDSON, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the District of West Virginia.
More sweet than odors caught by him who sails Near spicy shores of Araby the blest, A thousand times more exquisitely sweet, The freight of holy feeling which we meet, In thoughtful moments, wafted by the gales From fields where good men walk, or bow'rs wherein they rest. Wordsworth.
This edition of the Memoirs of A. Campbell is designed to meet the wishes of many who desire to have the work in a more condensed form and at a less price than the fine edition, in two volumes, on toned paper.
The Memoirs are here given entire, without abridgment, in one volume ; from which, for the sake of compactness, the Preface, Appendix and Table of Contents are omitted, the place of the latter being supplied by a full Index, as well as by the headings of the chapters and the pages. The opportunity has been taken, also, to correct some inaccuracies which escaped notice in the former edition.
MEMOIRS OF Alexander Campbell CHAPTER I.
Birth and parentage- -Lineage of his mother — His father's ancestry—-' Character and early life of Thomas Campbell
ALEXANDER CAMPBELL, the subject of the following memoir, was born in the county of Antiim, Ireland. His father, Thomas Campbell, having been united in marriage with Jane Corneigle, in June, 1787, their first child, Alexander, was born September 12, 1788, where they then resided, near Ballymena, in the parish of Broughshane, and about one mile from the site of the ancient and once beautiful Shane's Castle, whose mouldering towers, upon the northern shore of Lough Neagh, still attract the notice of the passing traveler.
His mother's ancestors were French Huguenots, who, having fled from their native country upon the revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV., sought refuge, it appears, first in Scotland, from whence they subsequently migrated to Ireland. The entire connex- ion, the Corneigles and Bonners, seem to have moved in a body, and, being pleased with the fertile and gently undulating lands in county Antrim, are said to have purchased conjointly an entire townland upon the borders
19 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
of Lough Neagh, where they devoted themselves to agriculture, and established schools in which the Bible was carefully taught, and where they strictly maintained the forms and services of the Presbyterian Church.
It was here that Thomas Campbell, while engaged in teaching school, and in preparing himself for the ministry in the Secession Church, became ac- quainted with the descendants of these exiles, and was subsequently married, in his twenty-fifth year, to Jane, an only daughter of the family of the Corneigles. In personal appearance she was tall, but well proportioned, exceedingly erect and dignified in her carriage, but, at the same time, modest and remarkably retiring in her manners and disposition. Her features were strongly marked, and, in this respect, her son Alexander bore a striking likeness to her.
The Roman nose, the ex- pression and color of the eyes, surmounted by promi- nent frontal developments, the outline of the mouth, and the general form and character of the face, so characteristic of the son, were equally so of the mother, though softened by the greater delicacy of the feminine features. Her complexion was extremely clear and fine, contrasting agreeably with her abundant dark brown hair.
She had been left an orphan in her sev- enth year by the death of her father, and, as the only daughter of a pious mother, had been brought up with tender affection and in the nurture and admonition of the Lord from her early infancy, so that she had be- come noted for her sincere devotion to religious duties.
At the time of her marriage she was in her twenty- fourth year, having been born September, 1763. Her husband, Thomas Campbell, was of medium stature, compactly built, in form and feature eminently handsome. His forehead was somewhat square and
massive, his complexion fair and ruddy, his soft gray eyes full of intelligence — the whole expression of his countenance indicative of deep reflection and of kindly feeling. His ancestors were originally from the West of Scotland ; on this account claiming clanship, if not kindred, with the race of Diarmid, the Campbells of Argyleshire, from whence the family are supposed to have emigrated at some former period.
His grand- father, Thomas Campbell, it is known, was bom in Ireland, near Dyerlake Wood in county Down, and lived to the great age of one hundred and five years. His own immediate father, Archibald, was in early life a Romanist, and served as a soldier in the British army under Gen. Wolfe. After the capture of Quebec he returned to his native country, and, abjuring Romanism, became a strict member of the Church of England, to which he adhered until his death in his eighty-eighth year.
He is said to have been somewhat eccentric, but peculiarly social and genial in his habits and warm in his feelings. He had a fair complexion, with remark- ably clear blue eyes, was energetic and brisk in his movements, and, though of a quick and passionate temper, was readily appeased. He lived in county Down, near Newry, and gave to his four sons, Thomas, James, Archibald and Enos, an excellent English edu- cation at a military regimental school not far distant. He had also four daughters, who all died in their in- fancy, and, what is rather unusual, each one of them was, in succession, called Mary.
Of the sons, Thomas, who was the oldest, having been born in county Down, February i, 1763, seems to have been, from his mild and thoughtful disposi- tion, particularly dear to his father, and to have had considerable influence over him, yet not to have him-
23 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
self always escaped the effects of his father's hasty temper. Of the remaining brothers, James and Archibald engaged in teaching, along with Thomas, when quite young, near Sheepbridge, two miles from Newry, and both of them became members finally of the Secession Church. James seems afterward to have led rather an unsettled life, emigrating finally to Canada. Archi- bald and Enos, however, devoted themselves to the business of teaching in the town of Newry — a profes- sion in which they were eminently successful.
As the life and labors of the oldest brother, Thomas, blend themselves so intimately with those of his son Alexander that it is impossible to separate them, it will be necessary to detail, with some minuteness, the earlier history of this remarkable man, and to give a succinct but definite account of those religious struggles which occupied the greater part of his long and laborious career. It appears that, in his early youth, he became the subject of deep religious impressions, and acquired a most sincere and earnest love for the Scriptures.
cold formality of the Episcopal ritual, and the apparent
want of vital piety in the Church to which his father
belonged, led him to prefer the society of the more
rigid and devotional Covenanters and Seceders, and to
attend their religious meetings. As he advanced in
years, his religious impressions deepened.
It is related that Thomas, when preparing himself for the ministry, had been permitted to conduct worship in his father's family, and that, on one occasion, when he had prayed unusually long, the old man, whose kneeling posture had become painful to him on account of his rheumatism, was no sooner upon his feet than, in a sudden gust of passion, he began, greatly to the surprise and scandal of all present, to belabor poor Thomas with his cane because he had kept them so long upon their knees.
SALVATION RELIGIOUS IMPRESSIONS. 23
To experience great concern for his salvation, and the various doubts and misgivings usually presenting themselves when the sense of sin is deep and the conscience tender, pressed very heavily upon his mind. For a long time his distress seemed continually to increase.
By earnest and diligent prayer, and the constant use of all the means prescribed by sympathizing and pious friends, he sought, apparently in vain, for those assurances of acceptance and those tokens of forgiveness which were regarded as necessary accom- paniments of a true faith and evidence of "effectual calling."
While in this state, and when his mental distress had reached its highest point, he was one day walking alone in the fields,
From this moment he recognized himself as consecrated to God, and thought only how he might best appropriate his time and his abilities to his service.
It is unnecessary to pause here in order to consider the nature or the value of such a religious "experience" as is here related, as this subject will hereafter come under review in its appropriate place. The facts, at least, were as above stated ;
MEMOIRS of ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
Having a strong desire to devote himself to the min- istry in the Secession Church, the matter was broached to his father, who proved by no means favorable to it. He, indeed, had but little sympathy in his son's religious change, being attached to the Church of England, and determined, as he used to say, "to serve God ac- cording to act of Parliament."
Having also rather extreme views of paternal authority in religious as well as in other matters, it may well be supposed that his son's position was rather embarrassing. So excellent was the young man's character, however, and so ex- emplary his conduct, that opposition to his fixed pur- pose could not long continue.
Meanwhile, pending any positive decision, filled with ardent desire to benefit his fellow-beings, and hearing sad accounts of the un- enlightened condition of the people in certain portions of the south of Ireland, Thomas Campbell resolved to make an effort in their behalf; and having procured the necessary means of introduction, he went down into one of the most benighted parts of the province of Connaught, and established there an English academy.
He obtained a large number of pupils, and applied himself to their improvement and elevation, intellect- ually, morally and religiously, with the greatest assi- duity. In the midst of his labors, however, he was suddenly and peremptorily summoned by his father to return ; and as soon as he could free himself from his existing engagements, he bade adieu to his friends and pupils, who gave him the parting hand with many tears, so much had he endeared himself to them by his in- cessant efforts for their education and happiness.
Upon his return to the North, a good school was
MINISTERIAL EDUCATION. 25
obtained for him at Sheepbridge, near Newry, through the influence of Mr. John Kinley,* who resided there, and who conceived so high an opinion of Mr. Camp- bell's abilities, that, after some time, he urged him to carry out his design of entering the ministry, and kindly proffered the necessary means to defray the expense. His father having finally acquiesced in his purpose, he soon afterwards proceeded to Glasgow, where he became a student in the University.
Here, with that exact punctuality and strict attention to method which characterized him through life, he devoted him- self to the prescribed studies, which, for students of divinity, then occupied three years. He also, during his stay at the University, attended the medical lec- tures, it being regarded proper for ministers to have, in addition to a knowledge of their own particular profes- sion, such an acquaintance with medicine as would enable them to render necessary aid to their poorer parishioners who might not have the services of a regular medical attendant.
After having completed his literary course at the University, it became necessary for him to enter the theological school established by that branch of the Secession, the Anti-Burghers, to which he belonged. As the number of those preparing for the ministry was not great, the class usually consisting of from twenty to thirty members at this period, this school was under the * Mr. Kinley was a Seceder, and married a sister of Thomas Carr, of Newry.
Thomas Campbell's brother Archibald afterwards married a daughter of Thomas Carr, and one of James Campbell's sons, also named Archibald, married another daughter, so that the families were thus connected. While Thomas Campbell taught at Sheepbridge, one of Mr. Kinley's daughters was a pupil, and became in the year 1800 the wife of Robert Tener, whose useful labors in promoting the cause of relijious reformation may be hereafter noticed.
26 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
charge of a single professor, who was appointed by the Synod. In order to admission into Divinity Hall, it was required by the Synod that the candidates should be first examined, as to their proficiency in Latin and Greek, by the Presbytery within whose bounds they resided. They were examined, likewise, on the various branches of philosophy they had studied at the Uni- versity ; and also on personal religion.
