EMBRACING A VIEW OF THE ORIGIN,
PROGRESS AND PRINCIPLES OF
THE RELIGIOUS REFORMATION WHICH HE ADVOCATED
Originally By ROBERT RICHARDSON
Annotated by NewtonStein
VOLUME-I, 1,000 PAGES
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
EMBRACING A VIEW OF THE ORIGIN,
PROGRESS AND PRINCIPLES OF
THE RELIGIOUS REFORMATION WHICH HE ADVOCATED.
By ROBERT RICHARDSON
CHAPTER 4 - ORIGINAL PAGES 301-400
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.
ACTUAL PAGES 226-300
Reformatoiy views of the Haldanes — Division — Religious influences at Glas- gow — Abandonment of Presbyterianism — Helensburgh — Embarkation.
226 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
THE knowledge which he obtained during his inti- macy with Mr. Ewing, in regard to the religious reformation then progressing in Scotland, made a deep impression on the mind of Alexander Campbell. That devotion to the Bible by which the movement was characterized was entirely consonant with his own cherished feelings ; and that independence of spirit which led the Haldanes to establish a system of lay- preaching and itineracy, and to endeavor to carry the gospel into every town and hamlet in spite of clerical opposition, was most congenial to his own character and disposition. Such, indeed, was the contrast be- tween the unselfish and liberal proceedings of the Haldanes and their coadjutors, and the course which the clergy pursued under the influence of their narrow policies and bigoted sectarianism, that it is not surpris- ing to find him stating, as he did in after years, that he "imbibed disgust at the popular schemes, chiefly while a student at Glasgow." Nor is it strange that the munificent liberality of the elder brother, Robert, and the earnest and abundant labors of the younger, James A. Haldane, filled him with admiration. He felt his own devotion to the cause of human salvation and advancement strengthened, and, while without means
of duty to retrograde a single step, he clearl}'' fore- saw that if the Synod sanctioned the decision of the Presbytery, he must at once cease to be a minister in the Seceder connection. Anxious to avoid a position unfavorable to his usefulness, and calculated to product discord and division, and cherishing still the desire to labor harmoniously with those with whom he had been so long associated, he addressed an earnest appeal to the Synod when his case came up for consideration, in which he thus defined and defended his position : "Honored Brethren: Before you come to a final issue in the present business, let me entreat you to pause a moment and seriously consider the following things : To refuse any one his just privilege, is it not to oppress and injure? In proportion to the magnitude and importance of the privilege withheld, is not the injustice done in withholding it to be estimated? If so, how great the injustice, how highly aggra- vated the injury will appear, to thrust out from communion a Christian brother, a fellow-minister, for sa3'ing and doing none other things than those which our Divine Lord and his holy apostles have taught and enjoined to be spoken and done by his. ministering servants, and to be received and observed by all his people ! Or have I, in any instance, proposed to say or do otherwise ? If I have, I shall be heartily thankful to any brother that shall point it out, and upon his so doing shall as heartily and thankfully relinquish it. Let none think that, by so saying, I entertain the vain presumption of being infallible. So far am I from this, that I dare not ventui-e to trust my own understanding so far as to take upon me to teach anything as a matter of faith or duty but what is already expressly taught and enjoined by Divine authority ; and I hope it is no presumption to believe that saying and doing the very same things that are said and done before our eyes on the sacred page, is infallibly right, as well as all-sufficient for the edification of the Church, whose duty and perfection it is to be in all things conformed to the original standard.
It SCRIPTURE A SUFFICIENT GUIDE. 227
is, therefore, because I have no confidence, either in my own
infallibility or in that of others, that I absolutely refuse, as
inadmissible and schismatic, the introduction of human
opinions and human inventions into the faith and worship of
the Church. Is it, therefore, because I plead the cause of the
scriptural and apostolic worship of the Church, in opposition
to the various errors and schisms which have so awfully cor-
rupted and divided it, that the brethren of the Union should feel
it difficult to admit me as their fellow-laborer in that blessed
work? I sincerely rejoice with them in what they have done
in that way ; but still, all is not yet done ; and surely they can
have no just objections to go farther. Nor do I presume to
dictate to them or to others as to how they should proceed for
the glorious purpose of promoting the unity and purity of the
Church ; but only beg leave, for my own part, to walk upon
such sure and peaceable ground that I may have nothing to
do with human controversy, about the right or wrong side of
any opinion whatsoever, by simply acquiescing in what is
written, as quite sufficient for every purpose of faith and duty ;
and thereby to influence as many as possible to depart from
human controversy, to betake themselves to the Scriptures, and,
in so doing, to the study and practice of faith, holiness and love.
" And all this without any intention on my part to judge
or despise my Christian brethren who may not see with my
eyes in those things which, to me, appear indispensable-
necessary to promote and secure the unity, peace and purity
of tlie Church. Say, brethren, what is my offence, that I
should be thrust out from the heritage of the Lord, or from
serving him in that good work to which he has been graci-
ously pleased to call tne? For what error or immoralitjr
ought I to be rejected, except it be that I refuse to acknow-
ledge as obligator}' upon myself, or to impose upon others,
anything as of Divine obligation for which I cannot produce
a ' Thus saith the Lord ?' This, I am sure, I can do, while
I keep by his own word ; but not quite so sure when I sub-
stitute my own meaning or opinion, or that of others, instead
228 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
" Surely, brethren, from my steadfast adherence to the Divine standard — my absokite and entire rejection of human authority in matters of religion — my professed and sincere willingness to walk in all good understanding, communion, and fellowship with sincere and humble Christian brethren, who may not see with me in these things — and, permit me to add, my sincere desire to unite with you in carrying for- ward that blessed work in which you have set out, and from which you take your name — you will do me the justice to be- lieve, that if I did not sincerely desire a union with you, I would not have once and again made application for that purpose. A union not merely nominal, but hearty and con- fidential, founded upon certain and established principles ; and this, if I mistake not, is firmly laid on both sides. Your standard informs me of your views of truth and duty, and my declarations give you precisely the same advantage. You are willing to be tried in all matters by your standard, accoi'd- ing to your printed declaration ; / am willing to be tried on all matters by 7ny standard, according to my written declara- tion. You can labor under no difliculty about my teaching and practising whatever is expressly taught and enjoined in the Divine standard, as generally defined in my 'Declara- tion,' and although I have not the same clearness about everything contained in your standard, yet where I cannot see, believing you to be sincere and conscientious servants of the same great and gracious Master who freely pardons his willing and obedient servants their ten thousand talents of shortcomings, I am, therefore, through his grace, ready to forbear with you ; at the same time, hoping that you possess the same gracious spirit, and therefore will not reject me for the lack of those fifty forms which might probably bring me up to your measure, and to which, if necessary, I also, through grace, may yet attain, for I have not set myself down as perfect. " May the Lord direct you in all things. Amen. "Thomas Campbell. " To the Associate Synod of North America."
PARTY SPIRIT UNYIELDING. 229
After the reading of this document, and the hearing of the case before the Synod, it was decided that "there were such informahties in the proceedings of the Presbytery in the trial of the case as to afford sufficient reason to the Synod to set aside their judg- ment and decision, and to release the protester from the censure inflicted by the Presbytery ;" which they ac- cordingly did. After this, the charges which had been before the Presbytery, with all the documents pertain- ing to the trial, were referred to a committee, which finally reported as follows : "Upon the whole, the committee are of opinion that Mr. Campbell's answer to the two first articles of charge are so evasive and unsatisfactory, and highly equivocal upon great and important articles of revealed religion, as to give ground to conclude that he has expressed sentiments very different upon these articles, and from the sentiments held and pro- fessed by this Church, and are sufficient grounds to infer censure." From his extreme reluctance to separate from the Seceders, for many of whom, both preachers and peo pie, he continued to cherish sentiments of Christian regard, Mr. Campbell was induced to submit to this decision, handing in at the same time a declaration "that his submission should be understood to mean no more, on his part, than an act of deference to the judgment of the court, that, by so doing, he might not give offence to his brethren by manifesting a refractory spirit." After this concession, Mr. Campbell fondly hoped that the amicable relations formerly existing between him and the Presbytery of Chartiers would be restored, and that he would be permitted to prose- cute his labors in peace. In this, however, he soon found himself mistaken, and discovered, with much
230 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
regret, that the hostility of his opponents had been only intensified by the issue of the trial, and was more undisguised than ever. Misrepresentation and calumny were employed to detract from his influence ; a con- slant watch was placed over his proceedings, and he discovered that even spies were employed to attend his meetings and take notes of his discourses, in order, if possible, to obtain fresh grounds of accusation against him. Such, indeed, was the bitter, unrelenting and vindictive spirit manifested toward him, in very many ways, that he was led, at length, to believe that the spirit of sectarianism had, in the case of many of his former fellow-laborers, completely overruled that of Christianity. He became fully satisfied that nothing but their want of power prevented them from carrying out their persecution to the utmost limit ; and he was led, more and more, toward the conclusion that big- otry, corruption and tyranny were qualities inherent in all clerical organizations. He came, therefore, to the conclusion, finally, that it was his duty to separate himself from all connection with a people who seemed utterly unwilling to tolerate any overtures for healing the religious dissensions of the times, and who seemed to regard their own particular "Testimony" as practi- cally a more important rule of action than the Bible. He accordingly presented to the Synod a formal re- nimciation of its authority, announcing that he aban- doned "all ministerial connection" with it, and would hold himself thenceforth "utterly unaffected by its decisions." His withdrawal from the Seceders occasioned no interruption of his ministerial labors. From the great personal influence he had acquired in various portions of the counties of Washington and Alleghany, and the
AN IMPORTANT CONFERENCE 231
novelty and force of the plea he made for Christian liberality and Christian union upon the basis of the Bible, large numbers continued to attend his ministra- tions wherever it was in his power to hold meetings. Sometimes the deep shade of a maple grove sheltered the assembly from the summer sun. Generally, how- ever, the houses of his old Irish neighbors, who had settled in Washington county, were the places where he had his appointments for preaching, and where he discoursed weekly to all who chose to assemble. Find- ing, after a time, that his hearers (many of whom still held membership in the Seceder or Presbyterian churches) were constant in their attendance, and appa- rently convinced of the correctness of the principles which he taught, and desirous of the success of his efforts to form a union upon the Bible alone, he pro- posed to the principal persons among them that a special meeting should be held in order to confer freely upon the existing state of things, and to give, if possible, more definiteness to the movement in which they had thus far been co-operating without any formal organiza- tion or determinate arrangement. This proposition was at once gladly acceded to, and a convenient time was appointed to meet, for the purposes specified, at the house of Abraham Altars, who lived between Mount Pleasant and Washington, and who, though not a member of any church, was an earnest friend of the movement. As the results of this meeting proved to be most important, its character merits particular con- sideration. Heretofore the meetings held had been merely for worship and preaching ; and though it was true that the theme of discourse was often intimately connected with the peculiar circumstances in which they were
232 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
placed, and that the sufficiency of the Bible as a guide was often insisted on, there had, as yet, been no formal understanding or agreement either as to principles or as to united action. No separation from the religious parties had been contemplated — no bond of union amongst those attending the meetings had been pro- posed. They were held together by a vague sentiment of Christian union, and by the personal influence and character of Thomas Campbell. Neither on his part, however, nor on that of any member, was there the slightest intention of forming a new religious party. On the contrary, the whole de- sign of the effort was, if possible, to put an end to partyism, and to induce the different religious denomi- nations to unite together upon the Bible as the only authorized rule of faith and practice, and to desist from their controversies about matters of mere opinion and expediency. Mr. Campbell entertained and offered no special objections to their confessions of faith or formu- laries of doctrine. There was scarcely anything in the Westminster Confession of Faith from which he himself felt inclined to dissent, except it was the chapter which gave to the clergy a position and an authority which he thought unauthorized, and which, as he had found by experience, could be readily abused. And as he war well aware that it was already conceded, in the Protist-xnt formularies, that the Bible was the only rule of faith and practice, he felt that he had a right to urge upon all parties the practical adoption of this concession, and the press- ing need there was that it should be at once cordially accepted, as the only true basis of Christian union. In this effort he was further encouraged by the fact that, upon abandoning his own sect, he had found himself at once surrounded by so large a number of pious and
EVILS OF RELIGIOUS PARTYISM. 233
intelligent persons, who, like himself, were dissatisfied with the existing religious parties, and especially with the intolerant and sectarian spirit which pervaded them, and who were disposed to confide in the Bible as the only true guide in religion. It cannot fail to be a matter of interest to the thought- ful mind to contemplate these worthy and religious people collected from various parties, see"king anxiously for better things than could yet be attained under any existing form of Christianity ; retaining still nominally their several connections with the parties to which they belonged, yet conscious of something wanting, and groping after that Christian liberty of thought and action which they felt was denied to them under the existing systems. If, indeed, religious partyism could be justified on the ground so often urged, that it affords abundant room for choice on the part of those who wish to connect themselves with some religious body, one would suppose that, from the number and variety of par- ties then existing, the most scrupulous conscience and the most fastidious religious taste might have been fully gratified. Yet here were individuals so unreasonable in the estimation of the religious world, that they not only refused to be content with any of the surrounding parties, but were disposed to question whether it were expedient or lawful that any of these should exist at all. Sick of the animosities and controversies between rival sects, and disgusted with the petty differences which occasioned alienation and strife amongst those who seemed to be equally pious, and who professed equally to be followers of Christ, they had been led to the con- clusion that religious partyism, so far from being a benefit, was one of the greatest of evils, and one among the chief hinderances to the spread of the gospel. They -
234 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL
sought, therefore, for some common ground upon which all could unite without any sacrifice of truth ; and hav- ing decided that the Scriptures alone, without note or comment, furnished such a basis, they felt it their duty to urge this truth upon the religious communities, pro- posing that all matters not distinctly revealed in the Bible should be held as matters of opinion and of mutual forbearance. It is true, indeed, that the individuals who had been for some time attending Mr. Campbell's meetings were, by no means, all settled in their religious convictions, and that they differed from each other, especially in relation to a proper gospel ministry. Some there were amongst them, such as James Foster, who had been an Independent in Ireland, and some who had not be- longed to any religious party, who felt quite at liome in a position which w^as novel and even somewhat doubt- ful to others. For, while all were disposed to confide in the Bible as the only true guide in religion, yet there were those who, conscious that they w^ere imper- fectly acquainted with its teachings, naturally experi- enced some misgivings as they felt themselves slowly drifting away from the well-known shores and land- marks of their respective religious systems into the wide ocean of Divine truth, which seemed to them so boundless and as yet but imperfectly explored. Should they be so happy as to discover, in the end, a new world blooming like the Indies in the beauties of religious peace? or should unknown ocean currents or resistless gales, as feared by the followers of Columbus, carry them to a returnless distance from their ancient homes? These were questions which might be differently an- swered as hope, or fear, or faith prevailed. They had, indeed, every confidence in the first position they had
MEETING TO DEFINE BASIS. 235
taken, and in the intelligence and piety of the indi- vidual to whose guidance Providence seemed to have consigned them ; but they were by no means uncon- scious of the hazards they incurred, and realized the importance of having a clear and definite understanding as to the course they should pursue. When, therefore, Mr. Campbell proposed a special meeting, in order to elicit a clear and distinct statement of the principles they advocated, it was gladly concurred in, both by those who were doubtful of the enterprise, and, as yet, but loosely connected with it, and by those who felt themselves fully committed, and determined to proceed with a religious reformation which they conscientiously believed to be imperatively required. To the latter, indeed, as well as to the mind of Mr. Campbell him- self, the basis of union had latterly become much better defined ; the distinction between faith and opinion had been more clearly drawn, and the entire sufficiency of the Scriptures more fully recognized, so that they fully realized the need of some definite and formal agree- ment amongst themselves in the further prosecution of their undertaking. The time appointed having arrived, there was a very general assembling at the place designated. All seemed to feel the importance of the occasion and to realize the responsibilities of their position. A deep feeling of solemnity pervaded the assembly when Thomas Campbell, having opened the meeting in the usual manner, and, in earnest prayer, specially invoked the Divine guidance, proceeded to rehearse the matter from the beginning, and to dwell with unusual force upon the manifold evils resulting from the divisions in re- ligious society — divisions which, he urged, were as un- necessary as they were injurious, since God had pro-
