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Western Recorder, 1907
      When in January, 1859, Dr. J. H. Eaton, of Murfreesboro, Tenn. died, several memorial sermons were preached in Southern Baptist churches. The text of many of them was the same from which Dr. J. M. Pendleton preached the funeral sermon in Murfreesboro. "Know ye not that a prince and a great man hath this day fallen in Israel?" That Scripture came mind when the sad news came over the wires that his son, T. T. Eaton, had followed his father to glory.

      Dr. Eaton attended the meeting of the General Association, and on Friday wrote home that the General Association had had the best session he had ever attended. He was going over to Fulton that night to preach and would take the 5 o'clock train for Blue Mountain. He was never in better spirits.

      He went to Fulton and preached a great sermon on the great text, "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Of all the texts in Bible that is the one he would have chosen had h e known it was his last sermon. He left Fulton at 5 o'clock on Saturday morning [June 27, 1907] and reached Grand Junction at 8:30. In company with Rev. Mr. Dunn, whom he had met on the train, he walked around the town for an hour, when they returned and sat down in the depot to wait for the train. When he started to rise he seemed to have difficulty in doing so and Mr. Dunn helped him. When they reached the door he would have fallen but, for Mr. Dunn. Dr. Eaton said to him, "I am a very sick man," and a moment after asked: "Are there any Baptists here?" Those were his last words.

      A Physician reached him in a few moments and as he took his hand to feel his pulse he said: "Dr. Eaton, I am a physician." Dr. Eaton smiled at him and pressed his hand and then lapsed into entire unconsciousness, from which he never rallied, dying at 1:20. A good soldier of Jesus Christ, he fell at his post with his armor on.

      A dispatch to the Book Concern was received, saying Dr. Eaton had had a stroke of apoplexy and a few minutes saw Dr. Harvey and Edward Farmer, Dr. Eaton's son-in-law, on their way to him. T. T. Martin telegraphed that he was starting from Blue Mountain with a physician. Other brethren from Blue Mountain telegraphed they were starting. They could reach him before any one from Louisville could. He had the best of medical attention, but nothing could be done. God had called him home to his reward.

      It was a glorious home-going for him. In the prime of his powers, preaching as well as he ever had, knowing no sickness and little pain. He never stood higher in the love and the trust and the pride of his brethren. They had showed how they loved him as a man and trusted him as a leader at the meeting of the General Association. He could have said as did the Apostle whom he resembled in many respects: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."

      What a delight to him was the Old Guard of the RECORDER. What pleasure and strength their letters telling of their love for him and the paper and their prayers for both gave him. Oh, Brethren, pray for the RECORDER as you have never prayed before, that God will give the ability to maintain the high standard which he has set, and above all the strength of soul to stand true to Baptist principles and practices as he has stood.

      He died of over-work, doing the work of four men, as his father died before him. Having the vitality and strong physical fibre [fiber] of his mother's family he lived and worked for fifteen more years than his father did.

      It was a glorious home-going for him, to his God and that crown of righteousness which was waiting for him. But for us who are left? For that most devoted church, who loved him with all their warm hearts and followed him as he followed Christ. Never a pastor had such a church, and never a pastor loved a church more and was prouder of a church than was he. What of the Southern Baptist hosts bereft at one stroke of their great leader? Was there ever a time when he was more needed? Ah, Brethren, pray as you have never prayed before to God who has taken him that He will guard the faith once for all delivered to the Saints from the tide of error and unbelief which seems to be rising so high.

      Our duty is before us. We are to give our lives and our strength to answering that last question of his, "Are there any Baptists here?" till it can be said of every city and village and country neighborhood over the whole earth, "Thank God, there are Baptists here."

      This is the tribute of one of his dearest friends, Dr. J. M. Weaver, published in the Courier-Journal:

      The Rev. J. M. Weaver, pastor of the Chestnut-street Baptist church, one of Dr. Eaton's closest friends, was greatly affected when he heard of his death. Ever since Dr. Eaton came to the city the two have been closely associated in their work, and next to the Rev. Mr. Weaver, Dr. Eaton was one of the oldest pastors, in point of continual service, in Louisville.

      Mr. Weaver has been pastor of the Chestnut-street church for more than forty years, while Dr. Eaton was with his church for twenty-six years.

