A Short Sketch of the Life of Elder Josoeph Hartley



Preface added to the original A Short Sketch of the Life of Elder Joseph Hartley

I first found a copy of A Short Sketch of the Life of Elder Joseph Hartley in the Shawnee Library System, Carterville, Illinois, in a bound set of documents titled Hartley Family (SI929.2HAR) put together by John Tanner Aichele, Fort Wayne, Indiana; John Tanner Aichele was a great-great-great-grandson of Joseph Hartley. The Sketch in Aichele’s book was a photocopy of the 32-page pamphlet published in 1864.

I later received a photocopy of a typewriter transcription of the Sketch from Rev. Robert Webb of the Primitive Baptist Library of Carthage, Illinois, along with a different photocopy of the original 1864 Sketch. I have used the photocopy of the typewriter transcription as the source of the document I present here.

The title page of this document is from the Aichele photocopy of the Sketch . I have not chosen to preserve the pagination of the original document. I have preserved most of the spelling of the Primitive Baptist Library copy, but have not checked that entirely against the photocopies of the 1864 Sketch.

Charles L. Hartley
(great-great-great-grandson of Joseph Hartley)
Oneonta, NY





Elder Joseph Hartley


HAVING lived in this world of sin and sorrow three score and four years, for about forty-two of that time I have been a professor of the Christian religion and a member of the Baptist Church, and for almost thirty years of that time have borne the title of a preacher. As to what has been the lot of others, I know not. Mine has been one of tail, trouble, care, anxiety and sorrow, with occasional momentary joy, and short intervals of refreshing seasons. I am now getting old, and, from the days I have already numbered, I cannot expect to number many more. From some cause, I can hardly tell why, I have concluded to write a short sketch of my life, together with the religious profession I have made and my call to the ministry, and the most noted incidents of my life, as they occurred from time to time, that others may know what I am, and have been, and that they may profit thereby. Also, a short comment on the Two Witnesses - the first and second Beasts - spoken of in Revelations, etc.

   Whether the following will be interesting or uninteresting, pleasing or displeasing, no one is accountable but myself. And, as I am ignorant altogether of the rules of grammar, I shall not expect my manner of expression to bear criticism. I hope, therefore, the learned will bear with me, and I think the unlearned will understand me.

   According to the account received from my parents, I was born in Nelson county, Kentucky, on the 28th day of February, 1800; soon after which, my father and family moved to the western side of Hardin county, Kentucky - then a new country, and but thinly settled. There, and thereabouts, I lived till my forty-second year, when I moved to Jefferson County, Illinois, where I now live. My father's name was John Hartley; my mother's maiden name was Rebecca Arvecost. They had born to them twelve children, six sons and six daughters; of which they raised ten --five of each. They were originally from Virginia, and, like most new comers in those days, very poor. The country being new, and having but few advantages, they had to make their living by the hardest toil; and, even in my raising, constant labor was the order of the day. My father had no education, not so much as to enable him to read; and, having been always a frontier man, was extremely illiterate and awkward in language. My mother had but just learning enough to read imperfectly. Thus it was that, in my childhood, I acquired a habit of speaking imperfectly; and, as I advanced in years, I became sensible of this awkwardness, when mixing with others who had been better instructed. Being sensible of my situation, I was all the time, when in company, laboring under serious embarrassments.

   I will here remark, by way of advice to parents: when your children are learning to talk, teach them to speak properly, if you know how; if you do not, try to learn how; because it is almost impossible for them to throw off habits contracted in early life. My opportunities for acquiring an education were very limited. A winter school, of about three or six months, at most, was about all that was taught in a year; and, from the time I was old enough to be useful at work, I was kept close at that, except a short time in the worst of the winter weather. Judging from others, and my opportunities, I learnt very fast - perhaps from my anxiety to learn. Reading, writing and the first rules of arithmetic, was all the education I ever got; and, to the best of my recollection, I was in my sixteenth year before I was ever twenty miles from home. I do not wish to be considered as casting any reflection upon my parents; for, with few exceptions, this mode of life was the rule in those times.

   Thus I grew up to manhood; and, about one month before I was twenty-one, I was married to a neighbor-girl, whose name was Polly Singleton. As there was something singular in our attachment and alliance, I will make a few remarks concerning the subject. My wife's father and mine had been neighbors from my infancy; consequently I knew Polly when a mere child - I being three years older. We went to the same school; and when quite a boy, I found myself warmly attached to her. I would often think that, when I got to be a man, I would make her my wife. The same controlling principle never ceased, let me be where or with whom I may. And, amidst all the incidents attendant on a youthful life, when my mind reverted to her, I loved her. I well recollect, the day I was nineteen (it being Sunday), I paid her a visit when my courtship commenced. I was then a poor boy, under the control of my father, and had no idea of marrying soon - not having any arrangements for house keeping, and with no expectation of assistance, from any source. I thought it advisable to let her know my feelings towards her, and I was not long in finding out how she would reply, if I were so situated as to be able to support a wife. I also learned that she had had the same attachment for me, in her childhood, that I had for her. With this understanding, we pledged ourselves to each other as companions for life, and, when we thought our situation admitted of it, we got married. I visited her, but with as little show as I well could, nearly two years before we were married. We live together almost thirty-nine years, and raised ten children. In the early part of our wedded life we were poor, and hard run to make a living: yet I never saw the day, had there been such a thing as dissolving the bonds of matrimony, but what I would have married her again; and I have every reason to believe she would have done the same.

   I will here remark that the reason why there are so many unhappy matches, and so much parting of man and wife, as there is in the world is, that they do not come together from a pure matured motive. My wife was what is called a resolute, high-strung woman, and I was always an ambitious man, yet we lived together all those years without ever quarreling - and I have often said to our children, by way of caution, when they were about to marry, not to forget that they never heard their father and mother quarrel. What I most grieved for, during her fife, and after her death, was, that I was not so circumstanced all the time that she might enjoy life; for I loved her, and wished her to be happy.
   I now purpose to give a short detail of my religious exercises, and show the reason why I am a Predestinarian Baptist. At a very early age, I used to have some thoughts about a future state of existence - a place called Heaven, where good people went to when they died; and a place called Hell, where the bad ones went and were punished. My mother was a member of the Baptist church, and, I believe, a God-fearing woman. They would often talk to us of the consequences of sin, and the danger of going to the bad place when we died, which would produce in my mind, for a short time, some gloomy fears. How glad I should have been if there were no place of torment. I did not want to be a Christian. It would deprive me of the enjoyments of life; and to live a sinner, I was in danger of being forever lost when I died. I thought I had it in my power to get religion whenever I set about the work; for I verily believed that was a thing depending on my own will; and my calculations were that, at some convenient time, I would get about the work - for I did not intend to go to hell.

   At about the age of sixteen or seventeen, I attended some meetings, six or seven miles from where I lived, at what was called the "Arm of the Church." At those meetings there was considerable excitement - several joining the church. The preacher was a young man, named Enos Keith (whose memory I love to cherish), and I thought he preached with more power than I ever heard him before - for I had been used to hearing him, ever since he commenced preaching. This Enos Keith was a brother of Elder Benjamin Keith - perhaps yet living. Well, at those meetings my mind became serious to a degree of sensation somewhat unusual. I remember shedding tears freely. I then resolved to get religion, too, as well as others; and to work I went, in real earnest. I arranged my plans, determined to quit sinning - which I really thought I came very near doing - and commenced praying to God to forgive the past. I even contemplated the length of time it would take me. However, I thought that depended a good deal upon my assiduity to the work. I soon found my convictions were gone, and I considered I was getting along very well. If I failed a little one day, I would make it up the next by doing more. In this way I continued for some weeks, until the time I had fixed upon for a conversion was fully come and past; for I had some idea, from what I had learned by hearing others talk, that I must have some revelation from Heaven, and that that would constitute what people called "religion." So blind and foolish was I, that I thought I was good enough for the Lord to accept me, and often wondered why he did not.

   Now, all this time I lived in all good conscience before God. As touching the law, I was blameless - expecting to obtain heaven by my own works; a Pharisee in the strictest sense. Now, with all this travail I had - and no one knew anything of it but myself - I have often since thought, had I lived in a day of revival-making, by getting up a protracted meeting, I should have been a good subject to operate on. But in those days I had never heard of a protracted meeting, for converting sinners. How blind is fallen man. I suppose I never once thought of salvation being by Jesus Christ; neither did I know where to place him in the whole matter. However, this state of things passed away, and I recollect calling in question the correctness of my course, and doubting whether religion was not obtained in some other way. But how, I could not tell. It was all a mystery to me; and since, I have often thought, about four years of my life was somewhat singular. I came to the conclusion that I would live as moral a life as possible. I was sure that much was in my power. I would watch my conversation, keep good company, and lead as upright a life as I well could; and if I lived and died without religion, it would not be so bad with me as if I were to go on in sin. My reasoning was, that I should not be accountable for things I had never done; and, from what I learned afterwards, I became noted as a sober, steady, orderly young man. Come, my dear young reader, think of this. A good name is worth more than all the sport you can find in your wicked pastimes; more, I will add, than all the fine things in the world, or the wealth of the world.

   Now, all this time, my mind was as dark as darkness itself in regard to God's plan of saving sinners by grace. I will here relate some of my exercises of mind in those days. I lived near the meeting house of a Baptist church, and was generally at church on Sundays, and sometimes oftener. Most of the families in the vicinity of the church were more or less members of it, excepting my father's - not one of whom, besides my mother, made any pretensions of religion. I sometimes thought we were worse than others, and that the Lord had reprobated us to destruction. I somehow grew into the belief that Almighty God controlled all things in regard to the destinies of man; and when any question arose in my mind as to what would be right, I would think if I only knew what was right in the sight of God, I would do that. And frequently, in matters of importance, I would go to God for counsel, in prayer. In the fall of 1821, it pleased the Lord to revive His work in the neighborhood where I lived. Meetings for worship became frequent. I attended some of them; but, being necessarily compelled to stay at home for some time, when our first child was born, I knew but very little of the result of those meetings. But one day, when our babe was a month old, an old neighbor of mine - Mr. Shrewsbury, a member of what was called the Free Will Baptist, an Arminian in doctrine, but, I hope, a good man - in company with my wife's father, came to our house. While there, the conversation turned upon the revival going on in the neighborhood and the doctrine held to and preached by Elder Enos Keith, who was a Predestinarian, and whom the old Free Will Baptist thought a good man and a gospel preacher, excepting his hard doctrine; expressing a belief that it was in the power of man to come to God at some time, or that he could resist the calls of God, go on in sin, and not come at all. At the idea expressed by my old friend, all my former travail rushed into my mind. Until then, I had taken but little or no part in the conversation. I replied that I did not believe it was in the power of every or any body to get religion by seeking after it themselves; I thought it must come in some other way. While thus expressing myself, my feelings were much affected, and I came very near bursting into tears. I saw the old brother noticed my agitation. "I think,”  said he, "any man as serious-minded as you can." I said no more, and the subject dropped; soon after which, they left. Hearing that there was to be preaching in the neighborhood that night, I proposed to my wife that we should go. She readily consented, and we went. I recollect the building was crowded. I took my seat in one corner, with deep seriousness. After the preaching was over, the door of the church (so called) was opened, and an invitation given to all who wished to join; when one young woman and two young men, quite in their youth, came in to the church, related their experience, and were received. In conclusion, Elder Keith delivered an exhortation, in which he particularly addressed the two young men who had just joined‚ speaking of the goodness of God to them in their extreme youth, and of their obligations to him. During this exhortation, every power of my mind and feelings was reached. I sank down on my seat, and covered my face, to keep my situation as much concealed as possible, while the tears flowed freely from my eyes. It appeared to me that I could see the goodness of God exercised over his creatures, and particularly his mercy in saving sinners.

