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THE 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY 



OF 



ELDER MATTHEW GARDNER, 



A MINISTER IN 



THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH 



SIXTY-THREE YEARS. 



EDITED BY N. SUMMERB£1jL,;JX D. ; 
Pastor of the First Christian Church) Mneiruiati. Ohio. 



His last text, •• Preach unto it the preaching iliat Ibid {Me^ ' Jonajk 3? 2. 






DAYTON, OHIO: 
Christian Publishing Association. 

1874. 



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THE PUBLICATION. 

I appoint Elder ~N. Suramerbell to publish my life, as written 
by myself, which will be delivered to him at the proper time. 
I will leave the proper sum to pay for printing, etc., a stereo- 
type edition of one thousand copies ; two hundred of which he 
will see are delivered to my executors for my children and 
grandchildren ; further than this, all profits then and forever 
after are to go to Union Christian College. In case he should 
fail, he may appoint another man to publish my life, or the 
President of Union Christian College shall do it, whoever he 
may be; always provided that the college continues to be 
owned and controled by the Christians, otherwise the profits 
of the book will revert to such benevolent cause as said Sum- 
merbell or his successor, as publisher, may select. 

Matthew Gardner. 

Ripley, Ohio, July 21, 1865. 



Cincinnati, Ohio, August 6. 1874. 

We, the undersigned, B. B. and John W. Gardner, appove 
of the continuation of the biography of our father, beyond tho 
end of his own writing, by N. Summerbell, and the continuing 
of the narrative to the close of his life, bringing in whatever 
may properly belong to the book, or add to its interest, useful- 
ness, and value. Also, as far as we have been able to examine 
the work, we approve of the pains which he has taken to supply 
deficiencies, and the faithfulness with which he has prepared 
the copy for the press. 

B. B. Gardner. 
J. W. Gardner. 

P. S. — The following letters, in the autobiographer's own 
hand,, give an exact view of his wishes concernig the prepara- 
tion of his works for the press, and of his autography, the dif- 
ference in appearance being merely that the autograph to the 
engraving was written with great care and a good pen, and 
the letters carelessly with an old pen. 

N. S. 



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ED1T0ES PREFACE. 

.For publishing these pages no apology is required. It has 
the defects common to human productions, but the character is 
rich in originality and interesting in events ; its historical treas- 
ures are valuable, and the life-lessons profitable. It has t lessons 
on pioneer life, conversion and preaching, economy, law, and 
religion. It has sermons, discussions, prayers, and songs of 
devotion, with interesting narratives and remarkable adventures. 
If one desires dates concerning the early settlement of the 
State, or facts concerning the state of the country, incidents in 
pioneer life, or views of pioneer preaching, dates of the organ- 
ization of churches and conferences, or names of early minis- 
ters, he will find them in this book. There are strong argu- 
ments against secret societies, but they can bear them ; and 
hard reflections on Unitarians, but they deserve them. His 
words are pointed*; his remarks are sharp ; his meaning is 
plain, and his animadversions designed ; and it is as well, that 
responsibility may rest where it belongs. That the autobiogra- 
pher was a man about whom thousands had always something 
to say while living, is good evidence that his book will be inter- 
esting since he is dead. His opponents will concede that he 
was great in the things they dislike, and successful in tho 
things which they disapprove ; and his friends will indorse the 
rest. As the stones, clubs, husks, and shells mark the tree 
that has borne fruit, so the constant struggle marks the re- 
markable life ; and without excusing his defects or magnifying 
his virtues, his friends contend that his life gives its own lessons, 
and that he was a great thinker, a great worker, a great econo- 
mist, a great friend, a great antagonist, a great preacher, a 
great debater, a great farmer, great financier; great in will, 
great in wisdom, great in planning, great in executing, great in 
self-denial, great in self-government, great while living, and 
great in dying. . - 

And it is published in the hope that it will be blessed of the 
Lord in winning the wayward from ruin, saving the sinful from 
sin, and comforting many hearts. 

" Lives of true men all remind us 
We can make our lives sublime ; 
And, departing, leave behind us 

Footprints in the sands of time ; 
Footprints which perhaps another, 

Sailing o'er life's stormy main, 
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother, 
Seeing, may take heart again." 
Cincinnati, Ohio, August 10. 1874. X. SUMMERBELL. . 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER L 

• A. D. 1790 — DECEMBER 5. 

JPage. 

First Ten Yeara of His Life 9 

Journey to Ohio 10 

Settlement of the State of Ohio 11 

Pioneer Life 12 

All My Money for a Spelling-Book ^ 13- 

CHAPTER II. 

A. D. 1800 — SECOND DECADE OP HIS LIFE. 

Run Away From Home 13 

Boating on the Mississippi 15 

Become a Universalist 16 

Sick at New Orleans 17 

Life Among the Indians 20 

At School 21 

Converted 25 

Driven From Home 28 

CHAPTER III. 

A. D. 1810— THIRD TEN YEARS OF HIS LIFE. 

My First Bible 28 

Married 30 

Ordained 33 

Working by Starlight , 30 

Organizing Churches 41 

Troubles About Trinity 43 

Christian Preachers Reject Slaveholders 44 

CHAPTER IY. 

A. D. 1820 TO 1830— FOURTH DECADE. 

Southern Ohio Conference Organized - 45 

Persecutions About Trinity , 46 

Law-suit About the Woods Pulpit 47 

Law and the Mistake of Lawing 48 



CONTENTS. VII 

Page. 

New Hymn-Book 66 

Cane Ridge, Anecdote, etc 67 

Troubles About Trinity 68 

CHAPTEE V. 

A. D. 1830— FIFTH TEN YEARS OF HIS LIFE. 

Aged Parents 70 

Lesson on Visiting the Sick 71 

Revivals; Preventing a Duel 72 

Mr. Campbell Organizes a New Sect A. D. 1823 72 

The Doctrine 73 

"Trying Gardner " .- 75 

Collared in Church 77 

Debate 79 

Another Debate 89 

CHAPTEE VI. 

A. D. 1840— SIXTH TEN YEARS OF HIS LIFE. 

Publish "The Christian Union " 92 

Another Debate 93 

Millerite Excitement 95 

Another Debate v 101 

Masonry 103 

Conference at Fincastle 109 

CHAPTEE VII. 

A. D. 1850 — SEVENTH TEN YEARS OF HIS LIFE. 

Visit to Plvmouth Rock 117 

Spirit-Rappers 112 

"Three Masons" 115 

General Convention 119 

Preaching on the Steamboat 134 

Hon. Horace Mann 120-125 

Pamphlet on Troubles 132 

High-handed Measures 134 

"The Dear Old Man " 135 

CHAPTEE VIII. 

A. D. 1860 TO 1870— EIGHTH TEN YEARS OF HIS LIFE. 

Death of a Daughter 137 

Revival, Sixty Converts 138 

Obnoxious Resolution Expunged , 139 

The Great Rebellion...* , 141 

"Antioch" Troubles ' 143 



VIII CONTENTS. 

Page. 
Disciples and Christians 144 

Old Lady Learning to Write , 150 

Assassination of the President w . 152 

Divine Meditation 163 

Ordination , 164 

Trip toMerom 167 

Lessons on Old People 168 

Salary 173-181 

The Deceiver 174 

Unitarians 176 

Christian Theology 177 

Pastor's Reflections 178 

Pamphlet on Mr. Campbell's "System" 185 

Odd Stories on Economy 204 

Beautiful Thoughts on the Birds 208 

Man's Best Companion— Thoughts of God 209 

Death of Mrs. Gardner 311 

"Antioch" 216 

A Dream , 218 

General Convention 223 

CHAPTEK IX. 

A. D. 1870 TO 1873— NINTH DECADK. 

The Glory of/he Son of God 229 

Not Two Gods , 232 

Have Not Changed 234 

Camp-Meeting 237 

Ministry of Angels 241 

Dates of Nine Visits East 242 

Solemn Partings .• 243 

End of the Manuscript 244 

Last Tour East 245 

Sad News 248 

Prayer -n....~ 249 

Last Sermon 256 

Last 257 

Funeral 258 

Epitaph 260 

Reminiscences by H. Simonton 261 

Reminiscences by James Summerbell 263 

His Religion 270 

Answers to Prayers 278 

Orlando Ross' Letter...* 279 

Subscribers' Names 280 

Index 283 



LIFE OP 

ELDER MATTHEW GARDNER. 



» O ' 



CHAPTER I. 



u 



MY PARENTAGE AND THE FIRST TEN YEARS OF MY LIFE. 



»» 



My Dear Children : — I will give you a brief account of my 
parentage, as related to me by ray father, and as I learned it 
during three visits to the place of my birth, after an absence of 
over half a century. I was born in Stephentown, "New York, 
on the 5th of December, A. D. 1790. My father moved from 
there to Ohio, A. D. 1800, and I visited the place after that, 
first in May of 1851, and again in August of 1854, and in 
August of 1857 ; during which visits I made particular inquiries 
respecting the ancestors of our family. I will then give you a 
true narrative of my own eventful life. The Gardners who 
were our forefathers came from England to America, and set- 
tled in Rhode Island about 1685 or 1690. Being devoted 
adherents of the principles of George Fox, and of the religious 
denomination of Friends, commonly called Quakers, a people 
not tolerated by the Puritans, then settling Massachusetts and 
Connecticut, they settled in Rhode Island, where all forms of 
religious worship and all varieties of doctrines were tolerated. 
My own father was born in Rhode Island, on the 13th day of 
September, A. D. 1760. My mother was born in Connecticut, 
on the 29th day of September, A. D. 1762. Her maiden name 
was Lucy Hawks. She was my father's second wife. The 
Gardners, my ancestors, as far as I have seen or been able to 
learn, were large men, tall, stout, and of good constitution, and 
were generally farmers. When my father was but ten years 
old, which was about the year 1770, my grandfather Gardner 
moved to the State of New York, and settled near the line of 
Massachusetts, on the lands of the Rensselaer manor, now 
Rensselaer County. The manor of Rensselaer covered the 
whole county. When about seventeen, my father went into the 
revolutionary army. After independence was gained, and 
peace secured, he returned home, and settled on thirty acres of 
poor land. This land, as all the lands there, was not sold, but 
obtained by lease for a low rent. Being a house-carpenter by 

(9) 



10 LIFE OP 

trade, he devoted little time to the cultivation of his land, but 
supported his family principally by his trade. There were ten 
children, of whom one sister and two brothers were older than I. 
When only eight years old, I was hired out. Two years after 
this, my father being about forty years old, and vigorous and 
strong, and having a large family, he determined to go West. 
The territory now called Ohio was first settled in 1788. At the 
close of the Revolution, 243 officers of the army, mostly New 
England men, solicited Congress, through General Washington, 
to secure lands for them between the Ohio River and Lake 
Erie. In 1783 General Putnam said "that the country between 
the Ohio and Lake Erie would be filled with inhabitants, and 
thereby free the western territory from falling under the 
dominion of a foreign power." This was desirable, for, having 
no strong general government, foreign commanders kept defi- 
ant possession of forts on the very soil now Ohio. The first 
settlers, formed under a grant of Congress, were led by General 
Rufus Putnam, from Massachusetts and Connecticut, and laid 
the foundation of the State of Ohio at the mouth of the Mus- 
kingum River, on the 7th of April, 1788. Cincinnati started in 
1789 — the same year that the Constitution of the United States 
was adopted. Then the lands from the Ohio River to the 
Pacific Ocean were inhabited by Indians and wild beasts, ex- 
cepting a very few distant forts and French posts or settle- 
ments in the valley of the Mississippi. In 1800 my father sold 
his leasehold, and we all started for the north-western territory 
of Ohio. This was two years before Ohio became a state. It 
was on a beautiful morning on the first of September A. D. 1800 
when we started. I was in my tenth year when we left Ste- 
phentown; and well do I remember those scenes of my child- 
hood. It was a beautiful morning. Not only our relatives, but 
many of our neighbors and friends, came to bid us farewell, and 
to see us start. It was regarded by many as impossible to suc- 
ceed in such a journey with such a large family of small chil- 
dren, especially with our limited means. We had but one small 
wagon, with three horses, and other means correspondingly 
limited. The country we had never seen. The route was new, 
and to us unknown until we approached it. There was then 
little communication with the wilderness west. Not only rail- 
roads and steam-boats, but even turnpikes, were unknown 
Most of those who came to see us start, after bidding us fare- 
well, stood looking after us with tearful eyes until we passed 
beyond their view, while others accompanied on horseback for 
miles before turning back. We then pursued our way patiently 
but perseveringly. The mountains were difficult to climb, the 
streams were dangerous to ford, the undertaking was hazard- 
ous, and the journey was long. The weather was pleasant, and 
the journey as prosperous as we could expect. We reached Pitts- 



MATTHEW GARDNER. II 

burg, on the Ohio Kiver, by the first of October, just one month 
from the time of starting. Pittsburg was a small village. We 
waited two weeks before we found a boat going down the river. 
Then we embarked on a flat-boat — the boats then used — with 
four other families; furniture, wagons, horses, and all, crowded 
on one small flat-boat. The river w T as low: the progress was 
slow: sometimes we floated rapidly; and sometimes we were- 
long aground. We were nearly four weeks coming down to 
Limestone — a little village on the Kentucky side of the river. 
It had but few houses then. Limestone is now called Mays- 
ville. Here Henry Hughs, a land-trader, came to the boat to 
sell us land in Ohio. Father went with him to see it. He liked 
it, and traded him tw r o horses for one hundred acres. We then 
proceeded on with the boat down the river, about twelve miles, 
till we came opposite our land, at a landing two miles below where 
Eipley now stands. There we disembarked, and the boat and its 
other passengers went on down the river. There was no town 
then where Eipley now stands. We landed within a few miles of 
our land, and soon reached our future home, where every thing 
seemed new and strange. We were all in good health, except 
one brother and sister, w r ho had slight attacks of fever and ague, 
which soon disappeared. It seems extraordinary that such a 
large family could thus journey so long and all be preserved 
from more serious sickness. My father rented a little cabin to- 
move into, while he and my two older brothers built a cabin on 
our own land. It was now about the last of November — the 
most pleasant and delightful Autumn I have ever known before- 
or since. This fine weather continued till after Christmas. So 
my father and brothers having completed our new house, we 
moved into it about the first of January, 1801. The fine 
weather continued that year all winter, there being no weather 
to prevent out-door work. Being ten years old on the 5th of 
December, 1800, the first ten years of my earthly life had now 
passed, no more to return. 



CHAPTER II. 

EVENTS OF THE SECOND TEN YEARS OF MY LIFE. 

I had now entered upon my eleventh year, in what seemed 
like a new world. Oh, what a contrast between this and the- 
same time the preceding year. Then we were in a thickly-set- 



12 LIFE OP 

tied country, surrounded by friends ; now we were in a dense 
forest, with no human beings, except ourselves, within two or 
more miles of us. Then we could hear the songs of devotion, 
praise, and prayer; but now we listened to the hooting of owls, 
the howling of wolves, and the screams of panthers. There 
were but two cabins within some two or three miles of us. 
There was no ground to rent. Provisions were scarce, and only 
to be procured at any price, from a very great distance. Our 
money was about all expended. Our land was covered with a 
heavy forest, principally of beech and poplar, which must be 
immediately cleared for crops, to prevent starvation the coming 
year. All who were large enough commenced work. By 
spring we had nearly five acres cleared, which we planted in 
oorn and potatoes, which sustained us the coming year. One 
of our greatest difficulties was to procure those things which 
the land would not produce. Salt cost from three to four dol- 
lars for a bushel of fifty pounds ; and other merchandise was 
proportionately high. We were forced to study economy, and 
•compelled to practice it. This impressed the lessons upon my 
mind. It was difficult to procure money to purchase a little; 
■and we learned to make a little do. Wild beasts were plenty. 
There were birds in abundance. Bears, deer, and wild turkeys 
•supplied our table with meat, till we reared domestic animals. 
Sheep and wool were not to be had, so our clothing was of flax 
and hemp. Suits of these served for all seasons, summer and 
winter alike. Father and the boys prepared the material, and 
my mother and sisters manufactured the cloth, and made the 
garments. We wore no shoes but moccasins, made of dressed 
deer-skins, for we could get no leather. The deer-skin being 
spongy, absorbed the water from the ground and snow, so our 
feet were often wet. Yet we were all stout and healthy. We 
needed no doctors, which was well, as none were to be had. 
Where doctors abound, sickness much more abounds. We did 
not eat the wheat, because it was called "sick-wheat," making 
those sick who ate it. Our swine refused it. We tried other 
stock; but all the animals rejected it. We preferred the corn. 
I regard the health which I now enjoy, at the age of seventy- 
four, as the consequence of the plain diet of my early life being 
•continued to this time. We were able to work, and we were 
willing. We went on clearing for crops, and in a few years the 
heavy timber gave place to orchard-trees, and the wilderness to 
fruitful fields. Then our wants for food and clothing -were 
plentifully supplied ; but there were other wants. We had now 
passed the crisis of want for food and raiment, but began to feel 
sadly the want of schools and churches. There was no teaching, 
no preaching, no schools, no gospel, no religious meetings. My 
father and mother had united with the Freewill Baptist Church 
in New York ; but, on moving West, father neglected religion, 



MATTHEW GARDNER 13 

though mother retained her piety; so that, though we were 
without church or school, the children were encouraged by their 
mother's pious example. 

My earliest religious impressions began in the State of New 
York, when I was hardly six years old. I then, influenced by 
the Holy Spirit, had my mind exercised with thoughts of a 
future state, and felt that I must be good here or I could not be 
happy there. I often shed tears over my faults, and resolved 
to do no wrong, and prayed for help to be good. But when 
among my playmates, my vows were easily forgotten as I took 
part in their amusements. After coming to Ohio, my employ- 
ment led me to much meditation. Two brothers being older 
than I, — the youngest of the two being over three years older, — 
they were more able to do heavy work ; therefore it fell to my 
lot to take care of the cattle. We had no fenced fields ; and 
while they therefore roamed in the forest for food, it was my 
care to seek them, and keep them from straying far away and 
being lost. If I at any time failed to find them, I was severely 
reprimanded by my father. Sometimes in cloudy weather I 
would get lost, and finding the cattle by the tinkling of their 
bell, they would then pilot me home. Being much alone in the 
forest, I have since thought, begat within me a love for retire- 
ment and meditation. In these lonely hours the good Spirit 
often strove with me, and renewed the impressions of my earlier 
childhood. I had again seasons of weeping, and renewed my 
former resolutions. Sometimes I would keep my religious vows 
for several weeks, and then be thrown off my guard and break 
them. In the time of one of these vows, kept longer than any 
before, although I had said nothing about it, even to my 
mother, who was so kind to me that I told her nearly every 
thing, the family noticed the change in me, and my father 
seemed more religiously inclined than for years before. But 
ihis did not continue long. 

Parental Control. — My father possessed many good traits of 
character He was frugal and industrious. He kept each tool 
and farming implement in its place. He was kind to strangers 
and to the poor. His intellectual capacity was above ordinary,, 
and his memory was perfect. He was punctual and honest in 
business. Yet he was passionate, and often reproved and even 
punished his children when in anger, which parents should 
never do. If any thing went wrong on the farm, or a tool was 
broken, somebody must be blamed, and I thought the blame too* 
generally fell upon me. The corrections of my father, the 
taunting of my older brothers, and the neglect of prayer, soon 
led to the full neglect of my vows, and I became more hardened 
than before. I lost the happiness which I experienced in form- 
ing those resolutions, and the peace which I enjoyed while I 
adhered to them. When laboring under conviction, my mind 



14 LIFE OF 

was impressed with the duty of preaching the gospel of Christ, 
which for me ever to do seemed impossible. 

My First " Quarter. 11 — When I was perhaps in my fourteenth 
year, during February or March, my older brothers concluded 
• to improve their evenings by hunting raccoons, in order to sell 
the skins for the fur, and secure some money. I desired to 
share the peril and the profits, to which they would not con- 
sent. I then offered to go for the twentieth skin, to which they 
consented. We hunted, night after night, till we secured 
twenty-two skins. The twentieth one happened to be a large, 
fine one; and when the purchaser came, I showed it to him, 
and said, "What is this skin worth?" He answered, " A quar- 
ter of a dollar." This was the highest price for the very best 
.skins. When I got the money I, of course, felt a little proud. 
It was more money than I remember having had at one time 
before in my life! What was I to buy with it? I could per- 
haps get a pocket-knife, which I needed very much. I stood in 
need of so many things, that it was hard to decide which of 
them all I should purchase. I finally decided. 

A Fortune for a Spelling-book. — My father went, from time to 
time, to Limestone village, now Maysville, Kentucky, distant 
about sixteen miles, to purchase stores for the family. I sent 
my " quarter " with him, and bought " Webster's Spelling-book." 
The price of the book was twenty -five cents ; so I gave all my 
newly -acquired fortune for a book. There being no schools 
•where we lived, I had so far forgotten what I learned when six 
or seven years old, in "New York, that I knew little more than 
the alphabet. I concluded, however, that education was worth 
more to me than any thing else; and I now think that the best 
purchase of my life. For that twenty -five cents has profited me 
mt>re than a thousand dollars would have done, laid out in any 
other way, had I neglected my education. After this my spare 
hours at night were spent in stud} 7 ; and, by diligence, I soon 
learned to read. After some two years, an eastern man took 
T)oard at our house during the winter, instructing us in the long 
evenings. M At this night-school I learned to write, improving 
my hand afterwards by practice. 

The Prodigal. — When I was about seventeen years old, the 
country having become much settled up, the young people 
would gather, for miles around, to frolicking and dancing par- 
ties. I am sorry to confess that my religious determination** 
were so far weakened that I fell in with these amusements, and 
tried in vain to find happiness in them. During the two years 
of this indulgence I became very wicked. I was profane in my 
language, and felt proud that in fist-cuff fights my adversaries 
were always worsted, for I was stout, and understood boxing 
very well! But with all these foolish vanities I w r as very un- 
happy. Death was an awful terror to me. My dreams trou- 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 15 

bled me. The Holy Spirit called me. Deep convictions seized 
me. During these times I read the parable of the prodigal 
son. — Luke xv. His resolution filled my soul with hope. I read 
the beautiful words, "I will arise and go to my father, and will 
say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and be- 
fore thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son ; make 
me as one of thy hired servants." This melted my heart, and 
caused tears to llow, for I felt that, if possible, my state was 
even worse than his. But, alas ! these feelings were of short 
duration, for I neither changed my company, nor prayed for 
mercy or grace, but continued to love and seek pleasure in sin. 
It was in the nineteenth year of my age that I became very 
restless and dissatisfied, as boys too frequently do at that age. 
I began to plan to leave my father. His government was too 
restrictive. Not being right myself, his bearing seemed un- 
kind. There was no special falling out. but a general dissatis- 
faction. Every thing about the farm seemed hateful to my 
sight. My mind wandered far away, and I desired to get away. 
The only tie was my mother; she was always kind. To leave 
her was a great trial. I loved her dearly. I told her all my 
troubles, and she sympathized with me. If I left, it would 
grieve her; so 1 took time to consider, but finally concluded to 
leave — home, parents, brothers, sisters, and all. I kept my owii 
counsel, without hinting it to any person. I gathered my 
clothes secretly, and on the fourteenth day of April, 1809, some 
time after midnight, while all were asleep, I arose and started 
on foot for Cincinnati, then a small village about fifty miles 
down the river, intending to go from there to New Orleans. I 
arrived at Cincinnati the following day at noon, walking the 
entire distance. Here I met Joseph Jenkins, with whom T, 
hired as a hand on his flat-boat to New Orleans, to start in* a 
day or two. So I wrote to my parents an account of my reso- 
lutions and prospects, and proceeded on my voyage. 

Becomes a Universalist. — Mr. Jenkins was a kind and agree- 
able man, which made the trip quite pleasant, if I except two 
disagreeable storms on the Mississippi. There was much time 
for conversation, and sometimes religion was the subject. In 
these discussions Mr. Jenkins, the owner of the boat, defended 
the Universalist theory, that all will be saved. That Was his 
faith ; and as he was a man of mature years, and considerable 
intellectual strength, and I but a boy, unlearned in the Scrip- 
tures, I could not answer his arguments, but was brought over to 
his system, that God saves all alike, the good and the bad, the 
just and the unjust, the righteous and the wicked, and that after 
death all will be equally happy, irrespective of present charac- 
ter. The system seemed to suit my condition exactly, conse- 
quently I embraced it; and for a time it had a quieting influence 
on my conscience. True, I did not feel fully satisfied. Some- 



16 LIFE OP 

thing within me continued to whisper, "All is not well." I was 
still thoughtful, however, and did not take part in extreme 
wickedness, though my new doctrine seemed to encourage it, in 
teaching that sin here will not prevent happiness hereafter. 

Boating on the Mississippi in 1809. — With such thoughts we 
floated along on the bosom of the great Mississippi, which at 
that time flowed through an almost unbounded and unbroken 
wilderness. The few dilapidated French villages seemed to be- 
long to other days ; and the few cabins and beginnings of towns 
were far apart till we reached "Natchez under the Hill," as it 
was then called. Here we stopped for several days. A family 
had come down the river on our flat-boat, and landed here, 
and this gave us abundant opportunity to see the place. There 
were "under the hill" about forty houses, occupied principally 
by gamblers and lewd women. These houses were located on a 
narrow strip of bottom land ; and there was no place spoken of 
as a greater sink of sin than "Natchez under the Hill." Some 
of our young men visited these houses of lewdness. I did not. 
To reach Natchez proper, we ascended the high bluff, where, 
nearly a mile from the river, the main town had a beautiful 
location. The owner of the boat having transacted his busi- 
ness, we left Natchez, and proceeded down the river. Soon 
after leaving, we fell into company with a boat, whose owner, a 
man named Tompkins, from Kentucky, was also a Universalist. 
So the two owners concluded to lash their boats together, for 
company. But a circumstance took place, which I will relate, 
and a remark made by him, which did not seem Jo me to har- 
monize with Universalism. 

Manner of Whipping Negroes. — One morning as we were float- 
ing down along the coast, there was a whipping performance 
going on upon a sugar farm. It was then (and is yet, in 1862) 
the custom in the South to whip their negroes, after first firmly 
tying each hand and foot to a stake driven deep into the earth. 
The negro was thus tied down, with his breast; and abdomen 
upon the ground, and the bare back up. The lash was about 
ten or twelve feet long, made of leather or raw hide, apparently 
nearly an inch in diameter in the largest part, with a handle 
about eighteen inches long. A man accustomed to it could 
swing this heavy lash over his head, and strike very hard, 
bringing the blood at every stroke, and the crack could be 
heard for half a mile. As I said, there was one of these whip- 
pings going on by the shore, in sight of us. We could hear the 
lash at every stroke. "We could hear tho poor Negro's every 
shriek ; we could hear him scream and piteously beg; but still 
the lash went on. Oh! it was heart -sickening ! Said Tom- 
kins, "There ought to be a hell for that man," meaning the 
whipper of the Negro. Well, I thought, if Tomkins is right, 
that there ought to be a hell for the Negro-whipper. There 



MATTHEW GARDNER. / 17 

m$y be some place besides heaven for other wicked men. If so, 
is IJniversalism true? But I had accepted the system, and de- 
sired it to be true ; so the remark of Tomkins had very littlo 
weight upon my mind at that time. When approaching New 
Orleans, my health, which had heretofore been uniformly good, 
began to give way; and I became quite unwell with diarrhea, 
so that when wo reached the city, about the last of May, 1809, 
I was so weak that I could scarcely walk ; but having a good 
constitution, I refused to give up work. A gentleman who had 
a boat at the wharf, having become acquainted with me, and 
taking notice that I neither drank nor gambled, nor visited 
lewd houses, employed me to take care of his boat, while he 
attended to other business. For this easy work he gave me 
good wages ; but I still grew weaker, and the vitality of my 
system became entirely exhausted. I at times became suddenly 
blind, for perhaps fifteen or twenty minutes, when the sight 
would return. It was a matter of great wonder to me what 
caused this blindness. I have since concluded that it was 
caused by my efforts to work during my extreme weakness. I 
remember one day becoming blind on the boat ; next I found 
myself scarcely awake, and very sleepy, on a bed in a house. I 
continued in this half-sleeping and half- waking condition two 
ov three days, scarcely knowing if I was awake at any time. 1 
wondered how I got there. The owner of the boat had prob- 
ably found me insensible, and had taken me there to be taken 
care of. My sleeping was the prelude to the great Southern 
fever, which is go generally fatal to the people coming there 
from the North. I awoke with a burning fever. I soon 
divided my money with the woman (a freed woman) of the 
house and the doctor. I gave them from thirty to forty dol- 
lars — all I had — and they were to nurse and doctor me till well, 
or till I died. They of course expected me to die soon, and 
acted accordingly, giving mo little attention, as I thought. 
Perhaps I was wrong. There was no other sick person there, 
which made it better for me. The woman talked of her chil- 
dren, but I saw none, except a littlo girl ten or twelve years 
old, and but little of her. During the raging fever, oh ! how I 
longed for cold water ! But I could get none. Ice was even 
then shipped to New Orleans, but I knew of none, nor had I 
any money to buy it with. I only remember seeing the doctor 
once or twice. They proposed to move me to the hospital, but 
I objected, having heard that nearly all died who went there. 
If I died, my desire was to die where I was. Sleep had now 
forsaken me, and I passed the long dreary nights without com- 
fort or company. It sometimes seemed as if light would never 
return. I was a stranger, and few called to see me or speak to 
me, or cared for me, except the poor black woman who had 
charge of me.- Then I thought of my mother — more dear to 
2 



18 * LIFE OP 

my heart than any other human being. I meditated upon her 
kindness to me; and oh! how I desired to see her! while, I 
have no doubt she was praying for me. I grew worse. Death 
seemed very near. The feeble hope of recovery seemed nearly 
gone; the lamp of life seemed nearly extinguished. When 
composed I thought of my prospects after death. Should I 
find happiness or misery ! I tried to trust in Universalism, but 
its hope vanished, and left me a helpless sinner, without a prop 
to lean upon when at the very verge, seemingly, of the spirit 
world. I then turned to Jesus. I remembered that he came 
into the world to save sinners ; I was a sinner. I felt as if there 
was no greater sinner than I, why then may not I trust in Him 
who came to save sinners? In Him alone will I put my trust! 
I prayed night and day, when not deranged by fever. I re- 
newed my broken vows. After many nights and days, spent 
almost sleepless, it seemed to me that my prayers were an- 
swered. I had hope. My weak faith trusted in and relied 
upon the promises of the God of mercy, and I resigned myself 
to his koeping in child-like, trusting faith. I said, " i Thy will 
bo done,* whether I live or die." In this my troubled soul 
found a little peace, and I felt in a degree reconciled to die, but 
still prayed to live to see my mother. 1 remember feeling also 
troubled about being buried in the New Orleans cemetery, then 
callod a swamp — a low, wet ground in which they buried stran- 
gers. I thought if my body could be buried at home, death 
would have less terror. After four or five weeks during the 
hot season of Juno and July in that hot climate, my body was a 
msre skeleton, and the bones seemed to protrude through the 
skin. But then I began to mend, and in a few days began to 
walk. I attribute my recovery to my trust in God, and tho 
calmness of mind which I gained by this trust. I then be- 
lieved, and have never sinco doubted, that it was by a special 
providence of the God of all grace that my life was preserved, 
otherwise I should have died in New Orleans in 1809. As .1 
began to mend, the black woman began to ask for more money ; 
but I had given all I had to her and the doctor, and had none 
for her. 

The Black Woman 1 s Words. — I remember her saying: "I 
would put you out of the house, and not let you stay here any 
longer, but I have children, and do not know where they may 
go to and be turned out of doors when sick!" Had she given 
me proper attention, her bargain would have been a hard one, 
for, according to the best of my recollection, I was at her house 
from four to six weeks. I remember tho Fourth-of-July cele- 
bration while there in 1809. I was lying on the bed, helpless 
and weak. I had not yet begun to recover. It was the 
15th of July when I was first able to walk the streets. While 
thankful to the Lord for returning health, new difficulties 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 19 

arose. I was ih a strange city, nearly fifteen hundred miles 
from home, unable to work, without a dollar, and without an 
earthly friend to ask help from. Of course as I was not yet 
well, my contract continued with the colored landlady, whoso 
house was a kind of home for me for the present ; but I could 
not expect it to be so much longer. The gloomy question 
arose, after leaving here, Who will take me in, as I am destitute 
of money and friends? By what means can 1 return to my far- 
off home? There were no steam-boats then. The only way 
was to walk. How could I undertake this journey alone, four 
or five hundred miles through dense forests, the home of Choc- 
taw and Chickasaw Indians. I must pass through both their 
villages. I have no money ! Darkness rested on all the future ! 
but I trusted in the Lord. I desired to leave New Orleans, and 
hoped that some way would open. My health so improved 
that I was now able to walk two or three miles in the cool of 
the day. So I went to the landing in search of work, with the 
hope also of finding some one there from Ohio. There I found 
Thomas Campbell, who had been at my father's house. He 
owned a flat-boat. He willingly befriended me, lending me 
thirty dollars, for which he took my note.' This was about the 
20th of July, 1809. I immediately prepared to start for home. 
It was the custom of returning boatmen to form into com- 
panies for mutual protection. I was too weak to keep up with 
a company, nor did I wish to travel with them, but determined 
to go as far as I could by myself. So I bade my colored land- 
lady farewell, and started. It was called two hundred miles to 
Natchez, by land; but to go that way we must cross Lake 
Pontchartrain, the shore of which is three or four miles from 
New Orleans. While on my way to a vessel, to cross this lake, 
that night a heavy rain shower came upon me, and fearing a 
return of sickness, I stepped into a liquor-shop, and purchased, 
for six and a quarter cents, a dram of brandy, to prevent taking 
cold. This is the only dram of any kind I have ever bought, 
before or since. The vessel was propelled by sails or oars, and 
we were out all night. I was very sea-sick. It was the only 
time in my life that I have felt that sickness, though I have 
been on the ocean since. We landed about nine the next morn- 
ing. I was weak from vomiting, but the sickness soon ceased 
after landing; and I started for Natchez — two hundred miles. 
The way led through parts of Florida, then belonging to Spain, 
and almost wholly wilderness. I was so feeble that I walked 
but a short distance that day. The next day I traveled perhaps 
ten miles, and some days fifteen miles, as my strength per- 
mitted. I carried no provisions, but ate such as I could pro- 
cure of the few peoplo along the road. This was an advantage 
I had by being alone. They could spare something for one, 
when they could not feed a large number. Much of the way 



20 LIFE OF 

was through pine forests, where, when tired by walking, I 
could sit or lie down in the shade and listen to the moaning 
zephyrs of the wind in the tall pine tops, which seemed to har- 
monize with my inward spirit and soothe my mind. The few 
people whom I met treated me with marked kindness, and 
doubtless pitied me as a poor wandering, homeless boy. So I 
found shelter every night on the way, reaching Natchez about 
the 15th of August, 1809, tired and worn out. I obtained enter- 
tainment with the family we left at Natchez on the downward 
trip. Never having fully recovered from my first sickness, I 
desired to remain until able to travel ; but if I remained there 
on ^expense, earning nothing, I would soon be without money, 
so I purchased water-melons by the load, and, by retailing 
them in the market, thus added a little to the few dollars in m v 
possession. I avoided bad company, lewd women, and places 
of drinking, and all gambling, with one exception. There was 
to be a horse-race, and I heard some one say, "If the morning 
is cloudy, the dark horse will win." The morning was cloudy, 
so I bet live dollars on the brown horse. The money was 
staked, andjhe horses started. My heart fluttered with fear, 
for I had no money to lose. It was a close race, but the judges 
announced that the brown horse had won. I took the money ; 
and as it was the first so it was the last bet that I ever made. 
I did it thoughtless of the evil; ,but it is a wonder that winning 
did not make a gambler of me. About the first of September, 
having purchased a mule, I prepared to continue my journey 
homeward, 'when I found a man who had purchased a large 
drove of cattle west of the Mississippi, and was driving them to 
Philadelphia or some eastern city. I engaged to accompany 
him to where our roads would part, which I hoped would take 
me at least half way through the Indian country. Just when 
ready to start, my clothes, except those I had on, were nearly- 
all stolen. Misfortune never comes alone, so, on the day I left 
the drove, a villain who belonged to it took possession of my 
mule, and would neither return it or pay me for it. We were 
out of the jurisdiction of the United States. There was no law- 
ny which I could get justice. I applied to the United States 
Indian Agent, but he could do nothing for me, so I lost my 
mule. I was now again left very destitute, having little money, 
and being at the mercy of the wild sons of the forest. Yet the 
Indians were more honest than the white men who had wronged 
me. I started again on foot, alone, sick and weak. The In- 
dians were kind. I ate what they ate. They always gave me 
a part of what they had, and permitted me to sleep in their 
wigwams. The food was generally parched corn, sometimes 
corn-bread. The best fkmily government I ever witnessed was 
in the wigwams of these so-called savage people. The parents 
were promptly obeyed. There was no crying or freeting among 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 21 

the children. Once where I was lodging they had a dance — a 
common thing with them* I had some fear that when excited 
they might murder me for what little money I had. Neverthe- 
less, after observing the dance awhile, I fell 'asleep, and they 
danced on without molesting me. No squaws mingled in these 
dances, nor did I learn the object of the dances. Sometimes 
they adore the Great Spirit by these forms of amusement. I 
saw many white men among the Indians. Probably they were 
escaped criminals, who sought refuge there, taking squaws for 
wives. I had far more confidence in the Indians than I had in 
these white men. Sometimes I traveled for days without meet- 
ing a single person who could understand a word I said, neither 
could I understand them, and I longed to get among civilized 
people. At Ifcngth I came into the State of Tennessee. Here I 
found a very kind, hospitable people, who made it seem like 
home, though yet hundreds of miles away from my mother. I 
tarried here several days, being so well pleased with the people, 
the country, and the climate, that I was almost persuaded to 
remain there. But my mind was not satisfied ; so, after resting 
a few days, I started on again, though still ill of my first sick- 
ness, and very weak. I passed Nashville, then a small village, 
and next Lexington, Kentucky, then Maysville. Here I tarried 
all night, then crossed over to Ohio in the morning, and reached 
home — Bixteen miles — the same day. The people all along 
through Tennessee and Kentucky were very kind. I arrived 
home on the twentieth day of October, 1809, having been ab- 
sent six months and four days. The family was not looking 
for me, and my sudden appearance was almost as of one who 
had been dead and was alive again. We could not restrain our 
tears ! My mother afterwards told me that she had prayed to the 
Lord to give me no rest anywhere until I should return home. 
These px*ayers, I havo always believed, were the causo of my 
restlessness and unsatisfied state of mind in Tennessee, where I 
so much desired to settle. My love for my mother seemed now 
greater than ever before; and my health improved rapidly, 
with a corresponding return of strength, consequently 1 was 
soon able to do light work. That winter, on the fifth day of 
December, I entered my twentieth year. I prevailed with my 
father to let me go to school. 

The Old-fashioned School-house. — The school was two miles 
from our house. It was taught in an unhewed log cabin, the 
logs being covered with clapboards split from logs. The open- 
ings between the logs were filled with split blocks of wood, 
except four, which were left for windows, and these were cov- 
ered with greased paper to admit the light. The floor was of 
split logs, hewed on the upper side. One end of the house was 
cut through about five feet each way, for a fire-place. This was 
also built of logs, extending from the house outside, but con- 



22 LIFE OF 

nected with it by joining the ends of the logs which formed the 
chimney-jams in with the logs of the house which had been cut 
for the fire-place. The fire-place, thus built of logs, was faced 
inside with a thick wall of stone and clay, to prevent the logs 
burning. This work was carried five feet high. From there 
the chimney was built of long sticks two inches square, well 
daubed with clay plastering, first mixed with straw. It was 
carried up, independent of the house, in a sort of tower outside. 
If I remember rightly, our school-house chimney was not yet 
carried up to its proper hight, but terminated just above the 
five-feet-high fire-place. The teacher at our school-house had 
the reputation of being an excellent English scholar ; but he 
would get drunk now and then. My trip to New Orleans had 
been a great lesson to me. It had taught me to endure suffer- 
ing. I had learned to live among Indians. It had given me. a 
knowledge of mankind in general, and of humanity. These 
lessons were useful in their place, but I felt the need of an edu- 
cation of a different character, therefore I went to school to 
learn. 

Twenty-seven Days for Arithmetic. — I could read and I could 
write a little, but I knew nothing of arithmetic. I began with 
the beginning ; and the teacher seeing my diligence, gave me 
all the assistance he could in justice to the other children. He- 
even gave me instruction at noon-time, while the others were 
playing. I learned rapidly, passing from simple addition on 
till I soon was through the "rule of three" without difficulty, 
and found that I could do almost any practical sum in the 
arithmetic, including interest, tare and tret, mensuration, etc. 
In twenty-seven days I had acquired all the knowledge of 
arithmetic absolutely essential for ordinary business purposes. 
These twenty-seven days include all my school-house educa- 
tional experience, except that received in New York, when I 
was six or seven years old. It was about the middle of Febru- 
ary, in 1810, when my father desired me to quit school and go 
to work on the farm. My health was now fully restored. My 
younger brother, Seth, and I worked together as formerly, but 
I continued to improve my mind by study, as circumstances 
would permit. 

The Christian Minister Comes. — There had been a general neg- 
lect of religion in our neighborhood until the summer of 1810. 
Then, in July or August, a Christian minister, Elder Archibald 
Alexander, from Kentucky, preached at my father's house, and 
quite a number embraced religion. I felt my own lost and 
miserable condition and a guilty conscience, which almost 
caused me to despair, for the vows which I had broken, espe- 
cially those made when sick at New Orleans. But, after care- 
fully counting the cost, I resolved, trusting in God's mercy, 
that through divine grace I would try once more, and that thia 



MATTHEW GABDNER. 23 

trial should last daring my life. My broken vows were muck 
in my way. I sometimes feared that I had committed the un- 
pardonable sin. But I determined to make a full surrender, an 
unreserved sacrifice of all worldly pleasure and vain amuse- 
ments, and to continue in prayer during my whole life ; and if 
lost, to perish praying. My mind continued under this dark 
gloom for days, perhaps weeks. As I was alone in the field, at 
evening, when the golden rays of the setting sun last rested 
upon the tree-tops of the eastern hills, while contemplating the 
glory and power of God in nature, my mind passed to the con- 
templation of the greater glory of his grace. "Jesus loved sin- 
ners, and died to save them. I am a sinner, therefore he died 
to save me." The answer came: "He died to save you. and 
will save you, if you will trust in him." Then I said, " O Lord, 
I will trust in thee!" Quick as thought an unspeakable joy filled 
my soul. All nature seemed to rejoice with me and smile ap- 
proval. The departing rays of the setting sun appeared more 
beautiful than ever before. Tears of joy filled my eyes. I was 
filled with the love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ, who 
died for me. I was happy! Yet this continued but a short 
time, for when I came to remember the words of others, relat- 
ing their wonderful conversions, I began to doubt the reality 
of mine. Then trouble and affliction of mind returned, with 
darkness greater than before, for the darkness was more dense 
from thoughts of the doctrine of unconditional election and 
reprobation, as taught by Presbyterians and Baptists. If you 
are to be saved, you will bo saved. Why then this anxiety and 
these efforts? Yet I continued to pray. At length tKe follow- 
ing thoughts relieved mo : " If God from all eternity unchange- 
ably ordained all things whatsoever comes to pass, and conse- 
quently predestinated a part of mankind to be eternally happy, 
and doomed the remainder to eternal misery, why did he send 
his beloved Son into the world to invite all to come to him and 
be saved? Or, again, can it be possible that a kind heavenly 
Father could, before any were born or had sinned, and when 
all were equal in his sight, doom a part to eternal misery, and 
afterwards mock them in his blessed Word, by directing them 
what to do to be saved,* while he had bound them down by 
immutable decrees, so that it was impossible for them to do 
any thing to change their character or condition? My soul 
replied, "It is not possible !" My mind was thus relieved from 
this false philosophy; but I longed for plainer evidence of sins 
forgiven and acceptance in Christ. How to obtain this was 
beyond my comprehension. Still my fixed determination was 
to continue a life of prayer, and to rely upon the testimony of 
all the prophets. Acts x. 43: "Whosoever believeth in him 
shall receive remission of sins." I hoped to be of that number, 
being determined to believe God's word just as it stands in the 



24 LIFE OF 

divine record. One afternoon, coming in from work a little 
before sundown, and entering the room when no one was there 
but myself, I opened the Testament and, seemingly accident- 
ally, commenced reading in the tenth chapter of Romans, at 
verse nine : " That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the 
Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart, that God hath 
raised him from the dead, thou shalt bo saved. For with the 
heart man believeth "unto righteousness, and with the mouth 
confession is made unto salvation." I asked myself the ques- 
tion, "Do I believe this?" and answered, "I do; I believe it 
with all my heart!" Simultaneously with the answer inex- 
pressible joy* and gladness filled my soul! Every doubt van- 
ished! I felt more than I had asked for, or could in anywise 
have expected. Oh! how precious was the- name of Jesus from 
that moment! I loved God, and loved all his creatures. I de- 
sired that all would go to heaven with me. It seemed to me 
that I could plainly tell every one the way; and they would all 
surely come and be happy with me. I felt with the poet — 

"Jesus, all the day long, 
Was my joy and my song ; 
Oh that aH"his salvation might see!" 

The fear of death, which had always beforo troubled me, was 
now gone. I felt willing to pass its dark valley to reach the 
mansions of glory, but like too many, I at fh*st trusted entirely 
to my happy feelings. I soon found that I must adopt fixed 
principles, and that it was not safe to trust to feelings, which 
might vary with 'every circumstance. But, at the timo, I was 
very happy, and — 

" I could not believe 
That I ever should grieve, 
That I ever should suffer again.' ' 

It was perhaps past the middle of August, 1810, in the twentieth 
year of my age, when, through divine grace, I was brought to 
experience this happy change. My only sorrow was that I had 
not fully started years before, when my mind was so strongly 
impressed with duty, and that I had let so much precious time 
run to waste ; for, had I then truly believed, without doubting, 
and truly repented, without falling back, and fully surrendered 
myself a living - sacrifice, resolving to continue praying while 
life should last, as I now did, my happiness would have been as 
complete then as now. In view of the fullness in Christ, and 
his boundless love to lost sinners, I felt it my duty to proclaim 
the Savior's love, and to invite poor sinners to come unto him 
and be saved. It was a great cross for me to exhort my young 
companions to leave sin, and turn to God and seek salvation. 
I soon found that I had labored under a great mistake in sup- 
posing that becauso the enjoyment of religion was so great, and 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 25 

the way so plain, I could persuade all to come to Jesus, and go 
to heaven with me. To the heavy cross was added this great 
disappointment. Yet I continued to exhort from a positive 
sense of duty, fearing, if I refused to speak, it would grieve the 
Holy Spirit, and cause it to forsake me. I had then very little 
expectation of becoming a preacher, so great did the responsi- 
bility appear. I, however, resolved to discharge my duty as I 
saw the way open, so far at least as to avoid falling under con- 
demnation for disobedience. It was several weeks after I found 
peace in believing before I united with any church. After ex- 
amining the various systems, and the rules of the various 
denominations, as far as my means permitted, I made choice of 
the "Christians," on account of their liberality in fellowship- 
ing all who love the Lord Jesus Christ, and their taking the 
Scriptures for their only rule of faith and practice. I did not 
know or care much for doctrines. There was no Christian 
church near; but about the 1st of September of that year, 1810, 
I, with many others of our neighborhood, attended a Christian 
camp-meeting in Adams County, about ten miles south, near 
the place now called Bentonville. Several ministers were there. 
It was there that I first met and became acquainted with Elder 
Barton "W. Stone. The meeting opened on Friday. On Mon- 
day Elder Stone invited all who desired to confess Christ and 
to unite with God's people to come forward. Many went for- 
ward, and among them myself; and there I publicly confessed 
Christ, and took upon me the obligations of his holy religion. 
I had not then been baptized, and do not remember having 
thought of it. When I carefully examined the precepts of 
Christ and his apostles, I was impelled to attend to this duty. 
It was about the middle of October, 1810, when quite a number 
went forward with me, and were baptized in the beautiful water 
of the west fork of Eagle Creek, below the old state road to 
Decatur, about two miles from my father's house, by Elder 
Archibald Alexander, who shortly afterwards organized a Chris- 
tian Church in the neighborhood, the meetings of which were 
generally held at my father's house. Our meetings were inter- 
esting, for we seemed to love one another as the Savior directed. 
Kumbers were added, and the church grew rapidly. I took 
part, praying and speaking publicly. I have always looked 
at this time, the latter part of the summer of 1810, and the 
autumn and following winter, as among the happiest days of 
my life. On the 5th of December of that year 1 was twenty 
years old. During these seasons of refreshing, we were invited 
to hold meetings in different neighborhoods, and, through the 
presence of the Holy Spirit, the meetings were attended with 
much good. But where are those who labored with me then — 
who Bung and prayed and worshiped with me there? Gone! 
gonef gone! no more to return. 



CHAPTER III. 

THE THIRD TEN YEARS OF MY LIFE — COMMENCEMENT OF MY MIN- 
ISTRY — MY MARRIAGE AND MY ORDINATION. 

On the 5th of December, 1810, I entered my twenty -first 
year, during which I was still subject to my father. My sparo 
moments, which were few, were devoted to the Bible, the study 
of which at that time has since been of great advantage to me. 
Our occupation was farming, in which # my brother Seth and I 
got along very agreeably, he having been baptized at the same 
time that I was. 

A Happy Family. — All of our family that were grown up had 
professed religion, and was at this time, I think, trying to live 
accordingly. This made home desirable. All being good sing- 
ers, we enjoyed much happiness together. Labor did not seem 
burdensome, but the time passed pleasantly. 

The Young Preacher. — The only matter which caused me un- 
easiness was the duty of calling sinners to repentance. The 
church, without my requesting it, gave me their approbation, 
and I exercised my gift in the regular social and prayer-meet- 
ings, and sometimes made distant appointments. Yet it seemed 
to me that all I could say was of little account, and the people 
would not continue to come to hear me, and if they (fid not 
come to hear me, then I would be justified in ceasing to make 
appointments. But the people continued to come in crowds. 
I wondered what they came for, and was sorry to see them 
there. The church to which wo belonged, that is, my father, 
mother, and several of the family besides myself, was organized 
in the fall of 1810, and was one of the first Christian churches 
in southern Ohio. 

His Father Leaves the Church. — My father's intellect was of a 
high order; and being a fair speaker, he generally opened and 
led the meetings, which went on with harmony till the latter 
part of the summer of 1811. Then a difficulty arose between 
Elder Alexander (who organized the church) and my father. 
The preacher did not like my father very well, for he was hard 
to please, and often called in question things that Elder Alex- 
ander preached. Tho difficulty arose on the question of tho 
Sabbath. Elder Alexander's parents were Presbyterians. Tho 
Presbyterians are particular to " remember tho Sabbath-day to 
keep it holy." As wo made cheese, sometimes hours would be 
spent at this on Sunday mornings, the same as on other days. 
It was considered necessary to take care of the milk on Sunday. 
Elder Alexander considered this a violation of tho fourth 

26 



MATT11 EW GARDNER. 27 

commandment, and considered my father responsible for it. It 
was of no use to urge that Elder Alexander had been brought 
up in Yirginia, where they were inexperienced in this business, 
or that even Presbyterians, in dairy countries, sometimes do 
the same as we did. Elder Alexander laid the matter before 
the preachers at a grove camp-meeting, held near the large 
spring in my father's grove, in September, A. D. 1811. The 
result was very injurious to the church, for my father being, 
like too many others, very hasty, concluded that he was doing 
no wrong, and should not change his course. So, without wait- 
ing for a decision of the case, he withdrew from the church. I 
do not think that the preachers would have excluded him ; and 
I thought then, and stilUthink, that those designing to live re- 
ligion should live in the church. If Jesus is with the church, 
to withdraw from it is to withdraw from him. This many do 
not think of when withdrawing from the church. I do not re- 
member any person that I have known to withdraw from the 
church, without uniting with another, who has continued to 
live a true religious life. Although I did not approve of Elder 
Alexander's course, for no minister should become a party to 
accuse his members, yet I approved of his principles and did 
not leave the church. The church, also, had taken no part in 
the matter, for before it came before them my father withdrew. 
1 also believed that the church-members, with few exceptions, 
were striving to live according to the gospel of peace ; and I 
loved many of them as children of God near and dear to my 
heart. The consequence of this hasty movement of Elder 
Alexander was, that the church suffered a severe injury. My 
father being a man of determination, when he felt himself in- 
jured, manifested much resentment, and he soon became a great 
opposer of the church, and all who belonged to it. It wanted 
but three months of my birth-day, when I would become of 
age, and I did every thing I could to please him, except leaving 
the church, which I could not do, as I felt that it would offend 
the dear Savior. He was much displeased that I continued my 
membership, and would probably have ordered me away from 
home immediately had it not been for the press of work. There 
was much to do on the farm, and he needed me to assist in do- 
ing it. 

Turned from Father's House. — I tried to bear all, and labored 
faithfully to have all the work done ; but, a few days before my 
birth-day, which would come December 5th, 1811, my father, 
in a passion, told me to leave his house, not to return. My 
mother was always kind to me, and the opposition of father did 
not long continue. However, I gathered up my few clothes, 
and took them to David Devore's, a neighbor, the father of 
David G. Devore, of Georgetown, since so well known as an 
eminent lawyer. This family belonged to the church, and 



28 LIFE OF 

treated me kindly, for which I paid them, being very thankful 
to get i\ good home, even for pay. December the 5, 1811, I 
entered upon my twenty -second year, and was consequently 
free from the control of my father, or any other man, except by 
my own agreement. I at this time began the world properly 
for myself. I was a poor young man, having nothing to rely 
upon but healthj strength, and a good constitution, and a pair 
of hands willing to work, and ability to use them. These will 
always procure a living, if prudently employed. My first work 
was chopping timber. My first wages went to procure a Bible. 
I chopped and split six hundred rails, at fifty cents per hun- 
dred. There was a neighbor who had bought a small pocket 
Bible for three dollars, the common price then. He found the 
print too small for family use, and offered it for sale. There 
being no book-store near, I was glad of the opportunity, and 
readily gave my first six days wages for a pocket Bible. I car- 
ried it with me aa a constant companion, and when wearied 
with my daily toil, while resting, read its heavenly instruc- 
tions. I have this Bible yet, nor will I willingly part with it. 
Mules of Life. — I soon adopted the following rules to govern* 
my life : * 

1. Attend to tho demands of religion in preference to any- 
thing else. # 

2. Never live a day without prayer. 

3. Take no part in vain jesting or joking at home or abroad. 

4. Do no manual labor on the Sabbath, or Lord's day, except 
in works of mercy or necessity. 

5. Speak the truth, to the best of my knowledge, at all times, 
and under all circumstances. 

6. Deal justly, doing to all as I would be done by. 

7. "When treated unkindly, or injured, I will bear no malice, 
nor seek revenge, but return good for evil. 

8. Never occupy time except to the benefit of myself or 
others. 

9. Never go security in a sum large enough to injure me, if J! 
have it to pay. 

10; Drink no ardent spirits, such as whisky, brandy, etc., as 
a beverage. 

11. Punctually fulfill all contracts, promises, engagements^ 
and appointments at the time set and understood. 

12. Every night examine the transactions of the day, and, 
where I have erred, try to mend in the future. 

Sis Trade. — My father being a carpenter by trade, I had 
acquired some knowledge of the business, and the use of tools, 
and now went to work at that occupation. When I could not 
command high wages, I took less, consequently found steady 
employment. Other carpenters agreed together to work only 
for a stipulated bill of prices, and urged me to unite with them; 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 29 

bttt I preferred to make my own contracts, free from the con- 
trol of others- It soon became known that where I undertook 
jobs, I fulfilled my contracts punctually and satisfactorily. 
When working by the day, I did nearly one half more than 
most other carpenters. Therefore, nearly all who wanted work 
called upon me, and I had abundance to do. I was never idle* 
While working at one dollar a day and board, which seemed to 
me then high wages, demanding faithful work, another carpen- 
ter hired by my employer seemed disposed to " nurse the job," 
that is, to keep it on hand as long as possible. He said to me, 
"Why do you work so hard? We will receive the same reward 
if we work slower." I answered, that when wo agreed to do a 
day's work, it is not honest to do a half or two thirds of a 
day's work, and take pay for the whole day! I was then doing 
nearly double the work in a day that he was. He was dis- 
pleased, and soon gathered up his tools, leaving me to finish the 
job- Though now such wages seem low, yet by close attention 
and constant employment, having little expense, and spending 
no money uselessly, and using strict economy, I was able to lay 
by some money. My father had not paid Thomas Campbell 
the thirty dollars which I borrowed of him in New Orleans. I 
was told that as the note was given before I was of lawful age, 
the law did not oblige me to pay it. But my decision was that 
honesty bound me to pay it ; so the first money I could spare 
went to pay that thirty dollars and the interest for nearly three 
years, due on it when it w r as paid. The sense of duty to speak 
in the name of Jesus had not diminished, but increased, and I 
had appointments nearly every Lord's day, sometimes going on 
a trip with some of the Kentucky ministers into that state, by 
which I formed an intimate acquaintance with Elder Barton 
W. Stone, whose company was a great source of instruction to 
me. In September of 1812 the Kentucky Christian Conference 
met, fifteen or sixteen miles from us, in Bracken County, Ken - 
tueky, in the church where Elder Alexander, our minister, then 
Ijved; for Elder Alexander still had charge of the Christian 
church on the Ohio side of the river, of which I was a member. 
I attended this conference, and, on the recommendation of the 
church of which I was a member, I united with the conference, 
and received my first letter as a Christian preacher, dated Sep- 
tember the 8, 1812, some two years after I had commenced 
public speaking, with the approbation of the church. I was, at 
the time of receiving this letter, in the twenty -second year of 
my life. In the latter part of this autumn, 1812, 1 started on a 
preaching tour with Elder David Kirkpatrick, and during some 
two months traveled through various counties in Kentucky, 
visiting on my way the eminent Christian minister, B. W. 
Stone. Elder Kirkpatrick was a pious man, and, having a tol- 
erably good education, was an excellent preacher. My associa- 



30 LIFE OP 

tion with liim and others at that time was very useful to me. 
On my return from this trip I went to work at my trade, but 
filled my appointments as before, speaking to the people with 
increasing confidence as my knowledge was increased. 

His Marriage. — December the 5th, 1812, 1 entered upon my 
twenty -third year, and toward the spring of 1813, after care- 
fully considering the matter, concluded to take to myself a com- 
panion for life. I had a fondness for female society, and had 
kept company with young women of respectable families, in 
good standing, always pursuing a course of virtue, for I re- 
garded it sinful to trifle with the affections of the female heart, 
and make vain promises of marriage for wicked purposes, as too 
many young men are guilty of doing. I had kept company 
with a daughter of Jeptha and Sally Beasley for a year or more. 
Her name was Sally. She was of a very respectable family, 
and I concluded, if she would consent, to make her my wife. 
Being, however, determined to obey the call, as it Beemed to 
me, of the Holy Spirit to preach, if the people would hear, I 
honestly told her that it was my expectation to preach during 
my life, and consequently she must expect to be poor in this 
world, and be left much of the time alone, if she married me. 
Being herself religious, she agreed to all. this, and we then, in 
the presence of God, pledged ourselves to each other, and were 
married on the twentieth day of May, 1813. In two or threo 
days after our marriage, I returned to my employment, while 
she remained at her father's house. The war with England at 
this time rendered it necessary to defend the northern frontier 
of Ohio, and a call for soldiers being made in the latter part of 
July, 1813, 1 obeyed the summons to arms. Yet, my religious 
sentiments and feelings, perhaps from my Quaker ancestors, 
were opposed to war. I might have been exempted also from 
ill health, being quite unwell. Yet, as my country needed my 
help, duty said, Go. We reached Upper Sandusky; but the 
victory of Commodore Perry on the lake rendered our services 
unnecessary, except perhaps one out of every four, who were 
drafted to remain forty days longer. The rest were discharged, 
and returned home. The lot fell upon me to remain; but be- 
ing unwell, I hired a substitute, and returned with those going 
home. My custom, while a soldier, was to go out alone every 
night to some by-placo inside of the pickets, and kneel before 
the Lord, and pray for the help which he alone could give. 

The Church at Home. — Quite a change had now taken place 
in the church to which I belonged. Near the close of 1812, 
Elder John Lon^ley, of Kentucky, had preached for us ; and 
being a fascinating speaker, notwithstanding his limited educa- 
tion, the people were much pleased with him, and chose him as 
their pastor ; and he soon moved to Ohio, within the bounds of 
the church. Elder Alexander, the former pastor, was a man 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 31 

of learning, having been educated for a Presbyterian minister. 
On the change of pastors quite a revival took place, and many 
united with the church. 

The First Church Built. — We soon built a good stone meeting* 
house. It was erected on the east bank of the west fork of 
Eagle Creek, just above the crossing of the old plank road. 
This was the first meeting-house erected by the Christians in 
southern Ohio. Though I had little means, it being soon after 
my marriage, I did nearly fifty dollars' worth of work on the 
house. The church now having a good house and an engaging 
speaker, prospered accordingly, until years after, when the 
preacher turned storekeeper ; then got his brethren to indorse 
for him; then got in debt, got in jail, ruined his indorsers, lost 
his influence, changed his religion — joined the Campbellites, 
and left the country. 

The First Farm. — In 1813, after returning from the army, as 
soon as my health permitted, I began to prepare for house- 
keeping. My wife still remained at her father's. We now had 
a little money; and we wanted a home of our own, if it were 
but a small one. Land could be entered in Indiana, not far 
distant, at a dollar and a quarter per acre, and I talked of going 
there. My wife's father did not wish her to go so far from 
them, and so offered to sell me one hundred acres of land join- 
ing their farm. He had offered it for six dollars an acre a few 
months before our marriage, which was about the price of such 
land when he offered it to me. He said that he considered the 
land worth ten dollars per acre; but he would give his daugh- 
ter, my wife, four hundred dollars, and deduct it from the price 
of the land; and I could pay him the six hundred dollars from 
time to time, or year to year, as convenient. There being on 
the land a cabin to live in, into which we had previously mado 
arrangements to move, and also a clearing of twelve or fifteen 
acres, his proposition was of course accepted, and I sowed a 
small piece of wheat, and did some work upon the land that 
fall, 1813. Having furnished a few things for housekeeping, 
we moved into our cabin on the first day of January, 1814. We 
felt at first strange, and as if not at home; but we still, after 
fifty years, live on the same place. Here, the first day we lived 
by ourselves, we erected the family altar, and here daily prayer 
and thanksgiving to God for all his mercies and goodness, have 
continued, with little exception, tor upwards of fifty years, it 
being now 1865. Being now by ourselves, in a homo of our 
own, I had greater opportunity for study, and feeling the need 
of more learning, I procured Lindley Murray's Grammar, the 
only one then published, determined to get some knowledge of 
its contents. After working hard all day, I frequently studied 
till twelve at night, and was soon able not only to speak, but to 
write the language so as to be understood. When able, I pur- 



32 LIFE OF 

chased other books, still adding to my little stock of knowledge, 
frequently being in company and traveling with Elder Barton 
W. Stone and William Kinkade. I improved these opportuni- 
ties as a school to gain knowledge of almost every thing per- 
taining to the gospel ministry. These men were of much 
assistance to me ; yet, I studied the Scriptures for myself, and 
formed my own views from them. The land w t c had purchased 
was heavily timbered. Even the clearing before mentioned, at 
least ten acres of it, had most of the timber yet on it. The small 
growth had been cleared off. The large trees were deadened 
and left standing, and many of them had fallen to the ground. 
This ground I cleared during the w T inter and spring, to plant 
with corn as our only resource for a crop. I worked almost 
day and night and had it cleared, and had nearly finished plow- 
ing, expecting to plant in a few days, when, about the 10th of 
May, 1814, there came a storm-, which leveled to the ground 
nearly all the trees left standing. The field was nearly covered 
with the large trunks, limbs, and brush. It looked discourag- 
ing. It was then time for planting. 1 again went patiently to 
work, cleared it off the second time, and finished planting about 
the last of May, my labor resulting, by heaven's blessing, in a 
good crop of corn. Our cabin was quite an ordinary one — 
merely a shelter — hardly that. There was a place cut out for a 
chimney, and a fire-place built up of wood about five feet high, 
outside of the house, which I topped out w r ith a chimney made 
of split sticks, daubed with clay in which straw was mixed. 
The roof leaked, but this I also repaired to make it answer 
present purposes till able to build. After my small crop was 
in I went out to work as a carpenter, until time for plowing, 
and then, by hiring a hand to assist me, I was soon through 
and at my trade again. I also attended my appointments every 
Lord's day, with few exceptions, and sometimes during the 
week. From time to time I went out on preaching tours, for 
several days at a time, but lost no time in any other way. I 
soon felt the need of a system to bo guided by, and adopted the 
following rules, which I adhered to : 

THE RULES ADOPTED. 

1st. Set a time beforehand, if possible, for every particular 
work or business to be done, and arrange every thing prepara- 
tory to it; and do every thing at the time set, unless unavoida- 
bly prevented. 

2d. Have a place for each tool of all kinds, and also for each 
kind of stock ; and put every thing in its place, where it can 
always be found. 

3d. Be particular in making contracts, and leave no room for 
any misunderstanding, so that if the opposite party tries to 
change it, he must do it knowingly, with the intention to de- 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 33 

fraud. If be does this, never do any more business with that man. 

4th. Never hire a hand who will not promise to avoid pro- 
fane language and getting drunk. 

5th. Settle with a hand, and pay him before he leaves, and 
never let a hireling leave dissatisfied with his wages. 

6th. Be careful. Save every thing ; let nothing go to waste 
or be lost. 

7th. If business becomes complicated and entangled, do not 
shun investigation, as too many do, but attend to it immedi- 
ately, and never give up till it is corrected and made plain. 

8th. Settle frequently. Never let an account run beyond 
one year. 

The first of these rules I found very useful. By observing it, 
I could arrange my appointments and preaching tours to suit 
every work, so that they did not conflict. I generally set the 
day to plant my corn, perhaps two or three months before the 
time, and seldom failed to begin on the day appointed. I did 
likewise with all kinds of work. By keeping every thing in its 
place, and never permitting my business to become deranged, I 
saved much time that other men spent, without profit, in hunt- 
ing tools, etc. I hired help; did some clearing; worked at 
my trade ; and having also raised a good crop of wheat and 
corn in 1814, was able, in the spring of 1815, to make a small 
payment to my father-in-law on the land. Matters went on as 
usual until August, 1815, when the Kentucky Christian Con- 
ference met in Fleming County in that state, which 1 attended, 
and received my second letter of commendation as a minister 
of the gospel. 

The object of the Christian ministers then seemed to be to travel 
and preach Christian union upon the Bible as the only rule of 
faith and practice, and to induce all denominations to thus 
unite in one brotherhood. To accomplish this I traveled much 
with Elder Barton W. Stone, and some with Elder William 
Kinkade. Elder Stone usually visited Ohio once a year, and I 
would have my matters arranged beforehand, and take the tour 
with "him. 

The Doctrine. — Having now entered more fully into the work 
of the ministry, I commenced a more careful examination of 
the doctrine of the gospel concerning the Father, Son, and the 
Holy Ghost than I had hitherto done. After examining the 
views of Elder Stone, and other leading Christian ministers, and 
the doctrines of the trinitarians, and comparing them with the 
Scriptures, I could not fully indorse either. And my examina- 
tions resulted in the opinion that all attempts to explain the 
origin of Christ, the Son of God, and his relation to and with 
God the Father and the Holy Spirit, are speculations calculated 
to bewilder rather than edify. If God had seen that a knowl- 
edge of these relations were needful, he would of course have 
3 



34 LIFE OF 

revealed them ; but as he has not, we need not pry into them. 
The following texts fully confirmed me in this view: "All 
things are delivered unto me of my Father ; and no man know- 
eth the Son, but the Father ; neither knoweth any man the 
Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal 
Mm. 17 Matt. xi. 27. Or, as worded by Saint Luke, "All things 
are delivered to me of my Father : and no man knoweth who 
the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, 
and he to whom the Son will reveal him" Luke x. 22. 
Neither of these texts have I ever found quoted in either Uni- 
tarian or trinitarian writings. I also searched the Scriptures 
in reference to the doctrine of atonement, and ascertained that 
•" vicarious atonement," as taught by some sects which style 
themselves orthodox, is not in the Bible. The doctrine of the 
atonement and the word atonement are in the Bible ; but the 
term, or word, "vicarious" is not in the divine oracles. The 
meaning of "vicarious atonement" is, that "God poured out 
his wrath upon his dear Son, and punished him in the room 
#nd stead of sinners, to satisfy divine justice, and reconcile him- 
self (God the Father) to the world." This doctrine seemed to 
me to destroy at once grace, mercy, pardon, and justice. Jus- 
tice — for how can it be just to punish the innocent instead of 
the guilty? Grace — for how can there be grace where the favor 
is purchased? Pardon — for how can there be pardon where 
full payment is made? And mercy — for where is the mercy? 
The punishment is inflicted. I learned that the primary scrip- 
tural meaning of atonement is the reconciliation of man to God, 
not God to man; and to purge and cleanse the guilty con- 
science, heart and life, as taught by Saint Paul. " How much 
more shall the blood of Christ, who, through the eternal Spirit, 
offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience 
from dead works to serve the living God?" Heb. ix. 14. 

Human Systems. — As I found no human system exactly suit- 
ing me, I adopted the following platform for myself: I will use 
no terms or language in explaining the personality, character, or re- 
lation of God and his Son, and the Holy Spirit, but such as arc 
contained in the Scriptures. This being now the character of my 
preaching, few were disposed to contradict me. Many of the 
most talented Christian ministers traveled at large preaching 
union, in the hope of bringing all the followers of Jesus into 
union. Begarding this as their mission, some of the first and 
most able and talented Christian ministers never organized a 
single church, but seemed opposed to separate church organiza- 
tions. I soon concluded that this would fail of accomplishing 
much, as other denominations would organize, and if we did 
not, we would soon lose our visibility as a people ; therefore, a 
change in our mode of ministerial labor seemed needful. Con- 
sequently, as I gave myself more and more to the work of the 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 35 

gospel, I determined to organize churches in those neighbor- 
hoods where I was invited, where other Christian ministers had 
not preached. I sent appointments, and found large congrega- 
tions assembled to hear the new preacher. I sometimes had a 
feeling like sorrow when I met these large congregations, for 
had the people not come out to hear, I might have felt justified 
in not going to preach ; but the people came out, and by the 
help of the Lord, I preached to them. Every time before 
preaching I made special prayer to God to help me, and it was 
quite apparent that good impressions were made. I did not do 
as many others, preach once or twice, and leave no more ap- 
pointments — the labor thus being lost — but I continued my 
appointments from month to month, and .caused the people to 
understand my views of the gospel platform. The reader will 
keep in mind that at this time there was but one Christian 
church in southern Ohio, and Elder Longley was still its pas- 
tor. I was a member of it, and it was in a very low state, in 
consequence of the bad management of the pastor. There be- 
ing no churches to sustain the preachers, I had to sustain my- 
self and family by the labor of my hands. I had strong faith 
in God. I felt confident that by faithfully laboring with my 
hands one half the time, I could, by economy, procure a living 
for myself and my family. 

The Covenant. — So I entered into a covenant with God, that 
if he blessed my labors in the ministry, I would devote half of 
the time of my life to preaching the gospel. I had inherited a 
good constitution. My hight was six feet and one inch, with- 
out shoes. My weight was from one hundred and ninety-six 
to two hundred and ten pounds. I had a strong, clear voice, 
which I took care not to injure by unnecessarily loud speaking, 
as too many do, my aim being to speak no louder than necessary 
to have the people distinctly understand me. "With such a voice, 
there were few better singers; and I sang a great deal. At 
meetings in the woods, persons have said that they heard and 
knew my voice, and could distinguish the tune sometimes a mile 
and a half from the place. During the warm weather, we held 
meeting in the woods, for we had no meeting-houses, and the 
sects Would not permit us to meet in theirs. The congregations 
were very large. Many embraced religion. Some of these 
united with the sects ; but the greater number waited to be or- 
ganized in true evangelical church order, on the Scriptures as 
their only rule of faith and practice. The requests for my labors 
were far more than I was able to comply with. Although I felt, 
"Woe is me, if I preach not the gospel!" and my heart and soul 
were fully devoted to the work of preaching Christ crucified, 
and the resurrection, I did not neglect my secular business. I 
had a set time beforehand in which every piece of work must be 
done, unless unavoidably prevented. Consequently when I re- 



36 LIFE OF 

turned from my appointments, my clothes were immediately 
changed, and 1 went right to work. Sometimes I rode home 
between midnight and daylight for this purpose. By diligence, 
I had in a few years paid for my land, and received a deed from 
my father-in-law, who received only $400 instead of the $600 
first contracted ; and I had a good orchard and plenty of fruit. 
I labored early and late clearing and improving our place. 

Plan of Working. — Sometimes I would burn brush and logs, 
working by the light of their fire till midnight, and hoeing 
corn by starlight, to gain time to reach my appointments. I 
spent no time visiting, except to see the sick, and to visit my 
father and mother four miles away about once a year. I did 
not attend vendue sales and other gatherings, unless special 
business required it. I went to elections, but remained only to 
vote, then returned to my work. When business called me to 
town, or elsewhere, I remained no longer than was absolutely 
necessary. By this economy of time, I soon found that 1 
worked as many hours in the week as other men, yet devoted 
one half of all my time to preaching. It is common for men to 
attend all sales and other gatherings in their neighborhood, and 
going to town of little errands, to spend the whole day, though 
two hours were sufficient, and to practice the same profligacy of 
time in paying visits and receiving calls. I continued to take 
jobs of carpenter work, as I could make as much at my trade in 
one day as would pay a farm-hand two or three days. Although 
poor, and limited in my means, and pressed by my work, I 
never failed to attend my appointments, except w T hen sick, and 
then I have hired a man to go and inform the people. 

The Sick Child. — I now well remember a time when Washing- 
ton, our second son, was very sick. We had but little hope of 
his recovery. My appointments were out for a tour of preach- 
ing, of perhaps two weeks' duration, on the line of the Little 
Miami Kiver. The conflict in my mind was great. Should I 
remain, and probably see my child die, and be at his burial, or 
should I go to my appointments. After prayer to God for 
direction, the thought came to my mind to leave it to the child. 
I went to his sick-bed and said, "Washington, you are very 
sick, and I will not leave you to go to my appointments, if you 
are not willing." He was in his right mind at the time, and 
after reflecting a moment, said, " Papa, I do not know that you 
can do me any good by remaining, so I am willing for you to 
go." I committed his case to God, and with a sad heart 
started, not expecting to see him alive on my return. All the 
time I kept praying in secret that, if it was the Lor-d's will, he 
might recover. I filled my appointments. I do not remember 
any other tour with so many manifestations of good being done. 
As I drew near our dwelling on my return, my heart trembled. 
I expected the sad word that our little boy was dead and buried. 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 37 

Oh! how great the joy to learn that he had almost recovered ! 
I thanked God, and praised him with my whole heart. That 
boy is now deacon of a Christian church. "When I attended 
meetings of days, I arranged matters at home, so that I could 
remain through the meeting, but often met other ministers who 
would attend on Sunday and preach once, and receive an equal 
share of the collections; and then plead that having left their 
families without firewood, flour, or other necessaries, they must 
return. 

