xt7n5t3fz86x https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7n5t3fz86x/data/mets.xml Ellis, J. Breckenridge, (John Breckenridge), 1870-1956. 1910  books b92-50-26953602 English Press of Reynolds-Parker Co., : Sherman, Tex. : This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed.  Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically.  Physical rights are retained by the owning repository.  Copyright is retained in accordance with U. S. copyright laws.  For information about permissions to reproduce or publish, contact the Special Collections Research Center. Carr, O. A., Mrs., 1846-1907. Carr-Burdette College. Disciples of Christ Biography. Christian education of girls. Church colleges.Carr, O. A., (Oliver A.), d.1912. Story of a life  / by J. Breckenridge Ellis. text Story of a life  / by J. Breckenridge Ellis. 1910 2002 true xt7n5t3fz86x section xt7n5t3fz86x 








































MNRS. (). A. CARR



I

i
i
I
i
I
I

 







THE STORY OF A LIFE



                       BY
           J. BRECKENRIDGE ELLUc
                    AUTHOR OF
"T1HE SOUL Of A SERF,"  THE DREAD AND FEAR OF KINGS," "HOLLAND
   WOLVES," "SIEMR," "ADNAH," "ARKINSAW COUSINS," "TWIN STARRS,"
   "GARC LASO," "IN THE DAYS OF JEHU," "KING SAUL" "STORK'S
   NEST, "THE RED BOX CLEW,` ETC

 







































































       PRESS OF
REYNOLDS-PARKER CO.
    SHERMAN, TEXAS
        1910

 






















        TO HER GIRLS

          AND TO THE

   MEMORY AND PERPETUATION

              OF

    CARR-BURDETTE COLLEGE

MRS. CARR'S PET-THE CHILD OF HER
       BRAIN AND HEART

    THIS VOLUME IS DEDICATED

 This page in the original text is blank.


 









CONTENTS.



       INTRODUCTION.

    I. A KENTUCKY GIRL.

    II. IDEALS.

    III. A KENTUCKY Boy.

    IV. A SCHOOL-GIRL'S NOTE BOOK.

    V. A UNIVERSITY STUDENT.

    VI. LovE AND SACRIFICE.

  VII. "I WILL Go."

  V111. AN EINGLISH PRIMROSE.

  IX. THE LONG VOYAGE.

  X. LIFE IN MELBOURNE.

  XI. Busy YEARS IN AUSTRALIA.

  XII. EXPERIENCES IN TrASMIANIA.

  XIII. TRAVELS IN THE ORIENT.

  XIV. WORK IN KENTUCKY AND MISSOURI.

  XV. LADY PRINCIPAL OF THE UNIVER
          SITY OF MISSOURI.

 XVI. IN PURSUIT OF ONE'S IDEAL.

 XVII. ACHIEVING ONE'S IDEAL.

XVIII. CROWNING MONUMENT OF A LIFE.

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INTRODUCTION.



    The story of any life, if fully portrayed,
should be more interesting than the story of a
dream-phantom of fiction. In hearing of one
who really lived, there is with us the feeling
that the sunshine which greets our eyes, the
rain which dashes against our window, in
brief, the joys and sorrows which like flowers
and thistles grow everywhere, were all known
to that real character in the world's drama.
Therefore, since, in a measure, our experience
and his are in common, his life, inasmuch as it
touches us at so many points, should lead us
into new fields of interest and instruction, as it
goes on its way alone.
    This is true of any life, if we could know
it in its entirety. But how much more strik-
ingly true it is found, when the life selected is
one that leads from the twilight dawn of
infancy to the twilight close of life, in one
straight line of definite desire and inspiring
achievement. It is the purpose of this book to
trace such a life, from the little bed in the
nursery, a bed of weakness and tears, to the

 



