"Campbellite - Campbellism" And "Anti Anti-Ism"
A few days ago I was reading in a very old book. The book was published in 1857. The book was "A Review of Rev. J. B. Jeter's book entitled Campbellism Examined'," by Moses E. Lard.
On page fifteen of this book Brother Lard wrote as follows: "He (Mr. Jeter) could not even select a title for his book without furnishing verification of what has just been alleged. (Lard had alleged that Mr. Jeter hated Brother Campbell with an intense hatred. Page 14. HG.) "Campbellism" was the only term which could vent the feelings of his heart. And yet he knew no term to be more offensive to us as a people. And he should have known it is an act of high discourtesy to attempt to designate the views of any body of believers by terms which they hold to be unjust, and which they have repeatedly avowed do not express them. And no man, we must add, but a boor (a rude, ill-bred person; one clownish in manner — Webster. Definition supplied by HG.) in feelings, whatever may be his factitious position in society, will stoop to the deed. The views associated in the public mind with the term 'Campbellism' are not the views entertained by Mr. Campbell and his brethren. They are such as our enemies represent us as holding, and not such as we ourselves believe in. Of this fact we believe Mr. Jeter to be not ignorant. On what principal, then, except on that of a willingness to become a trafficker in misrepresentations and opprobrious epithets, could he consent to employ the term? He knew the term to be one of reproach, and hence he felt himself called on to offer an explanation for using it; and yet he knew it became not a whit the less a term of reproach for all of that. IF A MAN CONSENT TO DEAL IN SLANDER, IT IS FAR FROM BEING INSUFFICIENT APOLOGY FOR HIS OFFENSE TO SAY THAT HE DOES NOT MEAN HIS SLANDER TO BE SLANDEROUS. (Emphasis mine, HG.) No apology can justify the application of this discourteous epithet to our views. But the author's scanty vocabulary, it would seem, is to 'be blamed for the use of the term."
The words of Brother Moses Lard find application almost one-hundred years after they were written. These words recall to my mind the names that brethren in the church are calling each other today. Instead of the terms "Campbellite" and "Campbellism" we hear today the terms "Anti" and "Anti-ism."
Read again the words written by Lard and see if you don't agree that these words can apply with equal force to some brethren in their writing and speaking today. Men don't seem to have changed very much for the better. The shame of it is that these name callers today are members of the Lord's church while Mr. Jeter was a sectarian.