Great Disappointment, — Numbers were now waiting for the 
organization of a Christian church, and for baptism. The 
church of which I was a member, and of which Elder Longley 
was pastor, having some knowledge of my labors, sent a special 
request in their'letter to conference for my ordination. It was 
the Kentucky Conference, where I still belonged. It met in 
August, 1816. When my case came before the conference, I 
left the house, that being the custom then, which I think is not 
right, as things may be said in a man's absence which would 
not be uttered before his face. A man should hear all that is 
■said of him. On my return I was informed that the request for 
my ordination was not granted. I was afterward informed that 
Elder Longley stated to the conference that there was no 
church requiring my labors ; and but few of the church where 
he preached were present at the meeting when the request 
for my ordination was voted, and that the majority of the 
church did not desire it; but it was a long time after the 
conference before I learned these things. I did not become 
offended or discouraged, as too many do in such cases. I did 
not give up trying to preach, but continued to do what I felt to 
be my duty, as I must render account to Him that is greater 
than all conferences of poor fallible men. I continued my reg- 
ular appointments in four neighborhoods, and occasionally com- 
plied with invitations to visit other places, as I had been doing. 
The congregations increased. When six or eight professed re- 
ligion in a place, I advised them to have stated prayer-meet- 
ings, which they did. During the year 1817 several preachers 
from Kentucky came through, and labored some with me. 
Though I would preach often three times a day, and average as 
many sermons as there were days in the year, I continued to 
attend to my domestic duties ; and as our cabin no longer shel- 
tered us from the storm, I began to prepare materials for a new 
house. 

Cabin, Cup, and Pail. — On one occasion, Elder William Kin- 
kade having stopped with us for the night, he retired first to 
rest; but before we retired, there arose a heavy rain, and the 
water came through the roof upon his bed. " Give me a tin 
cup," he said. It was given him. "Give me a pail!" he cried. 
But so many streams through the roof could not be caught in 



38 LIFE OF 

cups and pails. So be arose; and we all smiled, notwithstand- 
ing the storm, as he sat his chair carefully Over his boots to 
keep them dry. We saw that he was somewhat vexed, and 
said nothing; and the rain soon ceased, and we all retired to 
our beds and slept till morning. On the way to our appoint- 
ments the next day, he said, "Brother Gardner, I thought last 
night that your house was little bettfer than none, but, on re- 
flection, acknowledge that you are better off than I am, as I 
have no house at all." I had neglected the roof since prepar- 
ing to build. Kinkade was not then married. As the time 
approached for the meeting of the conference in 1817, the 
church of which I was a member, and one or two of the pray- 
ing societies where I preached, prepared letters anew request- 
ing iny ordination. The conference met with a church near 
Lexington, Kentucky. It was far from our church, so as usual 
no messengers were sent, and Elder Longley and I alone went 
over to attend it. The conference met that year, I think, in 
September. In the course of business, my ordination again 
came up, and I withdrew as before. I was afterwards informed 
that Elder Longley renewed his former objections, especially 
insisting that no church needed my labors. This was in part 
true, though Elder Longley knew that he had gone with me, 
at my request, to baptize converts who had professed religion 
under my preaching, and that they preferred waiting for bap- 
tism until I could be ordained and attend to it. Yet as I be- 
longed to the church of which he was the pastor, his objections 
had their influence; for the custom then prevailed, which ifc 
right, and calculated to prevent divisions, to receive no member- 
into the church or conference, or for ordination, who is objected 
to by any member of the body. There were there, however, min- 
isters who could not fail to discover in Elder Longley the spirit 
of jealousy below all his professed friendship. The conference, 
therefore, appointed a committee of judicious ministers to meet 
at the church in Ohio of which I was a member, and Longley 
pastor, and ordain me if they found no valid objections. The 
committee met on the second day of March, 1818, six months 
after their appointment. A few days previous to their meeting, 
Elder Longley told me that he had no objections to my ordina- 
tion, but would favor it. There being, therefore, no objection 
I was, according to the order of the Kentucky Christian Confer- 
ence, ordained to the work of the gospel ministry, by fasting, sol- 
emn prayer, and the laying on of hands, on the second day of 
March, 1818, as my credentials bear date. I then became a fel- 
low-laborer in the vineyard of our Lord Jesus Christ, with El- 
ders Barton W. Stone, William Kinkade, James Hughs, John 
Mouity, Nathan Worley, Eeuben Dooley, David Kirkpatrick r 
and others of the same spirit, great ministers and able speakers, 
all now gone to the spirit world. I believe that these were 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 39 

truly men of God, for certainly there never lived a more de- 
voted, self-sacrificing class of men than the first ministers of 
the Christian denomination. While there is no evidence that 
Elder Longley's opposition to my ordination was prompted by 
pure motives, have we not since been too hasty in ordaining 
some men before they gave good proof of their calling, thus in- 
juring the cause we desire to benefit? It was not long after my 
ordination till Elder Longley moved to Indiana, and united 
with the Disciples, commonly called Campbellites. He had 
failed in business, and he left the church in a low condition. It 
was before the war that he had started a store, and induced 
some of his brethren to indorse for him. Barnet Kestine was 
an excellent man. Longley had baptized him, and he was a 
member of the church. Longley persuaded Restine to indorse 
for him. The war came. Hard times followed. Elder Long- 
ley could not pay his debts. Then there was imprisonment for 
debt. So Longley was sued, and Restine was responsible ; and 
Longley went jail, and Restine was so injured as to be forced 
to move farther west. Longley having ruined his own useful- 
fulness, and broken down the church, moved to Indiana, and 
united with the Disciples. He never organized a church in 
southern Ohio ; and I never heard of his doing any good after 
he left there. Let this be a warning to ministers not to be en- 
tangled with the things of this world. When Longley left the 
church in this low condition, they wanted me to preach for 
them. But my time was all occupied. They settled a preacher 
named David Hathaway. He preached a short time, and then 
left. They obtained others, who did likewise, till finally the 
Disciple sect, called. Campbellites, arose, when their preachers 
came along and began to preach there. Some of the members 
united with them, and the rest were scattered. The Disciples 
took possession of the house, and occupy it to this day. 

The year 1818 was a year of hard labor for me. The calls for 
my labors in the gospel abroad had increased, and proportion- 
ally with them my duties at home. The cabin could not shelter 
us from the storms of another winter ; yet, to fill all the urgent 
calls for preaching would have taken more than all my time. 
I completed the organization of one or two churches only, while 
in other sections where I had been preaching a year or two 
they were equally anxious. I organized nowhere until satis- 
fied of the stability of those going into the organization to sus- 
tain it. Having learned no particular mode of organization, I 
was governed by common sense, as commended by Saint Paul 
in other things. 

Mode of Receiving Members. — At the close of preaching, I in- 
vited all who desired to profess religion to come forward. 
When they came I took their profession, before all the congre- 
gation, of faith in Christ, and their determination to forsake all 



40 LIFE OF 

wickedness and to follow Jesus. I then announced their 
names, and registered them myself. 

Mode of Organizing a Church. — If there were twelve or more 
persons of stability in a place, desiring to be organized, and it 
seemed advisable, I appointed some future day. When the 
time came, after preaching on church organization and church 
order according to the New Testament, I invited to a front seat 
all who had previously professed religion, and were willing to 
give their names to the following : . ' 

The Statement. — We, whose names are hereunto subscribed, 
do agree to unite and walk in church order and fellowship, ob- 
serving all the ordinances and commandments of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, and to watch over each other in love, taking the 
Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as our only rule of 

faith and practice ; to be known as the Church of , at 

[naming the church, county, and state], organized in 

the presence of Elders A. B. and C. D., on the day of 

, in the year of our Lord, 18 — . 

Then a clerk was elected to register the names and keep the 
records. Then the invitation was given to others desiring to 
unite with the church to come forward. These were received 
by a vote of the church, after which the church gave them the 
right hand of fellowship. 

Ordination of Deacons.— Some time after the organization of a 
church, after some brethren were proved to possess the qualifi- 
cations for deacons, as directed by Saint Paul, two or more 
were elected by the church, and ordained by the elder or eld- 
ers, by prayer and laying on of hands. My manner was to 
appoint the election for a future day. All the members, both 
men and women — for all had a right to vote — were requested 
to consider until that time who were suitable to fill the place. 
On the day appointed, to prevent undue influence, no nomina- 
tions were made, but the clerk being seated for that purpose, 
each member handed his vote to the minister or church clerk, 
tmd those having the largest number of votes were declared 
elected, and no others were named or publicly known as voted 
for. The elect deacons then came forward, and I read those 
Scriptures which directly allude to their office, especially the 
sixth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, where they were to 
attend to any murmurings among the members of the churchy 
that they might silence them ; or, if any walked disorderly, to 
see and if possible restore them, or mate the grievance known 
to the church. After this reading and charge, they were or- 
dained by prayer and the laying on of hands. 

Custom at Monthly Meetings. — It has ever been my custom, on 
the Saturday of the monthly meeting, or church meeting, to 
inquire, "Is there any business to come before the church?" 
This the deacons were expected to know, and to- answer. 



MATTHEW tfABDNER. 41 

Unsectarian Mode. — I never labored to raise a church where 
there was already a church of any denomination, or very near 
another church, except in a village or city, as I had rather per- 
suade sinners to embrace religion than to proselyte professors 
from their faith to mine, which frequently causes strife and 
division. Therefore, I labored mostly among non-professors, 
where they had been without preaching. 

The First Church Organized. — The first church that, through 
divine grace, I organized was Union Church, in the western 
part of Brown County, two miles from Higginsport, on the 
Ohio River, and sixteen from my home. It was organized in 
1818, soon after my ordination. The people were industrious, 
and able to sustain the cause ; and few of them had been in any 
previous organization; therefore they were ready to receive 
the gospel. Sometimes there were thirty or forty baptized at 
one visit to the water. No other Christian minister had 
preached there, consequently they were unacquainted with our 
views previous to r my preaching there. The additions were 
rapid. The preaching was in the woods in warm weather. 
The people came from far around, and the congregations were 
very large. The meetings at our seasons of communion would 
continue three or four days, and I seldom had help, but 
preached at least twice a day, with all the other labor. Such 
was my work in 1818, the first year of my ordination. I also 
made beginnings in some new places, and took some tours 
abroad to supply the numerous calls. Also, that year I hired 
help, and put up a house. By working night and day I got it 
under roof and inclosed, and had two rooms finished ready to 
move into by the last of December, 1818. We moved on the 
first day of January, 1819. Being now sheltered from the 
storms, I finished our house as time and circumstances permit- 
ted. During all this time, though my work was so urgent both 
on the house and farm, I attended all my appointments, giving 
to them from two to three days of a week besides Lord's day. 

Prosperity of Union Church. — During the year 1819 my labors 
were abundantly blessed of the Lord, being crowned with great 
success. Union Church, the first church organized by me, re- 
ceived many additions, and soon numbered over two hundred 
members. I also began to preach this year once a month, in a 
neighborhood on Big Indian Creek, in Clermont County. I 
had visited there before, occasionally; but no other Chris- 
tian minister had preached there. The people came out from 
far and near. The congregations were so large that no house 
could hold them. Many turned unto the Lord; and through 
divine grace I organized a church, which grew rapidly. 

A New Preacher at Meeting. — One day, after I had preached 
to a very large congregation assembled in the forest, because no 
house could hold the people, I gave liberty for any one having 



42 LIFE OF 

a word to say in the cause of religion to speak. A man arose 
and walked directly into the stand, and without apology or ex- 
planation, said to the people that it had been reported of him 
that he made his appointments on the days of the meetings 
there to keep people away. This, he said, was not true. " I 
am not like the ' dog in the manger/ that would not eat the hay 
himself nor suffer the ox to eat it. If I can not do good myself, 
I will not prevent others doing it who can." After he closed 
his remarks I learned that this was Rev. William J. Thomp- 
son, the Methodist preacher, who lived some three or four miles 
from the place of our meeting. This man had been a traveling 
preacher. He was then perhaps near fifty years old. I was 
not thirty. He was on a circuit after I became acquainted with 
him, and was the strongest doctrinal preacher the Methodists 
then had in southern Ohio. But they said hard things of him, 
among others that he had made axes without putting steel on 
them. I cared little for such stories ; but having seen a pam- 
phlet published by him, in which he, in an unchristian manner, 
ridiculed the Baptists, I formed an unfavorable opinion of him, 
which was confirmed by further acquaintance. It was said 
that he still continued to make appointments on the days of 
our meetings, to keep the people away ; but we could not notice 
that our congregations Were any less on account of his appoint- 
ments, and therefore thought little about them. Not long after 
this, however, Mr. Thompson published a " Sketch," " designed 
to show," as he said, "the difference between the Methodists 
and the New Lights." By New Lights he meant the Chris- 
tians. I paid little attention to this ; barely stating to my con- 
gregation that Rev. William J. Thompson had misrepresented 
our views, and thus passed his "Sketch" by. This displeased 
him. He was probably disappointed that we were not more 
troubled, and that his "Sketch" did not injure our congrega- 
tions; but, instead of this, it increased them. 

Another ' Church Organized. — During 1819 and 1820 I per- 
ceived, while occasionally preaching at Bethel, that there were 
elements there for the formation of a church. I then gave 
them regular monthly appointments. Bethel is in Clermont 
County, thirty miles east of Cincinnati, on the old state road to 
Portsmouth. No Christian minister had previously visited this 
place. The congregations, large, from the first, now rapidly in- 
creased, causing us to go to the woods for room. By the divine 
aid many were brought to embrace religion, and I soon organ- 
ized a church. Later in the year I formed a regular circuit in 
parts of Brown and Clermont counties, with two appointments 
for each day, several miles apart, which took me about two 
weeks to get round. 

Bev. Thompson on the Track. — At some of these meetings Mr. 
Thompson was present; so, in passing the Indian Methodist 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 43 

meeting-house in the summer of 1820, 1 stopped to hear him. 
He fixed his eyes on me; and pointed his finger at me; and, 
among other misrepresentations, said : " The New Lights deny 
repentance, and the operation of the Holy Spirit." After he 
closed I went Tip to him, and, before the people, told him that 
he had misrepresented me and the people with whom I stood 
connected, for we believed in repentance and the operation of 
the Holy Spirit as much as he did. After a short conversation 
he gave me his hand, saying, " Go on ; preach repentance and 
the operation of the Holy Spirit. Do all the good you can. 
Bring your sheaves with you, and I will meet you in heaven." 

Persecution Continues. — The following winter I preached at 
Neville, on the Ohio Biver, one of the points on my circuit. 
Kev. William J. Thompson was there. When I closed my dis- 
course he arose, and taking from his pocket a paper which I 
was not permitted to read, commenced reading questions for 
me to answer in relation to the doctrine that Christ is the only 
self-existing and eternal God, etc., etc. I answered him as well 
as I could by the Scriptures; and when he was through, I 
asked him the following question, with other? : 

Gardner's Question. — "If Jesus Christ is the only self-existent 
and eternal God, and if he (that is, Christ) died to satisfy divine 
justice, and to reconcile his (that is, Christ's) Father to the 
world, as taught in the Discipline [and as I heard him preach], 
then are there not two eternal, self-existent Gods, one dying to 
reconcile the other?" He saw the dilfemma, and did not dare 
to venture an answer, but had recourse to the following mode 
of extricating himself before the people. Said he, "You pro- 
fessed, the day you heard me, to believe the sermon which I 
preached on that subject." This I positively denied. While he 
pretended to affirm, he knew his statements were destitute of 
truth. He continued to affirm it, in order to get off proba- 
bly, for he must have known his statement to be incorrect, as 
the only doctrines named that day were "repentance" and "the 
influence of the Holy Spirit." But why not answer my ques- 
tion? He could not without condemning his own theory, there- 
fore he would not, but remarking, "There is not much differ- 
ence between us," gave me his hand, saying, "Go on, and let us 
meet in heaven !" Had his views been sound, and had he not 
been fettered by his creed, he would have had a great advan- 
tage over me, as he was an able man. As it was, the weakness 
of his system was exposed, and he was put to shame, while 
Bible truth and pure Christian doctrine was established. Mr. 
Thompson feeling grieved by his failure to injure me, and desir- 
ing to recover himself, made a more unworthy effort to injure 
me, and the Christian cause through me. He wrote certificates, 
and persuaded the illiterate, uninformed members of his church 
to sign their names to them, stating that I agreed to all his ser- 



44 LIFE OF 

mon at the Indian meeting-house, the day that I heard him, 
and that I afterwards denied it at Neville. Such was the un- 
righteous conduct of this man in his efforts to destroy my use- 
fulness among the people. Had he believed it himself, which 
he did not, he could not, without hypocrisy, have given me his 
hand there as he did, to meet him in heaven ! But grieved at 
his failure on doctrine, he concluded to repair his loss by assail- 
ing my character ; therefore he soon published a pamphlet con- 
taining these certificates. I went on with my work, however, 
trying to win souls to Christ, paying little attention to his pam-- 
phlet, which nobody seemed to care much about. 

The Work of the Lord Goes On. — Notwithstanding all this 
persecution from Mr. Thompson and others of his caste, the 
cause of the dear Savior continued to advance, and the numbers 
added to the churches were many. I had no ministerial help, 
being almost alone in southern Ohio. I had a little assistance 
from Elder J). Kirkpatrick, a good man, and a good minister, 
who lived nearly forty miles distance from me, in Kentucky. 
He came over to Ohio and preached a few times. Elder I). 
Kirkpatrick and myself continued our connection with the 
Kentucky Conference until the Southern Ohio Christian Con- 
ference was organized in October, A. D. 1820. 

The Slaveholder Rejected. — While I was a member of the Ken- 
tucky Conference, Elder Joel Hayton, a slaveholder, a very 
eloquent preacher, came forward to unite with the conference, 
at a session held in a church near Lexington. 

Elder William Kinkade was present, and asked him if he 
owned slaves. 

He answered that he did. 

Kinkade then asked him if he intended to set them free. 

Hayton replied that he did not think that his slaves were 
prepared for freedom ; and he did not expect to set them free. 

Elder ICinkade then objected to his reception ! 

Elder Barton W. Stone presided, I think. 

He did not put the question, and the slaveholding preacher 
withdrew. 

The Lesson. — In this two things were apparent : First, that 
the early Christian ministers, even in slave states, were gener- 
ally antislavery men. The second was, that preachers could 
not be received into conference till all objections were removed. 
The reception, to prevent discord, required a unanimous vote, 
whether in conference or church. 

Southern Ohio Conference Organized A. D. 1820. — Previous no- 
tice having been given, the elders and messengers from the 
churches met with the Christian Church at the forks of Brush 
Creek, in Adams County, about the middle of October, A. D. 
1820, and there organized the Southern Ohio Christian Confer- 
ence. I remember the following as elders present at the organ- 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 45 

ization: Elders David Kirkpatrick, Kobert McCoy, Cyrus 
Richards, Benjamin Van Pelt, and Matthew Gardner. There 
may have been others whom I do not now call to mind. 

New Hymn-hook. — There being no hymn-books of the Chris- 
tian people in this part of the country, and as the churches 
were in great need of them, one part of the business of the first 
session of the Southern Ohio Christian Conference was to pass 
a resolution to compile and publish a Christian hymn-book. 
To do this there was a committee of three appointed, of which 
I was chairman. At the close of the business the conference 
adjourned to meet the following year; but very few of the min- 
isters in this first session ever met with us again. Some of 
them moved away ; and some even quit preaching. My associ- 
ates on the hymn-book committee were favorable to my going 
forward with the book, but were unable to do any thing them- 
selves, or to advance money and wait for the returns from sales, 
though one of them, a layman, who had the means, had at first 
promised to advance the money. As my means were too lim- 
ited to commence such an undertaking alone, it seemed that the 
publication must be abandoned for the present at least. 

Meligion Still Advancing. — The cause of religion still advanced ; 
and the calls for my feeble labors were such as would have 
more than required all my time, if I could have given it; yet 
my domestic cares absolutely required my whole attention. For 
a month or two I therefore did little more abroad than to fill 
my stated appointments, which took me two or three days of 
each week, and I devoted the rest of my time to home duties. 
I gathered the fall crops of corn, etc., prepared the pork for our 
meat the coming year, and closed the thirtieth year of my life, 
attending only my regular appointments. 



■ ♦ ■ 



CHAPTER IV, 

THE FOURTH TEN YEARS OF MY LIFE — THE HYMN-BOOK — MINIS- 
TERS COMBINE FOR PERSECUTION — LAWSUITS — ORGANIZATION OF 
CHURCHES — GRACE SUFFICIENT. 

On the 5th of December, 1820, 1 entered upon the thirty-first 
year of my life. In contemplating the past, it seemed to me 
that I had done but little compared with the much I should 
have done. I also noticed, with regret, my own failings, which, 
by divine grace, I resolved in the future to rectify. The first 



46 LIFE OF 

matter of public importance was the hymn-book, of which the 
churches stood in great need. A small book had been published 
some fifteen years before, which was now out of print, having 
involved its publishers in great loss. Yet, to supply the wants 
of the churches, as no one else seemed willing to take the re- 
sponsibility, I determined, even with my limited means, to 
compile and have printed a new hymn-book, on my own re- 
sponsibility. This 1 accomplished during the winter, in addi- 
tion to my appointments and domestic duties, and got out an 
edition of one thousand hymn-books by the 1st of May, 1821, 
and the churches were soon supplied. By economy and care, I 
avoided loss, though some preachers neglected to pay for the 
books which they bought. 

The Sudden Uproar.— While thus toiling to supply the 
churches and to do good, in the spring of 1821, as I went to one 
of my appointments, I found the whole country in an uproar. 
An old lady of the Presbyterian faith, having, in the bounds of 
the Union Church, attended an unfortunate girl in her sick- 
ness, fabricated a report prejudicial to my character. I was 
unacquainted with the party, but at once requested some of the 
members of the church to take her to a magistrate, or if she 
was unable to go, to take a magistrate to her, and obtain her 
sworn testimony. They did so ; and she testified under oath 
that she never said so ; that she had no cause to say so, and 
that the report was wholly false. This put to shame those who 
had been active in circulating the scandal. "VYe regret that we 
too often see persons influenced by sectarianism acting upon 
the principles that "the end justifies the means," which means 
that falsehood and perjury are justifiable, if they sustain their 
creed, and hinder what those blinded by superstition call bad 
doctrines. The good work still continued, notwithstanding 
persecution, and in 1821 Union Church, which was the first 
which I organized, and which had become a very large church, 
built a substantial stone chapel, forty-four by sixty -four feet in 
size. Other churches which I had organized soon proceeded to 
build good houses of stone or brick for the worship of God. 

Another New Preacher. — In the latter part of the summer or 
fall of 1821 a Presbyterian minister settled with the small 
church of that denomination at Augusta, on the Kentucky side 
of the river, within about three miles of the Union Church 
where I preached. The Presbyterians considered him a con- 
tentious man, which his subsequent course proved. There were* 
one or two Presbyterian families in the neighborhood of Union 
Church, and so McCalla began to preach in the same school- 
house where I did, when it was too cold to hold meetings in the 
t grove, before the church was built. 

Trouble about Trinity. — The following winter, being in the 
neighborhood. I attended one of MeCalla's meetings. After he 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 47 

closed his meeting he began to ask me questions on the trinity. 
I answered, and in turn asked him how he could reconcile the 
unscriptural absurdity of three infinite, self-existent, eternal 
Gods in one God, as stated in his creed. He replied ; but he 
was angry, and said, " I will own you as the first-born child of 
the devil!" The people heard it, and in general attended his 
meetings no more. He continued his appointments, reading to 
his few friends the writings of the good Barton W. Stone, with 
unfriendly comments upon them, supposing of course that "the 
end justifies the means !" 

The, Rustic Pulpit — In the early settlement of the country 
Christian Shinkle donated land for a church and for a school- 
house. Before the church was built I preached in the school- 
house. To accommodate the multitudes, the people built for 
me a stand in the grove, where 1 preached when the weather 
would permit. After we built Union Church, but before the 
inside was finished, they moved the stand from the woods into 
the church. The lines and landmarks in the woods not being 
well known, the stand had, by mistake, been set over the line, 
upon the land of John Clark a Presbyterian. When John dis- 
covered this, and that they had moved the stand, he, under the 
influence of McCalla, brought suit against about twenty of his 
neighbors for moving the stand. Clark admitted that the 
stand was not worth twenty -five cents to him ; and all knew 
that none of the materials comprising it came from his land. 
McCalla now came in as the persecuted man. He circulated 
publications of his wrongs; represented himself as wickedly 
persecuted ; claimed that the stand had been erected for him ! 
said that it was destroyed to prevent his preaching there, and 
that Gardner helped to do it, though I was fifteen miles away 
at the time. I had been preaching in that stand more than two 
years before McCalla was known there. Notwithstanding all 
this, McCalla's story had its effect abroad, and securing two 
bigoted sectarians on the jury, these so managed the rest, that 
they returned a verdict in Clark's favor for one hundred dollars 
damages for moving the stand! Clark, all expectant, was 
pained to hear that the case was to be carried up to the Su- 
preme Court. To avoid this, he,' by his lawyer's advice, threw 
off all damages, and the defendants, for his sake, and for the 
sake of peace, paid the costs. 

" The Measure Ye Mete'' etc. — Clark's lawyer fees were fifty 
'dollars. These he refused to pay; so his lawyer sued him; and 
he had to pay the fifty dollars, and nearly as much in costs. 
Thus by his preacher's bad counsel, he lost as much as he cov- 
eted, and lost also the good-will of his neighbors, and gained 
nothing, after all his trouble. What a lesson ! 

Trouble Increases. — I had received into the Union Church a 
sister Hughs, whose husband was an opposer. Eees Hughs, 



48 LIFE OF 

her husband, sold me a horse; but he then thought he could do 
better, and I let him keep it. When be afterward found that 
he could not, he claimed that I should still take the horse, which 
I refused, having learned that it was not as good as he had rep- 
resented it to be. To avoid evil, 1 afterward paid Hughs the 
full price for this horse, and got. another man to take it of 
Hughs. McCalla, in his publications, accused me of breaking 
my contract with Hughs, of taking the stand from Clark, of 
first confessing that I believed all Thompson's doctrine, and 
then denying it, and other scandal, signed with a number of 
names, arid published over the nom deplume, "Kabbi Arhades." 
McCalla had undoubtedly formed an alliance with Thompson, 
to get me out of the way ; and was zealously pursuing this method 
by slandering me, to destroy the cause I advocated, on the 
principle that "the end justifies the means !" On being charged 
with being the author of these published statements of " Kabbi 
Arhades/ ' he confessed the truth, and dared me to sue him ! 
I now published a small pamphlet, giving a detailed account of 
my conversations with Thompson, and the things of which 
McCalla accused me, and hoped, as the people seemed satisfied, 
that the persecution would end. But the pamphlets of McCalla 
and Thompson were circulated far and wide by those in sym- 
pathy with them ; and the two sects, at variance ever since the 
days of Wesley, seemed to have formed an unnatural alliance 
to destroy me. The Eev. McCalla continued to threaten, and 
those who sympathized with him continued to repeat his words, 
that he dared me to sue him. He boasted that he would come 
over from Kentucky to Ohio and stand a trial, if Gardner dared 
to prosecute him. I began to consider it my privilege as a cit- 
izen to claim the protection of the state, and my duty as a 
Christian to vindicate my character as a minister of the gospel. 
I had reason, however, to think that the Eev. Mr. Thompson, 
arid his partners in crime — the signers of the certificates — had 
with McCalla united in a league to destroy me, and that these 
signers and Thompson would go to all possible lengths to give 
such testimony as McCalla might need to give him an advan- 
tage over me, as they now made common cause with him. 

The Mistake of Going to Law. — I took legal counsel. I was 
informed that neither Thompson, certificates, or signers would 
be admitted to testify, but that McCalla would be compelled to 
show that Thompson had proved his statements in a court of 
justice, where I could appear to answer. Under these circum- 
stances, I saw some little chance for justice, and considered it 
my duty to vindicate the truth, as by leaving these men to pur- 
sue their disgraceful course was construed by them into an 
admission of some truth for their wicked persecution. Conse- 
quently a suit was entered against William L. McCalla for libel, 
in the Court of Common Pleas, Brown Countv, Ohio, A. D. 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 49 

1822. The case came to trial in November, 1822. McCalla ap- 
peared, and with him ten or twelve other Presbyterian minis- 
ters. There was the far-famed orator, Rev. Mr. Edgar, of 
Maysville, Kentucky; Rev. John Rankin, of Ripley, Ohio; Rev. 
R. Moreland, of Cynthiana, Kentucky; and the Methodist, 
William J. Thompson; and other ministers whom I did not 
know. I was alone. Christian ministers who proposed to 
attend I had requested not to do so; that, if I fell, I might fall 
alone. Before court McCalla harrangued the people in the 
court-yard, on the justice of his cause and the bad doctrines of 
Gardner, and insisted that ho should be put down. The case 
was called. Hon. John Thompson, the judge, was an elder in 
the Presbyterian Church,* and accordingly decided every point 
in favor of McCalla, of which he previously assured McCalla, 
which accounted for his boldness. The charge was, that 
McCalla had falsely and maliciously published that Thompson had 
proved me a liar by scores of witnesses. As McCalla pleaded 
justification, my counsel insisted that the only evidence to be ad- 
duced on McCalla's part w r as such as showed his charge true. 
Not what I was ; but if it could be proved, as McCalla published, 
was the point: namely, the charge that I had been proved a 
"liar" in a court of justice, or some tribunal where I could appear 
to defend myself. This the Presbyterian judge overruled, and 
decided that Thompson, and his friends — the certificate signers 
— his participants in crime, might bo admitted to testify for 
themselves against me. The great advantage of belonging to a 
popular church was now very apparent. The judge permitted 
McCalla to try to do what he had published Thompson had 
already done, instead of compelling him to prove that Thomp- 
son had done it. So, by the ruling of the judge, I was tried 
instead of McCalla, and my enemies were permitted to testify 
against me. All McCalla's hopes depended on the judge's de- 
cision, and he was not deceived. Every indulgence was given 
for them to prove that I had agreed to Thompson's sermon at 
one time, and dissented from some things in it at another. If 
they could only do this, all these preachers thought themselves 
justified in publishing me before the world as a "liar!" The 
judge ruled to their mind. The witnesses testified as McCalla 
asked them to, but on the cross-examination, reluctantly ad- 
mitted that at Neville, after all the admitting and denying ho 
since charged me with, he had given me his hand, on our part- 
ing, to meet me in heaven, thus proving his subsequent charges 
to be malicious perversions, as it could not be consistent to 
pledge himself to meet me in heaven, and then, on some pre- 
vious charge, publish me as a liar. The prospect for the suc- 
cess of the Thompson and McCalla combination now suddenly 
changed, as every impartial mind in the full court-house seemed 
fully satisfied that all that had been said against me was uu 

4 



50 LIFE OF 

true, and invented by Thompson to turn the attention of the 
people from the horns of the dilemma upon which I left him 
impaled, when he failed to answer my question, "If Jesus Christ 
be the self-existent and eternal God, and he died to reconcile 
his Father, did not one eternal God die to reconcile the other?" 
To cover this absurdity in his doctrine, he invented the story 
which he published, to destroy me and my influence; and 
McCalla entered into the combination for the same purpose. 
After McCalla's witnesses were through, I introduced mine. 
About twenty-five men of undoubted veracity, who were pres- 
ent at the meeting when I should have indorsed Thompson's 
sermon, testified that I indorsed none of it except the doctrine 
of "repentance/' and "the operation of the Spirit;" and about 
forty of my neighbors, who had been acquainted with me from 
a boy of ten or twelve years old, testified to my moral charac- 
ter for truth and veracity. Against these irreproachable wit- 
nesses the others had none to testify. Three or four lawyers of 
u side now commenced their work of pleading. The other side 
pleaded that I had certainly at first agreed to all of Thomp- 
son's sermon, and afterwards disputed the doctrine; but still, 
when they considered the many irreproachable witnesses to my 
veracity, they dared not assail my character, and they were loth 
to admit that Thompson knew that I was a liar while promis- 
ing to meet me in heaven. My lawyers insisted that Thomp- 
son's own testimony was not true, for this reason, that if I was 
guilty of lying, as he afterwards published, then he was one of 
the foulest of hypocrites, when he ipledged himself to meet me in 
heaven. Therefore, they insisted that when he pledged himself 
at Neville to meet me in heaven, he did not believe that I had 
before lied to him about his sermon at the Indian meeting- 
house, and they rationally concluded the slander an after- 
thought, and that he got his witnesses to testify to that which 
he did not believe himself. My counsel dwelt at length upon 
the combination, headed by ministers of two of the leading 
sects, to slander down the plaintiff, and thus break down a 
young and feeble denomination, because they dared to believe 
and teach a different doctrine. They referred' to the persecu- 
tions of the rack in the dark ages, when men were tortured till 
they would renounce their faith, or death relieved them, and 
proved that these men, being actuated by the same spirit of 
persecution, had tried to destroy my character, and would put 
mo to death if the law would permit. My attorney maintained 
(how shameful the necessity of doing so) the right, under the 
Constitution of the United States, of every man to teach any 
religious sentiments he believed, "and," said he, "the State of 
Ohio will protect him." The opposing lawyers made a labored 
effort at the close, employing all their legal learning and skill ; 
but the evidence was unanswerable. The trial lasted four days. 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 51 

The jury retired near night. It sat all night. About ten 
o'clock the next morning the members came in without a ver- 
dict. Two of McCalla's friends would agree to nothing against 
their preacher; the others would not clear him; and so his 
friends hung the jury. The others, of whom it is fair to say 
some were Methodists and Presbyterians, were in favor of a 
verdict of from $1,000 to $1,500 exemplary damages. Ten of 
them would have convicted him of libel. His two Presbyterian 
friends saved him. Informed by his friends how near he was 
to being convicted, he came directly into. court and filed an affi- 
davit for change of venue (See Appendix B). He realized now 
that his guilt was apparent to all, for he swore that such was 
the prejudice against him that he could not get a jury to do 
him justice in the county. But he knew, and all knew, that if 
I was as bad a man as he had represented me to be, and had 
-every chance to prove me, I could not have so prejudiced a 
whole county of people who knew me, that he, a Presbyterian 
minister, with all his friends, could not get a jury to do him 
justice in the whole county. Judge Thompson, being unwill- 
ing to trust the trial out of his jurisdiction, appointed it in High- 
land County. My lawyers preferred Clermont, where the diffi- 
culty first originated with Bev. W. J. Thompson, so as at once 
to get it from under the jurisdiction of the Presbyterian judge, 
.and to avoid the necessity of depositions. I was informed that 
there was an understanding between the attorneys on both 
sides, that McCalla would meet me there ; so I drew the suit, 
and paid the costs, and entered it in Clermont County; but he 
did not keep his w r ord, and I could not compel him to attend 
out of his state. 

He Still Continues Preaching. — Although two or three years 
engaged in these perplexing litigations, yet, through divine 
grace, I retained a prayerful and devoted frame of mind, and 
the spirit and power of preaching. Much good was done, and 
many were added to the church. My domestic matters were 
not neglected. A barn and some smaller buildings were erected 
on my farm ; the fences were kept up ; weeds, briars, and grubs 
were not allowed to grow in the fence corners to rot down the 
fence. The children were sent to school, and were likewise 
taught business habits, industry, and economy — things too 
often neglected by ministers, especially teaching their children 
to work. "While at home I was always closely employed. 

Emancipation Baptists. — I was requested to send an appoint- 
ment to the old stone meeting-house in Kentucky. This house 
was built by the emancipation or antislavery Baptists, who, 
about 1805, separated from the Eegular Baptists on the question 
of slavery. They had now become extinct as a church, and 
their house was unoccupied. It was north-west from Mays- 
villo about five miles, and about three from the Ohio River, in 



\ 



62 LIFE OF 

Mason County. I sent the appointment, and, on visiting there, 
the people received the Word with all readiness of mind, and 
urged me to visit them again. I did so, and continued preach- 
ing there till numbers embraced religion, and a Christian 
church was organized. Because my Sabbaths were occupied 
elsewhere, my visits were mostly during the week'; but many 
were added to the church, which soon numbered nearly one 
ntmdred members. 

Pay — Old-Lady Philosophy. — I labored there nearly four 
years, without receiving sufficient compensation to pay my fer- 
riage across the Ohio Eiver. One night an old Baptist gentle- 
man and lady asked me to go and put up with them. I did so. 
During my visit the old lady said : 

"What do they pay you for preaching to them here?" 

" They do not pay me any thing except food for myself and 
horse," I replied. 

"Then you had better leave them," she said, "for that which 
costs nothing they will value as worth nothing." I prepared t& 
leave. Soon after this, an Elder Eoberts, of Licken Knobs, 
came along. He was a Christian, of Campbellite sentiments. 
They insisted on T my remaining pastor ; but raised a good sal- 
ary for him. He bought hymn-books of me to the amount of 
fifty dollars. He borrowed their money. One man visited 
him to collect a large sum, but, when he saw his family, had no 
heart to ask him to pay. I followed him to Licken Knobs with 
a like result. He was soon found to be untrustworthy, and the 
church broke up. Some went into Campbellism, and continued 
in the stone meeting-house ; some went to the Methodists, who 
formed a class there after the Christian church ceased. Others 
stood alone. Rev. McCalla and his friends could not be still, 
but continued to defame me. He boasted that I had been glad 
to withdraw the suit and pay the costs. I now felt it my duty 
to follow him to Kentucky. I knew the power of the combina- 
tion against me, and that Thompson and his signers would not 
stand for truth, in their efforts to save McCalla and injure me, 
so I consulted some of the best judges of the laws of Kentucky. 
They assured me that as McCalla had published that these 
things had been "proved by scores of witnesses," that this 
meant that it had been thus proved in court, or at least "qrhere 
I could appear to answer; and as he had pleaded justification, 
he would be bound to confine himself to evidence designed to 
prove this and nothing else. Being thus assured, I brought 
suit in Augusta, Kentucky, in August, A. D. 1823. The court-* 
house was crowded with all ranks, and both sexes. 

A Novel Court. — Old Dr. McCalla, a Presbyterian preacher, 
and his lady, the father and mother of llev. William L. r 
McCalla, were there from Lexington, Kentucky ; and as a sin- 
gle judge forms a circuit court in Kentucky, they took their 



MATTHEW OARDNKB. 53 

eeats on one side of the Court (Judge Beaty), on the bench with 
him, and the noted orator, Kev. Mr. Edgar, a Presbyterian 
preacher from Maysville, on the other side ! Was there ever, 
oefore or since, such a scene as this in a court pretending to 
administer justice? Who will deny that Mr. McCalla's father 
and mother, and his brother minister, Kev. Edgar, were indi- 
rectly McCalla's judges? and so understood, and their influence 
invited by this one-man court, when invited to take their seats 
with the judge. But there was no help. The jury was sum* 
moned. I requested the sheriff to select none belonging to the 
Methodist, Presbyterian, or Christian churches, and he said 
that he would not. The judge gave liberty for objections. I 
left this to my counsel, Mr. Marshall, as he lived in Augusta, 
and was well acquainted there. He objected to one or two. 
Mr. McCalla's lawyer objected to from twenty to thirty. It 
seemed as though there could be no jury impanelled to whom 
lie would trust his cause. While the jury was being made up, 
I was specially warned of a man who was received upon it, 
named John Thompson. My informant said, "Thompson is a 
Presbyterian, or holds that way, and will hang the jury." As 
they had objected tQ so many, my counsel thought it best to let 
the jury stand, and risk Thompson, hoping that he would not 
let his sectarianism prevent his rendering a just and impartial 
verdict. The witnesses were ready. I had twenty depositions 
of respectable persons, who had known me from my boyhood, 
to prove my moral character, and others present in perspn. I 
had from thirty to forty witnesses and depositions to prove 
that at the Indian meeting-house I agreed to none of Thomp- 
son's doctrine but those, namely: "Kepentance" and "the in- 
fluence of the Holy Spirit ;" and these were not denied at 
Neville. Our special count was that "William L. McCalla had 
falsely and maliciously published in a pamphlet that William 
J. Thompson had proved the plaintiff a liar by scores of wit- 
nesses." McCalla pleaded, as before, justification, because of 
Thompson's certificates. My counsel argued that as the de- 
fendant pleaded justification, he must adduce evidence to show 
that the plaintiff had been proved a liar in a court of justice, or 
in some way where he could defend himself, and that the ex 
parte certificates were not such proof. The counsel for the de- 
fense argued that McCalla had not said that it was in a court 
of justice, and if confined to such evidence they must lose the 
case, while they were ready to make good the assertion by the 
certificates, etc. My counsel said that we had come into a court 
of law and justice. The defendant had published that the 
plaintiff h^d been proved a liar by scores of witnesses, and had 
not named certificates ; therefore, as the defendant pleads justi- 
fication, he should not be permitted to put in certificates, but 
be compelled to prove his charge, showing that the plaintiff 



54 LIFE OP 

had been proved guilty by witnesses in that way which alone is 
recognized by law and in r conrts of justice ; and urged that 
if ex parte certificates, got up in the heat of party zeal, signed 
in the dark, behind the victim's back, and published in pam- 
phlets to injure him, are to be considered as witnesses or evi- 
dence in a court of justice, justifying the publication that the 
charge has been proved by scores of witnesses, then the best 
man's character can be destroyed. The defendant's counsel re- 
plied, using about the same arguments as before, and left it to- 
the court. Judge Beaty, of course, decided that the certifi- 
cates, and the signers, and Thompson's deposition, and all,, 
should go to the jury as evidence, going thus even beyond 
Judge Thompson, of Ohio, who ruled the certificates out. As 
Eev. W. J. Thompson knew that he and McCalla must now 
stand or fall together, it was manifest that in his deposition he 
went beyond the truth, and had his certificate men trained to 
sustain his deposition, while he remained away to avoid being 
exposed by cross examination. It was a long trial. The wit- 
nesses and depositions were near one hundred in all. Then 
there were the cross examinations and pleadings. There were 
four attorneys on each side. 

The Lawyers. — The following gentlemen appeared for me: 
Colonel Henry Brush, of Chillicothe, Ohio, who stood perhaps 
at the head of the bar in that state ; Mr. Martin Marshall, of 
Augusta, who brought the suit ; and two young lawyers — Mr. 

Nicholas Cleman, of Cynthiana, Kentucky, and Brown, of 

Kentucky, both of very fine talents. The defendant's counsel 

were Mr. John Chambers, Mr. Walker Eeed, Mr. Paxton, 

and Mr. Haws, all of Maysville, Kentucky. The trial lasted 
about four days. The court-house was constantly crowded 
with both men and women, who listened very attentively. 
Prom notes taken by me at the time, I will give a few items 
from the lawyers' speeches, showing the sentiments entertained 
by some people as late as A. D. 1823 : 

Mr. John Chambers said to the jury : " Any man propagating- 
a doctrine contrary to the commonly received opinions ought 
to be put down." 

Messrs. Reed and Haws seemed "to feel that they were en- 
gaged in a bad cause, and said little. 

Marshall replied to Chambers that we were in a free country,, 
where men have the right to believe and preach what they 
please, and the Constitution of the United States and the laws 
of Kentucky sustain this right. If they could put down the 
people with whom the plaintiff stood connected, they would 
then attempt to put down others, and so on till they had an 
established religion. 

Messrs. Brown and Cleman did not spare the Eev. Mr. 
McCalla's feelings, but described to what a length his persecut- 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 55 

ing spirit had led him, and showed him how far it was from the 
business of a gospel minister thus to unite in combination for 
calumny and defamation of the character of another minister. 

Colonel Brush closed the argument for the plaintiff, and Mr. 
Paxton for the defendant. 

Colonel Brush spoke nearly six hours. He showed what per- 
secution had done in different ages, and proved that this attack 
was a deep-laid scheme on the part of Thompson and McCalla 
to destroy the character of the plaintiff. McCalla was to pub- 
lish the calumny, and then Thompson was to come forward 
and swear to it. Thus two leading ministers in two popular 
sects united to crush one minister, thereby to stop the progress, 
if possible, of a young and rising denomination, because not of 
their own faith and order, and which they feared might yet be 
in their way. Colonel Brush animadverted severely upon Rev. 
Thompson's deposition ; for therein he acknowledged that, at 
Neville, when he parted with me. he gave me his hand to meet 
me in heaven. Could a gospel minister expect to meet a liar in 
heaven? If what he afterward said were true, he should have 
said so at that time, and not have acted the hypocrite ! 

Rev. Mr. Thompson. — Thompson's character was indefensible. 
View him which way the'y would, his duplicity was apparent. 
If the plaintiff was untruthful, why promise to meet him in 
heaven? or if not, why the subsequent persecution? Who 
could believe a man guilty of such deception? His endeavors 
were evidently designed to make others believe what he did 
not believe himself. From this lamentable condition no friends 
could relieve him. Their kindest efforts only changed him 
from horn t# horn of the dilemma upon which his own conduct 
had impaled him. Poor Thompson ! I pitied him. 

Mr. Paxton pleaded for McCalla with an interest bordering 
on agony. His eloquence was interesting. He pointed the 
jury to the aged parents of McCalla seated with Judge Beaty 
before them. It was as though they were on trial. Said the 
lawyer, If you convict the defendant, you "bring their gray 
hairs down with sorrow to the grave." He made a powerful 
appeal to the jury for sympathy for the aged parents, and they 
were affected with pity for the old people. The jury retired 
about noon, and continued out all night. 

McCalla Convicted. — Notwithstanding the extraordinary ef- 
forts made to screen the reverend culprit, he was convicted at 
his own home, and among his own friends, as the author of a 
slanderous and malicious libel, and subjected to heavy costs. 
These costs his friend on the jury considered as part of the 
penalty, and hence argued its sufficiency, without exemplary 
damages. God has mercy on the penitent; but he was not 
penitent. Mercy without penitence encourages crime. McCalla 
was convicted, but not converted; and this ill-advised clem- 



56 LIFE OF 

ency became a license for continued calumny. My counsel 
foresaw this, and took a bill of exceptions against the ruling of 
Judge Beaty, and gave notice of an appeal. In Kentucky, the. 
Court of Appeals decides law questions only. If the decision 
of a circuit judge is reversed, the case is sent back to the same 
court for a new trial. If confirmed, the case stands. After the 
appeal was taken, I had little hope of Judge Beaty's ruling be- 
ing reversed, when I learned that part of the Court of Appeals 
belonged to the Presbyterian Church. I soon learned that the 
judgment was confirmed, without reasons being rendered^ 
which is contrary to the custom of that court. The decision 
being the guide of the under court, the Court of Appeals gives 
the reasons for reversing a judgment. In confirming, it does 
the same. But the court gave no reason for confirming Judge 
Beaty's decision. I was now satisfied of what I should have 
known before, that, in the efforts by William L. McCalla and 
William J. Thompson, the two leading ministers in this country 
of the two prominent sects, they had this advantage over me 
in law, that sectarian prejudice goes onto the bench with the 
judge, enters the box with the jury, and reappears in the ver- 
dict they render. Dissatisfied with the decision of the court, 
he soon published a pamphlet. In this the convict tried the 
court; for he was witness, judge, and jury, and of course had 
his own way. So he cleared himself, and convicted the jury, 
saying that all except two of the jurors, who were my personal 
friends; were in his favor, but these two friends of mine caused 
the verdict to be against him. I then resolved to see the jurors 
myself. I visited Kentucky, and found all but two, who were 
dead, or had moved away. 

Certificate of Nine Jurors. — "The undersigned jurors, who 
tried the case in the Bracken County Circuit Court, at the Au- 
gust term of 1823, wherein Matthew Gardner was plaintiff, and 
William L. McCalla defendant, do hereby certify that we be- 
lieved, from the evidence before us as jurors, that William L. 
McCalla's publication, in which he said that William J. Thomp- 
son had proved Mr. Gardner a liar by scores of witnesses, is a 
slanderous and malicious libel. And we further certify that it 
was evident, from the testimony before us, that it was a spite- 
ful, nialicious scheme, laid between William J. Thompson and 
William L. JicCalla, to destroy Mr. Gardner's character and 
influence. We, the undersigned, were therefore in favor of 
rendering a verdict against William L. McCalla for exemplary 
damages of perhaps twelve or fifteen hundred dollars ; but find- 
ing that one or two were determined to hang the jury, so as to 
render no verdict at all rather than allow more than nominal 
damages, we thought it better to agree with them than for the 
jury to hang and render no verdict. We further state that 
every man on the jury agreed, that Mr. Gardner's character 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 57 

was certainly proved to be good. Nor did any of us intend, or 
expect to be understood, that our verdict was the value or 
equivalent for Mr. Gardner's character, but intended to sustain 
the plaintiff's declaration, to-wit: William L. McCalla is the 
author of a slanderous and malicious libel against Matthew 
Gardner. And also to oblige William L. McCalla to pay all 
costs of that suit, amounting to quite a large sum; while we 
hoped that he would take warning thereby for the future. 
Given under our hands this fourteenth day of February, 1828. 
William Currence, Yalentine Harmon, William Ambrose, Levi 
Waters, Daniel Keithler, Eobert Power, Samuel Hamilton, 
Stanford C. Pinkard, William Morris." 

John Thompson, the juror whom I was warned against, said 
that he did not belong to the Presbyterians, but held that way, 
and admitted that he was the principal one of the two jurors 
who prevented a verdict for exemplary damages. 

John Thompson's Certificate. — "Being one of the jurors who 
tried the case of libel in the Bracken County Circuit Court, 
Kentucky, at the August term of 1823, wherein Matthew Gard- 
ner was plaintiff, and William L. McCalla defendant, I state 
that ten of the jury were in favor of finding a verdict for the 
plaintiff for exemplary damages; but I disagreed to it in conse- 
quence of a difference, as I thought, in the testimony, and so 
the verdict was rendered for nominal damages. I did not mean 
the verdict as an equivalent for Mr. Gardner's character, for 
his character was certainly proved to be good. I also believe 
that William J. Thompson took advantage of Mr. Gardner in 
one of the two conversations, either at Indian meeting-house or 
at Neville, or else some of Thompson's witnesses were mistaken. 
Given under my hand and seal this thirteenth day of February, 
1828. Signed, John Thompson." 

The McCalla sympathizers endeavored to make the impres- 
sion that the low damages, instead of being measured by pity 
for the calumniator, were the measure of the value of my char- 
acter ; and when the certificates of the jurors came out, they 
hurried to the jurors to obtain counter, or modifying, certifi- 
cates, which they refused. I then published in a pamphlet a 
concise history of the conduct of the Bev. William J. Thomp- 
son and the Bev. William L. McCalla, from the beginning, in- 
cluding the scandals of which they were the authors, the law- 
suits in which they were exposed, the certificates of the jurors 
by whom they were convicted, certifying the twenty -four jurors 
who decided McCalla guilty, and the twenty who were in favor 
of punishing him by heavy damages of from one to two thou- 
sand dollars. This finally silenced their licentious talk; and 
not many years after, both Thompson and McCalla died. In 
the mean time, McCalla had sought a "new home. The people 
at Augusta had heard the trial, and public opinion was aroused; 



58 LIFE OF 

and McCalla, soon after the trial, moved, it was said, to the sub- 
urbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At any rate, there soon 
turned up there a hero of the same name, as a champion against 
the Christian faith. In a debate at Milford, New Jersey, with 
William Lane, the young pastor of the Christian church, 
McCalla suffered a defeat, exposing the errors of his faith as 
plainly as the lawsuit had exposed the errors of his char- 
acter. 

Two Mistakes. — I must now record two mistakes for the good 
of others : First : After seeing the spirit manifested by • Rev. 
William L. Thompson, in misrepresenting the Baptist Church, 
I should have been on my guard, and had nothing to do with 
him. It is a mistake to trust any minister whom you find to 
be dishonest in his treatment of others. Second: I should not 
have appealed to the law. They whom the Lord calls to preach 
the gospel of peace must expect to be evil spoken of, as was 
their Master. If the tongue does defame them, they should 
not leave the Master's work, to which he has called them, to 
attend vexatious lawsuits, which minister to the pleasure of 
Satan and wicked men. He who is innocent, and has a clear 
conscience, and goes right along, will be sustained, as a general 
thing, by the unprejudiced and impartial public; if not at first, 
he will certainly be in the end, after due consideration and 
"the second, sober thought." But I was like most inexperi- 
enced men, in early life, who, being honest themselves, do not 
suspect their fellow-men ^ and can not believe that men will 
swear falsely. I had great confidence in preachers being what 
they professed to be — honest, God-fearing men. I looked upon 
a court of justice as almost perfect, and thought that these tri- 
bunals could not fail to administer equal and exact justice to 
every man, under all circumstances. How greatly was I de- 
ceived ! In my first suit I found a Presbyterian elder presid- 
ing as judge, using his influence to shield his minister, and two 
Presbyterian jurors preventing a verdict. In Kentucky there 
was the preacher's father, a reverend doctor of divinity, and 
his mother on one side of the judge, and a brother preacher on 
the other, to influence the court, and a noted brother in the 
faith to modify the verdict ! I allude to these facts to warn 
others, that no confidence can be placed in human tribunals, 
where the officers are influenced by sectarian prejudice. Let 
the reader suppose that I had slandered Rev. William L. 
McCalla, as he did me, and that I had published that " he had 
been proved a liar by scores of witnesses! 11 Does any one sup- 
pose that the courts so friendly to him would have permitted 
me to put in, as my scores of witnesses, the list of names of 
those who had, behind the curtain, in the dark, andT without 
his knowledge, propagated the very slanders, thus inviting in- 
justice against him? No, no! no one believes it. Some will 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 59 

say that I was too hasty; but they can not judge. Many a 
young minister has been destroyed by slander. It is of the 
Lord's mercy that I was not. In 1851 I visited, in the State of 
New York, Elder David Ford, formerly a talented, influential, 
and useful Christian minister, possessing an excellent voice, 
and good health; aged about fifty -five. I found him in the 
shop at work, making grain cradles. Why was he there? He 
had been driven from the pulpit by the slanderer; and the 
jury, through prejudice, or deceived by false swearing, gave 
their verdict against him. Thus his character was broken 
down, and he retired a disappointed man. Instead of appeal- 
ing to the law, my proper course would have been to publish a 
correct version of the matter, stating plainly the untruths, and 
inviting the slanderer to call on me, and we would refer the 
whole matter to a committee mutually chosen, of neither 
church party, and abide their decision as final. If my oppo- 
nent had refused to comply with this reasonable proposition, 
all honorable men would have considered him as the author of 
the libel, and all impartial minds would have been satisfied, 
and I would have been saved much trouble and expense. 

Bethlehem Church to be. — After giving up preaching at the old 
stone meeting-house on Lawrence Creek, Kentucky, I began to 
preach once a month, on the Ohio side of the river, opposite 
Maysville, some twelve miles from my home. I had occasion- 
ally preached there on my way to the Lawrence Creek church. 
The neighborhood was famed for wickedness. Sabbath-break- 
ing by horse-racing and gambling. Cock-fights and whiskj'- 
drinking were common. Immorality in rudeness was popular. 
I had a great desire to carry the gospel there. The love of 
Christ constrained me to pity the people. 

Traveling Congregation. — There w^s no preaching on the Ohio 
side of the river within miles of them. A Methodist minister 
had sent an appointment; but when he arose to speak, the 
congregation in concert, as previously arranged, arose and left 
the house and empty benches for him to preach to. They 
needed salvation ! Could I reach them? I would try. I ap- 
pointed meetings in their dwellings or log-cabin school-houses ; 
but the congregations soon became so large that, when the 
weather permitted, our meetings were in the woods. 

The Fiddler. — The word of truth, attended by the Spirit and 
the power of God, reached the hearts of this wicked people, and 
scores of them soon turned from sin to righteousness. One 
who came out had been a leader. He had been a great violin- 
ist. One of his former comrades, a fellow-musician, seeing him 
pass, after the change, endeavored to decoy him by calling to 
him as he passed ; but he went on. " Please to tune my fiddle 
for me," he cried. "Let every fiddler tune his own fiddle,'' ho 
replied, and went on his way. 



60 LIFE OF 

Bethlehem Church Organized. — A church Tfras soon organized, 
composed of those who had been, but a little before, truly the 
"servants of sin." The revival continued. Many were added 
to the church ; and in a few years Bethlehem church numbered 
over four hundred members. We soon built a good brick 
chapel, and the church prospered. If ever the power of the 
gospel was manifest to all, it was in that section of country. 

Preachers Viewed from the Sinner's Point of View. — Before I 
began to preach there, the people were much prejudiced against 
all preachers. They looked upon them as a " lazy, trifling class 
of men, who preached for money, thereby to live without 
work." They regarded me in a different light, "for," said they, 
"we know him to be a hardworking man." And as I preached 
without charging them money for my labor as a minister, they 
believed that my motive was to do good among the people. 

Georgetown. — About this time (1822 or 1823) I began to 
preach regularly in Georgetown, Ohio, the county seat of 
Brown County, about twelve miles from my home. This county 
was composed of parts of Adams and Clermont counties, and 
had been organized but a short time. The county seat had 
been located and the town laid out quite recently. The meet- 
ings were for some time held in a small school-house ; but as 
this would not hold the people, as soon as the court-house was 
erected I preached in it. 

Opposition. — There was much opposition from the Methodists 
and Presbyterians. They did not like to see the Christians 
taking a start with the town. But this did not prevent the 
people receiving that religion which has the Bible for its only 
rule of faith and practice, to the exclusion of all sectarian 
creeds. 

Church Organized. — A church was soon organized, which 
grew rapidly. In a few years we erected a brick chapel. I 
was one of the largest subscribers, as I was generally to houses 
built by churches which, through divine grace, I had organized. 
I even went over and labored on the building. I assisted in 
putting on the roof, to secure the walls before winter came on. 
This church prospered for several years, increasing to the num- 
ber of nearly two hundred members. 

The Locality of Skeptics. — In 1824 I commenced preaching 
statedly once a month, five miles west of my home. It being 
on my way to and from the Union Church, I had frequently 
preached there ; but there had been no stated preaching there, 
or near there, before this time. One or two of the leading men 
were infidels, who of course encouraged wickedness, and so sin 
and vanity did "much abound." The leading infidel had been 
a member of the legislature, which added to the importance of 
his influence against religion. "With profane language, he rep- 
resented that the object of the ministers was to get good living 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 61 

without work, and be admired by the people. His opposition 
did me little harm. I was known as well as he. My residence 
being so near, it was almost as if I lived there; and the people 
knew that his infidel reproaches and imputations, as far as I 
was concerned, were untrue. The gospel was there, as every- 
where, "the power of God unto salvation to every one that be- 
lieveth," and many turned to the Lord. 

The Pisgah Church Organized. — It was not long till a church 
was organized, to be known by the name of "Pisgah Christian 
Church." In one year after tjie organization, I wrote a sub- 
scription, and there was soon money enough signed to build 
a brick chapel. Many were added to this church, and it 
soon numbered over two hundred members. After about fif- 
teen years or more, I attended a protracted meeting there, at 
which there were between seventy and eighty added to the 
church. The first chapel being too small to hold the people, I 
drew up a second Subscription ; and a more eligible site being 
selected near the first, the lot was purchased, and a chapel 
built large enough to accommodate the people. The wife of 
the infidel named soon became a worthy memoer of the church. 

The Hymn-Book. — The first edition of the hymn-book having 
been disposed of, there was a demand among the churches for 
more books. Accordingly, in 1824, 1 published a second edi- 
tion of three thousand copies. Being in great demand, they 
were sent to different sections as soon as they were bound. My 
mode of disposing of my books differed materially from that 
pursued by others who have published Christian hymn-books 
for the West. They let hymn-books go out of their possession 
only to those who order ; consequently they are not to be had 
in book-stores ; but the book-seller will tell those seeking them 
that he has all other hymn-books; but there is no Christian 
hymn-book in print to his knowledge. The books published 
by me were sold at many book-stores, and by traveling book- 
sellers, so that all who desired could get them at wholesale or 
retail. Where book-stores would not buy, I left the books, 
with instructions to send them out by their agents, for- country 
customers, as the people, as a general thing, who do not belong 
to the sects, prefer our books. I never lost any thing by regu- 
lar book-sellers. But the preachers seldom paid when they 
purchased, but took the books to sell. I gave them every third 
book for selling. The price was fifty cents. Some have never 
paid me yet, and of course never will. 

Labors On. — Publishing the hymn-books did not prevent my 
preaching. I preached not only every Sabbath, but in various 
places on week days. 

Overboard in the Ohio River. — Going to one of my week-day 
appointments back of Augusta, in Bracken County, Kentucky, 
where the Lord had abundantly blessed my labors, and many 



62 LIFE OF 

were added to the Lord, I was crossing the river on the ferry- 
boat, perhaps in March, 1824. As I held my horse by the 
bridle, when the boat was well out in the river, they attempted 
to raise a sail. My horse sprang toward me, doubtless for pro- 
tection, which threw me overboard into the river. The horse 
jumping, came with his forefeet upon my breast. I shall never 
forget my prayer when sinking in the river, with the horse 
upon me, as I struggled in the water, expecting to be drowned. 
The prayer was, "O God, save me! save me!" I fell over the 
down-river side of the boat. The horse swam away from over 
me, and I came to the top of the water. No one on the boat 
had presence of mind to assist me, except a lad twelve or four- 
teen years old. He cried, " Throw the boat down stream, and 
save Mr. Gardner!'* They then did so ; and they pushed a pole 
out to me. I took hold of it, and with their assistance regained 
the boat, and was taken on board. I had on at the time a 
heavy overcoat, with a large cape, and wrappers round my 
legs, so that it would have been impossible to swim had I 
known how, which I did not. My horse swam back to the 
Ohio shore. 

The Guardian Angel, — I have ever regarded that deliverance, 
with many others of my eventful life — for they have been 
many — owing to the special care of the guardian angel of the 
Lord, sent, as I firmly believe, to be always with me while I 
walk with God. Indeed every one who so walks is attended 
by a guardian angel; for He saith, "Are they not all minister- 
ing spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs 
of salvation?" Heb. I. 14. 

Special Providence. — I will mention another special provi- 
dence of God in saving my life : Once when returning to my 
home, I was riding a very skittish young mare. "When a short 
distance from my residence, and was passing through a narrow 
lane, a man came riding quite rapidly after me, and when 
within a few rods of coming up with me, called. I stopped 
suddenly. Between us there was a small flock of sheep, which, 
becoming frightened at his rapid riding, passed me, jumping 
one after another, as sheep commonly do when frightened, and 
escaping by a narrow passage. My beast became frightened. 
She made a sudden spring and threw me off, hurting me badly, 
while my foot was fast in the stirrup. The beast stood still 
where I fell. She neither jumped, ran, or moved. The man 
approaching, released my foot, and assisted me to rise. Why 
did this skittish beast, that had frequently run away with the 
rider when approaching home, stand still at that time? She 
was frightened! She was approaching home! Why did she 
not run toward home? With my foot fast in the stirrup, she 
would have dragged me on and killed me. I never could ac- 
count for my preservation by reasoning from natural causes. 



MATTHEW OARDNER. 63 

Therefore I gave thanks to God, and praised him for his special 
providence in saving me from an awful death. 

The year 1825 was a year of great prosperity to the Chris- 
tians. The churches in southern Ohio were blessed with many 
additions, Bible truth was received with favor by the people. 
Opposition did not seem so bitter as in former years. 

Elder Alexander McClain.— About this time Elder Alexander 
McClain moved from Kentucky into southern Ohio. He was a 
very zealous man in religion. With moderate education, ho 
was a good speaker. He read little except the Bible, and 
preached without much apparent system, but was a fine ex- 
torter. He was very useful, and organized several churches. 

Robert Patterson. — It was, I think, this year (1825) that Eob- 
ert Patterson, of Kentucky, first visited Ohio. He was a young 
man of fine talents, good education, and remarkable piety. He 
was very useful, doing much good. He visited Ohio occasion- 
ally for several years, and assisted me in protracted meetings. 

Elder Patterson's Death. — After a few years Elder Patterson 
married an excellent young lady. I knew her well, and have 
been at her father's house. She was a Christian. They both 
died of cholera in 1832, by which the churches suifered a great 
loss. 

Elders Simonton and Walter. — There were a number of other 
able Christian ministers with whom I now exchanged, among 
whom were Elders Richard Simonton and Isaac K". Walter, 
whose labors were very useful in southern Ohio. 

Young Ministers. — It was in 1825, 1 think, that four or five 
young men, who had begun to speak to the people on the sub- 
ject of salvation, were recommended by the churches to the 
conference, and were received and recommended as ministers, 
and were heard from for good afterwards. 

Cincinnati. — About this time I began to have frequent ap- 
pointments in Cincinnati. Quite a number who had embraced 
religion under my preaching were living there, and others who 
had belonged to churches in various sections of the country. I 
preached in school-houses, and in a hall when we were able to 
obtain one. It was not long till a church was gathered, and 
arrangements made to purchase a lot and build a chapel. It is 
much more difficult to raise the means to build a church in the 
city than in the country. It requires much more time and at- 
tention. A subscription was started. 

JeptJia D. Garrard. — A wealthy lawyer, who was of our views 
in religion, gave one thousand dollars. I perhaps signed as 
much as any one except Garrard. He was an excellent man. 
He died of lockjaw a few years afterwards, caused by the ex- 
traction of a tooth. His widow afterwards married Judge 
McLean, of the United States Supreme Court. To assist in the 
purchase of the lot and the building of the chapel, I borrowed. 



64 LIFE OF 

on my own responsibility, $700 or $800, and took a partial lien 
on the property for the amount. The house was built on I>aw-i 
rence street, below Fourth, running through to Ludlow street, 
in the eastern part of the city. 

Elder N. Summerbell. — After a few years they sold that house, 
being in debt, and built a frame house in the western part of 
the city. Then, after Elder !N\ Summerbell came to Cincin- 
nati in 1850, they, through his influence, sold the last-men- 
tioned house and lot, and by Elder Summerbell's enterprise and 
industry, purchased a lot, and built quite a large, respectable 
chapel on Longworth street, near the middle of the city. Hav- 
ing a great desire to secure a chapel for the Christians in Cin- 
cinnati, I have given first and last nearly $500 for that purpose. 
I may speak further of matters in the city, in their order, but 
must now return to the thread of my narrative — to A. D. 1825. 

Visits Cane Midge. — It was about August in 1825, while on a 
preaching tour in Kentucky, that I attended a large meeting 
at Cane Eidge, the place made memorable by the great revival 
in the beginning of this century. Having heard much about 
the great camp-meeting that was held there in August, 1801, it 
was very interesting to me to see the place — to stand upon the 
ground ! Having been told, by those who were eye-witnesses, 
of the manifestations of the power of God at that great camp- 
meeting, it seemed to me holy ground. It was on these grounds 
on which I then stood that thousands met and camped, twenty- 
four years before, drawn together simultaneously from all parts 
of the country as by one accord, and one impulse to worship 
God and his Son Jesus Christ! It was here, at the same meet- 
ing, where many preachers of various evangelical denomina- 
tions, with their people, labored and worshiped together in true 
Christian union ! Sometimes six or eight ministers would be 
preaching at the same time in different parts of the encamp- 
ment. Denominational distinctions disappeared. It was here 
that hundreds, if not thousands, found pardon and peace by 
and through Him who died but lives again. Many went there 
infidels, who, while lightly looking on or carelessly walking 
about, were stricken down to the ground, afler a short time to 
rise and confess the Lord Jesus Christ, and exhort their com- 
panions to believe in him. 

With one of those who thus fell I was intimately acquainted 
for many years. He was one of the best men I ever formed an 
acquaintance with. 

The great revival commenced in 1800, in the State of Tennes- 
see and southern Kentucky, in the Presbyterian Church, but 
was participated in by ministers of all denominations, and all 
shared its blessings. The great camp-meeting was in the par- 
ish of the Cane Eidge Presbyterian Church, of which Eev. Bar- 
ton W. Stone was at that time pastor. The same Cane Eidge 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 65 

t 

meeting-house, around which so many thousands met, was still 
standing when I was there in 1825, but was then a Christian 
church, for the church left the Presbyterian denomination when 
their pastor did. It is said that this great camp-meeting of 
1801 was the origin of the camp-meetings of the u nited States. 

Origin of the Christians in Kentucky, — When the great revival, 
began to subside, many settled back in their old denominational 
creeds; others having learned tho more excellent way, could 
not go back, but desired to be known simply as Christians, and 
resolved to take the Bible as their only rule of faith and prac- 
tice. ' Thus the origin of the Christians was in a revival which 
began in the West, but existed soon in all parte of the United 
States. 

In the West it was from the Presbyterians that a people came 
out taking the name Christian, and the Bible for their only rule 
of faith and practice. 

In the South it was from the Methodists that a people came 
out taking the name Christian, and the Bible for their only rule 
of faith and practice. 

In the East it was from the Baptists that a people came out 
taking the name Christian, and the Bible for their only rule of 
faith and practice. 

These people in these distant sections of tho country, and of 
different denominations, who, at the same time, took the same 
ground, knew nothing of each other, nor had they any corre- 
spondence till ten or twelve years subsequent to tho time of 
their Several organizations. 

Christians always Opposed to Oppression. — It is worthy of re- 
membrance that for several years during the revival spirit in 
Kentucky, those engaged in it were not drawn away into large 
speculations to make money, and that those who had slaves set 
them free. As the revival ceased, things changed. Professors 
of religion were soon found buying up hogs, to drive South for 
speculation, which was at that time a money-making business 
in that rich part of Kentucky. Then those who were able to 
purchase slaves began to argue themselves into the opinion that 
the poor Negro's condition is better in slavery than it would be 
if he were free. 

Hewson Searching for his Mother. — I was told the following 
story, to illustrate the worldly spirit which succeeded the revival. 
Peter Hewson was a man of an eccentric mind. He had been 
converted during the great revival. He lamented the declen- 
sion of religion in after years, and .often made strange remarks 
illustrative of his feelings. One Sabbath, before service com- 
menced, he was found wandering over the camp-ground about 
the church, as if anxiously searching for something. A friend 
said to him : 

"Brother Hewson, what are you looking for?" 

5 



66 LIFE OF 

"I am looking for my mother," he replied. 

"Your mother!" his friend exclaimed. 

"Yes," he said, "the church that was once my mother." 

"Why are you looking for her there?" 

" She is dead, and they are embalming her body in hog's lard 
and Negro's wool." 

The meeting which I attended there, like too many large 
meetings, was large in the number present, but small in the re- 
ligious interest. 

The Hymn-Book. — In 1826 the second edition of the hymn- 
book having sold rapidly, I published a third edition of three 
thousand. It was printed at Georgetown, twelve miles from 
my home, and sent to Cincinnati by the river, to be bound. It 
'was not stereotyped, but each edition had to be reset, and the 
-proof read, and corrections made. This did not prevent my 
preaching; and though it took much time, I did not neglect my 
•domestic affairs. 

Bussellville Church Organized. — About this time I commenced 
preaching regularly at Eussellville, a town on the Ripley and 
Hillsborough pike, about six miles from my home. A church 
"was organized. I drew up a subscription, and a brick chapel 
was built. 

Another Licken Knobs Preacher. — There being more churches 
than the preachers could supply, I invited Elder John T. Pow- 
ell, of Licken Knobs, a very poor part of Kentucky, to move to 
Clermont County, Ohio, and take the pastoral care of several 
churches raised through divine grace by my labors. I had 
been acquainted with him for years, as he began to preach 
about the time I did, and knew him to be not only poor, but a 
poor manager, destitute of energy, having never raised a 
church, or had the care of one. Yet I hoped that a new field, 
where the churches were already raised, and the chapels built, 
and a tolerable salary for his support could be raised, would 
awake his dormant powers, and he would become useful. He 
consented to come, but, too poor to move, the brethren went 
with teams and moved him to the Salem church ; and so much 
did the brethren sympathize with him, that they concluded to 
buy a small farm near the church for a parsonage. The church 
numbered near three hundred members, and was able. The 
question was, whether to make the deed to the church for its 
pastor, whoever that might be, or to Elder Powell, who was 
then their pastor. I, being perhaps as large a subscriber as 
any, and wishing to encourage him, advised them to make the 
deed to Elder Powell, and to Elder Powell it was made. Thus 
he had a good home given to him, containing nearly one hun- 
dred acres of good land. He took charge of two or three 
churches, which paid him a reasonable salary, but manifested 
his want of energy in neglecting other places near him, which 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 67 

I had traveled nearly forty miles to preach to on week days. 
My hope that the various sections desiring Bible Christianity 
would be better supplied by this addition to the conference was 
disappointed. Little was done by Powell, except to preach to 
the churches that paid. He would take the young preachers 
with him to preach to the churches already organized, and in 
chapels already built, and where salary was paid, but neither 
he nor they raised a single church. 

South of Covington. — I frequently visited Cincinnati, where 
my hymn books were bound, to send them to different parts of 
the country. When there I preached, trying to advance the 
cause and assist the church in that city. During 1827 or 1828 I 
was conversing with a gentleman there, when, after we closed 
our conversation, a stranger, being much interested, asked 
my name, and requested me to send an appointment to his 
neighborhood. I did so, and this bystander, whose name was 
John Ellis, appointed for me to preach in the Dry Creek Bap- 
tist meeting-house, some seven miles south of Covington, Ken- 
tucky. I met a large congregation. The Lord blessed his 
word. My visits were repeated, and a church was organized. 
This man John Ellis became a preacher himself; and the 
ohurch prospered till Campbellism came along under the Chris- 
tian name, and church and preacher were carried away to- 
gether by their dissimulation. 

The Southern Ohio Conference was now prospering. Persecu- 
tion had in a manner ceased, and we had peace and prosperity 
in the Lord. The third edition of the hymn-book could hardly 
supply the increasing demand, and was soon exhausted. 

Hymn-Book — Fourth Edition, — Therefore, in 1829 I pub- 
lished the fourth edition, of three thousand, making in all ten 
thousand. I still kept them in the book-stores, and in the 
hands of traveling agents and ministers, and wherever I could 
6upply the people with them. There was no loss in this. The 
book-sellers all paid. Some ministers sold my books, and used 
the money, and by them I lost, leaving me little profit ; but I 
worked for the Lord. About a year after publishing the fourth 
edition, a minister in the Miami Conference, not actuated by 
th* Spirit of Christ, offered the following resolution in that 
body. I was not there: "Resolved, That this conference does 
not approve of any man arrogating to himself the right to pub- 
lish the Christian hymn-book." This was one of those acts of 
religious bodies wherein they frequently do individuals great 
injustice. The Miami Conference was older than ours ; it had 
also more members. A hymn-book was greatly needed, and 
they had not enterprise enough to publish it; but when, by the 
appointment of the Southern Conference, I did it, at my per- 
sonal risk,' instead of encouraging me, they annoyed me, and 
talked of my "arrogating" to myself the right. And the more 



68 LIFE OF 

to oppose mc, they appointed Elder Samuel Kile, one of their 
number, to publish a hymn-book, which he did, republishing 
mine with no material alteration. He published a small edi- 
tion, and, probably finding it a losing business, published no 
more. So the churches were soon out of hymn-books again! 
The doctrine taught in the word of God as that preached by 
Christ and his apostles, was now being adopted by many peo- 
ple in southern Ohio. 