   The congregation being dismissed, as soon as I could refrain from weeping I arose from my seat to seek my wife and return home, when I met a sister of the preacher - Jane Keith by name - who was then advanced in years and unmarried. She asked me what I thought of the times, and if I supposed there was any religion amongst us. I answered, "I do. Do you think you want religion?" I then asked her to pray for me; and told her to ask her brother to pray for me, and immediately afterwards‚ left for home. I recollect asking my wife, on our way back, if she ever thought anything about religion. She replied that she had. I then asked her if she thought she knew anything about it. She answered "No," and seemed deeply affected. I said no more to her about it.

   This was on Sunday night. From that time till the Thursday morning following, I had thoughts, and feelings, and views which will never be erased from my memory. The depravity of my nature appeared open to my view. My mind was so deranged that I could not control it, nor bring it to bear on anything. I often retired to some lonesome place to pray; - but oh! how different now to my former praying. I once thought, in my Pharisaical days, that I could pray very well; but now, my praying seemed no more than gibberish, or worse - for I thought it a kind of hypocritical mockery, and often, when rising from my prostrate position, have asked the Lord to forgive me for such mockery; but what I could do to better my condition, I knew not - for, in reality, I could do nothing." I viewed myself as a poor, miserable, wretched, lost sinner in the presence of a holy God. I could see how God could be just, and damn me forever; but I could not see how he could be just, and save me. I thought I was not to live long, and he had showed me his justice in my condemnation beforehand. I verily thought my case different from all others; that no one was ever like me.
   “Like one alone I seemed to be;
   Oh, is there any one like me?"
   In this situation, I passed the time from Sunday night to Wednesday evening, when there was to be preaching again. A little before time to go, I has chopping some wood; I stopped, sat down, and placed my head in my hands, when the thought struck my mind of what I had heard preachers say: "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and be saved." This saying presented a mystery to my mind; I could not tell how or what to believe; I could not see what a sinner has to believe, in order to procure salvation, or give evidence that Jesus Christ was my Saviour. At the first presentation of the subject, nothing could have been more mysterious, though of great interest. It seemed as if my mind was, for the moment, absorbed in so interesting a matter. At length, the subject opened to my view in this way: - That Jesus Christ must suffer on the cross to redeem sinners; and the reason why he did suffer, was because our sins were charged to him; and his life was required to redeem his people from the curse of the law. That now, the sinner must look to him by faith, as fulfilling the law for him; and that Jesus Christ's righteousness must be his righteousness.

   I will now drop my narrative, and tell how my mind at once became established in the doctrine of Imputation. Some years previous to this, I attended a meeting for preaching, where Elder Keith dwelt particularly on the subject of imputed sin and imputed righteousness. He then invited a Methodist minister, by the name of Hoskinson, to conclude. Mr. Hoskinson arose, and, in the course of his remarks, which were in contradiction, declared that neither the doctrine of imputed sin nor of imputed righteousness was taught in the scriptures, from the first of Genesis to the last of Revelations - giving, at the same time, his sanction by a thundering stamp of the foot on the floor. This controversy presented itself to my mind, while sitting as above stated musing on the plan of salvation - I was fully prepared to decide in favor of Elder Keith. Although I had this view, and the plan seemed so plain, I was sure it was right: yet I could not appropriate it to myself, or feel an evidence of any interest I had in a Saviour, consequently I looked at myself as a hopeless case, and as above stated none like me. While in this situation I went to meeting, and when preaching came on I thought it the strangest of anything of the kind I ever heard in my life. Elder Keith was a good experimental Preacher, and when he began, he commenced telling me of all the thoughts, actions, and views I had of myself from the Sunday night before, he could tell me what I had thought of my praying - how I had viewed my depravity - the deranged condition of my mind - and how I looked at the justice of God in my condemnation - and my despairing of any mercy. In a word he could tell more about me and better than I could have told myself. And when done describing me, he then described the plan of salvation suited to such a case; in effect just as I had viewed it - I heard it all and I wondered how he could tell so much about me, as I had not revealed my situation to any living mortal. This preaching had a powerful effect on my passions. I shed tears profusely, nor could I have kept it hidden. As soon as the congregation was dismissed, I left the house for fear some one should talk to me about my situation. I went home with my mind filled with what the preacher had said. The next day I was helping my father to butcher some pork, in consequence of which I was up early. And as soon as I could arrange my home concerns, I set off walking, and when I found myself alone, the preaching of the night before came fresh to my memory. Immediately it occurred to me the reason why he could tell so well my situation, was that he had travelled the same way himself - and that is the way that God prepares the sinner for the plan of grace. And that I had been quickened into life and brought to see my helpless condition, that salvation was alone by Jesus Christ. At that time a sensitive feeling came over me that banished all my fears; I immediately stopped, turned around and looked at Nature, to see if it was as it used to be - all appeared right; but my feelings were such as what I never before experienced. Hope immediately sprang up that it was the work of the Lord; and that he had forgiven my sins. I felt as though I wanted to thank and praise him for his mercy to me, a poor sinner, who had so justly deserved his wrath! I turned aside, to a more secret place, and fell upon my knees, to praise and adore the holy name of my dear Redeemer, for his unspeakable goodness to me. When I arose, a verse of a song occurred to mind which was as follows:
   "And while I thus in anguish lay,
   Jesus of Nazareth passed that way,
       And felt his pity move.
   The sinner, by his justice slain,
   Now by free grace, is born again;
       And sings redeeming love."
   I sang the verse with a feeling that I never had sung it with before. The name Jesus of Nazareth, O! how sweet it was to my soul; I repeated it over and over in my mind often through the day. And although I was in company with those who I knew were strangers to my situation, yet I enjoyed a pleasant day. I was anxious to get home to inform my wife what had taken place with me; which I did as soon as I returned. I then learned what had been her situation, she expressed a gladness for me; but let me know she thought her case a bad one, and expressed herself as having a deep distress of mind; I tried to encourage her and not long after she obtained a hope also.
   Having been somewhat tedious, in giving the particulars of my experience, I will now proceed more briefly with my history. After having some encouragement from the preacher and some of the church members, my wife and I concluded to join the church on the next meeting, which was close at hand. And here I met with a circumstance, that threw me into an awful dilemma, for a while. Until then I had been getting along so well, I had almost forgotten my depravity. Well the time came for meeting, and we were just ready to start, when my wife's horse broke the bridle, and ran off into the woods. I then had a chase after it, and it took me some time to catch it again. By this time I was in quite a passion. The first thing, without any consideration, was to give the brute a whipping, and then to mend the bridle. I soon began to reflect on my conduct; and, before we were ready to start, had it not been for my wife, I would rather have taken any other course than to church. I began to conclude that my profession was all a delusion, for had I a changed heart I should not have acted as I did. And this is sufficient evidence to show that I am a miserable, deceived wretch. I have frequently thought since, that I never suffered more distress of mind than I did while on the road to meeting. I felt as though I would be willing to exchange my situation with the meanest quadruped on earth. I really felt grieved that my wife, so good a woman as I thought she was, had to be connected with so miserable a wretch. She was calm, pleasant, and tried to comfort and encourage me on my way. At length we arrived at the place, but at a late hour. As soon as we came near enough to hear them sing, my wife said, "Don't that singing sound pretty?" I was so confused that I had not noticed it, until she spoke. Strange as it may seem, as soon as I looked at the Christian people assembled there, I loved them, because they were the Lord's people, assembled there to worship Him. I felt, unworthy as I was, that I wanted to live with them. Accordingly, after preaching, I became pacified enough to offer myself to the church. In my relation I tried to be very particular. I did not want to deceive, nor be deceived - expecting to be asked a good many questions, as was common in those days. But, to my astonishment, and rather to my dissatisfaction, they asked me none; stating there was no room for questions. My wife joined also. We were baptized on the second Sunday in January, 1822. As I have before stated that none of my father's family were professors, I will here state that, the following meeting, in February, two of my sisters made profession, and, at the March church meeting, two of my brothers.

   For the information of others, I will here make some statement in regard to the church, being one of the oldest in that part of the country. I do not know exactly the date of its constitution, but it was a church from my earliest recollection; was exceeding strong in talent, and rather noted for its good order and discipline - numbering, perhaps, at this time, one hundred members. The church's name was "Union"; was constituted with the title of Regular Baptist, but was then known as United. Its first pastor was Elder Warren Cash. The pastor at the time of which I am now speaking, was the Elder Enos Keith of whom I have already spoken. He was a member of the church; had commenced preaching when very young; possessed a good preaching talent; and, in regard to piety was surpassed by no one. Of course he was very highly esteemed.

   I will now resume my narrative. At the April meeting after I had joined, the church elected new deacons‚ the former ones having been released. Brother John Cash and myself were chosen; and in this capacity I served the church until I was ordained to the ministry. From some cause, I could not tell what, the church, from the time I joined, seemed disposed to set me to work. When it became necessary to select members to attend to any particular business, I was generally appointed as one of them; or, if the church was petitioned from abroad, I was very apt to be sent. At first, these were hard trials, as I was under the necessity of getting up and talking; and being sensible of my ignorance and awkwardness, I was afraid I should disgrace the church and myself. However, by use, my face became more firm; and in a few years, I became a regular business member, and almost sure to have to work through all the hard cases. And here I will observe, that I always made it a rule never to disappoint the church, if I could help it; let the task be what it would, I would work through the best I could. One thing more I will remark, in this part of my narrative; I became a constant reader of the scriptures particularly the New Testament. It seemed a new book to me. I remember, when reading the second chapter of Ephesians, the eighth chapter of Romans, and many other places in the New Testament, how sensibly it would apply to my feelings. What a rich display of the grace and goodness of God shone forth in those scriptures. They constituted a feast to my soul. I became so enamored with the scriptures, that I was never satisfied without the book; until at length I became alarmed at myself, for I had no appetite for any other employment, and my situation in life would not admit of it. My family had to be maintained by my labor; and, in addition to that, I had bought one hundred acres of land, and had promised to pay for it in four equal annual installments, of eighty dollars each; and all the property I possessed in the world, at that time, would not, perhaps, have brought two-thirds the amount which I owed for this land. My farm was to be made before I could cultivate it. I was therefore compelled to lay my book aside, and force myself from it. How often, since that time, have I thought of those days, when I have been reading the scriptures, and they were no more than a dead letter to me. In the language of the poet: Would read the promise meet my eyes – but would not reach my case. They only came “in word; not in power, nor in the Holy Ghost; and with much assurance," as the apostle expresses it. And since that time, Christian reader, were I to undertake to set forth all the ups and downs of my life - the meandering of my tempest tossed, enthusiastic mind, it would swell this sketch to a volume, instead of a pamphlet; - the thousands of times I have been made to call in question the reality of my religion; the months that I have passed without one single ray of light from the sun of righteousness; or a long score of days in a state of insensibility and carelessness; - yea, I may say more: this poor little weak vessel of mine has been driven by the storms and tempests that assailed it; that has been given up by me as almost lost; sometimes ready to burst asunder on the rocks of infidelity and skepticism; while the world, the flesh and the devil have taken an active part against me, I can only say that my pen would fail, and my language be insufficient to describe all the dark places, I have seen. Come, dear children of the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, do you know any thing of this kind of rough sailing? Or am I a stranger to you, to Jesus Christ, to myself, and to the power of God’s reigning grace? You may be sure I want to know. Notwithstanding all those dark places, I do think, that, every now and then, though sometimes a long while apart, I was enabled to realize a sweet calm, when my soul would be led to look into the richness, and fullness of God’s redeeming love, and feel, perhaps, as the apostle did, when on the Mount of Transfiguration; and could say, as Peter did, "Master, it is good to be here."
   I will now state briefly how I became established in the doctrine of Predestination, or sovereign, free and reigning grace; in contradistinction to what is known as the Free-will, or free agency doctrine. My own experience, already narrated, would go decidedly against the whole Free-will or Arminian plan. In the first place, when I heard anything preached or said, I would refer to my experience. If it did not correspond with that, I called it immediately in question. In the second place, I would apply to the word of God; and when, to my understanding, the scriptures would condemn the idea, I became satisfied that it was wrong; - I cared not for the learning or ability of the speaker. I also became quite an arguist, in the early part of my Christian life; and when, in company, any thing was advanced that I could not endorse, if no one else would take it up, I would; and by that means I had a great many toe-to-toe debates. If my opponent was a better talker than myself, he did not whip me unless he convinced me that he had the Bible on his side. I recollect coming in contact with a Methodist preacher, one day, when quite young in my profession. I had a long hitch with him. He could out talk me; could quote the scriptures more readily than I; and, although I could not believe his doctrine, yet he seemed to present the scriptures so much to his purpose that I felt myself badly worsted. I was so upset and confused that it took me some time to recover. I applied to the bible earnestly, and to the throne of grace for the Lord to give me understanding, until I became satisfied of the incorrectness of his doctrine. In that way I was led to examine for myself; to read the scriptures with their connection, and to apply them to the proper class and character. I loved to have help from others; but I wanted to see plainly the truth of any point of doctrine myself, from my own convictions of its correctness, and then I was satisfied.