236 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL,
vided, in his sacred Word, an infallible standard, whicr was all-sufficient and alone-sufficient, as a basis oi union and Christian co-operation. He showed, how- ever, that men had not been satisfied with its teachings, but had gone outside of the Bible, to frame for them- selves religious theories, opinions and speculations, which were the real occasions of the unhappy contro- versies and strifes which had so longr desolated the relioious world. He. therefore, insisted with crreat earnestness upon a return to the simple teachings of the Scriptures, and upon the entire abandonment of ever\-thing in religion for which there could not be produced a Divine warrant. Finally, after having again and again rex'iewed the ground they occupied in the reformation which they felt it their dut}' to urge upon religrious society, he went on to announce, in the most simple and emphatic terms, the great principle or rule upon which he understood they were then acting, and upon which, he trusted, they would continue to act, consistently and perseveringly to the end. ''That rule, my highly respected hearers," said he in conclusion, "is this, that w*here the Scriptures speak, \ve speak; and where the Scriptures are silent, we ARE silent." Upon this annunciation a solemn silence pervaded the assembly. Never before had religious dut}- been presented to them in so simple a form. Never before had the great principle on which this religious enter- prise rested been so clearly presented to their minds. It was to manv of them as a new revelation, and those simple words, which embodied a rule so decisive of all relio-ious strifes and of all distressing doubts, were foi ever engraven upon their hearts. Henceforth, the plain and simple teaching of the Word of God itself was tc
ORIGIN OF THE REFORMATION. 237
be their guide. God himself should speak to them, and they should receive and repeat his words alone. No remote inferences, no fanciful interpretations, no re- ligious theories of any kind, were to be allowed to alter or pervert its obvious meaning. Having God's Word in their possession, they must speak it faithfully. There should be no contention, henceforth, in regard to the opinions of men, however wise or learned. Whatever private opinions might be entertained upon matters not clearly revealed must be retained in silence, and no effort must be made to impose them upon others. Thus the silence of the Bible was to be respected equally with its revelations, which were by Divine authority declared to be able to "make the man of God perfect and thoroughly furnished unto every good work." Any- thing more, then, must be an incumbrance. Anything less than "the whole counsel of God" would be a dan- gerous deficiency. Simply, reverentially, confidingly, they would speak of Bible things in Bible words, add- ing nothing thereto and omitting nothing given by inspiration. The}' had thus a clear and well-defined basis of action, and the hearts of all who were truly interested re-echoed the resolve: " Where the Scri;p- tures s-peak we speak; ivhere the Scriptures are silent^ -u, e are silent''' It was from the moment when these significant words were uttered and accepted that the more intelligent ever afterward dated the formal and actual commencement of the Reformation which was subsequently carried on with so much success, and which has already produced such important changes in religious society over a large portion of the world. It was some time after Mr. Campbell sat down to afford opportunity to those present to give, as he had requested, a free and candid expression of their views,
238 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
before any one presumed to break the silence. A length, a shrewd Scotch Seceder, Andrew Munro, whc was a bookseller and postmaster at Canonsburg, arose and said : •' Mr. Campbell, if we adopt that as a basis, then there is an end of infant baptism." This remark, and the conviction it seemed to carry with it, produced a profound sensation. "Of course," said Mr. Campbell, in reply, " if infant baptism be not found in Scripture, we can have nothing to do with it." Upon this, Thomas Acheson, of Washington, who was a man of warm impulses, rose, and advancing a short distance, greatly excited, exclaimed, laying his hand upon his heart : "I hope I may never see the day when my heart will renounce that blessed saying of the Scripture, ' Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdon of heaven.'" Upon saying this he was so much affected that he burst into tears, and while a deep sympathetic feeling pervaded the entire assembly, he was about to retire to an adjoined room, when James Foster, not willing that this misappli- cation of Scripture should pass unchallenged, cried out, Mr. Acheson, I would remark that in the portion of Scripture you have quoted there is no reference^ what- ever^ to infant baptism" Without offering a reply, Mr. Acheson passed out to weep alone ; but this inci- dent, while it foreshadowed some of the trials which the future had in store, failed to abate, in the least, the confidence which the majority of those present placed in the principles to which they were committed. Tne rule which Mr. Campbell had announced seemed to cover the whole ground, and to be so obviously just and proper, that after further discussion and conference, i< was adopted with apparent magmanimity, no valid obif"' tion being urged against it.
DISCUSSONS AND DEFECTIONS. 239
This meeting was attended with very important con- sequences. It seemed, for the first time, to define clearly to Mr. Campbell's hearers the exact position which they occupied ; and having constantly before their minds as a guide the simple rule which many of them thought should be written in letters of gold, " Where ike Scriptures speak, we speak; -where these are silent^ we are silent^" each one, with the Scriptures in his possession, could judge for himself as to the conse- quences likely to result from its practical adoption. Some there were, accordingly, of those loosely con- nected with the movement, who, after a time, began to fear that the conclusion so promptly reached and an- nounced by Andrew Munro at the meeting would prove at last to be correct, and fearing to pursue any further a principle which seemed to involve to them so grave a consequence, they began to drop off one by one, and gradually to cease altogether their attendance at the usual meetings. These defections, and the incidents which attended the important meeting described, naturally gave rise to much discussion among the members. James Foster, convinced, while in Ireland, as formerly stated, that there was no scriptural foundation for infant baptism, was very decided in ine expression of his views. Mr. Campbell himself, however, was by no means prepaied to adriit that the principle which they had adopted would necessarily involve any direct opposition to infant baptism. He was himself still so much impressed with the plausibility of the arguments in its favor that he thought the practice might perhaps be justified, and he insisted that, in the present condition of parties, it should, at least, be made a matter of forbearance. He was very reluctant to admit that there was any need of
240 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
hastily abandoning a usage which had so long pre- vailed, and which was so thoroughly incorporated with religious society. He could not but confess the difficul- ties connected with this vexed question, and the absence of positive Scripture authority, yet he thought that, under the existing circumstances, each one might be permitted to determine for himself, both as to the va- lidity of infant baptism and the propriety of the respec- tive forms or actions of sprinkling, pouring and immer- sion, which had been adopted as baptism by different portions of the religious community. Ardently devoted as he was to the cause of Christian union, and con- vinced that some concessions were needed in the exist- ing distracted state of the religious world, he continued to insist that this question, as well as certain others of a similar character, might safely be left to private judgment, and be retained for the sake of peace, as belonging to the chapter of " non-essentials," and by no means so important as the great matters of faith and righteousness. About this time, he was one day riding with James Foster, and as they traveled along he took occasion to urge these views with considerable warmth. At length James Foster, turning toward him, asked with great emphasis: "Father Campbell, how could you, in the absence of any authority in the Word of God, baptize a child in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit?" Mr. Campbell was quite confounded at this question. His face colored, he became for a moment irritated, and said in reply, in an offended tone : " Sir, vou are the most intractable person I ever met." Notwithstanding, however, such differences in sentiment on some particular points, the members felt themselves cordially united in the great object of promoting Christian union and peace in the
CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION FORMED, 241
religious world. In order to carry out this purpose more effectively, it was resolved, at a meeting held on the head-waters of Buffalo, 17th of August, 1809, that they would form themselves into a regular association, under the name of "The Christian Association of Washington." They then appointed twenty-one of their number to meet and confer together, and, with the assistance of Thomas Campbell, to determine upon the proper means to carry into effect the important ends of the Association. As it had been found somewhat inconvenient to hold the meetings in private houses, it was thought advisable by the members to provide some regular place of meet- ing. The neighbors accordingly assembled, and in a short time erected a log building on the Sinclair farm, about three miles from Mount Pleasant, upon the road leading from Washington to that place, at the point where it was crossed by the road from Middletown to Canonsburg. This building was designed, also, for the purposes of a common school, which was much desired in that neighborhood. Here Thomas Campbell continued to meet his hearers regularly. Near the meeting-house was the residence of Mr. Welch, a respectable farmer, and friendly to the Association. As Mr. C'ampbell was accustomed after meeting to go to Mr. Welch's, a little chamber up stairs was assigned to hin. as his apartment. In this quiet place of retire- ment he spent most of the week in study and in writing, occasionally visiting Washington, which was his post- ofhce, and which he still regarded as his general place of residence. The writing with which he was at this time engaged was a Declaration and Address, designed to set forth to the public at large, in a clear and definite manner, the object of the movement in which he and
242 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
those associated with him were engaged, it having been agreed by the committee appointed that such a pubhca- tion was highly expedient. When this was tinished, he called a special meeting of the chief members and read it to them for their approval and adoption. Hav- ing been unanimously agreed to, it was at once ordered to be printed, September 7, 1809. In this document the occasion and nature of the Association were thus defined in the preamble and reso- lutions accepted as its constitution, under the title of "^ Declaration.'''' " From the series of events which have taken place in the Churches for many years past, especially in tliis western country, as well as from what we know in general of the present state of things in the Christian world, we are per- suaded that it is high time for us not only to think, but also to act for ourselves : to see with our own eves, and to take all our measures directly and immediately from the Divine standard ; to this alone we feel ourselves divinely bound to be conformed, as by this alone we must be judged. We are also persuaded that as no man can be judged for his brother, so no man cow judge for his brother; every man must be allowed to judge for himself, as every man must bear his own judgment — must give account of himself before God. We are also of opinion that as the Divine word is equally bind- ing upon all, so all lie under an equal obligation to be bound by it and it alone, and not by any human interpretation of it ; and that, therefore, no man has a right to judge his brothei except in so far as he manifestly violates the express letter of the law — that every such judgment is an express violation of the law of Christ, a daring usurpation of his throne, and a gross intrusion upon the rights and liberties of his subjects. We are, therefore, of opinion, that we should beware of such things ; that we should keep at the utmost distance from every- thing of this nature ; and that, knowing the judgment of God against them that commit such things, we should neither do
THE CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION. 243
the same ourselves nor take pleasure in them that do them. Moreover, being well aware, from sad experience, of the hein- ous nature and pernicious tendency of religious controversy among Christians ; tired and sick of the bitter jarrings and janglings of a party spirit, we would desire to be at rest ; and, were it possible, would also desire to adopt and recommend such measures as would give rest to our brethren throughout all the Churches — as would restore unity, peace and purity to the whole Church of God. This desirable rest, however, we utterly despair either to find for ourselves or to be able to recommend to our brethren by continuing amid the diversity and rancor of party contentions, the veering uncertainty and clashings of human opinions ; nor, indeed, can we reasonably expect to find it anywhere but in Christ and his simple word, which is the same yesterday, to-day and for ever. Our desire, therefore, for ourselves and our brethren would be, that, rejecting human opinions and the inventions of men as of any authority, or as having any place in the Church of God, we might for ever cease from further contentions about such things, returning to and holding fast by the original standard, taking the Divine word alone for our rule, the Holy Spirit for our teacher and guide to lead us into all truth, and Christ alone as exhibited in the word for our salvation ; and that by so doing we may be at peace among ourselves, follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Impressed with these sentiments, we have resolved as follows : " I. That we form ourselves into a religious association, under the denomination of the Christian Association of Washington, for the sole purpose of promoting simple, evan- gelical Christianity, free from all mixture of human opinions and inventions of men. " II. That each member, according to ability, cheerfully and liberally subscribe a specified sum, to be paid half yearly, for the purpose of raising a fund to support a pure Gospel minis- try, that shall reduce to practice that whole form of doctrine, worship, discipline and government expressly revealed and
244 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL. enjoined in the Word of God ; and also for supplying the poor with the Holy Scriptures. "III. That this Society consider it a duty, and shall use all proper means in its power, to encourage the formation of similar associations ; and shall, for this purpose, hold itself in readiness, upon application, to correspond with and render all possible assistance to such as may desire to associate for tlie same desirable and important purposes. " IV. That this Society by no means considers itself a Church, nor does, at all, assume to itself the powers peculiar to such a society ; nor do the members, as such, consider themselves as standing connected in that relation ; nor as at all associated for the peculiar purposes of Church association, but merely as voluntar}^ advocates for Church reformation, and as possessing the powers common to all individuals who may please to associate, in a peaceful and orderly manner, for any lawful purpose — namely, the disposal of their time, counsel and property, as they may see cause. "V. That this Society, formed for the sole purpose of promoting simple evangelical Christianity, shall, to the ut- most of its power, countenance and support such ministers, and such only, as exhibit a manifest conformity to the original standard, in conversation and doctrine, in zeal and diligence ; only such as reduce to practice that simple, original form of Christianity expressly exhibited upon the sacred page, with- out attempting to inculcate anything of human authority, of private opinion, or inventions of men, as having any place in the constitution, faith or worship of the Christian Church, or anything as matter of Christian faith or duty, for which there cannot be expressly produced a ' Thus saith the Lord,' either in express terms or by approved precedent." In additional resolutions, a standing committee was appointed, consisting of twenty-one members, to super- intend the interests of the Society ; semi-annual meet- ings were fixed for the first Thursday of May and of November, and the Society' pledged itself to support
VIRULENCE OF PARTY SPIRIT. 245
such ministers as it should invite to promote the pro- posed reformation, expressing at the same time a will- ingness to receive donations for this purpose from the friends of the movement. From the above articles, it will be seen, that the society did not at all recognize itself as a Church, but simply as a societ}^ for the promotion of Christian union and of "a pure evangelical reformation, by the simple preaching of the gospel, and the administration of its ordinances in exact conformity to the Divine standard." Neither Thomas Campbell himself, how- ever, nor those associated with him, had a full concep- tion of all that was involved in these principles. They only felt that the religious intolerance of the times had itself become intolerable, and that a reformation was imperiously demanded. There had been, indeed, a gradual amelioration in the bitterness of party rancor during the preceding thirty or forty years ; but this was by no means in proportion to the development of re- ligious truth or of the rights of man and of the human conscience. There are few, in fact, of the present generation, who have grown up under the influence of the liberal- izing institutions of the United States, and the more enlightened views of Christianity since presented, who can form a proper idea of the virulence of the party spirit which then prevailed. Each party strove for supremacy, and maintained its peculiarities with a zeal as ardent and persecuting as the laws of the land and the usages of society would permit. The distinguish- ing tenets of each party were constantly thundered from every pulpit, and any departure from the "tradi- tions of the elders," was visited at once with the severest ecclesiastical censure. Covenanting, church politics,
246 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
church psalmody, hyper-Calvinistic questions, were the great topics of the day ; and such was the rigid, uncompromising spirit prevaiHng, that the most trivial things would produce a schism, so that old members were known to break off from their congregations, simply because the clerk presumed to give out, before singing, two lines of a psalm instead of one, as had been the usual custom. Against this slavish subjection to custom, and to opinions and regulations that were merely of human origin, Mr. Campbell had long felt it his duty to protest, and knowing no remedy for the sad condition of affairs existing, except in a simple return to the plain teachings of the Bible, as alone authoritative and binding upon the conscience, he and those associ- ated with him felt it incumbent upon them to urge this upon religious society. This they endeavored to do in a spirit of moderation and of Christian love, hoping that the overture would be accepted by the religious communities around, especially by those of the Presby- terian order, whose differences were, in themselves, so trivial. Such were the events, undertakings and hopes which Thomas Campbell detailed to his family as he was returning with them to Washington ; and he greatly desired that Alexander should read and carefully ex- amine the "Address" which he had prepared, and which was now in the hands of the printer. In this, he had more fully stated and developed the principles of the movement, and it answered, at considerable length, the various objections which were likely to be offered.