The appointed course of attendance at the Hall was five annual ses- sions of eight weeks each, with some exceptions in the case of missions and of a scarcity of preachers. Mr. Archibald Bruce was at this time the Doctor of Divin- ity, and the school was at Whitburn, where Mr. Bruce officiated as minister to a congregation, it being then the custom to transfer the Divinity Hall to the place where the professor appointed was living at the time.
The course of business in Divinity Hall was, with occasional variations, as follows :
In addition, the students had debating and other societies among themselves, in which theological ques- tions were discussed. Mr. Bruce was a professor highly qualified, very pious and amiable, and greatly venerated by the students. He was the second Professor of Divinity since the division of the Seceders into Burghers and Anti-Burghers, having been preceded by Mr. William Moncrief, who was appointed loth February, 1762, and died 4th August, 1786.
Mr. Bruce was appointed September, 1786, and held the office for twenty years, up to 1806, at which time he sepa- rated from the General Associate Synod, and superintended the theological class connected with the "Constitutional Presbytery," until February 28. 1816, when he suddenly expired, after the exercises of the pulpit, in his sev- entieth year.
For the number and variety of his publications, he holds a high place among Secession authors. Dr. McCrie says of him : " For solidity and perspicacity of judgment, joined to a lively imagination ;
OFFICE OF PROBATIONER.
After having completed the course required, and sub- mitted to the usual examination and trials for license before the Presbytery in Ireland, Thomas Campbell be- came what is called a probationer, whose office was to preach the Gospel, under the supervision of the Synod,* m such congregations as were destitute of a fixed min- istry. So far as can now be ascertained, it was prior to his engaging in these labors, and while passing to and fro to attend his studies in Scotland, or while, during vacations, he occupied himself in teaching, that he be- came acquainted with the descendants of the Huguenots who had settled on the borders of Lough Neagh, and ultimately married one of them, Miss Jane Corneigle, as already stated in the early part of the present chapter.
Profound acquaintance with the system of Theology, and with all the branches which are subsidiary to it, and which are ornamental as well as useful to the Christian divine; for the power of patient investigation, of careful discrimination between truth and error, and of guarding against ex- tremes, on the right hand as well as on the left ; and for the talent of recom- mending truth to the youthful mind by a rich and flowing style, not to men- tion the qualities by which his private character was adorned, — Mr. Bruce has been equaled by few, if any, of those who have occupied the chair of Divin- ity, either in late or in former times."
CHAPTER - 2
The Associate Synod of Ireland was first constituted at Monaghan, October 20, 1779, eight or nine years before. When organized, it consisted of three Presbyteries — those of Monaghan, Down and Derry. CHAPTER II. Boyhood— Schooling — Religious training — Influence of his father's cha- racter.
AFTER the birth of his son Alexander, Thomas Campbell remained but a short time in county Antrim. He seems then to have returned to the neighborhood of Sheepbridge, where he resumed the business of teaching school, preaching also for the Seceder congregations in the vicinity. After some years *
It is proper to notice here a slight discrepancy that exists in relation to the age of Alexander Campbell. The records, it appears, were lost in a shipwreck when the family were emigrating to the United States, and long afterward some were inclined to put his birth in the year 1786.
Even his father, in an account written about 1847, gives the date 1786.
But at this time his father was eighty-four years old, and, with a memory always very defective as to dates and names, could not be regarded as decisive authority. On the other hand, the evidences in favor of his having been born in 1788 are numerous and conclusive :
All agree that his father was born February 1, 1763, and that he was in his twenty-fifth year when he married, which could not have been, therefore, until 1787, and Alexander was born the year after, 1788. 2.
The birth of Jane is recorded in Thomas Campbell's diary as occurring in 1800, and she (still living) states that it was always the under- standing in her father's family that she was about twelve years younger than her brother Alexander: this again gives 1788. 3.
James Foster, who is yet living in the full exercise of his faculties, and who has always been remark- able for his power of memory, states that the first time he saw Alexander was at Rich-Hill, and that he was then a mere lad of fifteen or sixteen years of age, and engaged in boyish sport, having in his hand a long pole with a net attached, with which he was catching small birds along the eaves of the thatched houses in the outskirts of the town.
James Foster himself was, he says, then a young man grown, and he knows he could not have been less than three and a half or four years older than Alexander. James Foster was bom March i, 1785, and adding to this three and a half years, we are brought
28 CALL TO SHORE
spent thus, finding Market Hill, in county Armagh, a more convenient place of residence while engaged in the labors of a probationer, he removed to that town, where he occupied himself, it would appear, for a por- tion of the time, as a teacher of private classes in families.
Meanwhile, another son, James, was born, who died in infancy ; and afterward, a daughter, who was called Dorothea, a name which, like the corre- sponding "Theodore" given to males, and Dieudonne in French, signifies God's gift. About the year 1798 he accepted a call from a church recently established to September, 1788. 4. In confirmation of these evidences, there is direct and positive proof from a diary which Alexander kept while in Glasgow. It begins in these words :
" I, Alexander Campbell, in the twentieth year of my age, being bom on the 12th of September, 1788, do commence a regular diary' from the ist of January, 1809, and intend prosecuting it from this time forward, at least for some time, Deo volente. Glasgow."
Now, admitting that the family records were lost in the shipvn-eck which had occurred but a few weeks previous, it is not likely that he would so soon have forgotten the year of his birth, especially so near majority' — a period which young men are wont to mark with accuracy. Besides, his mother and brothers and sisters were all with him, and he had all the means necessary for exact information, had he felt any doubt on the subject.
He entered it down carefully, probably because the records had been lost, and the slight error he makes in using the ordinal instead of the cardinal number, only serves to make the case stronger. He says, "in the twentieth year of my age," when he was in fact in his twenty-first He had been twenty on the 12th of the preceding September, and did not, at the moment, notice that he had passed into his twenty-first.
To say that he had been born in 1786 is to suppose that he had come of age more than a year before in Ireland, without knowing anything at all about it, and with the family records before him ; which is an absurd supposition. From these and various other proofs which might be adduced, there can remain no doubt that he was born in September, 1788, the date which he himself en- tered down in his own family Bible at Bethany.
In this, the following are the entries with respect to his father's family : Thomas Campbell, born in county Down, in 1763 ; Jane, wife of Thomas Campbell, died at Jane Mc- Keever s, aged seventy-two ; Alexander Campbell, born at Ballymena, Sep- tember, 1788; Dorothea, born July 27, 1793; Nancy, September 18, 1795 5 Jane, June 18, i8cxD ; Thomas, May i, 1802; Archibald, April 4, 1804; Alicia, April, 1806.
30 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
at Ahorey, four miles from the city of Armagh, to become its pastor, and accordingly removed to a farm near Rich-Hill, which is about ten miles from the flourishing town of Newry. This region is one of the most beautiful portions of Ireland. The soil is rich, the farms are highly improved, and the roads are ex- cellent, though the face of the country is much more broken and diversified than in county Antrim.
It is said that William the Third, upon reaching the neigh- borhood of Belfast, was greatly pleased with the appear- ance of Ireland ; but that when he had advanced to Newry, on his way to the Boyne, he was so delighted with the fertility of this region, with the rich green of the earth, with the beauty of the scenery, and with the bays and rivers so admirably suited to commerce, that he exclaimed to his officers : "This is indeed a country worth fighting for !"
The country about Rich-Hill, where Thomas Campbell now settled, is particularly admired. From a high hill near his farm a magnifi- cent prospect presents itself, extending over several counties, and embracing landscapes of the most varied and picturesque character, the beauty of which is en- hanced by a distinct view of the waters of Lough Neagh,* which, toward the north, exhibit their silvery brightness in the distance.
It was in this charming region that Thomas Camp- bell now fixed his abode, and was, in due time, with the usual solemnities, ordained as the pastor of the, This lough is the largest body of fresh water in Europe, except the Lake of Geneva and one or two of lesser note in Russia, being twenty-two miles long and seven or eight miles wide.
A canal, constructed for the first nine miles in the bed of the river Bann, passes from its southern extremity to Newry, and thence to the sea, an entire distance of twenty-four miles. The waters of the lough are celebrated for their power of petrifying wood and other organic substances placed in its waters or buried near its shores.
Y0UTHFUL PURSUITS. V
congregation. It was here, also, that the youthful days of Alexander were chiefly spent. For some timje he was continued at an elementary school in Market Hill, where he boarded in the family of a Mr. Gillis, mer- chant of that place. He spent also some two or three years of his boyhood at school in the town of Newry, where his uncles, Archibald and Enos, had opened an academy.
Upon his return home, his father endeavored to superintend and continue his education. He found him, however, so exceedingly devoted to sport and physical exercise that it was difficult to fix his attention upon books.
This uncommon activity of disposition seems at this time to have been his most striking trait. There was in his constitution no tendency to precocious mental development, nor did his peculiar intellectual powers begin to manifest themselves strikingly until he had nearly attained his growth. His extreme fondness for sport rendered him so averse to the confinement re- quired in order to acquire learning, that study became to him a drudgery, and the tasks watch which his over- anxious father constantly supplied him became dull and wearisome.
About his ninth year, the French lan- guage was added to his other studies, but in this he appears not to have made a very satisfactory progress, if we may judge from the following anecdote, which he himself, in later life, used to relate amongst his friends with great glee : Having gone out on a warm day to con over his French lesson in "The Adventures of Telemachus," under the shade of a tree, he finally dropped asleep. A cow that was grazing near ap- proached, and seeing the book lying on the grass, seized it, and, before he was sufficiently awake to prevent, actually devoured it. Upon making report of the loss, his father gave him a castigation for his carelessness,
32 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
and enforced it by telling him that "the cow had got more French in her stomach than he had in his head," a fact which, of course, he could not deny. Certain it was, at least, that this was the last of the Adventures of Telemachus ! On account of his great disinclination to confinement, his father at length concluded to put him to work on the farm along with the laborers, in order to subdue his love of sport, and, as he said, '-to break him in to his books."