Opposition in Doctrine. — In 1830 Eev. John Eankin, a Pres- 
byterian minister in Eipley, Ohio, about five miles from my 
home, published a pamphlet to sustain the trinitarian doctrine, 
that — 

I. The Father is God. The Son Jesus Christ is self-existent"; 

co-equal God with the Father. And the Holy Ghost is 
self-existent ; co-equal God with the Father and the Son ; 
and these three are all co-essential, co-existent, and co- 
eternal — one God. 

II. And the Son died to reconcile God his Father to sinful men*. 
As this system of trinitarianism seemed to be losing ground, 

so the Rev. John Rankin published tfye pamphlet to sustain it, 
in which he greatly misrepresented the Christian doctrine. 

Christian Doctrine. — The doctrine which was spreading in 
southern Ohio was the Christian doctrine first preached by 
Christ and his apostles, viz. : 

I. There is one God the Father, and one Lord Jesus Christ, the 

Son of God his Father, and one Holy Ghost the Comforter. 

II. Christ died for ail, to reconcile men to God, not God to 

men ; and this salvation is free to all who will accept it. 
These, with similar views on other points, were now being 
adopted by many people, to the exclusion of the unreasonable 
and unscriptural self-styled orthodox dogmas of trinitarians. 
When the Rev. Mr. Rankin's pamphlet appeared, I realized, as 
I had often felt before, the necessity of every minister being 
capable of plainly setting forth his views in writing, with argu- 
ments to answer objections, so as to have them printed to lay 
before the people. I felt thankful to God for the ability to do 
this, sufficiently at least for the people to understand me. So 
Mr. Rankin's publication had not been long before the people 
when a brief reply appeared by me, exposing his misrepresent- 
ations of the Christians, and illustrating the inconsistency and 
unscriptural character of his doctrine of trinitarianism. I also 
replied to all his arguments. This reply to Mr. Rankin greatly 
advanced Bible truth, and increased in many people their ob- 
jections to trinitarianism. Mr. Rankin, knowing that my edu- 
cation was not acquired in a college, at first declared that sonio 
other man was the author, but soon confessed that it waft my 
production. He had before treated me with disrespeet, or as 
an inferior. Since then he uniformly treats me as his equal, 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 69 

and is friendly. During this ten years of my life, I had been 
throe or four times si<*k, for several weeks at a time, of bilious 
'fever, and ague and fever. At one time I seemed nigh unto 
death of bilious fever. I then chose the place to be buried. 
•On reviewing my life, I saw many imperfections ; but having 
full confidence in the ^Redeemer's pardoning love, my mind was 
composed. 1 had full assurance of salvation by and through 
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who died for sinners. The grave 
looked dark and gloomy; but faith saw light beyond. The 
true value of religion can not be fully appreciated till we draw 
near to death. When only afflicted with ague and fever, I 
often rode thirty or forty miles to fill my appointments, while 
shaking with the ague every day. The ague was followed with 
a burning fever. My reply to Kev. John Bankin was near the 
close of the fourth ten years of my life, and the 5th of Decem- 
ber, 1830, found me attending to my domestic duties, and fill- 
ing my appointments as usual. I had then lived beyond my 
expectations when a boy. Then when I heard men say they 
were forty years old, I regarded them as old men, and did not 
suppose that I would ever live to that age. 



CHAPTER V* 

THE FIFTH TEN TEARS OF MY LIFE — CHRISTIAN MINISTERS DE- 
CEIVED BY ALEXANDER CAMPBELL AND BIS SYSTEM — TWELVE 
YEARS' OBSERVATIONS. 

December 5, 1830, 1 entered upon the forty-first year of my 
life, with a family of eight children to educate and provide for. 
We kept them in school as much of the time as circumstances 
would justify, and also endeavored to teach them to work, and 
the importance of making their living by honest industry. 
Our eldest sons were able nearly to do the work of men. Our 
little farm — one hundred acres — not being large enough to 
afford them full employment, and having saved a little money, 
in March of 1831 I purchased another small farm of one hun- 
dred and thirty acres. It h*d been good land, but was a good 
deal worn, and much out of repair. In a year or two we had 
built new fences, subdued the briers, destroyed grubs, and built 
a barn to save the grain. This employed all the time which I 
could spare beyond my regular appointments, which took al- 
most half my time. 



Id LIFE OF 

Sis Aged Father. — In February of 1832 my father, now in 
his seventy -third year, sent for me to come immediately to see 
him on special business. I went, of course. The business was 
of the most unpleasant character possible. Some two years be- 
fore, he had leased his farm of about two hundred acres, with 
abundant stock — horses, cattle, etc., to Benjamin, his youngest 
son and namesake, Benjamin agreeing to return it in good 
order to my father at the end of five years, when the lease* 
would expire. Benjamin, like some other younger sons, not 
having earned by labor the large property put into his hands, 
knew not its real value, but squandered it rapidly. The con- 
sideration of the lease provided that he was to support father 
and mother, whicji it was claimed that he had not done. He 
had disposed of nearly all the stock ; raised very little grain or 
other products; and I found my parents almost destitute of 
some of the necessaries of life. My father requested me to ac- 
cept power of attorney, and repossess him of the farm by tak- 
ing it out of Benjamin's possession. 

My Father's Mistake. — My father made a mistake, as parents 
generally do, in putting his property out of his power. Also, 
he did not consider that Benjamin, having never accumulated 
property, his former history did not warrant the expectation 
that he would either preserve what was put into his possession, 
or acquire property to replace it at the end of the five years- 
The lease did not prohibit Benjamin disposing of the stock as he 
pleased ; and it was gone, and he was unable to replace or pay 
for it. The lease contained no provision that it should be void 
if he failed to comply with its provisions. These were serious 
difficulties, which increased my objections to taking any part in. 
the matter. But father and mother insisted ; and from a sense 
of duty to my aged parents, I accepted the trust, and undertook 
the disagreeable task. My father advised immediate action by 
law., to dispossess Benjamin. I determined to have no lawsuit 
with my brother. I saw also that if I should go to law, he could 
keep possession during the five years, by the lease. A judgment 
for damages might be obtained, but he had nothing to pay the 
damages with. I finally persuaded him to leave the whole mat- 
ter to arbitration. The result was that my father lost the stock,, 
worth about $1,000; but father got possession of his farm again. 
Having straightened and arranged this business, I felt quite re- 
lieved, supposing that my attention there was no longer needed. 
Not so. Father and mother insisted that I should manage their 
business, renting the farm, and taking care of them. It seemed 
impossible. They were four or five miles from my home. It 
would require more time and attention than my own domestic 
cares. Besides, to please old people is sometimes difficult The 
burden appeared too heavy for me ; but, on consideration, I con- 
cluded that duty to parents is among the first religious require- 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 71 

ments, and I complied with their request, taking upon me the 
oare of them, and the management of all their affairs. This 
charge continued till father and mother both died, or about four- 
teen years from the time my father first sent for me to repossess 
him of his farm. In justice to myself, I must add that for all 
this labor and care I accepted no compensation from my father 
or the estate. My father appointed ine the executor and admin- 
istrator of his will. By divine grace I closed all the business 
without difficulty with any of the heirs, though there were then 
twelve children living. 

A. D. 1832. — The summer after I was sent for to visit my 
father, in February, to repossess him of his farm, my wife and I 
were very sick. We were taken about the first of August with 
bilious fever, and, to all appearance, were brought very near to 
death. 

Lessons on Visiting the Sick. — While sick I was impressed with 
what I had often been grieved with, and had too frequently seen 
the evil effects of in houses of sickness. Few persons can spare 
the time to visit the sick through the week, but on Sunday they 
rush in and almost fill the house. The sick are thus discom- 
moded, the family is burdened with company, and, in addition 
to their sickness, are compelled to prepare meals for idle com- 
pany. The conversation of such visitors is generally unprofit- 
able, and often very disagreeable and annoying to the sick, and 
attended with great injury and no benefit. From these consid- 
erations, 1 have ever made it a rule to make my visits to sick 
families between meals, and to avoid eating or staying over 
night, so as to avoid increasing their trouble and care. 

Kentucky Again.— In the spring of 1833 or 1834 a train of cir- 
cumstances caused me to hold a protracted meeting in Millers- 
burg, Bourbon County, Kentucky, on the turnpike from Mays- 
ville to Lexington, about forty miles from Maysville, and twenty 
from Lexington. The year previous I had attended the Ken- 
tucky Conference, some five miles from Millersburg. I preached 
at the conference by request. The word was accompanied with 
the Holy Spirit to the hearts of the people. By the urgent solici- 
tation of the church, I afterwards preached there statedly ; and 
many of the most influential, wealthy, and respectable citizens 
embraced religion, and I baptized them. The people of Millers- 
burg heard of the Lord's doings among the people, and camo 
over in great numbers, as in ancient times. They requested me 
to come and preach in their town, and I went over there and 
preached. 

The Revival. — The meeting in Millersburg was of ten or 
twelve days and nights' duration. The entire community seemed 
interested. Only part of the streets were paved, and rain made 
the ways quite muddy ; but rain and mud did not prevent ladies 
and gentlemen of the first classes from coming out. Tt was said 



72 LIFE OP * 

of some ladies, " Their fine shoes stuck in the deep niud and were 
pulled from their feet; but nowise discouraged, they grabbled 
them out with their delicate hands and came on to the meeting." 
Over one hundred embraced religion. 

Duel Prevented. — One day at Millersburg I had preached to a 
large congregation. The word was attended by the Holy Spirit. 
Great good was effected. I noticed two intelligent-looking men 
starting from opposite corners of the house toward each other. 
They met near the center of the house. They threw their arms 
around each other's neck, and thus stood and wept. Then they 
clasped each other's right hand. The whole congregation was 
deeply moved, and wept. Tears flowed from almost every eye 
in the house. I saw, but understood not. Afterwards I learned 
that they had been at great enmity through malice and hatred, 
and had determined to settle all by a duel. The gospel of peace 
had now made them friends again — saved probably both their 
lives, and had made peace, and, we hope, had made new men of 
them. At this meeting I witnessed the most signal manifesta- 
tions of the power of God that I ever beheld. 

Church Organized, — By divine grace I organized a respectable 
church at Millersburg, though many united with other denomin- 
ations of their choice. A few years afterward I met Elder Hol- 
ady, a Baptist minister, who was converted at that meeting ; but 
his family being Baptists, he united with the Baptist Church. 
There were additions to the Methodist and Presbyterian 
churches also from this meeting. 

The Preachers. — A number of Christian ministers lived within 
a short distance of Millersburg ; but they were not in the work, 
therefore, if they preached, they rather retarded than aided the 
cause. They attended, but not regularly. Two, or three would 
attend one day and night, and two or three others the next, and 
so on. I found the reason to be that blind "jealousy," which 
Solomon says "is cruel as the grave!" I had been preaching 
twenty -five years, but never had reason to believe preachers 
possessed such a spirit of envy and jealousy before. 

A New Sect.— About this time the religious views of Alexander 
Campbell began to be received by the Christian ministers and 
others in Kentucky. I will here mention a few things concern- 
ing Mr. Campbell and his $o-called reformation. About the 
year 1815 Alexander Campbell and his father came to this oomaa- 
try from Ireland or Scotland, when Alexander was a youag 
man. Both were educated according to the Presbyterian Con- 
fession of Faith, and were members of that church. They be- 
came convinced that immersion was the ancient baptism, and 
both united with the Baptist Church. Alexander, by his writ- 
ing and debates, soon, became popular among the Baptists* 
About the year 1823 he commenced the publication of the peri- 



MATTHHW GARDNER. 73 

odical called the "Christian Baptist," in which he advocated the 
following doctrines : 

I. The kingdom of heaven and of the Messiah was not set up till 

the day of Pentecost, and consequently Jesus was not a King 
while here on earth. 

II. The keys of the kingdom were particularly delivered to 

Peter, and to no other apostle; and Peter used them in 
opening the door of faith to the Jews at Pentecost, and to 
the Gentiles at the house of Cornelius. 

III. Gospel order. [I give this in Mr. Campbell's own words.] 
"Kemission of sins is consequent on or through immersion. 
No prayers, songs of praise, no acts of devotion in the new 
economy, are enjoined on the unbaptized. Immersion next 
to faith is a sine qui non, without which nothing can be 
done acceptable to God," etc. 

IY. " ~No church is in gospel order which does not meet every 
first day of the week to break bread," etc. 

V. " The Holy Spirit has no direct influence in converting or 

regenerating mankind now, but conversion, or the new 
birth, consists in believing the gospel, repenting of sin, and 
being immersed." 

VI. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are taken away from the 
church, therefore the Spirit does not qualify nor send ajiy 
man to preach the gospel in our day ; but preachers are to 
study the Scriptures, and preach what they learn, without 
looking for or asking aid of the Holy Spirit. 

Of course the Baptist denomination could not embrace such 
novel views, consequently Mr. Campbell and his disciples were 
soon separated from that denomination, and went on to organ- 
ize churches on his own system. While none were received 
except those who believed and practiced his new system, he 
professed to take the Scriptures as his only rule of faith and 
practice, to the exclusion of all men-made creeds, just as the 
Christian Church had been doing for a quarter of a century, 
which caused his views to be readily received by many Chris- 
tian preachers in the West, especially in Kentucky. 

Elder Stone. — After a time Elder Barton W. Stone, with oth- 
ers who were dear to my heart, received Mr. Campbell's views, 
with this exception, — Elder Stone would not make baptism a 
test of Christian fellowship. When these ministers embraced 
Mr. Campbell's system, ft was one of the greatest trials of my 
life to part with them. Some of them were my companions in 
labor, with whom I had traveled, and with whom I had labored 
shoulder to shoulder and heart to heart in the ministry. We 
had preached together and prayed together, wept together and 
. rejoiced together. I must do these ministers the justice to say 
that they did not all profess to change their views, but only to 
form a union. It was argued that as both took the Bible as 



74 LIFE OP 

their only rule, they ought to form a union, to give strength to 
the cause, and increase our influence. So, to bring about a 
union, one minister was chosen by each party, and these were 
to travel together preaching union to the churches in Ken- 
tucky. These ministers were Elder John Rogers, whom I had 
assisted to ordain, of the Christians, and Elder John Smith, of 
the Disciples, for Mr. Campbell called his people Disciples, that 
is, "Disciples of Christ." So the union was formed, which 
union consisted in our churches receiving the system of doc- 
trine, and adopting the new practice, modes, and forms of the 
Disciples. Nor was there one case of union on any other 
ground. There were but few churches in Kentucky but what 
were deceived or coerced into this union. Those which were 
not were in the eastern and poorer part of the state, and those 
which loved the gospel more than they did popularity. 

Desire for Union. — My great desire was to continue in union 
and fellowship with those ministers so dear to my heart; there- 
fore, I strove to reconcile Mr. Campbell's system with the pre- 
cepts and practice of Christ and his apostles. But the more I 
examined the Scriptures, the greater appeared the objections to 
Discipleism, and I was compelled to reject it. The ministers 
and churches which united retained the name Christians, which 
deceived the people. 

Campbell in 1823. — Having heard Mr. Campbell preach in 
1823, while he was yet in the Baptist denomination, 1 became a 
subscriber for the "Christian Baptist," the first periodical he 
published, and understood his theory of doctrine, and the argu- 
ments by which he sustained it. . After twelve years' observa- 
tion of its fruits and spirit, from 1823 to 1835, and seeing that 
nothing good could come of it, I published in 1835 an expose 
of the theory which has now in 1865 been before the people for 
thirty years, and no attempt has been made to deny its facts or 
to meet its arguments, except that, as soon as it appeared, they 
commenced a tirade of calumny and abuse of the author. Elder 
John Powell, whom I had found while he was living at Lickon 
Knobs, Kentucky, and we had moved to Ohio to enter into the 
fruits of my labors, and take charge of churches which I had 
organized, now arranged himself as the leader to transport part 
of the preachers of his neighborhood over the watery way to 
Campbellism. These preachers were: Otho Perry, Alonzo 
Knowles, and George Fisher. I had given up to these men 
some of the churches which I had raised, and had extended 
my labors to new fields. When I heard the cry for union com- 
ing from these men, I knew the design was to break up the 
churches, or to carry them over to Discipleism. My publica- 
tion, together with a few visits, prevented Powell and his three 
preachers taking the churches over, except a part of the church, 
which they divided, at Bethel, Clermont County. They also 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 75 

divided the church at Georgetown, and was thus the means of 
destroying it also. 

His Error. — I now saw that the brethren who opposed mak- 
ing the deed of the parsonage farm to Elder Powell were right, 
and that I was wrong in causing the deed to be made to Powell, 
for he, having now abandoned the old Bible doctrine for the 
new system of Campbell, the church ceased to employ him, and 
lost the farm. He never gave up the property, though it justly 
"belonged to the church. After his death it went to his heirs. 
My advice in that case was one of the mistakes of my life. I 
was the means of his getting the property into his possession, 
and obtaining influence; then he became my enemy; used it 
all to injure me. As he and those with him could not answer 
my arguments, they with one accord did all that- they could to 
defame me. 

What they Said. — They said: "Elder Gardner has done 
good. He has been a good pioneer; but the cause has out- 
grown him, and he now stands in the way in opposing the 
glorious reformation, and must be put down." 

How they Talked. — One would invent or manufacture a slan- 
derous report. He would then say to another: "Have you 
heard that report about Elder Gardner?" The person answers, 
"No; what is it?" "Oh," he replies, "I do not want to tell. 
I do feel so sorry." Being urged, he adds, "If you will prom- 
ise not to mention it, I will tell you." The promise of secrecy 
is made, and the slander flies upon the wings of the wind. 
Elder Powell seemed to be silent until, feeling safe, he publicly 
announced to a congregation, " I can not publish Elder Gard- 
ner's appointments; his character is too bad." These new Dis- 
ciples carried the thing so far that they would hold trials! 
Getting some half dozen Disciples together, they would make 
their own statements just as they pleased, without my knowl- 
edge, and then take a vote whether those present would fellow T 
ship such a man. This conduct was so frequent that it became 
a proverb of contempt — "They are trying Gardner again!" 
During all this time Powell and his three associates were still 
members of the Southern Ohio Christian Conference, and firmly 
declared that they had not changed their religious views, but 
believed just as they always had. It was only those things 
against Elder Gardner that they objected to. When the con- 
ference met in 1835, they presented a number of charges against 
me, of which they had given me no previous notice. On their 
way to conference they boastingly said, " We will have Gardner 
silenced and put down at this meeting." They of course came 
with their witnesses drilled for the occasion. Their charges 
were heard with patience. They were promptly proved futile 
and groundless. Truth was mighty, and did prevail. Powell 
tried to keep himself hid ; but his participation in the unright- 



76 LIFE OF 

eous persecution was j>lainly shown. Then, to save himself* he 
offered me his hand, to live in peace and fellowship. "If he 
repent, forgive him," said the Master; so I accepted his hand. 
That covenant with Powell was made in the presence of hun- 
dreds of people, but broken by him soon after it was made. 
They also continued to declare that they had not changed their 
faith, but only objected to Gardner's wrong doings; that their 
opposition to me was that the Christian church, which they 
were in, might not be disgraced. This crafty mode of warfare 
was to kill my influence, and thus destroy the effect of my pub- 
lication before named. To this end they united all their efforts 
during the year. Before the next conference, I caused notices 
to be served upon Powell and his party, that I should present 
against them the charge of "covenant-breaking." When con- 
ference met in 1836, they all appeared. But when the charges 
were read, knowing their guilt, Powell declared that the con- 
ference (before which they had tried to condemn me) had no 
authority to try ministers ; the church to which they belonged 
was the only tribunal to which ministers are responsible. They 
refused to stand trial, and left. The conference heard the testi- 
mony, decided upon their guilt, and expelled them ; and their 
expulsion was published in the minutes of 1836. The confer- 
ence also sent a committee to demand their credentials. This 
committee, learning of the following meeting, attended it. 

Ecclesiastical Trial Extraordinary. — The meeting was in this 
wise. Powell and his faction having been condemned and ex- 
cluded by conference, got up a meeting of their friends, about 
a dozen in number, mostly their brothers and sisters in law, and 
called these a church, and to them submitted their case; that is, 
they appointed their own court, chose their own jury, told their 
own story, prepared their own verdict, and chose their own 
. kindred to decide their case. Powell told this company, which he 
styled a church, that charges had been brought against them 'at 
conference, which was not the proper place to try preachers ; 
therefore, they had come before the church ! He said nothing 
of their attempts to try me before the conference. "But," aaid 
he, "those in favor of acquitting us will rise up when eaGh 
charge is read." All were acquitted. So they refused to give 
up their credentials. 

The papers friendly to Campbell fanned the flame of discord, 
and encouraged the factionists, and kept them in countenance, 
by publishing their version of things and permitting no reply. 
Campbell stooped to publish their calumny, but would admit 
no reply in his paper! Why? Because these men were re- 
formers! working for the glorious reformation I John L. John- 
son had started a small paper in Georgetown, Kentucky. He 
published their detraction against me, and then refused to ad- 
mit my replies. Elder Walter Scott and John Rogers were in- 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 77 

financed to traduce me. My only avenue of reply was in the 
" Christian Palladium," of New York, which few of the Dis- 
ciples saw, so they had hut one side of the story. 

The Beacon Collars Him. — One of the Campbellite deacons, 
when I went to preach, came into the pulpit and called me a 
liar several times. When I was going out of the church, he 
met me in the aisle, and collared me, and would not let me go 
until the bystanders broke his hold. The civil law attended to 
him, causing him to pay a fine and a heavy bill of costs. Al- 
though such a combination seemed powerful enough to put 
down any man, yet, as the people knew the cause of the perse- 
cution, the aggressors were always confined to a small faction. 
The people knew me. 1 had labored with them from the com- 
mencement of my ministry, and the public decided the matter 
about right. All the abuse heaped upon me by the Campbell- 
ites did not diminish my congregations, but the cause of Christ 
still advanced. I continued to labor to win souls to Christ, and 
they continued to persecute me. Elder Powell and his three 
ordained (and, I think, one or two unordained) ministers, who 
went into Campbellism with him, soon lost most of their influ- 
ence. They could get no churches to go with them, except the 
parts of the two which they divided, viz., at Georgetown and 
Bethel. Nor were they able to raise any churches. Elder 
Powell and two of the three did not live many years after these 
troubles. But the cause of Jesus continued to advance. 

The Church in Cincinnati. — Being without a resident pastor, I 
preached and administered the ordinance for them there, once 
a month, except at various times, when they would have minis- 
ters residing for short times with them. 

Frederick Miller. — At length, perhaps in the year 1835, 1 be- 
came acquainted with Elder Frederick Miller and his wife, both 
preachers, of the Central Ohio Christian Conference. Miller was 
a man of some education, and a good speaker. My anxiety for 
the church in Cincinnati caused me to introduce him there, and 
he became their pastor, and did well for a year or two ; then he 
embraced Campbell's system. As the church in Cincinnati had 
been raised, and the chapel built, at least in part, by my feeble 
efforts, through graee, and I preached there yet occasionally, 
he could not get the church to go with him into Campbellism 
without first destroying my influence. Therefore, he commenced 
circulating defamatory untruths against me, carefully enjoining 
secrecy. This soon came to my ears, and, as he could not sus- 
tain his declarations against me, he was obliged to leave the 
city. I sent him word that I should present charges against 
him in the Central Conference, and at the end of the year met 
him there. To my astonishment, he had certificates from re- 
spectable persons to sustain his statements. One charged me 
with proposals to a young woman whom I scarcely knew, hav- 



78 LIFE OP 

ing seen her perhaps but once, and not more than ten minutes, 
in the presence of a family in Cincinnati, where I was invited 
to dine. She did not eat at the table when I did, and I would 
not have known her again. I had no rebutting testimony ; so, 
at my request, the case was adjourned to Liberty Chapel, where 
our conference was to meet, three miles from my home. It was 
to be decided by a committee of nine, four to be chosen by 
Miller, four by me, and the chairman by the eight. The com- 
mittee met at the same time and place of the annual session of 
the Southern Ohio Christian Conference, September 27, 1836. 
But Miller was not there. Not one of his committee was there. 
Elder D. F. Ladley, of the Central Conference, was there, and 
he was in possession of all Miller's testimony, having been on 
the committee of that conference when it came up. It was. 
decided to choose four disinterested men for Miller. These, 
with my part of the committee, chose Ladley, of his conference, 
for the ninth. I simply proved by those whose certificates he 
had presented, that they never gave any such certificates, or 
authorized, or consented that their names should be put to 
them. Thus Miller's testimony, being proved a forgery, the 
case was decided against Miller. Signed : Elder D. F. Ladley, 
chairman ; Elder Alexander McClain, S. O. C. C. ; Alvey Jaides, 
J. B. Shinkle, J. Trees, deacons; J. B. Morris, conference clerk; 
Elder Theobald Miller, Pennsylvania Conference ; John T. Nixon, 
of the Miami Conference; James Allen, Esq. This was the 
same year and the same session of conference that excluded 
Powell and his party for the same kind of slanders. The course 
of Miller caused a small division in favor of Campbellism in the 
Cincinnati church; but his influence soon ceased, and both 
Miller and his wife died soon after leaving Cincinnati. Though 
my mind was mostly employed in advancing the great and 
glorious principles of gospel truth, I did not entirely neglect 
the education of our children, or to prepare them to provide for 
themselves in the future of their lives in this world. When 
our children were yet small, I frequently talked to them, 
and told them that ministers' children were generally said to 
be leaders in wickedness above others, and kindly besought 
them to be warned, so as to give no room for such talk. Our 
older sons, having been early instructed, soon became able to 
attend to the farming business in my absence, and, by industry 
and economy, we accumulated nearly one thousand dollars a 
year, above our expenses, although I preached without salary. 
Honor and respectability are among the first things thought of 
and desired by a child. These desires nearly all parents overlook, 
instead of guiding them in the child for its improvement. Ob- 
serve that little girl walk in her new dress ; observe her desire 
to be noticed and respected. See that little boy with his new 
coat. He wants to be noticed and respected as equal to, if not su- 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 79. 

perior, to other boys. This ambition should be used to prompt 
the child to great and virtuous deeds. Some parents have a 
practice of saying, to persons who come in, " that is a bad girl," 
or " he is a bad boy." I early saw that this is wrong, and never 
practiced it. I never reproached our children. If they did 
wrong, I kindly told them of it, and taught them that it was dis- 
honorable to do so, and instructed them how to be respectable, 
thus improving their natural desire for honor for their benefit. I 
also tried to teach our children that honesty, industry, and fru- 
gality never failed to make a person who practiced them hon- 
orable and respectable. Thus were our children brought up, 
and while they are not without reproach, they are doing better 
than some. 

Four Hundred Acres. — Our two oldest sons, having become of 
age, needed homes of their own. So about the year 1835 I pur- 
chased nearly four hundred acres of excellent land, for which I 
paid, at that time, near five thousand dollars. A great part of the 
land was cleared and under cultivation. So I told my two oldest 
sons that if they would go on the land, and in their own time pay 
me back one half the purchase money, without interest, I would 
then make them deeds. In eight years they paid me, and got 
their deeds. I have pursued the same course with all our sons. 
They till the land and make a part of the value, or price of the 
farm, and pay it back to me before I make them a deed. I 
would do so, however able to give the property entire, because 
when a person has labored for and paid for property by his 
own industry, he better knows the value of it and how to take 
care of it. I never permitted my sons to do any work for me 
after they were twenty-one years of age without a contract ; and 
I paid them accordingly. I was particular in this, from having 
heard many censorious remarks from sons; such as, "I worked 
so many months or years for my father, after I was of age, and 
got nothing for it ; but my brother did not work for him after he 
was twenty -one, and he gave him as much as he gave me." My 
plan prevented censure and complaining by our children. None 
can justly say, "Father has wronged me." 

Jamestown. — In the fall of 1835, perhaps, I commenced preach- 
ing in Jamestown, in Greene County. It was a small village in 
a wealthy section, not far from Xenia. The cause of my going 
there, as far as human agency was concerned, was as follows : 
A young woman, whose mother was a member of the Bethlehem 
€/hurch, married and moved there. After being settled in life, 
perhaps remembering her early convictions, for she was not a 
member of the church, felt the need of peace and pardon through 
our Lord Jesus Christ; and so, with two or three others, sent a 
number of urgent requests for me to come and preach one dis- 
course in Jamestown. An appointment was sent. I went and met 
a large congregation in the house of the Disciples ; for so had my 



80 tlFE OF 

friends appointed. This bouse was the largest in town. It 
was built free for all to preach in, as I was told, who were will- 
ing that their sermons or doctrines should be investigated at 
the time preached, before the same congregation. In my first 
discourse I maintained the evangelical doctrine of the influence of 
the Holy Spirit upon the hearts of men in the new birth. This 
being denied by the Campbellites, M. Winans, M. D., who 
preached for them, rose up in the congregation and objected to 
the things preached by me. I replied briefly, showing the ab- 
surdity of his views to the satisfaction of all, except his Dis- 
ciples. I continued my appointments several days and* nighteu 
Dr. Winans 1 objections caused large crowds to come out; so he 
did not offer any further objections, publicly, in the congregation. 
The preaching was not in vain, for many believed and turned 
to the Lord. Dr. Winans afterward wrote proposing a debate. 
But after a long correspondence, he seemed to fear the result, 
and entirely declined. 

Jamestown Church Organized. — My visits to Jamestown con- 
tinued from time to time, and in a few months, by divine grace, 
I organized a church there. A number of the members were 
of the most respectable citizens of Greene County. I continued 
my visits, assisted by other ministers, and the church grew in 
numbers and influence. 

Imcos the Debater. — During one of my visits, while at the 
water baptizing, I stated, with other remarks, that Christ and 
his apostles did not teach that sins were to be remitted, after" 
faith and repentance, by immersion in water. When I closed, 
a short, heavy-set man, with keen black eyes, spoke in the large 
congregation at the water, and challenged me to debate the 
next day with him on the subject on which I had been speaking. 
That man was John B. Lucas, a Disciple preacher, a great 
champion in debate for the defense of the new system. After 
I learned who he was, he boasted to me of having been in forty- 
five debates. I had never been in one. Whether Dr. Winans 
sent for him, I know not ; but he was there, and I was challenged, 
and I accepted. We met the same afternoon, June 10, 1839, 
and chose the question, and settled the preliminaries. 

The Question. — " Is it, or is it not, the order of God, accord- 
ing to the gospel of Christ, that baptism is to be added to faith 
and repentance in order to the remission of past sins, and ad- 
mission into the kingdom of Christ?" J. B. Lucas affirms; M. 
Gardner denies. One of the rules was, that the Scriptures of 
divine truth are to be the only evidence offered by either party. 

Elder Jjucas, of cQurse, had the advantage in the practice of 
debating, tact and skill, but I had the greater advantage of 
being fully acquainted with Mr. Campbell's theory and know- 
ing its weak points. This he unwillingly learned during tk& 
discussion. 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 81 

The Debate. — We 'met June 11, 1839, and Elder Lucas opened 
the discussion, affirming the kingdom of Christ was not set up 
till the day of Pentecost; the gospel was never preached till 
Peter preached it on that day. 

Gardner's Reply. — First : Saint Mark says (i. 14), Jesus camo 
"preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God." Luke iv. 18, 
and vn. 22. Second : Jesus spoke of the kingdom in the pres- 
ent tense, as then in existence, saying, " It is like good seed." 
"It is like leaven." "It is like a net cast into the sea," etc. 
Third: Jesus said (Luke 16), "The law and the prophets were 
until John : since that time the kingdom of God is preached, 
and every man presseth into it." How could men press into a 
kingdom which was not in existence or set up? Fourth : Jesus 
was anointed prophet, priest and king, immediately after John 
baptized him, and was proclaimed king by divine authority 
when he rode into Jerusalem. Matt. xxi. 5 ; Luke xix. 37, 38 ; 
John xii. 13-15. Fifth : Is a person who does not love God a 
proper subject for baptism? Elder Lucas could not answer, ho 
is. But every one that loveth is born of God. John in. 7-16. 
If born of God, their sins are remitted or pardoned before bap- 
tism. Sixth : No Scripture affirms baptism to be in order to 
remission of sins. Nor did Christ and his apostles ever so teach. 
Seventh : The order advocated by Mr. Lucas is too limited and 
circumscribed to be the one only order of an all-merciful God, 
as it is out of the power of many to comply with it. Again, if 
faith, repentence and immersion is God's only order for remis- 
sion of sins, then many thousands of the best men that have 
blest the world have gone to eternal perdition, as they were 
never immersed in order to pardon or remission. Eighth: 
The one universal plan, or order of God, by which remission of 
sins can be obtained, as made known in God's word, is true be- 
lief and sincere repentance of past sins. Then God will pardon 
and restore the believer to favor; after which follows baptism 
and obedienoa to all God's commandments, as a child obeys his 
father; not to make him a child, but because he is a child. 
Baptism is a sign and a seal of remission of sins, and an emblem 
of the burial and resurrection of Christ, and for the confirma- 
tion of our faith therein. 

Lueas relied principally] upon Acts n. 38, "Eepent and be 
baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the 
remission of sins," which he changed to mean, "in order to the 
rOTiission of sins ;" or to get their sins pardoned. 

Gardner. — I showed that he had not given a correct expla- 
nation of the text, for they gladly received the word before 
they were baptized. Therefore, their sins were pardoned, or 
they would not all have been glad; therefore, they received 
pardon through faith and repentance before baptism, according 
to God's universal order. The word " for," in the above* text 
6 



82 life or 

does not mean in order to, but because of; that is the reason 
why they were baptized, because their Bins were remitted 
through faith and repentance. Said I, Take your choice. Ac- 
cept this explanation, or try your own explanation; that is, 
take the sinner to the water, without his loving G-od, and bap- 
tize this sinner, who does not love G-od, in order to obtain par- 
don or remission of his sins. I asked him to show me one text 
in the Bible corresponding with his explanation of Acts n. 38, 
or to give one case where Christ or his apostles ever commanded 
a person to be baptized in order to remission. He could not. 
We had not spoken more than four or five times each — thirty 
minutes to each speech — till I felt certain of success. Elder 
Lucas tried every tact he so well understood, to evade the 
points; but I kept them before the people, showing that he had 
not answered my arguments, but only tried to evade them. 
He also tried sarcasm, in which he was well skilled. I disposed 
•of that by asking the people to excuse me for not answering 
him, as I was not willing to lower the dignity of a gospel 
minister by replying to such things. He then desisted. I felt 
that his sarcasms and witty tacts were injuring him, and that 
the truth was on my side. This caused me to argue earnestly 
:and solemn, as for eternity. The discussion lasted three days, 
1 think, of six or eight hours each day. At the close it was 
proposed that the people should have the privilege of saying, 
by their vote, which side had been sustained. This Elder 
Lucas and some of his friends objected to. But the vote was 
taken. A few of the Disciples voted in favor of Elder Lucas, 
while the large congregation went overwhelmingly against 
him. From this time the Campbellite Church began to decline 
at Jamestown. In a few years it became extinct. Lucas, I 
think, never preached there again. The Christian Church at 
Jamestown continued to prosper. After PowelFs expulsion, 
Elder McClain and myself being the principal ministers left in 
our conference, I sent, perhaps in 1837, an article to "The 
Christian Palladium," requesting ministers to come into south- 
ern Ohio. 

John. — Six or seven months after that article appeared, I 
came home one cold evening, about sundown, in the latter part 
of December, and found a strange man and woman at our 
house. When I came into the room, the man arose and said, 
" My name is John." This was my first introduction to Elder 
John Phillips, afterwards known as " Antioch John," from his 
eagerness in inducing people to take scholarships in Antioch 
College. This man and his wife had come through from the 
State of New York, or perhaps farther east, in an almost worth- 
less old one-horse wagon, with a horse almost as worthless. 
They had nothing with them except a few clothes; so they 
lived in our family, ate at our table, slept in our beds, and their 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 



88 



horse was fed in our stable for about two months, or toward 
spring. Then they moved into the bounds of a church, which 
had been raised by my labors, and of which I was still pastor. 
The people assisted them, and they went to housekeeping that 
spring. John could preaoh, and the kind reception which he 
received impressed him favorably with the country and people, 
and he wrote back to Elder Charles Manchester, with whom he 
had been associated in the east; and about the first of May, 1838, 
Elder Manchester arrived. Elder Phillips soon proposed to or- 
ganize one or two new churches. Had he gone into a new place, 
where there was no church, and preached there, and organized a 
church of those who embraced religion under his labors, it would 
have been praiseworthy. But he proposed to divide the large 
church where he lived, where he had been received so kindly, 
which had been gathered by my labors, and now numbered 
about three hundred members, and to organize out of it one or. 
two smaller churches. This I could not approve of; but opposed 
and prevented, which caused him to entertain unkind feelings 
toward me. When conference met, in 1838, it was evident that 
Elder Alexander McClain was in sympathy with Elder John 
Phillips. On the first day of the conference, he offered a reso- 
lution, as follows : Resolved, That each and every church have 
the privilege of sending two messengers, and no more than 
two. This would make a church of ten members equal, in 
representation, to a church of three or four hundred members. 
This seemed to me both unwise and unjust^ and while he sup- 
ported it, I felt it my duty to oppose it. The conference ad- 
journed before the vote was taken, to meet next morning at 
eight o'clock. The next morning, before the appointed time, 
indeed before I or nearly half the conference arrived, Elder 
McClain and those of his views had met and passed the resolu- 
tion. I think that this was planned by Elder Phillips, so as to 
divide the large churches and make smaller ones, thus to outvote 
the large churches under my pastoral care, and carry such meas- 
ure in conference as they might desire, though contrary to the 
wishes of the great majority of the people who were in the 
large churches, or under my care. This resolution, and the ad- 
vantage taken to pass it, caused great dissatisfaction with more 
than two-thirds of the lay members ; and a disagreeable state of 
feeling between Elder McClain and myself, the only two or- 
dained ministers belonging to the conference who were preach- 
ing constantly : Elders Phillips and Manchester were not mem- 
bers. This disagreeable state of things continued and increased 
till the following April. Then Elder McClain and I met by 
agreement at the house of Deacon John B. Shinkle, in order to 
heal, if possible, the breach between us, and restore peace among 
the churches. Elder McClain, however, utterly refused to agree 



84 LIFE OF 

to any terms of reconciliation and peace other than that we 
should withdraw from the conference. This, it seemed to me, 
would dissolve the conference, a? far as the eldership was con- 
cerned. Probably this was his intention, as preparatory to tho 
forming of a new conference according to the plans of Elder 
Phillips. After considering his ultra proposal, that it might be 
better for the cause of religion for us both to be out of confer- 
ence, and be in peace and harmony, than to be in it without fel- 
lowship or brotherly love, so, in the hope of the restoration of 
Christian fellowship, I agreed to his terms. We settled the mat- 
ters of difference, and then and there gave each other our hands 
in Christian fellowship and union, and parted. The dissatisfac- 
tion in the churches and members then subsided, and union was 
restored. The conferences at this time contained about fifteen 
churches, with a membership of not far from fifteen hundred. 
Our leaving did not disorganize the conference, but the churches 
went on in harmony. 

September, 1839. — As the time drew on for the next annual 
conference, the churches appointed their messengers to repre- 
sent them, and conference was organized as usual, although 1 do 
not recollect of any ordained elder present belonging to it. 
There was a full representation from the churches by their mes- 
sengers, one of whom was chosen moderator, while the former 
clerk still performed the duty of that office. The organization 
being completed, the usual invitation was given for members. 
Elder Charles S. Manchester and 1 presented ourselves for mem- 
bership, and were received. 

Doctor Dawson. — Elder iNaaman Dawson w T as then preaching 
and doing good, but he did not unite with the conference till 
some time afterwards, when he came bringing with him churches 
and other ministers also. After this conference things went on 
in peace and prosperity till the following November, 1839, 
when Elder McClain was reported as saying to his congregation 
that Elder Matthew Gardner was an unfair man. This was 
without first informing me of any dissatisfaction since our cove- 
nant of peace at the house of Deacon B. Shinkle, on the 9th of 
April previous. The cause of his statement was not in any busi- 
ness transactions between Elder McClain and myself, but there 
was another man who had tried to defraud me in 1837, and the 
case had been in litigation nearly two years, and was then wait- 
ing a decision in the Supreme Court. This man had united 
with the church of which Elder McClain was pastor, and hence, 
no doubt through sympathy, ho had heard that man's story, and 
made this public declaration while the suit was pending, and but 
a few months before the expected decision. The cause of litiga- 
tion was this: Desiring to keep the teams and hands employed 
during the winter, and to make something when unable to work 
on the farm, I purchased a number of hay stacks to haul to mar- 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 85 

ket, including in the contract a calf of very fine stock. Having 
purchased hay of the same man the year before, in 1836, and 
done reasonably well with it, and having got along with him 
"without much .difficulty, I reasonably expected to again, and 
signed a contract written by himself. (See Appendix D.) 
There was some old timber remaining yet on the meadow, and 
when we began to haul the hay, we found it stacked up on large 
log heaps, large piles of brush, and old stumps, which reduced 
the hay very much in quantity from what it appeared. After 
removing six stacks, we examined the rest, and finding them in 
a similar condition, w T e ceased hauling, and I proposed to refer the 
matter for settlement to disinterested men, inasmuch as we could 
pot agree. This he refused to do, saying, " I am a law-abiding 
man. When I go to law, I don't mind the tost." When I 
called upon him for the calf, he declared before witnesses that he 
never sold me a calf at all for that consideration, because the 
hay was mentioned in the contract as the consideration of the 
•8193. The calf was valued at $12.50 'when the contract was 
made, but the sum was not so written in the contract. Ho 
utterly refused all compromise other than for me to pay him 
$193 for what hay there was, and lose the calf. I tendered him 
$75 for the six stacks which I had taken, which he refused, and 
we parted. As soon as the time was up for payment, he sued 
me in the Court of Common Pleas, Brown County, Ohio. My 
witnesses not being there, and he having employed the Hon. 
Thomas L. Hamer, who controlled that court, he obtained a 
judgment against me. I then appealed the case to the Supreme 
Court. The trial came on in March, 1840. One witness testified 
that he heard him say, when having the hay thus stacked, that 
he intended to cheat Gardner with it. The case was now before 
a court that Hamer could not control ; and I had for my lawyer 
IJeonard, of Chillicothe. 

Question on Words. — My lawyer said that the article called for 
fifteen hay stacks. The plaintiff piqued himself on his skill in 
writing an article, and his lawyer, as he supposed it to be his 
duty, sided with him. They contended that the words of the 
article — " thirteen hay stacks, all in the large meadow, and the two 
choice in the new meadow 11 — meant thirteen in all. My counsel 
claimed that thirteen and two make fifteen* I never supposed 
that he intended more than thirteen; nor did the difficulty ariso 
about the number of stacks, but the manner of stacking. How- 
ever, the contention became so earnest that the counsel on both 
sides made a written agreement, " that if the court decided that 
there were only thirteen stacks sold by the article, then the 
judgment in the lower court should stand against me; but if 
the court decided that there were fifteen stacks sold by the 
article, then he should take the $75 tendered him, and pay all 
costs." 



86 LIFE OF 

The Decision, — The Supreme Court of Ohio, after hearing all 
the witnesses and the arguments on both sides, decided that thir- 
teen and two, as per contract, made fifteen hay stacks, sold 
according to the article. So plaintiff took the 975 tendered, 
and paid the costs. After I discovered the manner of stacking, 
and he refused to come to any terms, I expected that the mat- 
ter would go through a full course of litigation, which would 
take about three years ; so I proposed to enter into a contract 
for one of us to sell the hay, the same not to effect the case on 
trial in court. This reasonable and just proposal he rejected, 
and the hay, standing so long, was, as I had forseen, almost an 
entire loss to him. After the case was decided, he still claimed 
that I had taken advantage of the contract (written by him- 
self), and wronged him out of 8193, though the court decided 
just as I had, for me to pay him $75, just what I at first de- 
cided to be right ; and I had now paid him the $75 for six 
stacks, and he retained the calf and the remainder of the hay. 
He could not have effected much, as we were both well known ; 
but his father and brothers belonged to the church of which 
Elder McClain was pastor, and they were wealthy and respect- 
able people, and the man himself had professed religion and 
joined the same church; so Elder McClain readily credited 
his statements, and McClain's influence gave them currency. 
Elder McClain belonged to no conference, he not having joined 
again, as I had, in 1839. Yet, as he was preaching in the 
bounds of our conference, to which the churches by which he 
was employed also belonged, by my request the moderator and 
clerk called an extra session to investigate his charges. Elder 
McClain having been duly notified, the conference met at 
Pisgah Chapel, on the 13th of April, 1840. Elder McClain ap- 
peared. Although he had offered a resolution, in 1838, that no 
church should have more than two messengers, there were 
now some twenty-six present from Kussellville church, where 
he preached ; and other places where he preached sent a like 
large representation. The rest of the churches sent the usual 
number, as, three or four from the larger churches and two 
from the smaller. Elder Charles Manchester proposed that the 
conference should be equalized, when it was agreed that alt 
grievances should be submitted to a committee of fifteen, six 
of whom should be chosen by each party, and these twelve 
should choose three more, and that a majority of thiB com- 
mittee should render a verdict which should be final. The 
week being far spent, the committee adjourned to meet on the 
19th of May following. My grievances with Elder McClain 
were, first: That he had published me to be an unfair man. 
Second: That he had broken our covenant of friendship, 
made on the 9th of April, 1839, at the house of Deacon John 
B. Shinkle. As I had lived in the neighborhood from a boy of 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 87 

• 

i ten years old, and they all knew me, I did not think that any 

I witnesses were needed to sustain me, and so took none. They 

summoned many witnesses ; even the plaintiff, who had failed 
in his endeavor to get pay for his badly stacked hay, was per- 
mitted to testify against me. My trust was in God and justice. 
I was among those who had always known me, even from a 
boy. 
! The Decision. — The committee of fifteen decided that Elder 

I McClain had not sustained his charges, and was guilty of cove- 

nant-breaking. Elder McClain did not acknowledge to me, 
but, without my knowledge, laid the matter before the church 
at Bussellville, and was there acquitted. This was a mistake, 
and it was an injury to Elder McClain. The following August 
or September, he went to the Miami Conference, some eighty 
miles distant, and proposed to unite with it. That conference 
! sent a committee to the Eussellville church, of which he was a 

member, and where he lived, to investigate the matter and re- 
ceive the minister and such churches as desired to go with him, 
if the committee thought it advisable. Elder Manchester and 
j myself, having been notified of the meeting, attended, and pro- 

| tested against a committee of the Miami Conference having jur- 

isdiction within the bounds of the Southern Ohio Christian 
Conference, and also against any intermeddling in this case, 
where the applicant for membership in their conference had 
previously submitted his cause to a committee, and by a written 
% statement agreed that the decision of that committee should be 
final. After we thus protested, we left. The committee, how- 
ever, received Elder McClain and one or two churches into the 
Miami Conference. This, however designed, was a wound to the 
Eedeemer's cause. So I attended the Miami Conference of the 
following year, in September, A. D. 1841, to endeavor to get the 
matter settled. At first I was coolly received; but a committee 
was appointed, before which Elder McClain and I met. After 
talking the matter over as Christians, and praying together, we 
agreed to drop all past grievances, and work together in the 
future, in union and brotherly love, to build up the Eedeemer's 
kingdom. To this we gave each other the hand of fellowship, 
and returned home, traveling and preaching together. In a 
year or so, Elder McClain, and all who went with him, returned 
to the Southern Ohio Conference, and all worked together in 
harmony again. 

Elder McClain a Good Man. — Although Elder McClain had 
his failings, and had been led to treat me unkindly, truth as 
well as charity forbid me to view him as a hypocrite or a 
wicked man. He loved to have the pre-eminence, and, like 
others, perhaps, considered my influence too great with the 
churches. Notwithstanding all the perplexi^r in conference 
of the litigation concerning the hay, which the difficulty with 



88 LIFE OF 

• 

Elder McClain grew out of, yet I attended to ray domestic busi- 
ness, and preached regularly to three or four churches, as usual, 
and the cause of religion still advanced. After the two decisions 
against him, one at the court and one at the church, in the Pis - 
gah trial, almost any other man would have let the hay stacks rest. 
Not so with the plaintiff. Talk against a minister of the gospel 
is interesting to the hearers ; and so he still kept talking. He 
contended that by my lawyer taking advantage of the contract^ 
written by the plaintiff himself, I had defrauded him and his 
family out of $193. This I bore some sixteen years, after which, 
as the reader will see, we had another settlement. These 
troubles did not hinder the work of the Lord where I labored. 

Mount Pleasant Church Organized'. — In 1839 or 1840, the door 
was opened for the gospel in a wealthy neighborhood of farmers, 
in Clermont County, between the town of Felicity and the 
Ohio Kiver. The word was readily received by this honest, in- 
dustrious people ; and after preaching there for a few months, 
and visiting among them when in the neighborhood, I was able, 
by divine grace, to organize a respectable and hopeful church. 
It was at first called the " Olive Church," but having built a good 
chapel, on a rising piece of ground, they changed the name to 
" The Mount Pleasant Church." 

Lucas Found Again. — In the autumn of 1840 I received a let- 
ter, from a gentleman in Lebanon, Warren County, stating that 
a Campbellite preacher by the name of John B. Lucas had been 
preaching in Lebanon ; and the writer desired to know if I was ' 
willing to meet said Lucas in debate. I, of course, answered in 
the affirmative, providing that we could agree on the question 
to be discussed — the preliminaries, etc. After a few more com- 
munications, the time was fixed to meet in the city of Lebanon 
on the 20th of October, 1840. It had been but a little over a 
year since I debated with the same man in Jamestown, in June 
of 1839. We met as appointed in Lebanon. October 20, 1840. 
Lucas at first seemed to refuse to discuss the question discussed 
at Jamestown, and determined not to consent to any form of a 
question which would expose Campbellism before the people. 
But a number of intelligent gentlemen present, who had heard 
him preach those views, expressed themselves so firmly, that he 
agreed to the following, which differs but little from the ques- 
tion discussed at Jamestown. 

Question. — "Is it, or is it not, the order of God, according to 
the gospel of Christ, as taught by Christ and the apostles, that 
baptism be added to faith and repentance in order to the remis- 
sion of past sins and admission into the kingdom of Christ?" 
Explanation by Lucas: "It is understood by past sins the sins 
of an alien." J.J3. Lucas takes the affirmative; Matthew Gard- 
ner takes the negative. Lebanon, October 20/ 1840. 

The discussion was opened by Elder Lucas, at eleven o'clock, 



MATTHEW GARDNER, 89 

in the large new Baptist church in Lebanon, of which Elder 
French was pastor. The speeches were to be thirty minutes 
each. I followed in the negative, making about the same points 
that I did at Jamestown. Elder Lucas had supposed that by 
the different phraseology of the question, and by his skillful 
tact, he could avoid or evade those points. But he failed en- 
tirely in this. When I made it plain to the people that he had 
neither met these points nor fairly replied to my arguments, he 
had recourse to his irony and sarcasm, in which he was quite 
expert. I, as before, requested the people to excuse me for omit- 
ting to reply to his ironical and sarcastic remarks, as I could not 
lower the dignity of a gospel minister by doing so ; nor had I 
ridden sixty or seventy miles to that place to spend my time in 
t^hat way. Ho saw and felt that the people in general disap- 
proved of his course in this respect, and consequently he discon- 
tinued it. I requested Elder Lucas repeatedly to show one 
positive passage of Scripture that said " remission of sins is to 
be obtained, after faith and repentance, by immersion in water." 
I did not ask for his inference or mere opinion, but a "thus 
saith the Lord!" He, of course, could not do it, consequently I 
kept that request before the people. I made the people see how 
the system advocated by Elder Lucas doomed to eternal perdi- 
tion the great majority of the best men who have ever lived, 
and whose labors have blessed the world — such men as Dr. 
Young, Dr. Watts, Isaac Newton, and William Penn, and all 
the Baxters and Wesley s, and hundreds of others — all lost, to 
save Mr. Campbell's new gospel. This icas a hard nut for Elder 
Lucas to crack. He tried hard to get round this difficult and 
insurmountable objection to his theory, as follows : 

What Lucas Said. — It is the kingdom of Christ upon earth, or 
in this world, that persons are to have their sins remitted and 
enter into by immersion, and which they can not enter into 
without, and not the kingdom above. 

Gardner's Reply. — I, of course, denied his hypothesis, to-wit, 
that Christ has two kingdoms, one on earth and the other in 
heaven. The Scriptures speak of the kingdom of the Messiah 
as one — in the singular, not plural. It is not the kingdoms of 
Christ, but the kingdom. I made the people clearly see that 
there is but one kingdom, as there is but one king. I clearly 
showed that there are degrees of advancement in the Redeem- 
er's kingdom. The first entrance is on earth, but not beyond 
the reach of any. We must be initiated into the kingdom in 
this world. This is by faith and repentance, and the power of 
the Holy Spirit, whereby we are brought to love God, and con- 
sequently are born of God ; for the apostle saith, " Whosoever 
loveth is born of God." Thus we must enter in the first degree 
of this kingdom in this world, or we never can enter the ex- 



90 LIFE OF 

alted and glorious state of the kingdom in tfce world to come. 
So, if baptism (immersion) is the door into the kingdom, then 
all are out of the kingdQm who are not immersed; are they 
not? I illustrated the absurdity of his theory, that those 
could enter the higher kingdom who could not enter the lower, 
by the similitude of a man endeavoring to master the Greek 
language, and to become a reader of the Greek classics, without 
learning the Greek alphabet. So it is as unscriptural and as 
absurd to speak of those entering the kingdom of glory above 
who can not enter the kingdom of grace below. I clearly 
showed the design of baptism in the New Testament economy, 
as preached by Christ and the apostles. It was not a procuring 
cause of remission, or door of entrance to the church, but the 
answer or illustration of a good conscience as a symbol of our 
faith in the burial and resurrection of Christ, and of pur resur- 
rection. I fully exposed the intolerance of the creed or system 
of Campbell, as advocated by the affirmative, and contrasted it 
with the blessed attributes of love and mercy in God. While I 
thus presented the subject, the people gave great attention, and 
there was much weeping in the congregation. 

Elder Lucas failed on every position taken by him, while the 
points presented by me were invulnerable against all his efforts. 
It was evident to all that he felt that he had failed to sustain 
the affirmative of the proposition. The defeats at Jamestown 
and Lebanon were not chargeable to want of skill and ability, 
for he possessed both in a very superior degree. The simplo 
truth is, that the system which he undertook to support can not 
be maintained against any man who understands it, and under- 
stands the Bible. 

The Close. — The debate lasted three days. The attendance 
was quite large, comprising many of the most intelligent and 
respectable people in the city of Lebanon and the surrounding 
country. In the congregation were many ministers of the city 
and country. Among the noted men was the Hon. Thomas 
Corwin. At the close of the debate, Elder French, the minister 
in charge, went on with a protracted meeting. He afterwards 
told me that he received about sixty members. 

Elder Lucas left, and never returned to preach in Lebanon. 
He did not live very long afterward. The debate at Lebanon 
took place near the close of the fiftieth year of my age. 

December 5, 1840, still found me trying to advocate the 
cause of my Lord and Master, and in the arrangement of my 
domestic matters. I had now lived a full half century in this 
changing, flickering world of hopes and fears, where there are 
few hopes and many sorrows. Thirty years had been spent in 
trying to make the world better. I nad been greatly deceived 
and betrayed by many men in whom I placed confidence. Yet X 



% MATTHEW GARDNER. 91 

still believed that there were some good men. I could look back 
and Bee my own missteps and failings, and, as at all times, asked 
the Lord for his grace.to save me. 

"Time, like an ever-rolling stream, 

Bears all its sons away ; 
It flies forgotten as a dream — 

Dies at the opening day." — Watts. 



CHAPTER VI 

THE SIXTH TEN TEARS OF MY LIFE — EDIT AND PUBLISH THE 
"CHRISTIAN UNION" — IT IS TRANSFERRED TO THE "GOSPEL 
HERALD" — DEBATE WITH A UNIVER8ALIST — TROUBLES WITH 
MINISTERS OF SECRET SOCIETIES — FREEMASONS, ETC. 

The fifty -first yaar of my life began (December 5, 1840), in 
good health, and a trust in the overruling providence and the 
guidance of his Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ, and with a 
determination to do his will. The labors of the winter were as 
usual — traveling through mud to my several appointments, and 
attending to protracted meetings, etc. At that time the Chris- 
tians had no paper in the west. Barton W. Stone had, for a 
number of years, edited the " Christian Messenger," which was 
published at Georgetown, Kentucky. But he had gone " over," 
in part, at least, to Mr. Alexander Campbell's system. He had 
taken John T. Johnson, a Disciple, as co-editor, consequently 
that paper had, for four or five years, advocated Campbellism ; 
that is "remission of sins by immersion." Therefore, the 
churches in the west had been without a paper fbr four or five 
years. Many patronized the " Christian Palladium," published 
in the east. There had been, for two or three years, much talk 
about starting a paper, but the Christians in the east were so 
much opposed to it, that all seemed afraid to undertake it. Our 
brethren in the east insisted upon what they termed " general 
measures," which seemed to be that we of the west must take 
their paper and pay for it, while all who advocated starting a 
paper in the west were reproached as opposed to general meas- 
ures, and favoring sectional interests. Under these circum- 
stances there was not one minister or layman who heartily 
concurred in the undertaking, so far as to bear a part of the 
expense of starting a paper. There were two or three min- 
isters, and many brethren, who had no objection to our having 



92 LIFE OF 

a western paper, provided that there was nothing more asked 
of them than to say "yes." Great as were these discourage- 
ments, yet, seeing and feeling the importance of having a paper 
to advocate our views, I resolved to shoulder the whole burden 
of the expense and labor myself. Notice was given for a mass 
convention, to meet at Pisgah Chapel, Brown County, Ohio, to 
form a "Western Christian Association." The convention met 
the 15th of April, 1841, and the "Western Christian Associa- 
tion" was then organized. I was chosen editor ; Elder JSaaman 
Dawson, M. D., assistant editor. The name of Dr. Alexander 
Campbell, a physician of Eipley, a great and good man, stood 
at the head of the editorial council. This was the first publish- 
ing association formed by the Christians in the west. It was 
not large at first, for there were few, if any, in it except those 
belonging to the Southern Ohio Christian Conference. All 
others seemed to stand aloof, fearing the reproach and opposi- 
tion of the eastern brethren. 

"Christian Union. 11 — The name of the new paper was "The 
Christian Union." The first number was issued about the 15th 
of May, 1841. It was a monthly periodical, in magazine form. 
In the second number, I published an editorial on the subject of 
" general measures," so strongly urged by sbme of our eastern 
brethren; after which opposition measurably ceased. I sent 
the "magazine" gratuitously to many Christian ministers, both 
west and east, so that it might be fully known that there was a 
paper in the west. The whole pecuniary responsibility was 
borne by me. By means of this periodical, the sentiment 
gained ground among ministers and people that we should have 
a paper. I attended the next annual session of the Miami Con- 
ference, in September, 1841, and laid the matter of a paper in 
the west before that body, and proposed to transfer the sub- 
scribers, who were taking the " Christian Union," to any paper 
started on principles' in which we could unite. The proposition 
was unanimously accepted. Steps were taken immediately for 
a new paper, to start soon after the close of the first volume of 
the "Christian Union." An association was organized, and 
subscribers were obtained, and the " Gospel Herald" was started 
accordingly, A. D. 1844. 

Higginsport Church Organized. — In 1839, Elder John Phillips 
organized a church in Higginsport, on the Ohio Eiver, about 
three miles from the " Union Church" Chapel. Some of the 
members of "Union Church," of which I was pastor, went into 
the Higginsport church. But Phillips made no effort to build 
a Christian chapel ; and, when he went east, the organization' 1 
went down, and the members from "Union Church" returned 
to it. In the year 1841, or the last of 1840, I, through divine 
grace, organized a church in Higginsport. Soon after the or- 
ganization, I, as usual with me, got up a subscription and 






MATTHEW GARDNER. 93 

erected a chapel, to which I was about as large a subscriber as 
any. That church grew rapidly, and is yet doing reasonably 
well, in 1865. 

Mistaken Principle. — : The chapel in Higginsport was built 
upon the mistaken principle that too many of our houses of 
worship have been erected upon ; that is, free for all who preach 
the gospel, when not occupied by us. Thus all who wish may 
claim the right to use the chapels built by us. Thomas Gilmer, 
a Universalist, came to Higginsport in 1842 ; there being one or 
two of that order who had subscribed small sums for the build- 
ing, they insisted that he should preach in it. This I felt in 
duty bound to oppose, and publicly stated to the people my ob- 
jection to that doctrine. At the same time, I perhaps declared 
that Universalism was not the gospel of Christ, therefore could 
not be preached there on any claim, according to the terms 
upon which that house had been built. This caused Mr. Gilmer 
to send me a challenge, which I accepted. I was aware that 
Mr. Gilmer was considered a great man and a successful debater 
among the Universalists. He had been engaged in many con- 
tests, and was a man of fine education, as I found on personal 
acquaintance. When we met to choose the question, he insisted 
upon the one which Universalists had been accustomed to have 
inconsiderate men meet them on; that is, "Do the Scriptures 
teach that all men will be finally holy and happy ?" I told him 
plainly that he could not get me to debate on a question which 
permitted him to occupy either the ground of a Universalist or 
a Kestorationist, at pleasure. If I debated, the question must 
define clearly one system or the other; he might take his choice. 
He accepted the following: ^ 

The Question. — "Do Christ and his apostles teach that all pun- 
ishment, torment, sorrow, and death, for, and in consequence of 
sin, and rebellion against God, is endured and experienced by 
the wicked in this world, in this state of existence, in this body, 
in this life, and here only?" Gilmer affirms; Gardner denies. 
Mr. Gilmer had a great advantage to begin with. The debate 
was to be in our chapel, where we had a large Christian Church, 
while there were comparatively few Universalists in the town, 
or neighborhood; so I had little to gain and he nothing to 
lose. But I preferred to allow him this advantage, rather than 
to have him go on preaching Universalism without being 
exposed. 

The Debate on Universalism. — The usual rules, and the choice 
of moderators having been agreed upon, we met in the 
Christian chapel at Higginsport on the 15th day of August, 
1842, at 10 o'clock for discussion. The speeches were to be al- 
ternate, and thirty minutes each. 

In Mr, Gilmer's first speech, he seemed to honestly commit 
himself, and take the broad ground of Universalism, teaching 



94 LIFE OF 

i 

that " God unconditionally fore-ordained whatsoever comes to 
pass," therefore there could be no future torment for the 
wicked to endure, consequently all punishment for sin is in its 
commission in this world ; that is, the evil attending sin is the 
legitimate punishment of sin, the punishment being in doing 
the wrong. 

Gardner's Reply. — If, as the affirmative says, God has, by im- 
mutable decrees, fore-ordained all things whatsoever comes to 
pass, then all the acts of men take place according to his will, 
and men are compelled, by God's decree, to act just as they do. 
They have no choice what they will or will not do. If this be 
so, then why did God give us his holy Word, the Bible, to teach 
us what is right in his sight, and what is wrong, and how to 
avoid evil, while he had predetermined every choice of the heart, 
and every act of every human being for every moment of his 
life? If the affirmative be correct, is the Bible not a farce, a 
burlesque, and imposition upon the credulity of man? 

The Two Gates. — Second : The Lord of glory taught the peo- 
ple that there are two gates and two ways. One is the strait 
gate of the narrow way which leads to life. The other is the 
wide gate of the broad way that leads to destruction. Matt, 
vii. 13; Luke xiii. 24. Universalists say that there is only 
one gate and one way, or both lead to one place, and both are 
right. 

Third : The affirmative says that God has fore-ordained all 
the acts of men ; yet God punishes men in this life for their evil 
acts. Thus God punishes men for doing the very things that 
he (God) predetermined they should do. 

Fourth : If the punishment for every sin takes place at the 
time of doing the wrong act, as Mr. Gilmer affirms, will he ex- 
plain to the audience how the sin of adultery is punished, 
which Jesus condemns so plainly? 

Fifth : The history of the world proves that the best men who 
have ever lived have suffered more than the wicked. 

Sixth : While God says, " Without holiness no man shall see 
the Lord," or be eternally happy, Mr. Gilmer affirms that all 
liars, drunkards, blasphemers, thieves, robbers, murderers, 
whoremongers, adulterers, fornicators, and all the abominably 
wicked, spoken of in God's word, are as sure of heaven and 
eternal glory as were the holy prophets and apostles. These 
points and arguments seemed to take Mr. Gilmer by surprise, 
as he could not, as he had done "before with the ministers of dif- 
ferent denominations, who did not oblige him to commit him- 
self—he could not now avail himself of future punishment and 
final restoration, but had to meet Universalism as it is. 

Gilmer did not try to evade the arguments by tact or sarcasm, 
but labored hard to sustain his position by fair arguments, 
though it was evident that he felt it to be " an uphill business." 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 95 

The points made by me he could not answer. I kept them 
before the people. In my following speeches I showed the gospel 
of Universalism to be, that all liars, drunkards, thieves, robbers, 
blasphemers, murderers, and like characters, are on their way 
to glory, there being no future retribution nor any hell for such 
to go to. Therefore, all these wicked characters are on their 
way to peace, eternal happiness ; and that they should rejoice, 
for " great is your (their) reward in heaven !" 

Mr. Gilmer. — This appeared to entirely unman Mr. Gilmer. 
His energy withered, and he failed after this to get the attention 
of the people. 

Universalists Through. — Consequently, on the second day, Mr. 
Gilmer and his friends proposed that the discussion close that 
afternoon. It was his privilege to close when he pleased, as he 
held the affirmative. So the debate lasted two days, viz : the 
15th and 16th of August, 1842. Mr. Gilmer had been always 
victorious before, as his friends claimed, no doubt, because he 
could, when need be, step on the platform of restorationism, 
which teaches that the wicked will go into future torment (hell) 
till they suffer the penalty of their sins, and are reformed ; af> 
ter which the wicked will come out of hell and go to heaven. 
But pure Universalism denies any future retribution, or hell, 
and promises heaven and happiness to all without respect of 
character. On Mr. Gilmer's return to Higginsport, after the 
debate, to fill an appointment, he met a very small congrega- 
tion — some four Universalists and a few stragglers. That was his 
last appointment in Higginsport. He soon quit preaching, and 
the discussion greatly benefited the Christian cause, as it was 
the means of many renouncing Universalism and joining the 
Christian Church. It is now (1865) nearly twenty years since 
that discussion, and Universalism has never yet been able to 
hold up its head in Higginsport. This year (1842), through 
divine grace, the churches were increased in numbers, and the 
Southern Ohio Conference was greatly strengthened. 

MUlerism. — In the latter part of 1842, the excitement about 
Millerism. or rather Forty -three-ism, began to spread all over 
the country. William Miller, a lay member of the Baptist 
Church in the east, a man of limited education, had so con- 
trived his calculations on prophecies, as to make them seem 
to bear him out in his declaring, with much assurance, that 
u the world must end in 1843." The doctrine spread over the 
country like wild-fire. Many preachers of various denomina- 
tions favored it to alarm sinners. Nearly all the " Disciples," 
in the bounds of my knowledge, were Millerites. They 
preached Millerism to alarm sinners, and get them to be im- 
mersed in order to the remission of their sins, or to obtain 
pardon, so as to be ready. Few ministers of any denomination 
came out boldly against Forty-three-i&m. I regarded Mr. Mil- 



96 * LIFE OF 

ler's calculations to be positively false, and the whole thing a 
farce and delusion, calculated to injure religion by its re-action. 
I foresaw that it would also put a new weapon into the hands 
of infidels when the time passed, and 1843 would be gone, and no 
second coming of Christ or end of the world had taken place. 
In view of these considerations, I felt it my duty to take a decided 
stand in opposition to " Millerism." The words of the Savior 
himself was my platform: "Of that day and thdt hour know- 
eth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither 
the Son, but the Father ;" " Be ye therefore ready also : for the Sou 
of man cometh at an hour when ye think not." Mark xm. 32 ; 
Luke xii. 40. I illustrated by ecclesiastical history, showing 
how many times had been set, and gave the names of those 
who fix these times for the world to end. Time had proved 
their hopes all false delusions ; and time would prove Millerism 
so now. As 1843 drew on, the Miller excitement increased, 
producing divisions in the churches of all denominations, 
especially the Baptist and Christian churches in the east, 
where Elder John Phillips was now carried away with it. In 
the west it did harm, by creating discord. It divided the Chris- 
tian Church in Cincinnati, and greatly injured it. The fanatical 
proclaimers insisted that all who believed that Christ would come 
in 1843 must " come out of Babylon ;" that is, leave the church 
organizations and be all united on the true faith of the coming 
of Christ in 1843, otherwise they would be destroyed. Tha 
Millerites were " come-outers." Many ministers, "who had used 
it to alarm sinners and get them into their churches, could not 
now oppose it, and reaped their reward. My firm stand against 
it, by divine grace, saved the churches of the Southern Ohio 
Conference. At length 1843 came. As its days, weeks, and 
months passed, the excitement increased. Many of its devotees 
became monomaniacs ; some became lunatics ; merchants in the 
cities quit their business; many gave away their property; 
others cared little or nothing for the things of this world. 
Some designated a certain day in September or October, when 
the Savior would come with ten thousand angels. Many, hav- 
ing quit all business, prepared white robes in which to ascend 
to meet the Lord at his coming. They looked ! They watched ! 
They waited ! But the day passed as other days had before. 
There were no signs that the Lord of glory had left his abode, 
in his own serene heaven, though he doubtless looked with 
pity upon their folly. When 1843 had fully passed, and 1844 
had come, and no Christ had made his appearance, the dis- 
appointment of the " Adventists," as they now called them- 
selves, was intense beyond description. Some renounced 
Millerism; others held on, saying there had been a small 
mistake in the calculation, but Christ would come shortly ; so 
some held on ! The great dearth in religion which followed 



MATTHEW GARDNER. . 97 

was felt all over the United States. Thousands who had been 
deceived by the ministers, to unite with the church, now back- 
slid. Infidelity was encouraged, and the paratyzing effects of 
: that delusion were visible for ten or fifteen years afterwards. 

C. B. Thorp, the Universalist. — In the year 1844, while preach- 
ing at Boat Run, a small town on the Ohio Eiver, near Point 
Pleasant, in Clermont County, C. B. Thorp, a Universalist, who 
was preaching - at Point Pleasant, where I also sometimes 
preached, attended one of my meetings. Hearing me object to 
the doctrine of Universalism, he sent me a challenge to meet 
him in debate. I declined, unless the editor of the " Star of the 
West," their paper, published in Cincinnati, would indorse him 
as to ability. I was aware that he had been in a number 
of discussions, and was regarded by Universalists as a " smart" 
debater, though not equal to Gilmer. 1 wished him indorsed, be- 
cause, if vanquished, as I felt certain that he would be, my knowl- 
edge of mankind made me foresee that they would say. "Ah! 
who is Thorp? We don't consider him one of our strong men 
at all. We have no confidence in his ability. " Before I 
left, he came to a personal interview with me, and, referring to 
several men of ability of various denominations, with whom he 
had debated, he asked me why I required him to be indorsed, 
as this had not been done by any other man. I thus replied : 
"I am not willing to load a six-pounder to shoot a torn-tit. 1 ' He 
and his. friends being very anxious for a debate, he positively 
asserted that he could and would be indorsed; so we proceeded 
to choose the question. Mr. Thorp insisted on my accepting 
the question proposed by Gilmer, and which others, for want 
of .discriminating minds, have discussed with them, to-wit: 
" Do the Scriptures teach that all men will be finally holy and 
happy?" I stated that I could not discuss a question whicji 
would permit him to occupy at pleasure, or as necessity may 
drive him to, in the same debate, either Universalism or Bestor- 
ationism. He finally accepted the question discussed with Gil- 
mer, viz: "Po the Scriptures teach that all the torment or 
punishment, for, and in consequence of sin and rebellion 
«again8t God, is suffered and endured by the wicked in this 
.world, and here only?" C. B. Thorp affirms; M. Gardner 
denies. We appointed the discuscion to commence June 4, 1844. 
Debate at Point Pleasant, Ohio. — We met accordingly at Point 
Pleasant June 4th, at 9 o'clock. Mr. Thorp was fully indorsed 
by their paper, the "Star of the West." 

O. B. Thorp made the opening speech. He took no definite 
position, but pursued a random course, talking about God be- 
ing too merciful to punish the wicked, etc. 

Gardner. — In reply I showed that the punishment of the 
wicked was not directly from God, but the consequence of their 
own acticms. There are two roads or ways; the broad way, 

7 



£>8 LIFE OF 

which leads to destruction, and the narrow way, which leads to 
peace and happiness, and man has his choice which one he will 
take. This he could neither deny or get out of his way. I kept 
it before the people. I also presented the other points which I 
made with Mr. Gilmer. But I could not get Mr. Thorp to de- 
fine his position till the second day. 

Thorp the Second Day. — Then he said: "Man has not the 
power to choose and voluntarially do what he will. All things 
are fore-ordained of God." 

Gardner's 'Reply. — That admission was all that I wanted or 
desired. I presented the same argument that I did with Gilmer, 
showing that if the ground taken by the affirmative be correct, 
then the Bible is a useless book. Worse than that, it teaches a 
man what he shall do and shall not do, while God had fore-or- 
dained unchangeably all the acts of mankind. On his theory, 
there can be no proper punishment, either in this world or the 
next, as men do nothing else but that which God predetermined 
and fore-ordained they should do. 

C. B. Thorp was a trickish, quibbling, quirking, dishonest 
man, and a very difficult man to get along with in a discussion. 

Gardner. — In one speech I exposed the gospel of Universal- 
ism, by supposing it true, as follows: The most wicked and. 
abominable of human beings are requested to hear the glorious 
gospel of TJniversalism, and to rejoice and be exceedingly glad, 
for there is no future retribution or punishment to await them. 
All their midnight crimes were ordained of God, and conse- 
quently were according to his divine will ; therefore, all such 
characters ought to greatly rejoice and be exceeding glad, for 
great is their reward in heaven. This was too much of their 
own theory. I still further remarked that thousands and tens 
of thousands in every age of the world, who had lived lives of 
prayer and strove to be holy, in order to gain heaven and hap- 
piness, were all foolishly deluded (if TJniversalism be right), 
for they were just as surely on the road to glory and eternal 
peace, without thus striving to live righteous, as with it. 

