Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 20, 1957

Advice To Young Preachers

John T. Lewis, Birmingham, Alabama

In the beginning of this series of articles I told you what a great service I thought Brother B. C. Goodpasture had rendered in reprinting the seven volumes of the "Christian Baptist," published by Alexander Campbell from 1823-1830. Brother Goodpasture is also reprinting the "Millennial Harbinger," "Edited by Alexander Campbell," from 1830 until 1864, a little more than a year before his death. It was fifteen minutes before midnight on Lord's day March 4, 1866 when Mr. Campbell died. Mr. Campbell died ten years and six days before I was born. Therefore it was never my privilege to meet him.

However, I have owned "The Christian Baptist," "The Christian System," a complete set of "The Millennial Harbinger," "Popular Lectures and Addresses--Campbell," and "Memoirs of Alexander Campbell by Richardson" for many years. I have "Campbell-McCallam Debate," "Campbell and Owen's Debate," "Campbell and Purcell's Debate," "Campbell and Rice's Debate," "The Living Oracles," and "Alexander Campbell and Christian Liberty by James Egbert, A.B., D.B." Having read some of the above books through, and read some in nearly all of them, I am somewhat familiar, not only with Mr. Campbell's teaching, but with the teaching of many of the pioneers of the Restoration Movement. I give the above facts only as my credentials for offering advice to young preachers in these matters.

If you read the seven volumes of the Christian Baptist, and the first fifteen volumes of the Millennial Harbinger and follow their teaching on the work of the church — carrying the gospel to the world, caring for the poor "among you," you will become "Sommerites," "Hobby riders," and "church busters" (?) according to the editor of the Gospel Advocate, and his chief writer, Brother Guy N. Woods. Therefore you could hardly expect to get calls for meetings, or an opportunity to work with congregations in their sphere of influence.

If you read the last twenty five volumes of the Millennial Harbinger and follow their teaching you will become a (progressive) digressive, and evidently would not receive the approbation of the Gospel Advocate at present, but you know "we" have plenty money, and are doing big things in big ways, and if you will go on down to Gaza, sit down and take a nap, when you wake up you may find yourself illuminated by the halo of the Aurora borealis of the Gospel Advocate, doing bigger things in bigger ways than the digressives ever dreamed of doing.

Brother Goodpasture has also reprinted Lard's Quarterly, published from 1863-1868. Five volumes that would grace any man's library. Moses E. Lard was not a phony of any species, he was a Greek scholar, and a logician, but not of the "total situation" tribe. He was a Christian gentleman, but when riled by unfair critics, he could push the most scathing pen in the annals of religious literature.

He wrote at length on his "Theory of the Millennium," the Gospel Advocate would not like that. In previous articles I have given Mr. Lard's position on missionary societies. The following is what Brother Guy N. Woods says about the "United Christian Missionary Society": "What, for example, is the 'United Christian Missionary Society?' It is a super world organization; it is in control of every Christian Church which cooperates with it; it names the preachers which preach for the churches; it dislodges those who oppose it, its constituency is made up of people who have bought membership in it; it has a president, a legislative, judicial and executive body; it assesses the churches, and assigns quotas expected; it operates schools, clinics, and orphans homes; in word, it dominates the churches."

We will let Mr. Lard reply to Brother Woods. In Volume 4, of his Quarterly, page 153, he says: "Second, these societies, we are told in substance, are made substitutes for the churches, and undertake to do a work which the churches alone should do. 1. The societies are made substitutes for the churches. When ever a brother takes this position, with the ability to comprehend his act, I at once set him down as a religious demagogue." Brother Guy N. Woods is a lawyer, a Greek scholar, a logician, and the Gospel Advocate's chief defender of "institutionalism." And for a man like Moses E. Lard to "set him down as a religious demagogue" is preposterous. and I am sure is nauseating to the editor of the Gospel Advocate, but the mortal frame that housed, and carried that sagacious mind, has been sleeping amid the dust of the dead for more than three quarters of a century, and all that Brother Woods and the editor of the Advocate can do now, would be to advise young preachers not to buy "Lard's Quarterly."

But we read some more from the same page of "Lard's Quarterly." "No one proposes to substitute a missionary society for a church, or to supplant the one by the other, or in any way whatsoever to interfere with churches or their work. The position is wholly untrue. Missionary societies are substituted for churches neither intentionally, accidentally, nor in any other way. Nothing could be more unjust to the societies than such a charge; nothing more unjust to their friends."

I am sure the institutional boys themselves would admit that Moses E. Lard made out just as good a case for the missionary societies as Guy N. Woods has made for the institutional orphan homes. In Volume IV, page 345, Mr. Lard says: "That individual Christians may, in their discretion, form voluntary associations, such as colleges, Sunday schools, and missionary societies, provided nothing therein is allowed, inconsistent with the teaching of the Holy Spirit." Of course, if there had been such an organization as an institutional orphan home in that day Mr. Lard would have included it.

On February 4, 1850, James Inglis, a noted Baptist preacher, wrote Mr. Campbell a lengthy letter criticizing the "United Christian Missionary Society," published on pages 201-205. In his letter he said: "The most objectionable form of this carnal policy in religious societies, is the sale of life memberships and life directorships." Mr. Campbell's reply is found on pages 205-209. He says: "I am as fully with you in the sale of life memberships and life directorships. This way of giving to an individual frequently more influence and power than to a whole church is of the most questionable policy, and is wholly destitute of any New Testament authority. But for these aberrations from evangelical propriety and principles, our apology is, that our infant society, when entering into life, took hold of Esau's heel, not so much for supplanting him as for ushering itself into life." Mr. Inglis' letter is worth the price of a volume of the Millennial Harbinger.

Brother Goodpasture and Brother Guy N. Woods can perform the chameleon act, but you never read of them making an apology, or giving an explanation for their changes. A lot of what Brother Woods says about the "United Christian Missionary Society" is bunk,