Washington, PA - and the Region round about — A permanent and cherished Home — Analysis of Declaration and Address — Disinterested Decision.
THE town of Washington, in which Thomas Camp- bell and his family now sojourned, was, at that time, a small place, containing only about five hundred inhabitants. Many of the dwelling-houses, like those in the country around, were built of logs, notched and fitted near the ends, the interspaces being filled in with mortar and other materials. There were some com- fortable frame buildings, however, and one or two of more substantial appearance, built of stone. The town stood on a rising ground at the upper part of the valley of Chartiers. It was placed, indeed, near the sources of several streams which run in different directions — as the Chartiers Creek, which flows toward the north; Ten-mile, which pursues an eastward course, and falls into the Monongahela ten miles above Brownsville, whence its name ; Buffalo, which directs its swift and clear current to the W. N. W. and empties into the Ohio, at Wellsburg, about twenty-eight miles distant. The town being thus near the summit-level of the streams, the hills around it are comparatively low, and the country gently undulating. As we follow the de- scending waters, the hills and upland region, which, in reality, preserve pretty much the same general level, seem gradually to become higher, so that by the time
247 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
we approach the Ohio river, their sides, growing more and more precipitous, rise to a height of four or five hundred feet. These steep decHvities enclose the fertile valleys through which the larger streams wind in grace- ful curves. Into these wider valleys small rivulets pour their limpid waters, issuing at short intervals, upon each side, from deep ravines formed by steep hill-sides, which closely approach each other, and down which the waters of the springs, with which the upland is abundantly supplied, fall from rock to rock in miniature cascades. Upon the upland, not immediately border- ing upon the streams, the country is rolling, having the same general elevation, above which, however, the summit of a hill occasionally lifts itself as though to afford to lovers of beautiful landscapes most delightful views of a country covered for many miles with rich pasturages, with grazing herds or flocks, fruitful grain- fields, orchards, gardens, and farm-houses ; while, upon the steeper sides of the valleys, still remain the ancient forest growths of oak and ash, walnut, hickory and maple. Frequently, as the traveler passes along the roads upon the upland, he sees suddenly, from some dividing ridge, charming valleys stretching away for miles with their green meadows, rich fields of corn and sparkling streamlets. At other times, as he ad- vances, he admires with delight, in the distance, the ever-varying line of the horizon, which, on all sides, is formed by the summits of remote ridges and elevations, sometimes conical in form, but mostly defined by vari- ous arcs of circles as regularly drawn as if a pair of compasses had traced the lines upon the sky. Every- where around him he sees lands abounding in lime and all the necessary elements of fertility, and producing, upon even the highest summits, abundant crops of all
A BEAUTIFUL AND FERTILE REGION. 249
the cereal grains. To enhance the natural resources of this picturesque country, its hills conceal immense deposits of bituminous coal, which the descending streams here and there expose, and which, along the sides of the valleys wdthin five miles of Washington, and thence to the Ohio river, are conveniently reached by level adits. Such, for nearly two hundred miles west of the Alleghanies, is the general character of this region, especially of that portion of it lying along the Monon- gahela and Ohio — a region whose healthfulness is un- surpassed by that of any country in the world, and one which was always admired and loved by Alexander Campbell above all the countries he had ever seen ; and to which, as his permanent home, he always re- turned with renewed pleasure from all the various tours and travels of his future life. At the time of his arrival at Washington, however, this region was by no means so extensively cleared and improved as at present. Thick forests then concealed the green and graceful slopes of the slow-rising hills, which, immediately below Washington, now so charmingly enclose the Valley of Chartiers, as, with its rich alluvial bottoms, it stretches away toward the north, opening into the valley of the Ohio river, three miles below Pittsburg. Even in many of the cultivated fields, the erect, decay- ing trunks of the girdled forest trees then deformed the landscape, while the elegant brick farm-houses, with their numerous white outbuildings, and other improve- ments, which now^ impart so much cheerfulness and beauty, were wanting. Alexander was, nevertheless, greatly delighted with the general features of the country, and rejoiced to find himself so agreeably placed, and so providentially brought to harmonize and
250 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
co-operate with his revered father in the great work he had undertaken. While examining the proof-sheets of the "Declara- tion and Address," and discussing with his father the matters involved, he was greatly impressed with the importance of the principles laid down, and was at or.ce led to make the inquiry whether, upon these, they would not have to give up infant baptism, and some other practices for which it was alleged express pre- cept and example were wanting. This inquiry would seem to have been suggested by a conversation he had had about this time with Rev. Mr. Riddle of the Pres- byterian Union Church. He had met with him acci- dentally, and the principles of the "Declaration and Address" were introduced and discussed. When he referred to the proposition that "nothing should be required as a matter of faith or duty for which a ' Thus saith the Lord' could not be produced either in express terms or by approved precedent," "Sir," said Mr. Rid- dle, "these words, however plausible in appearance, are not sound. For if you follow these out, 3'ou must become a Baptist." "Why, sir," said Alexander, "is there in the Scriptures no express precept nor precedent for infant baptism?" " Not one, sir," replied the Doc- tor. Alexander was startled and mortified that he could not produce one ; and he immediately requested Mr. Andrew Munro, the principal bookseller of Canons- burg, to furnish him with all the treatises he had in favor of infant baptism. He inquired for no books on the i)ther side, for at this time he had little or no ac- quaintance with the Baptists, and regarded them as comparatively an ignorant and uneducated people.
"He had often read," he says, "Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, but at this time did not know that he was a
QUESTION OF INFANT BAPTISM. 251
Baptist." It seems to have been soon after this inci- dent that he stated, as above, the same difficulty to his father; but he, to whom it had been previously pre- sented, merely replied in substance as before, "We make our appeal to the law and to the testimony. Whatever is not found therein we must of course abandon." Alexander, however, not liking to remain in a state of incertitude upon the subject, occupied himself, for some time afterward, in examining the claims of infant baptism. He read the Paedobaptist authorities in hopes of being able to justify his predi- lections, which were still in favor of the practice. In despite, how^ever, of his prejudices, the conviction that it was entirely a human invention gradually strength- ened. He felt disgusted with the assumptions and fallacious reasonings of the Pasdobaptist writers, and threw them aside, with a faint hope of finding some- thing more convincing in his Greek New Testament. This, however, only made the matter worse, and upon again entering into a conversation with his father on the subject, he found him entirely willing to admit that there were neither "express terms" nor "precedent" to authorize the practice. "But" said he, "as for those who are already members of the Church and partici- pants of the Lord's Supper, I can see no propriety, even if the scriptural evidence for infant baptism be found deficient, in their unchurching or paganizing themselves, or in putting off Christ, merely for the sake of making a new profession ; thus going out of the Church merely for the sake of coming in again.'* He seemed disposed only to concede that they ought not to teach nor practice infant baptism without Divine authorit}^ and that they should preach and practice the apostolic baptism in regard to all who were to make.
2S2 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
for the first time, a profession of their faith. Alex- ander, in deference to his father's views, dismissed the subject for the time, seemingly satisfied with the falla- cious reasoning imposed by circumstances, which pre- vented his father from seeing then the real position which baptism occupies in the Christian economy, and consequently from making, in regard to it, a practical application of his own principles. These principles, indeed, as laid down and argued in the " Declaration and Address," then under considera- tion, were most worthy of attention, and formed a step quite in advance of any religious reformation previously attempted. Commencing with the admitted truth that the gospel was designed to reconcile and unite men to God and to each other, the address proceeded to con- template the sad divisions that existed, and their baleful effects in the aversions, angry contentions, enmities, excommunications and persecutions which they en- gendered. " What dreary effects," it remarked, " of those accursed divisions are to be seen, even in this highly favored country, where the sword of the civil magistrate has not as yet learned to serve at the altar ! Have we not seen congregations broken to pieces, neighborhoods of professing Christians first thrown into confusion by party contentions, and, in the end, entirely deprived of gospel ordinances ; while, in the mean time, large settlements and tracts of country remain to this day destitute of a gospel ministry, many of them in little better than a state of heathenism, the churches being either so weakened by divisions that they cannot send them ministers, or the people so divided among themselves that they will not receive them. Several, at the same time, who live at the door of a preached gospel, dare not in conscience go to hear it, and, of course, enjoy little more advantage in that respect than if living in the midst of heathens,"
PLEA FOR PURITY, PEACE AND UNITY. 253
After considering these divisions in various lights, as hindering the dispensation of the Lord's Supper ; spir- itual intercourse among Christians ; ministerial labors and the effective exercise of church discipline, as well as tending to promote infidelity, an appeal is made to gospel ministers to become leaders in the endeavor to remedy these evils ; and especially is this urged upon those in the United States, as " a country happily exempted from the baneful influence of a civil estab- lishment of any peculiar form of Christianity, and from under the direct influence of an anti-Christian hier- archy." " Can the Lord expect or require," it is de- manded, " anything from a people in such unhampered circumstances — from a people so liberally furnished with all means and mercies — than a thorough reforma- tion in all things, civil and religious, according to his word?" The scanty success which, as the writer admits, had heretofore attended efforts at reformation should not, he remarks, be a discouragement. On the contrary, having learned much from the mistakes which prevented the success of others, and enjoying the benefit of the truths they taught, the religious world, he urges, was then better prepared than at any former period for the accomplishment of the desired object. "Neither," he adds, " are we to be discouraged by the greatness of the work, since the cause is the cause of Christ, and the aid and blessing of God are to be expected in the undertaking, in which he also hopes for the concurrence of all his brethren in all the churches." Addressing the latter, he says : " Dearly beloved brethren, why should we deem it a thing incredible that the Church of Christ, in this highly favored country, should resume that original unity, peace and purity which belong to its constitution and constitute its glory .