   I will here give the reader a few thoughts, in as condensed a form as I can, on the leading features of the plan of salvation, as taught in the scriptures. When I come to consider the perfections of God, the language of revelation concerning him - that he knows no variation, neither the shadow of a turn; that he has declared the end from the beginning, and says: "My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure; and then consider Jesus, who was the root and offspring of David, the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the same yesterday, to-day and forever‚ bearing the same titles as the eternal God, only varying in view of his mediatorship; and then hear the declaration of the Apostle, that God has chosen us in Jesus before the foundation of the world, and that grace was given us in Jesus, the mediator, before the world began; it seems very clear to me that God, in creation, intended the glorification of his people; and that they were created by and for him. And, in view of the inlet of sin into the world, with all its contaminating influence upon the creation of God, he had devised and arranged the whole plan for the redemption, the complete deliverance, and the glorification of all his children by Jesus Christ. And now, in time, according to his sovereign will and divine mercy, quickens the dead sinner into life, imparts to him his own divine nature, and opens to his view the glorious plan of salvation through a crucified Saviour, and that Jesus is of God made unto us, our wisdom, our righteousness, our sanctification, and our redemption; so that we possess all that Jesus does - being one with him. If he is an heir of immortal glory, so are we. Come, Christian! in view of the above, what have we to do? I answer: More, I fear, than we are doing. We should be engaged from day to day in honoring, adoring and glorifying God, who has done so much for us; and not be concerned so much as we are, about the ways of Jehovah, whose works are perfect. Let us have more concern about ourselves, for our works are imperfect. Therefore my own experience, and the teaching of God, by his holy spirit, in the work of regeneration, together with the view I have taken of the perfections of Almighty God, and the well-devised plan of salvation by Jesus Christ, are the reasons why I am so firmly established in the doctrine of Sovereign Grace, or what is often termed Election, or Predestination. In the Arminian system, the perfections of God are confounded; the plan of Jesus Christ is dependent upon the will of the sinner to effect it object in salvation; and grace is dependent upon the acts or works of the creature; while the whole rests, or rather is thrown, upon uncertainties - nothing being sure.
   Having now given an account of my connection with the church as a private member, and of the manner in which I became established in the faith of the Predestinarian Baptists, I design giving some account of my life as a minister. As I have made frequent use of the names of other ministers, in connection with the church, and shall still continue to do so, I will enter into some explanation before I proceed further. I have already stated that, at the time I became a member, Elder Enos Keith was minister of the church; and that it was by him I was baptized. He remained with the church some three or four years, when he died, which was a serious loss to the church. However, not long after, Elder Benjamin Keith, a younger brother of Enos's, moved from the State of Indiana, where he had spent some seven or eight years of his ministry, and joined us - taking his brother’s place. In the interval, the church was presided over by its original pastor, Elder Warren Cash. Benjamin Keith, who is, I believe, still living, has had a wide range and an extensive acquaintance. He is now a very old man, and there is not one in a thousand who has preached more than he; and, to use a homespun phrase, "he generally makes his mark, wherever he goes.” These three brethren, with some others ran the channel of sovereign free and reigning grace in their preaching. Now this is the class of ministry I was raised up under. From what I have said, my readers must not imagine the ministry of those times of a general oneness in doctrine. Some time previous to my day there had been a union entered into between what was called the Regular and Separate Baptists; or Free-wills and Predestinarians. Hence, they excluded both the original titles and took the name of United; a title, at the time I am now speaking of, that but very ill became the Baptist. For at the time I commenced preaching, there was almost every shade of doctrine known among them; some holding and preaching straight out the doctrine of grace, the entire work of the spirit in regeneration; some that salvation depended on the choice or will of the sinner, and that he had the power to resist the spirit, and continue in sin in spite of all God’s calls; while not a few held and preached that salvation was all of grace, but that God carried on his work by means of preachers, who were instrumental, in the hands of God, in the "conviction" and "conversion" of sinners - phrases which were popular in those days. Now, reader, you may imagine it was no uncommon thing for more than one doctrine to be preached to the same congregation in a single day. The missionary system was in full blaze about this time. Seminaries for the manufacture of preachers were erected; and not a few of the lazy, proud young men were at the schools, learning to preach. But enough on that subject; although I am sure this is not a strained description of the Baptists in Kentucky, and in many other places, when I began to preach.

   I now proceed to give some of the exercises of mind which I had previous to my appearing in public. About a year before I made any attempt at public speaking, other than to open or close service by singing and prayer, my mind took a high and exalted range on the plan of salvation and the gospel of Jesus Christ; my feelings became tender, and I was often, in soul or sensation of mind, enabled to look into the mysteries of redemption, and it did seem to me I was made to love the Lord with my whole heart. This state of things lasted for some time without any intervening cloud to darken the religious atmosphere, and produce doubts in my mind with regard to my acceptance with the Lord. One day, while in this frame of mind, I was in company with Elder B. Keith, and related to him my feelings; telling him I could not, under the circumstances, doubt of my having an interest in the Savior. He looked at me earnestly, and replied: "Take all the comfort you can, my brother; there are trials before you, in some shape or other." Now, while these exalted view lasted, I was often thinking about telling others what I viewed and felt of a Savior's love; but, at the same time, I was so sure I had no gift for communicating, that I had no expectation I ever should.

   My days of sunshine, however, at length passed away, and darkness, which brought troubles and trials, followed. Strange to say, I was nevertheless, still under the impulse to speak publicly. Why, I could not tell. I now began to call myself, and all my religious career, to account. For me to preach seemed impossible. I was ignorant, illiterate, dull of apprehension, slow in speech, extremely awkward in language, and easily confused. In short, I had not one qualification for becoming a public speaker. Thus, it would often present itself to my mind that all my impulses to preach were of the devil; for, had the Lord intended me to do so, he would have given me the necessary qualification. I well remember that such were my feelings on these occasions that I would often quit work and wander into some lonely place in the woods, and there beg the Lord to give an evidence of what I ought to do, and to keep me from bringing a reproach on his cause. If my impressions were of the devil, or of myself, I wished God to overrule them; or, if He required me to occupy any part of the gospel field, I wanted Him to make it plain. During this conflict, my brethren had caught the idea that I was exercised about preaching, and sometimes interrogated me on the subject. I partly acknowledged it, but charged them to say nothing about it in the church, as it was merely a whim, and would pass off after a while. Once, in conversation with Brother B. Keith on the leadings of my mind, he told me he thought my case ought to come before the church, and, by an action, liberty be given me to exercise. I unhesitatingly opposed it. He asked me why. I told him, I was too big a fool to preach. When he asked: "Do you not believe the Lord is able to make as big a fool as you preach?" I answered "Yes," and then remarked, "If ever I do preach, to any‚ acceptance or profit to the church, don't doubt of its being of the Lord, for I shall not" - honestly thinking, at the time, it would be a miracle if I should preach. How often, since, have I thought of that unguarded expression, and how little we know ourselves, when I have been selected by wise brethren to preach to large congregations, and others who I knew could preach well were left out; when I, with all my doubts and fears as to whether I ought to have a seat with the Lord's ministers, have had to stand forth in the work. I would also question the utility of my preaching, even if I could - the church being well supplied with able ministers. But, in spite of all this, I would often find myself planning in my mind a course to oppose the errors and corruptions which I was sure existed among the Baptists at that time, and save the Christian by a certain method of preaching, which was to be doctrinal connected with experimental - showing a consistency between the two; and I have often thought that, if I have any gift in preaching, it lies in that.

   In this way I was led along for more than twelve months, under the influence of a spirit, either good or bad, that was too powerful for me to resist. At length I came to the conclusion to submit myself to the decision of the brethren, hoping the Lord would enable them to decide in my case justly; and honestly did I beg them to take care of the precious cause of Christ, and keep me right. Accordingly, in March 1834, the Church took up my case. I believe, with as much propriety and caution as they well could. The course of the Church was to appoint prayer meetings, more or less, between our regular church conference; and, as it was necessary to appoint some one to take the lead at those meetings, I was nominated as that one, with full liberty to communicate whatever I wished; and those brethren who could, should assist me - the Church signifying, by vote, their request to that effect. This course being agreed to, our meetings commenced. Now, reader, you need not imagine that my difficulties were over. I had only entered into a new series of troubles. Of course, I commenced trying to speak to congregations, more or less, whenever we met. Sometimes I would have a little liberty, and, when done, would feel calm and willing to try again. At other times, my mind would become dark in the midst of my effort, and I could think of nothing; or, if I did, I could not tell it. Often have I thought, in those dark times, “Now, I am done! This is the last time.” I recollect once coming very near proclaiming aloud to the congregation that I would never attempt to speak in public again; when an old brother, seeing what I was about to do, stopped me. Heartily have I wished, under the circumstances alluded to, that the church would tell me to stop believing, if they did, that I should have no more trouble about it.

   Things went on in this way, and our meetings were well attended, and good order observed, until November of the same year, when my case was again brought before the church, to see if she would approve of my course - when all voted themselves satisfied. Thus far, I did not object; for I wished to know what my brethren thought of my proceedings. Then there was a motion made, by a leading member, to give me a license to preach wherever I might go - even to Europe - and they hold themselves responsible for my course. This I opposed; stating that I had all the liberty I wanted; that my little talk in public did not sound to me like preaching, and I did not yet want to be called one. Here I was admonished, by an old brother, to take my seat; he stating that the church knew better than I what to do. I obeyed. Now, I suppose the church took the course it did in order to get me forward; for I was far better at holding back than I was at pushing. How some young men can walk into the pulpit at the first hint, and commence preaching, to the exclusion of older ministers, I know not. I was not so much afraid of a little scolding to urge me to preach, as I was of taking a liberty that did not become me.

   I now stood on the list of licensed preachers, and a poor one I considered myself to be. About this time, there were several young preachers of my acquaintance who were just commencing to preach; and, I think I may say that, among them all, I had but one companion. Nearly all the others, with one consent, ran into the Arminian current; so of course the doctrine I preached was very unlike theirs, and, as I began to stir out from home, I soon found what I had to meet in opposition. Universal redemption, universal calling, universal provision, means and instrumentality, etc., was the theme of many; and it was of no use to call their doctrine in question. They would take shelter under the articles of the General Union, and tell me they had as good a right to preach Human Agency as I had to preach the Sovereign Grace of God. While on this subject, I will further state that it did seem to me as if the floodgates of Arminian corruption were thrown open, and the current let in upon the Baptists. Agents for missionary societies, bible societies, Sunday-school societies, temperance societies, tract societies, etc., were visiting the churches, lecturing upon their cause, and begging money to keep their machine going. At our associational meetings we generally met a host of the begging gentry - for money they must have, or they and their engine would stop. I was more than once advised, by this class, not to preach without pay. One young buck told me, if he could not make a decent living by preaching, he should quit the business and go to work; but preach and work both, he never would! As I have before stated, there was a portion of the ministry that preached the doctrine of election by grace. The first constituted churches, also, held sound, definite articles of faith; and when these Arminian money-hunters came within the bounds of such churches, and such men they had to be very cautious, and never succeeded in effecting much.