Thorp. — Mr. Thorp could make no consistent reply, conse- 
quently, on the second day, he and his friends proposed for the 
debate to close that afternoon, and it did close. It had con- 
tinued two days, the 4th and 5th of June, 1844. He had an ap- 
pointment, not long after, in Point Pleasant, but few came out, 
and he came no more. That discussion, like the one with Mr. 
Gilmer, was a great help to vital Christianity. Many re- 
nounced TJniversalism, and united with the evangelical churches. 
It is now 1865, that is, more than twenty-one years since that 
debate, and its effects are yet visible in Point Pleasant. Few 
in the country there pretend to advocate TJniversalism, nor 
is any preacher of that faith sustained there. The years 1843, 
1844, and 1845, were three years of peace and prosperity of the 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 99 

churches of the Southern Ohio Conference. There were many 
additions. The conference was strengthened by quite a num- 
ber of young men entering the ministry. The Disciples en- 
deavored to disturb some of the churches, but the two defeats 
of John B. Lucas kept them at a distance. He was doubtless 
as great a debater as they had among them, not excepting Al- 
exander Campbell himself. They still endeavored to defame 
me ; but it seemed understood by the people generally that it 
was the business of the preachers and members of that faith to 
slander me. I did not reply. 

Freemasons. — The Southern Ohio Conference having become 
somewhat popular, in the spring or summer of 1846 one or more 
of the elders united with secret societies, and some ministers 
who were Freemasons proposed to unite with the conference. 
This was a new state of things. Prom its organization till then 
there had not been in it one minister who belonged to a secret 
society, but all were supposed to be opposed to all secret com- 
binations. From my earliest convictions of right and wrong, I 
entertained religious objections to secret conclaves. Soon after 
I entered the ministry, Freemasons held out strong inducements 
for me to unite with them. 

What a Mason Said. — Said a Freemason to me, "Were you a 
Free and Accepted Mason, it would be of great advantage to 
you. When you visit a strange town to preach, a gentleman 
would arise in the congregation and propose a collection for 
you. You can become a Freemason without it costing you any 
thing. Ministers are received without charge." This, with 
perhaps other inducements, had some influence upon my mind. 
The Christians were at that time weak and persecuted. I had, 
from honest motives, become a minister of that denomination ; 
and being quite poor as to the wealth of this world, and preach- 
ing without earthly reward, I was obliged to labor with my 
hands to support my family. Would it not then be right to be- 
come a Mason, and secure their friendship and assistance? 
These advantages seemed inviting from a worldly view. But I 
had put my trust in God for all things, and had so professed, 
and that trust I could not betray by going into a secret combi- 
nation for the purpose of support, instead of relying upon God ! 
Nor were these the only objections. It seemed to be constantly 
ringing in my mind, Be careful that you do not take a leap in the 
dark, of which you may repent in the uncertain hour of death. ~Not 
only so, I saw that the profane and infidels were Free and Ac- 
cepted Masons; consequently I finally concluded that secret 
affiliated societies were not proper places for ministers of the 
gospel, but that they should obey the words of the Apostle Paul, 
"C©me out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the 

Lord." 
Sons of Temperance. — In 1846 Elder Alexander McClain 



1 5,^ 



100 LIFE OP 

/ united with the Sons of Temperance, and marched in their pro- 

cessions, which wounded numbers of the members of* the church. 
I attended a communion with him at the church in Bentonville, 
in Adams County. He was pastor. There I learned that quite 
a number o£ the members were so dissatisfied that they did not 
commune. This disaffection continued. A number ceased to. 
attend upon his ministry, and he soon discontinued preaching 
there. Nor were the objections in that church alone, but in all 
the churches where he labored. As he had been useful in his 
preaching, his example had its influence, and not long after his 
taking that step other preachers joined the Freemasons. Al- 
though Elder McClain and I labored together, yet my known 
opposition to secret societies diminished our union, and love for 
each other's society. In that year, at the conference of 1846, in 
Higginsport, I was one of the movers of a resolution advising 
ministers and others to be contented in the church of God, and 
to refrain from uniting with secret societies and worldly combi- 
nations. We soon found that the ministers in favor of these 
secret conclaves were more in number than had been expected; 
so, after being debated, the motion was laid on the table. Mat- 
ters went on as usual, till the conference at Ripley, in 1847. 
Then this resolution was taken up, and, after much discussion, 
it passed almost unanimously. 

Another Debate. — In the summer of 1846, C. B. Thorp began 
to preach at Aberdeen, Ohio, a town opposite Maysville, Ken- 
tucky. As the Bethlehem church, of which I was pastor, and 
which numbered nearly four hundred members, was but about 
a mile beyond the suberbs of Aberdeen, many of our members 
resided there. Thorp, being a fluent speaker, drow large con- 
gregations, and was producing a favorable impression for Uni- 
versalism. I, of course, presented to the people my objections 
to the doctrines. The Universalists there, having come to con- 
sider Mr. Thorp as invincible, supposed that a debate with me 
would destroy the Bethlehem church, and build up a Universal- 
ist Church. I soon received a note from Dr. Thomas Moore, the 
leader of the Universalists of that section, a man of wealth and 
influence, desiring to know if I would meet Mr. C. B. Thorp in 
discussion. I answered in the affirmative. After some further 
correspondence the time was set, and Mr. Thorp and I agreed 
to meet at Dr. Moore's house to frame the question. When we 
met, Thorp insisted upon their old favorite question, viz: " Do 
the Scriptures teach that all men will be finally holy and 
happy ?" I refused to accept a question which would permit 
him to occupy the double grounds of Universalism or restora- 
tionism at pleasure. The question must clearly state one sys- 
tem or the other, and he might take his choice. After he utterly 
refused to accept any question but the one named, and it ap- 
pearing that we could not get him to agree on any one, by Dr. 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 101 

Moore urging him, he accepted the following, which placed me 
on the affirmative, to-wit: 

The Question. — "Do the Scriptures teach that the future hap- 
piness and eternal salvation of mankind are to be obtained on 
the conditions of man's believing the gospel, repenting of his 
sins, and living righteous and holy in this life?" M. Gardner 
affirms; C. B. Thorp denies. Having arranged the prelimi- 
naries and chosen three moderators, we met in the Methodist 
Episcopal Chureh in Aberdeen, October 20, 1846. 

Elder Gardners Speech. — I first took the positive declaration 
of Christ and his apostles, namely, " He that believeth on the 
Son, hath everlasting life : and he that believeth not the Son, 
shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." 

Thorp's Reply. — Mr. Thorp took the ground that salvation is 
the gift of God without any conditions of faith, repentance, or 
good works, or a holy life. 

Gardner. — I showed that according to Universalism there is 
no such thing as salvation; for, according to that system, there 
never was any danger, there being no hell for the wicked to go 
to, and no one could be lost. 

Thorp, seeing the dilemma that he was in, tried to sustain him- 
self by planting himself upon the so-called orthodox doctrine of 
vicarious atonement; that is, that Jesus Christ become the surety 
to God the Father for all mankind, and satisfied the law of di- 
vine justice by his death, he dying "in the law-room and stead" 
of sinners; therefore, he argued, the whole debt being paid for 
all, all must be saved ; nor is there any need of good works by 
men in order to salvation; for the debt being fully paid, and 
Christ's righteousness being imputed to all mankind, there can 
be no further demand against any of the human family. With 
Christ's death the law is satisfied, and with Christ's holiness 
imputed to us, heaven must be satisfied ; therefore, all must bo 
saved. 

Gardner's Reply. — The affirmative denied there being any 
Scripture to sustain such doctrine. I showed the inconsistency 
of that doctrine with the character of God, and presented the 
true scriptural view of the atonement ; that is, to purify, and rec- 
oncile, etc. I also proclaimed the gospel, according to Univer- 
salism, to be as follows: The abominably wicked, having their 
hands stained with innocent blood, in order to be saved, need 
not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, nor even repent of their 
sins; but may go on their way cursing God and rejoicing, for 
there is an exceeding great reward awaiting them in heaven. 

Thorp. — Mr. Thorp attempted to extricate himself, but he be- 
came confused, and finally took the ground that God fore-or- 
dained every thing, and all is going on according to God's will ; 
therefore, there can be no future punishment. 

Gardner. — I was determined to illustrate the unrighteousness 



102 LIFE OF 

of Universalism, and make it clearly manifest to the people. 
How can a theory be true which can fill the hearts of the worst 
men without causing them to repent, with equal or superior 
joy, to that enjoyed by the very best? If Universalism be true, 
the most depraved characters can glory over the most holy. 

" For Judas, that perfidious wretch, 

Though by his Lord accursed, 
He, with a cord, outwent his Lord, 

And got to. heaven first. 
Bless, O my soul, the very rope, 

On which old Judas died ; 
It served for him instead of hope, 

When he his Lord denied." 

As I held the affirmative, I was not disposed to close till Mr. 
•Thorp and his friends got enough — until they had debated to 
their heart's content; so we continued three days and three 
evenings, viz : the 20th, 21st, and 22d days of October, 1846. 
Dr. Moore, after inducing Eev. Mr. Thorp to go into the debate, 
seeing, in the first forenoon, that Mr. Thorp could not succeed, 
left him and never returned during the debate. This he did, 
that when spoken to about it, he could say, I Was not there, 
and thus appear not to have been interested in it. Before the 
discussion, the doctor had been ever ready in thrusting his Uni- 
versalist opinions forward ; even when called into a family on 
professional duty, he took great delight in continually endeav- 
oring to perplex the elderly ladies with questions on "Universal- 
ism. After the debate, the mention of Thorp had the effect of 
producing profound silence with the doctor. 

Thorp Renounces Universalism, — M>. Thorp once returned to 
preach in Aberdeen. Very few assembled to hear him. This 
was perhaps the last time he tried to preach Universalism. 
About a month after the debate, he published a pamphlet re- 
nouncing the doctrine. 

The Reason Why. — One of the reasons which he gave for re- 
nouncing it was, that he had preached Universalism for, per- 
haps, fifteen years, and had never seen any good attending it, 
or any person, made better by it. One reason why the 
discussions held by me were not as tedious as such debates 
usually are was, that in every case I had the rule inserted " that 
the Scriptures, in the common version, should be the only evi- 
dence offered." This prevented quibbling about the translation, 
and bringing many books written by men. It is now 1865, 
over eighteen years since the last debate with Mr. Thorp, and 
no Universalist preacher has yet come to renew their cause in 
Aberdeen. Neither " Disciples" or Universalists manifest any 
desire to support their systems with me by discussion. The 
Universalists are more honorable than those who advocate Mr. 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 103 

Campbell's system, for they seem to admit that they can not 
sustain their system ; while others pretend that they can, but 
practice dishonorable defamation. 

Some oppose debating religious subjects. Such persons 
should carefully examine the practice of Christ and his apostles. 
Jesus and the apostles seldom spoke publicly without being in- 
terrupted and contradicted. Such was the custom then. Con 
eequently they were almost perpetually arguing and debating 
with the opposers of Christianity, as will be admitted by all 
who have examined the subject. While this is true, we admit 
that there are debates which have no good moral influence, in 
consequence of their being conducted in a light, trifling spirit. 
A minister, in debating, should prayerfully watch against a 
trifling spirit. In all my debates, my accountability to God 
was felt by me the same as when preaching, though my oppo- 
nents appeared to be influenced by the spirit before referred to. 
Good has attended the cause I advocated in every debate. 
During the year 1848 there was peace in our conference, and 
reasonable prosperity in the churches. The resolution passed 
in 1847, advising ministers and others "not to unite with secret 
societies, and those already members to leave them," was not 
regarded. At the conference session in 1848 nothing was said 
about secret societies; but Jacob F. Crist, a Master Mason, 
united with the conference. It was understood that he intended 
to leave the Masons ; but he did not. 

Masonry. — Having carefully examined Masonry, Odd-Fellow- 
ship, etc., and made myself acquainted with them as far as pos- 
sible without initiation, I ascertained that they had a form of 
worship, with a hierarchy and prayers and songs of devotion ; 
while the members say to the world that they are not religious 
institutions. Is not then the pretended devotion sacrilege? 
My 1 examinations forced me to this conclusion. I was also con- 
vinced that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, though found in 
some of their songs, and mentioned by some of their writers, is 
not in the foundation or any component part of the system of 
Freemasonry or Odd-Fellowship, e$c. 

Creed of Masons. — The "Freemason Monitor" says, "To be- 
lieve in one God is the religion of a Free and Accepted Mason." 
I observed that deists, and every grade of infidels, belonged to 
these secret combinations; consequently my decision was and 
is, that if the apparent religious devotion of those secret con- 
claves is not real, it is sacrilege; is it not? Therefore, those be- 
longing to these institutions ought not to be admitted into the 
church of God. Or, if they are truly religious institutions, 
Masons should be contented with their own forms of worship, 
and cease to seek admission to the church. I, therefore, ob- 
jected to admitting such. To prevent others following into 
these societies, it seemed to me best to let the preachers and 



104 LIFE OF 

people see the truth in relation to the subject, that those dis- 
posed to go into these conclaves might not do so mentally 
« blindfolded !" 

Anti-Masonic Convention. — I have in my possession the pro- 
ceedings of the United States Anti-Masonic Convention held in 
Philadelphia, September 11, 1830, as published by the authority 
of the convention. This work contains a history of the origin 
of Masonry, the mode of initiation, the revelation of the degrees, 
the obligations, oaths, and grips, etc., from the Entered Appren- 
tice up to the Royal- Arch Mason, Knighthood, etc. There has 
probably never been a more respectable and talented body of 
men assembled in this nation than were found in this Anti- 
Masonic Convention. It was composed of one hundred and 
eleven members from different states of the Union. 

Names of Members. — Hon. Francis Granger, of New York, 
President of the Convention, Ex-Postmaster General, and Ex- 
Member of Congress. Hon. William II. Seward, Ex-Governor 
of New York, now Secretary of State in the Cabinet of Presi- 
dent Lincoln. Hon. Thadeus Stevens, now (1865) Representa- 
tive in Congress from Pennsylvania. Hon. Joseph Ritner, Ex- 
Governor of Pennsylvania. Hon. Charles Ogle, Member of 
Congress from Pennsylvania. Hon. Harmer Denny, Ex-Mem- 
ber of Congress from Pennsylvania. Hon. William Slade, Mem- 
ber of Congress from Vermont, afterwards Governor. Added 
to these were a number of ministers of the gospel, who had re- 
nounced Masonry. 

How it was Exposed. — It was by eleven seceding Masons, 
members of that convention, that Freemasonry was exposed to 
public view. Some of the eleven were ministers of the gospel. 
One was Elder David Barnard, a noted Baptist minister. He, 
with others, saw the wrong, renounced the craft, and exposed 
the evil. These proceedings contain a full account of the abduc- 
tion and murder of William Morgan by the Freemasons. The 
unanimous testimony of such men as composed that convention 
convinced me that their testimony could be relied upon as cor- 
rect and really true. So, also, some Masons told me that these 
disclosures were accurate. With this assurance, seeing that 
there was need of light on the subject, I, from a sense of duty, 
decided to republish the before-named expose of Masonry ; and 
having, early in 1849, made arrangements for the printing in 
Cincinnati, the work was published. 

The result of publishing the expose of Masonry was a flood 
of defamation and persecution from the craft. The " Freema- 
sons' Monitor," page 4, expresses the sentiment that the efforts 
of those who expose Masonry "end in their own disgrace." 
This prediction they aimed to prove true. I had read how th«y 
slandered and persecuted Professor Robinson, Rev. Dr. Morse, 
Rev. Moses Thacker, Elder David Barnard, and others, who, in 



3IATTHKW GARDNER. 105 

* 

the cause of religion and morality, exposed their secret combi- 
nations. But charity led me to think that Freemasons now did 
not practice such proscription. I was wrong. I found that all 
secret conclaves act in concert against any man daring to op- 
pose any one of them. 

The Terrible Warning. — While the work was in press I re- 
ceived a letter, dated Cincinnati, April 2, 1849. In this letter 
the writer stated, in a friendly manner, that he had heard me 
preach a short time before, and was well pleased. But he had 
since learned that I was about to publish an expose of Masonry, 
which, if I did, they would punish me, by getting a woman to 
accuse me and to swear against me, and thus destroy my char- 
acter. 

He Determines to go on. — Feeling justified in the sight of God, 
I determined to use my privilege as a free citizen. So 1 com- 
pleted the publication, considering our pretended rights of free 
speech a mere mockery, and our boasted civil and religious lib- 
erty an empty boast, if we can be driven from duty by the fear 
of slander and violence. Indeed I did not, I could not, believe 
that men were wicked enough to carry out such fiendly threats. 
But I was mistaken. They did as they said they would. 

The Woman Whom they Used. — On a farm joining mine there 
lived a woman whom I had reproved for her conduct. Her 
husband had died in 1847, leaving a family of small children. 
Her character was not above reproach; and, soon after her hus- 
band's death, her house was used for fiddling and dancing 
frolics, contrary to the custom of the neighborhood. About one 
and a half or two miles distant lived a Freemason whose wife 
was very sick. Shortly after she died he began to visit and 
dance at this woman's house. Their fandangoes being noisy, 
we, the neighbors, could hear them at our houses. Their inti- 
macy being apparent, was talked of among the people. I talked 
to them both separately about it; but learning that they were 
offended, I and my neighbors concluded to let them alone. 
Five or six months passed ; and, except once, when she called 
at a house where I was, I had not seen her to speak to her. 
About six months after I had reproved this man and woman, 
my book came out. 

The Plot Thickens, — I had returned from some appointments, 
and was on my way to Ripley, when I met a craftsman, who 
told me that this woman had filed an affidavit against me, and 
he kindly intimated that I had better run away! I thought 
that they had better all run away (from their lodges), and keep 
on "running away." I put my trust in the living God, and 
proceeded on my way to Ripley, to the office of the magistrate, 
and asked him for that affidavit. He said that it was not in his 
possession. But I learned from him that a Freemason lawyer 
from Georgetown, the county seat, had attended to the taking 



106 life or 

of it, and had taken it away with him. I also learned that the 
Freemason man who danced at her frolics was in attendance at 
the taking of the affidavit, and I inferred that others of the 
craft were present. 

Another Letter. — While at Eipley that day, or shortly after, I 
received a letter from the post-office, dated " Georgetown, June 
16, 1849." To which there were twenty-one names, most of 
whom I knew to be Masons. This letter proposed that I should 
deliver up all those books to the Freemasons at cost, or my 
throat would be cut from ear to ear, my body quartered and 
burned to ashes, etc. One man, whose name was to that let- 
ter, was then a member of the Christian Church in Eipley, since 
deceased. He was a man of property and respectability, whom 
I had baptized years before he became a Mason. I immediately 
called to see this man. I showed him the letter with his name. 
He denied authorizing his name being put there; but told me 
I should not have published the book, and need not expect any 
sympathy from the Masons! I answered that 1 looked for 
none ; I asked for none ; for nothing more than justice. I was a 
free man, and demanded only the legal rights of a common citizen. * 
Of course, all denied authorizing their names being put to the 
cut-throat letter. They said, " The author is not a Mason ; but 
Gardner or some of his friends wrote it." Consider how vicious 
were such intimations, while they knew the contrary ! Whether 
they did or did not authorize the signing of their names to that 
letter, they willingly suffered it, and their conduct, both before 
and after, in trying to prevent the book being read by the peo- 
ple, and to destroy the influence of the book, was little better. 
I did not give up the books to the Masons at cost ! Who was 
the author of the letter? Did they carry out the threat of the 
Cincinnati letter? After the Masons got the woman to make 
her affidavit, the word was spread all over the country " that 
Gardner was in jail," or "soon would be," and would go from 
there to "the penitentiary!" The people where I preached 
were informed that they need not go to meeting, as 1 would not 
be there. It was said, " Gardner is done preaching," and they 
were " very sorry," " very sorry !" I kept right along, attending 
all my appointments as usual, and, the people understanding the 
matter, came out as usual, or in greater numbers. The sheriff did 
not come to take me to jail!! Desiring to know more about 
that affidavit, and the author of the cut-throat letter, I went to 
Georgetown and called on a lawyer who did not belong to the 
craft. We sent to the "clerk's office" and procured samples 
of the handwriting of different men, and, on comparison, 
found the cut-throat letter to be in the handwriting of another 
Freemason lawyer. We then sent for the Freemason lawyer 
Xo. 1, which had the affidavit in keeping. I asked him to let 
me see it. He refused. He said that he, as counsel, was not 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 107 

at liberty to show the affidavit to me. I told him that he, as 
counsel, as a matter of law, ought to show it to me, as it was my 
right. I had paid my tax, and did not think that the law should 
be used as an engine to injure me. I told him of the state- 
ments, which I could prove, that he and other Masons had 
made about me in relation to it. I demanded to know why he 
did not prosecute it. But he could not be induced to show it. 
Nor have I ever seen it to this day. It was taken for the ex- 
press purpose of slander, and no one dared to bring it to light 
or prosecute on it. I procured the writing corresponding to the 
cut-throat letter, which neither lawyer No. 2 or his brethren 
of the craft could deny. The Masons, when shown the two, 
admitted that the same hand wrote both, and that their brother of 
the craft, lawyer No. 2, wrote their names after they had said that 
my friends wrote it. Did the Masons expel lawyer No. 2 ? No ! 
Did they even call him to account for forgery ? No ! Comment 
is needless. Is it not clear that they were willing to have their 
names used? They did not venture to deny the handwriting, 
public indignation being too strong against them. 
* Freemasons at Work in the Church. — This year, 1849, the con- 
ference met in Eussellville. As the time drew on, preparations 
began, and 'the Masons wero busy. Early in the fall, some 
weeks before conference, one day, about one o'clock, my son 
was at work, in a field joining the affidavit woman's place. Ho 
saw two men, with horses, come through our cornfield, not far 
from the house, and cross a piece of woodland pasture, and tie 
their horses to the line fence inside of our inclosure, and go to the 
woman's house. My son came and told me. I went to where 
he was at work and waited for them. They remained there till 
late in the afternoon, and we met them when they returned to 
their horses. It was the Master Mason and the Master Mason's 
pastor. It was that Master Mason which had joined conference 
with the privilege of preaching, and that pastor who was ac- 
quitted by his church after the Pisgah trial. When they came 
for their horses and found us there, thev looked confused and 
ashamed. I felt sorry for them, and kindly said, "I would not 
have gone through your cornfield, but passed your house and 
stopped, as brethren should." I invited them to come to the 
house and to stop, and to go out at the gate to the road, which 
they did. As we came across the farm, 1 said to J. P. Crist, the 
Master Mason, in an indifferent manner, " Did she tell you why 
she said and did what she did?" He answered, as if before he 
thought, " She says it was because you talked about her and 
that man." Then, said I, emphatically, "Do not forget that! 
Now, be sure not to forget that I" The Master Mason's pastor 
also witnessed that she said that. This was enough to satisfy 
any impartial mind. I told them that if any thing was to be 
brought before conference, I desired to know it beforehand, for 



108 LIFE OF 

I was of the opinion that they were there on that errand. Elder 
McClain answered, " If there is any thing going to be brought 
up there, you shall have timely notice." Conference met. No 
notice of accusations had been given. I had been appointed to 
deliver the opening address, and did so. It was noticed that 
again, as in former years, nearly all the visiting preachers were 
craftsmen. One of these said on his way, " I am going to help 
put the old man down" The affidavit woman was there, and the 
man who danced with her was there. The Master Mason lived 
there and his pastor lived there. So the pastor, as perhaps he 
had promised at the time of the visit through my cornfield, 
took the woman to his house. Elder John Ellis was there, and 
reported to have said, " All would go well enough, if one old 
man was in Texas." Perhaps he did not say it. It was evident 
that trouble was coming. I put my trust in the God of all grace. 
Now a charge was read that I had made " indecent proposals 
to that woman." Elder Ellis wrote the charge, and Elder 
McClain presented it, without the notice, previously prom- 
ised at my house. I insisted upon an immediate investiga- 
tion, and an open trial, but was prevailed upon to let it come* 
before a committee of five ministers. The committee was 
organized ; and the woman who had suffered herself to be used 
to fix her deadly fangs of slander into my heart was brought 
forward. I felt sorry for her. Her statements were confused 
and contradictory in themselves, and she got into a "passion and 
would not answer the questions put to her, and so withdrew. 
Tho committee were ready to make their report then, but were 
detained to look for other testimony against me. I called upon 
the elder, at whose house she put up, to state what she told him 
at the time they went through my cornfield to her house. He 
was a man of truth, and reluctantly stated that she told them 
that she " said those things about me because I talked about her 
and the Freemason man who danced with her at her frolics." 
Had he stated this to the conference at first, the whole matter 
would have been stopped at the threshold. This was sufficient 
to satisfy any impartial mind that it was the work of a design- 
ing woman, directed by wicked men. One of the committee 
was a Freemason, but such was the testimony that he could not 
condemn me. Elder Alexander McClain being the last witness, 
the committee at once agreed, and came in with a report of my 
acquittal. Such was the testimony, they could not do other- 
wise. After the decision a resolution was offered opposed to 
Freemason preachers, etc., becoming members of conference; 
but owing to the influence of Freemason preachers in attend- 
ance from other conferences it did not pass. The book was 
now in great demand. Persecution from the craft was silenced, 
and religion increased in prosperity. 

The Woman! — What became of the woman? Her husband, 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 100 

at his death, was worth about eight thousand dollars, in a farm 
of nearly two hundred acres, and other property. She com- 
menced her frolicking course about a year after he died. About 
two years after his death, when two daughters were of age, the 
farm was sold by a petition for partition, and bought by three 
adjoining neighbors, who deeded her about sixty acres for her 
right of dower. After she had been used against me by the 
craft, there came along a stranger — a strolling youth of about 
twenty-one years of age — whom she hired to work, courted, 
and married. She was about forty! Their affairs soon caused 
them to sell their home. They afterward moved to Illinois. 
There he left her, with little or nothing wherewith to help her- 
self. The way of sin is the road to sorrow! A few years after 
this she died. 

The Design. — The designs of the craft in procuring the poor 
woman was twofold : First, to save their fellow-craftsman, the 
frolicking Mason; and, second, to fix the disgrace on me, and 
destroy the influence of the book. 

The Preachers. — The ministers of the conference understood 
the design, and, with few exceptions, sustained me like good 
brethren. Elder Z. M. Lansdown was one of those who were 
bold and true. Since then he became discouraged, and has since 
gone into the practice of medicine, and now preaches little or 
none. The Presbyterians, who are my nearest neighbors, upheld 
me as a denomination, and from the beginning sustained me. 
For this I shall ever esteem them. The Methodist preachers 
nearly all belonged to the craft, and said little. The Campbell- 
ites, of course, were loquacious, repeating every thing against me, 
with additions, but had no influence, as the people knew them. 
No doubt, many opposers of the faith honestly desired to put 
me down, but they were disappointed. Eeligion, all the time 
of the persecution, advanced under my ministry, as usual. In 
1850 the conference met in Fin castle, Brown County. This was 
the first Southern Ohio Conference attended by Elder N. Sum- 
merbell, of Cincinnati. A number of visiting craftsmen preach- 
ers were there. A resolution was again offered, disapproving 
of preachers joining secret societies. It was opposed, but passed 
almost unanimously. Elder McClain moved, the same year, to 
central Ohio, and settled with the Shiloh Spring church, near 
the city of Dayton. He was deceived, and treated me unkindly, 
and we never preached together afterward. But he was not a 
wicked or a bad man. During all these difficulties, I attended 
regularly to my ministerial labors, and gave enough attention 
to my domestic affairs to keep matters straight, and so, by the 
blessing of God, continued to prosper. Our condition, for some 
few years, was such that my wife had not so great a burden to 
bear in my absence, as when she was obliged, even in the winter 
time, to take her small children with her and go out to feed the 



110 LIFE OP 

stock. On the 5th of December, after these trials in 1850, I 
was sixty years old, and ten more years of my life had passed. 
In some things I had erred, which, seeing, caused repentance, 
though I had- not erred intentionally. 

My life has been checkered with darkness and light, 
But the sweet star of hope was forever in sight, 
Though oft I have erred (I confess it with tears), 
Sustained by God's grace, I have reached sixty years. 



CHAPTER VII. 

SEVENTH TEX YEARS OP MY LIFE — CAN NOT CO-OPERATE FOR 
ANTIOCH COLLEGE — THREE VISITS EAST — SKETCH OP THE CONFER- 
ENCE — PERSECUTIONS PUBLISHED IN 1852 — SECRET SOCIETIES 

IN 1860 PUBLISHED A PAMPHLET ON MINISTERIAL WRONG-DOINGS 
— ACCUSED IN CONFERENCE — LABORS IN THE MINISTRY. 

A. D. 1850, on the 5th of December, I entered upon the sixty- 
first year of my life, with full trust in God's grace and protect- 
ing care through the Lord Jesus Christ. My health was good, 
for a man of my age. My voice was but little impaired. The 
winter was employed in attention to my domestic affairs, which 
1 never neglected, and in preaching and .pastoral duties. Elder 
John Phillips, who had, some years before, returned from the 
east, had now been appointed agent to sell stock for Antioch 
College. We met in Cincinnati, at a committee meeting, where 
he asked me to co-operate with him. I refused to do so, telling 
him plainly that the plan upon which they had started would 
never succeed. In the spring of this year (1851) I had made 
arrangements to visit the place of my birth, in New York. I 
also desired to spend some time in various eastern cities, and to 
visit some other places of interest. I started soon after the 
middle of May. 

Journey East. — I went to Cincinnati by boat ; from Cincinnati to 
Cleveland by railroad ; from there over Lake Erie, to Buffalo, New 
York, by steam-boat; then took the cars to Albany; and from 
there went by stage-coach to Stephentown, the place of my birth. 
Though only nine years and not quite nine months old when 
my father moved from Stephentown, and I had not seen the 
place for over fifty years, when I saw it every thing pertaining 
to the face of the country appeared familiar as when we left 
there. The mountains and valleys, the brooks, roads, and path- 



MATTHEW GARDNER. Ill 

ways, looked as they did when seen in my childhood. The houses 
looked time-worn. I went to the house which we moved out of 
on the first day of September, A. D. 1800, which brought sweet 
memories of days long, long gone by, when I loved to be with 
ray mother. How mournfully dear to my heart the recollection ! 
There was a great change observable in the people we left there 
in 1800, and those I found there in 1851. Very few of those 
we left could be found. Death had called away many, and 
others had moved to other parts. 1 found many relations (the 
Gardners), but only two or three of those we left remained. 
The nearest relations I found were cousins and second cousins. 
All my uncles and aunts were gone. I tarried at Stephentown 
a short time. I preached a few times near the place where I 
was born. The Christians have a good chapel there, but I was 
sorry to find the church in a low state, with little interest. 
Prom Stephentown I went to Boston by railroad. My stay in 
Boston was long enough to visit Bunker Hill and other places 
of interest. On the way from Boston to Plymouth I passed the 
house of the late Hon. John Quincy Adams. It is a small 
white frame cottage. We were soon at Plymouth, and I was 
disappointed to find it a place of no larger size. It is not a 
seaport town. I went to seethe "Plymouth Bock" upon which 
the "May Flower" landed her "Pilgrim Puritans," after their 
tedious voyage in December, 1620. These people, persecuted 
in England for "non-conformity" to the established church, 
sought a home in the forests of America. I went to see the 
" Rock," and found the place. It was once a very large Rock, 
but fragments were continually broken off for keepsakes, till 
its upper surface was below the level of the ground. The taking 
away of any more is forbidden. I saw the Rock and the place 
where the Pilgrims first set foot on the land of the New World. 
I then visited the Antiquarian Hall, a large building, where I 
saw much of interest relating to the Indians. There were im- 
plements, and instruments, and costumes ; drawings represent- 
ing Indian customs, and their kindness to the Puritans. One 
drawing represented Elder Brewster, the Puritan preacher, 
with his little flock of Pilgrims kneeling upon the sea-shore to 
thank G-od for his goodness and protection through their long 
and perilous voyage and safe arrival in the country for which 
they started. There was Elder Brewster's chair, too, a large, 
rough piece of workmanship. Near this hall is a large frag- 
ment of Plymouth Rock, 'inclosed by an iron railing to preserve 
it from being carried away. On the railing are the names of 
the principal men who arrived on the "May Flower." I paid 
the keeper of the hall a quarter of a dollar for going in. There 
was once a large Christian Church at Plymouth, but divided 
by the preacher and deluded by Millerism, there is little left. 
Christ did not come in 1843, but many still hold on to the de- 



112 LIFE OF 

lusion. 1 preached there a few times, and then left by the cars 
for New Bedford, where I arrived the second week in June, 
1851. New Bedford was long the principal city in the United 
States, engaged in the whale fishery. It was noted for the 
number of its ships, the enterprise of its sailors, its extensive 
trade in oil, and for the wealth of its merchants. Here I found 
three Christian churches; two large, prosperous churches, with 
resident pastors and large Sunday-schools, and one colored 
Christian Church. All the churches have good congregations. 
I preached in both the churches first named, and had good at- 
tention. I am more pleased with New Bedford than with any 
other town or city I have ever seen. It has an easy and beau- 
tiful ascent from the sea-shore, a beautiful harbor, and a delight- 
ful country back of it. It seemed pleasant and healthy. It is 
the only city I have ever steen in which I thought I would be 
willing to reside. After spending a few days in New Bedford, 
I went on to Fall River. This is a thriving manufacturing 
city. Here I found a large, prosperous Christian Church, with 
a good pastor. I preached on the Lord's-day, and a number of 
times before leaving. I was kindly received, and was pleased 
with my visit. I now left Massachusetts for Rhode Island, the 
first home in America of my forefathers. In Providence, Ehode 
Island, there are two Christian churches. To one of them I 
preached twice, at night, as I could not tarry over the Lord's- 
day. 

Spirit-Rapping. — It was during my stay in the city of Provi- 
dence that I became fully satisfied of the wickedness of the 
delusion of "spirit-rapping;" that is, of departed spirits re- 
turning to communicate to the living in this world, by raps on 
a table, things pertaining to the spirit world, or the future 
things of this world. This delusion started in Rochester, New 
York, about 1850, by two or three girls, by the family name of 
Fox, of uncertain character. It spread rapidly over the 
country. 

Story of the Girl. — A young woman in Providence, aged, per- 
haps, fifteen or sixteen years, was told, as she said, by the spirits 
to kill her brother, some nine or ten years old, with a butcher- 
knife. This she did. She was in jail for murder when I was 
there. She was acquitted on the ground of insanity. That de- 
lusion, from the prince of darkness, has caused much crime and 
driven many to insanity. From Providence I proceeded to 
Stonington, Connecticut, where I too*k an ocean steamer for 
New York City. We had a stormy night, but morning brought 
us safely to New York a few days before the fourth Lord's-day 
in June, 1850. I remained in New York over Lord's-day, and 
preached for the Christian Church there twice. During my 
stay, I visited many places of interest ; but my stay was too 
short to afford me opportunity to visit the larger number of 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 113 

places of interest. Leaving New York, I went to tne wharf to 
take a steam- boat up the Hudson Eiver to Albany. The two 
"boats were on a race, and left that morning a little before I got 
there. I then took the cars, and arrived in Albany at four p. m. 
I remained in Albany one day, and, having visited the Legisla- 
ture of the State of New York, then in extra session, I took the 
cars on the New York Central Eailroad, for Buffalo ; then the lake 
steamer to Cleveland, Ohio, and from Cleveland the cars to Cin- 
cinnati, and then our own Ohio steam-boat to Kipley, within 
live miles of home, where I arrived early in July, after an ab- 
sence of about two months. I was in reasonable health for a 
man of my age when I started ; but on my return the debility 
of age was apparently gone, and my vigor and vitality seemed 
the same on my return, as when I was twenty-five or thirty 
years old. 

Antiovh John. — At the church -meeting at Bethlehem, on Sat- 
urday, I learned that Elder John Phillips was in the neighbor- 
hood, and designed to use the pulpit and my appointment for 
tho next day, and the congregation, to lecture on Antioch Col- 
lege and sell atock. I spoke of this in the church-meeting. 
There was no formal vote taken, but a general expression that 
the meeting on the Lord's-day should not be. diverted from its 
original design. I had, previously to going east, told him that 
I could not co-operate with him, as the plan upon which they 
had started must fail. It now seemed as though he had made 
his appointment upon the same day of mine to compel me to 
co-operate, or make a diversion in his favor to destroy me. For 
Antioch was then very popular with the Christians, and not to 
favor it was construed as opposition to education. I not only ob- 
jected to the ineffectual plans of the college promoters, but I 

disapproved of Elder Phillips' practice of exaggeration to 

induce sales of stock. 

What Phillips Said. — Phillips would say to the people, " These 
very scholarships which I offer you to-day for one hundred dol- 
lars, will, in less than two years, be worth two hundred dollars, 
and be sought after, and can not be obtained. " In this way he 
deceived the people, and sold scholarships to many poor men, 
telling them that they would never have to pay any thing but 
the interest ; and these men were afterwards sued for the money 
and nearly broken up, and the college was a failure. These things 
m I understood; consequently my conscience forbid my taking any 
"part in such doings. When Lord's-day morning came, as I had 
been absent two months and it was a large church, there was a 
very large congregation. Elder Phillips was there, and before 
all the people insisted upon the right to set forth the claims of 
Antioch College. I told him that the appointment was not 
made for that purpose, and the people had not come with such 
an expectation, and the church, the day before, had objected to it, 

8 



114 LIFE OF 

and that I myself was not willing to change the appointment; 
still, I asked him to preach. This was contrary to my custom. 
I am not accustomed to ask any man to fill my appointment. 
He declined preaching, remarking that his business now was to 
act as agent for the college. I told him that, as the days were 
long, he could make his appointment for the afternoon, and 
those who were interested would come to hear him. He said, 
"I must hasten; I can not tarry." 1 then invited him into 
the pulpit. As he had declined, I preached. After I closed, he 
arose and said, " I came here to present to this church and the 
people of this country the claims of Antioch College; but 
Elder Gardner objects to my doing so, and says that the church, 
at their meeting yesterday, decided that I should not speak on 
the subject in this house ; therefore, I shall leave this afternoon, 
and you will not have another opportunity/ ' etc. These state- 
ments caused a sensation. Indeed, his words astonished me. 
I did not think that a man could make such a perversion of 
what I said. I arose and calmly told the people just what I 
did say. Elder Phillips said he could not stay, and so no ap- 
pointment was made for, him. However, he went home with a 
member of the church, to whom he sold a scholarship, and so 
was persuaded to remain several days, selling to others. He 
did very well, as he got his six dollars cash for every share he 
sold, whether the college ever got any thing or not. He trusted 
the hundred forever, only requiring his part, the six dollars, in 
advance. Thus he did very well, whatever became of the 
college or the signers. It was soon reported that Elder Phillips 
said that " the reason he did not preach in the afternoon, was 
that I turned round to him in the pulpit and forbid him." But 
in the following conference Elder J. P. Daugherty, who was 
present in the pulpit, testified before a committee, appointed to 
hear the case, that he neither heard or saw any thing of the 
kind. The case was not pressed, as Phillips said that any in- 
jury to him would injure the college, and the committee, being 
all firm friends of the college, returned a verdict of " no cause 
of action." I reproved them pretty plainly. Phillips after- 
ward explained, and the matter was dropped. But I could not ap- 
prove of his course, either before or after, though others might. 
Death of a Son. — In July, 1851, shortly after my return, our 
fourth son, James Alexander G-ardner, died of "bloody-flux." 
This was the first death in my family. I attribute his death to 
the unskillful treatment of the doctors. They gave him calo-" 
mel, which is almost certain to produce death in this disease. 
He was almost twenty-one years of age. He lived some five 
miles from us, and left a wife and one child. He was a young 
man of excellent constitution. I had baptized him and his wife 
a few months previous to his death. Shortly before he died he 
said, "The spring of life is the time to prepare for death. I 



MATTHEW GARDNER. ' 115 

shall soon be among the angels in heaven, praising God and the 
Xiamb." His mother was constantly with him through his sick- 
ness. His loss we deeply felt, yet we were comforted by his 
words. His mother and widow and infant son all took the 
same complaint. Indeed all our family, four or five in number, 
seemed afflicted with the same. But I did not send for the doc- 
tors, as so many had died whom they attended, for the disease 
prevailed that year. I administered to them myself, and by 
the blessing of Grod they all recovered. 

Secret Societies. — The resolution passed by conference in 1850, 
disapproving of ministers uniting with secret societies, should 
have prevented ministers belonging to these secret conclaves 
presenting themselves for membership ; but it did not. 

The Three Masons. — At the conference of 1851 three Free- 
masons came forward for membership. I asked them if they 
were Freemasons. They answered that they were. I asked 
them if they intended to continue so. They answered that they 
did. Then myself and others felt it our duty, in behalf of our 
Savior and his holy religion, to object to their reception. This 
should have ended the matter; but our moderator, being a 
friend of the craft, ruled me out of order. I appealed to the 
house, and was permitted to speak fifteen minutes ; but the ap- 
plicants ,and their friends were permitted the same time, each, 
thus giving them an hour. There was of course an unpleasant 
state of feeling, for which they were responsible, as they knew 
that they would disturb the peace of conference by applying for 
membership. If they had withdrawn their application when 
the objections were raised, harmony might have been restored. 
As Masons, they knew that no person could enter their lodge if 
one black ball (the vote of one) was against them; but here 
were many. It was apparent that it had been predetermined 
to force these three Masons into the conference. Elder P. M. 
Devore, a man born and brought up in the bounds of this con- 
ference, whom I had myself baptized, a man of large influence, 
and a useful minister, rose and said, "If these men are received, 
I shall leave." The moderator, contrary to good order and for- 
mer usage, called for the vote, and declared them elected. They 
were received. Elder P. M. Devore withdrew, and their names 
were placed on the conference record on a party majority vote. 
They were, of course, preaching to churches formerly raised by 
the labors of others. One of them, preaching to a church which 
I had organized, soon sent, by the orders of his church, for me 
to come and attend a monthly meeting with them in February. 
I went, not supposing that he would be there, or expect me to 
associate in the meeting with him. But he was there. I soon 
let both him and the people know that I objected to uniting my* 
labors with lodge-going Freemason preachers, who had united 
with the conference on a party vote, and would thus cause divis- 



116 LIFE OF 

ion. I preached a discourse, proving that those secret societies 
were unauthorized by the gospel, and consequently unrighteous, 
and left. After two or three months, a notice appeared, calling 
a convention of delegates, that is, lay-members of the churches. 
The Laity Convention. — On this call, representatives from less 
than half the churches met at Bussellville, on the 4th of June, 
1852, and passed a resolution, perhaps at the instigation of two 
Freemason preachers, no other preachers being present, that 
any member of conference who objects to the reception of a 
man for political opinions, or because of membership in the 
order of Freemasons, Odd-Fellows, etc., "shall be deemed guilty 
of disorganization, and be dealt with as unruly members." The last 
lines are designated by quotation marks as the exact language 
of the resolution. "What a resolution ! What a penalty for ob- 
jecting to the amalgamation of the church of God with Ma- 
sonry ! Of course this was aimed against me. The doings of 
that convention had not been long before the world till they 
were followed by a publication by me, showing that it was con- 
trary to the usage of the Christians, from their origin, to receive 
members into church or conference by a party majority vote, 
and that those thus uniting were not members according to the 
gospel, being received, not by the whole, but a part, a part only 
fellowshiping them ! Therefore, these three Freemasons were 
not members according to the New Testament. This was 
proved by St. Paul, who commands the church to be of " one 
mind," without " divisions," and says, "Mark them that cause 
divisions, and avoid them." I proved that these three Masons 
had caused division, and were therefore the characters which 
the apostle commands us to avoid. I also proved, by the stand- 
ard works of the Masons, that a man could not become a mem- 
ber of their lodge if there was one "black ball," as that showed 
that there was one objector. Yet these Freemason preachers 
forced themselves into conference, where there were many ob- 
jections. I made it known that Masonry has its own worship, 
altars, priesthood, prayers, and songs of praise, and is conse- 
quently a system either religious or sacreligious. Therefore, 
their members are not proper persons to become members, and 
especially ministers, in the church of Christ while they hold 
their membership in their own former religious or sacreligious 
society sacred. Having a priesthood, if they are not sacrelig- 
ious, then they are a religious sect; and it would be just as con- 
sistent for a Methodist preacher to apply for membership, and 
be received while retaining his membership in the Methodist 
Church, as for a Freemason to be received into the Christian 
denomination while determined to remain a member of the 
secret Masonic sect or denomination. Also, I urged in defense 
against the unrighteous resolution of the lay convention, that 
none of our early ministers in the west belonged to the Free- 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 117 

masons, or any other secret conclave. I also referred to a case 
where I was present at the Deer Creek Christian Conference 
when they expelled a preacher for having united with the Ma- 
sons. Therefore, said I, " The resolution to restrain our objec- 
tions against Masons is a departure from former usage, and an 
infringement of the liberty of speech." The former threats of 
the craft, their letters, their combination, the lawyer intrigues, 
their endeavor to use the poor woman, and their failure, to 
which I called attention, were still fresh in the minds of the 
people, so that before the regular conference of 1852 the people 
had all the facts and arguments before them, to examine for 
themselves, that the regular representatives of the churches 
might be prepared to vote, to approve or reject the doings of 
the lay convention. The conference of 1852 met. The three 
Masons took their seats. The usual business of opening was 
transacted. Then it was moved to approve the action of the 
lay convention of June the 4th, at Eussellville. Elder Devore 
having withdrawn from the conference the former year, I was 
left comparatively alone, only one or two being with me to op- 
pose the action. The debate was prolonged through two days. 
I had been very Rick, and being yet quite unwell, was very 
feeble. The three Masons led the affirmative. They were above 
ordinary men in ability, well informed, of good character, fluent 
in speech, ready in argument, and withal men of influence. 
They made their cause look quite plausable to superficial ob- 
servers. 

The Arguments. — They urged the liberal principles of the 
Christians. They insisted that as we take the Holy Scriptures 
as our only rule of faith and practice, ministers have the right to 
belong to Freemasons, or any other secret society, and, while 
they do not violate any precept of the Lord, should not be ob- 
jected to. It was evident that opposition to the adoption of 
the action of the convention rested principally upon me. I was 
physical^ feeble, but replied about as follows : 

Elder Gardner's Argument. — The resolution you desire to 
adopt prohibits the freedom of speech, and is in violation of our 
legal and religious rights of conscience. These secret societies 
have their own forms of worship and religion, and therefore 
their members have no right to seek admission into other re- 
ligious denominations while they continue their devotions in 
their own. Several branches of the Presbyterian Church refuse 
to receive those connected with these secret conclaves. This is 
also true of the Associate Reformed Church and many of the 
Baptist churches. Nor do the United Brethren or the Friends 
permit their members to be connected with these secret worldly 
combinations. Shall we, then, adopt a resolution depriving a 
member of the freedom of speech? Shall a Christian conference 
stifle free discussion? Shall we deprive a man of the privilege 



118 LIFE OP 

of objecting to the amalgamation of these secret conclaves with 
the church of the .Redeemer, and brand the minister or brother 
who dares to object as "guilty of disorganization,' * etc., as tho 
obnoxious resolution read? Shall we do it? The discussion 
closed; the vote was taken; the result was announced;' the res- 
olution was lost. The Masons were disappointed and discour- 
aged. 

End of the Three Masons. — So the three Masons, being unable 
to muzzle the conference, proposed to leave it ; and they left. 
One or two others followed them, after which the conference 
existed as it did in the beginning, in 1820, without any ordained 
preacher in it belonging to secret conclaves. Peace and har- 
mony was now restored. As the three Masons were gone, Elder 
Peter M. Devore returned. As he went out when they came in, 
so he came in when they went out ; and the ministers all labored 
together in love and union to build up the Eedeemer's kingdom. 
The churches were greatly prospered for several years in suc- 
cession. Elder C. C. Phillips united with the conference in 
1852, but finding the conference firm in its own understanding 
of things, he left it in 1853, soon quit preaching, and became* 
interested in politics. He was a man of respectable talent, a 
tolerably good speaker, and, with piety and devotion, would 
have been a useful man. He had trouble with one or two- 
churches. He and Elder John Phillips proposed to divide the 
conference. I said nothing in public about it. They failed, 
and the effort did little harm. Elder John Phillips continued 
to sell his scholarships, and I said nothing against it. I knew 
that the people were deceived ; but they knew my opinion, and 
where they did not seek my advice I left them to be their own 
judges. I took no part in it, so they could not blame me. I 
did not publicly oppose him, so he was unable to make any 
capital in that way. This Antioch agent was the only ordained 
minister in the conference who favored division. All the min- 
isters laboring in conference seemed united in peace and love. 

Second Visit East. — My health being now improved, I made 
arrangements to visit Stephentown, New York, the place of my 
birth, again. I engaged an excellent good brother to preach 
for the churches of my charges during my absence. My will 
had been written by myself and legally signed and witnessed 
several years before. Some changes having taken place in the 
family, likewise in the property, required corresponding changes 
in the will. These, and some smaller matters having been at- 
tended to, I started in the latter part of August, 1854. I 
traveled the same route which I did in 1851, and reached 
Stephentown, New York, the last of August or first of 
September, 1854. My first visit was so hurried that I had not 
visited the spot of ground on which the old school-house stood, 
where I went to school when not more than five or six years 



J 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 119 

old, and other places dear to memory, as scenes of my child- 
hood walks and rambles. I now proposed to go no farther, 
but take my time to visit these places. A new school-house 
having been built at a distance from the old site, the old house 
"was abandoned and had been removed, and was yet in existence 
in 1854, degraded to a shelter for swine. For two or three 
weeks I rambled over places familiar in former years. I 
climbed the mountains; I roamed through the valleys ; I wan- 
dered by the brooks, recognizing many a loved spot " to mem- 
ory dear," as expressed in the following lines : 

LAND OF MY BIRTH. 

Oh ! land of my birth ! I once more behold thee ; 

Thy mountains and valleys and brooks still the same ; 
Though fifty-four years, I passed far away from thee, 

Each scene is familiar, and cherished each name. 

I gaze on the house of my father with sadness ; 

I think of my mother, who used to be there ; 
To her, in my childhood, I told all my troubles, 

She soothed me, and cheered me, and wiped every tear. 

The first of September, the year eighteen hundred, 
These dear parents left for a home in the west, 

On the beautiful shore of the River Ohio 
They found us a home, and now lie there at rest. 

Oh, where are the friends and relations and neighbors 
Who came on that morning to bid us farewell? 

Some are gone to far countries, but most I remember 
Are gone to the tomb, where their bodies now dwell. 

It was here, while a child, that my Savior first called me 
To give him my heart, and his service begin ; 

Though many long years passed before I obeyed him, 
I found hinl still willing to save me from sin. 

Now forty-four years I have published his goodness, 
And pointed poor sinners to Him who was slain 

To give them repentance, and ask him for pardon, 
That they in his kingdom forever may reign. 

In age I walk over the play-grounds of childhood ; 

I think of comrades left in my tenth year ; 
Oh, where are my schoolmates, my once happy playmates? 

All gone ! audi lonely am lingering here. 

Oh, land of my birth ! again I must leave thee, 
And part with the few I have found here once more; 

Oh, help us, dear Savior, to pray for each other. 
And meet in thy kingdom where partings are o'er! 

United States Convention. — The general convention was to 
meet in October, in 1854, in the Christian church in Cincinnati, 
of which Elder N. Summerbell was pastor. I was a delegate 
from our conference to that convention. So after visiting about 



120 LIFE OF 

four weeks, and preaching several times, my health, through 
divine grace, having improved, I bid farewell to my friends and 
relatives in Stephentown the last of September, 1854, and re- 
turned in time to meet with the convention. The convention was 
quite large, being composed of ministers and delegates from al- 
most all parts of the United States and Canada. Among the 
prominent members and speakers were the Hon. Horace Mann, 
then President of Antioch College. Among the resolutions 
passed, there was one disapproving of American slavery. This 
was strongly opposed by Elder W. B. Wellons, of Virginia, editor 
of " The Christian Sun," and a few others. The " Christian Sun" 
was our paper published in the South. When the resolution 
finally passed, Elder Wellons, in tears, left the convention. So 
from that time (1854) to this time (1865) there has been a divis- 
sion in the Christian denomination between the Korth and the 
South. Perhaps we may soon be united again, as slavery is 
now dead and the rebellion is put down, and peace will soon be 
restored. Elder Wellons preached once during the convention 
before he left. The sermon was very interesting, and mani- 
fested good education, sound culture, refined taste, and talents 
of a high order. Though I have ever been, was then, and still 
am opposed to slavery, yet it was my opinion that Ijllder Wel- 
lons was honest in his convictions, and believed, like many 
southern men do believe, that God had ordained that " peculiar 
institution" as the proper condition of the Negro race. 

Southern Ohio Christian Conference of 1854. — A week or so 
after the general convention of 1854, I attended a very pleasant 
and harmonious session of the Southern Ohio Conference. From 
conference I went in November, as previously requested, to 
Mount Joy, a place near the line of Scioto and Pike counties, 
to preach a funeral. Elder P. M. Devore accojnpanied me 
The deceased was a member of a family who were members 
of the Bethlehem church, of which I was, and still am pas- 
tor at the present time, 1865. The family had moved to 
this place, distant fifty or sixty miles. When wo reached the 
place, we found it to be a newly-settled section of country, 
where the land was not very rich. The place was called Mount 
Joy on account of its elevation. The appointment was for the 
Lord's-day. The congregation was large for the circumstances. 
The Lord assisted me in preaching, and many "received the 
Word with gladness." The people were anxious to hear, and 
wo continued the meeting several days. About thirty pro- 
fessed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. By the peoples' request, 
before we left, we organized them into a church, after which 
still others united, increasing the church to nearly forty mem- 
bers. When about to depart, the people urged us so pressingly 
that they constrained us to leave appointments and return in 
about four weeks, or the begining of winter. We returned 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 121 

accordingly. The weather was unpleasant, but the people at- 
tended, and many turned to the Lord. 

Warned Not to Call! — During these visits wo called on a num- 
ber of families. Some well-disposed persons warned us not to 
visit a certain large family in the neighborhood, as they were 
accustomed to having dancing frolics at their house, and they 
were tolerably well off, and would insult us. I desired to go 
there, as, to our knowledge, none of them had attended meet- 
ing. I asked Brother Devore to go with me, but he declined. 
So one cold, disagreeable afternoon I went through the snow to 
the house of Mr. Jones, by myself. I had never been introduced 
to him, but found him chopping wood at the door, and spoke to 
him in a kind and friendly manner. He invited me to walk 
into the house. The subject of religion was immediately intro- 
duced by me. The family seemed quite reasonable in their 
views. After having presented the plan of salvation, through 
our Lord Jesus Christ, I asked the privilege of leading in prayer, 
which was granted. While I was praying, and calling upon 
the Lord, nearly the whole family were in tears. That night 
nearly all came to meeting, and the mother and two or three 
of the grown children united with the church. Mr. Jones him- 
self, and most of the family, united before we left. By visit- 
ing and preaching in that section, from time to time for a year 
or so, with the Lord's blessing upon my labors, I baptized 
many; the church grew rapidly, and soon numbered nearly one 
hundred members. 

The Two Bad Preachers. — It was, of course, unreasonable to 
expect me to travel so far and preach regularly, or take the pas- 
toral charge of the church ; so they* employed a pastor, whom 
some soon accused of w r icked conduct. Then another preacher 
came who was not much better than the first. The second op- 
posed the first, who had the pastoral charge. Each had his 
friends, and each his foes. So they divided the church, as is too 
often the case, and ruin was the consequence. There are yet, in 
1865, a good many in that section who still continue in the 
Christian faith, and are trying to keep up their prayer-meetings 
and live Christian lives, which is praiseworthy. But they are 
like sheep without a shepherd. I have often been urgently re- 
quested, and even within a few days, to visit them once more 
But the distance and my ago seem to forbid it. During the 
year 1855 general prosperity attended the churches. 

Antioch College. — The condition of Antioch College being 
made known caused general sorrow in all who loved truth and 
gospel liberty. The school had been ably conducted for two or 
three years by its worthy president, Hon. Horace Mann, and 
the learned professors. The trustees had in the mean time been 
borrowing money to pay for the building, and to pay the presi- 
dent, and to pay the professors, and to pay interest, and to pay 



122 LIFE OF 

current expenses, and now startled the public by announcing a 
debt of $40,000. Then special agents were sent out to raise the 
amount. Elder N. Summerbell came to consult me. He thought 
that if a few men would give $1,000 each, the whole debt could 
be raised. I took a short time to consider the matter. There 
had been great mismanagement by those who controlled its 
business. Believing that nearly all the managers aimed to* 
make money for themselves, and though I had sacrificed more 
than forty years of my life in raising churches and laboring for 
the Lord in the Christian denomination, yet feeling a great de- 
sire and faint hope that Antioch would be saved for the Chris- 
tians, I subscribed $1,000 of the means that the Lord had 
blessed me with ; and he immediately proceeded to E. W. De- 
vore, my neighbor, who signed another $1,000. But the word 
soon came that the debt was $60,000, or probably more, and 
Elder Summerbell became discouraged, and ceased his efforts. 
The conditions of 'my subscription provided that if there was 
enough money pledged by a certain day six months from date, 
to free the college from debt, I was then bound to pay $1,000; 
if not, my subscription would be null and void, I prepared to 
have the money in readiness, expecting that the whole swim 
would be raised, but was mistaken. The failure was evident. 
I requested Elder N. Summerbell to return my subscription, 
and it was returned. He was not a paid agent of the college, 
but only a friend. The principal agent, Elder John Phillips, 
was much displeased toward me because I did notjsign uncon- 
ditionally, and pay the $1,000. If I had done so, it would have 
been lost, as so many other thousands of dollars have been lost 
on that college. The conference met in October, 1855. The 
reports of the churches were generally favorable. The minis- 
ters were laboring in harmony, which always results in good. 
It was a yearly meeting of ministers and brethren, and all were 
glad to be there. My health being reasonably good, I was able 
to preach regularly, and as usual attended to my domestic mat- 
ters, not permitting them to become confused and entangled, as 
too many preachers do. According to a fixed rule of mine, my 
debts must always be paid punctually to a day, according to 
promise. 

The Hay Stacks Again. — Sixteen years had passed since the 
Supreme Court had decided the case of the hay stacks, and the 
decision had been confirmed by the conference. Many had now 
forgotten the facts. Also, another generation had grown up, 
which had never heard them. Under these circumstances, I 
found that some began to believe the plaintiff 's version of the 
story, viz., that as the Supreme Court had decided that the 
article written by the plaintiff himself bound him for fifteen 
stacks, while he had but thirteen, I had taken all the thirteen, 
and paid him nothing for them. Perhaps he had come to be- 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 123 

lieve it this way himself, as he still continued to talk about my 
wronging him. So I concluded, if opportunity offered, to have 
another settlement in order to satisfy him ! I was soon after 
transacting some business with three or four gentlemen, wherein 
he was concerned, when he told me in their presence that I had 
wronged him and his family out of $193. This was in January, 
A. D. 1856. I immediately proposed to go into an arbitration 
bond with him. I would leave all the dealings that had ever 
transpired between us, including the hay and the calf, to three 
disinterested men ; and if they decided that I had, contrary to 
justice and equity and the gospel of Christ, defrauded him, I 
would pay him fourfold, that is, four dollars for every dollar 
that they decided that I had defrauded him out of. And if he 
failed to sustain his accusations against me, he should confess to 
the Christian Church in Ripley, of which he was a member, 
that he had wronged me. I also consented for him to give his 
own testimony, with all other evidence he desired to bring in, 
and the referees should give it such credit as they considered it 
to deserve. - The three magistrates of Union Township, Brown 
County, Ohio, were agreed upon by us for the referees, a major- 
ity of whom should render a verdict, which decision should be 
final, and all former differences be forever settled. The trial 
commenced on the 22d of January, 1856, and lasted three days. 
On the 25th the decision w&s rendered, which was, that the 
plaintiff " has not sustained his accusation against Matthew Gard- 
ner" etc. So judgment was entered against him for all the 
costs, which amounted to a little over sixty dollars ! What a 
lesson! The investigation took place openly, in the town of 
Bipley, in the presence and hearing of many people. This 
silenced the plaintiff, at least for a time, but he did not make 
the confession as he agreed to in the bond, which is a pity. As 
I now regard this matter, although it would have been a loss to 
me of nearly $100 perhaps, yet in view of the trouble and per- 
plexity of litigation, it had been better if I had borne it. His 
father was wealthy, and had been an early friend of mine. A 
brother was a lawyer of much influence in our county, while 
the family in general were respectable, and in tolerable circum- 
stances as to this world, and all of them had been friendly to 
me; but in this lawsuit nearly all of them took sides with him. 
In the conference of 1856 the churches continued to report the 
same prosperity as in 1855, and for several years previous. 
The ministers were of one mind and heart, and labored together 
in love. When they met at their quarterly communions and 
protracted meetings, they were always glad to see each other 
and assist each other, consequently there were many additions 
to the churches. At the conference all seemed desirous for the 
advancement of the Eedeemer's kingdom. We were glad to 
meet, and sorry to part. Several churches applied for the con- 



124 LIFE OF 

ference the following year, all anxious to bear the burden for 
the benefit of the meeting. Thus it was for three or four years. 
There was always a brotherly contest which church should 
have the conference the coming year. The decision was by a 
vote, and all were satisfied. As my health seemed somewhat on 
the decline, I concluded to take another trip to New York, and 
arranged matters accordingly. 

Third Tour East — 1857. — I started a little after the middle of 
August, 1857, going the same route as in my former visits. 
Through the protection of divine Providence, I reached there 
again without any of those disastrous accidents which so often 
occur on railroads and steam-boats. After tarrying among my 
relatives and friends about four weeks, being treated with uni- 
form kindness, and preaching several times, I again bid my 
friends farewell, and my cousin, Mr. Eose, conveyed me in bis 
carriage about twenty miles, to the city of Troy, on the Hudson 
Kiver. The same afternoon, at four o'clock, I took a steamer 
for the city of New York, where I arrived before sunrise the 
next morning. I then visited and made a short stay in New 
Jersey, and then passed through to Philadelphia. After a brief 
visit to that city, I took the cars, which go through and 
over the mountains, to Pittsburg, starting in the morning and 
arriving at midnight. It was there that my father stopped in 
1800, on our journey West. It was then a small village ; it was 
now a large city. Then I was in the tenth year of my age ; I 
was now in my sixty-seventh. Though I had been absent near 
fifty-seven years, and the village had become a city, I well re- 
membered its location by the junction of the Alleghany and 
Monongahela rivers, where the Ohio is formed. My stay in 
Pittsburg was short ; after which I engaged my passage on a 
small steam-boat, and embarked for Kipley, Ohio. This hav- 
ing been an unusually dry season, the river was very low, and 
wo had a tedious trip. I was on the boat one Lord's-day, per- 
haps the first in October, and preached to the passengers. I felt 
anxious to get home in time to meet with our conference in 
October, 1857. I arrived just one day before it met, and by 
going right on I got there the first day, before the hour for 
business, with my health and strength greatly improved. 

Southern Ohio Conference of 1857. — We were thankful to our 
heavenly Father that through his tender mercy we had the 
privilege of meeting with our brethren in conference. It was 
sweet to enjoy each others' society. The reports of the churches 
were favorable. The business was conducted in peace and 
harmony, as it had been for the past four or five years. One 
matter caused sadness in every heart; that was the condition 
of Antioch College. It had spent a great deal of money. It 
had paid none of its debts. Its liabilities were still increasing. 
Money was borrowed to pay the president and professors. The 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 125 

Hon. Horace Mann, the president, attended this conference for 
the purpose of raising money, hut I do not recollect any thing 
being done. The session continued three days. All the business 
was transacted in the spirit of love and union ; and we ad- 
journed in the same spirit, and in the same spirit the ministers 
returned to their various fields of labor. The spirit of union 
continued till the next conference. My health having improTOd 
during my eastern trip, I was able, in 1858, as before, to preach 
regularly to the churches of my charge, by being assisted, at 
my large meetings, by my brethren in the ministry. This favor 
was reciprocated by me. Many were added to the church, and 
harmony prevailed during the year. The conference of 1858 
met in October. The reports from the churches, as for years 
past, showed continued prosperity. Conference business went 
on in love and union, until the invitation was given for members. 
Garoutte and Michael. — Then two men came forward to unite, 
both of whom belonged to secret societies. One was Elder 
Xoah Michael, a Freemason preacher, who belonged to the* 
Miami Conference. He had lived for several years in the 
bounds of this conference, but had not offered to unite, under- 
standing that he would be objected to as a Mason. The other 
was a brother, Charles W. Garoutte, an excellent young man, 
who desired to enter the ministry. He belonged to the Odd- 
Fellows. The coming forward of these men, who knew that 
there would be objections, was, of course, unexpected by all, except 
some who, it was clear, had invited or advised them to do so. 
Being asked whether they designed to continue to attend these 
lodges, they answered in the affirmative. I, of course, objected 
to their reception, and others agreed with me. Then the sub- 
ject was open for discussion. It was now ascertained that two 
or three who, a few years before, were opposed to the reception 
of members of secret societies, had changed, and now favored 
the reception of these applicants. Here was a striking demon- 
stration of the fickleness of poor human nature, and I said, 
" Who can be depended upon?" They repeated the old saying, 
"Wise men change often ; fools never do." I replied that there 
was no such Scripture, but one in the Apocrypha says, " The 
fool changeth as the moon." And Solomon says, "Meddle not 
with them that are given to change." Prov. xxiv. 21. I said, 
if wisdom dwells with the changing, then God, " who changeth 
not," is not wise, but the weathercock is wisest of all. These 
men had also formerly opposed receiving members on a party 
majority vote, as contrary to the gospel, but now argued for 
such reception. It was manifest, however, that the majority 
would vote in the negative, and so the applicants withdrew. 
Elder Michael said that he should never again offer to join that 
conference. I then looked upon the young man, Brother 
Charles W. Garoutte, and loved him. I sought a private inter- 



126 LIFE OP 

view in relation to his feelings and prospects. He manifested 
a Christian spirit, assuring me that he should act for the glory 
of God and the good of the Kedeemer's cause, and intended to 
discontinue meeting with the lodge as soon as circumstances 
would permit or demand. Consequently, as I made the objec- 
tion, I went into the conference and stated that my objections 
w*re now removed. As no one else objected, he was received 
by a unanimous vote. Soon after this the conference adjourned, 
but not in the spirit of harmony and good feeling, which had 
characterized it the six former years. Confidence in the sta- 
bility of men was shaken. Personal allusions marred the spirit 
of kindness. Wounds were made not easily healed. After 
some months all, for the sake of doing good, ceased to talk of 
our differences, and we had peace. 

Antioch College. — Early in 1859 an arrangement was made by 
the managers of the college to let the mortgage be closed, and 
to let the college be sold, that its friends might buy it in at a 
fraction over two-thirds its appraised value, and thus free it of 
its debts. The Christian denomination, according to the report 
of the treasurer, Mr. Palmer, of New York, had already paid 
into the college treasury over $100,000 in money. This $100,- 
000 was raised as follows : Fifty thousand in donations were 
subscribed, paid in, and expended on the building, and 
current expenses; and perhaps over fifty thousand were 
paid on scholarships. Elder John Phillips, the principal agent, 
and others, sold about one hundred thousand dollars' worth of 
scholarships, at one hundred dollars each. Where the pur- 
chaser desired, he could retain his hundred dollars, at the dis- 
cretion of the trustees, by paying the interest, six per cent, 
yearly, in advance. This was to secure to the holder free tuition 
for one student forever. But soon the resources began to fail. 
Then payment was pleaded, and many paid their notes. This 
gave only temporary relief. Next, under the pressure of com- 
ing ruin, suits were entered and payments were forced, so that 
over fifty thousand dollars, perhaps, were collected on scholar- 
ships. This one hundred thousand dollars was all gone, and 
the college still over sixty thousand dollars in debt. Before the 
coming sale, special agents went among both the Christians and 
Unitarians to solicit funds to buy in the college. These gave 
the Unitarians to understand that they were to become joint 
owners. One of these agents, Elder Eli Fay, came to me, per- 
haps in February, 1859, and asked me to subscribe. This 1 
consented to do conditionally, that the college should be held 
on the joint-stock company plan, in which all the scholarship 
holders, who had paid, should be equal shareholders with others, 
in proportion to the amounts paid. Elder Fay said that he did 
not doubt that this condition would be accepted, but objected 
to. my writing it in my subscription, as others might also make 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 127 

such conditions. I said if agreed to the writing would do no 
harm, and I would not subscribe without it. So he took my 
subscription for one thousand dollars, with this special condition. 
I understood that the same condition was made in all the sub- 
scriptions in our conference. A meeting was appointed in College 
Hall, for April 19, 1859, to arrange matters preparatory to the 
purchase of the college, at the approaching sale. I attended. 
The scholarship stock plan was repudiated. A close corpora- 
tion was adopted. The college was made over to twenty 
trustees, of whom eight were Unitarians and twelve Christians — 
of course, friendly to the Unitarians. This gave the Unitarians 
entire control without remedy, for there was no regular election ; 
but the twenty were appointed to hold their office during life, 
and to fill all vacancies as often as they occur in their body, 
thus preventing any change! Such were the conditions of the 
new college charter after the sale and purchase. Fay and 
Phillips were appointed two of the during-life trustees to rep- 
resent the Christians ! ! ! The holders of scholarships retained 
no interest and the Christians no ownership. The college be- 
longs to the twenty trustees, and to no one else. The trustees 
are neither elected by the people or responsible to them. In 
the meeting in College Hall, before mentioned, when the agentn 
were called to report the amounts raised, Elder Fay reported 
that about three thousand dollars in southern Ohio was keyed 
up by Elder Gardner. This brought a call for me to speak, in 
opposition to Dr. Bellows and many other able Unitarian and 
Christian ministers, who all favored the close corporation plan. 
I said in substance, " I am too much of a democrat to have any 
interest in the trustee-aristocracy plan which you have adopted. 
I labor for the people, and for the rights of the scholarship 
holders. These are sacrificed, and the conditions of my sub- 
scription are in no part complied with. ,, I could not give 
money to purchase the college, to be controlled under the 
charter they proposed. I called on Elder Fay for my subscrip- 
tion, and he returned it to me. Antioch College cost the Chris- 
tians over one hundred thousand dollars. In order to its sale it 
was appraised at sixty thousand dollars. Eli Fay was one of 
the appraisers. The next day, viz : April 20, 1859, it was sold 
for forty thousand two hundred dollars, with the understanding 
that all claims were to be paid except those of the scholarship 
holders ; that is, all except those of the Christians. Thus the 
college changed ownership, and the first owners, the scholarship 
holders, were turned out without consideration. Elder Fay, 
after saying that all the subscriptions in southern Ohio were on 
the same conditions as my own, yet as soon as the college was 
sold and bought, he hastened to southern Ohio, and before the 
subscribers could see me, he told them that the college was 
bought by its friends, and all was right, and collected all the 



128 LIFE OP 

money he could. He was called upon by some to pay the money 
back. He promised to do so, but never did. 

Church Divided. — In August following the sale of the college, 
the Miami Conference met in College Hall. The church at Yel- 
low Springs was "divided. The pastor, Elder Eli Fay, was a 
party actor, and his party occupied the college hall. The other 
party owned the church building. Elder Fay, according to 
usage, arranged for visitors and preaching. His unkindness 
toward me was noticed, and spoken of by a number. The 
brethren generally manifested a Christian spirit, and seemed 
glad of the privilege of meeting once more. I was kindly in- 
vited to preach in the church by the party which owned it, but 
declined. I stated in the conference that there is more affinity 
between the Christians and the Baptists, Methodists or Presby- 
terians, on the doctrine of the new birth, and the influence of 
the Holy Spirit, than there is between us and the Unitarians. 
It was evident that this offended the two agents, who were two 
of the during-life trustees, and perhaps one or two others, who 
desired to lead the Christians into Unitarianism. Elder Fay 
published in our paper a number of successive articles in favor 
of union with the Unitarians, which I answered from time to 
time as his productions appeared. I stated clearly the marked 
difference on the vital principles of Christianity ; hence he failed 
in his design. I did not suppose, until our conference in Octo- 
ber, 1859, that this man was so greatly offended because I could 
not be led by him. 

Southern Ohio Conference, October, 1859. — Elders John Phillips 
and Eli Fay were present. Elder Phillips had been a member for 
several years, but seldom attended. He was there in 1857, 
when complaints were made of the violation of his promises 
made in selling scholarships. A number said that he had 
wronged them. The evidence was positive. He explained, or 
apologized, with tears. I pitied him, and moved for the confer- 
ence to accept his explanation, which they did. Sympathy 
caused me to commit an error. No man's tears should prevent 
justice. I was told that he was talking, at recess, of preferring 
charges against me ; but he gave me no such notice. A resolu- 
tion was offered to limit the discussion of questions to perhaps 
fifteen minutes to a side, until all desiring to speak had spoken. 
I feared unfairness, and offered to amend by granting each side 
equal time. They objected, pleading for fairness and peace, 
saying, "We can trust each other." I did not insist. Business 
progressed as usual till the time for new members to be received. 
Elder Noah Michael, who had said in 1858 that he would never 
again offer to join, had come near to me. I said to him, "Do 
you intend to come forward ?" He replied, " I have not made up 
my mind. Some advise me to. ' ' He came forward with the others. 
The others were received, but his case was held for advisement 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 129 

Ihwassion on Masonry. — At two p. m., Fay, Phillips, and oth- 
ers ia favor of receiving Noah Michael on a party majority vote, 
opened their argument, and, excepting about twenty-five min- 
utes granted to the negative, they continued their argument till 
five o'clock — the time to adjourn. 