254 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
Or is there anything that can be justly deemed necessary for this desirable purpose but to conform to the model and adopt the practice of the primitive Church, expressly exhibited in the New Testament? Whatever alterations this might pro- duce in any or in all of the churches, should, we think, neither be deemed inadmissible nor ineligible. Surely such alteration would be every way for the better and not for the worse, unless we should suppose the divinely-inspired rule to be faulty or defective. Were we, then, in our Church consti- tution and managements, to exhibit a complete conformity to the apostolic Church, would we not be in that respect as per- fect as Christ intended we should be } And should not this suffice us? " It is, to us, a pleasing consideration that all the Churches of Christ which mutually acknowledge each other as such, are not only agreed in the great doctrines of faith and holi- ness, but are also materially agreed as to the positive ordi- nances of gospel institution, so that our differences, at most, are about the things in which the kingdom of God does not consist ; that is, about matters of private opinion or human invention. What a pity that the kingdom of God should be divided about such things ! Who, then, would not be the first among us to give up human inventions in the worship of God, and to cease from imposing his private opinions upon his brethren, that our breaches might thus be healed? Who would not willingly conform to the original pattern laid down in the New Testament for this happy purpose? Our dear brethren of all denominations will please to consider that we have our educational prejudices and particular customs to struggle against as well as they. But this we do sincerely declare, that there is nothing we have hitherto received as matter of faith or practice which is not expressly taught and enjoined in the Word of God, either in express terms or approved precedent, that we would not heartily relinquish that so we might return to the original constitutional unity of the Christian Church, and in this happy unity enjoy full com- mimion with all our brethren in peace and charity. The like
TERMS OF CHRISTIAN UNION. 255
dutiful condescension we candidly expect of all that are seri- ously impressed with a sense of the duty they owe to God, to each other and to their perishing brethren of mankind. To this we call, we invite our dear brethren of all denominations by all the sacred motives which we have avouched as the impulsive reasons of our thus addressing them. "You are all, dear brethren," he continues, " equally in- cluded as the objects of our esteem and love. With you all we desire to unite in the bonds of an entire Christian unity — Christ alone being the head^ the centre ; his word the rule^ and explicit belief of and manifest conformity to it in all things, the terms. More than this, you will not require of us, and less we cannot require of you ; nor, indeed, can you reasonably suppose any would desire it, for what good pur- pose would it serve ? We dare neither assume nor propose the trite, indefinite distinction between essentials and non- essentials in matters of revealed truth and duty ; firmly per- suaded that whatever may be their comparative importance, simply considered, the high obligation of the Divine authority revealing or enjoining them renders the belief or perform- ance of them absolutely essential to us, in so far as we know them. And to be ignorant of anything God has revealed can neither be our duty nor our privilege. We humbly pre- sume, then, dear brethren, you will have no relevant objection to meet us upon this ground. And we again beseech you, let it be known that it is the invitation of but few ; by your accession we shall be many ; and, whether few or many, in the first instance, it is all one with respect to the event which must ultimately await the full information and hearty con- currence of all. Besides, whatever is to be done must begin some time, somewhere ; and no matter where, nor by whom, if the Lord puts his hand to the work, it must surely prosper. And has he not been graciously pleased, upon many signal occasions, to bring to pass the greatest events from very small beginnings, and even by means the most unlikely? Duty, then, is ours, but events belong to God." After this appeal he insists that the time was appro
256 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
priate for the undertaking ; that Christian union could be accomplished only in one of two ways — either in and through the truth and upon principle, or by compromise and accommodation. In any case, he urges that the effort shall be made, and earnestly entreats ministers to " put their hands to the work, and, like Moses, en- courage the people to go forward ' upon the firm ground of obvious truth to unite in the bonds of entire Chris- tian unity.'" " To you," said he, " it peculiarly belongs, as the professed and acknowledged leaders of the people, to go before them in this good work, to remove human opinions and the inven- tions of men out of the way, by carefully separating this chaff from the pure wheat of primary and authentic revela- tion, casting out that assumed authority, that enacting and decreeing power by which these things have been imposed and established." Addressing himself to both ministers and people, he affectionately entreats their concurrence, and advises the formation of societies or associations for consultation in regard to the matter; and again urges all to "resume that precious, dear-bought liberty wherewith Christ has made his people free — liberty from subjection to any authority but his own in matters of religion." He announces that the Christian Association had been formed to promote this end, and to invite others to do the same, and, as the first fruits of its efforts in this direction, he presents for consideration thirteen proposi- tions, which he prefaces with the following very remark- able utterances : " Let none imagine that the subjoined propositions are at all intended as an overture toward a new creed or standard for the Church, or as in anywise designed to be made a term
RESTORATION OF THE CHURCH. 257
of communion ; nothing can be further from our intention. They are merely designed to open up the way, that we may conje fairly and firmly to original ground upon clear and certain premises, and take up things just as the apostles left them, that thus, disentangled from the accruing embarrass- ments of intervening ages, we may stand with evidence upon the same ground on which the Church stood at the beginning." Here it was distinctly stated that the object was to ' come firmly and fairly to original ground, and take up things Just as the apostles left them. In this way, "becoming disentangled from the accruing embarrass- ments of intervening ages, "they could" stand with evidence upon the same ground on which the Church stood at the beginning.'' Never before had any re- former taken distinctly such ground as this. Never before had any one presumed to pass over so lightly the authorities and usages and decisions of so many inter- vening centuries. Here, indeed, was the startling proposition to begin anew — to begin at the beginning; to ascend at once to the pure fountain of truth, and to neglect and disregard, as though they had never been, the decrees of Popes, Councils, Synods and Assemblies, and all the traditions and corruptions of an apostate Church. Here was an effort not so much for the re- formation of the Church, as was that of Luther and of Calvin, and to a certain extent even that of the Haldanes, but for its complete restoration at once to its pristine purity and perfection. By coming at once to the primi- tive model and rejecting all human imitations ; by sub- mitting implicitly to the Divine authority as plainly expressed in the Scriptures, and by disregarding all the assumptions and dictations of fallible men, it was pro- posed to form a union upon a basis to which no valid
VOL. I. — 255 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
obiection could possibly be offered. By this summary method, the Church was to be at once released from the controversies of eighteen centuries, and from the con- flicting claims of all pretenders to apostolic thrones, and the primitive gospel of salvation was to be disen- tangled and disembarrassed from all those corruptions and perversions which had heretofore delayed or ar- rested its progress. The propositions submitted, as embodying the general truths or principles which were to direct and govern this radical and sweeping change in religious affairs, were as follows : "Prop. I. That the Church of Christ upon earth is essen- tially, intentionally and constitutionally one ; consisting of all those in every place that profess their faith in Christ and obedience to him in all things according to the Scriptures, and that manifest the same by their tempers and conduct ; and of none else, as none else can be truly and properly called Christians. " 2. That, although the Church of Christ upon earth must necessarily exist in particular and distinct societies, locally separate one from another, yet there ought to be no schisms, no uncharitable divisions among them. They ought to receive each other, as Christ Jesus hath also received them, to the glory of God. And, for this purpose, they ought all to walk by the same rule ; to mind and speak the same things, and to be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. "3. That, in order to do this, nothing ought to be incj Icated upon Christians as articles of faith, nor required of them as terms of communion, but what is expressly taught and en- joined upon them in the Word of God. Nor ought any- thing to be admitted as of Divine obligation in their Church constitution and managements, but what is expressly enjoined by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ and his apostles
GENERAL PROPOSITIONS. 259
upon the New Testament Church, either in express terms or by approved precedent. "4. That although the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are inseparably connected, making together but one perfect and entire revelation of the Divine will for the edification and salvation of the Church, and, therefore, in that respect cannot be separated ; yet, as to what directly and properly belongs to their immediate object, the New^ Testa- ment is as perfect a constitution for the worship, discipline and government of the New Testament Church, and as per- fect a rule for the particular duties of its members, as the Old Testament was for the worship, discipline and government of the Old Testament Church and the particular duties of its members. " 5. That with respect to commands and ordinances of our Lord Jesus Christ, where the Scriptures are silent as to the express time or manner of performance, if any such there be, no human authority has power to interfere in order to supply the supposed deficiency by making laws for the Church, nor can anything more be required of Christians in such cases but only that they so observe these commands and ordinances as will evidently answer the declared and obvious ends of their institution. Much less has any human authority power to impose new commands or ordinances upon the Church, which our Lord Jesus Christ has not enjoined. Nothing ought to be received into the faith or worship of the Church, or be made a term of communion among Chi-istians, that is not as old as the New Testament. "6. That although inferences and deductions from Scr'p- ture premises, when fairly inferred, may be truly called the doctrine of God's holy word, yet are they not formally bind- ii g upon the consciences of Christians further than they per- ceive the connection, and evidently see that they are so, for their faith must not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power and veracity of God. Therefore no such deductions can be made terms of communion, but do properly belong to the after and progressive edification of the Church. Hence
260 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
it is evident that no such deductions or inferential truths ought to have anv place in the Church's confession. •• 7. That although doctrinal exhibitions of the great svstem of Divine truths, and defensive testimonies, in opposition to prevailing errors, be highlv expedient, and the more full and explicit thev be for those purposes the better ; yet. as these must be. in a great measure, the effect of human reasoning, and of course must contain manv inferential truths, thev ought not to be made terms of Christian communion, unless we suppose, what is contrarv to fact, that none have a right to tlie communion of the Church, but such as possess a very clear and decisive judgment, or are come to a ver\' high de- gree of doctrinal information : whereas the Church from the beginning did, and ever will, consist of little children and young men, as well as fathers. '"S. That as it is not necessary that persons should have a particular knowledge or distinct apprehension of all Divinely- revealed truths, in order to entide them to a place in the Church ; neither should they, for this purpose, be required to make a profession more extensive than their knowledge ; but that, on the contran,', dieir having a due measure of scrip- tural self-knowledge respecting their lost and perishing con- dition by nature and practice, and of the way of salvation through Jesus Christ, accompanied with a profession of their faith in and obedience to him in all things, according to his word, is all that is absolutely necessary to qualify them for admission into his Church. '' 9. That all that are enabled through grace to make such a profession, and to manifest the reaUt}- of it in their tempers and conduct, should consider each other as the precious saints of God. should love each other as brethren, children of the same family and Father, temples of the same Spirit, members of the same body, subjects of the same grace, objects of the same Divine love, bought with the same price, and joint-heirs of the same inheritance. Whom God hath thus joined to- gether, no man should dare to put asunder. " 10. That division among Chiistians is a horrid evil.
PROPOSITIONS FOR UNION. 261
fraught with many evils. It is antichristian, as it destroys the visible unity of the body of Christ, as if he were divided against himself, excluding and excommunicating a part of himself. It is antiscriptural, as being strictly prohibited by his sovereign authority', a direct violation of his express command. It is antinatural, as it excites Christians to con- temn, to hate and oppose one another, who are bound by the highest and most endearing obligations to love each other as brethren, even as Christ has loved them. In a word, it is productive of confusion and of every evil work. "II. That (in some instances) a partial neglect of the ex- pressly revealed will of God, and (in others) an assumed authority for making the approbation of human opinions and human inventions a term of communion, by introducing them into the constitution, faith, or worship of the Church, are. and have been, the immediate, obvious and universally-acknow- ledged causes of all the corruptions and divisions that ever have taken place in the Church of God. " 12. That all that is necessar}- to the highest state of per- fection and purit}' of the Church upon earth is, first, that none be received as members but such as, having that due measure of scriptural self-knowledge described above, do profess their faith in Christ and obedience to him in all things according to the Scriptures ; nor, secondly, that any be retained in her communion longer than they continue to manifest the reality of their profession by their temper and conduct. Thirdly, that her ministers, duly and scripturally qualified, inculcate none other things than those ver' articles of faith and holi- ness expressly revealed and enjoined in the word of God. Lastly, that in all their administrations they keep close by the observance of all Divine ordinances, after the example of the primitive Church, exhibited in the New Testament, without any additions whatsoever of human opinions or inventions of men. " 13. Lastly. That if any circumstantials indispensably necessary to the observ'ance of Divine ordinances be not found apon the page of express revelation, such, and such
262 MEMOIS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
only, as are absolutely necessary for this purpose, should be adopted under the title of human expedients, without any pretense to a more sacred origin, so that any subsequent alteration or ditTerence in the observance of these things might produce no contention or division in the Church." After having thus laid down these propositions, their ob- ject is declared to be "to prepare the way for a permanent scriptural unity among Christians, by calling up to their con- sideration fundamental truths, directing their attention to first principles, clearing the way before them, by removing the stumbling-blocks — the rubbish of ages, which has been thrown upon it, and fencing it on each side, that, in advancing to- ward the desired object, they may not miss the way through mistake or inadvertency, by turning aside to the right hand or to the left." It is then left to the religious community to decide how far these propositions go toward answering the avowed intention. If found defective, they are declared to be open to correction and amendment. "If we have mistaken the way," it is said, "we shall be glad to be set right ; but, if in the mean time, we have been happily led to suggest obvious and undeniable truths which, if adopted and acted upon, would infallibly lead to the desired unity, and secure it when obtained, we hope it will be no objection that they have not proceeded from a General Council. ♦ « * * We by no means claim the appro- bation of our brethren as to anything we have suggested for promoting the sacred cause of Christian unity, further than it carries its own evidence along with it ; but we humbly claim a fair investigation of the subject, and solicit the assistance of our brethren for carrying into effect what we have thus weakly attempted. It is our consolation, in the mean time, that the desired event, as certain as it will be happy and gloiious, admits of no dispute, however we may hesitate or dufer about the proper means of promoting it. All we shall venture to say as to this is, that we trust we have taken the
TRUE BASIS OF UNITY. 263
proper ground. At least, if we have not, we despair of find- ing it elsewhere. For, if holding fast in profession and practice wliatever is expressly revealed and enjoined in the Divine standard, does not, under the promised influence of the Divine Spirit, prove an adequate basis for promoting and maintaining unity, peace and purity, we utterly despair of attaining those invaluable privileges by adopting the standard of any party." x\dmitting that to maintain unity and purity was the plausible pretence of the compilers of human sys- tems, these, it is truly affirmed, have answered no such pur- pose, but '• instead of unity and puritv we are presented with a catalogue of sects and sectarian S3Stems — each binding its respective party by the most sacred and solemn engagements to continue as it is to the end of the world." It would be absurd, therefore, it is alleged, to advo- cate the cause of unity and at the same time to espouse the interests of any party. The Address concludes with an earnest petition that the Lord might soon open the eyes of his people to see things in the true light, and excite them to come up out of their sectarian con- fusion, and attain to that unity for which the Saviour prayed, and which could be found in Christ alone. This remarkable address was signed by Thomas Campbell and Thomas Acheson, and to it was added a considerable appendix, in which the various points made in the Address were further argued and enforced, and many things were added in order to prevent mis- takes and to anticipate misrepresentations. Thus, lest an}' should suppose that the Christian Association intended to interfere with the peace and order of the settled Churches, or to make inroads upon them, all such intentions were disavowed. " We have no nostrum," it is stated, " no peculiar dis- covery ot our own, to propose to fellow-Christians, for the
264 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
fancied importance of which they should become followers of us. We propose to patronize nothing but the inculcation of the express Word of God, either as to matter of faith or practice ; but every one that has a Bible, and can read it, can read this for himself. Therefore, we have nothing new. Neither do we pretend to acknowledge persons to be minis- ters of Christ, and, at the same time, consider it our duty to forbid or discourage people to go to hear them, merely because they may hold some things disagreeable to us, much less to encourage their people to leave them on that account." In regard to what was said in the " Declaration" or constitution of the Society, in respect to the support of uch ministers as would conform to the original stand- ard, and reduce to practice the simple, original form of Christianity, it is explained that the principal and proper design with respect to such ministerial assistants was to direct their attention to those places where there was manifest need of their labor, thus disavowing any design of interfering with any existing ministry, estab- lished in particular places. To prevent any alarm at the adoption of a sweeping principle which rendered all creeds and confessions absolutely nugatory, it was stated : "As to creeds and confessions, although we may appear to our brethren to oppose them, yet this is to be understood only in so far as they oppose the unity of the Church by contain- ing sentiments not expressly revealed in the Word of God, or, by the way of using them, become the instruments of a human or implicit faith, or oppress the weak of God's heritage. When they are liable to none of these objections we have nothing against them. It is the abuse and not the lawful use of such compilations that we oppose. See Propo- sition 7. Our intention, therefore, with respect to all the Churches of Christ is perfectly amicable. We heartily wish their reformation, but by no means their hurt or confusion."