   But to confine myself more closely to my own history. After I became a licensed preacher, my old brethren, sound in the faith, gave me every encouragement they could. I soon began to attend the churches within striking distance of me, and to take some part in public service. Occasionally, I would make a tour of some length, with Brother B. Keith. Things passed on in this way for nearly three years, during which time the churches were nearly at a stand-still. There was no in-gathering, of any note, within my range, until the fall of 1837 - when there began to be a manifest moving in the minds of the ministry, and, in the churches. I could, in this place, say much in regard to myself; but I will be brief. Sometime previous to the revival I am about to speak of, my mind became deeply concerned. I would reflect, and wonder if there was not something wrong. From the time I had commenced in public, there had not been anything of a revival, in any of the churches near me. A constant war was kept up against Arminianism, and that was about all the work we had on our hands. I thought the Union church where I lived was the coldest and most insensible of all. I was sometimes even tempted to think it was on my account; and, in my deep depressions of mind, I would often go to the Throne of Grace and beg the Lord to set matters right with us. The night at length passed away. The day broke. The sun of righteousness arose upon Zion, with healing in his rays. The ministry began to sound a sweeter note of the gospel. The children of God became sensitive and tender in their feelings. The congregations became large. Preaching, exhortation, singing and praying was our employment, when together.

   Now began a new epoch in my history. I commenced with the revival and spent the greater part of my time in preaching, during the winter and early portion of the following spring. My range was mostly with the Union, Gilead, Bethel and Rock Creek churches. Gilead was the church of old Elder Cash, some twenty miles from where I lived. Bethel was near by; under the charge of Elder Charles Stutteville and a licensed preacher named Tabb. Rock Creek was the home of Elder Stutteville, some thirty miles from my place of residence. Almost every week, I was where some of the above named churches were receiving and baptising members. Those days will never be forgotten by me; and although some twenty-six years have passed away, I still call to mind the happy moments I enjoyed during that season of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. My course was, in preaching, to dwell mostly on experimental religion, with a description of the plan of salvation by Jesus Christ, all of grace. I mixed much with the young converts; conversed with and tried to comfort the mourner; endeavored to establish and encourage the young believer. I have no doubt but that I manifested much enthusiasm; though, perhaps, more zeal than knowledge. My brethren would sometimes tell me that, but for my speech, I should pass well for an Arminian; but, when I talked, I was always sound on the doctrine of grace. In this way, I soon became very popular with the young converts; - so much so, that they frequently made me ashamed, by gathering around me to talk. If anything occurred to any of them, I must know it. If any one had obtained a hope, or if it was thought somebody was under a conviction, I must know it; until I became uneasy on account of so much familiarity: and often, when congregations would be assembling, I have kept out of the way, to avoid it. After this state of things passed away, some of the old preaching brethren told me they had been uneasy on my account fearing I could not withstand so much flattery; and for this I ought to be thankful to the good Lord, who had kept me sensible of my critical situation.

   In the midst of all this, the church took into consideration the matter of my ordination - I think, at the regular February meeting. I opposed it, on the ground that there was no need for it. There was already a sufficiency of ordained preachers. Besides, by ordaining me, I should be placed in the highest class of the ministry - a sphere to which I did not belong. Therefore, I wished to remain as I was, as promotion would not make me preach any better. There was but little attention paid to my objection, however. The church made an order to call a presbytery, and set the time; and, according to the date of my credentials, I was ordained the first day of March, 1838, by Elders Warren Cash, Jacob Rogers, James Nall and Benjamin Keith. As I have already stated, a number of preachers, in those times, were believers in the doctrine of "Minister Instrumentality." Knowing that Jacob Rogers was one of that class, I will here state a question he asked me, while in the hands of the presbytery, to wit: Did I believe in Instrumentality? I answered in the affirmative, with the explanation that I believed the ministry were instrumental in collecting together materials prepared by the grace of God, and building up churches. But as to regeneration, it was the work of the Holy Spirit, independent of any other power. I name this to show the reader what my views were then; and I have not changed from that since. I did expect, at the time, a difficulty on that ground; but the subject dropped. Passing from the subject of my ordination, I soon found my time all taken up by calls from the churches for attendance. The revival I have been speaking of began to subside; and nothing more occurred of interest for about a year or more.

   I am now about to enter upon a part of my history in which I shall have to trust to my memory in regard to dates, etc., for want of records. I have written for the necessary information; but, as yet, it has not come to hand. The facts of the case, I think I can give correctly. The time had now come for the separation of the conflicting elements that had been so long thrown together. Arminianism, with all its corrupt branches and corrupting influences, had now grown to such a height that it began to have the ascendency in our association. The effort system was getting into full operation. By means of schools for that purpose, they had manufactured quite a number of preachers; and by means of so many preachers, they were holding a great many protracted meetings; and, by the means of the protracted meetings, they were making a great many converts; and, by the means of so many converts, they were building up a great many churches; and, by the means of so many churches, they could get a great amount of money; and, by the means of money, the whole machinery was kept in motion. Now, the real minister of the cross of Christ was many times an object of ridicule, the doctrine of grace was set at nought, and the children of the free woman were often mocked by the Ishmaelitish troops then in the land. Thus it was clearly manifest that a separation was needful. My recollection is in the summer of 1840. The Union church, the home of Brother Keith and myself, took up the subject of a separation; and, after much deliberation, passed an order to this effect: - "That we, the Union church, declare an unfellowship to the articles of the general Union, the modern missionary society, together with all the men-made institutions of the day for religious purposes; believing them unauthorized by the gospel, and without any foundation in scripture. And, as we are constituted on sound, definite articles of faith, with the title of Regular Baptists, we return and adhere to our original order." At the time the church passed the order above named, there were some small objections, but nothing serious. Afterwards, a few broke off. At this time, I was preaching for three Churches, respectively: Little Flock, Sinking Creek and New Hope, while Brother Keith was occupying all the ground he could, also. Of course, when the church of our home passed the act she did, it dissolved all relationship between us and other churches. However, I attended at the regular time of their several meetings, laid my situation before them, and left them to act for themselves. The result was, the Little Flock, by a large majority, went with the Union; the Sinking Creek entire; while the New Hope remained as they were, and dismissed me. The work of separation now began, and did not stop until each got into his own company. In the fall, think some time in October, some seven of those churches met at the Ottercreek church; and, with the aid of Elders Joseph Armstrong, Levi Long and William Stephens, formed what is called the Ottercreek Association of Regular Baptists. The May following, the Association met again with the Union church, where she received considerable additions. We then traveled on smoothly in religious matters, until I left the State of Kentucky; which took place in November, 1841 Thus ended my career with the Baptists of that State.
   I now come to my history in Illinois. In the first place, I will give my reasons for immigrating to this State. We had now nine children; one married, and two or three more nearly grown; while I was penned up on a little farm, not half big enough for myself and boys to work on. Consequently, I was compelled to spend much of my time with my wagon, from home, in order to meet my demands, which, to me, was disagreeable, besides depriving me of the necessary attention at home. My boys were old enough to see our situation, and were much dissatisfied; on which account my wife encouraged me to go where our prospects would be better. And, having a knowledge that in this part of Illinois much of the land was yet vacant, I determined to move thither. Accordingly, in the spring of 1841, I began to make arrangements to that effect, and to sell my little farm where I lived. At length at some sacrifice I effected a sale, but not until October. Late as it was, however, I meant to move that fall. I traded around in haste, soon procured me a suitable wagon, with two yoke of oxen, and a smaller one for the convenience of my family, and was ready to start by the 8th of November. During the time I was arranging my affairs to move, I visited all the churches for the last time, to take my leave of them. Until now, my talking of moving did very well for my brethren and friends to make a jest of, they believing I would not go. But when I had sold out, they found it too true to make a joke of. I now had the opportunity of testing the respect my brethren had for me. I had no doubt that I had their confidence as much as I deserved; but as to my worth in the ministry, I believed they thought of it about as I did myself - a thing of small concern. However, at one of my meetings, after I had sold, a brother came to me and asked the reason of my wanting to move. I told him about as I have written above, and added that if I owned a good ordinary farm for my family to work on, so that they could have some prospect before them, I should not leave the country. He then told me of one that could be had for $1,200, and if I could pay one-third he thought the rest could be made. I saw what he intended, and immediately replied that, though I was poor, and sure that I was worth but little, yet little as I was worth, all Kentucky could not buy me; that I meant to be free, and not place myself under obligations to any people.

   The day before I started on my moving expedition, I preached at my home church, and administered the sacrament. I was now about to take my leave of a people I had lived with in fellowship for twenty years; some of whom had known me from my earliest infancy - a strong body of Baptists that I had the utmost confidence in. The reader can better imagine my sensations of mind than I can tell them. Most of our relations, also, were living around us. These we had to part with. We could look back at what was past, but of what was to come we had no knowledge. However, our wagon being loaded, on the 8th of November, as above stated, we started, and landed in Horse Prairie, Jefferson County, Illinois, on the 20th - being twelve days on the road. Nothing of interest occurred on the way. We now found ourselves among strange people, without house or home; ten in family, and with but little money, just at the approach of winter, and with all our provisions to buy. We could find no place to rent, so I began to look around, and in a few days I bought forty acres of land, second-hand, with a cabin on it, for $150. Still having a little money, I went to the land office and entered forty more. We now owned eighty acres of prairie land, but without one particle of improvement, except the cabin, and that could barely have the name of a shelter; yet we were glad to have done so well. Now, reader, all things considered, you know we had plenty of work to do, and but little time for anything else. We put up a few shanties, out of poles and rails, for the present season. I then paid out what money I had for meat and corn; and we worked a while for some more. Having a supply of provisions, we then commenced making a farm. I had two boys, one in his nineteenth, and the other in his seventeenth year, and I was then in my best days for labor. The result was, by the middle of March we had a field fenced, eighty rods long by seventy-five wide, nine rails high, all new. We still had time to fence a pasture ere plowing time. The reader may judge that we did a good winter's work. In short, we got our land all broke, and planted, in good time - the season being favorable. We had amply sufficient land, and some to spare, without renting a single foot. Worldly matters, so far, therefore, were well enough with us, so I now proceed with religious affairs. When I landed where I now live, I found no church of the Regular Baptist order near me. There were some at a distance; but they were very small. I learned from them, that they had just passed through a sifting similar to the Baptists in Kentucky; and some of them were so badly crippled as to be barely able to keep up church government. They had been imposed upon by a corrupt ministry, some of whom had proved themselves corrupt in morals, as well as in doctrine; and what sound, confidential preachers there were scattered around were preaching but little. In short, matters and things, religiously, looked so gloomy that I hardly knew were to take hold to be safe. However, I commenced trying to preach a little, wherever opportunity offered and time would admit. In this way, I soon found a people like myself in doctrine; but having heretofore been so badly imposed upon, they seemed as shy of me as I was of them. Here was evidently a large field for the gospel, with but little of it cultivated, and I but little time to preach. My first connection with any of the churches was with what is called Nine Mile Prairie, Perry County, some twelve miles from my place of residence. By invitation, I visited them at their April meeting in 1842, where I met a good looking, intelligent, well-behaved congregation. I preached for them three times, and felt more encouraged than I had with any other congregation I had met with in the State. I agreed to attend their next meeting, and returned home with a kind of confidential feeling that I had found a field to work in. As my relation with the Nine Mile Church proved interesting to me, and, I hope, to them also, I will proceed farther with my history in my connection with them. I think, at the time I am now speaking of, the church only numbered ten or eleven members. The second or third time I was with them, I had good reason to believe the Lord, in the power of his spirit, was at work in the church. Sometime that summer a number commenced joining. I visited them, for awhile, twice a month; and preached for them three or four times each visit, while the church continued to grow. This circumstance had the effect to banish all the fears I had entertained of doing wrong in leaving my brethren in Kentucky. I had now reason to believe the Lord was with me here, and was making me a blessing to his children in Illinois. I enjoyed many precious seasons with the brethren and sisters of the Nine Mile Church; and during that revival they continued to increase, until they numbered upwards of forty members - many of them of the best class of citizens. I continued to preach for the Nine Mile Church almost regularly for eight years, during which time I formed an attachment to them, which, I trust, will last until I die.