He seems to have found field-labor much more congenial, and to have worked hard for several years, until he had become a stout lad, full of health and vigor. At this time his intellectual nature began to assert its claims. He manifested a love for reading and less inclination to outdoor exercise ; and, with his fither's approbation, betook himself to his studies again, filled with an ardent desire for literary distinction, and determined, as he said, to be "one of the best scholars in the kingdom." There can be no doubt that the course pursued by his father in this case was extremely wise.
As the plant at a certain period, after seeming repose, rapidly throws up its flower-stalk, whose unfolding buds demand its entire resources, so there is a time in youth when the rapid development of the body demands, and seems to monopolize, all the energies and resources of the brain and nervous system. Nature seems, at this time, to impel to bodily activity, in order to assist in this neces- sary development and expansion of the muscular sys- tem and of the framework of the body, and to deny, for a time, to the brain the capacity for much intel- lectual labor.
It is hard for boys, in this transition state, to fix their attention upon study, or to pursue any tram of connected thought, or take pleasure in sober
MENTAL ACTIVITY. 35
learning. The memory perhaps suffers less eclipse than any of the other powers of mind, but even this is sluggish ; and if this or any other faculty be now artifi- cially forced to exertion, most serious evils are likely to arise, not only in regard to the proper growth and vigor of the body, but to the constitution of the mind itself. It is hence important that parents should allow their children, at this period, to occupy themselves in such labors as tend to unfold and invigorate the bodily powers, and defer intellectual toil until the proper period shall be indicated.
It was unquestionably largely due to this prudent foresight on the part of Thomas Camp- bell that his son Alexander owed his almost uninter- rupted future mental and bodily vigor. He now began to display a very active mind, an eager thirst for knowledge, and a remarkably ready and retentive memory. On one occasion he is said to have committed to memory sixty lines of blank verse in fifty-two minutes, so that he could repeat them without missing a word.
He was, from this time forward, ac- customed to memorize, frequently, select extracts from the best authors, as well in compliance with his father's wishes as from his own appreciation of their merit, so that his mind became stored with the finer passages of the British poets, which he was enabled to retain through life.
He was extremely fond of reading, and became gradually quite conversant with many of the standard English authors, especially with such as were of a moral, philosophical or religious cast. As he advanced in age, he learned greatly to admire the cha- racter and the works of Locke, whose "Letters on Toleration" seem to have made a lasting* impression upon him, and to have fixed his ideas of religious and of civil liberty. The "Essay on the Human Under-
VOL. 1. — C 34 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
Standing" he appears to have thoroughly studied under the direction of his father, who was earnestly desirous that his son should make all possible advancement and preparation, trusting that he would be able, after some time, to send him to the University. Hence he labored to perfect his son's knowledge of the preliminary Eng- lish branches, to instruct him in Latin and Greek, and, as time wore on, even to anticipate in part the usual college course.
Although thus diligently engaged, under his father's guidance, in literary and grave pursuits, it is not to be supposed that Alexander's natural disposition was so much altered as to render him either very serious or very sedentary. On the contrary, his naturally active and lively temperament, full of vivacity and sportive- ness, still demanded a sufficient amount of physical exercise, and he still delighted to engage occasionally in the games and amusements of youth.
Having an athletic frame, and a hand unusually large for his years, he soon made himself noted among his com- panions for the large size of his snow-balls and the force with which they were hurled. For the same reasons he was expert in sowing grain, and loved to practise the art with the neighboring farmers at the proper seasons. He was extremely fond also of fre- quenting the streams for the purposes of fishing and of bathing, and became, by dint of practice, an excellent swimmer.
But his greatest delight was to traverse the fields in search of game, to capture birds with nets, or with dog and gun to rouse them from their secret coverts.* His indulgent parents freely sanctioned such ♦ He was so fascinated with the sport of gunning, and his ammunition was at times so scanty, that he once conceived the idea of manufacturing gun- powder for himself. Having found out its composition and obtained the
FAMILY TRAINING. 35
recreations at proper times, believing them conducive, if not absolutely necessary, to health and vigor. While carefully superintending the literary education of his son, Thomas Campbell was by no means negli- gent of his religious training. It was made an essential part of his ministerial duty, as it was no less the dictate of his parental affection, to bring up his children "in the nurture and instruction of the Lord, ' ' in order that his family might be a pattern to others.
Thomas Campbell - To this end, it was prescribed by the Synod that the minister "should worship God in his family by singing, reading and prayer, morning and evening ; that he should catechise and instruct them at least once a week in religion ; endeavoring to cause every member to pray in secret morning and evening ; and that he should remember the Lord's day to keep it holy, and should himself maintain a conversation becoming the gospel."
Of all these obligations Thomas Campbell was carefully ob- servant, and in all his regulations and efforts for the improvement and welfare of his family he was earn- estly and ably seconded by the estimable woman he had married. Like her ancestors, she had very de- cided religious convictions, and gladly co-operated with her husband in the moral and religious instruction of the family.
It was their rule that every member should memorize, during each day, some portion of the Bible, to be recited at evening worship. Long pas- sages were often thus recited, but if only a single verse was correctly repeated by the smaller children, it was received with encouraging approbation .
Thomas Campbell - Attention was ingredients, he set to work with his experiments ; and finally, while drying the mass he had formed, succeeded in producing an explosion, from which he narrowly escaped personal injury, and which, of course, brought his manufacturing operations to an abrupt conclusion.
6 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
usually called to the important facts or truths presented in each recitation, questions were asked in regard to them, and appropriate remarks briefly offered. Finally, the Scriptures repeated during the week were again rehearsed on the evening of the Lord's day. This sacred day also was faithfully observed. Every mem- ber of the household was expected to go to meeting, and it was understood that each one was to give, upon returning home, an account not only of the text, but of the discourse itself, embracing its leading points.
This was designed to secure, on the part of the young espe- cially, a proper attention to the services of public wor- ship, so that the church might not be a place fof the observance of cold and lifeless forms, but in reality a house of prayer and of true religious edification. In carrying out these regulations, as in all his family dis- cipline, and indeed the whole conduct of life, Mr. Campbell was most punctual and methodical.
He was by no means exacting, but made his appeal, as far as possible, to the heart and conscience, showing the most affectionate interest in the welfare of all the members of his household. When called away, as he frequently was, to assist other ministers at a distance, his pious wife constantly labored to keep up the regular order of religious worship and instruction in the family.
Thomas Campbell - It was under such influences in the domestic circle that Alexander Campbell passed his early years ; and it cannot be doubted that they had a most important bearing on his future life. To this fact he himself bore testimony in his declining years, and, long after the death of his mother, paid to her memory the following tribute of affectionate remembrance : "Having a pecu- liarly ready and retentive memory, she treasured up the Scriptures in early life, and could quote and apply
MATERNAL INFLUENCE. 37
them with great fluency and pertinence from childhood to old age. She, indeed, also possessed a mental inde- pendence which I have rarely seen equaled, and cer- tainly never surpassed, by any woman of my acquaint- ance. Greatly devoted to her children, and especially to their proper training for public usefulness, and foi their own individual and social enjoyment, she was indefatigable in her labors of love, and in her attention to their physical, intellectual, moral and religious training and development.
***** She made a nearer approximation to the acknow- ledged beau ideal of a Christian mother than any one of her sex with whom I have had the pleasure of form- ing a special acquaintance. I can but gratefully add, that to my mother, as well as to my father, I am in- debted for having memorized in early life almost all the writings of King Solomon —
They have not only been written on the tablet of my memory, but incorporated with my modes of thinking and speaking." While the character of Alexander Campbell was thus, in early life, moulded in a large degree by the family training to which he was subjected, an important forma- tive influence was also exerted by various other circum- stances which deserve to be considered.
Thomas Campbell - Among these, his father's personal character and example, his reli- gious views and his public ministerial life, may be par- ticularly mentioned. This excellent man, though pos- sessed of all the gravity and thoughtfulness becoming his position, was eminently social in his disposition, having much of that genial warmth of temperament so common in the Irish people, and along with it a ready flow of ideas, which rendered his conversation and his
38 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
company very agreeable. There was nothing in his deportment forbidding or austere. He preferred, in- deed, serious and religious topics of discourse, and constantly contrived to lead the conversation in that direction ; and though he seemed to enjoy an occasional polemical discussion with his friends, his favorite themes were the completeness of Christ's salvation and the infinite goodness of God.
Nevertheless, he manifested great interest in the secular concerns of his parishioners, and sympathized with them in their cares and labors.
He had withal an excellent relish for genuine humor, and was himself not unskilled in the use of jocular pleasantry, with which he sometimes sought to enliven conversation. In his manners he was extremely cour- teous and refined, blending a perfect self-possession with an easy and graceful affability, and having about him a peculiar attractiveness and dignity which secured the respect of all who approached him.
It is the unanimous testimony of those who were familiar with his labors that, as a pastor, no one could be more faithful or diligent.
Thomas Campbell - He was himself "a pat- tern of good works;" "hospitable, sober, just, holy, temperate," visiting and ministering to the sick and afflicted, and rendering assistance to the poor — duties to which Mrs. Campbell was also particularly devoted. He sought to introduce into all the families of the con- gregation the same course of regular scriptural instruc- tion and worship which he pursued in his own house- hold.
In addition to his ordinary visits, he made a parochial tour regularly twice a year, in company with one or two of the ruling elders, inquiring into the state of religion in every family ; catechising the children ; examining the older members upon their Bible-read-
REVERENCE FOR THE BIBLE. 39
ings ; praying with them, and giving such admonitions and exhortations as seemed appropriate. In the character of Thomas Campbell there was no one feature more strongl}' marked than his exceeding reverence for the Bible. This seems to have made a profound impression upon the mind of his son Alex- ander, even in his boyhood ; for he relates that, when entering his father's study, in which he had a large and well-assorted library, he was wont to wonder on seeing, with a very few exceptions, only his Bible and Con- cordance on the table, with a simple outfit of pen, ink and paper.