FREEDOM OF OPINION. 265
In regard to the charge of an intention to make a new party, it is said : " If the Divine word be not the standard of a party, then are we not a party, for we have adopted no other. If to maintain its alone-sufficiency be not a party principle, then we are not a party. If to justify this principle by our prac- tice in making a rule of it, and of it alone., and not of our own opinions, nor of those of others, be not a party principle, then we are not a party. If to propose and practice neither more nor less than it expressly reveals and enjoins be not a partial business, then we are not a party. These are the very sentiments we have approved and recommended, as a Society formed for the express purpose of promoting Christian unity in opposition to a party spirit." Not controverting at all the fact that human reason must be exercised in comprehending the Scriptures, the effort is made to draw a distinction between faith and opinion, between an express scriptural declaration and inferences which may be deduced from it. By the latter, were meant such conclusions as were not necessarily involved in the Scripture premises, and which were to be re- garded as private opinions and not to be made a rule of faith or duty to any one. In order to obtain the true meaning of Scripture, " the whole revelation was to be taken together, or in its due connection upon every article, and not any detached sentence." If, in consequence of allowing thus full freedom of opinion, any should bring forward the charge of lalitu- dinarianism, they are requested to consider whether this charge does not lie against those who add their opinions to the Word of God, rather than against those who insist upon returning to the profession and practice of the primitive Church. A return to the Bible, it is in- sisted, is the only way to get rid of existing evils.
266 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
"Should it still be urged," it is added, "that this would open a wide door of latitudinarianism, seeing all that profess Christianity profess to receive the Holy Scriptures, and yet differ so widely in their religious sentiments, we say, let them profess what they will, their differences in religious profession and practice originate in their departure from whal is ex- pressly revealed and enjoined, and not in tlieir strict and faith- ful conformity to it, which is the thing we humbly advise for putting an end to these differences. But you may say, Do they not already all agree to the letter, though differing so far in sentiment? However this may be, have they all agreed to make the letter their rule, or, rather, to make it the subject- matter of their profession and practice,? Sui-ely not, or else they would all profess and practise the same thing. Is it not as evident as the shining light, that the Scriptures exhibit but one and the selfsame subject-matter of profession and prac- tice at all times and in all places, and that, therefore, to say as it declares and to do as it prescribes in all its holy precepts, its approved and imitable examples, would unite the Christian Church in a holy sameness of profession and practice through- out the whole world? By the Christian Church throughout the world, we mean the aggregate of such professors as we have described in Props, i and 8, even all that mutually ac- knowledge each other as Christians upon the manifest evidence of their faith, holiness and charity. It is such only we intena when we urge the necessity of Christian unity. Had only such been all along recognized as the genuine subjects of our holy religion, there would not, in all probability, have been so much apparent need for human formulas to preserve an external formality of professional unity and soundness in the faith ; but artificial and superficial characters need artificial means to train and unite them, A manifest attachment to our Lord Jesus Christ in faith, holiness and charity, was the original criterion of Christian character ; the distinguishing badge of our holy profession ; the foundation and cement of Christian unity. But now, alas ! and long since, an external name, a mere educational formality of sameness in the pro-
A RADICAL REFORM REQUIRED. 267
fession of a certain standard or fornnila of human fabric, with a very moderate degree of what is called morality, forms the bond and foundation, the root and reason of eccles.astical unity. Take away from such the technicalities of their pro- fession, the shibboleth of party, and what have they more? What have they left to distinguish and hold them together? As to the Bible, they are little beholden to it ; they have learned little from it, the}' know little about it, and therefore depend as little upon it. Nay, they will even tell you it would be of no use to them without their formula ; they could not know a Papist from a Protestant by it ; that merely by // they could neither keep the Church nor themselves right for a single week. You might preach to them what you please, they could not distinguish truth from error. Poor people ! it is no wonder they are so fond of their formula. Therefoi-e they that exercise authority upon them, and tell them what they are to believe and what they are to do, are called benefactors. These are the reverend and right reverend authors, upon whom they can and do place a more implicit confidence than upon the holy apostles and prophets. These plain, honest, unassuming men, who would never venture to say or do any- thing in the name of the Lord without an express revelation from heaven, and, therefore, were never distinguished by the venerable title of " Rabbi" or " Reverend," but just simply Paul, John, Thomas, etc. — these were but servants. They did not assume to legislate, and therefore, neither assumed nor received any honorary titles among men, but merely such as were descriptive of their office. And how, we beseech you, shall this gross and prevalent corruption be purged out of the visible professing Church but by a radical reform, but by a returning to the original simplicity, the primitive purity of the Christian institution, and, of course, taking up things just as we find them upon the sacred page? And who is there that knows anything of the present state of the Church who does not perceive that it is greatly overrun with the aforesaid evils? Or who, that reads his Bible, and receives the impressions it must necessarily produce upon the recejv
268 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
tive .tiind by the statements it exhibits, does not perceive that such a state of things is as distinct from genuine Christianity as oil is from water?" Should any object that this proposed literal conformity to the Scripture alone would not secure complete unan- imity of sentiment, this is freely admitted ; but it is answered that entire unanimity in opinion is neither possible nor desirable in this imperfect state, nor was it indeed ever contemplated by the Author of Christianity, as the exhortations to mutual forbearance in the Scrip- tures themselves attest. The same objection would lie equally against any creed or human expedient that has been or can be devised, as is abundantly proved by the fact that no such unanimity has ever existed amongst professors of the same creed. But to hold fast that "form of sound words" given in the Divine standard, while it could never result in those destructive conse- quences which have attended human expedients, would be amply sufficient to " produce all the unity of senti- ment necessary^ to a life of faith and holiness, as well as to preserve the faith and worship of the Church as pure from mixture and error as the Lord intended, or as the present imperfect state of his people can pos- sibly admit." Not at all asserting that human stand- ards are intentionally set up in competition with the Bible or in opposition to it, but considering them as human expedients designed to secure that unity and purity which the Bible alone was supposed insufficient to effect, it is urged that creeds have not prevented divisions, and that, so far from having any tendency to heal, they only serve to perpetuate them. And as to securing purity of doctrine, history attests that Arians, Socinians, Arminians, Calvinists, Antinomians have all existed under the Westminster Confession,
UNINSPIRED WRITINGS. 269
the Athanasian Creed or the Articles of the Church ol England. "Will any one say," it is asked, " that a person might not with equal ease, honesty and consistency, be an Arian or a Socinian in his heart while subscribing the Westminster Confession or the Athanasian Creed, as while making his unqualified profession to believe everything that the Scrip- tures declare concernihg Christ? — to put all that confidence in him, and to ascribe all that glory, honor, thanksgiving and praise to him professed and ascribed to him in the Divine word ? If you say not, it follows, of undeniable consequence, that the wisdom of men, in those compilations, has effected what the Divine wisdom either could not, vv^ould not, or did not do in that all-perfect and glorious revelation of his will contained in the Holy Scriptures. Happy emendation ! Blessed expedient! Happy indeed,, for the Church that Athanasius arose in the fourth century to perfect what the holy aposdes and prophets had left in such a crude and unfin- ished state ! But if, after all, the Divine wisdom did not think proper to do anything more, or anything else, than is already done in the sacred oracles, to settle and determine those important points, who can say that he determined such a thing should be done afterward? Or has he any where given us any intimation of such an intention ?" Lest any should suppose that it was designed to undervalue or reject the writings of great and good men upon the subject of religion, occasion is taken to confine the question to human standards as " designed to be subscribed or solemnly acknowledged for the preservation of unity and purity," and to say that "it by no means applies to the many excellent perform- ances for the elucidation of Scripture and the defence of divinely-revealed truths. These, we hope, accord- ing to their respective merit, we as highly esteem and as thankfully receive as our brethren." In this con-
270 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL,
nection, the following striking and characteristic pas- sage occurs : " Is it not worthy of remark that of whatever use other books may be to direct and lead us to the Bible, or to pre- pare and assist us to understand it, yet the Bible never directs us to any book but itself? When we come forward, then, as Christians, to be received by the Church, which, properly speaking, has but one book, '' for to it were committed the oracles of God," let us hear of none else. Is it not upon the credible profession of our faith in and obedience to its Divine contents, that the Church is bound to receive applicants for admission? And does not the profession of our faith and obedience necessarily presuppose a knowledge of the dictates we profess to believe and obey? * * * * In the case then before us, that is, examination for church membership, let the question no longer be. What does any human system say of the primitive or present state of man? Of the person, offices and relations of Christ, etc., etc. ? Or of this, that, and the other duty? But, What says the Bible? Were this mode of procedure adopted, how much better acquainted with their Bibles would Christians be ! What an important alteration would it also make in the education of youth ! Would it not lay all candidates for admission into the Church under the happy necessity of becoming particularly acquainted with the Holy Scriptures? Whereas, according to the present prac- tice, thousands know little about them. One thing still re- mains that may appear matter of difficulty or objection to some, namely, that such a close adherence to the express letter of the Divine Word, as we seem to propose for the restoration and maintenance of Christian unity, would not only interfere with the free communication of our sentiments one to another upon religious subjects, but must, of course, also necessarily interfere with the public preaching and ex- pounding of the Scriptures for the edification of the Church. Such as feel disposed to make this objection should justly consider that one of a similar nature, and quite as plausible.