   I will now return to another part of my history. As I have already stated, when I settled here, there was no church near me. I found a few Baptists, who had moved from other parts a little before, and who were holding letters of dismissal from the Regular Baptists. After holding a number of meetings, and forming an acquaintance, we agreed to be constituted into a church, and request a presbytery for that purpose. All the brethren, except myself, were from Indiana; and, being a little jealous of the order of the Baptists around us, they wished to call a council from where they moved from; but finally agreed to get a part from Indiana, and a part from those who lived near us. The time being set, which was the Saturday before the second Sunday in May, 1842, the following Elders met, to wit: - Louis Duncan and Louis Williams, from Indiana; John Maddox, Achelius Coffey and William Davis, from Illinois; with a number of other brethren. After examination in regard to our order, articles of faith, etc., we were pronounced a legally -constituted Regular Baptist Church, with authority to do business according to the custom and usages of the same. At the time of our constitution, we were nine in number: - four males and five females. We gave our church the name of "Union." Unfortunately, at this meeting, a controversy took place between Elders Maddox and Duncan, in regard to a sentiment held by the former in respect to the character of the law given to man in his primeval order; which discussion was conducted with considerable zeal. This took place the next day after the church was organized, on the stand; and although a matter of no great consequence, as it had no corrupt tendency to any point of doctrine, yet it had a lasting effect upon our little church. At that time, the Salem Association of Indiana was looked upon as the center and standard of the Regular Baptists of this country; and Elders Duncan and Williams were from there. Time passed on, and the controversy was frequently spoken of. The season for associations arrived, and we came to the conclusion not to join anywhere, but stand alone another year; while I still continued to preach and administer, as above stated, at the Nine Mile Church, and occasionally elsewhere, until my brethren at home concluded I was running into disorder, and wished me to dissolve all connection with the Nine Mile and all the rest of the churches among which we lived. This I refused to do, as I found the churches were of the same faith with myself, and my preaching was well received by theme. Besides, my enjoyment with the Nine Mile I was not willing to give up. This produced an unhappy state of things between my brethren and me, and I finally told them if I had to stay, they must make an order to that effect. This they were not willing to do, as it would make them responsible; and I was not willing to stop all connection and correspondence elsewhere, and be confined to the little few at home, as it would place me in an awkward situation as a preacher. So right here, in this uncalled for state of things, we came very near running into an egregious error. We came to the conclusion to break up our constitution ourselves and by our own authority; which would have been gross disorder. In this I acknowledge I was wrong, for I knew it was disorder at the time; but, after mature consideration, and getting some counsel, we agreed to retract our steps, acknowledge our wrongs, and continue as we were; also, that I should have my privilege as a minister elsewhere. Yet our church was not willing to join the Bethel Association among whom we lived.

   In the meantime there was a new association formed, of three small churches that had been dismissed from the old Illinois for that purpose, not far from us. We finally concluded to join them; and in this I thought my situation more consistent, as that association corresponded with the Bethel, the churches with which I was mostly laboring. In this connection we continued some three years, until all fears had subsided, and prejudices had given way, in relation to the above named controversy. We then got a letter of dismissal from thence, and joined the Bethel Association. Now, all this time, and for some two years longer, our church - the Union - was at about a stand-still. We had not, in the whole time of about seven years, received more than two or three members by experience. The churches in this part of the State, with the exception of the Nine Mile, were generally in a cold or lukewarm condition, during the first seven years of my residence in Illinois; and there was but very little preaching within my range of distance, except what I did. I remember sometimes passing three and four months together without seeing a Regular Baptist preacher. At length the news reached me that, in the bounds of the Muddy River Association, there was a revival in a number of the churches. This news created an anxiety in me to visit there, as it was not very far. I was not long in making an arrangement for a tour among them, in company with my much-esteemed Brother Archelius Coffey. As I have had considerable acquaintance with this man, I will here remark that Elder Coffey is one of the leading preachers of the Muddy River Association; possessing a deep, penetrating mind; sound and uniform in his judgment and habits; not easily excited; cool and rather slow in his manner of address. Consequently, when he speaks, he is almost sure to say something worthy of note. He is now an old man; but few of his years have so few blemishes of character. We set off about the lst of February, for a two weeks tour or more. The weather was very cold, and traveling bad; but we made all our appointments, and had some interesting meetings. We found many warm hearts - made so, I trust, by the love of God; so that, upon the whole, our little campaign was very interesting to me, I hand I love to think of it yet. Our time being up, I was on my way home, riding alone some seven or eight miles to reach my place, musing on the past, and the happy condition of the people among whom I had been, when, all of a sudden, my mind seized on the state of religion at home, the death-like state of the church, the insensibility of my neighbors, and the length of time I had been preaching there without any visible effect. It did seem that every power of my inmost sensations was reached, while I tried to pour out my soul in sighs and groans to Almighty God to remember us. I reached home with a burdened mind. This I think was on Tuesday. From that time until Sunday my mind was in travail. I would often retire to myself, and try to pour out my desire to the Lord in prayer that he would remember us in mercy. On Saturday and Sunday our church meeting was held. Things passed off as usual on Saturday. On Sunday, after I had been preaching some half an hour from the l4th, 15th and l6th verses of the 89th Psalm, as I entered on the subject of the 15th verse, and commenced speaking of the people that knew the joyful sound, it seemed to me that my soul was fired with the spirit of the Gospel; my mind was at full liberty in its range on the subject, while my speech was such that every word seemed to fasten on the congregation, and the impression was manifest in the greater portion of the people present. Our meeting being over, on our return home, thinking on the occurrences of the day, hope seemed to spring up in my mind that it was the foreboding of better times, and I mentioned to my wife that I believed the Lord was about to change the condition of our church. Perhaps I also mentioned at the time something of the feeling I have just spoken of. In this I was not disappointed. At our April meeting, we began to receive members by experience, and, by the time the association met in September, we had an addition of fifteen. We reported only ten in all the year before. Now, brother preacher, can you imagine my feelings at the prosperity of this church? My home, where I had been laboring for more than seven years without success in building up a church, had undergone some severe trials; and I was ready, at times, to give it up as a hopeless case. I would think the Lord had not only remembered the people, but me also. We continued to grow in numbers, gradually, until we reached some forty or more. In this place, I will mention another change that took place with the rise of the church. When I came here, the Methodists had entirely the lead in my neighborhood. A little to one side, the Campbellites were converting people to their faith by scores. Of course, to use a homespun phrase, "I was nowhere." Almost any of our little cabins would hold our congregations, in the best of weather. As soon as the Lord began to pour out his spirit upon his people, and grace commenced its reign in the hearts of sinners, the people began to flock together. In a short time, I could get more hearers than any of them. The consequence was, the Methodists began to dwindle; and the Campbellites, as a circumstance common to them, died a natural death. As I have said in a former page that I was almost alone the first seven or eight years in this part of the country, I will here mention that, about the time of the revival I have just been speaking of, Brother Moses Neal began to preach, and also to attend the most of our monthly meetings; and though his public exercises were very short, yet he was a great help to me; and, in matters touching discipline, I was willing to give him the preference. I will here take the liberty of making a few remarks about my much esteemed Brother Neil. From the time above mentioned, he became quite a regular companion of mine in the ministry; very punctual to his promises, possessing more than ordinary zeal, with a strong mind, quick of apprehension, and well posted in doctrine, he had the confidence generally of all who know him as a disciplinarian. Being a man of mature age, he grew fast as a preacher, and soon became of note as a public man. Naturally resolute and inclined to work in the lead, I soon got him ahead of me; while I felt quite safe with such a man, except a little cringing now and then lest his zeal might lead him too far. While on the subject of preachers, I will mention one more - Elijah T. Webb, who was also a young preacher about the time of Brother Neal's first setting out. He differed widely from the other in disposition – being rather timid, generally much reserved, very cautious in speaking, and more willing for others to speak than himself. He governed his passions well, and carried in his deportment a show of humility; perhaps a little lacking in zeal and energy, but possessing a liberal education, and, when in good gear, a very interesting preacher. He was excelled by but few; having the confidence of his brethren as much as any of them, and with but few enemies. This man is also a very common companion of mine; so that for the last fourteen or fifteen years, I have been connected with two very worthy brethren in the ministry, and occasionally with others of a similar class.

   The Bethel Association, about the year 1850, enlarged her correspondence, regained what she lost during her former difficulties in getting rid of her Arminian missionary burden, and soon became noted as a strong body of Baptists, both in discipline and in ministry, by our corresponding associations. Religious matters and church affairs now moved on in harmony and good order, from 1850 to 1857, without anything of note occurring. But at length, in the latter year, as near as I can recollect (if I am wrong, others can correct me, should this be read by the public), there was evidently some zeal manifested by the church members and others in attending all our meetings for worship, in spite of bad weather; and it became quite common for large companies of the brethren and sisters of different churches to meet in turn with churches abroad. During the space of two or three years, I often thought, and do still, that I knew what it was for God’s children to sit together, in heavenly places, in Christ. We now had every encouragement to preach Christ, and Him crucified, to the multitudes. If I am not deceived, in those times I often realized it as sweet employment to hold up Jesus as every way suited to our salvation. The result was, that a general in-gathering commenced in most of the churches of the northern boundary of the Bethel association; and frequently, for weeks together, I was somewhere hearing God's children testify of his goodness and mercy to them. While I am writing this, I almost fancy I see the countenances of my brethren and sisters shine while their souls are feasting on the fullness of the gospel of the blessed God, or the tears of contrition roll down their cheeks; each hearing testimony to the work of the Holy Spirit. In this revival, which seemed to differ in some respects from others, there were many valuable accessions made to the churches. Men of strong minds, and of note and influence as citizens, joined the Regular Baptists; and some joined who soon commenced preaching. Also, as our national difficulties accumulated, the old Baptists, so called, became more noted and respected by the Conservative National party, known as the Democracy of our country. It was equally manifest that all other religious denominations, together with all sectional political parties, showed more ambition, and hatred to the church of Christ, than at any time before, since I can remember. But those days of spiritual blessings, in heavenly places, have passed sway; and while I now look back, and call to mind the many evidences of God's love and divine presence that were so marvelously displayed to his children, I am made to believe it was preparatory to what was to follow. Our Heavenly Father, always mindful of his people, and knowing what his afflicted Zion would soon have to pass through, blessed them previously with a sweet calm and a visitation of his smiles. May we, brethren, never forget the bountiful dealings of God, in his divine love for us. And while I call to mind the sore trials I have had, and still have, with matters and things I stand closely connected with, and of which I cannot yet see the end, I feel that I ought to adore and praise the worthy name of my dear Redeemer for his unspeakable goodness to me in days gone by. Although I am now, and have been for two years past, sailing on a boisterous ocean, and my heart has many times felt as if it must burst with grief and sink with despair, yet, just in time, I have looked back to some of those pleasant seasons, and have asked myself, Have I not experienced God's love and mercy? Surely, I have beyond a doubt. If he loved me then, he loves me still. Then, hope revived, and I was able to realize a little strength.
   I now purpose to give a condensed history of the last three years of my life, in detail. The first sore affliction was the loss of my wife. As I have nowhere spoken of the circumstances of her death, I will give I an account of it in this place. She contracted an affection of the lungs some fifteen years before her death; and although she had a shortness of breath and more or less a cough, yet otherwise she enjoyed tolerable health until about the last two years of her life, when she became a subject to bad spells in the spring and fall. I tried hard to effect a cure, and spent a great deal, for several years, to that end, until I became convinced it could not be done. We then kept such medicines as we found by experience to be the best relief for the lungs, In the summer of l860, it became manifest that her lungs were consuming, and she began to sink under the disease; and, from the 1st of July to the 5th of October, at which time she died, I never left her bedside without some faithful person taking my place. I fully anticipated her death before hand, but having every confidence that, when she was done suffering here, she would be at rest forever, I became in a certain sense reconciled. Feeling sure, from the nature of the disease, she had to die. I felt it my duty to try to make her as comfortable, both in body and mind, as I could. I therefore gave her my constant attention; - and, when the spirit left the body, I felt so sure that she had gone to rest with Him who had died for her sins, and rose again for her justification, that I considered her condition as being a thousand times better than my own. Often have I thought, when in the midst of my late troubles, that the Lord in his mercy had taken her from the storm just ready to burst in an overwhelming torrent upon us. But I was left alone. The object of my earthly happiness had fled. She who had been my bosom companion, and faithful sharer in all the vicissitudes of life was no more. But few of my readers can enter into my feelings with me. None but those who have experienced a similar it trial. I can never forget the gloomy sensation of mind I often had in the twilight of the evening, as I would retire from the business of the day; or on my way to or from my meetings. No one to unburden my mind to; no one to share in my joys or sorrows. I had long loved my home better than any other place, and was most happy there. This was not the case now. I was dissatisfied and lost, at home and abroad. I resolved to break up housekeeping, dispose of a portion of my property, and live with my children the balance of my days. Although I had always been a strong advocate for a married life, I thought I was too old for that now. I therefore carried my plans into effect; sold off what I did not want for immediate use, and tried to reconcile myself to my fate for the first six months. And although my children and all my friends treated me kindly, I could not be satisfied to live in this way. I had too long been accustomed to having a home of my own.