THE STORY OF A LIFE



huge pile of brick and stone which stands as a
monument to that life as if to show what may
be accomplished in spite of tears and weakness.
    In the story of this life will be found stir-
ring scenes and distant travels; romance will
not be lacking; here and there the faces of
famous men and women will, for a moment,
appear; across the bloom of youth and hope
will fall the shadows of war. All these reali-
ties will be presented in the colors of truth.
But something deeper than an interest in
connected links of a story is here to be found;
it shall be our endeavor to discover the causes
that lead to wider activities.
    In endeavoring to divine, and clearly
reveal, the motives that prompt action, we
shall try to hold ourselves detached from the
subject, finding no fault, and indulging in no
encomium, defining beliefs and ambitions, not
because they are ours, but because they were
those of Mattie Myers, and, to understand her,
one must understand them.
    It will not be sufficient to consider her
work, and the opinions of those who knew her,
in order to reach the desired result. As far as



X

 





               INTRODUCTION               XI

possible, she shall speak out herself, out of her
old diaries and the abundance of her letters.
As her biographer, I would be but the setting
to uphold the gem, that it may shine by its
own light. And yet, there is no life whose
story may be fully understood, unless a knowl-
edge is gained of those other lives with which it
comes in contact. In the present story, this
truth is of wider significance than one finds in
the lives of the majority. Here will be painted
scenes as widely separated as Kentucky, Mis-
souri, Texas, Australia, England, and the
Levant.

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  THE STORY OF A LIFE.

              CHAPTER I.

              A KENTUCKY GIRL
        DON'T believe she's going to live
   I t long," said the black nurse, mourn-
        fully shaking her head. "She's so
   / g  thin and weak, and she cries -nearly
        every night!"
  The nurse was speaking of little Mattie
Myers, who lived in the old Kentucky town of
Stanford. The child was seldom to be seen
engaged in those sports natural to children.
She was grave, quiet, thoughtful. - Her one
amusement was found in her family of dolls;
she was alwavs their teacher, and they were
daily going to school to her. For companions,
she chose those who were much older than her-
self, and she would sit by the hour, soberly
listening to theological discussion, weighing, in
her infant mind, the arguments of learned men.
  Her mother was dead, but Mattie could re-
call her sympathetic touch, and tender smile.
It seemed to her that out of the shadow of
death her life had emerged, to be clouded by
new losses. One after the other, her two sis-

 



THE STORY OF A LIFE



ters were taken from her. Then the brother,
who was her only intimate companion, went to
another town to teach school. Mattie found
herself the only young person in the large
house of her wealthy father.
  Of course she received all care; her slightest
wishes were granted; the love of her widowed
father was doubly hers, because of his bereave-
ments. But the little girl was very lonely.
When the flowers sent forth their perfume on
the warm Kentucky breezes, she was remind-
ed of three graves; and when the sunshine
gilded the level pike leading toward Lancaster.
she felt as if her brother Joe were calling her
to come and nestle against his loving breast.
  At every turn, the big house in Stanford re-
minded her of her mother's footsteps, her sis-
sers' voices forever hushed, and that beloved
brother from whom, for the first time, she
found herself separated. Is it a wonder that
the nights often witnessed her tears Is it
strange that there should have grown up with-
in her, the intense desire to go to her brother
She made this wish known to her father, and
her brother seconded her in the plan. Why
not stay with Joe during the school year



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A K!NTUCKY GIRL



Then thre could specnd the vacations at home,
together.
  Henry Myers, the wealthy and influential
father, considered this proposition. He was
an ambitious man. He had spared no expense
in giving his son a thorough education. He
was pleased, now, to find that little Mattie
should show a disposition for learning. She
was only eight years old, and yet he felt that,
in the companionship of her brother, she would
find ample protection. Moreover, while a child
of eight is usually no fit inmate of a boarding-
school, and while it is not best to send one so
young, to dwell among strangers, Mattie was
no ordinary child.
  Nor was her mother an ordinary woman.
Mary Burdette possessed a cultured and orig-
inal mind, related in sympathies to that of her
cousin who is known to the world, in the famil-
iarity of affection, as "Bob Burdette. " When
Mrs. Mary Burdette Myers died, it was sup-
posed that Mattie was too young to appreciate
her loss. She could not, of course, appraise
that loss at its full value, but its shadow rested
upon her girlhood. This death, and that of
her sisters, had rendered her serious, had
brought enforced reflections upon death and



3

 