What Fay Said. — Fay said, " The objection to receiving Free T 
masons is an incubus on this conference, and prevents its pros- 
perity." I had already spoken, and could not reply. The next 
morning I spoke about as follows : 

Gardner's Reply. — If opposition to receiving Freemasons is an 
incubus preventing the prosperity of this conference, why has it 
prospered? Why is its prosperity greater than that of the 
Miami and other conferences? I challenged them to name one 
conference whose prosperity equaled ours. I said, "Masonry 
has its priesthood, its deacons, its altars, songs of devotion, 
prayers, and its service for worship and burial of the dead. 
Therefore it is a religious denomination. Religious or sacre- 
ligious, their members have no claim to be received as members 
of other religious bodies until they renounce their own. Asa 
Ooan belonged to the conference, and gave aid to the Fay fac- 
tion. The parents of that young man, and a number of the 
family, I had baptized, and they were members of a church 
which I had organized years before, at Stout's Run, in Adams 
County, Ohio. It is a mountainous section of poor land. Many 
of the people follow tho lumber business, and the preparing of 
bark for the tannery, as did the Coan family. Young Asa had 
been brought up there, and professed religion when about seven- 
teen years old. When about eighteen he began to speak pub- 
licly. The youth possessed a mind which, with cultivation, 
might render him useful ; so I took him with me. The pulpit I 
occupied was the first which he entered. His education was 
little, and I instructed iiiin; and ho soon entered the ministry. 
I assisted at his ordination, and gave him his charge. I intro- 
duced him to a church where there was an academy, which ho 
attended and improved iis education, and became popular. In 
1858 he was opposed to receiving Masons; this year ho favored 
it. "He had become a Freemason ! What Elder Coan said had 
not much weight ; but Fay used him to give force to his argu- 
ment. I said, "When that young man started— then a boy — I 
took him by the hand; I led him; I instructed him ; I nursed 
him as a father would a son. I was told that he would one day 

• 

turn upon me. And to-day he has opposed the man who taught 
him how to preach." He looked down, and made no reply. I 
insisted that the principle that "the majority must rule," in tho 
reception of members, is contrary to the gospel, which teaches 
that nothing shall be done tending to the division of the body 
of Christ. I alluded to the condition of the church at Yellow 
Springs, the seat of Antioch College, where a small majority 



130 LIFE OF 

with whom Elder Fay acted caused a division. St. Paul says, 
"Let there be no divisions among you." Grod and his "Word 
must be the ruling majority in his church. Majorities of poor 
erring men have slain the prophets, crucified the Savior, and 
burned the martyrs. Elder Michael knew he would be objected 
to, and at best oe received on a party majority vote, while, in 
his lodge, no one is received to whom there is one objecting. 
Elder Michael told me that he had been advised to come for- 
ward. Those who so advised knew that it would produce this 
difficulty. He said that I misunderstood him in regard to "their 
advising him." Phillips then said, "I did advise him to come 
forward, and told him that I would see him out in it." The 
question was taken. A majority voted for Michael's reception. 
Elder Fay exclaimed, "Elder G-ardner is in the minority, as he 
generally is." So there was great exultation over the result by 
Fay, Phillips, and others. Some considered Michael's reception 
an indirect vote for the objectors to leave, but I did not. I had 
often known persons to leave the church or conference when 
unkindly treated, as they supposed; but I never approved of 
such a course. There were many good brethren in the confer- 
ence with whom I had long labored. We loved each other, and 
desired to remain. Thus the designs of the Fay faction failed. 
Had I then left the conference, the little influence which I had 
acquired by almost fifty years' labor, raising and organizing 
through divine grace between twenty and thirty churches, 
would have been neutralized in this conference, and to some 
extent among the Christians abroad, and Fay could have gone 
on with his articles, leading the Christians into Unitarianism, 
regardless of my feeble replies. Elder Phillips intimated that 
he had a charge against me. I at once demanded of him to 
make it known. This he refused to do. I had through grace 
borne all, and the people seeing their antagonistic spirit, sym- 
pathized with me. Then Elder Phillips desired a letter of dis- 
mission. This he was informed could not be granted until those 
charges were produced. He confessed that he had none. The 
vote was then taken on his letter, and lost; but, on reconsider- 
ation, it was granted". Fay was not a member. Both were, 
"during life," trustees of Antioch. Phillips purchased a large 
farm in Indiana, and went there. Fay went to the Unitarians. 
Garoatte Ordained, 1859. — By the special request of Brother 
Charles Garoutte, I was appointed on the committee to attend 
to his ordination. He was ordained accordingly, and I gave 
him his charge as a minister of the Lord Jesus Christ, after 
which the conference adjourned, but not in the spirit of har- 
mony and love, as in former years. There was party feeling, 
though no division, and those ministers associated in the follow- 
ing protracted meetings whose feelings harmonized. My com- 
munions are generally half-yearly, in May and October, on a 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 131 

uniform Lord's-day, and the meeting lasts three or four 
days. 

The Great Storm of I860.— The third Lord's-day in May, 
1860, was our communion meeting at the Bethlehem church, 
which I organized, and to which 1 had preached nearly forty 
years. I was assisted at that communion meeting by Brother 
William Pangburn and Brother Charles W. Garoutte, whose 
labors were blessed, and quite a number turned to the Lord. 
We continued the meeting on Monday, at ten a. m., and met 
again at three p. m. The congregation was large. The house 
was of brick. It was thirty-five by fifty feet in size, and was 
nearly full. A few minutes before the hour for preaching, a 
heavy cloud appeared in the west, of a dark-green color, at- 
tended with a loud roaring sound. The ministers had ascended 
the pulpit, which was at the side of the house, and I was sitting 
on a chair, leaning back against the pulpit. The men occupied 
the west end of the house. As the cloud approached, the storm 
gathered strength, the roaring becoming louder and louder. 
Trees were swept down, limbs and brush were driven along, all 
accompanied by deafening thunder. Great drops of rain began 
to fall. The preachers waited, for almost utter darkness pre- 
vailed. Suddenly a crash was heard ; then cries and screems 
could be heard above the roaring of the storm. Half of the 
roof, commencing at the west end, had blown to a great dis- 
tance. The west gable had blown in, down to the square, and 
came crashing through the ceiling upon the men closely seated 
below. Then distinctly above all the din of the storm was 
heard the cry, "What shall I do to be saved? What shall I do 
to be saved ?" 1 did not at first leave my seat. Having my 
trust in God, I felt as safe there as anywhere else, and I knew 
not yet the end of the calamity. I supposed that a shaft of 
lightning had struck the house ; and as I saw the mass that had 
fallen upon the men, I said to myself, "There are six men 
killed." -None were killed. The rubbish was quickly removed, 
and the men were assisted out, bruised, but all living. A young 
man who had run from the house got out in time to be struck 
by a falling rafter, which broke his arm. His was the most 
serious injury. This was the great storm which swept across 
the great West in 1860, blowing down forests, churches, houses, 
barns, etc. The Bethlehem church was destroyed May 21, 
1860. All started home with sad hearts. My home being 
twelve miles away, I went three miles, and tarried all night 
with Brother Hiram McDaniel, the church chorister. I awoke 
before day, and prayerfully considered the condition of the 
church. There were nearly four hundred members, without a 
house to worship in. The church would soon be scattered, un- 
less the house was rebuilt. To build that summer required im- 
mediate action. There was a great conflict in my mind whether 



132 LIFE OF 

to go on home, to learn the injury there, or to remain, and re- 
pair the damage here. Duty said, Remain. I arose early, and 
said to Brother McDaniel, "What are your arrangements for 
the day?" "I have none in particular," he replied, "excepting 
to repair the blown-down fences. The hand perhaps can do 
that." Said I, u Will you go with me to-day to raise money to 
rebuild Bethlehem chapel?" I gave him my reasons. After a 
few moments' consideration, he said, "I will go with you." I 
wrote a subscription, and headed it with $125, and started. We 
soon met with two or three other brethren, who joined us in the 
work. We divided the country, and took different routes. 
Before sunset we had enough subscribed to insure the under- 
taking. We appointed the next Saturday for the subscribers to 
meet and appoint a building committee. The committee ap- 
pointed a day some ten days ahead, to sell the old house, and 
receive bids for the lowest responsible builder to put up a new- 
house forty-one by sixty feet, to be completed by the middle of 
October. Thus the building was sold, and the work of a new 
house went on immediately. 

The Pamphlet. — During the spring and summer of 1860 I 
wrote and published a pamphlet on " Facts for the Churches, 
Elders, and Brethren of the Southern Ohio Christian Confer- 
ence," etc. It contained, in brief, historical facts of the conference 
of 1858 and 1859, giving the names of the prominent actors, 
and an account of the things which they said and did. It gave 
also a concise account of the sale and transfer of Antioch College, 
and the manner in which the scholarship holders were first de- 
ceived by the agents, then forced to pay by the trustees, then de- 
prived of their scholarships, not by any natural course of o vents, 
but by a cunningly-contrived plan of the " during-life trustees" 
and their abettors, who seized the college for themselves and 
their successors forever. In this work are arguments against the 
reception of members of secret societies into the Christian denomina- 
tion, I proved by the " Masonic Monitor" that " the name of 
Jesus Christ is not in the whole system of Masonry;" — how 
could it be when their boast is, that the order is universal, ex- 
isting among pagans and Jews as well as Christians ? It gives 
the names of perhaps two-thirds of the denominations profes- 
sing the Christian religion in the United States, all of whom 
object to their ministers being connected with secret societies. 
The names also are given of the greatest men in the United States 
who have and do oppose secret societies; as John Quincy 
Adams, Horace Mann, etc. It has also arguments against the 
reception of members into church or conference by a party ma- 
jority vote. While preparing this work, the question arose, 
u Isit best to publish all this?" I considered it prayerfully. 
The Savior opposed sin. God's prophets and apostles gave the 
names of those who erred. Saint Paul even names Peter as 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 133 

wrong in some things. I decided that it was my duty to lay 
these abuses before the people for their benefit. After the pub- 
lication, some objected to it. They did not deny the facts, but 
doubted the expediency of the work. It was published about 
three months before conference. In 1860 the conference met 
at ftussellville in October. The party had all prepared, and 
soon after the opening, Elhanan Devore, a delegate, who was a 
deacon in theKipley Church, and one of the " during-life trustees" 
of Antioch College, after the reading of my pamphlet, offered 
the following: " Whereas, The publication of Elder Gardner, 
which has just been read, is incendiary in its tendency and 
bearing, calculated rather to divide than to unite, to scatter 
than gather, to promote strife rather than harmony, hatred 
than love, war than peace ; therefore, Resolved, That the author 
be requested to. take the same back ; that it be as though it had 
never been published ; otherwise, that he be considered a mover 
of sedition, contention, a stirrer up of strife, a sower of discord." 
" A true copy from the original of the resolution passed by the 
Southern Ohio Christian Conference at its session in Eussell- 
ville, Brown County, Ohio, October 5, 1860." The mover of 
the resolution did not charge me with falshood, but indiscretion. 
I said, " I do not think that any man should be condemned for 
speaking the truth. If any misrepresentation is shown, I will 
gladly correct it." I asked that if there was any thing false it 
might be specified, according to the laws of our country and 
church usage,that I might make my defense. This they refused, 
but still garbled the work, misconstruing parts of sentences. I 
corrected their misconstructions, that the people might not be 
misled by them. They dwelt upon my rebuke of Fay and his 
faction in the conference of 1859. When Fay said, " Gardner 
is in the minority," etc., and they seemed uproarious in exulta- 
tion, I compared it to a " grog-shop" scene. The language, I 
willingly admitted, was too harsh, though applied only to the 
Fay faction. Some brethren justified the comparison. Two 
Freemason preachers, who were visitors, objected most to my 
statement, that "the name of Jesus Christ is not in the whole 
system of Masonry." Elder James Maple, a popular preacher 
from the Miami Conference, and a Freemason, who doubtless came 
to advocate their cause, admitted that the name of Jesus Christ 
is not " in or any component part of the system of Freemasonry." 
Elder John Phillips appeared again, but objections being raised 
•to granting him a seat, on account of his conduct in 1859, he 
only obtained it by a second vote. He was, of course,, bois- 
terous to have the pamphlet " nullified," as it exposed his Anti- 
och agency. Antioch and Masonry were alike alarmed, and 
brought out their united forces. Masons, acting in confidence, 
secured the appointment of partizan delegates, and other Ma- 
sons rushed in from abroad, so that the assembly seemed like a 



134 LIFE OP 

convention of secret society advocates, selected or sent up to ad- 
vocate the very evils which I had exposed. These were trying" 
times. Even some of those who mourned, as I did, over the 
inroads of Masonry and the corrupt conduct of the college, 
were wearied with strife, and preferred uniting with the guilty, 
to cover up the scandal and bury the heart-sickening e6rrup- 
tion out of sight ; and disgusted with the discussion, which 
continued a day and a half, these peace-loving members left for 
their homes. The Lord gave me patience to bear abuse from 
some who should have covered their faces for shame. Some 
of my friends advised me to leave, with such ministers and 
churches as chose to go with me. This I could easily have done, 
and I could have organized a strong conference ; but, prayerfully 
considering it, I could not feel it to be my duty to divide the 
conference. I preferred suffering for Christ's sake. 

High-Handed Measures I — Every moment's delay strengthened 
their party, as they held on, while those who were not partisans 
left, and some said that they would not vote. So after a day and 
a half the vote was taken, and declared carried. Then I was 
called upon to comply. This I could not do; so these men 
withheld my letter. But as our own, and the people of all de- 
nominations and of no denomination were with me, this would 
not do ! So a brother kindly offered a resolution to refer the 
case to the standing committee. When this business was 
through, it was near the time to adjourn. The inquiry was 
made as to which church desired the conference. .None re- 
sponded. At length, after several had declined, one consented to 
take it " if they would be at peace." The close was not in 
peace and love, as in former years, when we all loved one an- 
other. Happy days were those ! When will they return ? Kot 
long after the close of the conference, I received intelligence 
that the standing committee desired to see me. I met with 
them and received the following decision : Keport of the Stand- 
ing Committee in the case of Elder M. Gardner : " Whereas, We, 
the Standing Committee of the Southern Ohio Christian Con- 
ference, to whom was referred the case of Elder M. Gardner, in 
relation to a resolution that was passed by said conference con- 
cerning a late publication of his, requiring him to take said 
publication back, and that it be as though it had never been 
published ; and inasmuch as Elder M. Gardner could not comply 
with the aforesaid request, his letter of commendation was with- 
held ; and as it is not charged that said publication contains either 
falsehood or slander; and as we believe that no man ought to be 
condemned for speaking or writing the truth; and as we do be- 
lieve that the aforesaid resolution contains more than Elder M. 
Gardner or any other man can possibly do ; and as it contains 
language which charges him with things which they did not at- 
tempt to prove ; and having conversed with Elder Gardner, and 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 135 

he saying that he did not design to include, with Fay and 
Phillips, any but those who justify their actions and identify 
themselves with them ; and as he says that he is sorry, as there 
seems to be a misunderstanding in the matter alluded to ; there- 
fore, "Resolved, That we request the clerk of said conference 
to issue Elder M. Gardner his letter of commendation, and re- 
store his name to its former position on the conference records ; 
and it is further Resolved, That we recommend to said conference 
to strike off the resolution censuring Elder M. Gardner from 
its journal at the next session of said conference. All of which 
is respectfully submitted by the Standing Committee — A. P. 
Thompson, E. K. Davidson, Samuel Shannon. October 29, I860." 

A few weeks after conference adjourned at Kussellville, the 
Christian Church of that town met in their regular church 
meeting, having a large attendance, and passed direct and pos- 
itive resolutions protesting against the aforesaid conference 
resolution, and the actors in the scheme by which it was passed. 
Also, about twenty respectable citizens, not belonging to the 
church, who had witnessed the proceedings of the conference, 
got up a protest among themselves, and signed their individual 
names, condemning the conduct of the party and the actors in 
it as unjust and tyranical. The extraordinary proceedings of 
that conference, and some leaders in our own churches at home, 
in encouraging popular Freemason speakers and Antioch parti- 
sans from abroad, as well as others, both at home and from 
abroad, who had no character for truth, usefulness, and stability, 
to abuse me, and, above all, enact the high-handed farce of 
withholding my letter, nearly destroyed the church at Kussell- 
viile, and in that section of country. Bethlehem and some 
other churches resented the action of that conference as Bus- 
sell ville did. But the report of the committee, when published 
in the Christian and other papers, gave very general satisfac- 
tion, except to the leaders who attacked the report in the 
"Herald." 

Domestic Matters. — Being nearly "three score and ten" years 
old, I desired relief from worldly care. Our youngest son being 
now of age, I made a sale on the 18th of October of all my 
personal property, such as horses, cattle, farming utensils, etc., 
retaining only my own riding horse, and one belonging to my 
wife. The household goods I left entirely to the disposal of 
my wife. I was now relieved of much care that old men gen- 
erally retain. 

The Dear Old Man. — I had observed the condition of the old 
man generally. It is about as follows: In his declining years 
he gives up the control of his property ; others come in to take 
care of the old folks. The youngest son, or whoever it may be, 
gives little or no attention to the old utensils which the old 
man had labored to obtain. "When he uses them they are not 



136 LIFE OF 

returned to their places. When broken, they are not repaired. 
Those who now use them did not purchase them. They will 
not labor to preserve what they did not labor to obtain. They 
regard them as of little worth, and prefer them out of the way, 
that the young man may procure others of later style and fash- 
ion. The dear old man sees his tools out of place, and gathers 
them up and puts them back. He next finds them broken, and 
goes upon his staff and carefully gathers up the pieces of the 
old implements, and takes them to the shop, and has them 
repaired, and puts them back in their place again. This he 
repeats from time to time, and from year to year, all the time 
fretting and worrying. His untimely care and unnecessary 
anxiety makes him and all about him miserable, not consider- 
ing that the time is past when he has any use for them, or that 
they do not want them. He thus makes the evening of his 
life, when he needs rest, a time of toil and care ; and instead of 
repose and quiet, he has torment and vexation. Having seen 
this, I determined, with the Lord's help, to avoid it, and sold 
every thing off for what it would bring. The farm contained 
three hundred and forty acres, and was a little over one mile 
long and half a mile wide. The original one hundred acres 
we had moved onto January 1, 1814, and still live there in 
1865. I had bought other farms and added to it, all joining it, 
except about ten acres, one and a half miles distant. These 
lands I now divided equally between our two youngest sons, 
John "Wickliffe Gardner and Elnathan Matthew Gardner, bind- 
ing them to pay to me or to my estate a sum defined and un- 
derstood, which will make their portion about equal to the 
other children. I thus, almost in a single day, freed myself 
from the great burden and care which had so long been upon 
me. After doing this, I felt, for a time, almost like a stranger 
to myself and my surroundings ; as if I had entered into some- 
thing like a new state of existence ; perhaps something as a 
slave feels when he has obtained his freedom. It was but a 
short time until those cares began to seem repugnant, and it 
seemed to me that no earthly reward could induce me to take 
such a burden of cares upon me again. Bethlehem chapel 
being completed, the church requested me to preach the dedi- 
cation on Lord's-day, November 4, 1860. The chapel was one 
of the best in the county, and my fear was that the church 
might become vain and prayerless, trusting in their house 
more than in God. The day came in pleasant and delightful. 
No day could be more beautiful. The house was filled to over- 
flowing. The text: "And are built upon the foundation of the 
apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief 
corner-stone." Ephesians n. 20. The Lord blessed the word. 
The church was greatly revived. "We rejoiced that wo had a 
house in which we could meet together to worship God, built 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 137 

within six months from the destruction of the other, large, 
beautiful, and free of debt. The meeting continued over Mon- 
day. Elder William Pangburn was with us, and his labors 
were greatly blessed. On Monday this church, consisting of 
nearly four hundred members, by the vote of a large number 
present, without a dissenting voice, passed the resolution before 
named, protesting against the acts of the party majority in the 
conference at Russellville in 1860. A few weeks after the 
dedication, my seventieth year, like all other years measured 
by time, came to its end. It closed December 5, 1860. 

The days of my years are three score and ten, 
If by reason of strength they come to four' score, 
Yet is their strength sorrow, and labor and pain, 
Till cut off; I shall be here no more. Psalm xc. 10. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

PHYSICAL STRENGTH FAILING DESIRE NOT TO CONTINUE THE PAS- 
TORAL CHARGE OF ANY CHURCH — DEATH OF OUR DAUGHTER, 
LOUISA MARIA — MINISTERIAL LABOR IN 1860 — DIFFICULTIES 
SETTLED IN CONFERENCE IN 1861 — IN 1862 PROPOSE TO GIVE 
ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS TO ENDOW ANTIOCH COLLEGE — CON- 
TINUED LABORS IN THE MINISTRY, AS THE LORD GIVES ME 

STRENGTH. 
I 

December 5, 1860, began the seventy-first year of my life. 
On the next day we were called to mourn the death of our 
third daughter, Louisa Maria, wife of Abner Devore, after only 
four days' illness. We had not heard of her sickness. She died 
in the thirty-fifth year of her life, and left seven children. She 
lived in Georgetown, about twelve miles from us. It was a lit- 
tle after sunset, when all was quiet; — suddenly the messenger 
rode up in haste with the sad and unexpected intelligence. Wo 
went quickly to the house of death, to mingle our tears with 
those of the children. Shortly before she died, she called her 
husband and children to her and kissed them, and bid them 
farewell ; and near the close she repeated the following lines : 

" Jesus can make a dying bed 
Feel soft as downy pillows are ; 



While on his breast I lean my head, 
And breath my life out sweetly there. 



>» 



She professed religion, and was baptized when about fifteen 
years old. Lovely child ! Louisa Maria is gone ! !No more 



138 LIFE OP 

to return to this world of sorrow and care. Her toils and 
troubles are over. Although gone, yet I see her pleasant smile, 
as of old, when she came home and I met her at the carriage 
to help her and the children out. I can yet hear her loving 
voice saying, "How do you do, papa?" Oh, the blessed hope 
of meeting our children and friends where partings are no 
more ! I now felt more sensibly than before that my physical 
strength was failing. For several years the vitality of my 
system had been diminishing. I could not endure the inclem- 
ency of the weather as formerly. My health was yet gener- 
ally quite good, for a man of my age. I had long determined 
that if the Lord continued my life beyond seventy years, I 
would discontinue the pastoral charge of any church after that 
time. I decided to take this course, from my long standing be- 
lief that a pastor should never fail to fill his appointments. 
This I knew must occur in declining age or subject me to great 
affliction and suffering. I had previously resigned the charge 
of all the churches under my care, excepting Bethlehem, to 
other ministers, promising to visit them as often as possible. 
Bethlehem was still under my care. I had preached there 
nearly forty years. Eider William Pangburn, w)io had labored 
there from time to time with me for years, consented to take 
the charge, and with him the church seemed well pleased. 
But when they came together, Elder Pangburn being present, 
they were so positive for me to remain that he, seeing their 
unwillingness, refused to serve ; so the responsibility of con- 
tinuing or leaving the church without a pastor ; I agreed to 
continue. The church is twelve miles from my home, which 
is too far for me to ride in bad weather. In January of 
1861 the Lord poured out his spirit, and we enjoyed a glorious 
revival in the Bethlehem church. The meeting continued two 
weeks, and there were over sixty added to the church. Elder 
Thomas Sheldon and Elder William Pangburn were with ns 
part of the time, and a young minister of that church assisted 
us in the good work. The ministers in this conference during 
1861 chose those to labor with them whose feelings harmonized 
with their own, so that, notwithstanding the trouble in 
conference, the work of the Lord still went on in the church of 
my charge, and other churches where I assisted. In 
1861 the conference met with the Boat Run church, in 
Clermont County. The unusual number of messengers 
present, and the manifest understanding among those who 
had been instrumental in passing the high-handed resolution 
against me, the former year, made it evident that there was a 
determined plan to reject the report of the standing committee. 
It was manifest that they had predetermined this, by the un- 
usual number of messengers from the churches. The debate 
lasted through nearly two days. Some, disapproving of the 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 139 

proceedings, left, and this strengthened the other side. The 
report was finally rejected. The comrnittee then gave notice 
that, on account of words before written to the " Gospel Her- 
ald," and now spoken at the conference, together with its pres- 
ent action in confirming the same spirit, they should withdraw 
from conference. One or more of the deacons of the Boat Run 
church gave notice that, unless the wrangling ceased, the house 
would be closed, as the course pursued was contrary to the 
conditions on which the conference was accepted at the church. 
Counter charges came up against the leaders for misstatements. 
A storm seemed gathering. Fears were felt. Unforseen trouble 
was discovered. Increasing difficulties appeared, and a com- 
promise was proposed in which all grievances should be referred 
to a committee of nine, chosen as follows: the party first ac- 
cused to choose the first man ; the opposite party the next; and 
so on, alternating in choice, until the number was filled, none 
"being accepted to which either side objected. The decision of 
five of this committee was to be final. Bystanders regarded 
this as fair, and it was entered upon the journal. Then, on 
motion, a committee of three was appointed by the chair on 
grievances, to whom I had the privilege of explaining. The 
committee consisted of Elder Thomas Sheldon, Elder O. J. 
Wait, and Elder Asa Coan, the first being clerk of the con- 
ference, and the two others Freemasons. The pamphlet was 
Tead; explanations were made. The principal objection was 
to my using the word grog-shop in speaking of the Fay faction, 
I acknowledged that the comparison was severe, and the lan- 
guage too tart ; and that there were other things which I would 
prefer not having written, and would not were it to do again. 
Elders Wait and Coan desired me to recall my charge, that 
"the name of Jesus Christ is not in the whole system of Ma- 
sonry." Elder Coan positively declared that he had a late 
work, "The Craftsman," which made it clear that the name of 
Christ belonged to the system. I asked for the book. It was 
not present, but he would bring it to me the next morning. 
So I, resting on his assertion, admitted that point also. Other 
differences were arranged, and we returned to the open confer- 
ence, where I stated that " when that 'publication was written 1 
believed it to be true, and so regarded it still; but if any thing therein 
had wounded innocent brethren, I was sorry for it, as I would have 
willingly stated at the conference in 1860, but such an explanation 
from me could not then be accepted" No objection was raised at 
that time. The resolution passed against me in 1860 was then, 
without a dissenting voice, ordered to be expunged from the 
journal of the confer ende. I had retracted ou the word of Asa 
Coan. He was to bring the book. Elder Coan forgot the book. 
His statement proved incorrect. The committee were pressed 
for time, and did not make a written report. To Elder Shel- 



140 LIFE OF 

don's report they took exceptions, and each gave his own ver- 
sion to the "Herald." None was exactly accurate, but Elder 
Sheldon's, the clerk, was nearest correct. All make me say 
some things which I did not, though the difference is not im- 
portant. Elders Wait and Coan should not have been on that 
committee. Still the settlement was made and remains. But 
the standing committee, not being all present, nor yet Elder 
C. S. Manchester, one who had censured them most, no correc- 
tions were made for the censorious publications, and no recon- 
ciliatiation took place. And contrary to my advice, for I am 
opposed to leaving the church or conference, the committee, 
for these and other causes, all eventually withdrew from the 
conference. Elder Alexander P. Thompson, the chairman of 
the standing committee, was then about seventy years old, and 
for forty years had been a member of that conference. He was an 
honest man, regarded by all who knew him as one of the best 
of men. He died two years afterward, without having a mem- 
bership with us in any conference ! All these evils arose out 
of the efforts of the agents and the "during-life trustees" of 
Antioch College to run Masons into our conference, over my 
head, in order to drive me to leave the the conference. In this 
they were deceived. The difficulties were settled and reason- 
able harmony prevailed, though it was evident that the great 
^Redeemer's cause was wounded in southern Ohio. 

The Aged Pastor. — It was my intention, early resolved upon, 
not to continue in the pastorate of any church after becoming 
seventy years old. But so urgent were the requests it seemed 
impossible to refuse. In October of 1861, a committee, sent by 
the Union church, visited me, earnestly soliciting me to be- 
come its pastor. This was the first church I ever organized, 
in 1818. I had preached to it twenty-eight years, and gave up 
from temporary loss of health. I could not comply ; but finally 
consented to visit them the second Lord's-day in November, 
and preach on the Saturday before also. Elder G. W. Mefford 
was to be with me. Union church was situated in the lower 
part of Brown County, sixteen miles from my home. I had 
left it in a prosperous state, with about three hundred mem- 
bers. The first chapel, of stone, had given place to a good 
brick house; but strife arose. Three parties shared mutual 
jealousies. Preachers had been imprudent. The church was 
divided. Only tens instead of hundreds met to hear any one 
of the ministers who generally preached there. The great 
house seemed useless and deserted. Brother Mefford and I ar- 
rived ; and the people, having learned who were to preach, as- 
sembled in large numbers and with- good order. The Lord 
blessed our feeble efforts, and we had a pleasant time, and good 
attended our labors. I had determed not to take the charge, 
but had not positively said that "I would not," and I was urged 



MATTHEW GARDNKK. 141 

to decide before leaving. The people were more urgent, if possible, 
than the committee had been. I consulted Brother Mefford, 
who promised to assist me, as he lived much nearer, and in the 
inclement weather of winter to attend for me ; and then, in 
view of the feeble state of the church, I yielded to a sense of 
duty and consented, trusting in God for help. The following 
January wo held a protracted meeting for two weeks. Over 
forty were added to tho church. With a peaceful gospel, har- 
mony and union was generally restored. 

Bethlehem Church. — A. D. 1861, my last engagement with the 
Bethlehem church having expired, I requested permission to 
retire. This they refused. They would call no other pastor. 
They constrained me to continue, by promising to engage for 
me a substitute to preach in the inclement winter weather. 
So I continued my labors. The Lord continued to bless, and 
the church continued to prosper. Thus, instead of having no 
pastorates, two were thrust upon me. 

The Great Rebellion. — A. D. 1861, the rebellion of the South- 
ern States against the government of the United States began, 
caused by "Negro slavery." The official heads of the govern- 
ment said that this rebellion would be put down in sixty days. 
It was still raging in 1862, and the excitement caused by the 
war was destructive to religion. In 1862 the first great draft 
was made. It took to the bloody field, with others, many fine 
young men, members of the' churches of my charge. Some 
were killed on the various battle-fields; others died in the hos- 
pitals; others perished by slow starvation in rebel prisons; and 
some returned with joy, bringing their religion home with 
them. But the dearth in religion was general. The churches 
were divided on political issues. But through it all, by divine 
grace, there were unceasing additions to the churches of my 
charge. For I did not preach the war or its causes; but Christ 
and him crucified. While other preachers pointed to present 
troubles, I pointed out "the Way, the Truth, and the Life." 
The members, though divided in politics, were united in relig- 
ion, and continued in harmony and peace in the church. There 
was, and had been for some time, a growing dissatisfaction with 
the management of the " Gospel Herald," by Elder John Ellis, 
who published articles opposed to me, but refused my rejoinders 
The result of this was that many of my friends refused to take tho 
paper. Some brethren in Indiana desired to start a paper there, 
which I encouraged by giving one hundred dollars to help for- 
ward that enterprise, and "The Christian Banner" was started 
in Indianapolis, edited by Elder H. T. Buff. The "Banner'' 
was well liked by all who subscribed for it in the bounds of my 
acquaintance. But the " Banner" had a limited circulation, and 
after a few months was bought out or united to the " Gospel 
Herald," Buff to be associate editor. The unfortunate organi- 



142 LIFE OF 

zation of Ellis, which will not let him sco any side of a question 
except that whero his own interest is hid, soon dcvclojicd itself, 
and the brotherhood was broken, and the " Banner" was started 
again to the joy of its friends. The war, however, increased 
expenses and decreased subscribers, so that the " Banner" sub- 
scription list was soon transferred to the " Herald of Gospel Lib- 
erty," published by our brethren in the East. This paper was, ia 
turn, furnished to the subscribers to the " Banner." The " Gospel 
Herald" soon after this passed out of the hands of John Ellis, 
and Elder E. W. Humphreys became its editor, and made it an 
impartial paper. 

Conference of 1862. — When I attended conference in 1862 I 
had with mo "The Craftsman" book, which Eider Asa Coan 
said, in 1861, proved the name of Jesus Christ to bo in the "Sys- 
tem of Masonry." I had examined the book, and found that I 
had been deceived by said statement. So I made this known 
to conference, and desired to recall my former admission, that 
my publication was wrong in this respect. Eider O. J. Wait 
objected. Elder Coan reaffirmed. He was positive that there 
was a book on Masonry in which the name of Jesus Christ is 
found, in the " System of Masonry." I exhibited the book to 
which they had appealed in 1861. They had then asserted that 
this very book contained the name, and, on that assertion, 
caused me to apologize. Now "it was in some other work!" 
I demanded the book. It was not there ! I demanded its name ! 
They could not tell it ! Of course there is no such book. 

Woman! — I read from "The Craftsman" this rule: "No 
woman can bo a Freemason." Then I asked, " Can the name 
of Jesus Christ be a component part of a system which, like 
Mohammedanism, excludes women? Have not women souls? 
Shall I indorse such a corporation as a system of Christianity? 
How can a system be Christian which they boast embraces 
Jews and pagans, but rejects women?" I insisted that I must 
recall my admission. The vote was called and carried, and I 
withdrew my admission; and my publication stood not can- 
celed, but confirmed. I agreed that if they found any standard 
work indorsed by the Grand Lodge, proving that the name of 
Christ belonged in the "System of Masonry," and would bring 
it with them the following year, I would then, in 1863, give up 
my correction of 1862, and let my admission of 1861 stand. 
Elder Coan was clerk pro tempore. He promised to make tho 
correction and publish it with the minutes, as part thereof. 
Then lie wrote mo that he would not. He did not. The cor- 
rection never appeared! Promises were not kept. 1863 came; 
another year had passed; but no book was brought to prove 
what was not provcable. 1 had been deceived into a public ad- 
mission, and denied public reparation. 

Erects an Office. — Having freed myself from the care of tho 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 143 

farm and such business, I erected, in 1862, a small building, to 
which I could retire with my books, writing-desk, papers, etc., 
and study undisturbed. This I found very convenient and 
comfortable. I also erected a separate stable near by for my 
horse, where I could feed and attend to him myself, and take him 
out and saddle him, without asking others to do it. This gave 
me agreeable employment, also I was thus less trouble to 
others. 

Antioch Convention. — In December of 1862 a great convention 
met in Antioch College Hall, to endow the college. I attended, 
and offered to give $1,000, if $50,000 were raised. This offer 
was published in the "Herald of Gospel Liberty," our eastern 
paper j but Ellis, a during-life trustee of Antioch, who was then 
editor of the "Gospel Herald," omitted to name my offer for 
months, and then only alluded to it as not "worth a hill of 
beans," doubtless because I did not pay it to be used by the 
during-life trustees, though no more was raised. The college 
was not endowed ! The two churches, Bethlehem and Union, 
positively refusing to relieve me in 1862, 1 continued the charge 
another year, Elder G. W. Mefford assisting me as befpre at the 
Union church. 

The War. — In 1863 the war still continued, and still heavier 
drafts were made to extinguish the rebellion. Keligious interest 
was hard to maintain, but by preaching, as before stated, peace, 
not war, pointing the people to Christ, not to men, and from 
troubles hero to triumph there the Lord blessed his word and I 
kept my congregations, and additions to the church continued. 

JDiscipleism Again. — In the early part of 1863 a Disciple 
preacher was introduced into the Christian chapel at Eipley, 
five miles from my home. His name was James Z. Taylor. 
He had been taught in Bethany College, Virginia, by Alexander 
Campbell himself. He was introduced there in the following 
manner : Eipley is a town of about three thousand inhabitants ; 
but as yet the Disciples had no church there. The Christians, 
as in every place, were much in favor of charity and union, and 
had long borne with a disputing layman, who was always advo- 
cating Campbell's views, though he had joined the Christian 
Church. The Christian minister in charge was Elder J. P. 
Daugherty, a well-meaning man, though supposed to be a little 
inclined toward Campbellism. Elder Daugherty was induced 
to invite this Elder Taylor to hold a protracted meeting with 
him. As the meeting went on, Elder Daugherty being very 
kind-hearted, stood back, permitting Elder Taylor to take the 
entire lead and control of the meeting. Some came forward 
and professed faith in Christ, and were baptized by Elder Ta}'- 
lor. But they did not join the church, the understanding, 
doubtless, being to use our house to build up a Disciples' 
church, by either proselyting the Christians or organizing a 



144 LIFE OP 

separate society, as the Disciples had no church there. After 
the meeting continued about a week, there was an appointment 
made for the Christians and the Disciples to meet in the Chris- 
tian chapel, to unite. The time came. Three or four Camp- 
bellite preachers attended, to add influencee to their cause by 
their presence. I happened to be in Eipley on that day, and 
heard of the great union meeting. Being solicited to attend, I 
did so. The three or four Disciple preachers talked much about 
the advantages of union, in all of which Elder Daugherty ac- 
quiesced. After they had talked on for two hours or more, I 
rose and remarked that, not being disposed to make a speech, 1 
would only state a few well-known facts, as follows : " To say 
nothing of doctrine or belief, there are great differences between 
the Christians and the Disciples in practice. First: Disciples 
do not permit women to enjoy privileges in the church equal 
with those of the men. The Christians do. Second : Disciples 
do not receive into full church fellowship any believers who are 
not immersed. Christians do. Third : Disciples eat bread and 
drink wine for the Lord's Supper, every first day of the week. 
Christians do not. Christians can not find any Scripture au- 
thority for it, and think that such frequent taking of the Lord's 
Supper destroys its utility, as it was established for a memorial 
not to be used every day, though the disciples broke bread 
daily. Acts n. 46." I then advised the Christian Church to 
take time to consider the matter, and appoint a future day to 
meet again and hear the Disciples' propositions, and then give 
them an answer. This they concluded to do. When they met 
at the appointed time, the Christians refused to go into union 
with the Disciples on the grounds proposed by them, and thus 
that effort ended. 

Union. — There has never been a so-called union of Disciples 
and Christians, except where the Christians adopted the Disci- 
ples' peculiar doctrines, and practices; that is uniting with 
Disciples to exclude all other Christians. So this union failed. 
Had it prevailed, the Christians would have gone over to the 
narrow system of Discipleism, church, chape.1, and all. Elder 
Taylor, being foiled in this, went on and organized a Disciples 
church in the Christian chapel; and he and Elder Daugherty 
preached, time about, each twice a month, in the Christian 
chapel. After a few months Elder Daugherty quit, thus leaving 
the Christian church without a pastor, and giving the whole 
field up to Elder Taylor and his Disciples. The Christians had 
by this time learned the short but expressive system of Camp- 
bellism, and could not be moved from their gospel liberty. 

Sad Memories. — March of 1863 came in with the cruel war 
still raging. I felt melancholy as I thought of the tens of 
thousands of husbands and sons who had hurried to the battle- 
field to return no more. I thought of the thousands of widows 



-MATTHEW GARDNER. 145 

and orphans. Thus meditating, I heard of the death of an 
aged man ; an old and highly esteemed friend. Then I thought 
of those dear brethren with whom I was associated in my early 
ministry. Gone ! All gone ! The following lines then came 
to my mind, and I published them in the " Herald of Gospel 
liberty," of March 26, 1863: 

DEPARTED FRIENDS. 

BY M. GARDNER. 

JSxpressive of his sorrow in the memory of the past. Written in 1863, the seventy-third 

year of his life, and the fifty-third of his ministry. 

My early companions are gone, 

The friends of my youth are no more ; 
I wander a stranger, alone, 

And sigh on this desolate shore. 
With sorrow, still mingled with joy, 

I think ot my labor with those 
In nnion, in Jesus' employ. 

Now gone to reward and repose. 

My three-score and ten years are past , 

I linger and wait for the word, 
When Jesus shall call me at last 

Away from this sin-ruined world. 
Oh ! what can this world give to me ? 

Here, why should I wish to remain? 
Where pleasures, like phantoms, all flee 

And leave me in sorrow and pain ? 

My journey I'll try to pursue, 

And hope to meet death without fear; 
Through grace I'll then bid earth adieu, 

To meet with the friends still so dear. 
For he who once died, but now lives, 

Destroyed death's power o'er me; 
His grace to his children he gives, 

From sorrow and pain sets them free. 

My labor on earth will soon end, 

Aggressors afflict me no more ; 
Still trusting in Jesus, my friend, 

To bear me to that happy shore. 
And as he forgiveth my sins, 

I all sin forgive against me ; 
This grace, Which my glory begins, 

Prepares me his glory to see. 

This desert I traversed now long, 
* Still seeking that oountry above ; 
My faith in my Savior is strong, 

Perfect me for mansions of love. 
Oh help me to reach the bright plain 

Where no tears of mothers shall fall 
For sons on the battle-field slain, 

Nor death for our loved ones shall call. 

10 



146 JLIFK OF 

My loved ones and friends I'll meet there, 

Where sighing and death can not come ; 
The joys ot that paradise share 

With Jesus in heaven my home. 
Oh ! land of sweet peace and of rest, 

Where war-whoops will never be heard ; 
I'll join in the songs of the blest, 

And sing with the angels of God. 

• 
After Elder Daugherty discontinued his pastorate of the 
church in Ripley, in the summer of 1863, they requested me to 
preach there. I spoke there first on the fifth Lord's-day in 
August. The text : " Behold, a King shall reign in righteous- 
ness, and princes shall rule in judgment. And a man shall be 
as an hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tem- 
pest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great 
rock in a weary land." Isaiah xxxn. 1, 2. First : Jesus was born 
this king. The wise men came, " Saying, Wh ere is he that is born 
King of the Jews ? for we have seen his star in the east, and are 
come to worship him." Matthew n. 2. Second : He was to appear 
as king before his crucifixion, while yet meek and lowly. 
"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of 
Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and 
having salvation : lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a 
colt the foal of an ass." Zechariah ix. 9. This was fulfilled 
before his crucifixion, " as it is written, Fear not, daughter of 
Sion : behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt." John 
xn. 14, 15. These facts have a "thus saith the Lord," but they 
reject them to adopt Mr. Campbell's system, which denies the 
crown to Jesus till his word can not gainsay their system. 
Fourth : Not so with Jesus' true disciples. They joyfully pro- 
claimed him, saying, " Blessed be the King that cometh in the 
name of the Lord : Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest." 
Luke xix. 38. Fifth, I gave a sketch of the rise of the Christians 
in America (1795 to 1804) and their views. Likewise I gave the 
rise of the Disciples in 1823, and their peculiar doctrine, and dwelt 
upon their leading tenet, viz, " immersion in order to obtain the 
remission of sins;" stating positively that there is not a single 
passage in the Scriptures which reads so, and that no man 
could come forward and sustain that doctrine. I remarked 
that Elder J. B. Lucas, a debator equal to any that the Disciples 
ever had, had tried with me and failed. In a few days I re- 
ceived a letter from an elder of the newly organized Disciples 
church in Ripley, a lay elder, proposing a discussion in writing. 
He did not assume that I had not stated their doctrines fairly. 
Being well acquainted with the man, I knew his self-esteem to 
be quite largely developed, so I wrote him that I was not dis- 
posed to enter into a controversy with him, but would through 
him say to the whole denomination of which he was a member, 
that I stood ready, as heretofore, through divine grace, to dis- 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 147 

cass their doctrine before the people with any respectable 
preacher of their order, who w r ould come indorsed as to ability, 
etc. v He then wrote me, doubtless by the direction of Elder 
Taylor, " that if the Christian church in .Ripley would indorse 
me, they would find a man to meet me," This was, of course, 
intended as an insult and evasion, as they had their meetings 
in the chapel, and the Christian church was without pastor 
or church meetings for business. The deacons and leaders ex- 
pressed a willingness to indorse me, and said that the church 
would if they had meetings. We well knew that at any called 
meeting the Disciples would rush in and make disturbance. 

Conference of 1863. — In the meantime conference met. But 
the unknown book, by which it was to be shown that the name 
of Jesus' Christ was in the system of Masonry, which book 
the Masons had promised to produce, was not there ; an ad- 
mission by them that my publication was true, and their de- 
nial of my statement was incorrect. A resolution was passed, 
by a unanimous vote, fully indorsing me, and entered upon 
the journal of the conference, to be published in the min- 
utes. A copy, signed by the clerk and moderator, was given 
to me then, in view of the discussion at .Ripley. After con- 
ference my next appointment in the Christian chapel in Kip- 
ley was for the Lord's-day, the 29th of November. The ap- 
pointment was noticed in the " Kipley Bee," the newspaper of 
the place, in which paper the subject was announced as fol- 
lows : " Does the gospel teach remission of sins by immersion ? ' ' 
The congregation was large. I first, of course, named the dis- 
cussion proposed by the " Campbellites," provided I could be 
" indorsed." I then read the indorsement of the whole confer- 
ence. I next proceeded with my subject. The text was, " The 
beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God." 
Mark I. 1. The gospel began with the preaching of the Son of 
God. Acts x. 36 : Heb. n. 3. I exposed the great absurdity of 
Campbell's system, that the gospel was not preached till Peter 
preached it on the day of Pentecost, for which they have no 
Scripture. For the contrary, see Luke iv. 18 and vu. 22. The 
life, death, and resurrection were all preached and believed be- 
fore. See Luke xxiv. 25-27. So Christ's preaching was the 
gospel as recorded by the evangelists ; and his miracles, as heal- 
ing the sick and raising the dead, were not the gospel, but the 
manifestations of his power, and the evidence of his mission. 
See Luke vu. 22 and Acts n. 22. So, by the resurrection, God 
"hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him 
from the dead." Acts xvn. 31. By the commission on which 
Christ sent out his apostles, they were to preach that "repent- 
ance and remission of sins should be preached in his name 
among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." Luke xxiy. 47. 
And so they did preach "repentance to Israel, and forgiven esB 



148 LIFE OP 

of 8ins," but not without prayer and conversion. he first 
promise by Peter at Pentecost was to prayer (Acts n. 11) ; and 
in Acts in. 19 he explains the necessity of conversion. I also 
showed that when Je6us sent out the apostles, after his resurrec- 
tion, he told them to teach the things which he had taught 
them (Matt, xxviii. 20) — "this gospel" (Matt. xxiv. 14), not 
another — of baptism, in order to remission. Nor could any 
man come forward and show that Jesus ever sent men to preach 
this new gospel. I illustrated the absurdity of the system of re- 
mission by immersion. It makes man dependent upon his fel- 
low-man to obtain pardon, and upon water to obtain remission. 
Without both these, God himself can not remit a man's sins. 
This deprives God of power to pardon without the presence of 
water and an administrator, which, in many times and places, 
are inaccessible. Can it be thought strange that they shun in- 
vestigation when confronted with any man well versed in tho 
Scriptures? for no man can sustain such a theory. I required 
a man fully indorsed ; because there are so many men among 
thai* people whose self-esteem is too largely developed. A num- 
ber had proposed to debate with me, whom I agreed to meet on 
condition that they come indorsed as to ability, etc., by their 
leading ministers, which indorsement they could not obtain, 
proving that their reputation did not equal their self-esteem. 
As I granted what I asked, I obtained indorsement, though I 
knew that their demand was insincere, and that they could find 
no man of ability who would undertake to defend their system 
in discussion with me. At the close of the discourse, I laid the 
matter before the people, and read the indorsement of confer- 
ence. They did not produce their man, as they promised, and 
the community decided that they had acted dishonorably. It 
was manifest that they knew that the system could not be de- 
fended. They then laid the bhime upon the lay elder, viz., B. 
McKinley, who had written to me. They said that ho was not 
authorized to make the proposition. Thus they made a scape- 
goat of their friend. 

Meets Taylor. — A few weeks after this, sometime in Decem- 
ber, 1863, having some business in the clerk's office in George- 
town, the county seat, and learning that this same Elder Taylor 
was holding a protracted meeting in the Christian meeting- 
house there, 1 went in. He came to me, appearing to be glad 
to see me. He invited me into the pulpit, and to open the 
meeting with prayer, which I did. He then read, as is their 
custom, perhaps, half a chapter, and announced for his subject, 
" The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are 
the children of God." Eom. Vin. 16. His subject was a grati- 
fication to me, as I had been told by some ministers who had 
heard him, that he said that the written Word was the only 
Spirit, and that the Spirit of God did not operate or influence 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 149 

any human being in any way except by words spoken or writ- 
ten* Thinking there must be some mistake, I was glad to hear 
for myself. He soon convinced me, however ; for, being a ready 
speaker, he soon launched forth in a strain of ridicule against 
the generally received doctrine of the Spirit's work, declaring 
"that the Holy Spirit never operated in any other way than by 
words spoken or written." I meditated whether 1 should, by 
my silence, consent to the doctrine, and thus deceive the people, 
or make known my objections. I decided to take the latter 
course. He closed the sermon, extended an invitation for mem- 
bers; and, descending from the pulpit, he stood upon the plat- 
form while the congregation arose and sang. No converts came 
forward ; and at the close of the singing, he turned to me and 
said, "Dismiss." I then arose and requested the people to bo 
seated a few minutes, after which I remarked about as follows : 

Elder Gardner's Remarks. — I have often been asked why the 
Christians and the Disciples are not united as one people, as 
both accept the Scriptures as their only rule of faith and prac- 
tice. One of the reasons has just been stated in the discourse 
to which you have listened, namely, that " the written word is 
God's Spirit, and there is no other spirit of God, or Holy Ghost, 
to operate upon the human heart ; to reprove the sinner, or to 
comfort the Christian." This I do not believe. When Jesus 
said that God would " give his Holy Spirit to them that ask 
him," he did not mean to be understood that God will give us 
another written Bible, or even speak words vocally to us. He 
made no attempt to prove his doctrine, or justify his rejection 
of the Holy Spirit's gracious work, but took the easier labor of 
personal abuse, falling into the current course of Campbell and. 
his disciples in slandering me, as they had done for fifty years. 

Elder Taylor's Rejoinder. — He said, " He wants me to debate 
with him," and intimated that he would do it but for my 
character. This was personal abuse, and I replied : 

The Aged Minister's Reply. — " Fellow citizens : I am an aged 
man. I am now seventy -three years old. You knew me when 
I was young. I have lived in this county sixty -three years. 
I have grown old among you. I have preached in this county 
over fifty years. You know me. Your father's knew me. I 
have been your neighbor while generations have been born, and 
have passed away ! I am no adventurer. I have now charge 
of two churches in this county, one of which I have been in the 
pastoral charge of over forty years. It has now over four hun- 
dred members. This house, where Elder Taylor has preached 
to-night, was built under my labors. These hands of mine per- 
formed work upon this building. I helped to erect it, and it 
belongs to the Christians. We have the deed for it, as the records 
will show. And now this man (pointing toward him with my 
finger), who has been but a few months in the state or county, 



150 LIFE OF 

makes a public attack upon my character!'' The people had 
by this time become very indignant toward him, as was plainly 
evident. Elder Taylor exclaimed, " I have heard something said 
against your character." Gardner replied, "So I have heard 
something said against your character, too, sir ! " At this there 
was a general clapping of hands. (He did not ask me to be 
more specific. It was hinted that he was a little too familiar 
with certain females in Eipley, and, as will be seen, he did not 
care to provoke investigation.) As my papers were in my 
pocket, I read my letter of commendation. I then stated that 
the conference numbered about three thousand church -members 
and over thirty ministers, and, said I, " This individual attacks 
my character ! " He wilted. Then one of his brethren whis- 
pered to him to dismiss, which he did. He left the town the 
next morning. He left the county and state in a few days. 

Mipley Chapel. — By some arrangement with the trustees, the 
Disciples continued to occupy the Christian chapel for nearly 
or quite a year. So, when my engagements closed with the 
churches of my charge, that is, Union and Bethlehem, as they 
would not consent for me to leave them, I continued my engage- 
ment with them for 1864. 

Revival jn Bethlehem. — In February of 1864, the Lord blessed 
us with a glorious revival in the Bethlehem church. Between 
forty and fifty were converted, and united with the church. 

The War, — There were calls for troops now by the govern- 
ment every year from 1862 to 1865, requiring from three to 
seven hundred thousand men each year. The draft for 1864 
came in February, for five hundred thousand men. New re- 
cruits were called for, to serve in the great campaigns under 
Generals Grant and Sherman. Great numbers of fine young 
men, and many in middle age, responded to their country's call, 
and went to the battle-field. Some of these had enlisted under 
the King of Saints, and now left us, never to return. Numbers, 
while home on furlough, united with the church, and returned 
to the army with confiding trust in Christ and his divine pro- 
tection. 

Extraordinary Incident-^-There was in the Bethlehem church 
ah elderly sister, rising seventy years of age, whose youngest 
son was in the army. She had little or no education, having 
come to the country in childhood, before schools were established. 
When letters came from her darling son, she had some one read 
and answer them for her. When calling upon her, she desired 
me to set her a copy that she might write to her child. I did 
so. First I made for her all the letters of the alphabet separately. 
Then on another line I joined them into syllables and words. I 
had no faith that she would ever learn to write, but did it to oblige 
her. To my astonishment, when I called a few weeks after, she 
handed me a tolerablv intelligent letter that she had written to 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 151 

Jher son, and from this time corresponded with the loved one 
independently. What a beautiful lesson of the power of moth- 
erly tenderness and love. 

Churches, — Amid the general dearth, in 1864, the churches of 
my charge continued to prosper. General religious interest 
was sadly paralyzed in all denominations by the great war ex- 
citement and the patriotic desire to put down the rebellion. 
By grace I was able to meet nearly all my appointments reg- 
ularly. I missed but one or two days during the winter; then 
a substitute preached for me. I preach, as usual, many funerals 
— some for soldiers, who were killed far away in the army, or in 
rebel prisons, or in hospitals. 

Autobiography. — All the time not employed in preaching, from 
if ay, 1864, and on, was closely occupied in writing this work. 

Conference of 1864. — At this conference all was peace. The 
reports from the churches did not represent them in a prosper- 
ous condition. Some ministers had gone to the war. Others 
were preaching but little, discouraged in their efforts to do good 
on account of the prevailing war excitement. A. D. 1865, at 
the close of 1864, 1 again requested the "Union and Bethlehem 
churches to release me. Bethlehem would not hear to my leav- 
ing, and persuaded me to continue my labors with them during 
1865, by permitting me to have a substitute during the inclement 
winter weather. 1 failed, however, to obtain a substitute. Union 
church, having had the labors of Elder Mefford since 1861 la- 
boring in union with me, now consented to have him take the 
pastoral charge by my consenting to attend with him as often as 
possible, agreeable to his request. 

Begins to Fail. — The disagreeable weather of January and 
February of 1865 confined me so much to my home that I 
preached little, except at my regular monthly appointments at 
Bethlehem. The vitality of my constitution became so much 
diminished that I could not endure the cold as heretofore. But 
while confined to my house I could not feel satisfied. My de- 
sire was to preach Christ and him crucified to lost sinners. I 
did get out to a few protracted meetings that winter, and saw 
some sinners bow to the scepter of love and mercy. Indeed, 
while earnestly engaged in this writing, I was dissatisfied, as 
though it were a waste of time. It seemed to me that I should 
be preaching, and as soon as spring opened I went into the 
work. 

The War Closing.— During the forepart of April of this year 
(1865), Eichmond, the capital of the rebel states, was captured 
by General Grant, to whom General Lee, the commander-in- 
chief of the rebel forces, being unable to escape, surrendered 
in a few days, with all his army. Then there was great rejoic- 
ing all over the country, and all with joy anticipated a speedy 
peace. This, indeed, was the first ray of light, as to our coun- 



152 LIFE OF 

try's prospects, that had come to give real joy to my mind for 
four years. 

Assassination of the President. — But the gladness, like all 
earthly pleasures, was short lived, for in a few days there came 
an overwhelming wave of sorrow, in the sad intelligence that 
Abraham Lincoln, the President of the United States, had been 
assassinated. The murder was perpetrated in a theater in 
Washington City, by a rebel-sympathizing desperado* named 
Booth. The death of Lincoln filled the land with universal 
gloom, dissipating all the former joy and gladness on account of 
the wonderful victories which were won by our armies. Old 
men wept like children, and the voice of mirth was hushed in 
the young. Churches were draped in mourning, and a nation 
mourned the death of its chief. Our communion meetings dur- 
ing 1865 with the Union and Bethlehem churches were very 
interesting, there being some additions to the former, and some 
ten or twelve to the latter. 

July 4, 1865.— This is the seventy -fifth "Fourth of July" 
which I have lived to see — three quarters of a century ! Upon 
this day I am at work upon this sketch of my eventful life, pre- 
paratory to starting East in a few weeks, to see the land of my 
birth once more. My health is good, for a man of my years* 

Mrs. Gardner. — The wife of my one and only marriage is still 
living, and is in as good health as can be expected, for a woman 
of her age. I am seventy-five years old, lacking five months, 
and she is seventy-two years old, lacking two months. 

Voice, Etc. — My voice is yet good. I can preach twice a day. 
I can sing almost as well as ever, for a few verses at a time. 
My hearing is yet good. For all these, and the manifold mer- 
cies constantly continued unto me, I thank my heavenly Father 
every day. I have not lived a day fbr the past near forty-five 
years without offering prayer and thanksgiving to God. 

Past Life Reviewed. — In looking over my past life, I can see 
some missteps ; but I do not think, if I had it to live over again, 
that, taking it "for all in all," I could make much if any im- 
provement upon it. I have had to bear a great deal from jeal- 
ousy and envy, even of preachers from whom I expected aid 
and sympathy in my efforts to make mankind better, by preach- 
ing the gospel of peace and love to them. My aim in all my 
transactions has been to do unto all men as I would have them 
do unto me. I remember but one or two instances where I ever 
made a misrepresentation in my business transactions. These 
were where the amounts involved were of little value ; but they 
caused me sincere repentance and a willingness to restore four- 
fold, if it could have been done. I have been much calumni- 
ated, and have always, perhaps too often, when the originators 
or aetors could be found, proved, by investigation, the accusa- 
tions to be false and malicious slanders. There were two kinds 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 153 

of detraction which could not be reached, one being that I had 
once proposed to unite with the Masons, but, being rejected, I 
had then and for that cause opposed these secret conclaves be- 
ing amalgamated with the church by joint membership, that is, 
by having their members for our preachers. This I have openly 
and often pronounced false. I never proposed my name to a 
Masonic lodge"; but still the lower class of dishonorable Masons 
continued to propagate the detraction, solely to injure me. The 
more honorable Masons and Odd-Fellows would not do so. 
Many of them were and are my friends, and confess that, 
though I oppose them, they believe me to be an honest man. 
The other detraction which could not be readily repelled be- 
cause of the impropriety of alluding to such things in public, 
was that propagated clandestinely by Campbellites and other 
enemies to me or to the church, and regarded obscene talk about 
women. The defamers would not commit themselves, but pre- 
tend that they had heard something, and thus persevere in 
scandals most, damaging to a minister's character, until time 
would prove all to be false, and make them ashamed. I, in the 
meantime, knowing my innocence, and understanding their 
motive, disappointed their intentions by putting my trust in 
God's divine protection, and keeping straight along laboring 
for the Lord. I do not deny that from the time I was conscious 
of a mother's gentle love, respectable female society has been 
pleasant to me, except when, for study, writing, or other causes, 
I desired to be alone. But, with the following advice from high 
authority in my mind, "Converse sparingly, and conduct thy- 
self prudently with women," there have been but few instances 
in my life where sociability has been permitted by me to go 
beyond the bounds of Christian propriety, and then with no 
evil intentions. But where I have discovered any sign of evil, 
it has caused me repentance and future watchfulness and prayer. 
Thus it has been, as I believe, divine protection that has pre- 
served me in the hour of temptation, and enabled me to avoid 
that great wickedness which too many fall into. The story of 
Genesis xxxix. 10 will bear repeating. Others erring, have 
been reproved, and become the enemies of those who cautioned 
them ; but ingratitude can never force a true man to be unkind 
or unmerciful. I have been greatly deceived by my fellow-men. 
Friendship has been often proved to be limited to self-interest ; 
therefore, the following lines have been truly applicable to the 
friendship of many for me : 

"And friendship— rarest gem of earth!— 

Who e'er hath found the jewel his? 
Frail, false, and fickle! little worth! 

Who asks for friendship as it is?" 

Twenty -two churches have been, through divine grace, organ- 
ized by my labors. Having not kept a particular account of 



M I 



154 LIFE OP 

all those who embraced religion under my ministry, I can 
only state the result of subsequent calculations, which is as fol- 
lows: About five thousand have been received into the church 
under my preaching. 

Union Church. — Of this number over one thousand were re- 
ceived into the Union Church, as shown by the records, during 
my first twenty-eight years' pastorate, not including those re- 
ceived into other churches where I labored. 

Bethlehem Church. — Into the Bethlehem Church, during my 
pastorate of over forty years, upward of thirteen hundred mem- 
bers were received. This leaves only one-half of the five thou- 
sand to be made up from the numbers received into the twenty 
other churches raised by my labors, and elsewhere. Therefore, 
it is certain that the number exceeds five thousand. 

Disappointments. — During my forty years' pastorate of the 
Bethlehem Church, I have made but two disappointments : one 
occurred when I was sick ; the other, when high water rendered 
the streams impassable, before bridges were built. 

Denominationalism. — It has often been a question in my mind 
whether my labors might not have been more useful had I 
united with some popular denomination, instead of laboring 
with what was then the new, small, weak, and much persecuted 
Christian Church. It is probable that I would have avoided 
much persecution; but would I have done more good? I could 
not have been sentimentally honest, as I do not regard their 
position scriptural. I have preached as I believed. The Lord 
has blessed me in it; and, was it to do again, I can not see how 
I could do otherwise. 

Consolation. — One of the greatest consolations now is, that 
hundreds who had embraced religion under my ministry have 
died happy, leaving evidence that they have gone to peace and 
rest. This itself is more than full reward for all my toil in 
fifty-four years preaching. I forgive all who have harmed or 
injured me. 

Will. — I have for several years past been determined to re- 
write my will, which was written several years ago, as I desired 
to make some small alterations therein. One of these changes 
is to make a bequest for the publishing of my life. On the 18th 
of July, 1865, 1 wrote a new will, in which I made said bequest. 
After signing the will and having it witnessed, on the 19t!oi of 
July, 1865, 1 took the steam-boat for Cincinnati, where, accord- 
ing to previous arrangement, I met Elder JT. Summerbell, 
President of "Union Christian College, He at once kindly con- 
sented to publish the work if he survived me. After a very 
interesting and agreeable interview with Elder Summerbell, 
whom I had not seen for about four years, I returned by 
steamer to Higginsport, below Bipley, where I preached , a 
funeral discourse on the following Lord's-day (July 23, 1865). 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 1&5 

I reached home on the 25th. On the 27th I received official 
notice from the secretary of Union Christian College, Merom, 
Indiana, that I bad been elected a trustee of that institution, 
which is a burden I am sorry that they laid upon me. On 
Ijord'Q-day, the 30th, I preached at eleven o'clock in the court- 
house in Georgetown, the county seat of Brown County, in 
which I live. It being what is called " court times," the judges 
and members of the bar attended, and all gave profound atten- 
tion to the things spoken. On the 31st I returned home. 

The Fourth Trip East — Having made previous preparation I 
left my home in Ohio on the first day of August for my fourth 
trip East. I tocjk the steamer at Eipley for Cincinnati, where, 
after one day devoted to business, I took the cars on the 3d of 
August for Cleveland, Ohio, where we arrived after four p. m. 
My tickets were purchased to Troy by railroad. But the even- 
ing being fair, and being very tired and anticipating a pleasant 
night, I gave my Lake Shore Bailroad tickets, from Cleveland 
to Buffalo, for a passage on the lake steamer. By this change 
I gained a good night's rest, with supper and breakfast ; at the 
same price as a simple passage on the cars, where I would have 
spent the night without rest or anything to eat. The night 
proved delightfully pleasant. The moonlight was beautiful. 
The breeze was cool, making even the warm night of August 
refreshing. Of the thousands traveling on the steamers on 
these great lakes, comparatively few contemplate the beauties 
of nature and the wonders of creation, in the formation of these 
inland seas of pure limpid water, uniting countries hundreds of 
miles distant, by a common commerce, and supplying millions 
of people with fish of the finest flavor. When all is calm it is 
delightful to view the broad and beautiful waters, and behold 
the glorious sun rising majestically as if out of the waters, or 
at the close of his daily course sink into the crystal flood, all 
aglow by the reflection of his own glory. But a storm on the 
lakes is said to be more fearful than a storm on the ocean. Af- 
ter returning to God thanks for his protecting care, and asking 
for his mercy to be continued, I retired to my pleasant room 
and enjoyed a good night's rest. In the morning I arose much 
refreshed, and after my breakfast landed at the city of Buffalo, 
in New York, at eight o'clock, August 4. 1865, in time for the 
cars to Albany and Troy. Albany and Troy are cities lying 
near each other, at the head of navigation, on the Hudson 
Hiver. Albany is on the east and Troy on the west side of 
the river, a little to the north. I took passage to Troy, the 
county seat of Eensselaer County. I arrived there about six 
o'clock p. m., after leaving Buffalo in the morning, and the 
next morning (August 5th) I took the stage-coach at eight 
o'clock for Stephentown, the place of my birth, in Eensselaer 
County, New York. I arrived there at the house of my cousin, 



156 LIFE. OF 

Mr. Orlando Rose, about six p. m. I had informed them, by 
letter of my coming, hence they were expecting and awaiting 
my arrival. I was very tired, being more wearied with that day's 
stage ride, than with all the former part of my long journey. 
Otherwise my health was good, for which I gave thanks to 
God. We were, of course, glad to meet each other after the 
eventful eight years since my fbrmer visit. For during this 
eight years the great southern rebellion, organized and estab- 
lished by the sword, after a war of four years had been ex- 
tinguished by the sword, and now peace was restored. The 
cordial welcome extended to me made me feel at home* The 
weather was dry, the sun hot, and the roads dusty. I had. 
eaten little during the past thirty-six hours, and was hungry 
and thirsty. I took a drink of the pure water, which flows 
clear and cold from the free-stone soil of this mountainous 
country. I ate a hearty supper, principally of bread and milk, 
and cheese, the bread being made of rye flour and corn meal 
mixed. I then, after prayer and thanksgiving to God, retired, 
and was so refreshed by an excellent night's rest, that I felt al- 
most like a young man again. August 6, 1865, on the Lord's- 
day morning, I arose in time to view the sun arise in the east, 
coming up, in all his glory and majesty, from beyond the 
high mountain of Massachusetts, just over the line, a short 
distance from Stephentown. It was a beautiful scene on a 
beautiful morning. I wrote a letter to my family, inform- 
ing them of my safe arrival. I then sent a note to the 
Baptist minister, requesting him to announce that I would 
preach the next Lord's-day at the Christian chapel in 
Stephentown. The Baptist church was about a mile dis- 
tant. At eleven o'clock I attended church in the chapel in 
South Berlin, about three miles north of my cousin's. Elder 
Olin was then the pastor of the Christian Church. I was kindly 
welcomed by pastor and people. They insisted upon my preach- 
ing, but I declined, it being contrary to my custom to preach at 
another man's appointment. 1 consented to an appointment to 
preach there at eleven o'clock in two weeks, viz., the third Sab- 
bath in August. I followed the minister with some remarks, 
and went to dine with another of my cousins near by. There 
I spent a pleasant afternoon, returning to my transient home, 
three miles distant, about sundown. I spent the week in visit- 
ing a few relatives and friends, from whom I heard of the death 
of numbers who had departed to the spirit world since my visit 
eight years ago, in 1857. Inanimate things remain. They da 
not die. The mountains and valleys, brooks and meadows, hills 
and plains remain as I saw them in my childhood. But the 
people! Where are they? Gone! Gone to return no more 
forever! How great the change in eight years? Lonely, I 
visited the place of my birth. Sadly I entered the house built 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 157 

by my father when I was a little boy, seven or eight years old ; 
then a child, now an old man of seventy-five ! I drank of the 
well that my father dug with his own hands, and I remembered 
from my earliest recollections. I stood upon the ground where 
I took my first steps in trying to walk, and where I afterward 
ran, leaped, and played when a small child. I meditated as I 
lingered on the ground where I once so much loved to be with my 
mother, then my only trust. I thought of her kind hand, which 
so often wiped away my tears. Mournfully solemn were my 
heartfelt contemplations. I said to myself, "Is it possible that 
seventy -five years have intervened since those days ? that I have 
lived three quarters of a century, while generation after genera- 
tion has been born, matured, married, and passed away, leaving 
children to mourn for them, while I am here, healthy and com- 
paratively strong, viewing again the scenes where my earthly 
life began ? " With these meditations I returned to my transient 
home ; and thus closed the first week of my visit. The second 
Lord's-day in August, 1865, was a delightful day. I preached, 
as appointed, at the Christian chapel in Stephentown The 
house was respectably full, and the congregation was well pleased. 
The church being at that time without a pastor, expressed a 
desire for me to take the charge for one year, at least. This I 
was compelled to decline, as quite inconsistent with my other 
duties. The second week 1 spent much as I had the first, visit- 
ing tlie friends of former generations, and calling up interesting 
reminiscences. I visited this week an aged aunt. She had been 
the third wife of my uncle, Samuel Gardner, my father's eldest 
brother, but was now a widow near ninety years old. Like very 
old people, generally, she had become a child again, but still 
retained a lively hope of heaven. August 13, 1865, was a fair 
and beautiful day. My appointment was in the school-house in 
South Berlin, as the Christian chapel there was being repaired. 
The house could not contain the people. The word was received 
with gladness. In the afternoon I accompanied Elder Olin to 
his appointment from seven to eight miles distant. By his con- 
versation on the way I was confirmed in the truth of reports 
which I had heard, that he was a preacher of Mr. Alexander 
Campbell's " system." He said that his parents were Quakers, 
and that he had been thus brought up, but he had subsequently 
joined the Methodist Church, and finally the Christians, where 
he still had a standing. He endeavored to infect me with his 
Campbellism. " The order of God is," said he, " that immersion 
must be added to faith and repentance in order to obtain remis- 
sion of sins ; and without immersion sins can not be pardoned." 
Elder Olin confessed to me that his mother had lived and died 
a pions Quaker woman, and he doubted not she had gone to 
heaven. Yet he confessed that she had not been immersed. 
On meditation, considering that the people to whom he was 



158 LIFE OF 

preaching were not acquainted with " Discipleism," I, after a 
day or two, concluded to preach on the subject. I then sent 
Elder Olin a note, that if agreeable to him I would preach in 
South Berlin the first Sunday in September, on "God's uniform 
and universal order of remitting sins," and for him to so an- 
nounce at his next appointment, on the fourth Sunday in August. 
He replied that he would do so. I continued my visits the 
third week, as the two former, in interesting social visits with 
friends and relatives. 

Meditations, — Often, walking for meditation to places where 
my little feet had trod when in childhood's innocence, I thought 
of the child then and the aged man now! Then a child with- 
out the knowledge of guilt or sin, or the experience of sorrow 
or care ; now, with the Jong experience of life, and a knowledge 
of the deceitfulness of men ! 

My first Thoughts about God. — I thought, in my early child- 
hood, that God wanted me to be good ; that I must be good, or 
I never could be happy, and I even then had faith that if I 
would be good God would take care of me. The philosophy of 
innocent childhood is more honorable to God, and more useful 
to men, than the best of the cunning "systems" of men. To 
be good, I thought, was to be happy. These reflections on my 
early meditations were as deeply melancholy as strangely pleas- 
ant. 

The Shaker Meeting. — Having a desire to attend the Shaker 
meeting, we fixed upon the fourth Lord's-day in August for that 
purpose. The Shaker village is called Lebanon. It is in Rens- 
selaer County, New York, about eleven miles from my cousin's, 
where I stopped. This society is probably over one hundred 
years old. It was perhaps the first Shaker organization on this 
continent. I had visited the Shakers at their farm in Ohio about 
sixty years before. That was when I was about sixteen years 
old. They then had a small society about three miles from my 
father's, in Brown County, Ohio. They subsequently moved 
to, and united with, the Shakers at Union Village, in Warren 
County, Ohio. The day came, and we found ourselves at the 
Shaker meeting, as proposed. A Shaker man spoke vehemently 
for about an hour, against what he termed the sins of the world, 
and in favor of Shakerism. He was particularly zealous in his 
opposition to men and women living together as husband and 
wife. "The whole nation," said he, "is a nation of adulterers 
and adulteresses." Such are the systems of men ! I had heard 
the same idle things said by the Shakers in Ohio when I was a 
boy. Their worship consisted in singing light tunes, to which 
they accompanied a rocking motion of the body, and a contin* 
ued stepping forward and backward, and much walking round 
and round. These bodily exercises were conducted in their 
large house by part of the devotees, while a large portion of 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 159 

them, perhaps half, sit quietly as spectators, or sing for those thus 
exercising. They frequently pause in their singing ; then a man 
or woman will speak a few minutes, after which they commence 
singing and moving as before. More than half of the male 
members are boys between ten and fifteen years old. These, 
being poor, the Shakers gather up wherever they can find them. 
From the age of twenty-one to forty-five the men almost uni- 
versally leave them, and go to "the world," as the Shakers call 
it; but some men are brought in, generally in advanced age. I 
was quite disappointed in their strength and numbers. From 
the age of the organization, I expected to see at least a thousand 
worshipers; but there were but about one hundred and "seventy, 
all told, including men, women, and children. I was informed 
by a gentleman whose residence is near there, and who fre- 
quently counts them, that this is their usual number. There 
were present about six hundred spectators. My fourth week 
was spent as the former, in visits, walks, and meditation, ex- 
cept that I made some little preparation for the coming discourse 
on Gampbellism, and made some preparation for my return to 
Ohio, designing to start on the following Monday. The first 
Lord's-day in September was pleasant. The morning was fair. 
The congregation was large. The pastor, Elder Olin, was 
present. 

The Subject. — Tho'subject was " God's uniform and universal 
order of remission of sins." I announced (wo texts, one in the 
Old Testament and one in the Kew, as follows : Text : " And 
the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and 

Eroclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before 
im, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and 
gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 
keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and trans- 
gression and sin, and that will by no means clear the 
guilty ; visiting the iniquity of the father upon the children, and 
upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth 
generation." Exodus xxxiv. 5-7. "Then opened he their 
understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 
and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved 
Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day : and 
that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his 
name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." Luke xxiv. 
45-47. 

Sermon — A Sketch. — First: As God is one and unchangeable, 
so his order of pardon and remission of sins is one and unchange- 
able. The necessities of the human family for mercy are the 
same ; hence God's order of pardon has been the same in all 
ages. That order is, and always has been, to pardon on 
repentance and to save by faith ; that is, God's order is faith 
and repentance. The first covenant was given to the Jews. 



160 LIFE OF 

It was a covenant of works. Its order of life is thus stated : 
" For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, 
That the man which doeth those things shall live by them." 
Komans x. 5. But the law of pardon then, as now, was by re- 
pentance and faith. " Even as David also describeth the blessed- 
ness of the man unto whom God impute th righteousness 
without works, saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are 
forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to 
whom the Lord will not impute sin." Romans iv. 6-8. David, 
and all others who sought pardon, found remission then as we 
do now, by repentance and the prayer of faith. Second : In the 
new covenant, given by and through Jesus Christ, the one uni- 
form and universal order of God by which sins are remitted, 
was and is fully made known to be repentance and faith. 
Christ came fully invested with "power on earth to forgive 
the sins of all who believe in him, and truly repent." The 
blessings of the new covenant are not to the Jews only, but to 
all mankind. "To him give all the prophets witness, that 
through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive re- 
mission of sins." Acts x. 43. Third : The doctrine of remis- 
sion of sins by immersion after faith and repentance, as taught 
by the "Disciples," is not contained in the new covenant which 
Christ himself instituted and confirmed by his death and res- 
urrection. After he arose from the dead, he gave the apostles 
their commission, saying, " That repentance and remission of 
sins should be preached in his name among all nations, begin- 
ning at Jerusalem." Luke xxiv. 46 ; and " teaching them to 
observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." But 
Christ never taught or commanded them to teach " immersion in 
order to the remission of sins" after faith and repentance. " If 
he repent, forgive him," is the universal law of pardon with God 
and man. The doctrine of immersion in order to remission is 
unscriptural in words, and without authority or command by 
Christ or his apostles. All who came to Christ by faith repent- 
ing, received instant remission. None of the apostles ever 
taught .or practiced immersion in order to remission. Peter on 
the day of Pentecost did not so teach, as I proved by his words. 
If he had so taught it was not by the authority of the Lord of 
glory. Fourth : I contrasted the narrow theory of Campbellism 
with God's one uniform and universal order of remission of 
sins to all who repent and believe. "That system," said I, 
"makes man dependent upon his fellow-man for pardon. He 
can not immerse himself, or obtain pardon without immersion ; 
but in God's great, universal, and uniform and reasonable 
order of remission, the truly penitent believer can obtain the 
remission of his sins in the most lonely place with his God, in 
the desert most distant from water." Baptism is a command- 
ment for God's children. So Jesus, God's holy Son, was bap- 



MATTHEW GARDNER. ' 161 

tized, not to make him a Son, but because he was a Soil. Thus 
we obey our Father in heaven as children, not to make us chil- 
dren. I exhorted all true believers to he baptized as Jesus 
was, and thus closed. 