      Last night the Rev. Mr. Weaver said:

"Dr. Eaton is dead! I am shocked beyond measure. He was my bosom friend. For twenty-seven years we stood side by side. He was as true as steel in his friendship for me. And now my heart is sad indeed. I cannot realize as yet that he is gone from me. It is a strange Providence that I am still living and he is dead. But I feared it was coming. I begged him to spare himself. We parted on Friday last at Mayfield. I had made up my mind and told his sister on Saturday that on his return I would urge him with all my power to rest. But alas! too late.

Intellectually he was the peer of any man in our southland. Fully educated and highly cultured, he was full of power. What shall we do without him? He was a model editor and made the WESTERN RECORDER the best paper in the land. He was a positive character, hence made many enemies, but he was a generous foe. He never bore malice, always ready to forgive. But my heart is too sore to say more now. My dear friend! How I will miss him. May God comfort his sorrowing family!"


The Anti-Saloon League

      Temperance people are having great reason to thank God and take courage. County after county, city after city are falling into line and abolishing saloons. This is the case not only in the South, where the movement is the strongest, but in Indiana and Illinois and other Western States.

      It is a great pleasure to read this tribute to the Anti-Saloon League from its enemies. The leading liquor paper of the country, the Wine and Spirit Gazette, says:

"The Anti-Saloon League - is not a mob of long-haired fanatics, as some writers and speakers connected with our business have declared, but it is a strongly centralized organization, officered by men of unusual ability, financiered by capitalists with very long purses, subscribed to by hundreds of thousands of men, women and children, who are solicited by their various churches, advised by well-paid attorneys of great ability, and it is working with definite ideas to guide it in every State, in every county, and in every city and in every precinct.

"If the Anti-Saloon League is defeated at any point, it immediately prepares for another attack along new lines, and when it succeeds it at once begins work for a more telling victory.

"Precinct local option, with the Anti-Saloon League, is but the fore-runner of county local option, and this, again is merely intended as a stepping-stone to State prohibition. There is no question that this organization has well-prepared plans for controlling the legislative branch of the government at Washington, and of passing a national prohibitory law at some time in the future, but before it undertakes so gigantic an enterprise it is working to cripple the trade in every possible way, and - while we sleep - it is succeeding in the most substantial manner."

      The Anti-Saloon League has shown itself wise and strong and ceaseless in its work in the good cause. It deserves the praise, the prayers and the active support of all good people.

      The National Wholesale Liquor Dealers' Association have just held their annual meeting in Atlantic City, N. J. Speakers declared the growth of the Anti-Saloon sentiment was so great any political party could not now hope to succeed which did not put into its platform a strong and unequivocal declaration against the liquor traffic.

      The liquor men, the speakers said, must work with all their might, and raise a large sum for campaign purposes to be used in combatting the Anti-Saloon League and in checking the growth of the temperance sentiment. The Protective Bureau of the Association was especially insistent on the organization of a great campaign fund and big contributions being given by every liquor interest.

      Otherwise it is certain that in its next Presidential Convention in 1908 the Democratic Party will take strong ground supporting the Anti-Saloon League in its platform. For the struggle of the Democratic party is in the South, and that is the section who is strongest for the work of the League in abolishing saloons, when they can and insisting on the enforcing of the laws closing them on Sunday. This insisting on Sunday closing where saloons cannot be abolished at present is a point of most vital concern to the liquor interests. For Sunday is their money-making day. Men are paid often on Saturday night and they do not go to work on Sunday, and therefore that is a great day with the saloons. Enforcing the Sunday laws will do an immense good in crippling the liquor business.

      The speakers declared the Republican party as well as the Democratic party would be "forced to recognize the necessity of placing some platform doctrine dealing with the subject before the people," unless the liquor interests could do something to stem the tide. Their fears are well founded, we are glad to say. So well has the Anti-Saloon League done its glorious work that politicians of all parties who keep in touch with the people will yield to public opinion no matter how much at heart they may favor the liquor traffic. And for the great advance in the temperance cause let us thank God and take courage.


[From the Western Recorder, 1907. Document provided by Ben Stratton, Farmington, KY. Transcribed and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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