HUMAN STANDARDS WANT AUTHORITY. 271
might be made to the adoption of human standai'ds, especiallv when made, as some of them confessedly are, the standara for all matters of doctrine, worship, discipline and govern- ment. In such a case it might, with as much justice, at least, be objected to the adopters : You have now no more use for the Bible ; you have got another book, which you have adopted as a standard for all religious purposes ; you have no further use for explaining the Scriptures, either as to matters of faith or duty, for this you have confessedly done already in your standard, wherein you have determined all matters of this nature. You also profess to hold fast the form of sound words, which you have thus adopted, and therefore you must never open your mouth upon any subject in any other terms than those of your standard. In the mean time, would any one of the parties, which has thus adopted its respective standard, consider any of these charges just.? If not, let them do as they would be done by. We must confess, how- ever, that for our part, we cannot see how, with any shadow of consistency, some of them can clear themselves, especially of the first ; that is to say, if words have any determinate meaning ; for certainly it would appear almost, if not alto- gether incontrovertible, that a book adopted by any party as its standard for all matters of doctrine, worship, discipline and government, must be considered as the Bible of that party. And after all that can be said in favor of such a per- formance, be it called Bible, standard, or what it may, it is neither anything more nor better than the judgment or opinion of the party composing or adopting it, and, therefore, wants the sanction of a Divine authority, except in the opin- ion of the party which has thus adopted it. But can the opinion of any party, be it ever so respectable, give the stamp of a Divine authority to its judgments.'' If not, then CA'ery human standard is deficient in this leading, all-important and indispensable property of a rule or standard for the doctrine, worship, discipline and government of the Church of God." Against the anticipated charge of substituting a vague and indefinite approbation of the Scriptures "for a strictly
272 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
defined creed," it is urged that " a union in truth is all that is desired, and that truth unquestionably is something certain and definite, and already made sufficiently clear in the word of God, the way of salvation being a plain way, very far remote from logical subtleties and metaphysical speculations. An intelligent profession of faith in Christ and obedience to him in all things according to the Scriptures, manifested in a temper and conduct conformed thereto, are to be the criteria of Christian character, and all such persons are to receive each other as brethren, and carefully to preserve the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace." Finally, in closing these explanations and argumentations, the regret is expressed for " the necessity of approaching so near the borders of controversy, in briefly attempting to answer objections which we plainly foresaw would, through mistake or prejudice, be made against our proceedings, con- troversy making no part of our intended plan. But such objections and surmises having already reached our ears from different quarters, we thought it necessary to attend to them, that, by so doing, we might not only prevent mistakes, but also save our friends from entering into verbal disputes to remove them, and thus prevent as much as possible that most unhappy of all practices sanctioned by the plausible pretence of zeal for the truth — religious controversy among professors. We would, therefore, humbly advise our friends to concur with us in our professed and sincere intention to avoid this evil practice." The pamphlet then concludes with a few extracts from authors of standing in relation to the sad effects of divisions. Such is a brief analysis of this remarkable document, which occupies fifty-four closely-printed pages, and which merits particular attention, not only on its own account, but because it laid the foundation for the most important and extended religious reformation of modern times. It is as remarkable for the affectionate and
PRINCIPLES ACCEPTED. 273
Christian spirit which it manifests in an age of bitter religious controversy, as for the clearness with which the true basis of Christian union is defined, and the conclusiveness of the arguments by which it is sustained. It takes a complete survey of the whole subject, and anticipates, in its exhaustive details, every phase which the question afterward assumed during the years of discussion that ensued. So fully and so kindly was every possible objection considered and refuted, that no attempt -was ever made by the opposers of the proposed movement to controvert directly a single position which it contained. The ministers of the different parties around, to whom copies were sent, received them apparently with silent acquiescence as to the principles laid down, not a single one of them venturing a public reply, though earnestly and repeatedly invited to con- sider carefully the propositions submitted, and to make any corrections or amendments which might occur to them, and assured that all objections presented in writ- ing would be "thankfully received and seriously con- sidered with all due attention." That a publication which boldly asserted principles necessarily involving a complete change in the whole framework of religious society, should have been allowed thus to pass unchal- lenged by the clergy, is certainly a remarkable circum- stance, and can be explained only upon the ground either that the publication itself afforded no vulnerable point of attack, or that the affectionate manner and humble Christian spirit in which the subject was dis- cussed disarmed resentment. To all the propositions and reasonings of this Address Alexander Campbell gave at once his hearty approba- tion, as they expressed most clearly the convictions to which he had himself been brought by his experience
274 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
and observation in Scotland, and his reflections upon the state of religious society at large. Captivated by its clear and decisive presentations of duty, and the noble Christian enterprise to which it invited, he at once, though unprovided with worldly property, and aware that the proposed reformation would, in all prob- ability, provoke the hostilit}' of the religious parties, resolved to consecrate his life to the advocacy of the prin- ciples which it presented. Accordingly, when, soon afterward, his father took occasion to inquire as to his arrangements for the future, he at once informed him that he had determined to devote himself to the dissemi- nation and support of the principles and views presented in the " Declaration and Address." So impressed was he with a conscientious sense of duty in regard to the choice he had thus made, that when, about this time, very soon after his arrival at Washington, Lawyer Mountain, of Pittsburg, who had formed his acquaint- ance and was much impressed with his attainments and abilities, urged him to take charge of an academy of which he was a principal trustee, offering him $1000 a year, which was at that time a large salary, and laying before him various other inducements both present and prospective,* he declined the flattering offer, giving as his reason that as he felt himself conscientiously bound to do everything in his power, through the Divine * Pittsburg was, at this time, rapidly rising into importance ; the opening was an extremely favorable one, and there could be no doubt of eminent success. The following enumeration from the census of Pittsburg in 1810, taken by William B. Irish, Deputy Marshal, may interest the reader if com- pared with the subsequent growth of this important city : Whole number of stone dwelling-houses 11 Whole number of brick dwelling-houses 283 Whole number of frame and log dwelling-houses 473 Total 767
GRATUITOUS LABOR. 275
assistance, to promote the proposed reformation, and could not accomplish both objects, he must decline taking charge of the seminary. His father, greatly delighted with the pious zeal and resolution of his son, immediately desired him to " divest himself of all earthly concerns, to retire to his chamber, to take up the Divine Book, and to make it the subject of his study for at least six months." When his son further informed him that in devoting himself to the ministry he had firmly resolved never to receive any compensation for his labors, his father remarked, "Upon these principles, my dear son, I fear you will have to wear many a ragged coat." With all his parental partiality, he had as yet a very imperfect conception of that indomitable energy, and that remarkable ability in the management of affairs which enabled the son, while laboring inces- santly in his ministerial calling, not only to maintain himself in independent circumstances, but to provide for his revered father during the years of his decline, the abundant comforts of a happy home. Free White Males. Under ten years of age 751 Of ten years and under sixteen 333 Of sixteen and under twenty-six, including heads of families . . 614 Of twenty-six and under forty- five, including heads of families . 513 Of forty-five and upward, including heads of families 213 Total 2424 Free White Females. Under ten years of age '. 699 Of ten and under sixteeen 353 Of sixteen and under twenty-six, including heads of families . . 501 Of twenty-six and under forty-five, including heads of families . . 421 Of forty-five and upward, including heads of families 756 All other fi-ee persons, except Indians not taxed 784 Total number of souls 4740 At this time (1867) the population of Pittsburg and its environs cannot ba less than i30,cxx.
Ministerial Preparation — Social Reform — Management of Washington College.
THE want of a fixed object in life, so often the mis- fortune of young men, had not fallen to the lot of Alexander Campbell. Early destined to the ministerial profession, he had afterward, as formerly related, earn- estly adopted it as his proper vocation, and his thoughts and studies had accordingly been regulated and directed with constant reference to the duties he expected to discharge. His dissatisfaction with the divided and distracted condition of religious society, and with the aversion manifested by the clergy to much-needed re- forms had, indeed, heretofore, created great dubiety in his mind as to his possible future relations to any exist- ing party. Now, however, that a complete and radi- cal reformation was proposed, and by one, too, whose judgment and piety it had become almost his nature to revere, all the difficulties of his position disappeared. A new and unexpected field of action was opened before him, precisely suited to his bold and independ- ent spirit, and in perfect harmon}^ with his convictions of religious duty. The paramount claims of the Bible were to be asserted and defended ; the intolerant bigotry of sectarism was to be exposed ; the people of God were to be delivered from the yoke of clerical domi- nation, and primitive Christianity, in all its original
276 MINISTERIAL PREPARATION.
purity and perfection, was to be restored to the world. His efforts to prepare himself for the work before him received hence a fresh and powerful impulse, and he devoted himself, with renewed assiduity, to the appro- priate course of reading and investigation, suggested by his father or approved by his own judgment. The enterprise in which he thus so earnestly engaged was, it must be confessed, a most noble one, and one differing, by the space of the whole heavens, from that which a young man preparing for the ministry in a religious ;party usually proposes to himself. His ob- ject, it is evident, is too often little more than to make himself popular with his party ; and to this end he is careful to foster party feeling ; to flatter party pride ; to magnify differences, and strive, by dint of partisan jeal- ousies and hopes, to elevate himself to a position of honor and emolument. But it is a mean ambition which seeks thus rather to reign in a sect than to serve in the kingdom of heaven ; and the greatness and lofty impulses of Alexander Campbell were never more strikingly manifested than when, rejecting all the solici- tations he received to become the advocate of a party, and all the ready opportunities of distinction which such a course afforded, he determined, amidst the con- tumely and opposition of the world, both religious and secular, to devote himself to the public advocacy of the Word of God and of the primitive and simple apostolic 'jrospel. About this time, two others also, James Foster and Abraham Altars, members of the Christian Association, anxious to promote the important work in which they had engaged, commenced a course of study with a view to the ministry of the word, under the direction of Thomas Campbell ; and James Foster, already inti-
278 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
mately acquainted with the Bible, and remarkable for the fullness and accuracy with which he could quote and apply its language, soon began to take a public part in the meetings held, his pious instructions, exhortations and prayers being always most acceptable and edify- ing. As much of Thomas Campbell's time, however, was occupied in visiting the scattered families connected with the Association, and in endeavoring to promote the cause of union amongst the people, he was necessarily much absent from home. He could, therefore, direct merely the general course of study, leaving the details of the practical instruction to Alexander. In addition to this charge, it devolved likewise upon the latter to teach his brothers and sisters regularly : for no one could possibly be more methodical or more economical of time than Thomas Campbell, and it was his rule to see that every member of his family was constantly and regularly employed in something useful. This disposition Alexander had, in the fullest degree, in- herited, and, as has been seen at Glasgow with what earnest assiduity he devoted every moment to improve- ment, so he now entered at once, on his arrival at Washington, upon a no less severe course of labor and a no less careful use of every fleeting moment. This may be seen from the apportionment he made of the hours of each day, written down as follows for his guidance : " Arrangement for studies for winter of 1810. " One hour to read Greek — from 8 to 9 in the morning. '' One hour to read Latin — from 11 to 12 in the morning. " One half hour to Hebrew — between 12 and i P. M. " Commit ten verses of the Scriptures to memory each day, and read the same in the original languages, with Henry .and Scott's notes and practical observations. For this exercise
COURSE OF STUDY. 279
we shall allow two hours. These exercises, being intended for every day, will not be dispensed with. Other reading and studies as occasion may serve. These studies in all require four and a half hours. Church history, and divei's other studies, are intended to constitute the principal part of my other literary pursuits. " Regulatiojis for AbrahaTH Altars. " 1st. Read to me in the morning, from 7 to 8, in Scott's Family Bible. Say one lesson every day in Greek Grammar. One lesson also in Latin, and one in Rhetoric. Two days of the week to recite in English Grammar and parse. To prepare a theme each week, which is to be corrected and to be written clear and fair in a book. "Abraham and the children, from ten to eleven, will read a Scripture lesson. " These attentions will occupy three hours of my time every day. " Dorry, Nancy and Jane say English Grammar and parse with Abraham Altars — the Mondays appointed for this pur- pose. Thomas is to prepare a lesson every day in Latin Grammar. One hour for writing, and half an hour to hear any particular lessons from D., N. and J. " The whole time spent thus will be nine hours." His own preparation for future public labor consisted at this time, mainly, in the daily study of the Scriptures — a duty to which he had again solemnly consecrated him- self, as appears from his recorded resolutions on the last day of the previous year. In these he resolves, by the Divine assistance, to read for half an hour every day in the Scriptures, for the purpose of understanding them, looking for all the marginal references, and beginning at the first chapter of Genesis. Also to read a chapter in the Old and one in the New Testa- ment, with Scott's Notes and practical observations. In addition to this, was the memorizing of portions of
280 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