The Return. — On Monday morning, September 4, 1865, 1 
bade farewell to my friends, and my cousins, Orlando Rose and 
his wife, took me seven miles, to Berlin, where the stage starts 
for the city of Troy, twenty -two miles west, over the moun- 
tains. There are three Berlins, viz., South Berlin, Center Ber- 
lin, and Berlin — called North Berlin. I started with the stage 
from North Berlin. My feelings, on bidding my cousins fare- 
well, are expressed in the following lines: 

Sweet vales and hills — my native land, 
Where dwell the kindred dear to me — 

I leave. With farewell, parting hand, 
I look on forms no more I'll see. 

We reached Troy at three p. m., and the next morning, at six 
o'clock, took the cars for Buffalo, where we arrived at nine 
p. m. I had tickets by the Lake Shore Railroad to Cleveland; 
but no cars would start till twelve o'clock. The steamer was 
ready to start then. By it we would get rest and a good 
breakfast next morning. The steamer would accept our tickets. 
The prospect for a pleasant night on the water was not very 
favorable ; but, anxious to go on, several of us took the steamer. 
Our worst fears were soon realized. During the night there 
arose a heavy storm of wind and rain, which caused a number 
on board to be very sea-sick. We arrived at Cleveland the 
next day, September 6th, about eleven, and at two p. m. took the 
cars for Cincinnati, where we arrived the next morning, Sep- 
tember 7th, about four o'clock. Being wearied with my all-night 
travel, and having some business in the city, 1 tarried there till 
the next day, September 8th, when I took the river steam-boat 
for my home, at Ripley, up the Ohio, fifty-five miles above Cin- 
cinnati. I arrived home the next day, September 9, 1865, 
though I was wearied with my journey. I soon recovered from 
my fatigue, and, after resting, felt that my health had been 
improved by my fourth trip East. 

Home, — I found my family at home, all well, and went, the 
next day after my return, to fill the appointment of the second 
Lord's-day in August, made before leaving for the East. By a 
misunderstanding, the appointment had been announced for an- 
other day, so I did not preach. When the days of my other ap- 
pointments, made previous to my departure, came, I found large 
congregations assembled, glad to see me, and to hear the word 
of the Lord. It was a great joy for me to meet with people to 
whom I had preached for more than fifty years, and clasp 
hands with old and well-tried soldiers of Christ. 

n 



162 LIFE OF 

Conference. — On the 18th of October, 1865, I attended the 
Southern Ohio Christian Conference. This was the forty-sixth 
annual session of that conference which I had, by divine grace, 
attended, without missing one. The meeting was very precious. 
I was chosen to preside over the body. We had some trouble. 
The Mount Pleasant church had become divided on politics, or 
patriotism. Two sets of messengers claimed seats. The church 
contained one. hundred and thirty members. The preacher and 
a majority of three were Democrats, in favor of slavery in the 
Squthern States, and opposed to putting down the rebellion by 
force. The other portion of the church, of nearly equal num- 
bers, constituting the strength of the church, with nearly all its 
officers, were charged with being Abolitionists. They were at 
least opposed to slavery, and in favor of the Union, and desired 
to put down the rebellion. So the preacher and his party had 
excluded the Union ' party in mass, without notice, regular 
charges, hearing, or trial, or even announcing their names ; and 
the same meeting which excluded them chose other officers, in- 
stead of those excluded, including deacons, etc. My decision 
was that neither party should take seats in conference before 
an investigation. The committee on credentials reported the 
same. Their case was then referred to the committee on griev- 
ances> which recommended that the present pastor should dis- 
continue his labors, and the church submit their difficulties to 
settlement by a committee appointed by conference to visit it 
for that purpose. This was approved ; and after the adjourn- 
ment of conference, the committee attended, and the church was 
blessed with peace and future prosperity. The conference, after 
doing much business, closed in great harmony. 

Photograph. — My children and others desiring to have my 
likeness correctly taken, I next visited Cincinnati for that pur- 
pose, on the 25*th of ^November, 1865. The next day being 
Lord's-day I, by the pressing request of Elder N". Summer- 
bell, preached at eleven o'clock in the "First Christian Church" 
of that city. On Monday Elder'Summerbell went with me to 
an excellent artist, Mr. Winder, who- took my photograph cor- 
rectly, which a number had failed to do after repeated trials. 
On Tuesday we took it to Mr. Stillman's and contracted to have 
it engraved, including my signature, age, and the number of 
the years of my ministry — the work to be completed in three 
or four weeks. After preaching on the first Lord's-day in Decem- 
ber, I delayed my return home to stop and preach a funeral on 
the way, and reached home on my birthday, on Tuesday the 
5th of December. 1 had now lived in this sin-ruined world 

seventy-five years. 

The rolling years! how swift they fly! 

May Jesus' grace be given 
By which to live, that when X die 
"My home may be in heaven. 



MATTHEW GARDNER. t63 

Divine Meditations. — Having entered my seventy -sixth year, 
I now, more than ever before, thank and adore my heavenly 
Father for his manifold mercies, and the continued grace which, 
during three-score and fifteen years, lie has bestowed upon me, 
\a poor unworthy creature. I am humbled in view of my fail- 
ings, and the little that I have done for my blessed Savior who 
has done so much for me- O, blessed Jesus, continue thy mercies, 
and help me, for help can come from none other than thee. I 
thank God that my health is good. My voice is still strong 
and clear, and I can preach and sing almost as well as in my 
younger days, though I can not continue to speak or sing so 
long at a time. One thing is remarkable; that is, that now in 
my advanced age I am treated with such marked respect by all 
religious denominations. Now they welcome me into their 
pulpits, and the ministers of other denominations invite me to 
preach for them. This seems strange, when I remember that 
these same denominations in former years so uniformly per- 
secuted me, and also the Christians with which church I have 
my standing. 

The Divided Church. — The committee appointed to settle the 
difficulties in the Mount Pleasant church consisted of myself 
as chairman, and Elder K. Dawson, M. D., and Elder William 
Pangbilrn, as associate members. We appointed to hold meet- 
ing with the church on the 10th of December, 1865, on Sat- 
urday night, and to continue the meeting over the Lord's-day 
following. Elder Dawson met me. Elder Pangburn being 
absent, we chose Deacon Joseph Bolender in his stead. Ah 
Elder Dawson preached on Saturday night, it fell to my lot to 
preach on the Lord's-day at eleven o'clock. Text : " Have peace 
one with another." Mark ix. 50. "And when ye stand pray- 
ing, forgive, if ye have aught against any : that your Father also 
which is heaven may forgive you your trespasses." Mark xi. 25. 
Elder Dawson preached at night. The congregations were 
large and attentive. On Monday morning, at ten o'clock, ac- 
cording to previous notice, the church came together, including 
both parties, with a large congregation of spectators. The 
preacher who had been instrumental in causing the division was 
there also, and he seemed to be exerting all his influence with 
his party to prevent union. He wrote out eight objections to 
the committee acting in the premises. This paper he sent to 
the committee by the hand of one of his party. As he was not 
a member of the church, we paid no attention to his objections. 
Oh, that all preachers were peace-makers ! 

The Proposition. — After prayer, the committee, in a kind spirit, 
proposed to both parties to cease all unkind feelings toward 
each other, and to unite in the spirit of Christ, and work to- 
gether for the advancement of the Redeemer's cause ! Discus- 
sion was freely participated in by all who desired. Thero was 



164 LIFE OF 

much talk, but mostly of a pacific nature. When the question 
was proposed, all agreed to work in union, except ten or twelve, 
who were seated near the opposing preacher, and were doubt- 
less influenced by him. The rest then gave each other the 
hand of fellowship in pledge of their sincerity, while tear* 
flowed in confirmation of the deep feelings of their hearts. 

The New Pastor. — The church being now united, proceeded 
to unite on a pastor. This they did in the unanimous choice of 
the young and talented minister, Elder S. S. Newhouse, to whom 
there was no objection. We then exhorted them to live in peace, 
and so bade them farewell. This church at Mount Pleasant, in 
Clermont County, had been organized by me, through divine 
grace, near thirty years before. It now commenced a new era 
of usefulness and prosperity. 

Bethlehem Church. — As my engagement for the year 1865 with 
the Bethlehem church, which I had organized more than forty 
years before, was about to expire, the church m.ot on Satur- 
day before my meeting on the third Lord's-day in December, 
and so urgently requested it, that I consented to labor with 
them another year. This church numbers over four hundred 
members, and has elected me for its pastor every year for forty 
years. Christmas-day of 1865 has come. It is a clear, pleas- 
ant, beautiful day. This is the seventy-fifth Christmas*<]0,y seen 
by me! Will I ever see another? O Lord, Tb,ou knowest! 
Elder G-. W. Mefford and I agreed to hold a meeting of days, 
the Lord willing, at the Union church near Higginsport, com- 
mencing on Saturday before the fifth Lord's-day in December. 
This church I, through divine grace, organized near fifty years 
ago.. 

Ordination. — On my way to this meeting I took a letter from 
the post-office from Elder N. Summerbell, pastor of the Chris- 
tian Church in Cincinnati, urgently requesting me to come to 
the city on said Lord's-day to assist in the ordination of his 
son, Joseph J. Summerbell, who had been a student, and after- 
ward professor in, Union Christian College. He had now taken 
charge of the Christian Church at Blackberry, Illinois. On 
Saturday, at eleven o'clock, I attended the meeting at Union 
church, and in the afternoon took the river steamer for Cincin- 
nati, and assisted in the ordination of the first graduate of Union 
Christian College. The ordination sermon was preached by 
Austin Craig, D. D., then the acting president of Antioch Col- 
lege. I presented the Bible to the young brother as the guide 
of his faith and life. The charge was given by Professor J. B. 
Weston, of Antioch College. The right hand of fellowship was 
given by Elder A. K. Heath, agent of Union Christian College. 
Elder Hiram Simonton, Elder Asa Coan, Elder J. B. Rogers, 
and others, assisted in the exercises. On Monday I returned 
to the meeting at Union chapel. This was JSTew Year's day, 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 165 

« 

1866. The meeting continued over ten days, during which time 
there were, by divine grace, fifty -three additions to the church. 
After a few days' rest, which was very much needed by me, 
Elder Mefford and I commenced a meeting with the Bethlehem 
church, which lasted seventeen days. We commenced on Sat- 
urday, at eleven o'clock, before the fourth Sunday in January, 
1^66. During this meeting one hundred and thirty-five, the 
most of whom were youths or men, confessed the Lord Jesus 
Christ before men and angels, and united with the church. 
Quite a large number of soldi ors, after fighting the battles of 
their country till th«f rebellion was subdued, being honorably 
discharged, now enlisted under the blood-stained banner of the 
Prince of Peace. The converting power of God was manifest 
in a wonderful manner. Sometimes sixteen or eighteen would 
come forward on one invitation. One mute, a man who could 
neither hear or speak, felt the Spirit, and came forward and 
united with the church. This was the largest number uniting 
at one meeting that I had ever known. Some years before, one 
hundred and three or four united with the church of my charge 
at one meeting. That was the greatest number until this of one 
hundred and thirty-five. 

Revival of Principle as well as Interest. — Since the aforesaid 
meeting, the Bethlehem Christian Church desires preaching twice 
a month (two Sabbaths and Saturdays previous), and has raised 
two hundred dollars by subscription for that purpose, for this 
year, 1866, and I, in my seventy -sixth year, have agreed to preach 
for them twice a month instead of once a month, as heretofore. 
As I could not sjt a price on my own labors, they gave me what 
they pleased; that was fifty or sixty dollars a year, formerly, 
for a two days' meeting once a month. Later, the annual sum 
was increased a little. The last year, 1865, it was fixed at 
ninety dollars. !Now it arose to two hundred for two visits per 
month. 

The Largest Church. — Bethlehem has received, since I first 
organized it, as shown by the records, about fifteen hundred 
members. Besides deaths and removals, it has been reduced by 
the organization of some four churches within its bounds, from its 
members, yet the Bethlehem Church now numbers over five "hun- 
dred members. There were great revivals in a number of the 
churches in Brown County during January, and up to February 
22, 1866. By too much labor during these two months my 
strength was exhausted, and my voice was so greatly injured 
that I could speak but little above a whisper; a condition of my 
voice that I do not remember of ever having experienced before. 
My general health was also much impaired. I felt feeble. It 
seemed as if my work was nearly closed. I still endeavored to 
do a little, so great was my desire to advance the Eedeemer's 
cause. A primary convention was called to meet at Franklin, 



166 LIFE OF 

Ohio, on the last day of February, 1866. Franklin is near 
seventy miles from Cincinnati ; but as this convention was pre- 
paratory to a general convention of all Christians in Ohio who 
accept the Bible as their all-sufficient and only creed, and are 
willing to receive into church fellowship all believers in Christ, 
although I was in poor health, I attended. I was chosen chair- 
man of the convention, feeble as I was. 1 was requested to 
preach, but was not able. Arrangements were made for a gen- 
eral convention, to be held on the 22d*of the May following. 

Boat Run Church. — On my return from the convention at 
Franklin I stopped at Boat Bun, on W\% Ohio Kiver, about 
twenty -two miles above Cincinnati, to assist the church there. 
They were divided on politics, and I desired to get them 
united on religion. "Without previous notice a protracted meet- 
ing was commenced the day I landed, and there being but one 
minister there, I was persuaded to preach. The church had 
been organized by me nearly thirty years before. I preached 
a number of days, including the first Lord's-day in March. My 
labors were blest abundantly. The church became united in 
the bonds of peace. Nearly thirty converts professed religion. 
I returned home worn down, my health not being as good as 
when I left. During the remainder of March and April I con- 
tinued so feeble as to be barely able to fill my appointments at 
Bethlehem twice a month, but in May my voice began to im- 
prove. 

Kicked by a Horse. — On Friday afternoon, before the second 
Lord's-day in May, as I was going to a communion meeting of 
Union Church, our son, G. W. Gardner, met me in Higgins- 
port, near where he lives ; and as we rode along side by side r 
his horse kicked at mine and hit my left leg, making a severe 
wound. I, however, succeeded in going on to the meeting, 
nearly three miles distant. I tarried that night at my daugh- 
ter's, Sally A. Shinkle's. She is the wife of Michael Shinkle. 
She did all that she could for my comfort. The nest day. I at- 
tended meeting. Elder Mefford insisted on my preaching, there 
being no other visiting minister present. Though i^y wound 
gave me great pain, I preached every day, standing Vith one 
foot resting upon a chair. The meeting closed on Moiaday. I 
was quite sick on Monday night, but started for honse, some 
seventeen miles distant, on Tuesday morning. I was compelled 
to stop at Higginsport. There 1 tarried all night wir!h my 
grandson, "Walter Shinkle. On Wednesday, feeling a ilittle 
better, I started on and reached home about five p. m., suffering 
great pain in my leg, and being quite feeble. Though im- 
proved but little, yet 1 rode twelve miles to attend my appoint- 
ment at Bethlehem the third Lord's-day and Saturday before, 
was very glad to meet Elders Mefford and Pangburn who, know- 
ing my feeble state, came to assist me, as this was the spring 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 167 

communion — the regular annual meeting. I was with them on 
Saturday, but being worse on Saturday night, I was unable to 
be there on the Lord's-day. On Monday I was just able to be 
there, but not being able to baptize, Elder Mefford baptized 
twenty of those who had professed religion some time before. My 
arrangements were made to attend the State General Convention 
to meet at Columbus, Ohio, May 22, 1866, but my feeble state 
of health, and the effects of the kick of the horse, prevented 
my going. Had I been there I should have protested against 
the resolution approving of our Congress. My views were in 
favor of Congress, and therefore in sympathy with the spirit 
of the resolution ; but I am opposed to introducing such ques- 
tions into religious conventions, conferences, or churches. The 
case was this : Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the 
United States a second term in 1864. He was assassinated in 
April, 1865, consequently Andrew Johnson, the Vice President, 
became President of the United States ex-officio. President 
Johnson's policy seemed to favor the states lately in rebellion, 
and to oppose Congress. Though favoring Congress, yet I 
should have entered my protest against the resolution passed 
by the convention approving Congress. 

Baptizing. — By the last Lord's-day in May my health was so 
much improved that I was able to baptize ten at Bethlehem that 
day. It was four weeks and four days, from the time I was 
hurt by the horse, until the wound was healed entirely. 
^Nearly two w T eeks of that time I was confined to the house. 

Union Christian College. — On the 18th of June, 1866, I took 
the steam-boat at Eipley, about eight o'clock p. m., to attend 
the meeting of the Trustees of Union Christian College, located 
at Merom, Indiana, about two hundred and seventy miles from 
where I live in Ohio. The trustees, of whom I was one, were to 
meet on the 20th of June. Duty seemed to require my pres- 
ence. I arrived at Cincinnati the first night, and in the morn- 
ing .took the cars for Indianapolis, and from there to Tcrre 
Haute, and thence to Sullivan, the nearest railroad station, to 
Merom, and the county seat^ of Sullivan County. Elder E. W. 
Humphreys went with me. At Sullivan we took the stage- 
coach for Merom, nine miles west, where we arrived just at sun- 
down on the 19th. I was very weary. Brother Thomas K earns, 
with whom I had some little acquaintance, met me at the coach, 
and took me to his house, where I felt at home. On the 20th 
the trustees met, and continued their meetings two days and a 
half, atid part of one night. There was a large amount of busi- 
ness transacted. Finding the fatigue of traveling and attend- 
ance too much for my age, I therefore, near the close of the 
session, after giving my reasons, tendered my resignation. 
They urged mo to continue, but finally saw the propriety of re- 
leasing me. Merom is situated on a high and beautiful bluff on 



168 LIFE. OF 

the east shore of the Wabash Biver, aboujt midway between 
Terre Haute and Yincennes. The bluff rising abruptly from 
the river, descends in a beautiful inclined plane toward the east, 
where the town is built. A little south of the village the bluff 
winds round to the east, still gently descending toward the vil- 
lage. On its highest point south of the town stands the fine 
college building. The bluff then falls off gently, descending 
toward the east, forming the natural surface of the college park. 
The college thus stands on a natural mount of almost imper- 
ceptible ascent, yet occupying the highest ground along the 
Wabash, and presenting a view which for beauty can hardly be 
surpassed. 

The Bet urn. — As Elder E. W. Humphreys, who was still with 
me, desired to return by Yincennes, we took the cars at New 
Carlisle, gome miles south of Sullivan. This caused a wagon 
ride thirteen miles to New Carlisle, the railroad station. To 
make our change of cars, we stopped at the crossing, from one 
to two miles from the main depot at Yincennes, which distance 
w r e were obliged to walk, carrying our baggage, on a warm 
afternoon near the last of June. Then we had to wait for the 
St. Louis train for Cincinnati, which arrived about eleven at 
night. The sleeping-cars being all full,' we were compelled to 
sit up all night while running two hundred miles. We reached 
Cincinnati about seven on Saturday morning, weary and worn 
out. I tarried with Elder X. Summerbell till Mondav, w r hen I 
took the steamer for Ripley, and came home. The Fourth of 
July, 1866, is here! This is the seventy-sixth Independence- 
day that I have lived to see, and I thank God that my voice is 
almost restored, and my general health is greatly improved. 

Salem Church on Big Indian Creek. — On the 8th of July, by 
the strong solicitation of the family, I preached the funeral ser- 
mon of two children of Brother James Trees, in the stone chapel 
of the Salem Christian Church, on Big Indian Creek. One of 
the children was a young woman, the other was younger., It 
was a sad loss to the parents. I could not refuse them the com- 
fort of my attendance, though it was forty miles distant from 
my home, for I had received the grandparents into the Salem 
Church among the first members after I organized it, nearly 
fifty years before. 

Old People. — There was a greater number of aged men and 
women at this funeral than I remember ever having seen in a 
congregation before. The chapel would not hold all the peo- 
ple who assembled. Twenty-five years had passed since I had 
preached there, so that I remembered but few faces, while 
many remembered me. We were glad to meet each other, and 
to grasp the friendly hand; but there was sorrow w T hen we 
came to say farewell. They are building a new frame chapel 
at Point Isabel, about a milo and a half from the old stone 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 169 

house. They requested me to preach the dedication of the 
new house when completed. I promised to do so if the Lord 
continued my strength. I had an appointment to preach at 
night at New Richmond, eleven miles from my morning meet- 
ing. New Richmond is about twenty miles above Cincinnati. 
Brother Friedman, of Boat Run Church, came with his carriage 
and conveyed me for dinner to his house, eight miles on my 
way. About three o'clock, and a few minutes before we arrived 
at his house, a terrible storm arose. The sky became dark; 
the thunder roared, and the rain fell in torrents. The small 
creeks through Brother Friedman's farm swept off the fences, 
and between his house and New Richmond the creeks swept 
the bridges from the turnpike. It was said to be the greatest 
fall of rain ever known in that section, during so short a time. 
The Meeting. — My subject for the meeting that night had 
been announced, but it seemed impossible to get there as the 
rain continued. I gave a man fifty cents to take a note to the 
Methodist preacher postponing my meeting to the night of the 
fifth Lord's-day, viz : July 29, 1866. On going there to take 
the steamer the next day, the Methodist minister seemed quite 
dissatisfied. He said that a large congregation assembled, and 
all were much disappointed ; he, most of all, as instead of hearing 
me, he was forced to preach without preparation. Circumstances 
seemed to demand a sermon on Mr. Alexander Campbell's 
"system." The final time arrived and I was there in time, and 
so was the congregation. It was a beautiful moonlight night. 
When the last bell rung, the house was already about full. 
Soon it was crowded to excess, and numbers went away unable 
to get in. By divine grace my health and voice had greatly 
improved. I felt young again. After singing by the congre- 
gation, I called on the Lord for help and proceeded. The text': 
u Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repent- 
ance toward God, and faith toward our Lord JesuS Christ." 
Acts xx. 21. First: 1 stated that the text presents God's uni- 
form and universal order for the remission of sins. Second : I 
clearly presented the new system of Mr. Campbell, for remis- 
sion in contrast. Third : I gave a brief history of Mr. Camp- 
bell and his changes, and his last doctrine. I showed the 
contrast between his doctrine and the doctrine of others. They 
boast that they are right, and denounce all others as wrong. 
Would it not be strange if found that the Bible has always 
taught that " immersion in water is the only way to obtain par- 
don," and yet none of the hosts of the God-loving, and Bible- 
reading, and praying people had found it, but only a few, who, 
denying any inward work of grace, are driven to this as their 
only hope? I made this point also, not before made by 
me, namely: The "Disciples" of Mr. Campbell admit that 
during the whole time under the law sinners obtained remission 



170 LIFE OF 

through faith and repentance, and that Jesus so taught while 
here on earth. This, tfyen, is sufficient proor of the correct- 
ness of that order. God's order for four thousand years must 
have been correct. Jesus' order must have been perfect. Many 
were saved then, like the thief who could not be immersed. 
Had they lived under the gospel, as Mr. Campbell interprets 
it, they must have been lost. His gospel places salvation too 
far off. He makes it to depend, first, on man's understanding 
of the word baptize; next, on water to be immersed in; then 
on a minister to immerse him, and on time to be immersed ; 
and finally on ability to get to the water. If any of these fails, 
he must be lost, however honest or good. Would it not then 
have been better for the world if such a gospel had never been 
heard of ? If ft be true, more honest, good people, who die 
without immersion, are lost yearly than the whole of Mr. 
Campbells church combined ; lost not because of any thing 
necessary as proved by their admission that it was not required 
for remission by Christ, or till Peter preached at Pentecost, 
then it was, of course, unnecessarily added, if added at 
all, and if added it has been the means of condemning 
far. more than it saves, and has thus rendered the gospel an 
entire failure. But it is not gospel. Peter never preached it. 
Its only possible benefit is to increase the desire for immersion, 
and the number baptized. It leads to the neglect of true con- 
version, and lowers the standard of piety, rendering final sal- 
vation uncertain. This discourse was about one hour and a 
half long. I learned that it gave general satisfaction. In con- 
clusion, I stated that if the points made by me were objected to, 
and a preacher of the Disciples would come forward, I was will- 
ing to discuss the matter with him. The Methodist preacher 
was present ; also the Rev. John Rankin, a Presbyterian minis- 
ter, formerly of Eipley, and before alluded to in these pages, 
was pres&it, and at the close led in prayer. I returned home 
the following day, feeling that I had done my duty. The Quad- 
rennial Convention of the Christians was appointed to meet this 
year on the 2d day of October, in Marshall, Michigan, near the 
center of that state. I was appointed to represent the Southern 
Ohio Christian Conference in that convention. As the distance 
was great, nearly four hundred miles, and the convention was 
to meet on Tuesday morning, I was compelled to start the pre- 
vious week. So, notwithstanding my feeble health, my trust 
being in God's protecting care, I took the steamer at Ripley and 
went to Cincinnati, and preached to Elder Summerbell's con- 
gregation, on the last Lord's-day of September. I took the cars 
with him on Monday morning at six o'clock for Toledo. "We 
arrived at Toledo, on Lake Erie, at four o'clock, p. m., and at 
seven took the cars for Marshall, about one hundred miles from 
Toledo. Being detained for connections, and delayed by ob- 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 171 

structions, we were up all night without sleep, and reached Mar- 
shall about five o'clock on Tuesday morning, quite weary and 
exhausted from loss of sleep. The convention met at ten o'clock, 
October 2, 1866, in the Christian church in Marshall. Kepre- 
sentatives and ministers were present from almost all parts of 
the United States and Canada, except the Southern States lately 
in rebellion against the United States Government. The body 
was respectable, both in numbers and talents. The session con- 
tinued three days and part of one night. The most important 
business was the founding of a biblical school in the State of 
New York. Some of the ministers seemed wanting the deep 
piety and prayerful devotion which characterized our former 
ministers. This I was sorry to see, as no people can prosper 
if the ministry is not godly, pious, and prayerful. Elder N. 
Summerbell went from the convention to visit his mother in 
New York, leaving me with his son Joseph, a noble young man, 
to accompany me homeward as far as Cincinnati. On our re- 
turn, we were again obliged to be up all night without sleep. 
At Elder Summerbell's I found rest, and remained there from 
Friday till the following Monday, when I took the steamer for 
Ripley, and arrived home on the 8th of Octobor, with my health 
and strength, somewhat improved. 

Conference. — The annual session of the Southern Ohio Chris- 
tian Conference met, in 1866, with the Christian church in 
Higginsport, on the seventeenth day of October. By divine 
grace I was able to attend this gathering also, making the 
forty-sixth annual meeting with this conference, without one 
case of absence. Being president of the conference, we opened 
with the usual religious services, after which the reports from 
the churches were received, showing over twelve hundred ad- 
ditions during the past year. This caused mo joy, but the joy 
was mingled with fear that we might be forgetful and boast, in- 
stead of remembering to give thanks and praise to the God of 
all grace, and to his Son Jesus Christ, to whom all praise is due. 

Dedication. — The dedication of the new chapel at Point Isabel 
was appointed by the church on the 25th of November, of whteh 
I received notice at conference. Elder William Pangburn and 
Elder G. W. Mefford met me there. The building committee 
informed us that there was a balance of $700 to be raised, to 
clear the house of debt. The congregation was so large that 
nearly half the people were forced to remain outside. Elder 
William Pangburn opened the services, at eleven o'clock, with 
singing and prayer, after which, as both he and Mefford de- 
clined going forward to raise the money, and as I was not will- 
ing to dedicate the house until it was clear of debt, the question 
arose, Who shall do the work? If dono at alj, I saw that I must 
do it. I accordingly went to work. First, I called upon all 
who were willing to give twenty-five dollars each to arise. 



172 LIFE OP 

After this effort was exhausted, I called for twenty, then fifteen, 
ten, five, etc., down to one dollar, until the $700 were signed. 
Nearly two hours were spent in soliciting, after which I 
preached a sermon of over one hour's length, making three 
hours' continued work. Of course I was much exhausted. 
Elders Mefford and Panghurn assisted in the dedication service. 

The Revival. — Elder Pangburn left on Monday morning, but 
Elder Mefford and I continued the meeting several days, and, 
by divine grace, received eleven members into the church, of 
whom iive were heads of families. Though the weather was 
very disagreeable, yet, to all appearance, the meeting exerted 
great influence for good both in the village and in the surround- 
ing neighborhood. 

Home. — Although the distance to this dedication was near 
forty miles, yet, having returned to my home and rested, I 
found my health about as good as before I performed this labor. 

December 5, 1866. — My birthday has come, and finds me at 
home. It tells me that I am seventy-six years old to-day, hav- 
ing been born in 1790. I thank God for his abundant mercies 
in the past, and ask him, in the name of his Son Jesus Christ, for 
a continuation of his protecting care and many blessings unto 
unworthy me for the future. If I am called to leave this world 
before my next birthday, do thou, O God, help me to possess 
that faith which makes a " dying bed feel soft as downy pillows 
are!" Old Time, in her faithful revolutions, brings us to an- 
other Christmas. It is a beautiful clear day, with a light snow 
covering the ground. An idea prevails in the West that a black 
Christmas marks a sickly summer. A black Christmas is a 
Christmas without snow to cover the black ground. 

December 30, 1866. — Yesterday, the fifth Lord's-day in this 
month, I rode about seven miles and preached a funeral, and 
returned without stopping for dinner. The weather was cold — 
forty degrees below the freezing point — eight degrees below 
zero. I was almost chilled through when I reached home. 

New Year, 1867. — This New Year's day finds me at home 
Through divine goodness, for which I am thankful, it finds my- 
self and family in reasonable health, except my aged companion, 
the companion of my youth and age. She is much afflicted with 
the asthma, and has been, during the winter, for several years 
past. 

Bethlehem. — Three months previous to the expiration of 1866, 
I announced to the Bethlehem church, twelve miles distant, 
where I have preached for over forty years, that, on account of 
my age, the distance, and cold weather, I desired to discontinue 
my labors, and I requested them to choose a pastor to succeed 
me for the coming year, 1867. As the church made no effort to 
secure a pastor, but the principal members insisted upon my 
continuing, I requested Elder George W. Brittingham, whose 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 173 

residence is near there, to assist me, especially to preach for me 
during the cold weather, if I should continue. I understood 
him to assent. He is a respectable ordained minister. He em- 
braced religion under my ministry, and is a member of the 
.Bethlehem Church. On my last day there the attendance was 
very large. . The church informed me that they desired me to 
continue, and that they had not looked for any successor for 
me, and said that they would leave the responsibility upon me 
to supply the preaching, or leave the pulpit vacant. 

The Salary. — By a unanimous vote, they proposed to give me 
$200 for preaching for them semi-monthly during 1867, as they 
had done the year before. Brother Brittingham being present, 
I asked him whether he would preach for me during the cold 
weather, and was disappointed when he declined to do so. 
After considering the matter, I agreed to try, with the help of 
the Lord, to continue my labors for the coming year. The first 
appointment came early in January. It was a protracted meet- 
ing. Elder William Pangburn and Elder George W. Mefford 
assisted. I soon saw that there was something wrong, and, on 
inquiry, learned that Brother Brittingham understood my pro- 
posal to him, at first, to be for him to preach half the time, that 
is, once a month during the whole year, and that, had I pro- 
posed this at the meeting, he would have accepted. 1 replied 
that I would have been glad to have accepted such a proposal, 
though that was not what I had proposed. I took the earliest 
opportunity to see Brother Brittingham by going to his house 
between meetings. I made the proposal to him to preach half 
the time, if the church would agree to it, and, if not, I should 
resign, and leave the responsibility upon him. He promised to 
give me his answer before the meeting closed, but did not. At 
the last meeting, I announced that the next regular church 
meeting, on Saturday before the third Sabbath in January, 
1867, 1 expected to resign my charge, for reasons which would 
satisfy all who came to hear them. The day came. The con- 
gregation was large. Elder Brittingham was in attendance. 
After stating the facts, I requested the contract for the present 
year, between the church and myself, to be rescinded. This 
was done by a unanimous vote. By another unanimous vote I 
was chosen pastor, and Brother Brittingham assistant, to preach 
with me alternately, each once a month, the church agreeing to 
pay $200 for our joint labors, all of which was done in the best 
of Christian feeling, and with entire satisfaction to all, except 
the elders laboring with me in the protracted meeting. They, 
when they heard it, were humiliated, that such an aged minister 
as I should go to see one so young in the ministry, whose duty 
it was to have come to me. I replied, "I am nothing; the 
cause of Christ is every thing." I could have proved what my 
proposal originally was. But what of that? He had friends 



174 LIFE OF 

who desired to have him preach part of the time, and by my 
allowing his understanding to prevail, we continued in peace 
and harmony, with no sacrifice of right. Elder Brittingham, 
though young in the ministry, having been ordained but about 
eight months, was already pastor of the En on Church. This 
church 1 had organized some twelve years before, of members 
of the Bethlehem Church. It was five miles from Bethlehem, 
and numbered about two hundred members. He was a man of 
influence in the church. The unhappy jealousies and divisions 
which too often take place among preachers and people may be 
avoided by humbly obeying the directions of the Lord of glory. 
I continued my visits to Bethlehem once a month, during the 
coldest weather, though my feeble strength seemed to forbid it. 
It was almost beyond my power of endurance. After April, 
when the weather became mild, I preached regularly almost 
every Sunday. In the latter part of the winter of 1867, the 
bank at Bipley was burned, and with it the copperplate engrav- 
ing of my likeness, which was deposited in it. It was a good 
likeness, and impressions from it, suitable for framing, had been 
sent by the desire of friends to many parts of the United States. 
On the 29th of April, on my way to Cincinnati, on business, a 
part of which was to get a new likeness correctly taken, to be 
engraved on steel for this work, I was taken suddenly ill with 
diarrhea, on the steamer. The attack was very severe. It was 
with great difficulty that I was able to reach the house of 
Brother Summerbell. There, by the blessing of God and the 
kind, Christian attention of Brother and Sister Summerbell, 
which I never can forget, I soon. recovered. The attack resem- 
bled cholera. My photograph for this work was taken on the 
first day of May, 1867. In a few days I was able to reach home. 

May, 1867. — Beautiful May has come in all its vernal glory, 
but I am weak and failing ; hence I look forward to a paradise 
home that has charms for me which far exceed the charms of 
nature; to a glory which far exceeds the May flowers. Though 
feeble, I labor on. 

The Deceiver. — My general health is somewhat improved, 
though I am weak. At my four o'clock appointment on the 
third Sunday in June, one of Elder Alexander Campbell's Dis- 
ciple preachers was present. He had been preaching at the 
place of my appointtaent, the school-house, for several days and 
nights, and designed to continue. He had an appointment for 
that night, "but none at four o'clock, so he came to my meeting. 
The following article, afterward published in " The Gospel Her- 
ald," our paper, explains his mission, and my course with him: 

"Jesus said, * take heed that ye be not deceived.' 

" Ever since creation's dawn, when in Eden's garden Satan de- 
ceived our first parents, there have been deceivers, and there are 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 175 

deceivers still. It is known that there exists in many places men 
of Alexander Campbell's faith. The fundamental tenets of that 
Beet is, that 'no person's sins can be remitted or pardoned, ac- 
cording to the gospel, without immersion in water.' These 
men sometimes, for effect's sake, assume the name ' Christians.' 
One of this caste came into Brown County a few weeks ago, pre- 
tending to be a Christian minister; he called himself James L. 
Thornbury, a missionary. He commenced a meeting of days 
at a school-house about four miles from the Bethlehem church, 
of nearly five hundred members, of which I have the pastoral 
charge, and nearly an equal distance from the Fellowship church, 
of which Elder J. P. Daugherty has the charge, consequently 
in a neighborhood where numbers of the members of these 
Christian churches reside. This man claimed exclusive right 
to the name Christians for his sect, because, as he said, Elder 
Barton W. Stone took that name, and he was immersed by Stone. 
Some of the people becoming wearied with his harrangues of 
'remission of sins by immersion,' sent to me on Saturday before 
the third Sunday in June, at my regular appointment at Beth- 
lehem, requesting me to preach at the school-house at four 
o'clock on Sunday y% as ho had no appointment at that hour. At 
the close of his eleven o'clock meeting, he refused to give out 
my appointment, saying that he was not sure that 1 would be 
there; but the people got the word, and they were there, and 
he was there, and I was there. He introduced himself to me 
as a Christian minister. I said, i To what conference do you 
belong?' Then he seemed confused, and answered, 'I do not 
belong to any.' I asked, ' Why, then, do you call yourself a 
Christian minister?' Then he rcplid, 'Elder Barton W. Stono 
immersed me, and he never belonged to any conference.' I 
asked, 'When did Stone immerse you?' lie answered, 'In 
1833.' I replied, 'Yes, in 1833. Before 1833 Eider Stone had 
left us and gone over to Mr. Campbell's system of remission of 
sins by immersion, after faith and repentance.' I said to him, 
also, ' Your statement, that Elder Stone never belonged to any 
conference, is destitute of truth. I first united with the Ken- 
tucky Christian Conference, of which Elder Stone was then a 
member. I was ordained by order of that conference, and 
remained a member of it until the Southern Ohio Christian 
Conference was organized, in 1820. From and after Elder 
Stone's adoption of Mr. Campbell's system he never belonged 
to, or had any standing in, any Christian conference to the time 
of his death. And we Christians occupy the ground upon which 
he -first came out from sectarianism, and which he left when he 
adopted Mr. Campbell's system.' He said that Elder Stone told 
him that he preached immersion in order to remission of sins 
before Campbell did. I told him^that my association with Elder 
Stone was of twenty years' duration, viz, from A. D. 1810 



176 LIFE OF 

to A. D. 1830, and during all that time Elder Stone never 
preached or wrote a word favoring that doctrine. In the dis- 
course I stated clearly the difference between the gospel of the 
Lord of glory and the system of ; immersion for remission ' 
preached by this pretended missionary. I said to the people, 
4 Here are two men holding opposite views, both professing to be 
Christian ministers. Both can not be true Christian ministers. 
You must view one of us as an impostor. You know me ; I 
have preached for you almost fifty years.' The next day T>r. 
N. Summerbell called on his way to Adams County, and at 
eleven o'clock preached an excellent sermon on the true nature 
of conversion. Elder J. P. Daugherty came also, and preached. 
Several united with the Christians proper, and eight were bap- 
tized by Elder Daugherty. The Disciple preacher soon left, and 
thus ended the effort to make division in the Christian Church. 
This ' missionary ' is perhaps fifty years old, five feet ten inches 
high, and, as the counterfeit detecter says, 'well calculated to 
deceive.' M. Gardner. 

"July 3, 1867." 

Fourth of July, 1867, is here, and I am thankful that I am 
able to record it. There are many of my age who by reason of 
their trembling can not write. This is the seventy -seventh 
American Independence-day that I have seen. The people are 
gathered about two miles from here. They have public speak- 
ing, but I am not interested. I feel no inclination to mingle 
with the crowd, therefore I remain at home. At my regular 
appointment at the Bethlehem church I informed them that I 
should close my labors with them by the 1st of October, instead 
of as formerly the 1st of January. I made this change to enable 
them to secure a pastor at conference. The church urged me 
to hold the charge as pastor, and they would secure a supply 
for the winter. (The church is twelve miles from my home). 
But my observation of men and things for many years con- 
vinced me that there are few men, if any, who can feel a pastor's 
responsibility when preaching only as a supply. The pastor of 
a church should be with his charge. 1 could not, therefore, 
accede to their request. They must, therefore, procure a pastor 
to take my place at the end of three months. 

Unitarianism. — The General Convention, which met in Mar- 
shall, in 1866, appointed Elder D. W. Moore to attend the con- 
vention of the "General Baptists" in London, England, in May, 
18(i7. Elder Moore having communicated to the "Gospel 
Herald" that the leading " General Baptist" ministers in En- 
gland complained that their people had been injured, and in the 
vital and spiritual interests of their religion, ruined by their 
union with Unitarians, and Elder Moore having warned the 
Christians accordingly, the Unitarians published, in September, 
1867, in "The Christian Register," their paper, some very un- 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 177 

kind statements concerning Elder Moore and the Christians. 
The Unitarians published that the Christians are narrow and 
wolfish in their feelings, but intensely Unitarian in their the- 
ology. This caused mo to reply to the statement, in "The 
G-ospel Herald" in October, 18C7. I copy the part alluding to 
the Christians as "Unitarian in their theology:" u Are the 
Christians Unitarians'?" Is the assertion in the Unitarian 
paper true which states that " the Christians are essentially 
Unitarian, indeed intensely Unitarian in their theology?" — 
£ Unitarian Paper.] The distinguishing feature of Unitarian 
theology is their peculiar views of Christ. Is, then, the faith 
of the Christians, in regard to Christ, identical with the faith 
of the Unitarians ? The extreme Unitarian theology embraces 
the speculations of Theodore Parker, Dr. Priestly, Collyer, and 
others, who teach that Jesus was simply a man. In the "ad- 
dress before the (Unitarian) Ministerial Union, by Bev. Eobert 
Collyer," published in tho "Unitarian Monthly Journal" of 
September, 1867, pp. 352-363, notwithstanding tho ingenuity 
of tho theologian, the miraculous conception of Christ is ig- 
nored; the native, personal, inherent divinity of Christ is re- 
pudiated. He compares the blessed Son of God to Luther and 
to Washington. As they outgrew self, so did Christ. He says, 
" Christ grew to be Christ by casting aside the old true self." 
" The false Christs who came before the true," might have be- 
come true Christs, "only the task was too painful," etc. Ho 
holds forth that as Washington and Lincoln became saviors of 
their country, by being true to the calls of their country's need, 
so Christ became Savior by being true to the calls of the Spirit. 
This Unitarian theology teaches that Christ was simply a good 
man, a moral hero, endued with the Holy Spirit, and was true 
and faithful, and others might bo equally good. This address is 
by Kev. Eobert Collyer, of high standing with the Unitarians, 
and is published in their " Monthly Journal" and other denomina- 
tional papers, and may be considered choice Unitarian theology, 
agreeing in the main with tho views of Doctor Priestly and 
Theodore Parker. This is intense Unitarian theology. 

Christian Theology. — Contrary to this, it is well known that 
the Christians, as a people, have ever, and do now, believe and 
maintain the truth of the miraculous conception of Jesus 
Christ the Son of God. They believe in his native, inherent, 
personal divinity. Therefore, the writer having been a Chris- 
tian minister over fifty-seven years, feels it to be his duty, in 
behalf of his brethren, to contradict and to positively deny- 
that detracting Unitarian statement, to-wit : "The Christians 
are intensely Unitarian in their theology." It is void of truth. 
May God deliver us from "the body of this death." I esteem, 
respect, and thank Brother Moore for his faithful warning. 
Ripley, Ohio, October, 1867. Jf • GARDNER. 

12 



178 LIFE OV 

The Pastor's Solemn Reflections. — The time approaches when 
I am to finally close my pastoral labors, which have continued 
for over fifty years, much of the time with the care of from two 
to four churches. The faithful pastor's charge has its weight 
of cares, trials, and sorrows, mingled with the general sunshine 
and joys, from witnessing that his labor in his Master's vineyard 
is not in vain. I have proved this by fifty years' experience, 
and would continue the charge if my strength would permit. 
It is* a joy to save poor sinners, to comfort believers, and glorify 
God through our Lord Jesus Christ. The strong ties of niy 
pastoral relation with the Bethlehem Church have grown with 
the love of Christ during forty -five years, strengthening with 
its growth. To consider that, during a ministry of forty -five 
years, I disappointed them but twice, will give the reader some 
idea of my attachment. How little can those who change the 
pastoral relation every year or two appreciate my feeling ! My 
long relationship with that church has been as harmonious and 
agreeable as it could possibly be expected in this world. I was 
re-elected every year by a unanimous vote each year, except 
one ; then the brother who objected had a wrong spirit, and 
gave up his objection as soon as he got right himself. He be- 
came one of my warmest friends, and died happy a few months 
since. Though this church has, for many years, had a large 
membership, they have lived in peace and union, without those 
divisions which are too common in churches. If any evil 
arose, it was overcome by Scripture authority, with reason, 
kindness, and prayer. 'Thus, while other churches were di- 
vided, this church had union. Both the contending parties in 
politics were largely represented in the church ; but the thresh- 
old of the church was the line of peace, and they met at the 
altar in Christian charity. Thus we lived in peace, never per- 
mitting politics to disturb our fellowship. One reason was this : 
The pastor never took politics into the pulpit. He did not 
preach politics, but piety. While the storm raged, he endeav- 
ored to keep the church on the rock of safety. As the wrecked 
strangers floated by, he gathered all that he could into the 
haven of peace. Over sixty members of the church went into 
the United States army to put down the rebellion. Some fell 
in biattle ; some were starved to death in rebel prisons ; some died 
in hospitals ; others returned after the war, still loving Christ 
and beloved by the church. Nearly fifteen hundred members 
have been received into this church from its organization up to 
October 21, 1867. Nearly forty-five years they have been 
going home to Jesus, yet the church is large. Four other 
churches have been organized of its members, still it is the 
largest church in the conference. I have given the parting 
hand to many to whom the Master said, " Come up higher," but 
now they must give to mo the parting hand while I, like 
Elijah, wait for the chariot to take me home. 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 179 

The Old Man Closing his Pastoral Labors. — The time had now 
come for me to close my labors with the Bethlehem Church. It 
was the time of the half-yearly communion. Whilo writing, 
the tears start unbidden to my eyes. The meeting commenced 
on Saturday, October 19, 18(37. Elder William Pangburn 
was with me. It was reported that I would preach my farewell 
sermon on the Lord's-day, at eleven o'clock, and the congrega- 
tion was very large. Elder Pangburn preached ; I could not. 
I never preached a formal farewell sermon. The churches of 
which I have been pastor were raised by my laboi*s. The rela- 
tion has always been cordial. As pastor I have generally served 
for many years, and the relation has been uniformly harmonious 
and agreeable, causing increasing attachment. The church has 
seemed to me as my children, and, in consequence, my feelings 
of sympathy forbid formality, and prevented formal farewell 
sermons. After the sermon, I administered the Lord's Supper. 
There was the largest number of communicants that I remem- 
ber having ever seen at one time. While the communicants 
were taking their scats, the following lines were sung: 

Jesus is gone above the skies, 

Where our weak senses reach him not 
And carnal objects court our eyes, 

To thrust our Savior from our thought 

He knows what wandering hearts we have — 

Apt to forget his lovely face; 
And to refresh our minds, he gave 

These kind memorials of his grace. 

The Lord of life this table spread 

With his own flesh and dying blood ; 
We on the rich provision feed, 

And drink the wine, and bless our God. 

Let sinful sweets be all forgot, 

And earth grow less in our esteem; 
Christ and his love fill every thought, 

And faith and hope be fixed on him. 

While he is absent from our sight, 

; Tis to preparo our souls a place, 
That we may dwell in heavenly light, 

And live forever near his face. 

Our eyes look upward to the hills 
Whence our returning Lord shall come; 

We wait thy chariot's awful wheels, 
To fetch our longing spirits home. 

KText, thanks were given to God for these memorials of his love. 
It was a time of great solemnity. This was the last time that 
my hands would ever break the emblematical bread to those 
whom I had so long served. This was the last time that I 
would pour out to them the symbolical cup as their pastor, after 



180 LIFE OF 

having administered to them the ordinances of the Lord's house 
for nearly forty-five years. All, including myself, felt that it 
was like a father and children parting without hope of the rela- 
tionship ever being restored in this world. There was much 
weeping. My own tears mingled with those of the people. 
While the deacons were passing the bread, I could not refrain 
from some words of sympathy. It was the last communion we 
would have together as pastor and people; the last time that I 
would be the administrator and they the communicants; the 
last time we would break bread together on earth. I* alluded to 
the loved ones in heayen. Once they too were with us; now 
they are numbered with the dead. "We shall see them on earth 
no more; but soon we shall see them in heaven. We will meet 
them up there at the great communion, where Jesus will admin- 
ister, where sickness and sorrow shall never come, sighing and 
death shall be known no more. I paused. The emblems had 
been passed ; the vessels were returned to the table ; the deacons 
had resumed their seats. I would have said more; but my 
heart filled, and choked my utterance. The scene closed as 
Christ closed the first communion : " They sang a hymn, and 
went out." But this was not the end. Elder Pangburn 
preached at night ; and though no appointment was made for 
me, on Monday morning the congregation was again large, 
many supposing that I would finally preach my farewell ser- 
mon, although I had not so intimated. Elder Pangburn and 
others urged me to do so ; but knowing that my feelings would 
overcome my strength, I declined. Elder Pangburn preached 
an excellent sermon. Then I felt constrained to speak, if only 
a few words. The time had come for the pastor to give up his 
people, for the father to say farewell to his children, the shep- 
herd to resign his flock. I stepped down from the pulpit to the 
platform, and kneeling, with tears supplicated a throne of grace 
for God's mercy and protection upon his people ; for the light 
of his love and the glory of his grace to abide with that church 
forever. I then arose and spoke. I referred to my first visits 
among them nearly fifty years before. Then the country was 
wild; now it is cultivated. Then the roads were by mountain 
paths and the meandering valley brooks. Then they lived in 
log cabins, where they have now fine residences. I threaded 
my way over the hills and through the hollows, boldly fording 
the mountain streams, and searching out their rudest homes. 
Then the people had little culture, where now they are educated. 
Then they were without hope and without God in the world. 
I took them by the hand and led them to God. I was inexpe- 
rienced, but earnest. I preached in their rudest cabins. I led 
them in prayer at there fireside altars. I baptized in their 
woodland streams; I kneeled at the dying pillows of their 
parents, and preached the funerals of their children. God blessed 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 181 

my labors, and changed the lion to a laml), the raven to a dove, 
and made the desert to blossom as the rose. My eyes could see 
but few present who were living in the country at the beginning 
of my ministry there. Then I was young and strong, but now 
I am old and feeble ; too old to serve you ; and they to whom I 
then preached are gone — gone, no more to return. I tried to 
say that this was the last day of my pastorate, the day of final 
separation as pastor and people, but I could not. I tried to say 
farewell, but there was so much weeping that utterance was 
choked, and tears blinded my eyes. Some kind brother started 
a farewell hymn, and while singing they gavo me the parting 
hand. Then I bowed and bid them farewell ! and the labors of 
iorty -five years in that church were closed. 

Farewell, farewell, dear Bethlehem, 

For my down-going sun 
Tells me my day is nearly closed, 

My life's work nearly done ; 
Leave me ! My steps are growing slow ; 

I'll linger near the shore, 
And cross, when Jesus calls, to where • 

We'll meet to part no more. 

I shall still preach as opportunity offers and circumstances 
justify, and I shall try to write some things to speak when I 
am gone. 

Wages for Preaching. — When my ministry began, there were 
no Christian churches to support ministers. I therefore received 
little compensation for many years. When the churches grew, 
my conscience compelled me to decline putting a price on my 
preaching the gospel. I could find no "thus saith the Lord" 
for it. I do not reprove those who do, however. I therefore 
left it with the churches to say how much they would give. 
'This was commonly a mere trifle, about fifty or sixty dollars a 
year for monthly preaching. Thus it was with the Bethlehem 
Ohurch till the last few years. That church, possessing a good 
deal of. wealth, proposed to give me one hundred dollars a year, 
.and in 1866 tjiey gave me two hundred dollars a year for semi- 
monthly preaching on Saturday and Sabbath, and attending 
their communion and protracted meetings, etc. This was by 
far the largest salary, if it may be so called, that I ever received ; 
and this was paid for only one or two years out of forty -five. 

Southern Ohio Christian Conference. — The forty-eighth annual 
session of the Southern Ohio Christian Conference met in 1867 
at Bentonville, in Adams County, on the 2d day of November. 
Through divine grace my health was continued so that I could 
be present. This was the forty-eighth successive annual meet- 
ing of this conference that I had attended; that is, I have 
attended, without one failure, every year since its organization 
in 1820. There was a large attendance this year. The reports 



182 LIFE OP 

from the churches were reasonably good, without quite so many 
additions as were reported the previous year. The meetings 
for business were very pleasant, only marred by "Young Amer- 
ica," offensively developed in ono or two young preachers, and 
cropping out in the form of that self-conceit called "brass/ 7 
which knows no reverence fbr age. The experience of increas- 
ing years, however, will work their cure if they practice prayer, 
and look to Jesus as their example. 

December 5, 1867. — My birthday comes again and finds me 
at home. I am seventy-seven years old to-day. I heartily 
thank God, my heavenly Father, that my health has improved, 
of late, and is good for a man of my age. 

Voice. — I have not lost my voice, as many ministers have 
when much younger. I can yet sing tolerably well, considering 
how many years' vocal labor I have done. For this I render 
humble thanks, and praise my Lord and Savior. 

Prayer. — O God! as I now enter upon my seventy-eighth 
year, I pray thee in the name of Jesus Christ, thy Son, to let 
thy mercy stilj. continue with me. Let thy protecting care be 
over me. Regard the low estate of thy poor unworthy servant. 
In this, the evening of my life, my trust is in thee alone. Thou, 
art my help and my consolation. The joys of earth could never 
offer perfect peace. But even their transient joys have long 
since passed away. Be thou, O God, my fortress, my „ strong 
tower, my joy in peace, and comfort in the day of trouble. 
Thou art my rock ; thou art my strength and my salvation. 

Christmas, December 25, 1867. — Old faithful Time does not 
grow weary, but hurrying on, like an ever-rolling stream, brings- 
us our longed-for Christmas. Seventy-eight of these blessed 
days have dawned on me. This day is dark ; I can hardly see 
to write. There is no snow on the ground. I would that I 
could be out to protracted meetings, as in days and nights of 
old, for fifty years ; but I can not endure the cold, and am there- 
fore confined at home. Even the remembrance of ^those meet- 
ings, where hundreds found Jesus' pardoning grace through my 
labors, now gives me joy, while many of these, I trust, are at 
home in glory, and others are on their way. For continued 
health I continue thankful, and through faith and prayer enjoy 
God-s love. 

New Year's.— Here is New ^Year's day, of 1868. My God, I 
thank thee fbr thy protecting care, which has been over me 
through the year which has passed. I entreat thee, in the name of 
Jesus Christ, thy Son, to continue thy mercies toward me, thy 
poor unworthy servant, through the year that is now begun. 
If it be thy will that I shall abide in this tabernacle, be thou with 
me. If I go hence, take me to thyself, to be with thee, to rest 
in peace, through thy dear Son. The following lines have been 
proved true to me by long experience and observation : 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 183 

" Time js winging us away 

To our eternal home ; 
Life is but a winter's day, 

A journey to the tomb. 
Youth and vigor soon will flee, 

Blooming beauty lose its charms ; 
AH that's mortal soon shall be 

Inclosed in death's cold arms." 

At Work in his Study.— -Being confined to my room by the in- 
firmities of age and winter weather; after January 1, 1868, 1 
employed my time in writing a brief work, containing the 
scriptural platform of the Christians, clearly showing the dif- 
ference between the views of the Christians and the system of 
Alexander Campbell. Having lived cotemporary with Mr. 
Campbell, who originated that system and founded the sect 
with which his name is connected, I had investigated it and 
observed its effects, and believed that I understood it in all its 
parts better than any man now living. It seemed evident to 
me that the people needed information on that system, and it 
was, therefore, from a sense of duty that I undertook the work. 
It was completed about April 1, 1868, and in the hands of the 
people. It contained my investigations of Campbellism from 
its origin, in 1823, to the present time, 1868 ; therefore, over 
forty years. Though Mr. Campbell's system has often been al- 
luded to, it has not yet been considered as a whole, nor have the 
few texts adduced by the * Campbellites, to prove that system, 
been heretofore examined. It is here clearly demonstrated 
that their rendering is a perversion of gospel truth that does 
violence alike to reason and revelation, and is in opposition to 
the preaching of the Lord of life and glory. So after revising 
said work by and with the advice of Elder N. Summerbell, tho 
only man informed by mo of my writing this narrative of 
my life, thinking that it may be useful to some when I am 
gone, I direct that after correcting the typographical errors 
therein, ho will give it a place among the doings and events of 
my life as a component part thereof, as follows : 

The Pamphlet of 1868 Revised — Sect Defined — Unsectarian 
People — Rise of Campbellism — A New Sect — Webster says: 
"A sect is a body or number of persons united in ten- 
ets (tenets written or unwritten) ; chiefly in philosophy or 
religion, but constituting a distinct party by holding sentiments 
different from those of other men ;" and that sectarianism is 
"the disposition to dissent," and " to form new sects;" a 
sectary is "a follower, a disciple, an adherent to a sect." 
Christians is a generic name. It applies to all sects, churches, 
or persons, that profess the Christian religion, however desig- 
nated by other sectarian prefixes to the name Christian. All 
nations that admit the divinity of Christ's mission are termed 
Christian nations, in which are the numerous sects distinguished 



l%± LIFE OF 

by the names of their founders, leaders, tenets, forms of wor- 
ship, church government, creeds, etc. Hebrews, Jews, or 
Israel are all generic names, designating all the descendants of 
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This nation and people were di- 
vided into a number of sects when Christ came. Three of 
these sects are mentioned in the New Testament, and others by 
Josephus. All believed in the law given by Moses, and wor-. 
shiped together at the temple. The largest sect, and the one 
having the greatest influence among the people, was the Phar- 
isees. This name is derived from the Hebrew word pilaris, 
which signifies to separate, as they separated themselves from 
others, as more holy. Paul confessed that ho was of that sect. 
The Sadducces, the next largest sect, took the name from their 
founder and leader, Sadoc. They denied the resurrection, 
angels, and spirits, but the Pharisees confessed both. The 
third sect mentioned in the New Testament was the Herodians, 
so called from their being in favor of the policy of Herod, tho 
Koman governor. (See Matt. xxn. 16-18). Would it have been 
proper for one of these sects, while rejecting all the Hebrews 
who could not adopt its peculiar opinions, to term itself " the 
Hebrews" or "the Jews," discarding its own peculiar name as 
Pharisees, Sadducces, etc? Certainly not; for how then could 
it have been known what sect of the Jews they were ? Barnes 
should designate, not deceive. If said sect retained, in puritj-, 
the fundamental principles of Ju/laism, and received all He- 
brews, then their being generic might entitle them to the ge- 
neric name of Hebrews. But if they received only those 
Hebrews which adopted the opinions of some man, then com- 
mon honesty would require the prefix of his name. This rulo 
applies to the sects of Christendom at this day. Therefore, wo 
have Calvinists, Lutherans, Wesleyans or Presbyterians, Meth- 
odists, Baptists ; that is, Presbyterian (Christians), Methodist 
(Christians), etc. Mohammedans, in like manner, are divided 
into sects, all of which believe in Mohammed and hold to the 
religion instituted by him. These sects took their names from 
their founders or leaders, as did the Jews and Christians. Walker 
says that a "sect is a body of men following some peculiar 
master or united in some tenets." Webster says "sect from 
Latin sectum, to cut off, to separate, a part cut off, a body of 
persons separated from, in virtue of some especial doctrine or set 
of doctrines which they hold in common." And it is, therefore, 
understood that Christian sects reject other Christians who do 
not adopt their peculiar tenets. These opposition sects can not 
be justified. But such is the sect united on Mr. Campbell's 
tenets. Sects sprang up among the Christians while the apso- 
ties were yet living. The first, perhaps, were the Nicolaitans, 
who took their name from Nicholas, of Antioch, who founded- 
that sect, and was their leader or master, llevelation n. £. 



MATTIIEW GARDNER. 185 

The Sabellians of the third century were so called from Sabel- 
lius, who denied the personality of the Son of God, and taught 
that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are only three offices, as 
some trinitarians now teach. When the Roman government 
banished Arius, those who held his opinion about Christ being 
only a created Son of God, were called Arians. We pass al- 
most myriads of sects taking the name of their founders, and 
come down to the sixteenth century, and to the great reforma- 
tion by Luther. He being a bold, energetic leader, shook the 
.Roman Catholic Church to its center and caused the pope to 
tremble upon his throne. A great sect arose, taking his name 
as their founder and master, namely, the Lutherans. Near 
that time John Calvin founded a sect upon the tenets of uncon- 
ditional election and reprobation, which took his name, as 
Calvinists. James Arminius taught the opposite doctrine to 
that of Calvin, to- wit : man's voluntary agency and God's free 
grace, and thoso who thus hold are called Arminians. The 
Beets founded by Luther and Calvin were soon productive of 
other sects, taking the names of their founders, but all confess- 
ing the name Christian, with their sectarian names prefixed, 
as Lutheran Christians, Calvinist Christians, etc., called briefly 
Calvinists, Lutherans, Wesleyans, etc., — the term Christians 
being understood. Is it not evident, therefore, that sects and 
doctrines founded by or on the peculiar doctrines of men have 
been, in all ages, designated by names of their founders? Those, 
therefore, who claim to be known only by the generic name of 
Christians should hold only the " common salvation and faith 
once delivered to the saints (Jude 3), avoiding the minutest 
variation from the word of God;" but they must fellowship 
all Christians, and not confine their fellowship to a few bigoted 
disciples of their own opinions. Such a people has arisen. 

The Unsectarian People and Christian Platform. — Near the 
beginning of this century (1800), an unsectarian people arose 
in the United States, as no other people ever arose since Christ 
preached the gospel. There were great revivals of religion in 
a number of the states, in which the saving power of God was 
wonderfully manifested. Many who were the subjects of that 
revival and that spirit, in different states, simultaneously, with- 
out any leader other than Jesus, came to the same views at the 
same time, namely, that the time had come for the followers of 
Christ to be united according to his prayer, " Father, that they 
all may be one" (John xvn. 21), although it was years before 
those in different states, who were of the same views, had any 
knowledge of each other. Thus, though it is impossible for all 
God's people to be united upon any man-made creed and secta- 
rian name, they, without knowledge of each other's actions, and 
with no human leader, took the Scriptures for their rule of faith 
and practice, and the name Christian by which to be known, as 



186 LIFE OF 

did Christ's followers in th« beginning, without any sectarian 
name being prefixed, and thus formed the true basis by "which 
parties, distant in locality, differing in sentiment, as Baptists, 
Methodists, and Presbyterians, immersed and sprinkled, Calvin- 
ist and Arminian, all came into harmonious union without con- 
straint. No dogmas were to be imposed on any, but all were to 
form their own opinions from reading the word of divine love, 
the only test of fellowship being a life and conduct in conformity 
with the gospel. Nor was baptism in any form, nor is it now, 
made a test of church fellowship ; hence a pious Friend Quaker 
is not rejected, though believing in the baptism of the Holy 
Spirit without water. 

In What They Agreed. — Agreement on the following points, 
clearly expressed and defined in God's word, were uniformly 
received as fundamental principles : 

I. Belief in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and that Jesus 
Christ, the Son of God, is the mediator between God and man, 
and that the Son is divine. 

II. The atonement or reconciliation made by Christ for all. 

III. The new birth, by and through the influence of the Holy 
Spirit. 

IY. The resurrection, both of the just and of the unjust. 

Y. "That God has appointed a day in which he will judge 
the world in righteousness," and that all will be rewarded, or 
punished, " according to the deeds done in the body." 

Christ, having commanded his apostles to teach and baptize, 
Christian ministers obey that injunction of the Savior. As the 
primitive baptism was immersion, according to the original 
Greek, as admitted by Luther, Calvin, Wesley, and others of the 
learned, it was and is the way in which the Christian ministers, 
who were formerly Presbyterians and Methodists, as well as 
Baptists, soon began to baptize. Some at first baptized three 
ways. It is not a test of fellowship. All live in union. Some 
Christian ministers did go to an extreme in speculations about 
the trinity, but without making their views a test of fellowship. 
It is now spoken of in Scripture language. The views of Chris- 
tians on the design of baptism are about with the Baptists, 
except in not making it a test of fellowship. Every one decides 
for himself. Thus, after pardon and peace are obtained by faith, 
prayer, and repentance, we are "buried with Christ by bap- 
tism, "in likeness of his burial and resurrection. Komans vi. 4. 
In church government the Christians are congregational, as the 
primitive churches were. Every church does its own business, 
subject to no higher power. In this Baptists and Christians are 
about the same, and Christian conferences answer to Baptist 
associations, to which the churches send messengers to meet with 
the ministers. Every church is left free in property, faith, 
and fellowship. Is not this unsectarian platform broad enough, 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 187 

t 

and long enough, and straight enough for all the followers of the 
Redeemer to unite upon? If Christ's church is ever united it 
can not be upon any human creed, either oral or written (all 
differing), but the union must be upon the Bible. Must it not? 
Some of the largest Protestant denominations are now moving 
in that direction. 

Testimony. — The writer, having been laboring with and ob- 
serving the Christian ministers for more than fifty-seven years 
(sixty years now, A. D. 1871), and having been cotemporary 
with the first ministers [of that people, knows that the things 
hero stated are correct and true as to Christians' views, etc. 

A. .ZX 1823 — A Modern Sect. — There being no religion estab- 
lished by law in the United States, all believe and worship as 
they please ; hence it is the most fruitful field for sects of any 
country on the globe. In 1823 a sect arose in this country in 
the following manner: Shortly before that time Alexander 
Campbell came from Ireland, having been educated for a Pres- 
byterian minister ; but, changing his views on baptism, he joined 
the Baptists, and by his debates on the mode of baptism soon 
became popular among the people. He then began to propagate 
the theory that it is the order o£ God, according to the gospel,* 
that there can be no remission of sin without immersion in water 
being added to faith and repentance. This differed so widely 
from the Baptists' faith that they disowned him. But Mr. Camp- 
bell, having gained much influence, divided their churches and 
founded a sect of Disciples for himself upon the tenets aforesaid, 
taking the Scriptures, as he said, for his rule of faith and prac- 
tice. He spoke of taking the name Christians, but said, as that 
name had already been taken by another people who were widely 
known by it, he would adopt the name "Disciples of Christ," 
which he did. As Mr. Campbell possessed the great boldness and 
the assurance common to his nation, he acted with energy. He 
soon started a paper at Bethany, his residence in Western Vir- 
ginia; next a college, by which, with his debates and preaching, 
he propagated his new system, and preachers of different de- 
nominations joined him. Among his leading topics in preach- 
ing and writing were ridicule and burlesque of a called and sent 
ministry, and prayer for mourners : he immersing them instead 
to get the remission of sins. In like manner he poured con- 
tempt upon the commonly received views of experimental 
religion, saying, "It is all delusion. Faith, repentance, and im- 
mersion secure the remission of sins, and are the sum total of 
experimental religion. There is no Holy Spirit to operate on 
mankind other than the written word, nor any influence of it in 
the new birth, except b} r the word, and sinners are not required 
to pray before immersion," etc. (See " Christian Baptist," Vol. I. 
p. 186, and Vol. II. p. 171, Vol. V. p. 223, 132, Also his two 
standard works, ''Christianity restored" and the i; Christian 



188 LIFE OF 

System) ." All know, who have heard the preachers of that sect, 
that these are their themes, almost without an exception. The 
teachers of that system partake of the spirit of the founder 
of the sect, Mr. Campbell, hence make their declarations -with 
the great boldness, assurance, and seeming confidence of all 
errorists. Thus Shakers say that Christ did come the second 
time in Ann Lee; and the Millerites said that Christ icould come 
in 1843 ; and the Mormons that they know they are right and all 
others wrong; captivating the uninformed by their very assur- 
ance. The writer, having been a cotemporary with Mr. Camp- 
bell, having heard him preach, and having conversed with him, 
and read his first religious publications, and, having examined 
that system for more than forty years, can there be a doubt of 
his understanding it? All of that sect, from its founder, Mr. 
Campbell, down, are ever crying out against sects and sectarian- 
ism, but we have shown by undeniable proofs that they are a 
sect, according to all the meanings of that word. 

First: They, like all sects, had a -human founder and leader, 
M!r. Campbell. He organized that sect, making the fundamental 
tenets or dogmas thereof. (He states in the "Encyclopedias of 
Keligious Knowledge)" that they are "sometimes called Camp- 
bellites, or Reformers." "As is uVual in similar cases, the brethren 
who unite under the name of Disbiples of Christ, or Christians, 
are nicknamed after those who have been prominent in gather- 
ing them." — Alexander Campbell. 

Second : They say that sin can be remitted only by immersion 
after faith and repentance, upon which tenet there never had 
been a sect founded before. Mr. Campbell and his party, as a 
sect, separate from others, are united upon the aforesaid tenet. 
Hence they are a sect. 

Third: They will not receive any who do not agree with them, 
in the aforesaid dogma on immersion. Hence they are a sect, 
as is uniformly understood. So, though they make a show of 
liberality, and talk about union upon their oral creed, are they 
not one of the most intolerant, proscriptive sects in Christen- 
dom, rejecting all but immersionists? Were they not sectarian 
they would not seek to build up their sect. For more than 
twenty years before said sect existed there was a people known 
by the name "Christian;" therefore, in assuming that name 
while rejecting Christians, they are also guilty of plagiary, and 
condemned by the laws of literature, and prove themselves op- 
posed to union on the Bible. No people having a creed or plat- 
form, oral or written, which has not length enough and breadth 
enough for all of Christ's people to unite upon, have a right to 
the generic name Christian, without their sectarian mark pre- 
fixed to it. They have the same right to the name " Christian " 
that any other sect has ; no less, no more. As there were Sad- 
ducees, Jews and Platonic philosophers, and as there are Roman 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 189 

Catholic Christians, and Calviniatic Christians, so they are 
u Campbellite" Christians, or Campbeilites ; nothing less, noth- 
ing more. Their professing to take the Bible alone, and assum- 
ing the sanctified family name of Christians as peculiarly theirs, 
while having a proscriptive platform and an oral creed on 
immersion, which dooms to perdition nearly nine hundred and 
ninety-nine out of every thousand of all professed Christians, 
is out of character," and indefensible. Why should that sect 
object (as they do) to being called Campbeilites? Mr. Campbell 
does not deny being their founder; why are they ashamed of 
him? Do they who believe in the system of Calvin object to 
the name of Calvinists? jSTot they; nor do any other sects 
object to being known by the names of their founders. Was 
not Mr. Campbell as really the founder of that system known 
by his name as John Calvin was of the one with which his 
name is connected? They are parallel cases. Therefore if wo 
hereafter call the followers of Mr. Campbell Campbeilites, it 
will be correct, this being their proper sectarian name. (See 
Ency. Eel. Kowledgo p. 462). 

The Union. — About 1830, when Mr. Campbell was on one of 
his tours in Kentucky, he went to the house of Barton W. 
Stone, a Christian minister, and proposed that, as they had 
both taken the Scriptures, they ought to be in union. Elder 
Stone admitted Mr. Campbell's theory of remission of sin by 
immersion, but refused to make immersion a test of fellowship. 
Elder Stone was a great and good man, but he had been an ex- 
tremist against the doctrine of the trinity. I could not receive 
all his views. But they went on forming a union, in which Mr. 
Campbell's system was uniformly received. A hymn-book was 
soon published by Campbell and Stone, entitled " Christian 
Hymn-book.'' Elder Stone and myself had formerly been 
members of the Kentucky Christian Conference, and had been 
a great deal in each other's company — had traveled and 
preached together every year, more or less, for twenty years. 
Hence, to leave him was like a son being separated from his 
father, no more to be united. Consequently I carefully exam- 
ined that system with a desire to believe it, but found it to be 
of man's invention, and not of God. In 1835 I published my 
objections, entitled, " Twelve Years' Observation of Mr. Camp- 
bell's Theory and Practice," etc., which they never answered 
or denied, but contented themselves with slandering the au- 
thor, Mr. Campbell himself taking a leading part in his paper, 
but not permitting me to defend myself. After Elder Stone 
formed said union, he was never again a member of any Chris- 
tian conference; but he and those who went with him, though 
they bad left that platform, retained the name Christians, and 
Mr. Campbell's followers are now adopting it, calling them- 



190 LIFE OF 

selves the Christian Church, yet excludiug all Christians who 
do not adopt their opinions on immersion. , 

God's One Order of Remission of Sin. — Let us take a concise 
view of God's one uniform and universal order of remission of 
sins : " Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Oh, this people 
have sinned a great sin,iand have made them gods of gold. 
Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin ; and if not, blot me, I 
pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written." Exodus 
xxxii. 32. God proclaimed his name to Moses, saying, "1 
am the Lord God, mericiful, forgiving iniquity and transgres- 
sion and sin," etc. * Exodus xxxiv. 5,6,7. "When Moses 
prayed unto the Lord, the fire was quenched." Numbers xi. 2. 
This one order of God is like its author, unchangeable, ever 
the same, suited to the wants and needs of sinful man in every 
condition, every age, clime, and country. It requires on man's 
part true faith, repentance, and prayer. Upon these God has 
promised forgiveness, without the uncertain aid of man to im- 
merse. This was God's one order, " as it was in the beginning, 
is now, and ever shall be." The law could not shut man out 
from access to God by prayer ; the prophets would not. God 
said, "He is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee." Genesis 
xx. 7. Samuel said, " God forbid that I should sin against the 
Lord in ceasing to pray for you." I. Samuel xn. 23. Tho 
righteous man makes his offering, but the sinner prays for par- 
don. This is the order practiced alike in Eden and Jerusalem. 

Abel — "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sac- 
rifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was 
righteous." Hebrews xi. 5. 

