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Mr. A. Campbell, the Founder of a Sect
The Baptist newspaper, 1867
      As stated in a recent issue of the Herald, there is a life of Alexander Campbell published along with his lectures on the Pentateuch. It was furnished specially for the volume by Mr. Segar, and carefully revised by the editor of the Lectures, W. T. Moore. The Life contains the following statement:

      "Alexander Campbell soon became chiefly and prominently known as the recognized head of a new religions sect, as it was generally esteemed, called familiarly the 'Campbellite Baptist Denomination,' but called by himself and the membership of the church, the 'Disciples.' This denomination took its origin from the teaching of himself and his father, " etc.

      These statements, it seems to us, are strictly true; but they have called forth pretty caustic animadversions from the pen of D. Lipscomp, one of the editors of the Gospel Advocate, Nashville, Tenn. He says:

      "On this very point hinges the character of Campbell's whole life and labor. If he did found a denomination, a new sect to still further divide, and corrupt, and curse Christendom, his life was highly criminal in the sight of God, and his labor a curse to his fellow-men." - Religious Herald.

      "If he did" does Mr. Fanning deny that Mr. Campbell did found a sect? Messrs. Moore & Segar frankly admit that he did. All the world knows that he did. Mr. Campbell was wont to boastfully declare that he did. If Mr. Fanning denies it, he does it to attempt to deceive the blind disciples of Mr. Campbell and would not be worthy of credit.

      The Georgia Index thus notices this remarkable admission:


      "The day breaks" at Bethany. "The shadows flee away from the regions of the "Reformation" that styles itself "current." To prejudiced ears this statement may sound incredible - the night has been so long and unbroken, the atmosphere so impervious to every ray of light. But we have proof for it, or we would not make it. The proof is furnished by an essay on Alexander Campbell. "His Life and Public Career," from the pen of Rev. W. T. Moore pastor of the Christian Church. Cincinnati, Ohio, prefixed to "Familiar Lectures on the Pentateuch" by that "recognized head of a new religious sect.'" Our readers, we make no question, will agree with us in accounting it decisive.

      Have not Reformers hitherto denied that they are "adherents" and "disciples" of Alexander Campbell? Have they not repelled the intimation as the grossest and most malignant of slanders? But now, Rev. Mr. Moore says: "No other man of this generation could count upon a half a million adherents during the time of his natural life." And again: "He made frequent excursions far and near, as Providence opened for him a door, and steadily enlarged his influence, and increased the number of his disciples." Nay, he speaks of the earlier Reformer? as followers"of Thomas Campbell, (the father of Alexander). There, then, stands the fact so persistently and bitterly disowned, frankly owned at last!

      Have not the Reformers always maintained that they are not a mere "denomination," like other religious bodies: that they are the one "church originated by the Lord in Jerusalem; " and that these bodies can not be His, because they have sprung up since Pentecost? But Mr. Moore says, with regard to his brethren: "This denomination took its origin from the teaching of himself and father, and during the half hundred years last past, has grown to a church numbering five hundred thousand members." At last, then, the platform of assumed pre-eminence lies, leveled with the ground by the hands that toiled to rear it, and this boastful people confess themselves a sect of modern date!

      We submit to every candid mind, whether such teachings, from such a quarter, do not evince an extraordinary illumination, where once the shadow of the Millennial Harbinger darkened earth and sky. There is hope for the Reformation - hope that the morning of a truer and more Scriptural theology comes to it. Why should not men be brought to recognize and renounce their errors, when they have gone so far as to see that they compose a denomination, whose origin dates no further back than "the half hundred years last past," and that they are in peculiarities of belief simply "adherents - followers - disciples" of the two Campbells?

      These admissions, with Bro. Ray's book, "The Key to Campbellism" - just from the press - should bring all men, tinctured with this new Religion, to their senses, and to see they but follow an erring man, when they follow after Campbellism.


[From The Baptist newspaper, August 31, 1867. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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