Scripture daily. At the close of these resolves, he adds : "May God in his great mercy atlbrd me time, ability and inclination to attend to these intentions, and*o his name may all the glory and honor redound through Jesus Christ. Amen. Alexander Campbell, Sunday, 31st December, 1S09." While thus engaged, and while the fall and winter months were passing away, he was not unobservant of the novel circumstances and the new conditions of societ}^ by which he was surrounded in the New World. Being himself a youth and of a lively disposition, he soon became acquainted with the young people in Washington and its vicinity, and was invited frequently to their social parties. Accustomed to the educated and refined society of the North of Ireland, where parental care enforced upon the young a strict attention to the rules of decorum, and where the deferential and delicate consideration shown to females was met, on their part, by a confiding frankness and affability which gave a peculiar charm to social intercourse, he was far from being pleased with the rudeness and unwonted freedoms tolerated in many social gatherings, and was struck with the want of education and culture mani- fested by the youthful portion of the community. The pioneers of the West had been, at first, too busy m clearing away the forests and in subduing the rugged- ness of a wild, uncultivated region to devote much time to intellectual improvement or to the amenities of social life. An incessant warfare with the gigantic trees which usurped the fertile soil ; fierce and frequent encounters with savage beasts and still more savage men of the native Indian tribes, and a necessary restric- tion to the simplest modes of life, gave, indeed, a bold
SOCIETY IN THE BACKWOODS. 281
and self-reliant spirit, but tended to impart roughness as well as awkwardness to manners. The unchecked wildness of nature and the rudeness of art infected society. Incessant physical toil was demanded of every member of the farmer's household in order to secure the lately-purchased farm or to extend its limits. The men and boys labored in the roughly-cultivated fields, just won. from the ancient forest; the matron and her daughters were occupied at home in domestic cares, which then included the manufacture of clothing for the entire family. All were engaged in the preparation of flax and wool, and the hum of the busy wheel and the sound of the loom could be heard in almor* every dwelling. At certain seasons, the females assisted even In the labors of the field. There was little time for reading and few books to be read. In the country, schools were opened only for a brief period during the winter season ; and even the poor instruction they afforded was enjoyed to but a limited extent by farmers' daughters, for, at that time, their education was almost wholly neglected. There were then no female semi- naries, and views so defective were entertained with regard to the education of females that a girl who could simply read and write a little was regarded as having attained all the learning necessary in order to the ac- complishment of woman's mission. Social intercourse itself was greatly restricted, except in towns and amongst the few to whom wealth gave some degree of leisure. In the country at large, it was usually ex- cessive labor that could alone secure brief recreation ; and it was hence when the young men of the neighbor- hood were collected by appointment at a farmer's house, for what was called a " husking frolic," or for some other pressing farm labor ; or the young women had
282 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
been, in like manner, assembled during a busy day of "quilting," "apple-paring," or other work appertain- ing to their department, that, in the evening, in each case, a troop of guests of the opposite sex were wont to arrive, when a fev\' hours would be stolen from the nig-ht to be devoted to rude and boisterous merriment. That laborious industry and economy which, with the pioneers, had been a necessity, became at length a habit with them and with their children and descend- ants ; and even the attainment of a comfortable inde- pendence at a later period failed to relieve families from the incessant drudgery of their occupations, which were now pursued mainly from the desire of amassing wealth. The social customs with which many who were foreigners had been familiar in their youth, were in a good degree lost by long disuse ; families became isolated upon their farms ; matrimonial alliances were sought rather from motives of gain than of affection ; and, as a consequence, an unusual number of both sexes remained unmarried. Exceptions there were, indeed, both in town and country — but especially in the towns — of those who had enjoyed superior advantages and who were highly cultivated ; but even in the towns, where there was a much greater degree of sociality, wealth and fashion had already begun to produce their usual effects of dividing society into castes and creating various hinderances to true social enjoyment. Young men of position were disposed to be dissipated and foppish, and young ladies of wealth or beauty aspired to be leaders of the public taste, and to establish the reign of coquetry and caprice. Under these circumstances, while, with the great mass of the community, there was a commendable degree of plainness and simplicity and a high degree
SOCIAL REFORM PROPOSED. 283
of friendly feeling, the manners and customs prevail- ing, especially amongst the young, were so different from those to which Alexander had been accustomed that he felt strongly disposed to urge the need of a social as well as of a religious reformation. Having formed an agreeable acquaintance with Mr. William Sample, who had established a weekly paper in Wash- ington called the Reporter., in August, 1808, and being requested by him to furnish some original essays, he agreed to do so, and concluded to take up and expose, in a series of articles, the social evils he had observed. Adopting the manner of the Spectator^ in which the essayist personates different characters and sexes, most of the articles in the series assumed to be written by a young female who signs herself " Clarinda," and who desires to offer some friendly admonitions, both to her own and to the opposite sex, in relation to various foibles which she desires to see corrected. As it may interest the reader to have some specimens of his style of composi- tion at this period, some extracts are here given from these essays ; and as a particular interest attaches to the first one, as being the very earliest production of his pen designed for publication, it is here given entire : " Original Essays, No. i. "It is generally expected and understood that every one who writes for the public eye writes for the public good ; and as the necessities, desires, imperfections and frailties of our nature are manifold and diversified, so are the means numerous and diverse by which we may contribute to the welfare and happiness of our fellow-creatures. The salutary aid of friendly admonition and the gentle voice of familiar reproof are no less useful in certain circumstances, no less duties that we owe one another, than to alleviate the sorrows of the dis- tressed, to soothe the comfortiess, to cheer the melancholy, to
284 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
succor the helpless and forlorn ; to relieve the wants of the needy, or to heal the diseases of the infirm. But that the public may know what my motives are ; what is the good which I intend, and who are the public for whom it is intended, I deem it necessary to make a few preliminary remarks. " Owing to my youth and comparative inexperience, I pre- sume not to dictate to my superiors in wisdom or years ; neither do the foibles which I desire removed belong to the fathers and mothers of the present age : it is the sons and daughters, my equals and contemporaries, to whom I par- ticularly address myself; and, therefore, I would request of you, my venerable parents, not to accuse me of presumption in attempting to point out some of the frailties and foibles of m}' young friends of either sex, with a design of amelioration, not for my good or yours alone, but for the sake of the indi- viduals to whom I address myself. '' In consequence of that modesty which is the glory and dig- nity of my sex, I presume not to dictate to the youth of the other sex, only in so far as I may have occasion to speak of their con- duct in relation to my sex. Therefore, gentlemen, be not angry though a female should, for once, attempt to ameliorate certain traits in your character in relation to us. I believe the gentle- men in general are so indulgent to us that they take in good part whatever we say respecting them, and are more inclined to draw the vc'.l of forgetfulness over our imperfections and to extenuate our errors than to make them more conspicuous or revive their memory. I can only assure you, young gentlemen, that anything I may in future say respecting you, shall be said with the best of motives and for the most philanthropic intentions, with a design of promoting our mutual advantage and felicity. " And as to you, my young female friends, who have not yet entered into the connubial state, for whose sake particu- larly I undertake this laborious, and, what some no doubt may think, censurable task, I know many of you are more able to act this part than I am ; but as your long silence respecting
SOCIAL IMPROVEMENT. 285
these things has caused me to despair of your e'er contribut- ing in this kind of way to redress those grievances of which you have been long complaining, I am moved, with the utmost deference, diffidence and timidity, to attempt what some of you have long wished to have done. Believe me, I say, it is particularly for your own sake that I dare to intrude on the public, and attempt to reform the general conduct of our and the other sex, in what particularly relates to the forming of connections for life. I beg that you will not think I am turned traitor to my sex, if I may happen to expose some of their foibles, which, perhaps, are not so generally known to the gentlemen as to ourselves. If I have to say anything of this kind, it will be done in as delicate a manner as circum- stances will possibly admit, and for no other purpose than to prevail on the gentlemen to be more candid in giving up anv practices which may be injurious to their or our felicity, for what makes us happy will never make them unhappy ; what adds to our felicity will not diminish theirs ; what is for our good is for theirs also. " But it may be inquired, What do you see amiss? what do you see improper in our general conduct } what do you wish to ameliorate.'' I would only answer, in the mean time, that, upon a strict survey of the deportment of the youths of both sexes in relation to one another, in tlie forming of particular and intimate connections with one another, I perceive man) things which, in my judgment, stand in need of an ameliora- tion ; and not in my judgment only, but in the judgment of many far more judicious and intelligent than I. To state what these things are, and what this reformation should be, would be to anticipate what is designed for a few subsequent essays, wherein these foibles and their improvement will be discussed to more advantage. It is universally agreed that no person is free from foibles : he or she, then, must be the best character who has the fewest failings ; and as all imper- fections injure our happiness, tliat must be the happiest in- dividual who has the fewest imperfections. It may also be askea, Has not everything been said on these subjects that can
286 MEMOiRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL,
be said. I answer, that, as to original matter, there has been enough said to make us as happy and as perfect as our state will admit, if put in practice ; but, although much has been said on these subjects in general, and almost all that can be said, yet the difference of characters, times, situations and places may require modifications of many things that may have been said in substance or in part ; and another reason is, that what has been said on these subjects is not in the hands of many who may require instruction of this kind. "As to my own character and qualifications, I have, for a few years past, been a close observer of the customs, man- ners, morals and fashions of the age and country in which I live, in as far as my acquaintance could extend, either by books or by intercourse with society'. And although I owe a good deal of my information to books, as many of my female friends do, yet I have been still endeavoring to ' Catch the living manners as they rise,' to consider the polite, moral and religious deportment of my contemporaries, constraitly noting ^hose traits of character and action which have been generally admired and esteemed by the judicious and well-informed part of both sexes; and also to mark with abhorrence and detestation those things which the good, the wise, and polite part of society hated. I dare not say anything particular respecting myself, lest in a village so small I might discover myself, and if my own foibles were known (which I wish to correct), it might in- jure my usefulness to others. I only request my friends to weigh what I say, and if their understanding approve, I am persuaded their good sense will lead them to practice what may appear most conducive to their real and lasting felicity. "If anything I should sav respecting foibles or vices might seem applicable to any individuals (at least be thought so by themselves), let me assure them that it is not my intention to hurt the feelings of any individual, or even to say anything about vices and imperfections that belong not to the character of a number of individuals. As to the manner of communi- cation, I have chosen the Reporter^ not from political motives,
SOCIAL ASSEMBLAGES. 287
as politics do not belong to ladies, but as it is a paper of the most general circulation and popularit3 As no person can say I have mercenary views in thus communicating my ideas upon the subjects mentioned, I hope they will consider my intentions as good, and be fully persuaded that I design no- thing but what will be conducive to the general felicity. I hi?ve only to request the better-informed part of both sexes that they will spread the veil of oblivion over any imperfec- tions they may see in my compositions : not being accustomed to write for the public eye, and not receiving that liberal education which gentlemen receive, and which is rarely the lot of any of my sex, it may not be thought strange that I should sometimes disgust my more learned and refined readers. Clarinda." The above essay appears on the 14th of May, 1810. In the next one, remarks are made upon -the origin and history of convivial meetings, and a notice is taken of the different species of parties, whether of the un- married alone, or of the married, or of both together; some observations being made also upon the specific design of each. Confining the attention finally to par- ties of young unmarried persons, the attempt is made to determine the peculiar purpose of such parties. After considering several of the reasons commonly given for these assemblages, as, for instance, "because ir is fash- ionable and polite," or "that it is to promote friendship and sociality," etc., no one of which is found to be the real object, this is then asserted to be to promote love between the sexes. This is argued, first, from the pre- vailing topics of conversation on such occasions, and secondly, from the character of the amusements adopted : "These," it is said, " are also calculated to inspire love, and are generally the dernier resort vv-hen sentiment, wit and conversation fail to produce the desired effect.
288 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL. "
How often is recourse had to children's toys and juvenile amusements, adapted to manhood and womanhood by certain modifications of laws respecting forfeits, fines and penalties, for every transgression of the laws of the play ! I say, how often is recourse had to those puerile trifles, genteel bawbles — genteel refinements — to afford pleasure and amusemeit ! ! ! Sorry resources ! beneath the dignity of rational immortals! pitiful return for the loss of a few precious hours which not India's wealth could purchase! Is this friendship and civil- ity? Is this honor? Is there virtue in this? It may indeed be genteel, fashionable and polite ; I do not question this ! ! I But let me consider the forfeits and penalties of these amusive plays. The forfeits are in genei'al of so amiable and natural a kind that he or she is the happiest individual who lies under the heaviest sentence and is doomed to the greatest punishment; and the reason is, because the punishments are so conducive to produce that gratification tha*^ is so congenial to our nature ; so palatable to gross and unrefined passions ; so delightful to a wanton imagination. I need not inform my readers that the common punishments inflicted on the un- happy victims who may have the good fortune to transgress, are the sweet embrace — the gentle, amorous whisper — the open confession of an inward flame — the expression of a gentle wish — and some such like, that have a tendency to opiate the understanding, but indeed to the generality of in- dividuals produce what are called gentle — soothing — charm- ing — killing effects — 'effects whose very agonies delight.' Need we any other proof that the very end and intention of these parties is to create love — to excite amorous intentions ; to captivate the youthful heart by delusive charms in the glittering snare — to bind the juvenile affections with the silver wreaths of soft persuasion — with the silken strings of afl"a- bility — and to catch the imagination with the golden chain of artful address? Such is the intention of these parties, else looks and words and actions deceive — else smiles and sighs have no meaning — else the very thing itself is a mere farce — a senseless thing, a mere contingency.