THE STORY OF A LIFE



immortality.  The letters -that she wrote, al-
most to the days of maturity, are found inclos-
ed in faded little envelopes, which show the
black band of mourning.
  No, there was no danger in sending Mattie
to Lancaster where brother Joe would be her
protector. Her father consented.
  The ambition to teach school, entertained by
one who was a man of means, was a rare thing
in the South before the Civil War; or, at any
rate, it was rare in Kentucky. Yet that was
the ambition of Joe Myers, and to this ambi-
tion he devoted his life. He was a natural
teacher, and Mattie, who admired him above
all others, imitated him in all things. What
he liked, she liked, and what he wanted to do,
she meant to do. The young man was very
fond of music-so was his little sister. He
opened up an academy at Lancaster-Mattie
established her first school, as we have seen
a college of dolls.
  When at last it was decided that Mattie
should go to Joe, great was her joy. Some of
those few golden hours of childhood, which she
afterward recalled, came to her then. She
went-the pike had not called in vain-but she
did not leave her dolls at home. She boarded



4

 




             A KENTUCKY GIRL              5

with her brother Joe Myers, and her education
began in earnest.
  "I was only eight, " she afterwards said,
"when I entered a boarding school; my whole
family of dolls matriculated with me."
  Lancaster and Stanford were not far apart,
though in different counties. It was a short
journey to go home Friday evening, and visit
there until Monday morning. But of course
these visits were not of weekly occurrence.
  There was Joe to stav with, and these two
never tired of each other's companionship. In
the twilight-hours, the young teacher would
play his flute, and the little girl would sit lis-
tening with all her soul, translating his music
into definite resolves. Just as he had given his
life to teaching, so would she. She declared
her purpose at that age of eight. She would
teach a school-a school for girls.  It was a
purpose she never changed.
  Thus the years passed by, in sweet compan-
ionship with her brother during the school
months, and with the reunited family every
summer. Mattie did not grow strong. The
black nurse still shook her head. "We never
thought she would live! " she often declared, in
after years.

 



THE STORY OF A LIFE



  In the meantime, Mattie still associated with
those who were much older than herself, still
found pleasure in discussion of religious dif-
ferences. We shall find her, at the age of
eighteen, saying that most of her friends are
married or dead, thus showing that no inti-
macies existed between herself and girls of her
own age.
  At twelve, a change came into her life. So
thoroughly had she pursued her studies at
Lancaster, that it was determined to send her
away to college. At that time, the strongest
college for girls of her father's faith, was at
Harrodsburg, Kentucky. The name of it was
"Daughters' College." Mattie's brother and
father, justly proud of her attainments, and
still resolved to encourage her in her desire to
become thoroughly educated, sent her to Har-
rodsburg to be instructed by John Augustus
Williams, the President of "Daughters' Col-
lege. "
  Boarding among strangers, now far from
home, Mattie found accentuated both her
spirit of self-reliance, and her attitude of re-
serve toward others, two traits always shown
in her childhood. The six years at Harrods-
burg served to strengthen and deepen her



6

 



A KENTUCKY GIRL



already-preconceived ideals.  John Augustus
Williams carried on the work that Joe Myers
had begun. The Harrodsburg President was
as devoted to learning as the Lancaster pro-
fessor; and he had farther penetrated its
depths. He was, indeed, a remarkable man,
one who magnified the dignity of his calling,
always conscious that the better he succeeded
as a teacher, the greater would prove his bless-
ing to the lives of others.
  On Sunday we may follow the college girls
to church. There goes Mattie Myers, in her
solid-green woolen dress, her wonderful suit of
hair arranged as plainly as such a wealth of
heavy brown will permit. We see the neat and
unpretentious hat from under which appear
the serious brow, and the eyes always bright
and intelligent. We note her reliant step; her
form, too thin; her face a little weary from
over-hard studying.
  Shall we not enter this church on Main
street, and watch the young ladies as they seat
themselves in a bright oblong of femininity, if
not of beauty
  We shall certainly do so, if we are young
ministerial students, attending the University!
Unfortunately, young Oliver Carr cannot enter



7

 



