Footnote 36 – Daniel Sommer Obituary by Frederick D. Kershner

Footnote 36 – Daniel Sommer Obituary by Frederick D. Kershner. Christian-Evangelist, LXXVIII:11 (March 14, 1940), p. 290 (from James Stephen Wolfgang, “A Life of Humble Fear: The Biography of Daniel Sommer” [MA Thesis, Butler University, 1975], pp. 165-167).

Daniel Sommer was the last of the great pioneers of the Restoration Movement. Born in 1850, only twenty years after the dissolution of the Mahoning Association, his life stretched back to the days of the Campbells and spanned almost the entire circle of the growth and development of the movement. As the successor of Benjamin Franklin in the editorship of The American Christian Review, he became a dominant protagonist of the right wing among the Disciples and was usually regarded as the very tip of the wing. Sommer was opposed to all “humanisms,” as he styled them, and believed that the only way to preserve the purity of the church was by forbidding even the slightest compromise with erroneous tendencies. Hence he opposed missionary societies, Sunday schools, Christian Endeavor societies and above all, instrumental music in the worship.
He was roundly denounced by various groups of conservatives who permitted the camel to put his nose under the tent, in one respect or another, but he always held his ground. He was opposed to Bible colleges or special training schools for the ministry because he believed that they undermined the faith of their students and taught them everything except the Bible. In one way or another, he isolated himself from the overwhelming majority of the brotherhood, a fact which caused him much sorrow, but which never shook his own convictions as to the rightness of his course.

Notwithstanding his rather extreme theological views, Daniel Sommer was one of the most tolerant and fair-minded men we have ever known. He had the Christian attitude toward the search for truth and the Christian spirit in his method of dealing with people with whom he disagreed. He had no trace of that ecclesiastical bigotry which refuses to sit on the same platform or speak at the same meeting with another individual suspected of heretical views. Instead of this widely prevalent Pharisaism, the editor of The Apostolic Review would go anywhere he was invited to speak, no matter how much he disagreed with the people who were managing the program or the general point of view prevalent at the meeting. He rightly reasoned that unfavorable circumstances of this kind made it all the more incumbent upon him to deliver his message whenever he had a chance to do it.

Hence he preached the gospel everywhere, to all sorts of people and under the most bizarre and unusual circumstances. Money was no consideration whatever with him and he never received more than a bare living for his untiring labors in behalf of the church. He delighted in real missionary work and only a few days before his death he insisted upon going forth again to take up the task of evangelism. He had a tonic influence upon all who came in contact with him and his obvious sincerity and disinterestedness gave weight to his words far beyond the tricks of the professional orator or elocutionist.

Even in his advanced age, Daniel Sommer was a forceful speaker and his thinking was logical and clear. He was one of the great preachers of the Restoration and his memory will be affectionately cherished by multitudes who possessed only slight personal acquaintance with him. Old as he was when he left this world, his more intimate friends will be conscious of a keen sense of loss in his departure, a feeling which will only partially disappear with the passing of time. He was a great soul, perhaps one should say more correctly, he is a great soul, and many of us feel that we shall not look upon his like again.

— Frederick D. Kershner Christian-Evangelist, LXXVIII:11 (March 14, 1940), p. 290.

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J. M. Barnes on singing and unity

J. M. Barnes on singing and unity

Anastasis

Justus McDuffie Barnes (1836–1913) Justus McDuffie Barnes (1836–1913)

In July 1896, J. M. Barnes embarked on a month-long preaching tour through the State of Texas, documenting his travels in a series of articles in the Firm Foundation. Barnes was, without question, the leading conservative in Alabama during the years between the close of the Civil War and his own death in the spring of 1913. But he also travelled extensively, and was a regular writer for, among others, the Gospel Advocate and Benjamin Franklin’s American Christian Review.

This is an illuminating series for, among other things, its insights into congregational life in the 1890s. Beginning on the first Sunday in August, Barnes recounts that he preached a ten-days’ meeting at the Pearl and Bryan Streets church in Dallas, “in some respects the most remarkable body in my whole knowledge.”