"Whether," he adds, "he had read all these volumes and cared nothing more for them, or whether he regarded them as wholly useless, I presumed not to inquire and dared not to decide." Fettered as he was by his theology, he was thus accustomed to consult the Bible itself, and to bring his mind into direct communion with its teachings. The bonds of doctrinal and eccle- siastical authority were, doubtless, by this means, to some extent, insensibly relaxed ; but he remained con- scientiously attached to Presbyterianism, as the sim- plest and most orthodox form of Christianity.
Thomas Campbell - He had, under its banner, taken into one hand the Gospel trumpet, and into the other the lamp of Divine truth, which, however, was enclosed within the earthen pitcher of scholastic theology. The time had not yet come when this pitcher should be broken and the light be displayed abroad. Many hours of darkness were yet to pass, and many trials to be encountered, before, under the guidance of Providence, he was to give the signal for an important religious reformation, based on the Bible alone. It is worthy of record, however, that he had at this time learned to prize the sacred volume so far above all human compositions, and recognized so
40 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
fully its supreme authority, as to be extremely jealous of any departure from its exact expressions. Hence it was, that when he found, after some time, the children of the congregation confounding, in their answers, the language of the catechism with that of Scripture, he began to dispense with the catechism, fearing lest they should assign to the latter a degree of authority equal to that of the Bible.
As a preacher, Thomas Campbell was popular with the Seceder denomination. He possessed fine didactic talents, and was much given to generalizing his sub- jects, so as to refer many particulars to a single head or principle. He was brief and accurate in defining terms, and skilled in making a complete and exhaustive division of his theme. The protracted services of pub- lic worship among the Seceders naturally led to a habit of frequent and sometimes tedious recapitulation on the part of their ministers ;
but Mr. Campbell's sermons, while sufficiently doctrinal and elaborate to suit the taste of the times, were enlivened by many apt though homely illustrations, and he was able, by pointed re- marks and occasional changes of manner, to keep the attention of his audience constantly engaged. At the same time, the evident and heartfelt earnestness with which he spoke, and his own personal piety, gave weight and authority to his teachings.
Thomas Campbell - In his intercourse with religious society he manifested the utmost kindness and charity for those who differed with him in their views, often bewailing the unhappy divisions that existed, and striving to promote, as far as practicable. Christian union and peace. He was care- ful to give cause of offence to no one, to speak evil of no one, and was prompt to repress in others any ap- proach to detraction or tale-bearing. In regard to the
POLITICAL ISOLATION. 41
theme of conversation, indeed, as well as to all other matters, the inquiry with him was ever, "What will it profit?" and nothing could receive his sanction that did not at least promise to be of practical utility. From politics he kept entirely aloof, a position at that time extremely difficult ; for his ministry in Ireland extended through all the years of those civil commo- tions which issued in the rebellion of 1798, and the attempt of Emmet and others in 1803.
Thomas Campbell - The society of Orangemen was first formed in 1795 in county Ar- magh, and seemed to have for its object to drive by threats and nocturnal outrages the entire Catholic peas- antry from the country. Great alarm seized upon this unprotected class, who could obtain no redress from the magistrates. Many of them were compelled to abandon their cabins and their all, and seek refuge in the fields, and the utmost consternation was excited throughout the country by threats and exaggerated reports.
Thomas Campbell - Vari- ous other parties of contending rioters, as the "Defend- ers," the "Peep-o'day Boys," &c., disturbed different parts of the province of Ulster. Numbers went about in the night searching houses for arms. This becom- ing generally known, the houses were opened upon the first summons, and this easy mode of admittance was taken advantage of by common robbers, who plundered the people of their property.
In the midst of these troubles, and chiefly through the agency of Theobald Wolfe Tone, a Protestant and lawyer in Dublin, a remarkable secret association, called the "United Irishmen," was formed, having for its object to erect Ireland into a separate and independ- ent republic. By an ingenious ascending scale of rep- resentation from decenaries and hundreds, to baronies, to provinces, and thence to the whole kingdom, such a
42 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
combination was formed, and such a force prepared, as had never before, in modern times, been accumulated in the face of an existing government. Each member was bound by the sanctity of a solemn oath, and the mysterious workings of the association produced an effect more marked and general than any of those secret tribunals which, for a time, kept a portion of Germany in awe.
The Catholics united with it to obtain protection against the Orangemen and a redress of grievances, and the Presbyterians because they were earnestl}'^ desirous of effecting a reform in Parlia- ment and securing equal representation and equal taxation. These political objects, however, as well as others, soon became perverted to insurrectionary pur- poses. The greater portion of the Presbyterians became con- nected with this secret organization, and constituted, indeed, its chief moral strength, owing to their supe- riority in intelligence and social position.
Thomas Campbell - In the six northern counties they formed, in fact, a very large part of the population, and it may readily be conceived that Mr. Campbell's utter refusal to take any part in the movement, and his conscientious opposition to secret associations, were well calculated at a period of such excitement and party spirit to bring him into disfavor with his people. On one occasion, amidst the heated discussion of these subjects, he was requested to deliver a discourse upon the lawfulness of oaths and of secret societies.
Having consented to do so, he presented so candidly and earnestly his views in condemnation of them that a large portion of the audience became ex- cited and exasperated. At this crisis, however, a pro- minent member, fearing lest he should be insulted, courteously took him by the arm and conducted him
WISDOM JUSTIFIED. 43
safely through the crowd. Such was his character for piety, and such the guardianship of Divine Providence, that, through all the existing troubles, he remained entirely unmolested, retaining the confidence of the community, and in a marked degree securing the esteem of the Governor, Lord Gosford, who had him- self labored to check the persecution of the Catholics,
and who became so impressed with the propriety of Mr. Campbell's course, and with the excellence of his character, that he importuned him to become the tutor of his family, with a large salary and an elegant resi- dence on his estate.
Thomas Campbell - This offer, however, he declined, fearing lest his children should be ensnared and fasci- nated by the fashions and customs of the nobility, and preferring, on this account, his comparative poverty and his humble ministerial life.
There is no doubt that Mr. Campbell's complete isola- tion from all political agitation, and his entire devotion to the interests of religion, had a most beneficial influ- ence. The Presbyterians who had become enlisted as "United Irishmen" began themselves to fear, from the great numerical preponderance of the Catholics in the island, and from certain intimations they received — among which may be mentioned the dying declarations of Dickey, a rebel leader executed at Belfast — that if the rebellion should even prove successful, they would as a minority be unable to obtain the liberty and toleration they desired.
Hence it was that when the Catholics in Wicklow and Wexford, on the eastern coast, looking for immediate aid from France, were precipitated into msurrection, committing the most shocking barbarities in retaliation for their injuries, the United Irishmen of Ulster, reckoned at 150,000, and organized for rebel- lion, remained quiet, with the exception of some insig
44 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
nificant risings, which were quelled in a few days. It was at this period of excitement and military violence that Mr. Campbell was one day preaching to a congre- gation, when the house was suddenly surrounded by a troop of Welsh horse, notorious for their severities and outrages upon those they conceived to be rebels.
Thomas Campbell - The captain, conceiving that in this remote place he had come upon a meeting of rebels, dismounted and in a threatening manner marched into the church. It was a moment of awful suspense. The audience were panic-stricken, expecting every moment to be subjectec to the fury of the soldiers. Just at this crisis, as the captain stalked up the aisle, casting fierce glances upoi all sides, a venerable elder sitting near Mr. Campbel called to him solemnly,
" Pray., sir F Whereupon, it response to the call, and in a deep, unfaltering voice, he began in the language of the forty-sixth Psalm " Thou, O God, art our refuge and strength, a very pre- sent help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea."
No sooner was the first verse uttered than the captain paused, and apparently impressed, bent his head, listened to the close, then bowed, and retracing his steps, mounted his horse and dashed away with the entire troop.
Thomas Campbell - Another incident, which tends to show Mr. Camp- bell's entire trust in God and submission to his dispen- sations, occurred some time after his removal to Ahorey He was just about to enter the meeting-house on that Lord's day to attend to the public services, when i messenger arrived in haste from Newry, to inform him that his youngest brother, Enos, who was greatly be- loved, had during the night lost his life by a fall intc an open excavation in one of the streets. Humbly
SECRET ASSOCIATIONS. 45
resigning himself to the Divine will, he passed into the church and proceeded with the duties of the day, giving to the sympathizing audience no evidence of his emotions, except in the deeper solemnity of his prayer and the pathetic earnestness of his sermon.
For one of feelings so tender, it was no small trial thus to calm all perturbation of mind, and, in view of his ministerial office, to rise superior to earthly affections. Unlike Aaron, who under sudden affliction was unable to fulfill the duties of his station, Mr. Campbell neglected no part of the usual services ; but when these were fully completed, he immediately set out for Newry, where he found universal mourning and his father grieving as David over Absalom, and hardly to be comforted He was already eighty-five, and survived the death of his son Enos only three years.
Such con- stant manifestations of unshaken trust and of exem- plary and consistent piety on the part of Thomas Campbell did not fail to fill the mind of his son Alex- ander with the utmost reverence for him. Nor was he, in common with the entire community, less impressed with his father's wisdom in opposing political agitation and secret societies, when the unhappy results of the rebellion vindicated the correctness of his principles. In regard to secret associations, Alexander fully adopted his father's views, and continued through life to oppose everything of this nature, as inconsistent with the Chris- tian profession.
Thomas Campbell — Opens an Academy in Rich-Hill — Alexander as Assist ant — Religious awakening — Theological studies.
WHILST Thomas Campbell was thus, amidst civil commotions, devoting himself to the care of his congregation and to the education of his children, his family continued to increase. Soon after his removal to Ahorey, a daughter, Nancy, was born ; and about twenty months afterward, June 25, 1800, another, named Jane.
To these were added subsequently a son, who was called Thomas, and in process of time an- other son, named Archibald. Finding his expenses greatly augmented, and the farm he had leased un- profitable, as he had but little knowledge of farming, and his attention was almost entirely engrossed by higher matters, it became necessaiy for him to adopt some other method of improving his circumstances and making up the deficiencies of his ministerial salary.*
It was his earnest wish that his son Alexander should *
The salaries of Seceder preachers were usually from thirty to fifty pounds, but in some cases so scanty that the Regium Donutn became almost the entire source of support for the ministers.