THE STORY OF A LIFE



with us, for he is still over yonder at May's
Lick; but never mind-he will presently be
coming down to find out what Latin is like!
What happy fortune has brought the Univer-
sity for young men into the same town that
affords a college for young ladies That, too,
we shall presently understand.
  At any rate, here sits Mattie Myers, decorous-
ly listening, it would appear-we hope she is
not thinking about her studies-while Dr.
Robert Richardson, or Robert Graham, or Rob-
ert Milligan-all teachers at the University
(among  whom   "Robert" seems a f.! orite
name)-preaches and preaches. About what
Why, about what we must do to be saved, to
be sure. And Mattie listening eagerly-for of
course she listens-finds that these distin-
guished men agree entirely with her father,
that what we must do to be saved is very much
like what Peter declared we must do-nay, is
exactly what Peter declared, to the very words.
Far, indeed, is it from the mind of this thin,
erect girl in the dress of solid-green, and under
the hair whose splendor refuses to be concealed
-far is it from her mind that any young man
of the Kentucky "froglands" is ever to enter
her life as an integral part!



8


 
























    p 

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A KENTUTCKY GIRL



  Little time is there for day dreams for this
child!-Little time, and no inclination. Study
-ever deeper and more persistent study for
her; late hours after the lamps are out, sitting
in the window with long hair streaming, bor-
rowing favor from the moon-that means spec-
tacles in no verv short time! Study-ever more
absorbed, and absorbing study, at noon-
recess, in early morning, on holidays-till the
form grows thinner, the face paler; and, indeed,
she had better have a care,, or all this will come
to an end, with pain and (lisappointment!
  The sermon is nearly ended. Are you
sorry you missed it An hour and a quarter,
already! Do the school girls move uneasily in
the straight-backed benches Let us hope
they are entertained by this searching exami-
nation of sectarian " positions. " How new
that church building seems to them! Why, it
was finished only a few years ago-that is to
say, in 1850. There was a time when two
bodies of believers met in Harrodsburg; one
organized by the followers of Barton Stone,
who called themselves "Christians", another
the "disciples" who had followed John Smith
and John T. Johnson out of the Baptist
church. The Christians met from house to



9

 



THE STORY OF A LIFE



house; the " disciples " in the old frame build-
ing at the corner of South Main and Depot
streets, nearly opposite the public square.
Each body was suspicious of the other till, one
day, they found out that they taught the same
things, believed the same truths, were, in
short, blood-brothers of faith and practice.
So they came together and formed the church
which Mattie is attending. She comes every
Sunday; and every Sunday you will find, if you
examine her closely, that she is a little paler,
a little weaker. Working too hard! The end
must come if this is kept up, year after year.
  We find the girl subject to an unappeasable
hunger for facts. Is she not to devote her life
to teaching her sex Now is the time to store
the mind. John Augustus Williams spurs her
on, leads her into untold scientific difficulties;
lets her realize how little is her strength; then
aids by teaching her to help herself. One
thing he does not help her do-that is to hus-
band her physical forces. As he stands before
his "daughters" in chapel he hammers away
at this idea:
  "Teaching is woman's profession and her
natural vocation. No lady can claim to be
well educated, therefore, or trained for her



10

 





A KENTUCKY GIRL



proper sphere in life, until she has learned to
teach, and to govern the young. The learning
which prepares her for the school-room, pre-
pares her at the same time for the highest
social and domestic position. No time is lost
by such a training, even should the student
never become a professional teacher. "
  It is no wonder that the enunciation of these
ideas strengthened the girl's resolutions. Here
was the most learned man she had ever met in
daily life, a polished speaker, a graceful author,
a correct translator; one who reads the pages
of his manuciipt, "The Life of John Smith,"
that his class may parse it; a preacher, too,
who pointed the way back to Pentecost. Wis-
dom flowed from his lips, and his lips proclaim-
ed teaching the "natural vocation" of woman.
  And the was in which this teaching was to
be done-in a word, his conception of what an
education means-that justified his dictum.
He said over and over again:
  "You have an infallible criterion bv which
you may determine the success of your own

That "drill in Rhetoric, in English pure and undefiled" when she
analyzed and parsed every sentence of the Manuscript read to the
class Mrs. Carr often spoke of, and of John Smith who, in his last
days, abode at Daughters' College to furnish material for his biog-
raphy. She was always proud of the fact that John Augustus Wil-
liams taught her English.