Cain. — And Cain said unto the Lord, " My punishment is 
greater than I can bear." " And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, 
lest any finding him should kill him." Genesis in. 15. " Then 
began men to call upon the name of the Lord." Genesis iv. 26. 
Abraham prayed for Abimelech, and he was healed^ (Genesis 
xx. 7), and for Sodom, and was heard. The Ninevites repented, 
and w T ere pardoned. The Publican said, " God be merciful to 
me, a sinner!" and was justified. God gave to his "Son power 
on earth to forgive sins." Mark n. 10; Luke v. 24; John v. 27. 
God never invested any being with power to forgive sin, except 
his Son, nor can We suppose that he ever will. Of course the 
Son forgives sin according to the one order of God, the same as 
God himself. The repentant sinner, having returned to his 
Father, as the prodigal son, is pardoned and received into the 
family, and will obey Christ in baptism, not to make him a 
child, but because he is a child. Likewise he obeys all other 
commandments of the Lord. If he is not obedient, Jesus, will 
disown him. The Lord of the universe has but one plan of 
remission of sins, I think, can not be denied; and that ho 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 191 

has always remitted sins in the same way is equally clear. 
That sect (Mr. Campbell's) denies this one order of God, and 
says the gospel was never preached, not even by Christ himself, 
till Peter preached it at Pentecost. But even hero they care- 
fully omit Acts II. 21, where Peter proves that we are saved by 
prayer, saying, "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall 
call on the name of the Lord, shall be saved." This promise 
they do not regard, but direct all their effort to calling atten- 
tion to the thirty-eighth verse, so changing it as to make it to 
moan, "Be immersed in order to the remission of sins." Dr. 
Clarke, and others of the most learned critics, do not render eis, 
the Greefe preposition in that text, translated for, "in order to." 
Even Peter positively contradicts them in reference to his 
words at Pentecost. He says, Baptism is "not the putting 
away of the 'filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience 
toward God." I. Peter in. 21. Can the conscience be made 
good without the remission of sins? This is before "baptism." 
Paul says, " Having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, 
and our bodies washed with pure water." Heb. x. 22. Then 
must not sin be remitted according to the one order of God, and 
the hearts be made pure before baptism? !Ai'ter Jesus had 
cleansed the leper he said : "Go and make an offering for thy 
cleansing." Mark'i. 44. Was the leper to offer for his cleans- 
ing in order to get cleansed when he was already cleansed, or 
was he to make the offering for having been cleansed ? Which 
was it? Then were not their sins at Pentecost remitted 
through faith and repentance, for which Peter commanded 
them to be baptized? Is not the leper's and that parallel cases? 
"For," in Acts n. 38, does not mean in order to, but is to be 
understood as in parallel texts. Take Hebrews, the tenth 
chapter, for an example: "Sacrifices for sin" (v. 6); "offer- 
ings for sin" (v. 8) ; "once for all" (v. 10) ; "sacrifice for sins" 
(v. 12); " offering for sin" (v. 18); "sacrifice for sins" (v. 26). 
Not in one case here can for mean " in order to." There is not 
one text in the Bible that plainly states their doctrine. In Acts 
n. 38, their favorite texts, they have to supply, by their own 
opinion, the words water, immersion, and in order to, none of 
which are stated; and even then it is through repentance, 
faith, and prayer that remission comes, baptism being the 
answer of a good conscience (I. Peter in. 21), the offering of 
the good (Matt. in. 15). They deny too much. They say that 
Christ did not preach the gospel in fall, for he could not preach 
his own resurrection. Jesus thus reproves them: "O fools, 
and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken ! 
Then opened he their understanding, that they might under- 
stand the Scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written and 
thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the 
third day: and. that repentance and remission of sins should be 



192 L1FK OF 

preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusa-* 
lem." Luke xxiv. 24^48. But Mr. Campbell's preachers deny 
these things. Did not Christ preach the resurrection and say 
that he would rise the third day? Did he not preach his own 
resurrection when he said to Mary : " Go and tell my brethren 
that I am risen." Matt, xxviii. 6, 7 ; Mark xvi. 6, 7, 8; Luke 
xxiv. 23, 24, 25 ; John xx. 15, 16, 17. Paul says Christ's res- 
urrection is the confirmation and " assurance" of the gospel. 
Acts xvii. 31 ; I. Corinthians xv. 14, 15. Christ's resurrection 
is connected with the gospel, proving it true, as testimony 
proves a case in court. Paul said " if Christ be not risen, then 
is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain." What 
right have they to say that Jesus' preaching was in vain as he 
preached only part of the gospel, and so contradict God's word? 
That system is based upon the denial of the four plain gospel truths: 
First: They say that Christ was not king while upon earth. 
Second : They deny that Christ preached the gospel. Third : 
They say that Christ was not priest while on earth. Fourth : 
They deny that there was any kingdom of heaven upon earth 
while Jesus, the lord of glory, was here. Let us look at a brief 
contrast between 'God's word and that system. Jesus says, "He 
(God) hath anointed me to preach the gospel." Luke iv. 18. 
They say God never anointed his Son to preach the gospel. 
"Jesus went about all Galilee preaching the gospel." Matt iv. 
23. They say Christ did not preach the gospel in Galilee. 
"Jesus went about all the cities preaching the gospel," etc. 
Matt. ix. 25 ; Mark I. 14. Tney say it was not the gospel he 
preached. Jesus said, " To the poor the gospel is preached." 
Matt. xi. 5 ; Luke vn. 22. They say the gospel was not preached 
to the poor nor to any body else till Peter preached it at Pen- 
tecost. Of .the many passages that might be adduced we quote 
one more. Jesus says, "This gospel of the kingdom . shall 
be preached in all the world, and then shall the end come. 1 * 
Matt. xxiv. 14. Is not "this gospel," then, that Jesus himself 
preached (not Peter), the one and only gospel ever to be 
preached? Peter never preached any other gospel; hence he 
is slandered by them. That sect, to sustain their system, also 
denies that there was any kingdom of heaven on earth while 
Christ was here, or that he was then priest or king. Said Christ 
" The kingdom of heaven is (now) like a grain of mustard- 
seed." It is like leaven." "It is like a net cast into the sea." 
"It is like a sower." "It is like a householder," etc. They 
say, not so ; there was then no kingdom of heaven in the likeness 
of any thing. Jesus said, " Woe unto you, Pharisees, for you 
shut up the kingdom of heaven." Matt. xxni. 13. They Bay there 
was no kingdom of heaven to shut up. Jesus said, " Publicans 
and harlots go into the kingdom of God before you, Pharisees." 
Matt. xxi. 31. They say there was then no kingdom of heaven to 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 1WJ 

go into.. Jesus said, " Tho law and the prophets wore until John } 
Bince that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man 
presseth into it." Luke xvi. 16. Campbellites say, not so; Peter- 
first preached that kingdom at Pentecost. How could every man 
press into tho kingdom of heaven if there were no kingdom 
set up ? Do not all evangelical denominations agree that Jesus 
•was anointed prophet, priest, and king, by tho Holy Spirit 
immediately after his baptism? If he was not priest, how could 
ho make tho offering for man's sins and tho atonement, when 
he "offered himself without spot to God?" (Hebrews ix. 14), 
and " by one offering perfected forever them that arc satctificd?" 
Hebrews x. 14. If, as they say, he was not priest, he had no 
more right to offer sacrifice than Ahab. Was ho king? Let 
us see. When ho rode into Jerusalem the multitude shouted, 
saying, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; behold, thy 
King cometh unto thee," etc. Zechariah x. 9; Matt. xxi. 1-6. 
Afc, say that sect, they were all deluded fanatics. He was not 
king. That system, founded upon a fancy, requires the denial 
of these facts and texts. Like the "living child," it dies if di- 
vided, and the word of God, tho sword of tho Sjurit, would 
divido and destroy it if believed. Therefore, as tho Pour Gos- 
pels condemn their system, they condemn the gospel of Christ, 
and deny his authority. Their first effort, w T hen they begin at 
a place, is to prove that immersion is the only modo of baptism, 
thus enlisting baptist sympathy ; next, they teach that as three 
acts broke tho union between Adam and God, the last ono be- 
ing his ejection from the garden, which changed his state, so 
three acts reunite man and God, to-wit: faith, repentance, and 
immersion; by tho last one — immersion — his state being 
changed. In this they pervert the Scriptures. Adam's state 
was changed before he was driven from Eden. Webster says, 
" State, as to men and things, is situation, condition," as the 
state of the mind, health, etc. So Adam's state or condition was 
changed when he disobeyed God and hid himself, before he left 
the garden. An infidel's state is changed as soon as ho believes 
on the Lord Jesus Christ with all his ".heart unto righteous- 
ness." Their reasoning, like the whole system, is false. They 
quote: "Ho that believeth and is baptized (immersed) shall 
be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned" ("Mark 
xvi. 16) ; from which they infer that all will bo damnccl who 
are not immersed in water. Jesus knew that every man could 
believe, while the condition of some might prevent their being 
baptized ; hence he did not say that believers are damned if not 
baptized. They connect with the above text John in. 5 : " Ex- 
cept a man bo born of water and of the Spirit, he can not enter 
into the kingdom of God." If born here means immerse, then 
woe to the Campbellites! for they are not immersed in the 
Spirit, and are thus condemned by the text they quote to con- 
13 



194 LIFE OJP 

demn others. " Happy is he that condemneth not himself* in 
that thing which he alloweth." Romans xiv. 22. They quote 
the text to prove that none can enter the kingdom of heaven 
except the immersed, which is, however, such a horrible doc- 
trine, that they abandon it while trying to prove it, and 
fall back on the subterfuge that it is only the earthly 
kingdom that is meant. This shows that they are ashamed 
or afraid of their own doctrine, and hence do not believe it. 
Christ's kingdom is one in earth or heaven. And it is 
pitiable to see ministers try to prove that men can 
enter God's church, above whom they keep out of their 
church below. None can hope to enter there who are 
unprepared for membership here. There must be a "new 
birth. This birth presupposes remission. "This is the cove- 
nant that I will make with them after those days, saith the 
Lord ; I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds 
will I write them." "And their sins and iniquities will I re- 
member no more.'' "Now where remission of these is, there is 
no more offering for sin." Heb. x. 16-18. It is evident, there- 
fore, that Christ did not mean baptism, as there is no text 
which calls baptism a birth, nor is it literal water, but the gospel 
of which the prophet says, "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come 
ye to the waters." Isaiah lv. 1. Jesus told the Samaritan 
woman if she had asked of him, he would have given her living 
water, John iv. 10, 15. "Jesus cried, If any man thirst, let 
him come unto me and drink." John vn. 37. Peter says that 
we are "born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorrupti- 
ble, by the word of God (the gospel), which liveth and abideth 
forever" (I. Peter I. 23), i. e., not by the corruptible element of 
water, but through faith in the gospel, and the influence of tho 
Holy Spirit. The word of God has simplified the new birth, 
and made it plain, by assuring us that " whosoever loveth God 
is born of God." I. John iv. 7. Hence, if we love God before 
immersion, and so are born of God before immersion, our sins 
are forgiven before immersion. Some plead that if a person 
can not be immersed, God will pardon without it. This yields 
the question, for they thus admit the truth that conversion is 
the point of pardon. No one can believe that God forgives one 
immediately because he can never be baptized, but keeps the 
other in his sins because he can be baptized in an hour, next 
day, or next week or year. They w r ho love God keep his 
"commandments." Because they are born again, and hence 
-children, and love their Father, they keep his commandments, 
not to make them children. According to that system, sinners 
are immersed before they love God, to make them love him. 
That sect repeats, " Arise and be baptized, and wash away thy 
sins," as equivalent to remit thy sins. So they teach that 
Paul was commanded to pardon himself, that is, to "wash 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 195 

away" (remit) his own internal sins and corruption. What are 
the facts? Paul was blind, believing, repenting, and praying, 
•being already an ordained minister of the gospel. Threo days 
Oefore his baptism, Jesus ordained him to the ministry, saying, 
"NOW I send thee.*' "I have appeared unto thee for this pur- 
pose, to mako thee a minister and a witness both of these 
things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which 
I will appear unto thee, delivering thee from tho people and 
from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, to open their 
eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the 
power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of 
sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith 
that is in me." Acts xxvi. 16-18. When any believed in Jesus, 
he, at that time, immediately owned them as his disciples, with- 
out commanding them to be first immersed. When Ananias, a 
disciple of the l*ord Jesus, entered into the house where Saul 
lay, he, putting his hands on him, said, " Brother Saul, the Lord 
(even Jesus that appeared unto thee in tho way as thou earnest) 
hath sent me, that tnou mightest receive thy sight, and bo filled 
with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes 
as it had been scales : and he received sight." Acts ix. 17. The 
natural inference is that he received the Holy Ghost at the same 
time that he received his sight, tho Holy Ghost restoring him to 
sight. As Paul's eyes were opened and ho was filled with the 
Holy Ghost, so his sins werepardoned before he was commanded 
-to " wash away his sins." The only sins that Paul could or did 
" wash away " by being baptized, were his external sins or char- 
acter of persecuter. By baptism he put on a new character, 
"being no longer Saul the persecutor, but Paul the Christian. Is 
that not plain? Who can deny it? I said to a preacher of that 
system a few weeks ago : Do you believe that during the law 
and the prophets it was tho one order of God to grant remission 
of sins through faith and repent&nce ? He answered yes. Do 
you believe that Christ practiced the same during his ministry 
while here on earth ? He answered yes. Do you believe that 
since Peter preached tho gospel on the day of Pentecost it is the 
one order of God, and tho only one, that sin can bo remitted 
only in immersion? He answered yes. Said I, is not such a 
gospel almost an entire failure as to man's salvation, for there 
are nearly nine hundred and ninety-nine out of every thousand 
professed Christians who do not believe it, and never were im- 
messed? If it is true, they are eternally lost who might have 
been saved before Christ died. Would it not have been bettof 
to let the order of remission of sins as under tho law and the 
prophets, and the teaching of Christ, continue? Would not 
man's condition be far better without such a gospel as you' say 
Peter preached ? Or had it never been heard of? Ho looked 
thoughtful, but there was no reply. A few admit that some aro 



196 LIFE OP 

saved without immersion. I ask them, how can they get to 
heaven unpardoned? No answer. As an objection to that 
system, I have alluded to the condition of the hundreds of our 
poor Union soldiers, who, far away from home and friends, were 
starved to death in rebel prisons. Many of th em believed, prayed, 
and repented before death, and said they obtained pardon and 
peace, and sent this word home to their connections and friends 
to console them. But, according to that system, they were 
deceived, and are all eternally lost because they could not be 
immersed. A preacher told his confiding hearers, it is said, that 
there was plenty of water in the rebel prisons, and all could 
have been immersed ! They have frequently proposed a union 
with the Christians, but the proscriptive platform of their oral 
creed is quite top narrow. Intelligent Christians desire no plat- 
form too narrow for all God's children, hence there is no proba- 
bility of the two people uniting, unless they enlarge their 
platform. Is it not- well known that Christians have more affinity 
of feeling and harmony of views with the Baptists, Presbyte- 
rians, or Methodists, than with them ? Can it be believed that 
the God of infinite love and tender mercy is the author of a 
system by which man's condition is such that he can not get 
remission of sins without being dependent on his fellow-man to 
immerse him^ or be eternally lost? Never, never! The ele- 
ments of that system were arranged by Mr. A. Campbell, and 
he founded that sect upon them. Ho was a man of some learn- 
ing and greatness, but, like others of that kind, ho made a great 
mistake, such as none but great men can make. Small men can 
not make great mistakes. "A little learning is a dangerous 
thing" in sect -building, without humility. Mr. Campbell's sys- 
tem dooms to perdition all mankind except his own sect, and 
Mormons, and such Catholics as may be immersed. For the 
Baptists, though immersed, not being immersed in order to 
remission of sins, their baptism avails nothing for pardon, and 
they must abide their fate with the rest. As Christ, our pattern, 
when baptized, had no sin to remit, but was the holy Son of 
God before baptism, we should be holy, and, having our sins 
remitted, go to the water as his followers and as children of 
God. Baptism can not make us children, for we are "born, not 
of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, 
but of God." John 1. 13. If their system is true, the Mormons, 
who immerse as often as they sin, take the safe course. Immer- 
sion in order to remission was introduced among them by 
Sydney Eigdon, the first Baptist preacher who followed Mr. 
Campbell. Ho did not stop, like Mr. Campbell, but went on to 
the Mormons, and went on immersing for remission. And why 
not? There is no Scripture which says that baptism is only for 
our first or past sins and not for the sins of all our life. Hav- 
ing carefully investigated Mr. Campbell's system for more than 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 197 

forty years, and having had discussions with one of their ablest 
debaters (Elder John B. Lucas), we know that the foregoing 
statements are correct, and can not bo answered or denied with 
truth. 

" Fullness of the Gospel of Christ " — Conclusion. — Paul said in 
the gospel "the righteousness of God is revealed from. faith to 
faith," etc. Eomans I. 17. That is, God's righteous plan of 
salvation is proposed and offered to all mankind in the "gospel 
of Christ." As the gospel was preached to Abraham, he bo- 
lieved, and was justified by faith, so all who now believe the 
" gospel of Christ" are justified witji faithful Abraham. Thus it 
is from Abraham to Christ, "from faith to faith." "If ye are 
Christ's followers by faith, then are ye Abraham's seed and 
heirs, according to the promise." Galatians in. 6,28. "The 
fullness of the gospel of Christ" is as high as the throne of the 
universe, deep as the woes and sorrows of sin, and broad as 
earth's remotest bounds. The most lonely, wretched condition 
in which fallen man can be situated in this dark, friendless 
world of affliction and tears, is not beyond its fullness. The 
boundlessness of "the gospel of Christ" interests the angels so 
much, that "there is joy in the presence of the angels of God 
over one sinner that repenteth." This proves that the sinner 
is pardoned when he repents, and before immersion. Would 
the angels rejoice over an unpardoned sinner — a child of the 
devil? Behold that young man! Years before becoming 
of age, he longed for the time to come when he should bo freo 
from parental restraint ! The day long desired has come. The 
world's wealth, long glittering in his view, he is determined to 
possess. He undertakes an enterprise in a far country. Ho 
has many friends till all his money is gone. Most of his for- 
tune is spent in reveling and vain amusements. His enterprises 
all fail, and he is in a distant land, without money or friends. 
He remembers home, thinks of his mother and her kindness, 
recollects father and the family prayers. His early convictions 
are awakened anew. The gospel invites him to come to Jesus. 
He resolves to try. He goes out alone to pray. Ho fears and 
trembles. The tempter says, "You are too great a sinner to 
pray." He hesitates, but finally says, "If I perish, it shall be 
at Jesus' feet." He kneels down and says, " Oh, God, be merci- 
ful to me, a poor sinner! Save, Lord, or I perish!" He finds 
peace in believing the gospel, and says, "Jesus, thou art the 
sinner's friend! thou art my friend!" See the tender, affec- 
tionate mother! She has watched days and nights, without 
sleep, at the cradle of her sick babe. Great has been the con- 
flict between her hopes and fears ; but the angel of death came. 
The lovely child is cold in death's arms. That mother has 
pressed her darling to her bosom for the last time, and now 
prints the last kiss upon its death-chilled lips, while crystal 



198 LIFE OF 

tear-drops bid the long farewell. She says, "My child is no 
more mine, it has gone to Jesus." "IIow do you know, 
mother ?" " The gospel of Christ tells me so." Jesus took lit- 
tle children in his arms and blessed them, and said, tc Of such is 
the kingdom of heaven." We visit the graves of departed chil* 
dren and friends, and, lingering there, call to recollection their 
looks, their smiles, and their last words. But, ah ! they are gone. 
Where are they? The gospel tells us that they are beyond the 
reach of pain, sickness, sorrow, and death, and that, after a few 
more sighs have heaved our bosoms, and a few more sorrows 
wrung our hearts, we will join their society, where Jesus is. 
While writing, "tears unbidden start." Children and friends 
are gone. The gospel has set a lighted lamp at the entrance of 
"the dark valley of the shadow of death," which shines all the 
way through. Many friends and brethren will doubtless read the 
foregoing remarks who have never seen the writer, and many 
others with whom he has bowed at the altar of prayer, but whom 
he will meet no more in this world. May the Lord help us so 
to live that we will have a tranquil hour in which to die, and 
afterward meet in heaven. Farewell, in bonds ,of love, and in 
"fullness of the gospel of Christ." Both pamphlets on Camp- 
bellism, as republished in one, may be obtained, with the obser- 
vations, in the unabridged form, at the Christian Publishing 
House, at Dayton, Ohio. 

The Effed. — Soon after the publication of this pamphlet, as 
I was returning to my home through Ripley, my attention was 
called tb an article in the pa*per, professing to be a review or 
correction of my statements. It was signed by Elder H. T. 
Buff, the Campbellite preacher of that town. He represented 
that my statements were misrepresentations; my remarks 
abusive; my object being to make money in the sale of the 
pamphlet; and he appealed to the people whom he excludes 
from the name of Christians, for sympathy. Of course I re- 
plied. He tried to enlist the people's sympathy by the pretense 
that by my publication I persecuted them. To this I answered 
about as follows: The Campbellites doom all the Christian 
world to eternal perdition, except the few who are of their 
own faith ; and because we object to being lost, they cry out 
that we persecute them. They pretend to rely on a thus saith 
the Lord, and when we bring the "thus saith the Lord" and 
prove their system to be wrong, and reverse their decision, 
they raise the cry of persecution. 

Money-Making. — He represented that I published the work 
to make money. I replied that I sold them for fifty cents per 
dozen, and five cents each, post-paid, which would hardly pay for 
the paper and printing. I might have offered them free; but 
then the Campbellites would have procured all that they could 
and would have burned them. That same preacher had bor- 



MATTHKW UARDNEK. 199 

rowed fifty dollars of me more than seven years before, and I 
had not seen or heard of him for over five years. When I 
learned that he had come to Ripley I presented the note, 
amounting, with interest at six per cent, to over seventy-one 
dollars. I gave him twenty-one dollars off of his lawful debt. 
If I loved money so much, why did I give him twenty-one dol- 
lars? Of Elder H. T. Buff's pretended "review" I said, "We 
wish it distinctly understood that he does not deny a single one 
of the five fundamental tenets of the Camp bel lite sect, which I 
presented, to-wit : 

" First : Jesus Christ never preached the gospel contrary to 
the thus saith the Lord ; ' Jesus came into Galillee, preaching 
the gospel of the kingdom of God. 1 Mark i. 14; Luke iv. 18. 

" Second : The kingdom of heaven was not set up while Christ 
was here contrary to the thus saith the Lord ; * The kingdom 
of God is come unto you.' Matt. xn. 28 ; Luke xvi. 16. 

" Third : Christ was not king while in this world ; contradicting 
the thus saith the Lord; * Where is he that is born king of the 
Jews.' Matt. n. 2 ; John xn. 13. 

"Fourth : Christ was not priest while h ere ; contrary to the thus 
saith the Lord ; * Christ being come an high priest. 1 Heb. ix. 11. 

" Fifth : There can be no remission of sins without immersion ; 
contrary to the thussaiththe Lord ; * Whosoever believeth in him 
shall receive remission of sins.' " Acts x. 43. 

Although he has not denied that these are their fundamental 
tenets, he makes the sweeping charge that both my publications 
in reference to Mr. Campbell are a "mass of misrepresenta- 
tion" and abuse. This accusation could not be decided by 
arguments between gentlemen, not to say Christians, so I made 
the following proposition : I will submit Mr. Campbell's works 
and my two publications to three disinterested ministers — to bo 
agreed upon — not of the Campbellites of Christians. And if 
they decide as he has asserted, I will confess that I have been mis- 
taken, and I will pay the referees for their timo. If they do 
not so decide, the opposite party shall do tho same. If that 
accuser will not accept this equitable proposition, will not all 
honorable people view him as a false accuser and defamer? I 
wrote these publications in view of the judgment-day. I know 
them to be true, hence make this proposition. That has been 
before the people for several weeks, and there is no word of 
Elder H. T. Buff or any one else accepting it. Of course they 
never will. 

Labors at Seventy-seven! — While engaged during the winter 
of 1868 in writing my pamphlet on Campbellism, I felt the 
same anxiety to preach as formerly, and had appointments made 
for every Sabbath in April and May. On one Lord's-day in 
April I preached three times and rode fifteen miles, which was 
going beyond my strength, and laid me up for some days. Tho 



200 LIFE OF 

second Loni's-day I preached in the Christian chapel in Ripley. 
80011 after the publication of my pamphlet, an appointment bad 
been published in the Ripley papers for me to preach there on 
the subject of " justification by faith." It rained very hard that 
day and without intermission. The congregation was large for 
such a day, but as many were prevented coming by the rain, 1 
acceded to the request of the friends, and took a vote of the 
congregation whether I should preach on the above subject then 
or defer it. The vote decided for a future day; so I appointed 
the fourth Sunday in May to speak on justification, and took up 
another subject at this time. 

Union Christian College. — I had subscribed one thousand dollars 
to the endowment fund of Union Christian College, on condition 
that sixty thousand dollars were raised. On being informed 
that the condition was fulfilled, I, according to previous arrange- 
ment, went to Cincinnati, and there at the house of Elder is. 
Summer bell I met the treasurer of said college, on the 30 th day 
of April, 1868, and paid to the college, as a donation, one thou- 
sand dollars. The sixty thousand now made up, of which my 
one thousand w T as a part, made the endowment one hundred 
thousand dollars, forty thousand having been raised during the 
first years of the college. I had before taken a share of stock 
for one hundred dollars ; w T hich makes eleven hundred dollars 
that I have given in all to Union Christian College. 

Our Son is Dead I — May has come with its usual beauty, but 
it brings deep gloom to our house, sorrow to my heart, and 
mourning to all our famil}^. Our son, George Washington 
Gardner, died on the 7th day of May, 1868, aged fifty years, 
three months, and seven days. He w r as a deacon in the Chris- 
tian Church, and was considered by all who knew him a very 
correct and upright man. He was a farmer, and by industry 
and frugality he had increased in property so that his income 
in 1867 amounted to over four thousand dollars. I greatly miss 
him. I can hardly think him dead, but must believe it. Of all 
our sons, there remains not one whose counsel I preferred in 
my secular affairs to his. Washington, our son, is gone, and 
can not return. My heart swells, and my tears flow. Oh , blessed 
hope of immortality! We shall meet again ; meet our loved 
ones, to part no more, in that world where "there shall be no 
more death." The 1st day of June, 1868, is here, and I have been 
able, through grace, to preach every Lord's-day since the 1st of 
April. Yesterday, the 31st day of May, 1868,1 preached twice 
to quite large congregations at different places, and rode about 
twelve miles, reaching home a little after sundown, quite weary. 

Sunstroke. — It is July. The weather is warmer than I ever 
remember it to have been in this climate. Every day of the 
first part of this month it ranged from 95° to 100° Farenheit, 
in the shade, and to-day, the 14th. the mercury stands at 102°. 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 201 

As I was riding along the hank of the Ohio River, returning 
from visiting three of our children who live about eighteen miles 
down the river, I was on the north side of the river, exposed 
to the burning rays of the sun from above, and its powerful 
reflection from the water, when I was sun-struck. I was about 
falling from my horse, but a house w r as near and a friend helped 
nie down from my horse and administered to my recovery. 
After an hour or so, I ventured to proceed on my. journey, but 
I had not gone far till the effects returned. Happily I was near 
a covered bridge-, where I sought shelter. Here it seemed as if 
I must die. However, after a time, I started again. Ripley 
was near, and by great resolution I reached it. There I ob- 
tained medical aid, and finally reached home ; but I still feel 
the effect of that "sun-stroke." My adjourned appointment to 
preach on "justification by faith" at Ripley, on the fourth 
Lord's-day in May, was recalled on account of the repairing of 
the chapel at that time. The appointment was not renewed 
during the warm weather, on account of my feeble health and 
other labors ; but the people still kept requesting it, and I at 
length consented to speak there on the first Lord's-day in Sep- 
tember, at half-past three. This time was chosen, when other 
churches had no services, that both preachers and people might 
attend. 

Bain — New 3foon and Old Tradition. — About two weeks or 
more before the Ripley appointment, it rained on the first Sun- 
day of the new moon. I have long observed that, if it rains on 
the first Sunday of the new moon, it will generally rain on 
every Sunday of that moon. The second Sunday of the moon 
came. It rained again. It was a wet spell of weather. I then 
prayed to the, Lord that it might not rain on that day. I be- 
lieve that this prayer w T as heard and answered in effect. 

The Meeting. — I requested the first bell to bo rung a little be- 
fore half-past three. By that hour a largo congregation was 
present. As is my custom, I arose at exactly the time, and 
began to read the first hymn. I had read a few lines when the 
sexton began to ring the second bell. I paused, and requested 
him to stop ringing that bell, which he did. I then proceeded, 
and opened the service in the usual way. Text — "Therefore 
being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our 
Lord Jesus Christ." Romans v. 1. To illustrate the apostle's 
meaning, I read the fourth chapter, to which the text refers, 
showing how Abraham was justified by faith: "For if Abra- 
ham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory, but not 
before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed 
God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to 
him that worketh, is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of 
debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that 
justifieth the ungodly his faith is counted for righteousness. 



202 LIFE OF 

Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man unto 
whom God imputeth righteousness without works." .Romans 
iv. verses 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Thus proving that as Abraham and 
David were, so all that believe, both Jews and Gentiles, are 
" justified by faith." I read the part of the tenth chapter of 
Genesis, where it is recorded that God brought Abraham "forth 
abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, 
if thou be able to number them : and he said unto him, So shall 
thy seed be. And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it 
to him for righteousness." Then Abraham was justified while 
alone with his God ; but now, according to Mr. Campbell, God 
alone could not forgive or justify a believer, but must have a 
man with him to immerse. But God's way with Abraham is 
the true gospel plan, for ."it was not written for his sake alone, 
that it was imputed to him ; but for us also, to whom it shall be 
imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord 
from the dead" (Eomans iv. 25), as witnessed by "all the 
prophets." Acts x. 43. The large congregation gave profound 
attention. There was no rain on that day, except a short 
sprinkle during service; but the next Sunday, which was the 
fourth Sabbath of that moon, and the second in the month, it 
rained incessantly nearly all day. Summer is gone, and Au- 
tumn has come. It is now September the 24th. The "farewell 
summer" flower, the last flower of the season, stands near the 
door of my study, and is now in full bloom. It looks to me 
mournfully beautiful. It calls to memory scenes of the past — 
past, never to return, and foretells winter, dreary winter, com- 
ing. I have been able to preach almost every Lord's-day dur- 
ing the past summer, except on the extremely hot days. During 
the past week I have been so very sick as to require help to get 
out of bed. I attribute this to the effects, in part, of the sun- 
stroke in July. I am now able to sit up and write a little. 

Conference of 1868. — The forty-ninth annual session of the 
Southern Ohio Christian Conference met at Pisgah, October 24, 
1868. There was a large attendance. The reports showed 
general peace and prosperity. Ten ministers united with the 
conference. Three of them were ordained elders who had pre- 
viously belonged elsewhere. Two were young men who had 
embraced religion in this conference and preached some. One 
belonged to the Freemasons and the other to the Odd-Fellows, 
and neither would agree to discontinue meeting with these se- 
cret societies. I objected, therefore, to their reception. Among 
other objections, I urged that ministers could not have full and 
confiding faith in God and his promises for support and pro- 
tection who belonged to these secret conclaves, as they admit 
that they belong there to obtain support in time of need. 
Therefore, they do not put their trust in God. No man can be* 
unreservedly consecrated to God, whose trust is in these seer 





MATTHEW GARDNER 203 

combinations. The minister of our Lord Jesus Christ, who 
goes forth to preach his gospel, should trust in the living God, 
who taketh care of the failing sparrow, they were received by a 
majority vote, which all acquainted with the New Testament 
know is contrary to the gospel of Christ, which teaches that 
the church is to act with one accord. It is also contrary to 
the rules of the Masonic order, and the order of Odd-Fellows, 
both of which require the vote to be unanimous. My objections 
•were offered in a spirit of kindness ; and when the candidates 
were received I gave them the hand, requesting them in the 
name of the Lord to forsake these societies, and to be faithful 
and trust in God. Their tears seemed to promise compliance 
The Ordination. There were two ministers ordained during* 
the conference, by whose request I officiated, and gave them 
their charge as elders and ministers of the gospel of our Lord 
Jesus Christ. I, among other things, charged them that they 
should make their whole lives living, practical sermons. When 
the business was through, it was voted that I should give the 
closing address. This I did in a few remarks upon the uncer- 
tainty of our ever meeting again in this world. I then turned 
to our hope of a glorious meeting above, and so bid them fare- 
well. This conference was first organized in October, 1820. 
This was its forty-ninth annual session, every one of which, 
by divine grace, 1 have been able to attend. December 5, 1868, 
is here, and with it the dreary cold winter has come again. 
This is my birthday. I am now seventy* eight years old. 

Three-score and eighteen years have flown, 

And I am here a pilgrim still ; 
Two-score and eighteen years are gone 

Since I began to do God's will. 

Thanks.— I thank God for his boundless grace, his loving kind- 
ness and tender mercy toward unworthy me. My health is 
better than is common for men of my age. My voice is but 
little impaired ; 1 can speak and sing, friends tell me, nearly as 
well as ever. My hearing is good ; my eyesight has returned, 
and I can see to read without glasses ; for all of which, and 
abundance of grace, I thank my heavenly Father, nor can I 
praise his holy name enough. 

Prayer. — O God, I pray and beseech thee, in the name of Jesus 
Christ, thy Son, do not take thy loving kindness from me in my 
declining years. Let thy Holy Spirit guide me. O blessed 
Savior, when it is thy will to take me hence, let my sun go down 
in peace, without an intervening cloud. And O my only God 
and Father, do give me an easy transit through the valley and 
shadow of death, into thine everlasting kingdom of peace and 
glory. And " all honor and praise be unto Him that sitteth upon 
the throne, and nnto the Lamb, forever and ever." Amen. 



204 LIFE OF 

A Funeral. — A pious sister of the Bethlehem Church, when, 
upon her dying bed, requested that I should preach her funeral 
sermon, before her burial, and I was sent for; but on account 
of the great fall of rain on that day, and it being twelve miles, 
it seemed imprudent to expose myself in my feeble state of 
health, so I gave an appointment to preach the funeral at the 
chapel on the 6th of December, at eleven o'clock, which I did. 
My text was Job xvi. 22. After the sermon 1 rode twelve miles 
to my home, to be with my aged companion, the wife of my 
youth, my helpmeet in my eventful life. She is nigh unto death 
with asthma and dropsy. I found her about as she was when I 
left home — fast declining, with no hope of long remaining with 
us. 

CJiristmas, 1868. — We once more behold the returning Christ- 
mas morning. This is my seventy-ninth Christmas. It is a 
clear day, with bright sunshine, and the ground covered with 
snow. The weather is cold for this climate ; the mercury stands 
ten degrees above zero, but it is not so cold as it was a few 
days ago. The mercury has been below zero. I thank God for 
peace of mind, and as good health as I do enjoy, though I am 
mostly confined to my room. 

New Year's, 1869. — The old year is gone, never to return, and 
the first day of another year has come. It is a dark, rainy day. 
A dark New Year's day is said to signify that the coldest part 
of the winter is past. Oh, how many have wept at the dying 
pillows and the graves of loved ones that have departed during 
the past year ; and 1 with others ! One year ago my beloved son, 
"Washington, was alive. Now he is gone ; gone, never to return. 
There is not another thing that should interest us more than 
death with its solemnities ! What numbers on their dyeing beds 
have mourned for misspent lives ! How many would have given 
worlds, if theirs to give, for the privilege of living their lives 
over again, to be prepared for death? But time, once gone, is 
gone forever. 

Millions of sighs, and floods of tears, 

Can not recall time past, 
Nor stem the tide of rolling years, 

Yet time we vainly waste. 

How He Became Wealthy. — Having begun the world compara- 
tively poor, I was under the necessity of adopting a system of 
rigid economy and frugality, which became so habitual as to bo 
like a second nature to me. Consequently, when 1 had accumu- 
lated property, it seemed impossible to depart from my old 
habits, even in regard to time and apparel ; in taking care of 
my clothing and shoes, being careful to make every thing last 
and do service as long as possible. 

Four Fairs of Old Shoes. — I have now a pair of old coarse 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 205 

leather shoes that I, have worn more or less every year for 
twenty years. Five or six years they were the only shoes I 
wore at all when about home. I wear them yet in the house 
at times, but not out-doors, as for several years past they could 
not keep out the water. I have thought of throwing them 
aside, but am unwilling, and feel almost sorry to part with 
them. It seems like parting with old friends. I have had but 
four pairs ofshoes in twenty years, and no boots at all. These 
four pairs of shoes — two pairs of coarse leather and two of calt- 
skin — have lasted me, and are lasting yet. The coarse pair 
first named are about worn out. The second coarse pair are 
about two-thirds worn. The first calfskin-pair are about three- 
fourths worn, while the other pair are not yet quite half- worn 
out. I wear shoes all the time, both winter and summer. I 
never wore out but one pair of boots in my life. When our 
grandsons — now young men — one after another, come to see us 
I show them these four pairs of shoes, particularly the twenty- 
year-old pair, and inquire the cost of their boots and shoes 
during one year. None give the cost less than from fifteen to 
twenty dollars. One said, " Twenty-five dollars a year." Said 
I, " The whole cost of my shoes has not been more than from 
ten to twelve dollars in twenty years, while yours, at the rate 
you say, must cost you five hundred dollars for the same time." 
Then I tell them that it was the aforesaid economy and fru- 
gality that enabled me to give any thing to their parents or to 
them. I do this to teach them that economy is the road to 
wealth, while extravagance is the road to ruin. My clothing 
of all kinds, including shoes, etc., has not cost me more than 
ten or twelve dollars a year. The old overcoat I now have, 
though I have traveled much, is the only one that I have had 
or worn during twenty years. It was a remarkable piece of 
cloth, and has never been wet through, though 1 have worn it 
in many heavy rains. It is not yet half-worn out. My other 
clothing has lasted about as proportionately long. These facts 
may seem strange to some, in the present age of extravagance 
and pride, yet they are true. 

The old Pocket-Knife, — I have in my pocket now a small, 
two-bladed pocket-knife, which I have carried more than 
thirty-five years. The first blade I wore out and got another 
put in, which I broke, and then had another put in, which is in 
use now, and not very much worn. The small blade that was 
in it when I bought it is in it yet. When a boy, there was 
hardly an article which I prized more than a pocket-knife. It 
was hard for me to get one. They were high in price, and there 
were none near for sale, and I had little money to buy with ; 
hence if I lost my knife, which was seldom, I was so greatly 
troubled that I could hardly sleep at night. I finally adopted the 
plan, that when I used my knife never to lay it down, but put 



206 LIFE OP 

it carefully into my pocket ; and, if 1 lent it, to keep my eye upon 
the person till he was done with it, and if he did not seem to 
think to return it, remind him of it. So I have not lost my 
knife in either of these ways, since I have adopted said plan. 
Another part of the system is to be always certain that my 
pocket has no hole in it. Thus I have kept one and the same 
knife for thirty-five years. Why could not every man do the 
same if careful? The buckhorn handle of this knife is now 
nearly worn off. It may be said that a pocket-knife is of too 
little value to keep with such care — to preserve so long. I re- 
ply: the same care that will prevent its loss a month, will a 
year; or a year, ten years, and so on, till the knife is worn out. 
Is not this true ? Let it it be borne in mind, that small savings 
have made great estates, and that the old adage is true : " Take 
care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of them- 
selves." 

The Old Umbrella, — I have an umbrella that I have carried 
for more than twenty-five years. It has sheltered me in many 
heavy storms of rain and hail and snow. When the first cover 
was worn out I had a new one put on, and it is now nearly worn 
out. 

Fruits of Economy. — It was this rigid system of economy that 
enabled me, without salary from the churches, and dependent 
almost wholly upon my own resources, with Cod's blessing, to 
spend half of all my time in traveling and preaching during 
fifty-eight years, up to this time, and to support my family, and 
to give hundreds upon hundreds of dollars to aid in building 
Christian chapels, and to sustain the cause of religion in south- 
' ern-Ohio and elsewhere, and to give a great deal to the needy, 
and to give eleven hundred dollars to the endowment of Union 
Christian College. 

What He Had Left. — I have given to our children, eleven in 
number, dividing it equally among them, sixty thousand dollars, 
while I have nearly that amount yet left. My own wisdom and 
economy could not have accomplished all this. It has been 
done through and by the mercies and blessings of my heavenly 
Father. 

Disappointment. — We had five daughters. Four are yet living. 
One, Louisa Maria Devore, died in 1860, leaving seven children. 
As I was some time ago giving to each of my living children 
nearly four thousand dollars, and two of Louisa Maria Devore's 
children had come of age, I, as was right, proposed to give 
them their part of their mother's portion. The son is a little 
past twenty-one years of age, and has been married more than 
a year. He has no other means, and promised me a short time 
ago that when he got this he would put it in land to make him 
a home. On the 10th of this month, March, 1869, he, being the 
oldest of the two first coming of age, came to receive his part, 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 207 

it being a little over seven hundred dollars that he expected to 
receive. I now asked him what he intended to do with the 
money he expected to get. He answered, u I have been selling 
furniture during the last year on commission, and have used 
two hundred dollars of the owner's money. This I shall pay 
out of it first." I told him that he had promised me to put that 
money into land, and as he, a stout, hearty young man, had, 
without sickness, got in debt two hundred dollars in one year, 
he had better first pay that debt by his own industry and econ- 
omy, and after he did that I would give him the money with 
the interest. Like the young man in the gospel, " He went 
away sorrowful." There being few young men in the present 
day who know the worth of money by having earned it them- 
selves, they need lessons in economy. I considered it better 
for him to pay his debts from his own resources than to pay 
them from the money of his deceased mother. His case is one 
of many in our day and country, and is recorded for a lesson. 
Death of Elder John Phillips, March 16, 1869.— Elder Phillips, 
styled "Antioch John," from his active agency for Antioch Col- 
lege, is dead ! In the " Herald of Gospel Liberty " of March 13th, 
I see several biographical sketches of him. Soon after he got 
through with his agency he left Ohio and moved to Sullivan 
County, Indiana, where he purchased a large farm within three 
or four miles of Merom, on which he resided up to the time of 
his death. He had been on horseback to a county fair, and on 
his return home, when near his own house, his horse becoming 
frightened, sprang suddenly to one side and threw him. He was 
so greatly injured by the fall that he died in a few hours. He 
was buried by the Freemasons, whom he had joined a few years 
before, after having long been an extreme Antimason. That 
Elder Phillips possessed many traits of character worthy of 
approval, is admitted by all ; but that he had others quite as 
objectionable, few will deny. The sketches of Elder Phillips 
are not like the biographies of the Bible. They give what is 
favorable and unfavorable in men's character ; but these, like 
the popular biographies of men, present only what is favorable ; 
a character without blemish ; a life without deviation from the 
rule of right. Nearly all who knew Elder Phillips are willing 
to award to him honesty of purpose ; but he had his troubles, 
as other men. He had his suits at law, and an orphan boy 
obtained judgment against him in the court of Brown County, 
Ohio. He had his weaknesses, and was carried away with the 
delusions of Millerism. The college of which he was agent 
was lost, and the people lost their money ; but he got rich on 
the percentage. This is excused in the sketches, and charity 
forbids me to judge him. I freely forgive him all, and hope that 
the Lord has forgiven him. I can not decide that Elder John 
Phillips was either a wicked or a dishonest man. I, as well as 



208 LIFE OF 

he, have imperfections, and I leave his ease, with mine, to the 
Judge of all the earth, who will do right. 

May, 1869. — Having urgent business in Cincinnati, I went 
down to the city the first of this month, and spent a short time 
very pleasantly with Elder KST. Summerbell, whose company is 
always an intellectual feast to me. 

• The Birds. — May is here, with its green fields, verdant foliage, 
singing birds, and blooming flowers. After the cold, rainy 
months of March and April, the spring blossoms and verdure 
make May seem like a new world. In the trees near our house 
the feathered songsters are now warbling their sweetest notes. 
I never look at or listen with pleasure to birds deprived of their 
liberty. I love to see them, like these, uncaged and free. Oh, 
how delightful are their carroling songs to me ! They sing the 
same songs in the shade-trees now which the} r once sung in the 
dense, dark forest, when I was a boy not yet in my teens. They 
bring to my recollection the years when I was growing up, and 
my lonely wanderings then in the woods in search of straggling 
stock. They revive the emotions of sweet pleasure of return- 
ing home w T here my mother was. But soon stern reality dis- 
turbs the pleasing reverie. That kind mother was laid in the 
silent grave near thirty years ago, and 1, her little boy, am now 
in my seventy-ninth year, and must soon follow her and the 
dear children gone before. They, the few, and only they who 
have lived through the experience of a long life, can realize the 
almost superhuman sensations which I feel in contemplating 
the past events of my life, and calling up the countless tokens 
of a mother's tenderness, and reviewing the fading forms of 
friends of by-gone years. They are gone; but the birds sing on 
as they did when those w r ere here. When health permits, 1 yet 
follow my practice, once uniform in earlier years, of rising be- 
fore the sun. But the birds are up before me, singing their 
morning songs long before my rising time. At the first dawn 
of the morning, I listen to their clear, shrill songs, welcoming 
the coming day. These early singers come near my windows. 
They seem to praise God without our intervening, cumbrous 
ckres, troubles, and sorrows. They seem to call me to arise 
and join in their devotions, which 1 try to do. I usually sit 
out on the portico a long time every morning, to hear the birds 
sing, and meditate on the marvelous works of the great Creator. 
In a measure estranged from human society, I enjoy the com- 
pany of birds. I now personally experience that which I have 
long made the subject of meditation, that, with mankind in gen- 
eral, the young shun the society of the aged, while nearly all 
who study wisdom seek it. Nearly every young man who as- 
sociates uniformly with aged men becomes noted for knowl- 
edge. Such seem to feel that there is something yet to learn, 
and desire the benefit of the long experience of the aged. But 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 209 

the young in general prefer the thoughtless mood, the careless 
way, the unreserved and reckless risk, the laugh, and cheerful 
talk, and merry pastime. They seem to think themselves 
arrived at the zenith of knowledge, or at least that there is 
nothing more worth knowing. Prom these circumstances, I 
listen much to the warhling birds, which, with varied notes, 
continue all day long their cheerful songs, for my eyes will not 
permit continued writing, or even reading, and there are, with 
rare exceptions, no aged people near, and I am almost without 
human society, except when watching by my afflicted wife, the 
companion of my youth, whose recovery is hopeless, and whoso 
departure seems near. So, when wearied with watching, I 
listen to the birds' unwearied songs, to enliven my passing 
hours of contemplation and thoughts of God. 

Man's Best Companion, — Though deprived of liuman society, 
I am not alone. One friend, who was the guide of my youth, 
is the comfort of my age. The associate of former years does 
not fail me in my declining life. This friend took me while 
young, and introduced me into the society of Moses and the 
prophets, and apostles, and even to the Lord of glory, by whose 
instruction I learned that there is one supreme, infinitely good, 
and holy God, the Creator of the universe, and of angels and 
men, and in him we can trust. True, man sinned; but God is 
merciful! Man was lost; but God loved him, and sent his be- 
loved Son to save him; and all who will believe his words, and 
repent of their sins, and obey him, shall have eternal life. They 
taught me that beyond this world there is a heaven, a home of 
peace and happiness, for all the righteous, and that God will 
never leave nor forsake those who love and obey him, but will 
ever be with them. How could I be. lonely with such company, 
or sad with such a hope? Their instructions lead to hope in 
heaven, and direct me to many great and precious promises of 
my heavenly Father, which constantly inspire me with the 
blessed hope that, after I have put off this dull mortality, I shall 
join the general assembly and church of the first-born in heaven, 
and enjoy the harmonious society of loved ones who have gone 
before, in a world where sickness and sorrow, pain and death, 
are-felt and feared no more. This faithful companion has always 
been with me in all my conflicts to comfort me, in all my trials 
to strengthen me. Even when earthly friends failed me; when 
many were false, and others were fearful ; when envy rose up, 
and jealousy was fierce ; when floods of calumny came, and per- 
secution threatened to overwhelm me; when earthly friends 
faltered, turned against me, and stood aloof to see what would 
become of me, or left me to struggle alone or sink in the storm, 
— this friend assured me by many immutable promises, and en- 
couraged me by many examples of faithful endurance, and 
moral triumphs over wicked combinations. This ever reliables 
14 



210 LIFE OF 

companion is the word of God, which introduces us to the so- 
ciety of all the good in earth and heaven. Reader, I heartily 
recommend this friend to you. A man's best companion is the 
Bible! / 

Preaching. — Since spring has opened and summer has come, I 
have preached a number of times, feeling a pressing duty to 
work in my Master's vineyard. My stays from home are short, 
owing to the great affliction of my wife. From day to day and 
hour to hour it has seemed that she must depart; and thus sho 
lingers, with no hope of recovery, and she desires me to be with 
her all the time, or within call. 

An Incident. — During this time I concluded to attend the reg- 
ular communion meeting at Bethlehem, where I preached so 
long ; where I was treated more uncorteously by a brother in 
the ministry than I had ever been before by a true brother in 
my ministry of nearly sixty years. I mention it hoping that it 
may save other old ministers from being treated so. Yet if any 
minister, especially any aged pilgrim, should meet with, sim- 
ilar treatment, I advise him to bear it with Christian fortitude 
and resignation, remembering what Jesus bore, and his example. 
The communions were twice a year — spring and fall. The 
communion in the Bethlehem Church, where I preached nearly 
forty-five years, came on the third Sabbath in May. It was 
half a year since my last visit. I left my afflicted companion, 
and went to the meeting. The pastor was friendly with me, 
and ever had been. For several years he had, from time to 
time, attended protracted meetings there with me ; and being a 
good man I had introduced him to this large church of between 
ibur and five hundred members, and their new fine chapel, to 
succeed me. The pastor came, and a preacher of this confer- 
ence with him, who preached twice on Sabbath, then again on 
Monday, tne last meeting. I was there, but during the three 
days was not consulted or asked by the pastor to preach, or to 
take any part in the meeting. A number of people asked me 
to preach. So on Monday, at the close of the meeting, I made 
a few remarks ; and feeling that the people (?) ought to know 
why I had not preached, I told them in a kind spirit that I 
had not been asked by the pastor. I then kneeled and prayed 
with the people, after which the pastor told me to dismiss. I 
replied, "Not yet. Let us sing a farewell hynin first, as we 
used to do. n The pastor did not signify his assent. So I put 
it to vote, and the people did. We then sung, but the pastor 
took no part, apparently. At a brother's house, where we went 
to dine, I said to the pastor, "Were you hurt \v^ me because 
I sung to-day?" He answered, " No, not particularly ; but I 
would have preferred you to have spoken to me first." He 
seemed to think that I should have asked of him the privilege 
to sing, in the church which I had organized and preached to 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 211 

near fbrty-five years, and in the chapel built under iny labors 
and in part with my money, and in the church where I am still a 
member. I am not offended at the pastor, Elder William Pang- 
burn. I do not view him as a bad man. I retain him in the 
bonds of Christian charity. He gave no explanation after my 
remarks to the people in his presence, nor any reason for doing 
as he did. And I can give none. Nearly two months after 
this Elder Pangburn met me in .Ripley, and introduced the sub- 

v ject of not asking me to preach, and excused himself by say- 
ing that he supposed that I had come simply to attend the 
meeting. He did not remember saying to me that he would 
not have been hurt if I had spoken to him about it be- 
fore singing. I told him that it is the pastor's privilege to 
choose the man to preach for him, and that I was not offended 
•with him or I should have said so to him. Thus, if his explanation 

.satisfied him it did me, and so I let the matter pass. 

JEclipse, August 7, 1869. — On this day there was, though not 
total here, a total eclipse of the sun. It was almost total at our 
place. It commenced- at 4:46 p. m., and lasted one hour and 
fifty-two minutes. By looking through smoked glass we saw 
the form of the moon distinctly as it passed before the face of the 
sun. This makes three of these phenomena that I have wit- 
nessed. The first was in June, 1806, when in my sixteenth 
year; the second in May, 1854, and the third August 7, 1869. 
The two former were followed by dry weather and cold winters. 
What will follow this, time will soon determine. 
Mrs. Gardner's Sickness, September 2, 1869. — Swift-winged 

. Time has carried the summer away, and with it have gone the 
sweet-singing birds, and I am alone in my study. 1 have been 
mostly at home since April, waiting upon my dear afflicted 
wife, the companion of my youth and age. For nearly four 
months, so intense has been her illness, by asthma and dropsy, 
that her death would not have been unexpected at almost any 

. hour. It was her request that I would not leave her to go 
away to preach, but remain by her, or at least within call, which 
I did. She frequently calls for me. During August I was 
quite ill myself; and, though not confined to my bed, I and 
others thought it probable that I would go first. As September 
wears away I am better. 

\ September 18, 1869. — Sally Shinkle, our eldest daughter, who 
lives about seventeen miles away, came home to see her mother. 
As there is no apparent change, and Sally will remain, so I con- 
cluded to go to the communion meeting, twelve miles away. I 
requested my daughter to send for me if she saw any change. 
She was sleeping when I left, so I did not speak to her, but told 
my daughter to tell her, which she did. She did not call for 
me as she usually did during my absence. I preached on Sun- 
day and returned early on Monday. I talked with her, and 



212 LIFE OF 

ehe seemed about as when I left her on Saturday, She shouted 
the praise of God aloud, as she had often done before, during 
her illness. 

Her Death. — About one o'clock she desired her fkvorite hymn 
sung. It had often been sung by her request during her ill- 
ness. The hymn begins thus : 

u What's this that steals, that steals upon my frame? 

Is it death? Is it death? 
That soon will quench, will quench this vital flame, 

Is it death? Is it death? 
If this be death I soon shall be 
From every pain and sorrow free, 
I shall the King of Glory see. 

All is well! All is well!" 

It will be noticed that each verse ends with the words, "All 
is well I All is well I " These words truly and fully expressed 
her feelings. A little before two p. m. she called me. I was 
standing by her, and I said to her, " Sally, I am here," and took 
her hand in mine. She said, " Call them all," meaning the chil- 
dren, and in a moment said, " It is too late now ; " meaning that 
she could not live till they came. "It is too late now" were 
her last words, spoken with almost the last breath. I felt for 
her pulse, but it had ceased to beat. When I let go her hand 
it was the long farewell parting hand! I realized that the 
hand that I had clasped so often would never, living, be taken 
in mine again. Thus did Sally calmly fall asleep in Jesus. She 
was one of the best wives that ever a man was blessed with. 
Gone, gone, gone ! Farewell, farewell, dear Sally I Never can 
I forget thee. I hope, through Jesus' grace, to meet thee agaiu, 
where there shall be no death or tears. Dear reader, wilt thou 
think it strange, when I tell thee that tears have often caused 
me to lay down my pen while writing this narrative ? 

Lamentations — September 20, 1869. — With a sad heart and a 
tearful eye, I minute the death of my wife on this date. At two 
o'clock in the afternoon her affliction, sorrow, suffering, pain, 
and anguish were ended. She died in the triumphs of faith ; 
in the hope of immortality and eternal life. She was born in 
Spottsylvania County, Virginia, September 12, 1794. She em- 
braced religion when about seventeen. She was married on the 
20th of May, a little before she was nineteen. We lived in 
wedlock fifty-six years and four months. She died September * 
20, 1869. Oh, how lonely and desolate the house and every 
thing in it and about it looked when I this day, the 21st, re- 
turned to it near sundown, after leaving her in tfoe grave ! 
Fifty-six years she had been here; now she is gone forever. 
She came in the freshness of youth. Here she lived to grow: 
old, and is now gone, never to return to it, or to be seen 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 213 

fcere again. All here seems blank to me. I have no home 
here now. In this melancholy state of mind, after prayer, I 
went to bed at a late hour that night. But I could not sleep ; 
say thoughts wandered back, from year to year, to our first 
acquaintance, when she was a little turned of sixteen. I could, 
in my mind, plainly see her as Sally Beasly, when she was a 
damsel. 1 could see her again when, past eighteen, she stood 
at my side on that day and that moment while our marriage was 
being solemnized, and Sally Beasly was my wife. I fancied her 
again, as I saw her slender, lovely form by my side, while with 
other young peoplo we took a walk, rambling among the beau- 
titul flowers and green shrubbery, on that delightful afternoon 
of our marriage, May 20, 1813. Two months after this, viz, 
July 13th, the government called for all the men in Ohio able to 
bear arms to go to the war, to defend the northern frontier of 
the state. I went,' of course. I thought of her then as she ap- 
peared . before my mind as I saw her on the day of our parting, 
when I bade her farewell to go to the army. I saw her again as she 
stood weeping and looking after me till quite out of each other's 
sight. Having been sick before that call, and unwell when 1 
left home, I became sick again after going, and in about a month 
I hired a substitute and returned home. While in the army she 
was always present in my mind. I could see her again; as when 
I returned home sick and we met, embracing each other with 
tears of joy, in her father's house, that time when gladness and 
thanksgiving filled our hearts for God's protecting care in 
bringing us to meet once more. Now, in my mind, these scenes 
transpired again. We lived in her father's family till New 
Year's day, 1814, when we moved into our cabin on land little 
improved. The land had to be cleared. Necessity seemed to 
require work, not only during the day, but by night. Not by 
my desire, but by her own will, she would come out and help 
me to burn brush and logs till she thought it time to quit. Then, 
she would say in a soft, kind tone, " You have worked long 
enough to-night ; come, go to the house with me." I could hear 
her kind voice as she cheered me when cast down, and encour- 
aged me. when in trouble. I could see her again as when I was 
eick she stood at my bedside. Time would fail me to tell all 
my thoughts, or to give but a mere outline of our eventful 
pilgrimage of life together, as all passed before my mind that 
night. She was sick a number of times during her life, and 
seemed near unto death, but at none of these times did she 
request me to stay with her and not fill my appointments. She 
never complained of being left alone. When ready to start, 
whether my absence was to be long or short, she always asked, 
"When will you ceme home?" I would set the time, and 
seldom disappointed her. I seldom left the house without tell- 
ing her where 1 was going, though it were only to a neighbor's, 



214 LIFE OP 

or out on the farm, that if I should be needed hLe could know 
where to find me. When I returned from preaching, weary and 
tired, she tried to make me comfortable. Never more will she 
ask, " When will you come home?" That kind voice I shall 
hear no moro. There was born to us a large family of eleven 
children — six sons and five daughters. All lived to be men and 
women. They were all married and settled in life before her 
departure, which was the first and is yet the only death that 
has ever occurred in our house. But three of our beloved children 
— two sons and one daughter — died before their mother. The 
dear mother and her three children are now where " sickness 
and sorrow, pain and death are felt and feared no more," and 
are doubtlesshappy together in the bright realms of peace and 
glory. 

Sunday, November 21, 1869 — Past Events. — Yesterday, two- 
months ago," death took from me the companion of my youth, 
and left me alone ; yet not alone, for I trust tke Lord is with 
me. The house and place looked, when she was gone, so lonely 
and forsaken, that it did not seem to me like home, so I re- 
mained there but one day after she was buried. On the 23d I 
left home, to visit a church about seventeen miles distant, where* 
our oldest daughter and two of our sons live. As the pulpit 
seemed niore like home to me than any other place, the desire 
renewed to entreat my fellow-mortals to prepare for death and 
judgment. I have been preaching every Sunday, except one, 
since my companion's death, until to-day. To-day I am at the 
place so long my home while she was here. I have only stop- 
ped here a few times since leaving, till about a week ago, when the 
cold, stormy weather came on. Although it does not seem like 
home, yet, having here my warm room, and library in it, and 
my good bed, I must stay here during the coming winter, if it 
be God's will to continue my life. 

Conference of 1869. — The Southern Ohio Conference met this 
year, on the 16th of October, with the Mount Pleasant church, 
in Clermont County. This is the fiftieth annual session, all of 
which, through God's grace, I have been able to attend. There 
was the usual gathering of ministers and messengers. They 
reported the churches to be in a prosperous condition. The 
ordinary business was transacted in harmony, with the excep- 
tion of one incident, which I will name. The " Herald of Gos- 
pel Liberty" is controlled by an executive committee, chosen 
by a biennial convention, who employ the editor, who uses his 
judgment about what shall or 6hall not be published. Last 
March, when the biographical sketches of Elder John Phillips 
appeared, picturing him in almost superhuman perfection, I 
sent my sketch of Elder Phillips, which the editor objected to, 
and returned. He was present at this conference, with others 
connected with the paper'; and when the report on our publish- 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 215 

fng interests was read, I offered this amendment, viz.: "We 
think that there is need of improvement in both the financial 
and editorial departments." This brought the whole matter 
before conference; and the editor said, in his haste, that he 
would " suffer his right arm to be cut off rather than to publish 
that article." This caused the conference to suppose that there 
was something dreadful in the article ; and when I offered to 
read it, the president said a majority were opposed. This I 
oared little for, as the amendment was passed almost unani- 
mously. Elder E. W. Humphreys, former editor, and other 
ministers, were in favor of publishing my article; not that 
there was any thing of great consequence in the article, but out 
of respect for my age and experience. The article read about 
as follows, some corrections being made, as it remained so long 
in my possession : 

Biographies. — "Dear Editor: — On this day, March' 16, 1869, 1 
see in the "Herald of Gospel Liberty," of the 13th instant,, 
some biographical sketches of Elder John Phillips. These 
sketches are not like the biographies in the Bible, which give 
both the favorable and the unfavorable traits in men's char- 
acter, but they are too much like nearly all the biographies of 
the present day, which represent the men as having possessed 
and practiced almost angelic purity, without a single blemish, 
or one deviation from the rule of right. As the house of the 
writer was the first house at which Elder Phillips stopped when 
he came to Ohio, the last of December, 1837, or perhaps early 
in January, and where he remained with his family for several 
weeks, till he found a place elsewhere ; and as I have been well 
acquainted with him ever since that time, during thirty years, 
till he died, therefore I knew his virtues and imperfections, and 
will say, all who were acquainted with Elder John Phillips 
agree that he possessed some traits of character worthy of ap- 
proval, and others quite objectionable; yet, perhaps nearly all 
who knew him are willing to award to him honesty of purpose. 

"M. Gardner. 

" Ripley, March 16, 1869." 

The above, except a few words to make my meaning more 
plain, is the article before alluded to, which the editor preferred 
to lose his right arm rather than publish. I do not record these 
troubles to reflect on persons, but policy. I was an aged man. 
I had been long in the ministry. I had been successful in rais- 
ing churches, and was well acquainted with financial affairs. 
In short, I had been successful both in religion and business. 
I was responsible and safe. Yet the words of such men as Fay 
and Phillips, who were adventurers in business, and unstable 
in religion, had more weight with many people than mine; and I 
had been held back and my council unheeded during all the 
wild speculations about Antioch, and even when ruin came and 



21ti tmc of 

we lost the college, and lost $100,000, and, worse than that, lost 
self-respect and confidence in our people. Such men could still 
"be believed when they would say, "We still own the college ; f ' 
and my articles were regarded as unfriendly because I could 
not indorse their mistakes. 

"The Unincumbered Grift" — That is Antioch College, given to 
the Unitarians. The following article, republished August 11, 
1864, is from "The Christian Register," from the pen of the in- 
tensely Unitarian editor, and the most prominent Unitarian 
paper. It boasts that they have the college under their " entire 
control," and in effect name the Christian " during-life trustees," 
whom they also had under their " entire control," giving the 
Unitarians " seventeen Totes out of the twenty" (The italics are 
theirs). Yet these men,Vho thus gave them the college as "an 
unincumbered gift," are the men who opposed and abused mo 
because I could not approve their course. True, the Unitarians 
say that they are to endow it as a condition. They have not yet 
fulfilled that condition ; but they have it. They say also that it is 
not to be sectarian. If one sect, and that the Unitarians, have 
the " entire control" does not make it sectarian, what could? It 
is thus proved that the Christians gave the college away, as the 
following from "The Christian Register" >will show: 

Antioch College. — " The name of this institution will, we trust, 
occasion unpleasant reflections no longer. Instead of fearing, 
as the Unitarians have done, very generally, that the money 
they had given to it was lost, they may rejoice that tie oppor- 
tunity is now offered to them of taking entire control of it. 
The charter was so amended, at the recent meeting of the trust- 
ees, as to take the college out of the hands of the " Christians," 
and the board of trustees, a close corporation, so modified by 
the election of new members, as to secure its administration to 
the Unitarians. The opinions, frequently expressed, of Messrs. 
Craig, Weston, Phillips, Devore, Stanton, and Birch, with re- 
gard to the unsectarian position the college should assume, the 
high rank it should take among the colleges of the West, and 
the necessity of employing the ablest teachers that could be 
procured, whether they belonged to the " Christians" or not, to- 
gether with their former action as members of the board, when- 
ever catholic measures for conducting the college have been 
under discussion, make it as certain that upon every question, in- 
volving a principle which the Unitarians would regard as vital to 
the interests of the college, they could command at least seven- 
teen votes of the twenty fjk& it is that they could rely upon Drs. Hill 
and Hosmer or Messrs. Low and Kidder to represent their 
views and wishes. Though the Unitarians will never make it 
a denominational or sectarian college, yet, as they must endow 
it, if it is ever endowed, it is well to assure them, that it is now 
so completely in their hands, that if they shall raiso $100,000 



MATTHEW GARDNER, 217 

within one year, which is the condition of retaining it in their 
hands perpetually, they can do with it in all respects as they 
may choose. They may make other alterations in the charter, 
and reorganize the school to suit themselves. By endowing it 
with $100,000, within one year, Antioch will be more fully un- 
der the control of the Unitarians than Harvard College, upon 
which they have lavished their wealth, ever was. In the very 
heart of the great section of our country, whither the most en- 
terprising young men have been flocking, and to which they 
must flock for a long time to come — in the very heart of the great 
north Mississippi Valley, that has done its duty so nobly in our 
country's crisis, and which will contain, in fifty years, a popu- 
lation greater than the republic now contains, the Unitarians 
have a transcendent opportunity of establishing a great insti- 
tution of learning, that sha.ll illustrate their own cardinal 
principles of mental and spiritual freedom. It is certainly an 
opportunity for which they could well afford to pay very liber- 
oily if they could avail themselves of it on no other condition, 
and yet they are now importuned to accept it -as an unincum- 
bered gift, on the sole condition that they shall endow and ad- 
minister it in their own way as a first-class college." 

Hence, Antioch College was a gift from the Christians to the 
Unitarians, and was lost to us more from want of principle 
than from want -of money. They took it from us because we 
had not endowed it; and secured it while they had not. 
Near the close of the conference of 1869, 1 stated that, as my 
advanced years would not permit me to bo out much in the 
winter, I did not now hold the pastoral charge of any church, 
but that during the warm weather I could preach every Sun- 
day, and if the conference would give me tho liberty, I would 
make appointments in its bounds, to preach without pay, as 
my feelings might dictate, without fear of offending the pastors. 
I had hardly closed my remarks, when the following was of- 
fered : " Resolved, That the ministers and messengers from the 
churches of this conference (and other conferences present) 
invite Elder Gardner to visit and preach to our churches as he 
may be able during his remaining years." The words (and 
other conferences present) were added by the request of several 
ministers present from other conferences. Elder Charles Gar- 
outte, pastor of the Ripley Church, spoke against it, but no one 
replied, only visiting ministers as above, desiring to have the 
privilege of uniting in tho invitation. It was passed unani- 
mously, except said preacher and Brother Eobert Stephenson, a 
messenger from the same church. On October 29, 1869, 1 went 
to Cincinnati. I had a little business there, and in my melan- 
choly state of mind I greatly desired to see and converse with 
Elder N. Summerbell. The interview with him and his dear 
companion greatly revived my drooping spirits. On Sunday 



218 LIFE OP 

Bight, October 31st, I preached to Elder Summerbell's congrega- 
tion. On Monday, November 1, 1869, 1 parted with Brother 
Summerbell and his kind family. It seemed like leaving home. 
I took the steamer up the Ohio, and stopped where my home 
had formerly been, and went on and preached at Bethlehem, 
chapel, as I had previously appointed, to a large congregation, 
on the next Sunday. % 

Sunday, December 5, 1869. — This is my birthday. To-day I 
am seventy-nine years old. I can say with the patriarch Jacob, 
few and evil have the days of the years of my pilgrimage been. 
On my birthday a year ago the companion of toy long life was 
with me, and had been for fifty-six of my birthdays. But she 
will be with me no more in this world. The winter days being 
short, though confined mostly to my room, which is my study, 
I can find something to do — reading, writing, etc. But oh, the 
nights, these long, long winter nights of fifteen hours I I can not 
sleep more than about six hours out of the twenty-four, and 
never could. How dismally lonesome these long, tedious nights 
are without her company who was so long the comfort of my 
life, none can realize but those who are brought to a kindred 
experience. My chief society now is with the spirit world; in 
the contemplation of God and his love, his boundless mercy and 
his grace. I have delight in singing his praise, and thanking 
him for enabling me to do so. 

Lonely and silent is my room, 

No voice I hear, no face I see 
For she is silent in the tomb 

Who once was here to speak to me. 
Her voice once cheered me in my gloom, 

Her face I always loved to see ; 
Companions when in youthful blocin, 

And when in age's infirmity. 

Bream — December 8th. — Last night I saw her sitting on a chair 
in the room she usually occupied. She was beautifully attired, and 
looked and seemed as in the days of her youth. While I saw her I 
knew that she had come from the spirit world and was immor- 
tal. She said but few words, and these I do not remember. 
She was not in haste, though she soon intimated that she must 
go. I exclaimed, "Oh, do not leave us! Do stay with us!" 
Seeing that she would leave, I wept. Our youngest son, Elna- 
than Matthew, who lives in the house, has a little son in his 
fourth year. His grandmother greatly loved him, and he loved 
her. When she was leaving, she seemed to move toward the 
door ; the little boy followed crying and begging her to remain. 
As she passed out I took hold of her arm, but she passed away 
from me. 1 looked to see which way she went, but could not. 
This was a dream. 

Christmas, 1869. — Feeling quite lonesome, I started on the 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 219 

day before Christmas to visit three of my children about seven- 
teen miles distant. Christmas day is here again, according to 
our reckoning, on the 25th of December. There is no snow. 
It is a dark, rainy day. New Year's day, 1870, has come. I 
am still with my children. The old year is gone, and hundreds 
of thousands are gone with it. Like it, they will never return. 
My thoughts are on my dear companion who was with me last 
"New Year's ; but she is now gone, gone, never to return. 

" How swiftly fly the rolling years 
That take our friends away, 
And leave us here in grief and tears, 
While the short time we stay." 

Health, — My health is good for a man of my age. My mem- 
ory and my voice are both good, for which I thank God, with 
all my heart. 

Prayer. — If it be thy will, O God, to call me away from this 
world during this incoming year, I pray thee, in the name of 
Jesus Christ, thy well-beloved Son, to give me a tranquil hour 
inwhich to die. During the two weeks that I remained with 
our children there was a protracted meeting at the church, and 
I preached several sermons. I have now returned to the lonely 
abode, once my home, when she was here who made it home. 

Winter. — Here I am, passing the cold winter, leaving home 
but seldom. 

May 1; 1870. — The lonely, disagreeable winter is past, and 
beautiful May has come with its sweet-singing birds and full- 
blown flowers. My health is as good as I may expect. My 
intellectual faculties are good. 1 can make calculations in 
figures about as readily as I ever could. Oh, for a heart and 
tongue adequate to thank and praise God for his boundless 
goodness, and the grace bestowed upon me. I thank and praise 
God every day, with my poor imperfect powers and heart and 
tongue, for all his daily mercies. 

May 20th. — Fifty-seven years ago this day I was married to 
my now-departed wife, the choice of my heart. It seems but 
as yesterday ; but she is gone. When I was from home, while 
she was here, I always thought of her welcoming me home on 
my return. Now, when away, those scenes come to my mind ; 
but there are none to so look for my coming, and welcome me 
now. 

June, 1870. — My health continues good, considering my ago. 
I have preached every Sunday, with few exceptions, since the 
opening of spring. 

The Triennial Convention. — The Triennial Convention of the 
Christian Publishing Association is announced in the "Herald" 
to meet in Marion, Grant County, Indiana, June 21, 1870. 
Desiring to attend, "if the Lord will," I arranged matters ac- 



220 LIFE OF 

cordingly. My will having been written by myself, nearly five 
years ago (July, 1865), and quite a change having taken place 
in the matter of my estate, therefore justice to my heirs, and 
other causes, required some changes in that instrument. After 
a careful and prayerful consideration of the whole matter, I 
have rewritten my will, finishing it on the 15th of June, 1870. 
I have bequeathed $1,000 for the purpose of publishing my life,, 
written by myself. After procuring a steel-plate engraving of 
my likeness, and having the whole work stereotyped, and fur- 
nishing two hundred copies, which I bequeath to my children 
and grandchildren ; all the profits from the sale thereof are given 
to Union Christian College. I have appointed Elder N. Sam- 
merbell to attend to the publication thereof, and its distribu- 
tion, with provision for another to do the work, in the event of 
his failing to do it. June 16th I start for the convention, some 
three hundred miles, taking the will with me to Eipley, where, 
having signed it, it was witnessed and deposited. About one 
p. m., June 18th, I took the packet for, Cincinnati, where 1 
arrived at Brother Summerbell's, and remained over Sunday, 
the 19th, and preached to Elder ST. Summerbell's congregation. 
Monday morning, June 20th, 1, with Brother Summerbell, took 
the cars, and reached Marion a little before sundown. The 
kind reception I there met with, and the respect shown to me 
for my age and long labor, was greater than I could expect. 
Elder Eush, the editor before alluded to, conversed with me a 
few minutes, agreeing to publish the article on biography of 
March 16th, and all our differences were settled. I met here 
many dear brethren, who were little children when they first 
heard me preach, and are now able ministers of the New Testa- 
ment. As there were many preachers in attendance, I preached 
but once. The Lord helped me ; and, as I was subsequently 
informed, the people were much pleased with what I said. The 
convention closed on the 24th. This meeting was one of the 
most pleasant events of my life. The following extract is from 
a letter afterward received from the man with whom I put up, 
one of the most respectable citizens of that place, and a deacon 
in the Christian Church. 

" Elder Gardner : * * * You will excuse me when I say to 
you that your visit to our place has awakened a deep interest in 
your wellfare, on account of your age and long service in the 
ministry. You have the prayers and best wishes of this entire 
community. We have no house in this city that would hold the 
congregation should you make another visit. Mrs. "Webster 
unites with me in sending you our best regards. 

" (x. W. Webster." 

July 4, 1870. — This makes eighty Independence, days that I, 
have seen. After resting since my return from Marion, I am 
refreshed and as well as usual. 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 221 

Sudden Death — July 13, 1870. — This is a day of alarm and 
#reat consternation in our house. Elizabeth, my son's wife, 
fell dead from her chair, at the sewing machine, about nine 
o'clock this morning. She was the wife of Elnathan Matthew 
Gardner. She leaves two children, the eldest four years old. 
She ate her breakfast and seemed in as good health, and as hearty 
as usual. How uncertain is life and all our earthly future! 

Epitaph. — July 17, 1870. This day I write my epitaph, as 
follows : 

epitaph : 

ELDER MATTHEW GARDNER, 

A CHRISTIAN MINISTER. 

Born in New York State, December 5, 1790. 
Died 

He claimed no merit of his own, 

His trust was all in Christ alone. 

My ministry began in 1810, from which the number of years to 
my death, or when I cease preaching, can be ascertained. 

Long Labors. — I have now preached over sixty years. I have 
lived on this farm fifty-seven years, and in this one section and 
the same neighborhood seventy years. 

Goes East. — This day, August 9, 1870, I start to visit the 
land of my birth — Rensselaer County, New York. I took the 
packet steamer St. James, at Ripley, and arrived in Cincinnati 
about nine p. m. I remained at Brother SummerbelTs over the 
10th, as I had business in the city. I took the cars on the 
11th, and reached Stephentown, New York, the place of my 
birth, on the 13th, at six o'clock p. m. Having traveled nearly 
one thousand miles I felt weary, went to bed early, and had 
a good night's rest, which revived me greatly. August 14th 
being Sunday, I went with my cousin to hear Elder Sweet, a 
^Particular Baptist. The church numbers nearly two hundred. 
There were from thirty to forty to hear him preach. The 
church is in the very neighborhood where I was born. He 
kindly asked me to preach. I declined, but said, "As the 
Christian chapel (only a few rods distant) is out of repair, I 
will preach here next Sunday, if agreeable to you and the 
people." He consented, and requested mo to speak after him 
then. He announced my appointment, and the meeting closed 
with a good state of feeling. I spent the week in pleasant and 
interesting visits among my relatives.' I went to see the old 
house again that we moved out of September 1, 1800. It was 
in a state of dilapidation. Nobody lives in it. I looked into 
the well. I went ail through the house. I remembered it all 
distinctly, though seventy years have passed since we left it. 
No language can express my feelings when in view of these 



222 LIFE OF 

places so sacred to me as the home of my parents. I thought 
of my childhood days, and that dear kind mother who once 

lived in that house. My heart ! Sunday, August 21, 1870, 1 

met a large congregation. .The Lord helped me to preach. 
Many wept. It was communion day. After preaching I took a 
chair on the floor, front of the pulpit. They passed the bread 
and wine by me, offering me none. The meeting closed. The 
pastor complimented me on the sermon. The people apoligized. 
They had " never seen the abomination " of " close communion" 
as at that day, when it was passed b} r me, as though the bread 
and wine were more than man. I continued to visit. During 
the week I attended the Methodist camp-meeting, held three- 
fourths of a mile from the spot where I was born. On Sun- 
day, the 28th, I preached at South Berlin, New York, about six 
miles north of Stephentown. Since my former visit there has 
been a railroad built, running north and south through this 
valley, near the thirty acres of land that my father sold to go 
to Ohio, on the first of September, 1800. This railroad connects 
south at Chatham Corners with lines to New York City, and 
Albany, and Boston, and at its northern terminus in Vermont, 
with the road to Montreal. By this road it is over sixty miles 
from Stephentown to Albany, while it is only eighteen miles by 
stage over the mountains. 

