Looking At Restoration Movement History: Part 7

1829 Alexander Campbell served as a delegate in the Virginia Constitutional
Convention which met in Richmond, Va., from October 1829, until January 1830.
While there, he wrote to his wife Selina:

I preached yesterday to about 3000 souls, the largest assembly which Richmond has seen for many a day hundreds had to go away without hearing

Early 1830’s Churches from the Stone and Campbell movements began merging in Kentucky, followed by churches in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, and  Missouri. Several churches from the New England Jones-Smith and Virginia O’Kelly movement became a part of the Stone-Campbell merger. These churches usually went by the name, Christian Church.

Churches in Stone’s movement had been known either as the “Christian Connection” or the “New Light Christian Church.” Stone’s group preferred to be called “Christians”, Campbell’s group preferred  “Disciples.”

1831 From the time they first met in 1824, Barton W. Stone and Alexander Campbell became increasingly aware of those things which they held in common. During the Christmas holidays in 1831, they led a group which finally (New Years Day, 1832) consummated a union of the Stonites (known as Christians) and the Campbellites (known as Reformed  Baptists or Disciples). Included among those present included former congressman John  T. Johnson (who is counted as having baptized 10,000 souls), Raccoon John Smith, John Rogers, and John A. Gano. Smith and Rogers visited together among the congregations of both groups so as to encourage fellowship.

The Stonites saw the Campbell groups as woefully negligent of the work of the Holy Spirit, too legalistic on baptism, and too reticent to accept the name Christian. (Campbell believed the name Christian to be a term of derision applied to disciples by pagans.)  The Campbell wing on the other hand, saw the Stone folk as far too speculative and “heartfelt.” Stone and Campbell were able to effect a union because they both accepted the premise that personal opinions cannot be made the basis of fellowship. They insisted that  the ground of fellowship is belief in the one proposition that Jesus is Lord and obedience to that one institution, immersion.

In a joyous meeting at the brand new Hill Street Church building at Lexington, Kentucky December 30, 1931 through January 2, 1832, under the leadership of Barton W. Stone, John Rogers, “Raccoon John Smith,” and John T. Johnson, the right hand of fellowship was extended and unity between the two movements became a reality. The classic statement of John Smith on that occasion lives on:

 “Let us, then, my brethren, be no longer Campbellites, or Stonites, New Lights or Old Lights, or any other kind of lights, but let us come to the Bible alone, as the only book in the world that can give us all the light that we need.”

During the year, Stone wrote:

“Let us acknowledge all to be our brethren who believe in the Lord Jesus, and humbly and honestly obey him as far as they know his will and duty. Let us not reject whom the Lord has received.” 

In 1841, he wrote,

 “…For twelve years I lived without immersion, and I believe I lived under the smiles of heaven. But when I became acquainted with my duty, I submitted to it.”

1832 A church was founded in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with ties to the restoration movement. They published what was the first paper in Canada in the interests of the Restoration; it was called the Christian Gleaner.

1833 “In Christ’s first coming, he abode but a few years on earth; in his second coming he will abide 1000, and not leave the world, till he has… assigned to each one his eternal portion.”
      Barton W. Stone

1836 Francis W. Emmons of Nobleville, Indiana argued that Acts 2:42 set an order of four things in worship:

  1) The teaching of the apostles, introduced with singing and prayer
  2) Fellowship or contribution with singing
  3) the Lord’s Supper; singing
 4) a conclusion with a “season of social praying” with and for one   another.

“Some among ourselves were for some time zealously engaged to do away with party creeds, and are yet zealously preaching against them–but instead of a written creed of man’s device, they have substituted a nondescript one, and exclude good brethren from their fellowship, because they dare believe differently from their opinions.”
      Barton W. Stone

 “I see no authority in scripture why we should draw the conclusion, that the miraculous gift of the Holy Spirit, is, according to the will of God, withdrawn from the church.”
      Barton W. Stone

1837 “It is the image of Christ the Christian looks for and loves; and this does not consist  in being exact in a few items, but in general devotion to the whole truth as far as known.”
      Alexander Campbell

“Some of our brethren were too much addicted to denouncing the sects and
representing them en masse as wholly aliens from the possibility of salvation –as wholly anti-Christian and corrupt. . .. These very zealous brethren gave countenance to the popular clamor that we make baptism a savior, or a passport to heaven, disparaging all
the private and social virtues of the professing public.”
      Alexander Campbell

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Filed under Church History, Church of Christ, Religion, Restoration Movement

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