11

 



THE STORY OF A LIFE



and your teacher's labors.   If you feel in
your heart a greater susceptibility to truth, a
livelier appreciation of the purely beautiful, a
a profounder regard for virtue, a warmer affec-
tion for the good, and sublimer devotion to
God, esteem your labors as eminently success-
ful; but if your attainments, varied and exten-
sive as they may be, are to render you less ami-
able in disposition, or less pure in thought-
less charitable to your fellows, or less devoted
to God, then have we labored in vain, and your
learning, also, has been in vain. "
  To such a teacher as this, every year is a
book written full of sweet influences,-books
far deeper and more permanent than any work
of the pen. The girl understood this; that is
why her determination to be a teacher grew
and ripened; not to impart facts but, by means
of facts, to inculcate the love of learning and of
truth. She wanted to come into touch with the
world, and to send the ripple of her personal
influence far out into those magic circles of in-
finite distance, which the casting of an idea
forms on the sea of thought. She wanted
girls, many girls, countless girls,-to receive a
higher view of life by having known her; to
enter more fully into the inheritance of their



12

 




A KENTUCKY GIRL



estate through her ministration. No other re-
lation than that of teacher and pupil, could
connect this circuit of spiritual influence.
  Teachers-the world was full of them in
those days, just such as they are now; teachers
who bend beneath their burden, who seek in their
business but a means of livelihood, and who
are ready to lay aside the textbook and close
the desk, when fortune smiles: who see their
day's end at four o'clock, and their happiness,
at the dawn of vacation. But there have al-
ways been, of teachers, a few who regarded
their work as Williams regarded his, and who,
as in Mattie's case, with no spur of necessity,
selected it from all careers the futnre had to of-
fer.
  But we do not mean that these highest am-
bitions of a teacher's sovereign realm took de-
finite shape in the girl's mind in her twelfth
year; for see! She is no longer twelve, but thir-
teen-fourteen-fifteen-how fast she is get-
ting her education!-sixteen-
  And then the blow fell-we said it would!-
hours too late, and thought too intense, and
eyes too severely taxed! Has it been for no-
thing, after all She must flutter back home,
now, like a disabled bird; high ideas all lost in



13

 




THE STORY OF A LIFE



a maze, definite purposes fused white-hot in a
raging fever.
  Not only so, but in her sudden breakdown
of vital force, there is no one to understand the
despair over her own weakness, except, indeed,
that brother Joe who alone understands her.
Mother and father are both dead, now; and
the sisters who are proud of her attainments-
for she had finished in the Junior Year at
Daughters' College, -wonder that she is not
satisfied. Is it not enough Already she is
"educated."
  And she is sixteen; and her inheritance as-
sures her of future freedom from necessity. It
will be a long time, the doctors say, before she
can resume her studies-a year, at least;
maybe two. But does that matter In two
years she will be of age, and rich, or nearly so.
in her own right.
  "And then," said brother Joe. "I will find
her a rich husband, and see her handsomely
established for life! "
  Not that Joe had himself married; he was
too busy teaching school, and too absorbed in
his beloved work; but he felt the responsibility
of his guardianship. Mattie was too ill, too
broken in spirit, to combat his plans or to form



14

 




            A KENTUCKY GIRL             15

any of her own. She could only lie silent and,
suffering, uncertain of the outcome.
  Leaving her thus, as we found her at the
beginning, in suffering and tears, let us make a
journey to Mason County, in search of that
possible husband. He may not prove so rich
as brother Joe could desire. We shall see.


 






CHAPTER II.