   I will now give an account of my second marriage. During about three years of the latter part of my first wife's lifetime, my present wife, then the Widow M'Kee, lived about one half mile distant from us; an old Baptist, very motherly, much disposed to religious conversation and quite a favorite of ours. She had moved away, a few months before my wife died, to a distance of fifteen miles from where we lived; and we but seldom saw her. However, about five months after I had been left a widower, I met the old lady at the Salem Church, twenty miles from where I lived, a place I frequently attended, and although I was as glad to see her as I ever was in my life, yet I treated her with more indifference than usual, for two reasons. One was, I was now a widower, and was sure to be watched in all my actions; the other was, that I had determined to live single the rest of my life. Well, time passed away for some three months more, when I met her again, at the same place. I well recollect my feelings when I saw her. I was sitting in the pulpit, just before preaching, fronting the door, when she came in; and, not having seen her for so long a time, had I not been a I widower, I should have met her immediately - feeling more attached than ever. I felt as if I wanted to express my attachment to her, but did not do so. From that time, I began to contemplate the idea of making our old favorite my wife. And now commenced my trial. I was in my sixty-second year, my children were all grown and married, but one; and I felt ashamed to let them know I had any thoughts of marrying again. I also feared it would affect my standing in the church; but in this I was directly relieved by some of my confidential brethren, who advised me for my own happiness, to follow the course my mind was leading, even before they had any knowledge of my intentions.  My worldly concerns all worked favorably; and I began to arrange matters to the desired end, before I had ever said one word to her who was to be my wife. Well, by this time three months more had passed away. I again left my home to attend the Salem Church meeting, with the intention of seeing the widow, and having an interview with her before I returned. In this I was very lucky. I met with the opportunity without seeking for it. I will here briefly state that, when I made the proposal to her to become my wife, I did it with as much confidence and seriousness of mind as if I were going to preach a discourse to a thousand people. My proposition was accepted with about the same sober, candid firmness. Our agreement was, that in two months I was to go after her, and she was to become my wife. We did not know that we should have an opportunity of seeing each other in the meantime; but circumstances were such that we met twice. According to our contract, on the Saturday before the first Sunday in November, 1861, I called at her place of residence. All necessary arrangements being made, we took a buggy-ride together to the above named Salem Church, taking Elder Moses Neal's in the way, before whom we publicly pledged ourselves to each other for life; when I again went to meeting, with my wife. Since that time, all the enjoyment I have had had, in a great measure, been with my second companion. Her age suits me; her natural disposition suits me, and better than all, her Christian deportment is a comfort to my mind. I think I can honestly say, before my supreme Judge, that it was her trait of character which induced me to seek a union with her. And here I will remark that I often thought, both while I was a widower and since have married again, that I was kept from the shameful, unbecoming course of conduct acted out by many. I thank the good Lord that He gave me such grace and proper balance of mind that I never once imagined I was young, and wanted a young wife: Nothing is more disgusting to me than to see an old, gray-headed, infirm man dashing about, showing a disposition to seek a young companion. I have no doubt God disposed both male and female to incline to each other; but I cannot believe he ever was the author of such inequality and confusion as generally occur in such unequal matches. 

   I will now proceed with that portion of my history which has been, and is, the most distressing and heart-rending of my whole life. First, this unnatural, unholy, barbarous, and almost savage war. Although I bad, for a number of years, to a certain extent, anticipated the approach of the state of things we are now suffering; yet there is a train of events connected with the war that I had not imagined would be altogether of the character now manifested. Be it remembered, that the ministry of the Primitive or Regular Baptiste, for many years - even ever since the great missionary scheme, together with its many auxiliary branches, had been put in motion, and the unscriptural doctrines and practices taught by the Combined-Effort power - seeing the influence it was having upon the human family, have been warning the church and all the people of the final result; which was, that as soon as those false principles were inculcated sufficiently into the minds of the public, the object would be to overthrow the government and place themselves in power.  I will here give some declarations which I made a good while ago-- and there are living witnesses who can testify to the fact - that have since  come to pass as I had believed they would, as fully as if I at that time had witnessed the whole transaction. Some sixteen or eighteen years ago - I believe - at any rate, it was the time the Methodists held their national conference in the city of Louisville, Kentucky, and split `asunder North and South upon the subject of slavery. I was on my way to Kentucky, and stopped at an old friend's house, where I saw the "Louisville Journal" a well-known paper, which contained the minutes of the above named conference; and then and there I learned the difficulty and separation of the Northern and Southern Methodists. As I was traveling on my way, my mind was occupied with the subject of what the result would be, when so large a body of religious people as the Methodist denomination fell out, and divided on a political question; and having some knowledge of the national strife and jealousy already existing between the North and South, in regard to slavery, I began to reason on so momentous a matter in this way: The Methodists are a numerous body of religious people; their doctrine and principles are taught in every State and Territory in the whole nation; and in addition to this, they have a large book concern, and the control of a great amount of money; have a great many learned men at the head of the society, and in a word they possess every element to make them popular and wield an extensive influence over the nation. Possessing somewhat of an aversion to slavery, religiously, and being now cut loose from their Southern brethren, they would have no check, but would put their whole strength to bear on the Abolition subject; and, of course, add largely to the strife already manifest between the two sections. Besides, in addition to the Methodists, there were some other denominations bearing to the same point; while it was but natural to conclude that the branch whose lot was cast in the South would inculcate Southern rights, and oppose their Northern brethren with the same zeal. While in contemplation, my mind became seriously impressed in regard to the consequences; and believing the time was near at hand, when the second beast spoken of in the 13th chapter of Revelations, would have his reign, and exercise the authority of the first - which never could be done without law power - I concluded the signs of the times bespoke danger. As I journeyed on through the State of Indiana, I passed by Elder Joel Hume's, and gave him a call. While there, I related what I had seen on my way of the bursting up of the Methodists; and remarked, that if he and I lived to be as old as some of our fathers, we should see our national government destroyed and hear the roar of the second beast, and see him exercise all the authority of the first. At this Brother Hume looked at me earnestly, and said "Do you believe that?" I answered in the affirmative. He then remarked that he also believed it; but did not know till then that any one else did. I will give one more case. After the election for President, in 1856, I remarked to several of my neighbours who are now living and will remember the circumstance - that they had better enjoy all they could under the present Democratic administration, for in four years more the Abolitionists would carry the election; when our nation would be divided, war would follow as a consequence, and we should be ruined. My remark, at the time was treated with contempt; but I insisted that it would be so. They asked the reason why I thought so; when I answered, in my usual homespun way, that the machinery which had been shaping the minds of voters to that end for many years was still in full blast, and we might be sure that they who worked it would not let their fires die out after so much encouragement - meaning the Antichristian powers that were seeking to control the government. In this my neighbours are bound to acknowledge I was a true prophet.
   I might name many more cases in which my brethren and myself have been declaring; but all unheeded. Not that we make any pretensions to being prophets; but we do profess to know something of prophecy. I might also cite letters that I have written to my friends, years before this rebellion broke out, in which I spoke of the same thing. But enough has been said to show that this great epoch of time in the, world's history, with all the horrors, distresses and calamities we are now suffering, has not come upon us altogether unexpected by myself and many of my brethren in the ministry, though in some particulars I have been deceived. In the first place, I never once supposed that a nation so well informed, so enlightened, so cultivated in civil and religious morality, and raised up under so mild a government, as the United States of America, would, in so short a time, lose so much of their moral virtue, and evince such a tendency to barbarism and despotism, as at the present day. Secondly; I had fancied that the Primitive or Regular Baptists would be a unit on the occasion, having been so often warned of the approaching crisis, and so well informed in regard to Antichrist and all the institutions and organizations set up by them for religious purposes, in order to draw the world after them; that all the ministry would have to do would be to say: "What we have so often predicted is now upon us," and all would have acknowledged it. But, to my great sorrow and deep distress of mind, more than I have suffered from any one thing from my youth upwards, I find I am mistaken. And were I to deny what I have heretofore said, and say it was not true now it has come, all would know I was a liar, for the testimony is before them, and they could not possibly believe any other. Thirdly; I never thought, before this unnatural strife commenced, that I should ever hear myself called disloyal, or a rebel to my government; but, to my grief, I have to bear this too, while I am conscious that it is a base slander; for I stand justified before God that I have not designedly or knowingly, at any time, opposed my government, nor wronged a single individual. I challenge the world to show an instance when or where I ever did!

   Now, dear reader, what would you have me do? Whether you be friend or foe, if you be honest yourself, you certainly would not want me to speak otherwise than as I have. We all know our laws are not administered according to the government of the nation. The Constitution, the supreme law of the land, is violated; and we are fast tending towards despotism and ruin. In many places, the honest, God-fearing part of the community is deprived of both civil and religious liberty; and already our brethren from other portions of our once highly favored and happy country come to us again and again with the news that they are forbid to assemble congregations to worship Almighty God in the manner their conscience dictates. Come, let us reason together. Is it wrong to sympathize with suffering humanity? Can you make treason of it? I have a beloved son now in the army, who has left a young and helpless family behind, in very limited circumstances, and they are hourly in dread least they should hear of his death. This is only one case out of tens of thousands. Many, very many, are already dead, and their families suffering for the necessaries of life; while many more are driven from their homes. Helpless women and children, robbed of the last scrap of everything to sustain life, are driven out of doors to perish, without shelter or subsistence; but who cannot be otherwise than innocent of the crimes for which they are suffering. Now, whoever dare speak in this wise is denounced as a rebel, as a Southern sympathizer, and as a traitor who deserves hanging; and some of the so-called religious folks declare an unfellowship with all such men. I cannot help contrasting the religion of such people with that of my dear Redeemer. I do believe I am truly thankful to the good Lord that I have an evidence that I possess something of the spirit of Him who came into the world, and suffered for his enemies that they might be happy.