This fund originated in the act of that wise and just sovereign, William the Third, who, on his visit to Ireland, in June, 1690, authorized the Collector of Customs at Belfast to pay every year twelve hundred pounds into the hands of some of the princi- pal dissenting ministers of Down and Antrim, who were to be trustees for their brethren. This fund which was afterward increased, when distributed among the ministers of Ulster, yielded to each some fifty or sixty pounds annually.
46 SCHOOL IN RICH' HILL. 47
be well educated, and his sincere hope that he would be led to devote himself to the ministry of the Gospel. Finding that, with all his sportiveness, he possessed a marked conscientiousness and a sincere reverence for Divine things, he was the more encouraged in this fond hope, especially when he observed in him, as he grew older, evidences of increasing seriousness.
Thomas Campbell - His own time being already considerably occupied in teaching his family, he concluded it would be most advantageous to open a public academy, in which his own children might be pupils ; and as Alexander, now .n his seven- teenth year, had by this time become quite proficient in the ordinary branches, he thought he would be compe- tent to act as assistant.
These matters being conse- quently arranged, and a suitable house procured, the whole family removed to the town of Rich-Hill, two miles distant. This town is situated upon a very high but fertile hill, and commands on all sides charming and extensive prospects. Upon the broad summit there is a neat public square, around which, upon three sides, the houses of the village are built.
Upon the remaining or north-eastern side of the square, appears, surrounded by beautiful shrubbery, an ancient and capacious man- sion, at that time the residence of the Hon. William Richardson, M. P., and lord of the manor. These beautiful grounds are separated from the public square oy an elegant iron railing, before which at a little dis- tance stand some magnificent trees. On the opposite side of the square, at the corner, Mr. Campbell had found a plain two-story house, which served as a resi- dence for his family, and also afforded room for the academy. His character and his ability as a teacher being well known, he soon had a flourishing school
40 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
which brought him an income approaching two hundred pounds per annum, and was regarded as an important benefit to the town and its neighborhood.
Alexander Campbell - To carry on such a school, in connection with his usual pastoral labors, was, indeed, an undertaking of no small magni- tude ; but his son Alexander entered into the work with so much spirit and success that he proved a most valu- able assistant, while with unflagging energy he con- trived to pursue, as usual, his own special course of studies under his father's guidance.
While thus engaged, his growing years and the cir- cumstances of his position as a teacher gave to him a more manly character ; and, though still full of sportive- ness when with his youthful friends, he was observed to be much more thoughtful upon religious subjects and to have a deeper religious feeling.
Alexander Campbell Awakened/Conviction:
These indications were extremely gratifying to his father, who did not fail to urge upon him, with affectionate solicitude, the importance of his becoming a communicant and mem- ber of the church. As he had an excellent knowledge of the Scriptures, and as the chief points in the divine plan of salvation had been long familiar to him, he, in the course of his meditations, became awakened to a livelier consciousness of their importance, and began to feel an unwonted personal and individual interest in them.
Alexander Campbell - As his convictions deepened, he underwent much conflict of mind, and experienced great concern in regard to his own salvation, so that he lost for a time his usual vivacity, and sought, in lonely walks in fields and by prayer in secluded spots, to obtain such evi- dences of Divine acceptance as his pious acquaintances were accustomed to consider requisite ; it being uni- versally held by the Seceders that "an assured persua- sion of the truth of God's promise in the Gospel, with
RELIGIOUS AWAKENING. 49
Alexander Campbell Saved:
respect to one's self in particular, is implied in the very nature of saving faith." Of this particular period in his religious history he himself gave, many years afterward, the following account:
Shortly after this he was received as a regular com- municant in the church at Ahorey, and being aware of his father's wish that he should devote himself to the ministry, though he had not as yet fully made up his own mind upon this subject, he began to bestow a con- siderable portion of his attention upon theological stud- ies, and particularly ecclesiastical history.
While thus engaged, he was filled with wonder at the strange for- tunes of Christianity, and at the numerous divisions of parties in religious society.
On the otiier hand, the lordly and aristocratic Episcopalians, who looked down upon the dissenters, and seemed, with some ex- ceptions, to have but little piety, and to be fond of en- joying the pleasures, fashions and follies of the world, were, notwithstanding their Protestantism, scarcely less disliked as a religious party.
It was, however, when he came to consider the history of the Presbyterian Church, with its numerous divisions, in one of which he was himself a member, that he was enabled to form a clearer conception of the power and prevalency of that party spirit which it became afterward the labor of his life to oppose and overthrow.
As his relations to some of these divisions were important, it seems necessary here to take a brief glance at certain points in their history. The martyrdom at St. Andrew's on 29th of February, 1528, of the youthful friend of Luther and Melancthon, the devoted Patrick Hamilton, who first introduced the Lutheran Reformation into Scotland, followed, in 1545, by that of Wishart, and, in the following year, the assassination of Cardinal Beatoun, were among the earliest of those scenes of violence which marked the progress of the Reformed doctrine, until it was at length, about the year 1560, firmly established through the influence and labors of the intrepid Knox.
No sooner, however, had this triumph been attained, than a pro- tracted and almost equally fierce struggle commenced
ABSOLUTISM OF STATE RELIGIONS. 51
between the two forms of Protestantism itself — the Pres- byterian and the Episcopal.
James the First (King James of KJV Fame) and his suc- cessors, the first and second Charles, disregarding the fact that the Scottish people were strongly attached to that form of the Reformation which had been first set up among them, and that the nation had, as was pleaded in their public memorials, "reformed from Popery by presbyters," endeavored repeatedly to impose upon them, in whole or in part, the system of English Episcopacy or Prelacy.
For a brief period, during the civil wars with Charles the First (King James's Son), Presbyterianism was predominant ; but it was not until the accession of William the Third that the Scottish Estates or Parliament, in 1690, secured the permanent abolition of Prelacy, by placing a clause to this effect in the "Claim of Right" submitted to that monarch as the terms of Scottish allegiance.
When Presbyterianism had thus attained the suprem- acy it so long had sought, it began, in a short time, to furnish a fresh illustration of the fact that all established national religions,
Conscious of power, and confident in the possession of glebe and manse, the Parliament as well as the General Assembly managed affairs in so arbitrary a spirit that many, even of their own party, became disaffected, and the minds of a large portion of the community were alienated" from the ecclesiastical establishment.
Oaths of office and of abjuration were required, which were thought to abridge Christian liberty, and acts were passed which seemed to many to set aside "The National Covenant" which they professed.
This famous covenant was entered into by the greater part of the Scottish people in 1560, and engaged its subscribers, by oath, to maintain
52 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
regarded as the true constitution of the empire, and for which the forefathers of many of those now connected with the National Church had formerly bravely fought under the name of Covenanters, and for adhering to which they had undergone the most cruel persecutions.
A considerable number, indeed, of those stern, uncom- promising Presbyterians, who strenuously adhered to the covenant, had refused to consent to the settlement made by King William, or to admit in anywise the right of civil rulers to meddle in religious matters.
These were termed Society-men, as, being without a ministry for some time, they formed themselves into societies. They were also termed Cameronians, Mountain-men, Cove- nanters, &c. After some years a Mr. John McMillan, a minister in the National Church, united with them, for which act he was deposed by the General Assembly.
He continued afterward, however, to labor among the Covenanters, who increased in number, and formed con- gregations in various parts of Scotland, as well as in the north of Ireland. From the worthy pastor who had thus, first after the revolution, gathered the scattered flock into the fold of Churchdom, they were sometimes called McMillanites, but the title they themselves adopt their religion free from all innovations.
After having been at various periods again and again subscribed, and with unusual unanimity and zeal in 1638, it was afterward, during the civil war with Charles the First, presented to the English Parliament by the then dominant Presbyterian party in Scotland, who insisted on its being signed by the English Parliament as a preliminary to the granting of assistance by Scotland.
This was finally acceded to, after some modification in the terms of the covenant, in order to satisfy the Inde- pendents, who, under the leadership of Vane and Cromwell, were then rising into power ; and it was accordingly, on 25th September, 1643, signed by the members of both Houses, and also by the members of the Assembly of Westminster Divines, then sitting in London.
From this time the national covenant of Scotland was known as " The Solemn League and Covenant" of the three kingdoms.
ORIGIN OF THE SECESSION. 53
is that of ''Reformed Presbyterians." They have, how- ever, become nearly extinct, having in 1819 only sixteen small congregations in Scotland, six in Ire- land, and nine in the United States, according to Black- wood.
The National Church, meanwhile continuing its un- popular proceedings, attempted at length, in 1712 and subsequently, to enforce the existing law of patronage, so as to deprive congregations of the privilege of choosing their pastors. It having been settled by the early Reformers, and inserted in the first Book of Disci- pline, that "no minister should be intruded upon any particular kirk (church) without their consent," this course, and the violent scenes to which it gave rise, naturally occa- sioned great dissatisfaction amongst pious and consci- entious members.
Remonstrances and arguments, on the part of several eminent ministers, having been re- peatedly presented, with no other effect than to provoke new acts of oppression, four of the ministers, with Alexander Erskine at their head, formally seceded from the prevailing party in the Establishment in the year 1733 and, forming themselves into a Presbytery under the designation of the Associate Presbytery, became the nucleus of a new party - called Seceders.
were soon joined by two other ministers, Ralph Erskine
and Thomas Mair, and rapidly increased, chiefly by
defections from the National Church, until in a short
time they numbered more than forty congregations.
As there were many Presbyterians in the north of Ire-
land, and the division extended to them likewise, an
application from Lisburn for ministerial aid was sent
over to Scotland as early as 1736. It was not, how-
ever, until 1742 that the Synod was able to comply
with the request, when Mr. Gavin Beugo was sent as a
54 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL,
missionary, through whose labors, and those of others, a number of churches were formed in Ireland. This secession was the first great schism in the Church of Scotland.