Barnes is blunt over the course of several articles as he describes the state…

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Up To Bethany

Whew!! Today is a “decompression day” after a truly “WOW!!” week with 50+ “Restoration History” or “Stone-Campbell” (choose your own terminology) enthusiasts packed onto a bus with “all the comforts” (WiFi, on-board restroom, wireless PA, video screen and great driver!) on a trip from Nashville, “up to Bethany” and back. Some of the sites packed into 6 days: Lipscomb sites in Nashville; Mt. Olivet Cemetery (gravesites and discussion of DL, Tolbert Fanning, Sewell family, etc.); Bowen-Campbell House at Mansker’s Station (BW Stone’s home after marrying Celia Bowen following Eliza Stone’s death); James A. Harding gravesite at Bowling Green (and continuing discussions); speaking in the Midway church on the site where one of the first musical instruments was introduced — the melodeon now at Midway College (formerly Dr. L.L. Pinkerton’s Kentucky Female Orphan School); BW Stone and Bacon College sites in Georgetown); speaking in the Old Morrison Hall chapel using JW McGarvey’s Chapel Talks, delivered in that very hall by JWM himself, and singing some of the hymns JWM discusses in some of those lectures); hiking through Lexington Cemetery (one of the nation’s most beautiful) to see gravesites and discuss the lives of Henry Clay, McGarvey, John Rogers, Robert Graham [1st president of what’s now the University of Arkansas, 2nd President of Kentucky University], “Raccoon” John Smith, John T. Johnson, L.L. Pinkerton, Robert J. Breckinridge, Robert Milligan, Isaiah Boone Grubbs, Robert B. Crawley, Henry Hampton Halley [of Halley’s Bible Handbook], and Charles C. Moore {BW Stone’s grandson who became, and was jailed for his writings as, a “freethinker” {atheist}, among others; Cane Ridge and museum, May’s Lick (home and grave of Walter Scott and church where he preached); and then “up to Bethany” to the Campbell home and Cemetery and Old Main at Bethany College; through the country roads of West Virginia to Washington, PA, and the site of the printing of Thomas Campbell’s “Declaration and Address” in 1809; and then back to KY to Winchester for JW and JA Harding sites and the location of the Neal-Wallace debate on premillennialism) finally to the Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill near Danville, whence two of the signers of the famous “Last Will and Testament of the Springfield Presbytery” defected, leaving BW Stone and David Purviance alone of the signers; and many other sites, lectures, and conversations too numerous to mention! What a trip – exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time!

Books As Friends

 

Here’s the fairly well-known account of J.W. McGarvey’s farewell to his “friends” (his books) from the Facebook page, “Friends of the Restoration.” As someone on the page observed, “One who does not have them cannot understand the sentiment involved.”

https://books.google.com/books?id=zITVAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=%22lands+of+th One who does not have them cannot understand the sentiment involved e+bible%22+mcgarvey&hl=en&sa=X&ei=GAAGVbLpFe_dsAS44IKgAQ&ved=0CB4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22lands%20of%20the%20bible%22%20mcgarvey&f=false

“I had already been upstairs in my library to take a last look there, and as I gazed upon the rows of familiar books I said within myself, ‘goodbye, my dear old friends; and if I never see you again, God bless you for the good you have done me and the happy hours we have spent together.” (Lands of the Bible, p. 387).

Solomon’s Quarries discovered by American Medical Doctor J. T. Barclay

Ferrell's Travel Blog

Dr. James Turner Barclay was sent to Jerusalem by the American Christian Missionary Society in 1851 as a medical and evangelistic missionary. During his first trip he stayed until 1854 and  returned for a second stint from 1858 to 1861. Barclay was active in medical work, treating more than 2,000 cases of malaria during his first year in the city.

Grave stone of James T. Barclay, and his wife Julia, in the Campbell Cemetery at Bethany, WVA. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins. Grave stone of Dr. James T. Barclay, and his wife Julia, in the Campbell Cemetery at Bethany, West Virginia. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Barclay wrote a book in 1858 about the city of Jerusalem under the title The City of the Great King; or, Jerusalem As It Was, As It Is, and As It Is To Be. In it he tells about some of his explorations in and around the Old City. In a section dealing with nether Jerusalem he discusses the discovery of what is commonly called Solomon’s Quarry…

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“Hail the blest morn!”: Merry Christmas from Alexander Campbell

eScriptorium

Selina Huntington Campbell remembered in 1882 that

Dear Mr. Campbell was a lover of good music; he had when young received lessons in the art, but, as he said, “was born tuneless;” he understood time and loved to make a “joyful noise.” He could almost sing  “Hail the blest morn! When the great Mediator ” etc., and when riding together, through the vales and over the hills of Bethany, he was sure to commence with ecstacy : “’Tis not the law of ten commands,” but  always turned to the last verse :

“Israel, rejoice, now Joshua (Jesus) leads,

He’ll bring your tribes to rest;

So far the Saviour’s name exceeds,

The ruler and the priest.”

Ahh, the wonders of the internet, where an easy search of YouTube brings us here:

Authored by Reginald Heber (perhaps best known for Holy, Holy, Holy), the tune you hear in the clip is…

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Marshall Keeble Historic Marker, Jackson Street at 14th Avenue, North, Nashville, TN

Frm McGarvey Ice’s blog – worth following!

eScriptorium

At the northeast corner of 14th and Jackson stands this historic marker:

Jackson Street Church of Christ, Nashville, Historic Marker at Jackson and 14th Avenue North

Jackson Street Church occupied the northeast corner of the intersection until a new building was built on the west side of 14th.  An historical sketch, with photo of the earlier bulding, can be seen here, click ‘About Us’, then ‘Our History.”  Further west, beyond the current facility, is Fisk University.

I snapped the pic of the marker in June 2012 as part of a tour of Nashville Restoration Movement sites for conferees at Christian Scholars Conference.  Several tour members commented to me this was a highlight of the tour.  Indeed!

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