   Before this great national calamity, I had some enjoyment with all my children. If I visited them, they seemed glad to see me; while I was proud of the harmony existing between myself and them, and they with each other. But, very soon, our views began to clash. As a consequence, discord followed instead of union. In some instances, my family connection is exactly the reverse of what it was at the commencement. Why so, neither they nor I can tell. Now, with me, this state of things causes great sorrow. No man, perhaps living or dead, could have watched over his children with more intense anxiety than I have done, from their infancy to their maturity; and now to be spoken of by any of them as an enemy is a distress to my mind, which, with some other misfortunes connected with my family, but over which I had no control, came well nigh sinking me into despair. I might add much more that has befallen me of late, and which has had a tendency to bear me down; but I forbear. Reader, you can little guess the anguish of soul I have sometimes endured. Often, I have been so overcome that I have left my house and wandered into the woods to some lonesome place to present my distracted, despairing mind before the Lord. While these different scenes of trouble were accumulating, or rather were heaped upon me at once, I have often thought I must sink. In meditating upon my troubles, I have often caught myself standing alone, gazing around as though looking for relief. I have spent many restless hours upon my sleepless bed; while the enquiry would naturally arise in my mind, "O Lords why am I thus afflicted?" All this I have had to bear alone. My brethren seldom come to see me; and if at any time I named anything of my trials to them, they would make light of it, as if it were a matter of no great consequence. I have kept my situation as much concealed from my wife as possible - her disposition being one that trouble easily overcomes; and tried to be cheerful in her presence, least I should destroy her happiness.

   Now, while all this has been going on, I have kept myself in regular attendance at our stated meetings, and taken my turn with the brethren in preaching. To my astonishment, I often thought I had more liberty, as a general thing, than at any period of my life before. However, I will leave that to the judgment of others; but this I do know: I never felt more sensibly the weight of truth, or the great importance of telling it. And now, while I am writing, my mind reverts to times when I do believe my soul had a feast while I was preaching to others. I would sometimes grow bold, and say things about Antichrist that made some hearers angry, and caused them to say bitter things about me and my preaching. Those evidences, from time to time, of the Lord's divine presence, oh! how precious to my poor tempest-tossed mind! In this manner, having obtained the help of the Lord, I continue to this day.
   I will now conclude with an explanation of some things alluded to in the foregoing; particularly in regard to the second Beast. Before I proceed, I will first notice the two Witnesses, spoken of in the eleventh chapter of Revelations, who were to have power to prophesy a thousand two hundred and three score days, clothed in sack-cloth. These, said the Angel to John, are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of earth - referring to Zachariah, chap. 4. As to what or who these two witnesses are, men may differ in opinion. Wiser heads than mine have considered them to be the Word and the Spirit; and as that seems to me the best idea I can get, I shall adopt it. The teaching of God's spirit, in its operation upon the hearts of his children, in connection with the Gospel; running parallel together, conveying the grace of God to the hearts of his children, like the golden oil that soothes their sorrows, and heals the wounds that sin has made; while they can behold God as just, and the justifier of all who believe in Jesus. We will now pass on to the 12th chapter. There we behold two great wonders, both of which are in heaven; one, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and a crown of twelve stars upon her head; and she, being with child, etc.; the second was a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns. Now, reader, is it not strange that such an ugly monster should be in heaven? But we will suppose the heaven here spoken of to be the church, in a militant state; and the devil, much as he hates the woman - the bride of Jesus, is trying to get into the organized kingdom with her. In this case, it seemed, his object was to destroy her offspring; and as his name indicates "Destroyer," I suppose that to be his object in trying to connect himself with the kingdom of God. As I am under the necessity of being very brief, lest I make this article too long, we will pass on. Next we see of the woman, is her flight into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared for her by God, who was to feed her a thousand two hundred and three score days - the time mentioned concerning the prophesying of the two witnesses. The next view John obtained was of a war in heaven - still showing the dragon to be there. Michael, the Prince of Peace, and his angels or ministers fighting against the devil and his angels or ministers. The result was, that the devil was cast out into the earth, where, it seems, he was to have great power; although his wrath was mostly directed against the woman, who had taken her flight into the wilderness, while he engaged in making war against the remnant of her seed.

   While I am writing this, my mind runs back to the reign of the first beast. When I see the pure gospel church in the valley of Piedmont propagating the doctrine of Jesus to the congregations assembled there, and administering the ordinances according to the true pattern; my mind is then led to take a view of the reign of Popery; the many edicts, issued against the children of God, still found in different countries; their being hunted down and put to death for no other crime than believing the truth, and opposing Antichrist. This is what I understood to be the war against the remnant of her seed. I now come to the first beast (Revelations, chap. 13) that John saw rise up out of the sea, with all his heads and horns, spotted as a leopard, with feet as strong and destructive as a bear's, with a mouth like a lion's, and who makes all tremble before him. Whoever looks into the history of the reign of Antichrist, in those days, will be forcibly struck with the description here given of the beast. Here, it seems, the dragon gave him his power, and seat, and great authority. No wonder the world wondered after such a beast, and worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast, and worshipped the beast, too; and concluded there was none like unto the beast, and none able to make war against him. And he could speak great things, and blasphemies. And power was given him to continue forty and two months. Now, reader, just stop and multiply 42 by 30 - the number of days in a month - and you will have 1,260, the precise number of days the two witnesses were to prophesy, and also the precise number of days the woman was to dwell in the wilderness. Now, this beast was to make war with the saints, and overcome them; and power was given him over all nations; and they were all to worship him, whose names were not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Thank God, that He has always reserved unto Himself a seed that will serve Him; and that He sustains them by his divine grace, although they suffer.

   We will now go back to the conception of the first beast, and take a look at him in infancy, or rather in embryo. Until the reign of Constantine the Great, the church suffered persecution from Pagan powers. When Constantine conquered his rival, and ascended the throne, about A.D. 300, he was acknowledged universal Emperor. According to Jones's Church History, he was the first Emperor who professed the Christian religion; and he now went to work to Christianize the world. He declared the Christian religion should be universal; had houses of worship erected every where, and bishops ordained to occupy them, with fixed salaries to sustain them; in a word, there was nothing wanting. A well-organized plan was set on foot to convert the world; and a decree issued to demolish all the heathen temples, destroy their images, and compel the heathen priests to renounce their worship. Now, reader, you need not expect to find the true church of Christ here. She had been partially separated fifty years before the time of Constantine, in consequence of the corruptions of both clergy and laity; and now the decrees of the Emperor gave the finishing stroke. The flood-gates of error and worldly honor were now thrown open, and the torrent let in upon the Christian church. In consequence, the real disciple of Jesus Christ could no longer live in such a communion; the true minister of the gospel could not work with such an ungodly multitude as the clergy of the established religion soon proved themselves to be; so we find them separated to themselves, a persecuted few. Difficulties and discords of every kind arose among the ministry of the established religion, and council after council was held to settle disputes; yet the work of Christianizing still went on. In order to ensure this, children were obliged to be taught the doctrine of Christ at an early age, and were afterwards baptised; which, in those days, according to the best authenticated histories, was performed by immersion. Finally, baptism was declared to be a saving ordinance; and hence arose infant baptism. Thus the established religion grew more and more corrupt, until (A.D. 606), in order to stop further disputes among the clergy, they created a Pope, and gave to him authority over the whole. This is what I understand to be the man of sin, spoken of by Paul. And although the mystery of iniquity, according to the apostolic writings, was at work in their day, yet it was in its infancy, or rather in a rude, unshapen state. It continued to grow and mature, however, until all its parts were fully developed; when the let or hindrance then spoken of by the apostle was removed, and the man of sin revealed. Thus, we see him set up as an object of worship in the temple of God - assuming the power of God. The beast has now come up out of the sea. We understand the devil to be a spirit invisible; but here we see a human being, possessing all the disposition and attributes of the devil - for the dragon gave him power, and seat, and great authority - clothed with power to persecute and destroy whatever comes in his way. I need say no more. All will know how to apply the first beast, who was none other than the church of Rome - the whore of Babylon - with the Pope at the head.

   After John had looked well at the first beast, and watched his devilish career, he saw another beast, rising out of the earth, who had two horns, like a lamb. No doubt, at first sight, he did not appear so very horrible - having a lamb-like appearance. But when he speaks, he is like a dragon; and he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth, and them that dwell therein, to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders; and rnaketh fire come down from heaven, in the sight of men; and deceiveth them by reason of those miracles. And them that dwell on the earth must make an image to the first beast; and he had power to give life to the image; and that the image should speak. And as many as would not worship the image, should be killed. And, in order to make sure work, he must have all his worshippers marked; and no man is to buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. I should like to give myself a little more latitude in the above citation of scripture; but my limits will not admit of it. Now, reader, where is the commentator who has undertaken to show and apply this second beast? Nothing of importance has been said about it, until recently. Some few allusions have been made; but they are very limited, compared with the magnitude of the subject. We all look back with horror at the diabolical reign of the first beast; the innocent sufferers by imprisonment, banishment, confiscation, sword, faggot, torture, rack, gibbet - in a word, every thing cruel and heartrending that could be invented by the devil and his ministers to destroy the church of Christ. Yet, according to John's vision, all this has to be endured again, under the reign of the second beast. I will ask. Is it not essential for us to keep on our watch, lest the monster be upon us, and we unprepared to meet the crisis?

   I now purpose showing some of the features of the second beast, which, I believe, are fast developing themselves, and even beginning to exercise a portion of his power. Should this ever become public, it may give offence to a great portion of the religious world. If so, I cannot help it. But, I hope, reader, you will be patient. It is not my intention to injury any one; but to show the truth. First, then, as regards the image. You will recollect that, in preparing the way for the first beast, the world had to be Christianized. If we go back thirty or forty years before the present date, we shall find a plan devised for the conversion of the world. The missionary organization professed to have that object; but how was that to be done? Why, by means of a general dissemination of the gospel and distribution of the scriptures amongst all the nations of the earth. At first sight, this plan had the appearance of being a benevolent enterprise; but when we see the arrangements for carrying it out, we can find neither precept nor example, anywhere in the scriptures, justifying the plan or practice of the modern missionary society. The first thing to be done, according to the above arrangement, was to multiply a vast number of preachers. This great host of preachers had to be qualified; and, instead of looking to the Lord, and depending on Him for the necessary gifts, we see them applying to seminaries of learning; and, after being qualified in that way, they must have a salary, or they will not preach at all; and, when sent out to foreign countries, they must have a heavy outfit, or they could not go. This gave rise to the Board of Foreign Missions; and we all know it will take any amount of money to carry that plan into effect. Now, all this, they say, is the work of the Lord; though they will acknowledge that if it were not for the money, the whole plan would fall through. Every one must have his salary, or stop preaching. Hence, their call to preach is where the most money is. Stop the money, and their call ceases. Now, reader, can you find anything justifying such a mode of procedure within the whole scope of Revelation? I know you cannot. Go back to the days of Constantine, and you will find an example. Next come the home missions. Every side and corner, and destitute neighborhood must have preaching; by which a great number of souls will be saved that otherwise would be lost. Stop the money, and the preaching stops; and the sinner must go to hell. Is it not plain to every candid mind that he is saved by money? The New Testament tells us sinners are saved by grace, and that the blood of Christ cleanses from all sin. Hence, the mission plan is not found there. Where, then, is it found? Why, refer to church history, to the formation of the first beast; there you will see the antetype. Again, look at the sunday-schools. In preparing the way for the first beast, they must have teachers for their children, so as to Christianize them almost in infancy, and fit them for baptism. Now, go into a sunday-school, examine the books and tracts deposited there for the children to read, and listen to the instruction given to them, and if you do not see the image of the first beast, I shall conclude that you are near sighted or quite blind. I speak advisedly, for was once superintendent of a sunday-school myself, and I know there were sentiments expressed in those books quite averse to the scriptures and to eternal truth. I have heard them boast, in their periodicals, of the number of children they have converted in a year by means of sunday-schools. I suppose that a number of little boys and girls are taught to say they love God; that they love good people and want to go to heaven, etc., and this was called their experience; Do you not see the image? I think it is very plain. I remember, some years ago, hearing expressions like this: "If we had the means (meaning the money), we would stretch a gospel ordinance around a perishing world, and save it.” Again: "Give us the money, and we will place the scriptures in every family, and have them translated into every language under the sun, and thereby bring about the millenium." Could we have believed them, we might have fancied that the angel was on his way, or soon would be, with the big chain that was to bind the old serpent for a thousand years.