                   IDEALS.
         U T no, the biographer, on second
         B thought, will not go up to May's Lick
         in the present chapter.   Let that
         expedition be reserved for Chapter
 )    Third.  And let those who care for
 the story of lives merely for events, not for
 motive-springs of action, skip the present chap-
 ter, if they will. It will be to their loss, if they
 do so; for what life is to be understood, with-
 out an understanding of the principles that
 direct its course
 In the life we are seeking to trace, there were
 three great principles that shaped events. The
 first has already been amplified-the resolve to
 become a teacher of girls. The other two must
 be defined-one's thought of country, and
 one's religious faith.
 In those days, a man who had no opinion on
 the "slavery question, " or on the "current
 reformation," was no true Kentuckian. If
 one has slaves, his children are not only dis-
 posed to regard slavery as right, but as highly
 fortunate and desirable. Also, when one's re-
ligion is being placed on trial at every cross-


 





























:AA










C:
5,

rl

 This page in the original text is blank.

 




IDEALS



road's log-schoolhouse, the smallest girls in the
household have some opinions on the Gospel
Restored, on Election, on Baptism.
  In the veins of Mattie Myers flowed Southern
blood, and it was with the South that she
sympathized with all that fire of young enthu-
siasm that characterized Southern adherents in
those days. As for her religion, that calls for
more particular description, because it is indis-
tinguishably blended with all her emotions and
purposes. It was no more Mattie's intention
to become a teacher of girls, than it was to
spread a knowledge of the Gospel as she herself
understood it.
  In portraying the belief of this child-a belief
that time served only to strengthen-it is far
from our thought to influence the particular
faith of the reader. That biographer is un-
worthy of his task who allows his own opinions
to color his narrative. What I believe has no
more to do with the life of Mattie Myers, than
has the belief of the reader; and this is the
story of a life, not a controversy in disguise.
  But at the same time, it is not only due
the reader, but the object of the biography,
that the faith of Mattie should be presented so
clearly and so fairly that no one can fail to



17

 




THE STORY OF A LIFE



understand what it was. I shall do my utmost
to make it plain. It occupied too great a part
of the girl's life and the woman's life, to be
ignored. As she sat at her father's knee in
Stanford, as she rested with her brother on
the porch of the boarding-house in Lancaster,
as she made her stage-journeys, in short, where-
ever she was, she heard religion discussed in all
its phases. And that phase which appealed
to her was the same that Walter Scott-kins-
man of the illustrious novelist-had proclaimed
from state to state.
  One peculiarity of this faith was, that who-
ever accepted it with zeal, became more or less
antagonistic, combative. It was not because
it despised peace, although peace, in later years
has sometimes proved fatal to it; but it was
because every hand seemed turned against it.
Had it asked for peace in 1850, that petition
would doubtless have been derided.
  And why Because an acceptance of this
faith meant an end to all creeds, to all sects,
to all denominational barriers. Therefore all
denominations felt that the faith of Mattie
Myers had raised its hand against them.
When Walter Scott and his co-workers prayed
the Savior's prayer that all might be one,



18

 






what-if that prayer be granted-was to be-
come of the many
  It may be true, in the Twentieth Century,
that one need only have enough money to hire
a hall, in order to start a new religion; that
Society has but to smile upon the dancing of
Dervishes to popularize Orientalism; that a
woman, by the writing of a book, can convince
intelligent thousands that diseases are but
delusions of their mortal minds-perhaps in-
stincts would be a better word, since unimagin-
ative quadrupeds sometimes "think" them-
selves sick. But whether this is true or not, it
is certain that, in the first half of the Nine-
teenth Century, it required much more than
money, and more than the writing of many
books, this endeavor to re-establish the old re-
ligion of Pentecost. It called for courage, firm-
ness and ability; it invited persecution and mis-
representation.
  "I would rather," an aunt of Oliver Carr
once declared-herself a stern soldier of the
Cross- "see you go to your grave, than have
you join the Campbellite Church! "
  What was this "Campbellite Church" of
which some spoke thus disparagingly And
why " Campbellite " And why did the denom-



19



IDEALS

 