FRIVOLITY IN SOCIAL PARTIES. 289
" As I pointed out the evils of the other alleged designs in my last essay, I intend here to point out the evils of this design, which I tliink is sufficiently proved to be the true one. The topics of conversation, and the whole conversation itself, are vain at the best, sometimes wanton, and often bordering on the unchaste ; it is emptv and uninteresting ; every one seemi to be in labor for something to say ; and sometimes the imagination and invention of the whole party is so barren that there will not be a word spoken for five or ten minutes together, every one watching another's lips to see when thej will move ; at length, although nothing fanciful or interesting occurs, yet some person, provoked at the silence, will speak, if they should say nonsense, and that you may know, in the future, when one of those chasms occurs in conversation, when invention is on the rack for something new, you will observe that the person who speaks begins by telling you (as if you did not know) something about the weather. « * * » « " You will also observe that when one has broken silence in this kind of a way, there arises a general chatter among the rest, as when one goose of a flock chatters all the rest begin, and by and by you'll have them all chattering at once. When I am a spectator at one of these gabbling matches, the Turk- ish maxim comes into my mind, namely, that ' women have no souls,' and although this sentiment shocks me and causes me to search my own breast, yet frequently, I must confess, if I were to judge from the frivolity of the conversation and the levity of the sentiment at these parties, I must conclude that female minds are not capacious ; but if I were to form a judgment of the gentlemen from their conduct and conversa- *ion in these companies, I would find it extremely difficult to form an idea of a rational soul, allowing that women have none ; for I find that they can condescend to all the frivolities and weaknesses of which we are capable. But, indeed, upon the whole, it seems as if they who attend these parties could find no pleasure at home when they come here to seek it. Is there rational enjoyment in the entertainment? Is there
290 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
pleasure in the conversation ? Is there substantial good in the amusements? If thei'e be to any soul, I must exclaim, Oh, vitiftted taste ! unchaste imagination ! unhappy age ! ! ! Will four hours spent in this insipid way afford you ten minutes' pleasure in reflection, in contemplation, in retrospect? Will it aflbrd you comfort in the hour of affliction when you are grappling with the King of terrors? Will it be comfort- able for you to say, wlien you are bidding an eternal adieu to the world, I have spent many a precious evening in a genteel party, many an hour in giddy dissipation, in thoughtless mirth, in needless festivity? At some distant, far distant point in eternity, will you remember with joy or with sorrow that you spent an evening once a week, or once a month, for, it may be, ten, twenty, or thirty years, in one of these parties which you now so much like? Ah ! mv female friends, did you but consider the value and dignity of your nature, you would not thus degrade it ; did you but remember the seeds of immortality that are within you, that must either blossom or languish for ever, you would not thus spend one precious evening, that when you come to die, ten thousand thousand worlds could not purchase or recall. Did you but consider that your nature is of so dignified a kind that it may converse with holy spirits, angels, archangels, and with God for ever, you would not lavish your evenings in such vain conversation and thoughtless amusements. Believe me, my young female friends, that such is the nature of these pleasing amusements, that they are like poison that is sweet to the taste, but, when swallowed, brings nature to dissolution ; and such, alas ! it. the delusive nature of folly, that the pleasure of committing is instantaneously past, but the guilt contracted is immortal and eternal. "I have now mentioned a good many disadvantages accru- ing from these parties, but no advantages. Let me plainly tell you I can mention no advantages arising from them ; only one, which is, that they have a tendency to civilize mankind ; but I leave you to determine if this advantage is important enough to preponderate all that I have put in the other
NOBLER AIMS PROPOSED. 291
balance. You will say now, I disapprove of social parties; no, my dear friends, far from that. I should wish to be a member of a social party an evening or two every week, but with this simple amelioration, that they should meet in a plain, decent manner, with minds replete with either import- ant subjects for communication to instruct others, or with a desire to be instructed by others in things worthy of our natui'e — things conducive to our eternal interests ; not respect- ing beauty or dress, which shall soon turn to corruption ; but let our conversation be about our far better^ and what should be our far dearer part, our immortal souls — " ' Which shall flourish in immortal youth ; Unhurt amidst the war of elements, The wreck of matter and the crusn of worlds.' " Clarinda. "May 24, 1810." The next essay gives a satirical and amusing account of various sorts of beaux — as lovers of riches, of beauty, or of virtue, with appropriate comments, and is dated June I. The succeeding one, dated June 8, presents Clarinda's opinion of old bachelors, whom she defines as " drones," and says : " An old bachelor is a forlorn mortal insulated in society, who is an object of universal ridicule, hated by his own sex, cursed by the other, and, worse than all, blamed by himself; he is like a dry tree standing in the forest, that prevents the vegetation of others, merely an encumberer of the ground which every one wishes to see hewn down, etc." She speaks also of their alleged or supposed reasons for preferring celibacy. In the sixth essay, the writer is addressed by Observator, offering some criticisms, and approving the remarks upon social parties. To this a reply is given June 16, and the subiect is continued in reference to the evil practice of some, in paying addresses to
293 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
several young ladies at the same time. Tne next, number seven, is occupied with a letter from J. C, exposing the practice of certain fops who were in the habit of wearing dirks in their bosoms, and this visibly even in the company of ladies ; and also censuring their habits of profane swearing, from which the follow- ing is an extract : " When I am addressing you on this subject, I would also make a few observations on another more fashionable vice among our young fops (I cannot call them gentlemen), who are guilty of this horrid vice — I mean, swearing in company with ladies and persons of a moral deportment, to whom this vice is most offensive and abominable. I say, I cannot call swearers gentlemen, however else qualified ; for, says a iudicious writer, with whom I precisely agree in this senti- ment, ' Those who addict themselves to swearing and inter- lard their discourse with oaths; can never be considered as gentlemen ; they are generally persons of low education and are unwelcome in what is called good company. It is a vice that has no temptation to plead, but is, in every respect, as vulgar as it is wicked.' Of all the vices which have ever disgraced human nature ; of all the extremes of madness and folly to which mankind has ever run ; of all the irreverent, irreligious deeds which have ever blackened human character, there is none more horrid, flagrant or profane ; none so pre- sumptuous, arrogant and irreverent, as carelessly, heedlessly and impiously to invoke the sacred name of Him whom angels worship, saints adore, and before whom devils and wicked men shall tremble with horror, anguish and dism.iy — to invoke the sacred majesty of heaven on every light, frivol- ous and wicked occasion — to call God to witness every lewd, base, mean or trivial action they perform or perpetrate ; and, still worse, to supplicate that pure and righteous Being to damn, curse or punish a fellow-creature, a fellow-immortal, or, it may be, some brute or inanimate thing. And what renders this vice most oppressive to them who are orovoked
APOSTROPHE TO FASHION. 293
at it. is, that our profligate, immoral beaux make it a point to swear ttie harder if there be any pious persons or ladies in company, thinking to inortify the former and expecting to com- mend their gallantry to the latter. Be assured, ye detestable wretches, that this vice is as degrading to yourselves as it is hateful to others ; and there is not a lady who possesses a spark of virtue but will shun and detest 3'our company. Be- sides, to call God to witness the truth of what you say, implies that you suppose the person whom you address believes you a liar, and will not, without a volley of oaths, put confidence in what you say. If you wish to be believed, your under- standing is horribly misguided if you expect to induce a belief by crowning your assertion with an oath : this certainly creates a suspicion in the mind of the person whom you address that the thing is vmtrue. In short, I know no reason for or temptation to this vice, above all the vices prevalent in the world. Ask a man why he swears, he tells you it is a bad custom he has learned — he cannot quit it. Experience suffi- ciently proves that it is in the power of any person who makes the attempt to give it over, only let him be determined and watchful." Essay number eight, contains a letter from "Eusebia Anxious," addressed to " Clarinda Phtlogamm" ap- proving the censure inflicted on the bachelors, and giving a reason for their increase which she received from her grandfather, viz. : that it was owing to the government allowing speculators to buy up large tracts of land, thus depriving young farmers of the oppor- tunity of obtaining farms at reasonable rates, and pre- venting them from venturing into matrimony. To this a reply is given, offering condolence and complimenting Eusebia for her courage in daring to appear in print for the benefit of society, and passing into a meditation on the evil effects produced by the fear of being singular ; after which occurs the following apostrophe to Fashion :
294 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
"O Fashion, thou deity whom fops, empty fops and gaudy belles adore ! Thou first-born of Volatility, and full-descended child of Vanity ; thou parent of ills, of woes unheard, un- told, unsung; thou scourge of pride and lash of fools; O grim-visaged tyrant ! thou swayest thy oppressive sceptre over s aves incalculable ; thou taxest thy oppressed subjects with burdens insupportable ; thine iron fangs oppress the poor and crush the needy. Thou grand foe to liberty, inappeasable enemy to independence ; thy despotic countenance thunders terrors through the souls of thy victims, and fills the minds of thy dupes with pride, envy, malice^ and a thousand evil passions that distract and perplex their aching hearts. In thy domam and uncircumscribed territories are heard naught but sighs and groans, but frowns and curses echoing through thy hills and resounding through thy dales. O Fashion ! thou hast slain thy thousands and murdered thy tens of thou- sands. Thou hast led mankind away from itself, and, ignis- fatuus-like., deceived them. Thou hast taught the female, the tender, inexperienced female, who unhappily was born thy slave and nursed in thy empire, to borrow all her dignity, all her importance from the veering figure of thy countenance ; to look for all her honor, all her consequence, all her happiness from thy extrinsic airs. In thy school, she learned to value herself from the patches and daubs of art, that in vain strive to add beauty to the master-piece of Nature : as well mightst thou burnish the sun, paint the lily, or perfume the rose, as attempt to add beauty to the strokes of Nature. O Fashion ! thou hast taught thy daughters to value a companion from the plumage of her garb, from the perfume of her locks, her well-set hair, her sparkling comb, her glittering ring, her rosy cheek that owns the borrowed blushes of an artful dye ; from the thousand gew-gaws and trifles that are the niggardly refinements of thy modern hue. Thy maxim is. Value the casket, and despise the jewels it contains ; admire the shadow and neglect the substance ; appreciate the glare and tinsel, and depreciate the pearls of great value ; adorn the outside, leave the mind a barren wild.
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an uncultivated desert, where weeds poisonous luxuriantly grow. These, O inexorable Fashion ! are but the species of ills that complete thy train and compose thy retinue." This series of essays closed with the tenth number, of July 23d. The subjects treated, to many may ap- pear trivial ; but at the time, and under the circum- stances, these articles excited no small degree of inter- est. To treat such subjects with so much freedom in the newspaper of a small town, where the author could scarcely expect to remain unknown, required, at least, considerable intrepidity ; and it is believed that the essays of "Clarinda" contributed to produce, in the manners of those who were thus exposed to public cen- sure, some degree of what the writer terms "ameliora- tion." Sundry poetical pieces also, and other articles on various topics, were contributed by him to the Re- porter, under anonymous signatures, during this period. While throwing off these light productions, however, he was not inattentive to the more serious interests of the community in which he had, for the present, found a home. Much concerned for the cause of education his attention was particularly engaged with the literary institution which, four years previously (in 1806), had been organized in the town under the title of "Washington College." Although a similar institu- tion, "Jefferson College," under the direction of the same Presb3'terian party, had been established some four years earlier at Canonsburg, only seven miles distant, in the same county, the one at Washington had received considerable patronage, so that, at the third session, it had as many as fifty students — quite a large number at that period, even when taking into view the small tuition-fee required, and the low price of boarding, which was only a dollar and a half per
296 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
week in the town, and much lower in the country. Much, however, was due to the personal influence and energy of Rev. Matthew Brown, the principal of the college, and pastor of a Presbyterian congregation in the town, with whom Alexander had formed some acquaintance, but with whose management of the col- lege he was not very well pleased. Being thrown into constant communication with the students, and having ample opportunity for observation, he noticed many defects in the system of education adopted, and in the order and discipline of the institution. It was to be expected, indeed, that, coming from an old and exten- sive university like that of Glasgow, he would find many things apparently strange and rude in an infant college of the Western World. He seems to have been a silent spectator of the commencement exercises of the winter session, which took place on Friday, 27th of April. At the close of the summer session, how- ever, Thursday, 27th of September, 1810, the character of the exercises was such that he could no longer for- bear oflfering some animadversions through the news- paper. It appears that a very great degree of license was allowed the students in regard to the performances. Pieces were spoken caricaturing certain peculiarities of the Scotch and Irish. A mock trial at the bar was presented. There was also an exhibition of fencing and of boxing for the amusement of the audience ; and certain profane expressions were allowed in some of the dialogues. Some verses composed by an Irishman upon his wife were recited ; some tunes upon a fiddle were given by one of the students ; and some scenes from SmoUet's comedy of the " Reprisals" were enacted by the students. In the next number of the Re;porter, published ist
COLLEGE EXERCISES. 297 October, 1810, there appeared the following notice of these exercises, which was probably written by a mem- ber of the Faculty. " Washington College. " The summer session of this Seminary was closed on Thursday 37th inst., with the usual public exercises. The students repaired, at the appointed hour, to the college. A very numei'ous assembly of the most respectable citizens, from town and country convened in the college yard, where seats were prepared for their accommodation. A rich variety of entertainments, suited to the various tastes of the audience, was then presented. The gay and the grave, the young and the old, wise men and fools, had each a portion meted out unto them, in- well-composed pieces, original and selected; the vices and follies of the times were gently exposed in many ways. The drunkard, the duelist, the gambler, the swearer, the fop, and the fool respectively groaned under the lash of satire. To amuse themselves as well as entertain the audience, the young gentlemen availed themselves of the liberties of speech sanctioned by universal and immemorial custom. The different callings and professions were truly noticed in their turns ; but the lawyers received a Benjamin's portion ; also in touching the peculiar language or manners of nations some freedom was indulged. But it was evident from the whole of the exercises, the object was to please, not to offend."
It seems, however, that the exhibition, though de- signed to please everybody, created a considerable amount of dissatisfaction. In the same paper, appears a note from the faculty of the college, denying that there was any intention of casting any reflections upon the Irish people in one of the addresses delivered ; and giving to the public, by way of a -per contra, another of the addresses highly commending the Irish cha- racter. Immediately after this, comes what purports to
298 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
be a "Correct Compendious Account of the late Exhibition of Washington College," in a letter to a friend, dated at Washington, September 28, 1810.
The writer, in an ironical vein, refers to a sentiment which he had formerly expressed to his friend, that the real nature and benevolent intention of the Christian religion, when correctly understood, was to render mankind happy here, and thus, of course, to give them a taste and relish for happiness hereafter. " Upon this topic," he continues, " my friend will remem- ber, we used to dider, though with our usual good nature and reciprocal esteem. I always told you that your views on this important subject were by far too precise and severe. You used to boast of the evidence in your favor on this side of the mountains, where you used to tell me that the genuine effects were experienced to a degree somewhat adequate to the nature of the subject, especially in the late revivals which had taken place. To these effects you used to appeal to strengthen your arguments, wishing that I were here to see the effects produced in consequence upon the inhabitants of this side of the Alleghany, and therefore congratulated me on my intended purpose of becoming a resider in the Western country." Appealing then to the exhibition of the day before as a convincing evidence of the correctness of his more liberal view, he thus proceeds :
"The unexpected occurrence of yesterday has contributed more to my satisfaction, upon the whole result, than the simple residence of years would otherwise have done. It afforded me an opportunity of contemplating the effects of the combined influence of all means and privileges, civil and religious, literary and moral ; not upon a solitary individual or a few, but upon a large aggregate of individuals of all ranks and orders in the community. The day was fine, the
ACCOUNT BT BONUS HOMO. 299
assembly numerous and respectable ; composed of reverend clergymen, lawyers, merchants, farmers, and a oreat variety of elegant ladies, young and old, married and single. The thing intended and to be exhibited for the entertainment ot this elegant assembly, was an exhibition of the attainments of the students of Washington College in their various de- partments ; and all this under the superintendence and direc- tion of some of the most sacred characters of which en- lightened society can boast. The names of some of them were, as I was informed, the Rev. Mr. Brown, president of the college, Rev. Mr. Russel, and Mr. Reed, professor of mathematics ; teachers in the academy, Rev. Messrs. Guinn and Dodd, besides many other venerable characters on the board."
He then proceeds to give an account of the various parts of the entertainment, among them enumerating as follows : "
4. Fencing. This, I think, is well taught here. I saw two young men, in the characters of officers, handle the broad- sword most dextrously. You and I differed formerly upon this part of education ; you said it was inconsistent with the pure and benevolent disposition of the Christian religion ; I thought it was requisite to complete a gentleman, and you see my opinion is confirmed by the practice of this truly reformed and Christian neighborhood. "
5. Boxing with the fist, or, as they call it in their technical college terms, pugilism, or, in the terms of the learned gentlemen, argumentum bacculinum. You said this was a diabolical practice, but I never could see it so ; it is necessary for the preservation of one's life, as well as the use of the sword, to maintain one's honor. I saw one or two rounds well fought. "
6. Polite swearing:
300 MEMOIRS OF ALEXANDER CAMPBELL.
7- Music, vocal and instrumental.
EMBRACING A VIEW OF THE ORIGIN,
PROGRESS AND PRINCIPLES OF
THE RELIGIOUS REFORMATION WHICH HE ADVOCATED
Originally By ROBERT RICHARDSON
Annotated by NewtonStein
VOLUME-I, 1,000 PAGES
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.