   Now, let us stop and look at the condition of the world, just as it is - especially of this once happy nation - and ask the question: What have they done? Is this the millenium they have produced? I answer, Yes; just such a one as the servants of God contemplated would follow. Go to the history of the formation of the first beast, and you will see the likeness between the two as complete and full as circumstances would admit. In the case of the first beast, the means were raised by law power; hence the fierceness of his look, in the second, we hear the cry from the hypocritical leaders: "Benevolence! Oh, the benevolent institutions must be sustained! They were gotten up for religious purposes. See how much good they have done this year; how many precious souls we have saved! Give us your money, and we can do as much more, next year." If I may be allowed, I will relate a circumstance that occurred some years ago, between an agent for the bible society in Shawneetown and myself. I happened to be in the land office there, when the agent entered and said to me: "I am soliciting donations for the bible society, one of' the most benevolent institutions in the world. Now, if you want to do a charitable deed, and place your name high in the records of fame in the kingdom of heaven, contribute your five or ten dollars." I was not long in letting him know that I understood his swindle, and had detected him in his hypocritical blasphemy; whereupon he fell into a rage, declared I was an infidel, and left the room.

   I relate the above in order to show their intrigues to obtain money from the simple and unsuspecting, by making them believe that, by so doing, they will obtain heaven. Whoever looks into church history will see that the same blasphemous course was resorted to by the clergy, in the formation of the first beast. Thus we see the mildness of the lamb and the blasphemy of the dragon at the same time. Well, according to their own reports, in one way or another, they got money by thousands; and one of the chief reasons for its being so freely given was in consequence of the miracles they have power to work. Reader, did you ever see them, as I have, at their big meetings, command fire to come down from heaven upon the multitudes; while we see them stricken down, many of them apparently limber, almost breathless? Scores of conversions are made in this way; and, while all are wondering and amazed at the mighty work, they take up a collections I do not wish to be understood as giving all the honor to any particular denomination. We see the same plan carried out by the most wealthy daughters of the old Mother of Harlots. Do you suppose, reader, that the church of Christ is to be found in such a motley, mongrel stock of folks as the above? If so, you are widely mistaken. It is not there; and never was. Some of God's precious children may be there; but it is to them the command was given; "Come out of her, my people, ye that partake not of her sins, that ye receive not of her plagues."

   I might say much more in connection with the above, but my limits forbid. I will, therefore, now come a little closer to the slaying of the two witnesses that were to prophesy a thousand two hundred and three-score days, clothed in sackcloth. Remember, as has already been shown, it was the same length of time as the reign of the first beast, and also the same length of time the woman was to dwell in the wilderness. Let us look around, and then let our minds go back a little and see the war waged against the witnesses. If the salvation of sinners depends upon means and money, it does not depend upon the blood of Christ. If sinners are born again by reason of protracted meetings, it is not, of course, by the spirit of God, as Jesus preached. Thus we see the clergy assuming to themselves the power and honor of doing what nothing can do, but the spirit and power of God alone. Now, when God's ministers preach that the spirit of God prepares sinners to dwell with him, and that grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ, without means or money, they make themselves subjects of ridicule and persecution, and all manner of evil is spoken of them. The nearer the slaying of the witnesses, the hotter the war; and oh, how glad they would be if these old ironside tormentors, who trust alone in the power of God and are so tenacious of his word, were only out of the way. Well, I think it will not be long before they get the reins of government into their own hands, and rule politically as well as religiously, when they will soon put a stop to the testimony of the two witnesses. The view I entertain of this subject is this: According to history, as already shown, in A.D. 606 the first Pope was created. Now, allow each prophetic day to be a year, and add to 606 the time of prophecy, 1,260, and we have precisely 1866 - the year close at hand. No wonder that some of the armed forces have already begun to show their authority, in various parts of the country, in forbidding God's ministers to preach. Formerly, under our government, every religious denomination was protected in the right to propagate whatever doctrine it pleased, and to worship in any form it chose. Hence, the church of God was safe under our republican institutions, which, before Antichrist can rule, must be overthrown, and a new government set up, under the influence of the Antichristian ministry. Now, when I look at the course of the reverend clergy during the past few years in taking such an active part in the government of the nation, particularly during the present administration, I naturally enquire, What have they effected? The answer is: The Constitution has been disregarded, the habeas corpus act suspended, a trial by jury denied, and military or martial law declared throughout the land. And then, to behold the vast number of clergy, perhaps a large portion justifying, if not aiding, seems to me as though our liberties were almost gone. And, since this battle has begun, we have seen a vast number of the so-called ministers of the gospel leaving their flocks, and going into the army as officers, sword in hand - not the sword of the spirit, but the sword that shed blood - perhaps to spill the lives of their brethren. To my mind, it seems clear that the man called of God to take charge of his flock, to feed it with the sincere milk of his word, would never be induced to forsake the gospel and voluntarily fall in with such a contradictory state of things. The religion of our dear Redeemer is not a religion of blood. Again, history gives us no account of such vast armies, such a useless waste of human life, and such a general scene of discord, distress and confusion as now exists since the rise and the early part of the reign of the first beast. But enough, on the subject of the image.

   It is said, when the witnesses have finished their testimony, the beast from the bottomless pit is to make war with them, and overcome them, and slay them - that is, stop their testifying; and their dead bodies are to lie in the streets of the great city spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, where our Lord was crucified. The great city, no doubt, is mystery Babylon - comparatively as wicked as Sodom or Egypt - or the Pharisaical priesthood who were so eager for the crucifixion of our Lord. And all the people were to see their dead bodies for three days and a half, and were not to suffer their bodies to be put in graves. Even so, now, while I am writing, I imagine I see the church of God in a dormant condition, scattered to the winds, her ministry silent, her covenant dissolved, in a word, not one stone left upon another; the sweet notes of the gospel have ceased to sound, and not one sinner is being converted, while the cup of iniquity is filling fast. Three years and a half we suppose this state of things is to last. Oh, how long to be so forsaken! And yet the time, comparatively, is short. Remember what God's children suffered under the reign of the first beast, and then think that we have to endure the same persecution for but the short space of three and a half years - all the time in sight of our enemies, for their dead bodies are not to be buried. In my imagination, I see the daughters of the old mother, and the whole family of Antichrist, rejoicing and sending presents to one another. What is the cause of so much rejoicing? Why, those old hard-shell bigots that have tormented us so long, that trusted so in God, and would not have communion with any but themselves, that weathered all the storms of persecution through the dark ages of Popery, are down at last, and will torment us no more. I hear my dear Saviour say: Except the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh could be saved; but for the elect's sake, he has shortened those days.

   I now request that the reader will read on, and read carefully and prayerfully, and he will see an explanation of what is to follow the slaying of the two witnesses, under the reign of the second beast. In the 18th chapter we have an account of the fall of Babylon, or the overthrow of Antichrist. All her wealth, all her pomp and splendor, is to sink, to rise no more forever. Mourn, ye kings, ye merchants, ye shipmasters; your fat contracts are gone! Alas! alas! that great city is fallen, to rise no more forever. In one day, comes death and mourning. Yes, one hour, its great riches have come to naught. Come, all ye sellers and buyers, your marks, your names, or the number of your names, will benefit you no longer. The whole fountain of iniquity is revealed; the purpose of God is fulfilled; his judgment is upon the old mother, and all her offspring. As a representation of the entire and complete overthrow of Antichrist, we have the account of a mighty angel, who took up a stone like a great millstone and cast it into the sea, saying: Thus with violence shall that great city, Babylon, be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. She can no more rise again, than a millstone can float to the surface. Now, in the full accomplishment of the destruction of Antichrist, it seems there was to be one decisive battle fought; an account of which is given in the 19th chapter. Where the fowls of heaven are called to the great supper of God Almighty. Where it is said they are to eat the flesh of kings, of captains, of mighty men, of horses and them that sit on them, and of all men, small and great. Now, compare this with the 38th and 39th chapters of Ezekiel, where we have an account of a great battle that was to take place in the latter days, where many nations were to be engaged, and a vast army, like a cloud; and where the beasts of the field and every feathered fowl were to feast upon the slain. Afterwards, the people were to be seven months in burying the dead and cleansing the land. Let me here ask one general question: Has history given us an account of any such battles as having been fought? I am positive it has not. Well, as sure as the Lord appeared to John in the isle of Patmos, or that Ezekiel was a prophet of the Lord, these things will come to pass; and why not soon? I think the nations are as ripe for destruction now, as they were at the time of the flood; and the mystery of iniquity has worked itself to as high a degree, as I have already shown, as at any time in the world's history.

   I will now endeavor to show what will follow the overthrow of AntiChrist. About this time, methinks I see the saints of God rallying from the hiding-places to which they had been driven by their enemies, with overflowing hearts and shining countenances shouting, Hallelujah! Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God; for true and righteous are his judgments; for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth. Again: Hallelujahs! A third time we hear them cry Amen! Hallelujah! And a fourth time, Hallelujah! for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. What has taken place which causes the saints of God to shout? Surely, the spirit of life from God has entered into the witnesses, and they are risen again. While I write, I can fancy how well the children of God will love each other now. Come, reader, now will the millenium take place. And what has produced it? The true and living God, by his holy spirit. Oh, how different from that produced by the modern missionary society! As different as Christ and Antichrist; or as unlike as heaven and hells I am not in the least afraid of the government that will follow. The best ruler that ever administered will preside then. Then will the light of one day be as the light of seven. What a contrast between this day and that! Who will live to see it?

   In conclusion, I must offer an apology for saying so little on so important a subject; although I have made this article much longer than I intended. I have passed over many things of vast importance, without even an allusion. I do honestly believe that the events I have recounted are at hand, and will soon come to pass; and therefore that the church ought to understand it. If I am mistaken, no one will be injured but myself. Time, however, will prove all. No doubt, my views may be to some extent imperfect; perhaps in some instances wrong: I therefore wish some one qualified by education and wisdom would take up the subject, for I am sure it is important.

   Some one may be curious to learn why I suffer such distress of mind as I have formerly stated, when, if these are subjects of divine prophecy, it is right that they should be fulfilled? My answer is: Why did Jeremiah utter lamentations, when he knew the judgments of God were wise, and that Israel must suffer. The 3rd chapter of Lamentations describes my feelings better than I can myself. Or, why did Jesus weep over Jerusalem when he foretold her desolation? Because they were touched with a feeling for suffering humanity.

   I now submit this little work, imperfect as it may be, to the public. Whatever in it is right, I pray God to make a blessing to all; and for whatever in it is wrong, I pray God to pardon me.

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