Soon after its occurrence, how- ever, and for similar reasons, Thomas Boston, author of "The Fourfold State," separated from the National Church, and, uniting with Messrs. Gillespie and Collier, constituted a distinct party and Presbytery, called the "Presbytery of Relief," professedly organized "for the relief of Christians oppressed in their Christian privi- leges," especially in reference to the violent induction of ministers into parishes. This party differed scarcely at all from the Seceders, except in being more liberal in their views in regard to communion.
They increased rapidly, and have since constituted a very respectable body of dissenters. The "Associate" or Secession Church, previously mentioned, continued in a prosperous condition until 1747, when it became divided into two parties, upon the question whether certain oaths required by the burgesses of towns, binding them to support "the re- ligion presently professed within the realm," did not sanction the very abuses in the National Church against which the seceders had constantly protested.
Both divisions of the Synod claimed to be the true Church, but those who considered the oath unlawful came to be called Anti-Burghers, the other party being termed Burghers. This division spread at once through the churches in Scotland and Ireland, and the controversy was maintained with considerable bitterness for many years. These two parties of seceders continued for more than half a century to maintain each its separate "testimony" and its distinct organization. They were
BURGHERS AND ANTI-BURGHERS. 55
distinguished for the tenacity and zeal with which they maintained the ground they had respectively assumed, for the strictness of their religious life, and for the rigidity of their discipline. That hatred of prelacy which prevailed amongst them in common with all Pesbyterian parties was at first intense, and gave rise to some singular decisions ; but it became gradually softened down, and after the lapse of thirty or forty years gave place to the milder spirit of toleration.
But the disposition to confound matters of opinion and questions of expediency with the things of faith and conscience still continued to display its power ; and in 1795 a question arose among the Burghers as to the power of civil magistrates in religion, as asserted in the twenty-third chapter of the Westminster Confession, *
A case of discipline came under the consideration of the Associate (Burgher) Synod in October, 1750, which shows the sentiment entertained by the Seceders and other Presbyterians in regard to Episcopacy : A stone- mason, Andrew Hunter, who was a Seceder, had undertaken in the exercise of his calling to build an Episcopal chapel in Glasgow.
This gave great offence to his brethren, who called him to account for it. As he still per- sisted, however, the case came at last before the Synod, which decided that the building of an Episcopal meeting-house was at least equal to the build- ing of the " high places" mentioned in the Old Testament ; and after rehears- ing the judgments denounced against those who assist in setting up a false worship, the "deliverance" of the Synod proceeds as follows : '
56 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
This controversy had the usual effect to subdivide them into two parties, distinguished from each other as the "Original" or "Old Light Burghers" and the "New Light Burghers." About the same period this controversy prevailed also among the Anti-Burghers, the "Old Light" party being headed by Archibald Bruce, Thomas Campbell's former teacher of theology, who, with some other ministers, organized in August, 1806, a new Presbytery, called the Constitutional Associate Presbytery.
There were thus at this time no less than four different bodies of Seceders, each adhering to its own "testimony," but all professing to adopt the Westminster Confession. In addition, there were not wanting various minor defec- tions of those who, during the heated discussions of Synods and Assemblies, flew off like sparks from the iron heated in the forge, but, as these were transient and of little moment, it is unnecessary to detail them.
Schooled amidst such schisms in his own denomina- tion, and harassed by the triviality of the differences by which they were maintained, it is natural to suppose that one of so catholic a spirit as Thomas Campbell conceived the greatest antipathy to party spirit in all its workings and manifestations, and that his son Alex- ander fully sympathized with him in these feelings.
The existing division between the Burgher and Anti- Bargher Seceders had, indeed, been to him a source of so much regret that he had often urged, as oppor- tunity offered, upon these parties, the duty of attempt- ing a reunion. Moved by his representations, and those of others favorable to such a measure, an effort was at length made to accomplish this desirable object, and a com-
EFFORTS TO EFFECT UNION. 57
mittee of consultation having met at Rich-Hill, in Octo- ber, 1804, a report with propositions of union was prepared by Mr. Campbell, and presented to the Synod at Belfast, by which it was very favorably received. In March, 1805, a conjoint meeting was held at Lurgan, and there seemed to be a unanimous desire, on both sides, for a coalescence, based particularly on the ground that as the Burgher oath was never required in Ireland, there was therefore nothing in the state of things existing there to warrant any division.
The General Associate Synod in Scotland, however, hear- ing of the incipient movements in reference to union, took occasion to express their dissent in advance of any application, and the measure consequently failed for the time being. In the following year an application was made to the Scottish Synod, by members of the Provincial Synod of Ireland, requesting them to consider whether it would not be expedient to allow the brethren in Ireland to transact their own business without being in immedi- ate subordination to that court.
It appears that Thomas Campbell was deputed to visit Scotland and lay this matter before the General Synod. When he set out on this journey, Alexander seems to have accompanied him as far as Belfast, which he then visited for the first time. The Anti-Burghers had constituted a Synod in Ireland in May, 1788, at which time the Scottish SjTiod concluded to establish different Synods in subordination to one General Synod, and accordingly arranged the different Presbyteries in connection with the association into four Synods, viz. : three in Scotland and one in Ireland.
The Irish Synod was formed of the four Presbyteries of Belfast, of Market Hill, of Derry, and of Temple-Patrick, which, with the usual elders, formed the Associate Synod of Ireland. At that time the Presbytery of Market Hill consisted of the ministers of the congregations of Market Hill, Tyrone's Ditches, Newry and Moyrah, with a ruling elder from each of the sessions. The church at Ahorey was formed at a subsequent period, and Thomas Campbell became its minister in 1798.
58 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
time. His father, proceeding to Glasgow, fulfilled the duty assigned him, and presented the case to the Synod with great earnestness and force.* The Synod, how- ever, decided that it was inexpedient to entertain the proposal, and matters were accordingly left as before. These movements, nevertheless, were not without some effect.
The question, having been thus brought up, was generally discussed, and the propriety of union gradually became more and more evident, while a greater amount of fraternal intercourse took place be- tween the two parties.
Finally, some of the town councils abolished the religious clause of the Burgher oath ; and it may be added that on the 5th of Septem- ber, 1820, long after the Campbells had abandoned all sectarian establishments, and were diligently engaged in the New World in promoting the cause of a uni- versal Christian union, the two Synods, Burgher and Anti-Burgher, formed a cordial reunion amidst general rejoicings and impressive exercises.
This event was consummated in Bristo-street church in Edinburgh, in the very house where the division had occurred seventy- three years before. * While Alexander was in Glasgow as a student, four years afterward, he wai one day returning from church, when he was interrogated as to his parc;ntage by a gentleman who accompanied him. Upon naming his father, the latter said : " I listened to your father in our General Assembly in this city, pleading for a union between the Burghers and Anti- Burghers. But, sir, while in my opinion he out-argued them, they out- voted him."
Independency — Toleration — Missionary movements.
NATURAL history teaches that there are certain species of polyps which reproduce themselves by a gradual division of their bodies into parts, and that these parts speedily acquire all the deficient organs and become distinct and perfect individuals.
There are others among these singular creatures propagating their race by buds, which appear upon the body of the parent, and, after a sufficient degree of development, become separate and complete animals. Speaking ana- logically, it would appear that religious sects combine both these methods of increase, for not only do they divide themselves frequently into new parties, but like- wise produce, occasionally, offsets, which, after adher- ing to the parent for a time, become so far developed as to be capable of assuming an independent life.
Of the first method examples have already been given. Of the second mode, the Puritans or Independents and the Methodists are exemplifications, both having been off-shoots from the Church of England, with which they remained connected long after they were distinctly recognized as new productions of denominational fe- cundity. Of the above-named parties, the Independents had a most important influence upon the religious views of both Thomas Campell and his son Alexander. There
59 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
was at this time in Rich-Hill a congregation of Inde- pendents, with whose pastor, Mr. Gibson, and many of the members, they were on terms of friendly ac- quaintance. It was not unusual for Thomas Campbell, after his return from the Lord's-day services at the country church of Ahorey, to go to the meeting of the Independents at night.
Among the Seceders it was not allowable for any one to neglect his own meetings to attend those of others, but when there was no Se- ceder meeting within reach at the same hour, it was not particularly objected to that members should go to other meetings.
This was called the privilege of "oc- casional hearing," which was conceded, but by no means encouraged, by the clergy. The members of the Independent Church were always much pleased to see Mr. Campbell come to their meetings, as they had a very high esteem for him as one of the most learned and pious of the Seceder ministers, but as he came only after dark, they were wont to compare him face- tiously with Nicodemus, "who came to Jesus by night."
The Independents being more liberal than others in granting the use of their meeting-house to preachers of various kinds, an opportunity was thus also afforded of hearing occasionally persons who were distinguished in the religious world. On one occasion the celebrated Rowland Hill preached with great acceptance. James Alexander Haldane also visited Rich-Hill, and preached during Mr. Campbell's residence there.
Alexander Carson, too, who left the Presbyterians and joined the Independents in 1803, preached about this time at Rich- Hill. Another individual who visited and preached at Rich-Hill was John Walker, whose abilities and learn- ing made quite a strong impression on the mind of young Alexander. He had been a fellow and a teacher
VIEWS OF JOHN WALKER, 61
m Trinity College, and minister at Bethesda Chapel, Dublin ; but becoming grieved with the prevailing re- ligious declension and the worldly conformity of most of the parties of the day, he resigned his fellowship in 1804, threw aside the clerical garb, and formed a sepa- rate society in Dublin.
He taught that there should be no stated minister, but that all members should exercise their gifts indiscriminately.
Baptism he regarded as superfluous, except to those who never before professed Christianity.
He was Calvinistic in doctrine, but car- ried separatism so far that it was a special point with him strictly to prohibit the performance of any religious act without removing to a distance (if in the same room) from every person who refused to obey a pre- cept that could be generally applied ; insisting that true worship could be rendered only by those who receive and obey the same truths in common. It may be re- marked that views not very dissimilar were held at various times by others.
Roger Williams, for instance, the founder of the Baptists in America, held that it was wrong for professors of religion to hold worship with the unconverted, or to sit at the communion table with those who did not perfectly agree with them in religious sentiments.