THE STORY OF A LIFE



inations regard the people they thus designated
much as, at a later day, the Mormons were
regarded Before we enter into details, it is
enough at this point to emphasize the fact of
general intolerance. To worship God in your
own way is the right of all; and no man dis-
putes that inborn right, so long as you agree
with him in your religious belief. The Puritans
were ready to sacrifice their lives to preserve re-
ligious freedom, and to take the lives of those
who desired a separate freedom.
  In the first half of the Nineteenth Century,
more especially in the first quarter, the jangling
and wrangling among different sects was almost
inconceivable.  It would appear that often
where differences of tenets were but slight, the
fight was the more determined, as if the possi-
bility of preserving a denominational integrity,
depended largely upon keeping alive a spirit of
hostility to all other denominations. Happily
that spirit of antagonism has largely died out,
and men are not so ready to take each other by
the throat because they are seeking to gain
Heaven by different ways. This tendency to
minimize differences of speculative opinions, and
to draw close to each other on the fundamental
truths as they are revealed in the life, death



20

 




                   IDEALS                  21

and resurrection of Jesus Christ, is doubtless in
a large measure due to the pioneers of that
faith which Mattie Myers had accepted, and
which, at the time of her acceptance, was the
object of so much bitterness and ridicule.
  Thirty years had already passed since Walter
Scott and Alexander Campbell first proclaimed
their views in the "Christian Baptist."  The
distracted state of the religious world had
grieved many a pious and erudite soul before
1819. In looking for a solution to the amazing
preplexities that baffled the seeker after God,
in trying to avoid the anomalous condition of
changing a gospel of love to a gospel of inter-
minable disputation, the solution proposed by
Thomas Campbell was a return to the practices
and faith of the early disciples. This solution
was urged by Walter Scott and Alexander
Campbell. What more simple Everybody
should be willing to accept the Bible; every-
body should be willing to discard everything
else!
  In brief, then, that was the work of the
"current reformation." It would call for a
sacrifice of individual opinions, of sectarian
names and dogmas, of that poetic atmosphere
which time bestows upon any organization, of

 




THE STORY OF A LIFE



those intimate human associations derived from
a commingling with relatives and friends whom
a common rule of practice holds together. As
a recompense for this sacrifice, was offered the
privilege of returning to the Apostolic faith and
manner of worship, the sense of security that
should spring from following closely in the foot-
steps of the earliest disciples, and the privilege
of performing one's part in the realization of
the prayer of the Savior of mankind.
  Alexander Campbell's life was given to this
fundamental idea-that the world should go
back, in its religious beliefs and practices, nine-
teen hundred years, to learn again the condi-
tions of its salvation from the lips of Christ's
apostles.  Campbell himself, was but a voice
calling in the wilderness. He seemed always to
be crying, "Look back! Behold the Lamb of
God!" As for himself, he would have been
but the medium through which an enlightened
vision might see that glorious spectacle of God
in man. "Do not regard me," he seemed to
say, "For I am nothing. I am but a voice-a
voice proclaiming no new doctrine, only the old;
asking you not to originate a new faith, but to
remember the old. Look back! Behold the
Lamb of God!"



22

 




IDEALS



  But the world did not wish to look back. It
exclaimed that these people whopretended to do
away with all sects, were themselves the nar-
rowest sect of all. These preachers who pro-
claimed that there was but one church, were
accused of "wanting to get us into theirchurch. "
The result was endless debates. We have seen
that the denominations were at war with one
another; but all of them became more or less
cohesive, in their attack upon these people who
claimed to be no denomination.
  If Campbell and his friends urged that
baptism should be administered as in the days
of the Apostles, the cry was immediately raised
that "These men believe in nothing but bap-
tism." If their editors asked for an instance
of infant baptism between the lids of the Bible,
it was retorted that "They have only a head
religion-they don't believe in a change of
heart. " If a preacher said no more about bap-
tism than did Peter on Pentecost, his listeners
went away observing that "he believed water
would save him." If nothing was said about
baptism, if on the contrary, the discourse were
concentrated upon the idea that all Christians
should follow the same rule and practice,
should dwell together in one great homogeneous



23

 



THE STORY OF A LIFE



body, it was charged, "That is really another
way of saying that immersion is the only mode
of baptism." If, by dint of innumerable rep-
etitions, Herculean efforts at self-restraint,
monotonous insistence, these "reformers" suc-
ceeded in convincing the antagonist of the fact
that n