Mr. Walker was accustomed, at his meet- ings, to give a cordial invitation to all inquirers to call upon him next day at his room for religious conversa- tion, and, as he was extremely affable and communica- tive, these interviews were usually very agreeable.
Thomas Campbell, in company with one of his elders, called upon him, and Alexander also came in during their conversation, in which he became much interested. This singular man sold his carriage and traveled on foot through Ireland, and also through England, and gained here and there a few proselytes to his views,
62 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
especially in Plymouth, from whence they have become known as the Plymouth Brethren.
The origin of the Independents as a religious body may be dated at least as far back as the reign of Eliza- beth, when a number of intelligent English, exiled during the preceding reign of Mary, returned from Geneva, imbued with Calvinistic and republican senti- ments.
In 1566, a number of clergymen and others, who had adopted these principles, repudiated the Book of Common Prayer, and substituted the Geneva Service- Book.
It was not, however, until about 1580 that a real separation occurred from the Church of England, under the leadership of Robert Brown, who, with a number of his followers, was compelled to leave Eng- land. Being subjected to various disabilities and per- secutions, others, at diiferent periods, fled to foreign parts, especially to Amsterdam and Leyden.
These, again, under the reign of King James the First [King James of Bible Fame] , were fol- lowed by a considerable number, under the guidance of their pastor, Mr. Robinson.
A portion of these exiles, under Brewster, Bradford and others, emigrated in 1619 to America, and landing at Plymouth, became the founders of the colony of Massachusetts, and the pioneers to others by whom the chief New England colonies were established.
It is a singular fact that these exiles had no sooner obtained possession of power than they began to exercise the very same system of persecution of which they themselves had been victims.
These "Brethren," however, it is believed, do not accord with all the views held by Walker.
INTOLERANCE OF STATE RELIGIONS. 63
Among other acts of tyranny, they banished from Salem, for the free ex- pression of his opinions, Roger Williams, who was himself a Puritan. This champion of free opinion fled to Rhode Island, where he purchased territory from the Indians ; and in 1643, returning to England, obtained a charter of incorporation.
After spending some time in England, he came back to Providence, and, having become a Baptist, founded there the first Baptist church in America-
In 1662 he obtained a second charter irom Charles the Second, in which it was declared that " religion should be wholly and for ever free from all jurisdiction of the civil power;"
It is true that the theory of toleration had been advanced by individuals at former periods ; and that some degree of religious freedom had at times been practically conceded, as in Bohemia, by the Emperor Rodolph, in 1609.
Upon the burning of Servetus at Geneva in 1553 a work was published at Basil, attributed to Sebastian Castalio, denying the expediency of attempting to repress heresy by the civil power.
Another publication on the same sub- ject, by James Aconzio, appeared in 1565 at Basil, of which, in 1648, a translation was printed in England by John Goodwin, an Independent minis- ter. These treatises, however, opposed persecution only on the ground of inexpediency, not denying the abstract right of the magistrate to punish here- tics ; and, even as to inexpediency, making an exception of atheists and apostates.
The earliest English publication asserting religious freedom in its widest sense was made by Leonard Busher in 1614, in a tract entitled "Religious Peace — a plea for Liberty of Conscience."
In this the author advocates the most complete toleration for all opinions and all religions, and would forbid any punishment of those opposed to religion.
This was re- printed in 1642, and may have fallen under the notice of Williams, who was in England the year following, and himself published in London, in 1644, his noted tract to the same effect, entitled:
"Bloody Tenet of Persecution for cause o'f Conscience, discussed between Truth and Peace." This bold cham- pion of liberty died in 1683, and it was not till 1691 that Locke published his celebrated " Letters on Toleration" — a right, which, as just stated, had been already, though less ably, advocated by others, and was then actually in practical operation in Rhode Island. Craik's Hist England,
vol. I p. 785. 64 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
Whatever philosophical explanation may be made of the conduct of the Puritans, [on the ground that self- preservation], in their then feeble condition, overrode all other considerations, since to oppose the Church was, in their case, tantamount to sedition against the State, one thing is certain,
that the course they pursued was wholly inconsistent with the fundamental principle of Independency, . . .[BUT was it wholly inconsistent with GOD'S LAW given in GOD'S WORD???] . . . and with not only the practice of their party in England, but with their own course subse- quently,
Before taking this step, it was necessary that he should have a little longer time to observe the working of the religious systems of the time.
All these may be classed as Episcopal, Presbyterian and Congregational — to the last of which belong the Baptists and all others holding that each congregation in independent. In the Episcopal (including the Romish) and the Presbyterian systems no liberty whatever is granted to the people to interpret the Scriptures, this being entirely confined to the clergy.
Hence, among Presbyterians, though the Scripture is
RELIGIOUS TOLERATION. 65
recommended to be read, the reader is carefully in- formed, as in the Acts of Assembly, " that the charge and office of interpreting the Holy Scriptures is a part of the ministerial calling, which none, howsoever other- wise qualified, should take upon him in any place, but he that is duly called thereunto by God and his kirk (church)."
No such thing, in fact, as liberty of private judgment is allowed in the Church of England or in Presby- terianism, any more than in the Church of Rome.
With the Independents, however, the right of every member to judge for himself as to the meaning of Scripture is the great distinguishing feature, and the basis not only of their congregational form of govern- ment,
and their entire repudiation of the authority claimed by Presbyteries, Synods, Assemblies, Conven- tions or other church-courts, but also the reason of that tolerant spirit they so strikingly manifested when they attained to political power in England.
In the Long Parliament, headed by Sir Henry Vane, they pleaded with the Presbyterian majority for such a degree of toleration as would at least include all holding Protest- ant doctrines. This, however, was abhorrent to the Presbyterians. "
"Toleration," [of all beliefs, religions] cried one of them, "will make:
[SOURCE: Craik's History of England, Book vii., c 2.];
VOL. L— E 6 * 66 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
The Independents, however, having got the control of the army, and, finally, of the government under Cromwell, were enabled to put, to a considerable extent, their views into practice, so that during the Protectorate, for eleven years, a degree of peace, toleration and pros- perity was enjoyed by all parties which had before been unknown.
Although the toleration then granted was neither complete nor firmly founded, it greatly redounded to the credit of the Independents, and had an important influence upon the world at large.
These singular but stern and religious men were, to use the language of Macaulay, "engaged in the great conflict of liberty and despotism, reason and prejudice. That great battle was fought for no single generation, for no single land. The destinies of the human race were staked on the same cast with the freedom of the Eng- lish people."
Opposed as well to Presbytery as to Prelacy and Popery, and regarding each congregation as independent and supreme in its jurisdiction, their views naturally made them republican in civil affairs, while their principle that every one should enjoy the right of private judgment in religion, released them from that spiritual despotism which all the other systems labored to establish.
For, to take the Presbyterian system as an example, Iheir idea of a complete church is not by any means that of a single congregation, but of a number of con- gregations, with Sessions, Presbyteries and Synods sufficient to constitute a General Assembly.
SPIRITUAL DESPOTISM. 71
comprising a complete system of absolute clerical domination.
Among these courts, it is the General Assembly which is the true exponent of the nature and animus of the entire system. This supreme court is the eye and ear and efficient head of the whole body. For, to use the vision of Assyria's king, if the Session be the legs of iron, emblem of popular strength, mixed at the feet with the miry clay of the unofficial laity, if the Presbytery be the belly and thighs of brass, and the Synod the breast and arms of silver, it is the General Assembly that constitutes the golden head, which is the crowning glory of the Presbyterian image.
No despotism, indeed, could be more complete than that sought to be established by the Church of Scot- land, which exercised, by means of its clerical ma- chinery, a real inquisitorial authority over men's minds and consciences, and, when called into question by the government for usurpations,
When Andrew Melvin, one of those sent by the General Assembly to admonish James the First [King James-I of Bible Fame],
68 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
sword of the magistrate which they constantly sought indirectly to acquire, and often really exercised, we have a dynasty quite as imperious as any ever main- faithful subjects to Christ.
Sir when you were in your swaddling clothes, Christ reigned freely in this land, in spite of all her enemies." The same individual, on another occasion, when arraigned before the coun- cil for words spoken in a sermon he had delivered at St. Andrew's, at once declined the jurisdiction of the court. "
After the giving in of the declina- tion," says Calderwood, "the king and the Earl of Arran, then chancellor, raged.
Mr. Andrew, never a whit dashed, said in plain terms that they were too bold, in a constitute Christian kirk, to pass by the pastors, prophets and doctors, and to take upon them to judge the doctrine and to control the ambassadors and messengers of a greater than was here.
Here we see flaming out the true spirit of Presbytery, which, while opposed to any representation of the clergy in Parliament, had always sought to erect the Church into a power, independent of, and, in its own province, superior to the State — an arrangement which would afford an abun- dant compensation for the denial of political power of the ordinary kind."
As an illustration of the pertinacity with which the Presbyterians clung to their intolerant measures, and to those church-courts through which they con- trived to embarrass and endeavored to control the civil power, it is well known that even Cromwell was unable to establish general toleration in Scotland, or maintain it there "with any chance of an hour's quiet to the country," as the historian remarks, " without putting a gag upon the Church.
Accordingly," he continues, "when after many heats the General Assembly had met as usual at Edinburgh, in the summer of 1652, and was about to proceed to business. Lieutenant Colonel Cotterel suddenly came into the church, and standing up upon one of the benches, informed them that no ecclesiastical judicatories were to sit there but by authority of the Parliament of England ; and without giving them leave to reply, commanded them in- stantly to withdraw themselves ; and then conducted the whole of the rever- end body out of the city, by one of the gates called the West-Port, with a troop of horse and a company of foot.
The Assembly did not dare to meel again so long as Cromwell lived."
They knew too well the character of this remarkable man, who was in- tolerant only of intolerance, to try his patience farther. So liberal was he that he allowed the benefices and the pulpits to be occupied by all parties — some by the former Episcopal incumbents, some by Independents, and some even by the minor sects. For some time, indeed, the pulpits nrere open to
OPPOSITION TO REFORMS. 69
tained by Papal Rome. Happily, the example of the United States, the progress of liberal ideas and the great increase of dissenters had gradually checked the arrogance of the National Churches of Great Britain, and compelled them to hold in abeyance claims which, from their very constitution, it is impossible they should ever relinquish.
Although the spirit of these parties was thus, at this period greatly subdued, and no very arbitrary acts on the part of the Irish Synod had occurred to awaken discontent, the observant mind of Alexander Campbell perceived so much of a grasping spirit and of clerical assumption in the ministry, and such tendencies to a rigid exercise of power, as led him to reflect more seriously upon his future course.
He had been repeat- edly grieved to find that the occasional earnest overtures of his pious father in regard to various reforms, and especially in relation to a more frequent celebration of the Lord's Supper, then attended to only semi-annually, were treated with indifference, and rejected by the Presbytery and the Synod ;
and that there seemed no disposition whatever, on the part of those in authority, to admit of any changes or reforms. When he con- trasted these things with the freedom of opinion and of any of the laity who seemed to have an edifying gift of utterance.
To guard against an extreme here, "Cromwell," we are informed, "appointed in March, 1653, a Board of Triers, as they were called, in all thirty-eight in number, of whom part were Presbyterians, part Independents, and a few Baptists, to whom was given, without any limitations or instructions whatever, the power of examining and approving or rejecting all persons that might thereafter be presented, nominated, chosen or appointed to any living in the Church.
This was tantamount to dividing the Church among these different religious bodies, or so liberalizing or extending it as to make it comprehend them all. The Board of Triers continued to sit and to exercise its func tions at Whitehall till a short time after the death of Cromwell." Craik's History of England, iii. p. 481.
70 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
This government enjoyed by the Independents, he was led to examine more carefully into the principles upon which the system of Independency was based. He found that the English Congregationalists differed some-, what from those called Scotch Independents, whose principal champion then was Robert Sandeman.
Their rise is attributable to John Glas, an eloquent and able minister of the Church of Scotland, in the parish of Tealing, near Dundee, who abandoned the Establishment about the year 1728, and adopted Independent views, which he derived mainly from the works of John Owen.
He formed churches in most of the large towns in Scotland, where his followers were called Glasites.
About the year 1755, Robert Sandeman developed and sustained their views, and engaged in a spirited controversy with Hervey in regard to the leading doc- trine in his "Theron and Aspasio," the appropriating nature of faith — a controversy which not only greatly promoted the circulation of Hervey's work, but gave celebrity to Sandeman, from whom this particular branch of Independents have, in England, been usu- ally called Sandemanians.
He afterwards came to America and founded societies in New England and Nova Scotia. His doctrines were — that faith is merely a simple assent to the testimony concerning Christ ; that the word faith means nothing more than it does in common discourse — a persuasion of the truth of any proposition :
and that there is no difference between believing any common testimony and believing the apostolic testi- mony.
VIE WS OF SANDEMAN. 71
He also approved of theatres and public and pri- vate diversions, when not connected with circumstances reallv sinful. The Independents at Rich-Hill, though in connection with those of Scotland, were Haldanean in sentiment, and did not adopt all the views of Glas or Sandeman.
They attended weekly to the Lord's Supper, contribu- tions, etc., but were opposed to going to theatres or such places of public amusements ; to the doctrine of com- munity of goods; feet-washing, etc., as advocated by Sandeman.
They were also, in a good measure, free from the dogmatic and bitter controversial spirit so characteristic of Sandeman and his followers. It does not appear that Alexander acquired at this time any- thing more than a general knowledge of the history of these parties.
If he became at all acquainted with the peculiar views of Sandeman in regard to faith, it is certain that he was far from adopting them ; and that, even after his emigration to the United States, he con- tinued to hold essentially the views of this subject entertained by Presbyterians. He seems, in addition, about this time to have read and to have been much pleased with the works of Archibald McLean, espe- cially his work on "The Commission," of which he was wont ever after to speak in the highest terms.
In order to complete this brief account of the religious influences surrounding Thomas Campbell and his son Alexander at this period, it is necessary to notice a movement then in progress for the promotion of a sim- pler and, as it was termed, a more "evangelical" style of preaching, with the view of creating a greater general interest in the subject of religion.
The reader is doubtless familiar with the history of the great excite- ment produced in England by the preaching of
72 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
Whitefield and Wesley about the same time at which the Seceders left the Kirk of Scotland, some sixty years previous. By their earnestness and zeal, by the intro- duction of the custom of field-preaching (unused since the time of the monastic orders, if we except the case of the persecuted Covenanters), as well as by the Wesleyan system of lay-preaching and itinerancy, the existing ecclesiastical establishments were roused from their state of frigid formality and apathy, and an un- wonted religious fervor was diffused throughout all classes of the community.
The same excitement was introduced also into Scotland, to which Mr. Whitefield was invited by the Seceders through the agency of the Erskines. As he was a Calvinist, they entertained hopes of winning him to their party, or at least of attaining to such doctrinal agreement with him as would justify them in availing themselves of his extraordinary powers. Immediately upon his arrival, therefore, at Dunfermline, they called a Presbytery, and proposed to set him right upon the matter of Church government and of the Solemn League and Covenant.
He very properly declining to enter upon any disputes about what he regarded as trivial matters, and determining to adhere to his course of preaching Christ, free from the shackles of any party, the Seceders immediately be- came hostile and refused to hear him, denouncing him as "an enthusiast who was engaged in doing the work of Satan," while he, on the other hand, charged them with "building a Babel which would soon come down about their ears."
Upon this, a number of the minis- ters of the Church of Scotland espoused Mr. White- field's cause and admitted him into their pulpits. Great excitement and extraordinary manifestations of swoon- ings, convulsions and cataleptic seizures attended Mr.
MISSIONARY EFFORTS. 73
Whitefield's labors, especially at Cambuslang, near Glasgow, where at one time the assemblage was esti- mated to consist of at least thirty thousand persons.
These singular cases had previously occurred under Mr. Wesley's preaching ; and have several times since been noted, as in the revivals under the preachings of Jonathan Edwards in New England, and of James McGready, B. W. Stone and some other Presbyterian preachers in Kentucky, in 1801.
The intense religious interest awakened in Great Britain and Ireland by Wesley, Whitefield and their coadjutors, had, toward the close of the century, given place to a great degree of indifference and worldly conformity. The diffusion of infidel principles from France, political commotions and a variety of circumstances connected with the American and French wars, seem to have been chiefly instrumental in indu- cing a change which was deeply lamented by pious and earnest men in the different religious communities.
It was resolved, accordingly, to make a united effort to arouse the people to greater religious activity, and, for this purpose, to employ those agencies of open-air preaching and itinerancy formerly so successful. Among those conspicuously engaged in this work were the Haldanes of Scotland. A considerable mis- sionary society, called the Evangelical Society, was formed for the above purpose, consisting in part of members of the Episcopal Church in England.
As Thomas Campbell warmly sympathized in the proposed object, he became a member of this Society, and took great pleasure in aiding its operations. Many liberal and earnest preachers were sent out by its means through the country, who were accustomed to convene the people in the most public places in towns, or wher- 7
74 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
ever they could obtain an audience, and to address them with great earnestness upon the subject of religion. In this species of mission there was something very pleasing, and certainly the position of such laborers was highly favorable to a fair and effective presentation of the general truths of the gospel. Like missionaries in heathen lands, they felt themselves freed, in a good measure, from the sectarian necessities and constraints of party-preachers.
They were left, as it were, alone with the Word of God and the souls of men ; and as far as it related to the general truths of the scheme of redemption, their addresses were most profitable in rousing the careless and thoughtless to inquiry, and in removing doubts and difficulties from the minds of the ignorant and the skeptical.
"The more pure and free," as Neander well observes, "and unmixed with human schemes Christianity is, the more easily it makes its way into the hearts of men, and the more easily can it preserve in undiminished vigor its divine attractive power over human nature." It was, however, impossible for them, consistently with the nature of their mission and their views of religion, to recommend any very definite or particular course to anxious inquirers.
The nature of faith ; how Christ could be put on by faith ; how the sinner could obtain an assurance of justifica- ' tion, — these were questions of the highest practical im- portance, to which different parties gave conflicting answers, and which, with matters of ecclesiastical organization, constituted the burden of polemical dis- cussions and the ground of party differences. Their work was, however, a favorable omen of the approach of a better era, and served practically to break down the prejudices of religious society and to depreciate the value of those speculative theological dogmas and of
FORMATIVE INFLUENCE. 75
those sectarian distinctions by which pious believers were separated and ahenated from each other. Such, then, during the years of youth and of forma- tive research and observation, were the rehgious influ- ences which surrounded Alexander Campbell, and such the lessons of instruction which history afforded him. The effect of the whole was to increase his revt rence for the Scriptures as the only infallible guide in reiigion, to weaken the force of educational prejudices, and to deepen his conviction that the existence of sr-ots and parties was one of the greatest hindrances to the success of the gospel.
Alexander Campbell's industry — Close observation — Failure of Thomas Campbell's health— Voyage to America,
IN human life there may be a second childhood, but never a second youth. As, in the natural year, the spring mingles its soft breezes with the chill blasts of winter, and the blue red-breast returns to warble from the leafless branches, and the tiny snowdrop blossoms or the crocus unfolds its gay petals amidst cheerless desolation, so, in wintry age, may childish thoughts and childish sports again delight, and dotage assume the guise of infancy, when the eye is weak and the memory defective, and the step unsteady, not from immaturity, but from decay.
But youth, with its unspent energies, its keen perceptions, its earnest hopes, and its unfilled capacities, shall return to man on earth no more. As though deeply impressed with this conviction, it was in this, the seed-time of life, that, with unwearied industry, Alexander Campbell labored to store his mind with useful learning, and to avail himself of every accessible source of knowledge.
He was accustomed to pursue his studies to a late hour in the night, and usually rose at four in the morning to resume them.
his constant delight, and self-education became with
him a passion, as there seemed but little prospect of his
being enabled to attend the University, owing to his
father's large family, now increased with another daugh-