Return to Ohio. — On Tuesday, August 30th, I took the cars on 
this new road at two p. m. for Albany, where I tarried over 
night, and on the 31st, at twenty minutes after two p. m., took 
the cars for Cincinnati. On the sleeping car, the night after 
leaving Albany, a pickpocket took my pocket-book and about 
twenty dollars. As I had my money in different pockets, he 
did not get it all. I thank God that I met with no greater mis- 
fortune. I had heretofore taken a lake steamer from Buffalo to 
Cleveland. This trip was all by railroad. I reached Cincinnati 
the next day, Thursday, September 1, 1870, about six p. m., and 
on Friday, the 2d, I took the steamer for Eipley, in company 
with Elder N. Summerbell, on his way to the dedication of the 
Hiatt Christian chapel, which is five or six miles beyond my 
home. This chapel was thus named for John Hiatt, the man 
who gave half the money to build it. We reached Eipley about 
eight P. M., where my son, Elnathan, met me with a carriage 
and took me home. Thus, through divine protection, I safely 
returned from my fifth visit to the land of my birth, with my 
health much improved, though I was quite weary with my 
journey. Before I left for the East a committee waited upon 
me, requesting me to participate in the dedication of Hiatt 
Christian chapel. On Sunday, September 4th, I took part in 
the dedication, and preached at three p. m. 

Southern Ohio Christian Conference. — The Southern Ohio Chris- 
tian Conference of 1870 met this year in Eipley, on the 1st day 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 223 

of October. It is the fifty-first annual session, each of which the 
Xiord has enabled me to attend. There was the usual attend- 
ance of "ministers and messengers, and the churches were reported 
in usual prosperity. It was quite a short session. It continued 
little over two days, and but little business was done. 

General Convention of 1870. — At the close, I started to the 
Quadrennial Christian Convention, to meet at Oshawa, Canada, 
on the 11th of October. Oshawa is nearly seven hundred miles 
from Eipley. It was appointed there by the request of the 
Christians in Canada. I went to Cincinnati by the steamer, and 
"by railroad to Detroit. About sixty miles from Detroit we 
crossed the river that connects Lake Huron with Lake Erie, 
and took the Grand Trunk Kailway in Canada, to Oshawa. 
The convention was largely attended, and in all its business 
peace and harmony prevailed. Through divine grace and pro- 
tection I stood the journey quite well, both going and returning, 
and reached home on the 22d in good health, my age considered ; 
for all of which I thank God with all my heart. November 7, 
1870, is here, and a delightful day it is. Nature has put off its 
beautiful attire for the mourning apparel for departed summer. 
The beautiful blossoms and verdure are laid aside for the sombre 
dress of autumn, suited to the dreary cold that is approaching. 
The sweet singing of birds has given place to the whispering 
winds which tell of coming winter. Yesterday, the first Sun- 
day in November, I preached the funeral of an aged sister in 
Christ, in the Fellowship Christian chapel, seven miles from my 
residence, as requested by her before her death. She was sev- 
enty-five years old. There was a large congregation, and many 
mourners. The Lord helped me to preach in the spirit. The 
last month of the year is here. This has been the most delightful 
fall I ever saw, except the fall of 1800, the year my father moved 
to this country, which this resembles. 

December 5, 1870. — Here is a day which in my youth I did 
not expect ever to see. Being born on the 5th of December, 
1790, 1 am this day eighty years old. It seems strange to me. 
I never expected to live to reach this age, yet my general health 
is better than usual. My voice is good. I have often heard 
aged people say, that in looking back over their past life it looks 
short. Not so with me. When I retrospect my past life, the 
strange events and many dangers through which the Lord has 
safely conducted me, while all the companions of my youth 
have fallen, the way seems long. 

Prayer.— O God, accept my heartfelt thanks, in the name of 
thy Son Jesus Christ, for all thy past mercies. And do thou still 
guide me by thy counsel through all my remaining days in this 
world, and afterward receive me to glory, through Jesus Christ. 

Alone at Eighty. — Being alone in my room the nights seem 
very long and dreary, and pass tediously. 



CHAPTER IX. 

BEGINMNO OF THE NINTH TEN YEARS — FUTURE EVENTS NOTE© AS 

THEY TRANBPIRF DECEMBER 5, 1870. 

Mjf eighty -first year has begun. I am still confined to my 
room by the winter weather. My enjoyment is in the continued 
contemplation of God's boundless goodness. 

Christmas, 1870. — Here is Christmas day on Sunday, making 
eighty-one Christmas days seen by me. It is cold, but pleasant. 
The mercury is only two degrees above zero. A light snow 
covers the ground. Being alone in my room, the days are 
pleasant enough, but the nights are long and lonesome. 

My lonely room, how sad to me, 

!Nb voice to break the gloom ; 
No human face for me'to see, 

While here*alone — alone. 
" Sweet star of hope, with ray to shine 

In every lone, sad breast 
'Tis only thee gives cheer to mine, 

Man's first, last friend, and best." 

A. D. 1871. — The year 1870 has passed and gone, never to re- 
turn. The first day of 1871 comes in on Sunday, and a clear, 
beautiful, sunny day it is. 

Oh, hallowed day! thy light proclaims 

Afar the dawn of the new year ! 
Lord, tune my heart with thankful strains 

For mercies past, and mercies here ! 
O Jesus ! let thy guardian care 

Still guide me to my journey's end! 
Oh, bow thine ear and hear my prayer, 

In life, and, dying, be my friend ! 

Memories of the Dead. — Many to-day, liko myself, doubtless 
think of loved ones who were with them on past ISew Year's 
days. Oh, how impressive are the reminiscences of my dear 
wife! How dear the memory of our three children that are 
gone! and keen thought adds to these my daughter-in-law, 
Elizabeth, who was last year one of the family with us, who 
died so suddenly as she sat at the sewing machine, on the 13th 
of July last. She was always kind to me* Oh, how I do miss 
her ! Memory causes the tears to fall while writing. 

May, 1871. — I have passed through the dreary winter. It 
seemed long and lonely to me. While so greatly afflicted with 
congestion of the lungs and inflammation of the throat, I have, 
by God's mercy, yet lived to see this fourth day of May. My 

224 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 225 

health is now much improved, though I am quite feeble yet. 
The congestion of the lungs caused such protracted hoarseness 
that I sometimes feared that my voice would not return ; but it 
improved slowly, so that I was able to preach the last Sunday 
in April. I am now able to sing again. May comes in young 
again with freshness and beauty, not old like me. The flowers 
are blooming as they did when I was young; the birds are 
singing just as they did then. The crystal dew-drops on the 

fass shine the same as in my youthful days. Yet I know, 
feel, that there has been a great change in me. May always 
possesses charms for me. In the month of May I was married 
to my dear departed wife. My life has had its joys, but most 
of them were mingled with sorrow and tears. I thank God 
■with all my heart for the hope of a higher life, where death can 
not take away those we love ; " where everlasting spring abides, 
and never-fading flowers." 

May 30, 1871 J — I to-day preached the funeral of Nancy Lake, 
my sister-in-law, my wife's sister. She embraced religion under 
my ministry, when about sixteen, and lived a pious, praying, 
exemplary Christian life forty years, that is, until she died, in 
the filly-eighth year of her life. She was born September 20, 
1813. A few days before she died, at one of the times I visited 
her, to pray for her, she told me the place she had for secret 
prayer, when yet a girl, and of her chosen places for secret 
prayer since her marriage. She left an affectionate husband 
and four sons, all grown to manhood but one, to mourn the loss 
of a wife and mother, among the best that ever lived. Eeader, 
if you want to die happy, neglect not secret prayer. 

Going East — June 27, 1871. — Having again written my will, 
and made all necessary arrangements for the trip, I this day 
started, for the sixth time, to visit my native state. I went 
down the river to Cincinnati on the steam-bcat, and then by 
railway, and reached Stephentown on the 30th of June, thank- 
ing God for his protecting care over me, and my safe arrival. 
The journey or change of living improved my health. But 
death has been here ; and though the mountains, brooks, and 
valleys look just as they did when my father left here for the 
West, seventy -one years ago, the inhabitants have changed. 
Year by year my relatives have dropped off, till few even of 
my cousins remain. The religious interest seems now quite low 
in this country. I preached in South Berlin, and tarried in 
and about Stephentown nearly three weeks, and then took the 
cars, July 20th, for Boston, about two hundred miles, and 
reached tfiere at six p. m. the same day. July 21st I took the 
cars for Exeter, New Hampshire, fifty miles, where I was met 
by Brother Mark Eoberts, whose acquaintance I formed at the 
General Convention at Oshawa, in 1870. He took me to his 
house, where I was kindly received by his family. I ro- 

15 



226 LIFE OF 

raained a little over a week, and preached twice on the fifth 
Sunday in July, in Stratham, near Brother Roberts'; and 
he took me the next day to the sea-shore, at North Hamp- 
ton Beach — a ride of ten miles or more, where I was 
kindly received by Elder X. T. Ridlon and his accomplished 
lady. Elder Ridlon is pastor of the Christian Church at 
North Hampton. This place is a great summer resort. 
Thousands of visitors are here. Among the notable women 
here is Harriet Beecher Stowe, best known as the author of 
Uncle Tom's Cabin, who is here spending the summer. On 
the 2d day of August I walked about two miles to see her. 
On the third day of this month Elder Ridlon and Sister Ridlon 
and myself went on the cars to Portsmouth, in the north-east 
part of the State of Maine, and there took a steamer to the Isles 
of Shoals, about fifteen miles on the ocean. There are ten or 
twelve of these barren islands in sight of each other, all cov- 
ered with rocks of great size. I did not see a green shrub upon 
them. Yet fine hotels and large boarding-houses are plenty, 
where people go for a summer resort. We returned about sun- 
down the same day, quite tired. Hero we have fresh fish from 
the ocean at almost every meal. On the first Lord's-day in 
August (6th) I preached twice to Elder Ridlon's congregation, 
and the next day I returned to Brother Roberts', expecting to 
start homeward soon. I had written to Elder Edmunds, of 
Boston, that I expected to pass through that city on the 10th, 
and desired to see him. He answered my letter and requested 
me to preach in Boston that night, and to prolong my stay 
there. On the 10th I bid farewell to Brother Roberts' dear, 
kind family, and others who came to take the parting hand, and 
he took me to Exeter, where I bid him farewell and took the 
cars at about 8:30 a. m., and reached Boston by eleven a. m. 

The Infidel. — Soon after my arrival in Boston I was introduced 
to a converted infidel. His name was Southmade. He was 
about fifty years old. He had for twenty-five years denied tho 
being of a God, and cursed the Bible. He was then an atheist. 
For the last four years he had believed in God, but denied Christ 
and the Bible. He was then a deist. He had lately been con- 
verted to the Christian religion. He related to me his experi- 
ence. He said, a few weeks ago, in the night, between midnight 
and morning, tho Holy Spirit came to him, and said, "South- 
made, what harm has Jesus ever done to you that you so revile 
him and persecute him, and that you will not believe in him?" 
This melted his heart. The tears flowed ; and l*e said, " O Lord, 
I do believe." And in the morning he arose rejoicing. He 
then went to his former infidel companions and exhorted them 
and others to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. He continued 
this till he became so hoarse that ho could scarcely speak. The 
doctors told hira that he must cease or it would cause his death. 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 227 

He could scarcely speak aloud when talking to me. I preached 
at night to an attentive and intelligent congregation. I felt 
the spirit of the subject myself, and after I closed quite a num- 
ber arose and spoke in approval of the discourse. Southmade, 
being a hearer, arose also. Boi-ng very hoarse, he said : " The 
doctors have forbidden me to talk, but I must speak of the love 
of the Savior.", He did so, and his words had great effect. 
Elder Edmunds and others urgently requested me to remain 
longer, but having appointments in eastern New York, I could 
riot comply. I promised, if health and circumstances would 
permit, the Lord willing, I would visit Boston previous to going 
home. So I bid them farewell, and the next morning took the 
express train for eastern New York. I wrote from there to 
Elder Edmunds, that if ho desired it, I would return to Boston 
and preach two or three weeks, asking no reward other than a 
hard bed to sleep on, and brown bread and milk to eat. He an- 
swered, " Come ; it is of the Lord," etc. Having filled my appoint- 
ments in Berlin and Petersburg, New York, on the 7th of Septem- 
ber I took the cars at North Stephentown, and arrived at Boston 
about five p. m. On the Lord's-day, the 10th of September, I 
preached to a respectable congregation as to numbers and intel- 
ligence, and the word spoken seemed to gladden many hearts. 
On Monday, 11th instant, I went to New Bedford, about sixty 
miles south of Boston, and there on the 12th instant attended a 
very interesting session of the Rhode Island and Massachusetts 
Christian Conference. It was published in the papers of New 
Bedford that a man of over four-score years would preach, and 
the congregation was large. 1 gave the scriptural view of the 
elevated character of the Son of God, the Lord of life and glory, 
and real divinity. As such he is worthy to be honored and 
worshiped. And as he has power on earth to forgive sins, it is 
right and proper to pray to him, as did the first Christians, and 
as Stephen did while being stoned to death. I have no recollec- 
tion that any discourse of mine was ever received with such 
great expressions of joy and gladness as this was. I returned to 
Boston, and on Sabbath, the 17th, preached again to Elder Ed- 
munds' people — the congregation being much larger than before. 
The word was again well received. Elder Edmunds was not 
with us at either of these meetings, being absent on missionary 
service. I complied with the urgent request of Brother Ea- 
munds and the people to remain over one more Sabbath. These 
three months' sojourn in New York and New England have 
been among the most agreeable and pleasant of my long life. 
1 have been courteously and kindly received by Christian minis- 
ters and people, without exception ; and in every place I have 
been urged to remain longer. The Christians are not the only 
people who have kindly received me, and desired to hear the 
words of an aged man. All denominations that I have met 



228 LIFE OF 

with have been equally kind and courteous. Congregationalists r 
Presbyterians, and others invite me to preach, and desire to hear 
the man who has seen more than eighty and preached more 
than sixty years. A learned and popular Presbyterian minister 
said to me, "My congregation have heard of you, and they want 
to hear you preach; and so do I. Will you preach forme?" 
I complied ; and after the sermon he commended it to his people 
very highly. The courtesy of Elder Edmunds and his people, 
and that of his good lady to me, can never be forgotten. My 
health is so much improved that I feel almost like a young' man 
again. I have gained twenty pounds in weight since leaving 
home in the latter part of June la6t. During the past week I 
have walked to meeting seven times. To go and return is one 
mile and a half; this makes ten miles and a half walking, not 
including my rambles and visits in the city. This is Saturday, 
September 23d. The next day J attended meeting four times, 
including my own " last-sermon " meeting. The Lord was "with 
me. The congregation was large. The Spirit helped me to 
preach. The people wept, and so did I. Monday morning, 
September 25, 1871, I bade Elder Edmunds' dear family, and 
friends there, farewell. He and Elder Thomas accompanied me 
to the depot, and there, before 8:30, having taken the parting 
hand with them and the friends at the depot, the words were 
soon heard, "All aboard, " and in a few seconds I was on mr 
way home at the rate of thirty miles an hour. We were de- 
tained six or eight hours on the way by the breaking of an axle. 
No one was injured, though some were much frightened. I 
stopped four days on the way, and arrived home on the 2d day 
of October, 1871. 1 found all well. Thank God for his pro- 
tecting care. 

The Conference of 1871. — This conference of 1871 met on the 
21st day of October, in the chapel of the Eockyfork Church, 
in Highland County, about six miles east of Hillsboro*. This was 
the fifty-second annual session, all of which the Lord had enabled 
me to attend. Soon after the conference assembled a number of 
brethren said to me, "Will you serve as president if elected?" 
I replied, " If such be the desire of the conference, I will try to 
serve them." I was chosen accordingly. The number in at- 
tendance was larger than usual, not only of people, but of min- 
isters and messengers from the churches. The churches were 
reported to be in general prosperity and peace. The confer- 
ence continued four days, including the Sabbath. It was one 
of the most pleasant that I ever attended. 

Eighty-first Birthday — December 5, 1871. — This is my birth- 
day. To-day I am eighty* one years old. My health is much bet- 
ter than it was on my birthday one year ago. Thank God for 
all his tender mercies unmerited by me. " O, God, be thou my 
portion in the land of the living." I will soon begone. 



MATTHEW GARDNER 22& 

My pilgrimage is nearly done, 
Lord, fit me for thy heavenly home. 

My life seems long, as I contemplate the astonishing changes 
which have been made, a few of which I record. 

Progress of Science.— Four great advancements have been 
made in human progress since I was born. Few, like myself, 
have lived to see their commencement and consummation. First : 
The application of steam for propelling boats on the rivers, 
ships on the ocean, cars on the land, and numberless kinds of 
machinery. Second : The electric telegraph, by which persons, 
thousands of miles apart, can talk to each other as though face to 
face, and the submarine telegraph, uniting distant continents, 
eo that Americans can talk, without loss of time, with the peo- 
ple of Europe or Asia. Third : The construction of railroads 
across the states and across the continent, from ocean to ocean, 
thus uniting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans by railroads, as 
well as the Old and the New World by the electric cable. Fourth : 
The liberation of four millions of slaves of the African race, 
in these United States, all of whom are enfranchised and 
made American citizens with the same right to vote as white 
people. 

THE HONOR AND GLORY OF THE SON OF GOD. 

December 21, 1871. — I will here record the argumentative 
part of a third article, which includes all important matters 
contained in two former articles, and others on the subject, 
published in the "Herald of Gospel Liberty/' maintaining the 
exalted honor and glory of the Son of God. The following views 
were not learned from the teaching of men. While contemplat- 
ing the glory of the Son of God, I prayed to Jesus for light 
and understanding, and a glory and a beauty pertaining to the 
Son of God were manifested to my mind, such as I never saw be- 
fore. My views are that the Son of God is worthy of higher 
honor than is ascribed to him. Let us go back to the begin- 
ning. In Genesis i. 26 God said, "Let us make man in our 
image, after our likeness." Here God speaks to some one. In 
the next verse God alone is spoken of, and there the plural 
form of the pronoun is not used, but it reads, " God created 
man in his own image." Genesis I. 27. But in Genesis in. 22 
God says, "The man is become as one of us. 19 The plural 
pronoun is thus used four times, as follows : " Let us (1) make 
man in our (2) image, after our (3) likeness," and "the man has 
become as one of us (4)." I am aware that some contend that 
the plural form of the pronouns "us" and "our" is frequently 
used to signify one speaker or writer. But that reasoning will 
not apply to the phrase " us " in Genesis in. 22, as no writer 
calls himself " us "in the phrase "one of us." Who, then, was 



230 LIFE of 

• 

this person associated with God in creation? Let Saint John, 
the beloved disciple, answer. 

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was "with 
God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning 
with God. All things were made by him ; and without him 
was not any thing made that was made. And the Word was 
made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the 
glory as of the only-begotten of the Father), full of grace and 
truth." John i. 1-14. This Word was the Son of God who 
was with God and was God. Now turn to the .Revelations. 

" He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood : and his 
name is called The Word of God. And he hath on his vesture 
and on his thigh a name written, King of kings, and Lord of 
lords." Bev. xix. 12-20. If you wish it made plainer, turn to 
the great apostle. Saint. Paul says : 

" God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in 
time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last 
days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir 
of all things, by whom also ho made the worlds." Heb. I. 1, 2. 
Will any one who believes the Bible reject this undeniable 
evidence of the honor and glory of the Son of God, the testi- 
mony being in the words of him who said, " Let there be light, 
and there was light?" "All men should honor the Son even 
as they honor the Father." John v. 23. Webster defines honor 
to be worship, and gives this text (John v. 23) as an illustra- 
tion. 

"Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to 
be equal with God." Phil. n. 6. I can not comprehend how 
the Son is equal with God his Father ; yet I believe it because 
the word of God says so. 

"For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness 
dwell." Col. I. 19. This harmonizes with the former texts in 
establishing the glory of the Son of God. 

"In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." 
Col. II. 3. In maintaining the honor and glory of the Son of 
God, we quote these records of the treasures of wisdom and 
knowledge from the word. 

<'For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." 
Col. ii. 9. Is this a mystery? I grant it. The great apostle 

said: 

"Without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness: 
God was . manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen 
of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the 
world, received up into glory." I. Tim. in. 16. God was man- 
ifest in the flesh in Jesus Christ. God was justified in the Spirit 
of Jesus Christ. God was thus seen in the flesh " which things 
the angels desire to look into." I. Peter I. 12. God was 
preached unto the Gentiles ; for " God was in Christ reconciling 



> 

» 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 231 

the world unto himself." This was Jesus the Son of God. He 
suffered; he died; he arose from the dead; he ascended upon 
high, leading captivity captive ; received up into glory, while 
saints and angels sang: 

"Lift up your heads, O ye gates;, and be ye lifted up, ye 
everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who 
is this King of glory ? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord 
mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift 
them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall 
come in." Psalms xxiv. 7-10. Some think that they know all 
about God and his Son! This immortal theme is no mystery 
to them ! I say with Saint Paul, " Great is the mystery." Yet 
I believe it. Is it not strange that man will object to believing 
a mystery concerning God and Christ, the Son of God, while 
they do not understand their own organization, or how, or why 
the hair grows upon their own heads ? If they do not know 
themselves, how can they know all about God? Now read 
again : 

"And again' when he bringeth in the first-begotten into the 
world, he saith, J^nd let all the angels of God worship him. 
But unto the Son, he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever, and 
ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom." 
Heb. i. 6-8. The very next verse explains this. Kead verse 9 : 

"Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; there- 
fore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of glad- 
ness above thy fellows." Heb. I. 9. Saint Paul explains fur- 
ther, saying : 

"He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even 
the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly ex- 
alted him, and given him a name which is above every name." 
Phil. ii. 8, 9. It is to be noticed that after God said, " Thy 
throne, O God, is for ever and ever," he adds: 

" And, thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation 
of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands." 
Heb. I. 10. Thus he is our Emmanuel as it is written : 

" They shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted 
is, God with us." Matt. I. 23. Such is the glory of the Son of 
God. 

" Never does truth more shine, 

With beams of heavenly light, 
Than when the Scriptures join 

To prove it plain and right : ^ 

Than when each text doth each explai ii, 
And all unite to speak the same. 

The Three Orders. — There are three orders of intelligent 
beings — God, angels, and men. To one of these orders every 
intelligent being belongs. Of which order is the Son of God? 
Is he not of the highest order? There are man}' dear brethren 



232 LIFE OF 

who talk quite fluently about the divinity of Christ who hold 
that Jesus, the Son of God, is neither God, angel, or man! They 
think that he is called man because the Word was made flesh, 
and came in the form of a man. They think that he is called 
an angel because he is "the messenger of the covenant" to us. 
Malachi in. 1. They think that he is called God because of" being 
made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance 
obtained a more excellent name than they." This name can be 
none other than the name of God, his Father. Therefore he is 
called "Emmanuel, God with us." I ask, to which order does 
the Son of God belong? Which was he related to when he had 
glory with the Father "before the world was?" John xvu. 5. 
Could he be truly the Son of God, and be of any order below 
God? He could not. It being admitted that the Lord of life 
and glory is of the same order of being as God his Father, and 
truly related to him as the only-begotten Son of God, his 
Father, can it be denied that the Son of God is properly God, 
as the Bible says he is ? Yet, when this is said, men will cry 
out, " Two Gods ! " I believe no more in two Gods than they 
do, and I can not comprehend how the Son of God can be equal 
with God his Father. Yet, though our limited capacity can not 
comprehend the being and existing relation between the Father 
and the Son, let us humbly worship and " honor the Son, even 
as we honor the Father." O Jesus I give us of thy spirit, by 
which to worship thee aright. 

Timid Brethren. — Many fear to call Jesus God lest they 
should seem to have two Gods. But we should not fear to do 
whatever the Bible teaches us to do. Who will deny that there 
are two together in heaven, exalted above all creatures ? See 
the following Scriptures : 

"The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand." 
Matt. xxn. 44. 

" The Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1. 1. 

"Unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and 
ever." Heb. i. 8. 

"Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, bo unto him 
that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb." Rev. v. 13. 

" And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own 8el£ 
with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." 
John xvu. 5. Here are two, exalted, above all creatures. 

Shall we deny the word of God, or be afraid to say what the 
Bible says? The Christians receive the whole word of God. 
They do not deny it because they can not explain it, but leave 
the mysteries with God. The great apostle plainly states all 
these facts in a brief history of Christ, recorded in his letter to 
the Philippians. 

Divine History of the Son of God, — " Who, being in the form 
of God, thought it not robbery to bo equal with God : but 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 233 

made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of 
a servant, and Was made in the likeness of men: and being 
found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became 
obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore 
€rod also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is 
above every name : that at the name of Jesus every knee should 
bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under 
the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus 
Christ is Lord, to the glory ^of God the Father." Was he in 
the form of God? I believe it. Did he not think it robbery to 
be equal with God? I shall not deny it. Did he make himself 
of no reputation? I accept it. Did he die for me? I am 
thankful for it. Did God highly exalt him? Then I will try 
to exalt him also. Did God call him by a name which is above 
every name? There is no name above every name but the 
name God ; so I will give it to him. Shall every knee bow to 
him? So shall mine; and I will confess the Son of God to be 
Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

Humanitarians. — Some people think that Jesus was a proper 
man, exalted to be called God, and to be worshiped. But I an- 
swer, would God exalt a mere man to be called the only-begotten 
Son of God, and call him God ? Did God ever command the an- 
gels to worship a proper man ? Did God ever say to a mere man, 
"Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the 
earth ; and the heavens are the works of thine hands?" Could 
a mere man lay the foundation of the earth or the heavens? 
Could a finite spark be the brightness of infinite glory ? Could 
one less than omnipotent possess all power ? Could one less than 
infinite put all things under him, God only excepted? Could 
one of yesterday have had glory with God before the world was? 
Would God make an image of himself to be worshiped, and then 
forbid the worship of images? No; Jesus is truly God, though 
I can not comprehend it. 

A comparison. — All the truth of both Unitarians and Trini- 
tarians is mine, though I am of neither sect. Without deciding 
which is nearest right, where both are in error, do we not see 
how much more Trinitarians, who exalt the Son of God, what- 
ever may be their errors, are doing for the conversion of the 
wicked, than Unitarians are doing, who do not so exalt the 
Lord of life and glory? Who will attempt to deny this? Here 
I rest my argument. Will they now cry out, " Two Gods, two 
equal Gods, a second deity ;" things which I have said nothing 
about? I shall not answer such insinuations, but leave them 
to contend with the fearful odds of omnipotence, and the eternal 
truth of the great I AMI Will they say to Jehovah, "In pro- 
claiming to thy Son, « Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever/ 
thou makest two Gods? " Will they? I believe no more in two 
Gods than they do. I only contend that we are to give to 



234 LIFE OF 

Jesus the honor which the Bible gives to him. This I will do, 
and I am willing to trust the consequences to God. I do not 
agree with either Unitarians or trinitarians who say that "a 
derived God is no God at all " (Moses Stuart). Jesus is God 
because he is the Son of God. This is the word of God. 

Has Not Changed. — The doctrine which I preached at first 
does not conflict with the views I now entertain. More than 
forty years ago (1830) a learned Presbyterian preacher, Rev. 
John Rankin, of Ripley, Brown County, Ohio, published a work 
accusing Christians of believing that Jesus is an inferior being. 
I answered that publication, denying the said accusation, a copy 
of which answer is now before me, which does not conflict with 
the views I now entertain. The preface to said reply says 
[Here the copy is from an old pamphlet] : " These views are 
my own, and I alone am accountable for them. In 1830 Rev. 
John Rankin, a Presbyterian minister in Ripley, Ohio, pub- 
lished a pamphlet to sustain the trinitarian doctrine that the 
Father is God, the Son Jesus Christ is self-existent, co-equal 
God with the Father ; and the Holy Ghost is self-existent, co- 
equal God with the Father and the Son ; and these three are all 
co-essential, co-existent, and co-eternal, one God." The Chris- 
tian doctrine, which was spreading in southern Ohio, was the 
doctrine which was first preached by Christ and his apostles, 
viz : " There is one God, the Father, and one Lord Jesus Christ, 
the Son of God, his Father, and one Holy Ghost, the Comforter." 
I thank God that this said work has been preserved, or mistaken 
accusations might be believed, that I had changed. When this 
bounding heart has ceased to beat, and this trembling hand, 
which now holds this pen, is cold in death, I want my children 
and my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren to know and 
to understand, and to tell it abroad, that it was not by preaching 
Christ as an inferior being, the creature of creeds, that caused 
between six and seven thousand to embrace religion under my 
ministry during sixty years* preaching. 

Sister Lansdown. — The death-bed words of Sister Lansdown, 
published in the "Herald of Gospel Liberty," a few weeks since, 
seem appropriate for a place in this article on the glory of the 
Son of God. She said: "Most of the preaching concerning the 
Savior is too light. It does not properly represent him. He is 
high — above all principality and power. Sing to me of Jesus." 
If I remember rightly, Sister Lansdown and nearly all her 
father's family embraced religion and united with the church 
under my ministry. 

Praying to Jesus. — "And they stoned Stephen, calling upon 
God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Acts vn. 59. 
O, blessed Jesus, how many millions, when upon their dying 
pillow, has thy dear name comforted and made rejoice in the 
hope of future glory, immortality, and life eternal in a world 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 235 

beyond this world of sorrow, sin and death ? O, thou Lamb of 
God, let thy dear name give joy to me — unworthy me — as it 
has to others, when on my dying pillow I lay my head. 

" Dear Jesus, be my guide and friend, 
Unto my weary journey's end." 

The following article of mine, which was first published in 
the "Herald of Gospel Liberty,". fully sets forth my views of 
the way that we should preach on disputed doctrines : 

" Thy Word Is Truth. (John xvn. 17). Dear Editors : It is 
not my design to expatiate upon the text referred to, but merely 
to call attention to the fundamental teaching of Christ and the 
apostles. It is to be distinctly understood that the word of 
divine truth, and human renderings or explanations of that 
word, are different things. Will it not be admitted that the 
humaji definitions of the word of life have caused all the jargon 
and divisions now in Christendom? Can it be denied that said 
definitions are all false, in a greater or less degree, while ( the 
word is truth ? ' Now, let us look at a few items pertaining to 
this matter. A year or so ago a western Christian conference 
received a minister who said he believed in the trinity/ and in 
the sprinkling of water on men, women, and infants, for bap- 
tism. A number of writers in our paper stated their objections 
to the reception of a man with such a faith and practice. What 
then? Of course, if we believe him to be a Christian, are we 
not bound to receive him ? ' But not to doubtful disputations/ 
said Paul. Let such agree to use no words as to their belief, 
other than are in God's word. There will then be no trouble 
about differences in faith. Do not Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, 
as found in God's word, express enough to be believed in order 
to salvation ? For several months past there have been lengthy 
essays in our paper, for and against the trinity. Why all this? 
Is it not because men do not state and express thcir'faith by 
using the inspired words of truth, saying no more nor less than 
God's word says? Do any pretend that the word trinity is in 
the Bible? Surely not. Do not nearly all trinitarians define 
trinity thus : i The Father is God, the Son is equally God, and 
the Holy Ghost is equally God with the Father and Son ; and 
all these three are co-equal, co-essential, and co-eternal — all 
three of whom constitute or make one God ? ' Are not the Uni- 
tarian doctrines, that the Son of God is mere man, likewise not 
in the Bible? Now, without contending about the truth or 
falsehood of these theories, ought they not to be rejected for 
the plain reason that Jesus did not design that his followers 
should so believe, or the Holy Spirit would have indited the 
language or words of said system, or that phraseology; and it 
would have been recorded and contained in God's word, which 



236 LIFE OF 

it is not? I have preached in the same section of country, and 
among the same people, for more than half a century, and have 
often expressed my faith relative to the Father, Son, and Holy 
Spirit, using Scripture language, and I have never heard of one 
trinitarian objecting." 

Christmas Comes Again. — This is December 25, 1871. A beau- 
tiful day it is. Upon this day millions rejoice and think of 
Him from whom the day took its name. 

New Year's. — Here is New Year's day 1872, making eighty- 
two New Year's days seen by me. Perhaps not one in a thou- 
sand live to see eighty-two New Year's days. Thank God for 
his care that has been over me through a long life, and for my 
mental faculties, and for the health which I now enjoy. I am 
as well as I can expect. My thoughts will wander back over 
scores of years and to other generations, to the days of my 
youth, when Ohio was little more than a wilderness; to the 
days when young and strong, I threaded my way through for- 
ests to the settlements, and preached during the winter in log 
school-houses and in log cabin residences, which became temples 
consecrated by the conversion of souls. And when the warm 
weather came, then the crowds came. Multitudes would attend, 
many coming from quite a distance. Then I preached in the 
forest, and hundreds embraced religion in the shady temples 
built by nature. Being poor then, and without salary, I sup- 
ported myself and family with the labor of my hands. It may 
seem to many now to have been a great sacrifice to me to thus 
devote one-half my time to preaching ; but the labors were 
pleasant to me, and I felt " woe is me if I preach not the gos- 
pel," consequently I did not wait for money to "call" me. 
Those were happy days, and 1 now have a reward of more 
value to me than thousands in gold, namely : hundreds who 
then embraced religion under my ministry have died in tri- 
umphant hope. My memory now calls to mind the compan- 
ions of my youth in the ministry — those with whom I met to 
toil and travel, preach and pray. When we met in those days 
we did not jest and joke, as is too much practiced by ministers 
now. We &lt that we had important work. These pioneers of 
a free gospel are now gone — all gone — while I alone am left. 
Again 1 think of the loved ones of my own family, who were 
with me on past New Year's days, but are here no more. 

April 18, 1872. — I have been quite poorly for nearly two 
weeks with a distressing cough, for which there seems to be no 

relief. 

May 26, 1872. — The beautiful May month has come, and al- 
most gone again, with all its native charms, while I am here 
yet, almost deprived of enjoyment of this world by an afflict- 
ing cough. Is it not true that we can not properly appreciate 
the blessings of health till it is gone? During the past five 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 237 

-Wfceks I have beern much confined to my room. I have had 
*btir physicians to see me at different times. Thank God, I am 
nttw' improving in health. None can know the true value of 
^religion till earthly comforts can no longer be enjoyed. I now 
think, the Lord willing, that I shall be able to start on my next 
preaching tour Bast in about two weeks. 

The Seventh Visit East — June 13, 1872. — I, this morning, start 
East, intending to make my seventh visit to the land of my 
birth, and then go on to New England. I go first to Troy, 
twenty miles above Dayton, to meet there, June 18th, with the 
American General Convention, and Christian Publishing Asso- 
ciation, which meet at the same time and place, in order to 
hold consultation. O Jesus ! prosper my journey if it be thy 
blessed will. June 18, 1872, 1 met wit 1 ! the aforesaid conven- 
tions. After their close I took the cars for Rensselaer County, 
NeW York. I reached Stephentown, Rensselaer County, New 
York, oil the 25th instant, during a heavy fall of rain. After 
tarrying there two weeks, I took the cars for Boston, Massa- 
chusetts, on the 11th of July, where 1 arrived at Hve P. m., the 
same day, and was kindly received by Elder E. Edmunds, the 
Christian minister of that city. I tarried there four days, and 
preached on the second Lord's-day of this month to Elder Ed- 
xnunds' congregation. This was the first time that I had been 
able to preach since the fourth Lord's-day of March. On the 
16th of July, I took the cars to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where 
I could breathe sea air, and where thev were making prepara- 
tions for the great New England Christian camp-meeting, to 
open August 1, 1872. After four days I left for Fall River, 
where I spent the third Lord's-day in July, taking part in the 
service, but not preaching. Monday, July 26th, 1 went to New 
Bedford, where I spent that week, a part of the time sailing on 
the ocean, as far as to the island of "Martha's Vineyard," etc. 
On the fourth Lord's-day I preached at New Bedford. On the 
first of the week I returned to the Cape C6d camp-ground. The 
meeting began on Thursday, the 1st of August, 1872. Not 
having a tent of my own, I hired a lodging under a common 
" factory muslin " tent, with only a straw mattrass between me 
and the ground. There I slept every night during the week, 
my health improving all the time. It was truly an interesting 
meeting. There was a prayer-meeting for all to meet at every 
morning at sunrise, after which they had social meetings of 
prayer, speaking, singing, etc., in various tents ; for those from 
each city, town, or church, had each a large common tabernacle 
of w66d or canvas, where many meetings were held until the 
hour for preaching. They had sermons at ten a. m. and three 
p. m., and prayer and social meeting again for all at 7:30 p. m. 

He Preaches. — On the 6th of August, the sixth day of the 
camp-meeting, at three P. M,, by request, I tried to preach. 



238 LIFE OK 

The report of the sermon I take from the " Christian Herald," 
of Newbury port, Massachusetts, Elder D. P. Pike, Editor: "At 
three p. m. Brother Matthew Gardner gave an interesting ser- 
mon from the words, * The Son of man is come to seek and to" 
save that which was lost/ Brother Gardner is one of our old- 
est ministers from the West. • His sermon was able, and lovingly 
delivered." On the 7th of August I took the cars to Boston, and ' 
thence to Stratham, New Hampshire, almost seventy miles 
north-east of Boston. I was kindly welcomed to their home by 
Brother J. B. Severame and his kind lady. I tarried here two 
weeks, and preached on the third Lord's-day in August (18th), 
and left on the 22d instant, for Newburyport, Massacusetts, in 
which city there is a large Christian church, of which Elder D. 
P. Pike is pastor. In this church there has been a continued 
revival, yet continued, with meetings for preaching or prayer 
every night since January 1st. Brother Pike having requested 
me to visit his church and preach, I spoke for them on Lord's- 
day, the 25th, to a large congregation. The following is from 
the "Herald of Gospel Liberty," the first religious newspaper 
in the world j now published at Dayton, Ohio. 

"Brother Matthew Gardner.— The following is from the 
1 Christian Herald,' published in Newburyport, Massachusetts, 
September 3, 1872, Elder D. P. Pike, Editor: 'We have had 
the rich pleasure of a visit from this venerable minister of Jesus 
Christ. He came to us with the blessing of the gospel of Christ. 
Brother Gardner experienced religion August 10, 1810, at the 
age of nineteen. He was born in the State of New York; 
moved into the State of Ohio in 1800. He commenced preach- 
ing immediately after his conversion, presenting Christ as the 
sinners' friend. He was baptized by Archibald Alexander, and 
was ordained in 1815. He nas had a successful ministry. Be- 
tween six and seven thousand have professed the religion of 
Christ under his ministry. He was one of the first ministers 
who formed the Southern Ohio Christian Conference, in 1820, 
and has not missed a session of that conference since, and is, at 
the present time, president of that body. It is composed of. 
about thirty ministers, and between four and five thousand 
members. He is now in his eighty-second year, and of course 
his ministry extends over sixty years. It spans two genera- 
tions. His health is good, his mind active, his powers strong 
and vigorous. He is an abte minister of the New Testament, 
evangelical and orthodox in his doctrine, true to the precious- 
ness of Jesus, holding forth his equality with the Father, and 
his power to save repenting sinners. It is encouraging to meet 
with those ministers who have not been carried about by every 
wind of doctrine. He has walked by the same rule, and at- 
tended to the duties of the same gospel. He gave Court Street 
Church, in this city, a sermon, August 25th, in the afternoon, 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 239 

from Luke vil. 22. It was an impressive sermon, received with 
devout attention, and will be long remembered. His introduc- 
tion was appropriate and truthful. The anxiety of John the 
Baptist, and the kindness of Jesus, was feelingly presented. 
The miracles of Christ were ably set forth, admitted, and de- 
fended, the gospel correctly defined, and the mission-work of 
Jjesus earnestly commended. 'To the poor the gospel is 
preached. 1 Our people will not soon forget Brother Gardner 
nor his sermon. Many manifested their faith in Christ, show- 
ing that they rejoiced in the pardoning mercy of Jesus Christ. 
God bless Brother Gardner, making his last days his best, and 
crowning his sunset with a glorious immortality. He left us 
August 26th, on his return West. Safely may he reach his 
home, blessed with improved health and increased encourage- 
ment to trust the Master, and honor his own blessed work in 
saving souls.' " After parting with the kind friends at Newbury - 
port, I took the cars fbr Boston, where, after tarrying two days, 
I left for North Stephentown, where I arrived on the 29th, at 
two P. M. There I remained and visited a little more than two 
weeks. I preached on the third Lord's-day, September 15th, to 
a Presbyterian congregation, by the request of their preacher. 
They were all well pleased. On the 16th instant I bade fare- 
well to my dear friends and relations, and started for home, 
where I arrived on the 19th, about three a. m., with my health 
much improved. Thank God, through Jesus Christ, for his 
boundless mercy and goodness toward unworthy me! At 
home I yes, I am here at home! Home that w r as, when the one 
was here who made it home, who relieved my cares, who shared 
my toils, my sorrows, and my joys. Yes, home it was then ; 
but now, no home to me ! 

Conference. — The conference of 1872 met on the twelfth day 
of October, in its fifty-third annual session. I was there. I 
have, by divine grace, attended every one of its fifty- three an- 
nual sessions. It met at Point Isabel, in Clermont County, in 
the new chapel of the Salem church, which has been erected over 
three miles from the old house. There was a full attendance. 
The reports from the churches were favorable. I was nomi- 
nated for chairman, but declined being a candidate. My health, 
thank God, continues to improve. I am able to preach every 
Lord's-day. During the conference I preached in the Meth- 
odist church to a large congregation. On the 27th of October, 
agreeable to the dying request of a deceased sister in the 
church, I preached a funeral discourse in Hiatt's Christian 
Chapel, to a large congregation. • 

Eighth Visit East — November 12, 1872. — On this day I started 
on my return to the land of my birth, to spend the winter. I 
had a pleasant journey, and reached my intended home in 
safety, on the fourteenth day of November, in good health, for 



240 LIFE OF 

a man of my age. I found my relatives in good health gen- 
erally. The winter weather has commenced early. After 
freezing weather for a week, it commenced snowing, November 
22d, and continued at intervals several days. The snow is ten 
inches deep. It is beautiful sleighing. The first day of Decem- 
ber I went in a sleigh, with my cousin, Mr. Rose, with whom I 
am stopping, to the Baptist meeting, over three miles. The 
minister invited me into the pulpit, and requested me to preach. 
I declined, but followed him with prayer and some remarks, 
which were well received. The preacher said, " Brother Gard- 
ner, come as often as you can." 

December bth. — My birthday has come. It seems interesting to 
be here where I was born, on the 5th of December, 1790, eighty- 
two years ago. My health is improving slowly, but steadily. 
I am quite well, considering nay age. Thanks be to God. 

December 25, 1872. — This day is regarded as Christmas all 
over Christendom. The day is cold. The mercury has been 
ten degrees below zero, or about that for ten or fifteen days. 
Yet I do not feel the cold much, though I take my sleighride 
every few days. New Year's day, 1873, is here. This makes 
eighty-three New Year's days that I have seen. My health is 
improved. My voice is so far restored that I can sing again as 
in past years. My transient home is a pleasant place indeed. 
Every thing is done to make me comfortable — more than I can 
ask. Mr. Rose is an excellent man. His wife was a Gardner — 
a second cousin of mine. 

Prayer. — O God, as thou hast thus far led me and given me a 
long life in this world, I humbly beseech thee, in the name of 
thy dear and well beloved Son Jesus Christ, that thou wilt let 
thy Holy Spirit and thy fatherly care attend me through this year, 
the first day of which I have, by thy grace, lived to see. If it 
be thy will to call me hence during this year, grant me, O Lord, 
a tranquil hour in which to die, and afterwards give me a 
humble part with the redeemed, and those saved by grace. O 
blessed Jesus, thou Lord of life and glory, who hast said that thou 
wouldst be with all who trust in thee, do grant to guide me by 
thy counsel during my few remaining days on earth, and then 
receive me to glory to praise God and the Lamb forever. Amen. 
Thanks be to God ! Let all within me praise his holy name. 

Theweather is cold. The storms are fearful. They say that in 
the woods and where drifted the snow is from four to five feet deep. 
For several hours preceding one of these tremendous storms its 
approach may be seen by the driving snow and bending trees, 
as it comes over the great mountains of Massachusetts several 
miles east of us. It comes with a loud roaring sound like the 
sea. When this is heard, all prepare for the storm. All stock 
of every kind must be housed. The roads become filled with 
Bnow-drifts. Travel ceases entirely, until men turn out and 



MATTHEW (JARDNER. 241 

clear a track. Cold as it is, this* "shoveling snow" must be 
often repeated, for it is common for storm to follow storm, 
sometimes with only a few day's interval, filling the roads anew. 
By these storms and drifts the pleasure of* sleighriding is often 
interrupted, to the mortification of many who enjoy it, notwith- 
standing the cold weather. 

February 1, 1873. — The mean temperature of the weather for 
the past two months has been near zero; sometimes below — 
seldom above. January 30th it was twenty -three degrees be- 
low zero. Much of my time has been employed during the 
past months in writing and preparing for the press a pamphlet 
of thirty-five pages, octavo, containing two articles of mine, 
which were declined by Elder Henry Y. Eush, editor of the 
"Herald of Gospel Liberty," together with seven letters ad- 
dressed to him on the subject, and some theological remarks. 
It will not be inserted in this work, but may be found among 
my other productions. I negotiated, by letter, with Elder W> 
A. Gross, the agent of the Christian Publishing Association, at 
Dayton, Ohio, for the printing, binding, and distribution of said 
work. So about the last of this month (February, 1873), I 
mailed the manuscript entitled "The Christian .Reviewer," 
to be published for gratuitous distribution. 

March 10, 1873. — This morning I bade farewell to my dear 
cousin Eose and his kind companion, and left that pleasant 
home for Ohio. Cousin took me to the depot, three-fourths of 
a mile, to take the 6:30 a. m. train, and I was soon on my way. 
I stopped at the Publishing House at Dayton, Ohio, and found 
the new pamphlet ready to mail. It cost me one hundred dollars. 
I arrived home on the 14th of March. 

Ministry of the Angels. — This was my eighth journey East 
since 1851, or during the last twenty -two years, and no accident 
has occurred. Thanks be to God for his guardian angels, which I 
believe have attended me since the day when I first gave, 
my heart unto the Lord. The angels are the servants of 
God. 

"The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands 
of angels : the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, the holy place." 
Psalm lxviii. 17. 

They all worship the Son of God. "Again, when he bringeth 
in the first-begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the 
angels of God worship him." Heb. I. 6. 

Angels first appeared as cherubims, guarding the tree of life. 
Gen. in. 24. 

The angel of the Lord took care of Hagar when she was an 
outcast. "And the angel of the Lord found her by a fountain 
of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. 
And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence earnest thou? and 
whither wilt thou go? And she called the name of the Lord 
16 



242 LIKE OF 

that spake unto her, Thou Ghod seest mo : for she said, Have I 
also here looked after him that seeth me?" Gen. xvi. 7-13. 

Angels visited Abraham to guide him. Gen. xviii. 1. 

The angel of the Lord preserved Isaac. "And the angel of 
the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, 
Abraham. And he said, Here am 1. And he said, lay not thine 
hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him : for 
now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not with- 
held thy son, thine only son, from me." Gen. xxn. 11, 12. 

Angels appeared to Jacob, showing him the way to heaven. 
Gen. xxviii. 12. 

The angel of the Lord redeemed Jacob, and Jacob prayed him 
to bless the sons of Joseph, saying, "The angel which redeemed 
me from all evil, bless the lads." Gen. xlviii. 16. 

An angel appeared to Moses in the burning bush. Ex. in. 2. 

The angel of the Lord accompanied the Israelites in the fiery 
cloud. Exodus xiv. 19. 

The angel shut the lions' mouths. Daniel in. 28. 

Angels announced the Savior's birth, saying, " Glory to God in 
the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. For unto 
you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, which is 
Christ the Lord." Luke n. 11-14. 

Angels ministered to Jesus in the wilderness. Matt. rv. 11. 

An angel strengthened Jesus in the agony of Gethsemane, as 
we read : "And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, 
strengthening him." Luke xxn. 43. 

Angels rejoice when sinners repent. Luke xv. 10. 

Angels rolled back the stone from the sepulchre. John xx. 12. 

Angels conveyed Lazarus to Abraham's bosom. Luke xvi. 22. 

An angel delivered Peter from prison. Acts xn. 8. 

Angels carried the messages of Jesus to John, when on the 
Isle of Patmos. Rev. 1. 1. 

These angels ofted speak as God, and represent the Lord of 
life and glory j but Saint Paul says: "Are they not all minis- 
tering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs 
of salvation?" Heb. 1. 14. 

» And Jesus says : " They which shall be accounted worthy to 
obtain that world, and the resurrection from. the dead, neither 
marry, nor are given in marriage : neither can they die any 
more : for they are equal unto the angels : and are the children 
of God, being the children of the resurrection." Luke xx. 35, 36. 

The visits to the land of my birth were as follows: 

The first visit was during May and June, of 1852. 

The second was during August and September, of i854. 

The third was during August and September, of 1857. 

The fourth was during August and September, of 1865. 

Th* fifth visit was made during August, in 1870. 

The sioeth was during August and September, of 1871. 



MATTHEW GARDNER, 2*3 

The seventh visit was from June to September, in 1872. 

The eighth was from November to Mfcrch, of 1872-1873. 

Another Division, of Property. — Two of my sons being in need 
of pecuniary relief, I felt disposed to divide a part of the means 
with which God had blessed me,' and to be freed from the caro 
of it; and about the last of March or first of April, 1873, 1 gavo 
$4,500, as follows, to-wit: $1,000 each to my four sons, now liv- 
ing, and $500 to a grandson, whose fatter is deceased, all of 
which are advanced legacies, sums having been given to daugh- 
ters before, as advanced legacies, this being part of $3,640 
which each daughter had- received more than the sons since 
both sons and daughters received their first portions. Through 
divine grace, care, and protection, I have lived to see the be- 
ginning of the charming month of May, 1873, this being the 
sixth day of that month. My health is good for a man of my 
age; and the delightful scenery, the verdant fields, and blos- 
soming trees, enlivened by sweet-singing birds, make me almost 
fancy myself back to the days of my boyhood. But those days, 
with their then precious interests, have long since gone, never 
to return ; but faith and hope look forward to happier hours in 
a country more beautiful than the May months. " There ever- 
lasting spring abides, and never-fading flowers." Thank God, 
in Christ, for this hope ! 

May 20, 1813; May 20, 1873— Married Sixty Years Ago.— 
The twentieth day of May, which I have lived to see in 1873, is 
an ever-memorable day to me. The memory of this day is en- 
deared to me because it was the twentieth day of May, 1813, on 
which I took the hand of Sally Beasly to be my wife. It was 
on this very day, sixty years ago. Then both were young. We 
grew old together. She was born on the 12th of September, 
1794. We were married on the 20th of May, 1813. She died 
on the 20th of September, 1869. She is no more here! My 
heart fills while I write, and my thoughts mournfully wander 
back to the day of our marriage, and return again, lingering all 
along the years we lived together. Tears will flow to ease a 
burdened heart. The beauties of May are charming still; but, 
ah ! they can not cheer this heavy heart of mine ! Jesus, I lay 
myself at thy feet ! 

Parting with Brethren. — On the 21st of this month I went to 
Dayton, Ohio, to the Christian Publishing House. I was quite 
kindly received by Elder Rush, the editor of the "Herald of 
Gospel Liberty." Our interview was quite friendly indeed, and 
we so parted. I returned to Cincinnati, and on Lord's-day, the 
25th, went to hear Elder 1ST. Summerbell, the pastor of the 
Christian Church in that city. He kindly requested me to 
preach, which invitation I declined, preferring to hear him. 
Our interview was kind and brotherly, and thus we parted. 



244 LIFE OF 

Beturns Home. — On the 26th of this month (May, 1873), I re- 
turned to my home. 

Things Pleasant. — My visit to Dayton, Ohio, a few days 
ago, though fatiguing, was quite pleasant, being very kindly 
received by Brother Bush, the "Herald" editor, and Brother 
Gross, the publishing agent, and I enjoyed the company of Bro. 
Byrkit, our blind minister, and several other ministers who 
happened to call at t^e Christian Publishing House during my 
short stay in Dayton, which was on the 22d and 23d days of 
May, 1873. My interview with Brother Bush was quite pleas- 
ant indeed. On the 24th I returned to Cincinnati, and on 
Lord's-day, the 25th, went to Bible Chapel to hear Elder N. 
Summerbell, who kindly requested me to preach, which invi- 
tation was declined by me, preferring to hear him. The chapel 
is well fitted up, and looks like prosperity, though the congre- 
gation is not large. I saw Sister Summerbell, who does more 
than the work of one woman. She looks quite feeble. I view 
her as one of the best of women. I was glad to hear that Elder 
Joseph J. Summerbell, whom I helped to ordain when perhaps 
little more than nineteen years of age, is doing well at Spring, 
Pennsylvania. After a very pleasant interview with Elder 
ST. Summerbell, I took the steamer on the 26th, and reached 
our daughter's (Sally A. Shinkle), near Higginsport, that night. 
about nine o'clock, in tolerable health but quite tired. — [Her- 
ald of Gospel Liberty. 

. Ripley, Ohio, May 29, 1873. M. GARDNER. 

v. 

Expected Eastern Sojourn. — If the Lord wills, it is my pur- 
pose to start East (to spend the summer) about the 10th of 
June, proximo. Hence, would say to all not to write me at 
Eipley, Ohio, after the last of this month (May), but after that 
time direct to North Stephentown, New York. — [Herald of 
Gospel Liberty. M. Gardner. 

THE LAST RECORDS. 

On Lord's-day, June 1, 1873, 1 preached to a large congrega- 
tion in Eipley, the appointment having been published in the 
newspaper of that town. 

End of the Manuscript — June 10, 1873. — This morning I start, 
to make the ninth visit to the land where 1 was born. 

The above is the last line penned by Elder M. Gardner in 
the manuscript of his autobiography. It is probable that he 
left it at his home, near Eipley, on the morning of June 10. 
1873, and never saw it afterward. 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 245 



LAST PREACHING TOUR. 



" Go preach my gospel," saith the Lord ; 
44 Bid the whole earth my grace receive : 
He shall be saved that trusts my word, 
And he condemned that won't believe. 



t< 



I'll make your great commission known ; 

And ye shall prove my gospel true, 
By all the works that I have done, 

By all the wonders ye shall do. 



"Teach all the nations my commands ; 
I'm with yoa till the world shall end : 
All power is trusted in my hands ; 
I can destroy, and I defend." 



He spake, — and light shone round his head ; 

On a bright cloud to heaven he rode ; 
They to the farthest nation spread 

The grace of their ascended Lord.— Watts. 



The autobiography of Elder Gardner, as written by himself, 
closed on the former page; but by carefully gathering the 
future incidents of his life from his articles in the papers, his 
letters, and his words as reported by friends, the reader will be 
enabled still to follow him, by his own writings, from step to 
step, place to place, and sermon to sermon, until the last sermon 
is preached, and the last farewell is spoken, and the last word 
is uttered, and until the aged hand has for the last time laid 
down the pen, at the gates of Paradise. 

For he waits, like patriarchs of old, "who confessed that 
they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that 
say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. But 
now they desire a better country — that is, an heavenly: 
wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he 
hath prepared for them a city." 

I shall meanwhile carefully refrain from any comments of my 
own, or even of others, until his voice is silent. Therefore, the 
reader will continue to read the words of Matthew Gardner, to 
the last moments of his life. 

N. SUMMERBELL. 



246 LIFE OP 



LAST GLIMPSES OF HIS LIFE. 

Eastern Sojourn — No. 1. After leaving my home, near Ripley, 
Ohio, on the 10th instant, I reached this place (through divine 
protection) on the 12th, in the afternoon, having traveled day 
and night, by taking a sleeping-car — the journey, as a whole, 
being near one thousand miles. My health (except being tired) 
is quite good for a man of my age. I found my friends and 
relations enjoying good health in general. The spring has been 
quite cold and backward here. Some have not yet planted their 
corn, while a great deal of what is planted is not up. Eeligion 
is quite low all over this country. I expect to leave this section 
and go into New England (Providence, Ehode Island) about 
the first of July, if the Lord will. If any write me, they will 
direct to North Stephentown, New York, and I will leave in- 
structions to remail to me. 

When we meet loved brethren in Christ and dear friends and 
relations, it is a cause of joy and gladness, which seems to give 
new wings to time ; hence the hours pass quickly and pleas- 
antly away. But the parting-time must and will come ; thus, 
in view of the uncertainty of our ever meeting again in this 
world, we feel sad in our parting, after which there is a lonely 
melancholy that pervades the heart. Have we not all ex- 
perienced this? The above were my feelings, and of course 
those of others, when I preached in Ripley shortly before leav- 
ing for this eastern sojourn. The congregation was large, and 
there were present some of those whom my hands had baptized 
in the early part of my ministry, when they were young men 
and young women. Their locks are now white, and their fam- 
ilies grown up to be men and women, while some have gone to 
their graves. It had been a good while since I had preached 
in Ripley, this appointment being made at the request of the 
brethren and Elder J. W. Marvin (one of the best of men), who 
is the pastor of that church. I expect, if the Lord will, to return 
home about the first of September. M. Gardner. 

North Stephentown, June 16, 1873. 

THE NEW BIRTH. 

Ye Must Be Bom Again. 1 * (John m. 3-7.) — Perhaps there is 
no part of the Savior's teaching that more directly interests 
mankind than the above, and no subject in theology about 
which the views of men more greatly differ. Be this as it may,, 
there is one thing certain, according to the general teachings of 
the New Testament, namely : that if saved, the heart and tho 
affections must bo changed from the love of this world "to love* 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 34? 

God because he first loved us," and the character changed from 
a wicked person to that of a humble follower of the meek and 
lowly Jesus. This can not be done by the wisdom and power 
of man ; it is the work of the Holy Spirit through faith, prayer, 
and repentance in us. The way we can know that we are born 
again is, "that everyone that loveth (God) is born of God," 
$tc. ; hence, if we love God and his people, we are born again. 
X John in. 7. Now, what are we to understand by the words 
" born of water?" Do not all careful Bible readers know that 
the prophets spoke of the gospel as a " river of water and a 
fountain for sin?" Zachariah xin. 1, says: "In that day there 
shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the 
inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness." Christ 
used the figure of water to represent the purifying influence 
that his word would have upon the hearts of those who hear it. 
Hence he said, " If any man thirst, let him come unto me and 
drink." Peter says, "Being born again, not of corruptible 
seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God (water) which 
liveth and abideth forever." I. Peter i. 23. Thus the word 
enters the heart by faith with its purifying influence, and the 
word in union with the Spirit transforms the person into " a 
new creature" in Christ Jesus; hence, "born of water and the 
Spirit;" who can deny it? [Herald of Gospel of Liberty. 
North Stephentown, New Yorls, June 17, 1873. M. GARDNER. 

Eastern Sojourn — No, 2. — The time of my stay in North 
Stephentown, New York, of about three weeks, including 
three Lord's-days, was spent as follows : The first Lord's-day 
after my arrival I was taken to South Berlin to hear Brother 
Taylor, who has lately come there to preach to the Christian 
Church of that place. He kindly requested me to preach, 
which I declined. On the next Lord's-day (fourth Lord's-day 
in June, 1873), I preached in Petersburg, New York, according 
to previous appointment, made by the request of Brother J. B. 
Hays, pastor of the Christian Church of that place. I think 
Elder Hays is useful and doing good, being well beloved by the 
church of his charge and the people. I was kindly received 
and entertained by him and Sister Hays, his excellent lady. 
On the fifth Lord's-day of said month, I attended the close- 
communion Baptist meeting. The minister manifested a Chris- 
tian spirit — inviting me to take part in the service, which I did. 
On the 3d day of July, 1873, 1 took the cars, at half-past six 
o'clock a. m., for Providence, Ehode Island, which place I 
reached near nine o'clock p. m., and was kindly received by 
Elder John A. Perry and his excellent lady. Being kindly re- 
quested by Elder Asa W. Coan, who is pastor of the Broad 
Street Christian Church in said city, I preached to the people 
aforesaid on the first Lord's-day of this month. My father waa 



248 LIFE OF 

born in Ehode Island in 1760. On the 10th of July I took the 
cars with Brother Perry and his family, at seven o'clock a. m., 
for Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the place of the New England 
.Christian Camp-meeting, which we reached between twelve and 
one o'clock p. m. of that day. On the second Lord's-day of this 
month I was taken about a mile and a half in a carriage to a 
Congregational meeting in the village of Centerville. The 
minister, having seen me at the camp-meeting last year, knew 
me, and came to the seat and asked me to preach, which I did, 
and had a good time, being helped by the Holy Spirit. My 
health is quite good for a man of my age. After the camp- 
meeting, which is to begin on the 4th of August, proximo, and 
to end the 12th of that month, I expect to start homeward and 
reach there on the 3d of September, if the Lord wills. — [Herald 
of Gospel Liberty. M. Gardner. 

Cape Cod, Massachusetts, July 17, 1873. 

HOMEWARD BOUND. 

When for eternal worlds we steer, 
And seas are calm, and skies are clear, 
And faith in lively exercise, 
Sees distant hills of Canaan rise, 
The soul for joy then claps her wings, 
And loud her lovely sonnet sings, 
Vain world adieu, vain world adieu, 

With cheerful hope her eyes explore 
Each landmark on the distant shore ; 
The trees of life, the pastures green, 
The golden streets, the crystal stream ; 
Again for ioy she claps her wings, 
And loud ner lovely sonnet sings, 
Vain world adieu 

The nearer still she draws to land, 
More eager all her powers expand ; 
With steady helm, fend free bent sail, 
Her anchor drops within the vail ; 
Again for joy she claps her wings, 
And her celestial sonnet sings, 
Glory to God. 

July 26, 1874. — From this date the aged pilgrim's bark was 
visibly turned toward worlds eternal, and pressed hard for the 
distant shore. 

Painful Change in the Narrative. — Elder A. W. Coan wrote : 
" The numerous friends of the venerable Matthew Gardner, of 
Eipley, Ohio, will learn, with much regret, that he is now pros- 
trate in his room at the hotel, on the camp-grounds near Hy- 
annis, Massachusetts, from the effects of a fall from the steps of 
the hotel on the grounds. He fell on Saturday evening of July 
26th, breaking the left thigh-bone at the hip-joint. He is re- 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 249 

markably patient, and appears to suffer as little as could be ex- 
, pected. It is not probable that he will ever be able to walk." — 
I'Herald of Gospel Liberty. 

Eider H. Y. Kush wrote : " The above intelligence will be 
received with sorrow throughout the brotherhood. The life of 
Elder Gardner has been an eventful one, and the cause of gos- 
pel truth has received from him much effectual service. His 
mission among us is not without just appreciation, nor will this 
sorrowful accident fail to draw toward him the sincere sym- 
pathy of his people. We fear that from such a hurt as that 
described by Brother Coan, Elder Gardner can hardly recover ; 
but if his days are thus to be shortened, we can be assured that 
he stood till the last on Zion's walls, and that he l endured as 
seeing Him who is invisible.' May God comfort and sustain 
him in his suffering." 

Elder A. E. Heath responded : "Let us all pray." He said : 
"At the Sturgis House we found Elder M. Gardner prostrate, 
with the head of the thigh-bone broken off, and the socket it en- 
ters bursted, but quite well in other respects, and even cheerful ; 
and he hopes in God to get up and preach the gospel. Yet he 
does not trust in man or nature, but in the power of God. Let 
all pray for our aged father in tlte gospel." 

The veranda was broad, without front safety of banister or 
balustrade. The steps extended but a portion of the way across 
the broad front ; and in the dark the aged minister missed the 
steps and walked off, falling about three feet. It is supposed 
that the sure-footed old man came down upon his feet, the 
weight of his body, by the fall, bursting the socket of his thigh. 

"Let All Pray!" — This was expressive of the general feel- 
ing of sympathy throughout the entire brotherhood. C. A. 
TUlinghast wrote as follows: "Universal regret and sorrow 
were expressed for the sad accident which confined Brother 
Matthew Gardner, of Ohio, to his room in the hotel, with a 
broken limb. He was often remembered in prayer." " Let us 
all pray for this aged father in the gospel," said Elder Heath, 
and an audible " amen " went out from a thousand hearts. We 
will pray. 

The Promises. — "Ask, and it shall be 'given you." (Jesus). 
Matt. vn. 7. " The prayer of faith shall save the sick, and 
the Lord shall raise him up. Pray one for another, that 
ye may be healed. The effectual, fervent prayer of a right- 
eous man availeth much." James v. xv. If the aged sufferer 
may be able to reach his distant home in Ohio, there to be 
with and be cared for by his children, and so end his days in 
peace, with grace to sustain him, is all that can be asked or 
hoped for. 

Sunday, August 10th, by the pen of Eev. Austin Craig, D. D., 
Elder Gardner gave the following farewell words, which were 



250 LIFE OF 

read at tho camp-meeting : "I have now been sixty-three years 
a Christian minister, and would say with the apostle, * I have 
fought a good fight; I have finished my coarse; I have kept the 
faith.' I was born December 5, 1790, in Bensselaer County, in 
the State of New York — near the Massachusetts line. In the 
year 1800, my tenth year, my father moved to the then north- 
western territory of Ohio, and settled in the wilderness. I 
embraced religion in 1810, and began to preach immediately. 
There were no schools there at that time,, and my education was 
limited. All I had I obtained by my own industry, purchasing 
books as I earned means to do so. I never would have preached 
if 1 had not thought I would be eternally lost without^ it; nor 
would I ever have preached, if I had not thought sinners would 
be eternally lost if they did not repent. When I began in the 
world I was poor, with no means except my hands — no churches 
there to pay preachers. I believed I could make a living in 
one-half of my time ; and I promised the Lord, on my knees, 
that 1 would devote the other half of my time to the work of 
calling sinners to repentance. I hoped the people would quit 
coming to hear me, and then I could be excused from preaching. 
But I was disappointed. They still kept coming, and are com- 
ing yet. So I never found a place to stop. I never preached 
hair-splitting theology; but preached the full gospel to sinners, 
and the great plan of salvation. 1 did not preach Jesus Christ 
the Son of God, as an inferior, finite being ; but viewed that he 
must be infinite and 6mnipresent, or he could not fulfill his 
promise, ' Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the 
world,' nor could he say, ' Without me, ye can do nothing.' It 
was my uniform practice never to go into the pulpit, nor try to 
preach, without first specially asking Christ to help me that one 
time. He never did fail to help me when I thus asked him, and 
the few times that I did not ask, I failed to have his presence. 
I lived a grave and sober life, not because Paul commanded it, 
but because of the weight and burden of the cause of Christ, 
which I felt. I have ever lived a regular praying life, always 
having daily prayers in my house. I never jested nor joked; 
and seldom reproved either preachers or people for it, by words ; 
but when they referred to me, I generally evaded, and would 
take no part, that being reproof enough. I have lived and 
preached sixty-three years in the same section of country, and 
among the same people. The congregations which attend my 
ministry are now larger there than anywhere else. I would 
tell my hearers first to find Jesus, and then find a church in 
which they could live as his followers ; hence many of those who 
were converted under my ministry, united with churches of 
other denominations. As nearly as I can compute, about six 
thousand and one hundred persons have embraced religion 



3IATTHEW GARDNER. 251 

under my ministry. !Now 1 bid my brethren and friends a 
Christian farewell. All is peace ! All is well ! " 

His Son and Grandson, John W. and John F. Gardner, go and 
bring him home to the house of his Son-in-law, S. II. Hopkins^ ar- 
riving August 15fA. — He writes from Bentonville as follows : " I 
am now staying, in my affliction, at Bentonville, Adams County, 
Ohio, which is about twelve miles east of my old home; I 
reached here on the 15th of August, having left the camp- 
ground on the 12th of August. We came day and night, mak- 
ing our connections without detention. My friends told me 
that I would stop at the first station after starting, but, by more 
than human strength from the Lord, I was enabled to stand the 
journey through, though very feeble indeed. I am at the house 
of my daughter, Julia C. Hopkins, and all is done that can be in 
reason for my welfare. M. Gardner." 

Elder A. K. Heath wrote: "He stood the trip home well. 
The route was by Fall River boat to New York ; thence by 
broad guage railroad to Cincinnati, and by Ohio River boat to 
Manchester Landing, and thence by spring wagon to Benton- 
ville, unto the house of his daughter, Sister Hopkins. He will 
be kindly and well cared for. Let brethren address him at 
Bentonville, with words of cheer." 

* 

Brother Samuel Hopkins writes as follows from Bentonville, 
Ohio : "Elder Gardner is here, and there are some hopes of his 
recovery. He is now able, by a little help, to walk on his 
crutches. His general health is tolerably good." 

H. Y. Rush said in the " Herald :" " Brethren, let us still pray 
that the life of Elder Gardner may be prolonged, and that his 
feeble voice may yet bear its unfaltering testimony for the cause 
of Jesus. Our brethren will be much gratified, and thankful to 
the kind Father, if Elder Gardner is permitted to attend an- 
other session of the Southern Ohio Conference. May it so be." 

"Dear Brother N. Summerbell: Yours of the 29th ultimo, 
containing words of Christian sympathy and advice, is thank- 
fully received. As you advise, so my eventful life has uniformly 
been, ever remembering, * Thou, God, seest me.' Life is uncer- 
tain and death near. The six questions contained in yours 
have never troubled me, feeling to put my whole trust in my 
dear Savior, who will guide me safely through unexplained mys- 
teries. My general health is as good, or perhaps better than could 
be expected, under the circumstances. The bones that were 
broken are mending slowly, and are so far improved that I am 
able to move about the room a little on crutches. I feel calm 



252 LIFE OF 

and composed, trusting in the Lord, knowing that all will work 
together for good. It is with much difficulty that I am able to sit 
and write these few lines, therefore you will excuse the shortness 
of the letter. My Christian regards to Sister Summerbell, and 
to Joseph and Mary. Yours, in love. From one whom you 
will perhaps see no more. M. Gardner. 

"Bentonville, Ohio, September 4, 1873." 

Soon after this Rev. S. S. ETewhouse wrote : " Elder Gardner 
is still improving in health. The first Sunday of September he 
was able to be conveyed to the church in a spring wagon, a 
half mile from the village where he is stopping. Brother Ab- 
bott also writes us that he took part in the service, speaking 
with much earnestness and with good effect upon the hearts of 
the people. The elder is still in the care of his daughter, Mrs. 
Hopkins, who is attentive to all his wants. We are yet hoping 
that he may be able to attend the approaching session of the 
Southern Ohio Conference." 

September 27, 1873. — Elder Gardner writes: "It is now over 
two months since I received the injury at Hyannis, namely, on 
the 26th of July; and how I have been able to endure the suf- 
fering is truly a mystery to myself. Not that the injury itself 
gave me such great pain, but the being confined upon my back 
for four weeks, during which I traveled from Hyannis, Cape 
Cod, Massachusetts, to this place. My health is as good as 
could be expected under the circumstances. I move about the 
house on crutches, and my leg seems to be slowly mending. 

"M. Gardner." 

The Conference Notice. — The Southern Ohio Christian Confer- 
ence will meet, in its fifty -fourth annual session, on Saturday, 
October 4, 1873, at ten o'clock a. m., at the Bethlehem Christian 
chapel, Brown County, Ohio. The chapel is about one mile 
from the Ohio River. Persons coming by way of the river will 
get off at Aberdeen. Thomas Sheldon, Clerk. 

This conference he had assisted in organizing in the tenth 
year of his ministry, and had attended for fifty-three years. 
Bethlehem, where it was appointed to meet, was only ten miles 
from where he was now lying sick. 

The Last Letter (Unfinished.*) — "Dear Bro. Craig: Yours, 
of the 15th ultimo, was received a few days ago, after having 
been lying in the post-office of Eipley, and then remailed to 
this place, where I am now staying in my affliction, which is 
about twelve miles, nearly east of my old home residence, near 
Ripley, Ohio. As to the state of my health now, it is, in the 
general, as good perhaps as could be expected under the cir- 
cumstances. I can move about the house upon crutches, and 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 253 

my leg seems to be mending slowly. I would again thank you 
for preparing and forwarding to the ' Herald' my farewell 
words read at the camp-meeting. You, of course, have noticed 
that, in the printed copy, the words, ' I have kept the faith/ 
are left out, which words I am certain that you read to me from 
your written copy* I blame no one. In addition to the words, 
* I have kept the faith,' there should have been the words, 'All 
is peace! all is well!' which, though on my mind, I do not re- 
member of speaking, which will appear, with explanation, in 
my life, if the Lord permits me to write more. 
"Bentonville, Adams County, Ohio, September 28, 1873." 

Last Writing. — " The events of my life are given as briefly as 
possible ; hence, I would not know what to leave out without 
injuring the narrative, though perhaps another might. 

"M. Gardner." 

" Benton ville, Ohio, September 28, 1873." 

October 4, 1873 — The Conference. — Saturday morning Elder 
Matthew Gardner rode, seated in a large chair, in a spring 
wagon, and was thus conveyed ten miles, to the conference, 
by his son-in-law, S. H. Hopkins ; and thus he returned in the 
evening to his home, that is, to the house of his son-in-law, 
where he made his home after his return from the East. 

Tuesday Morning^ October 7, 1873. — Brother Hopkins, his son- 
in-law, conveyed him, for the second time, to conference. This 
was the last conference that he would ever attend, and he went 
to preach his farewell sermon. He was conveyed, as before, in a 
spring wagon, sitting in a large chair. It was ten miles — a 
long ride ; but he was inured to hardship. 

Elder Thomas Sheldon, the conference clerk, writes : "Elder 
2T. Summerbell: — My Dear Brother — Elder M. Gardner was at 
the conference on Tuesday, and expected to leave the confer- 
ence that afternoon, and not to return again during the ses- 
sion. The usual day to deliver the < letters to the ministers' 
is "Wednesday — the next day; but, considering the circum- 
stances, we concluded to give him his letter before he left 
So Brother S. S. Newhouse, the president, signed his letter, and 
I signed it and presented it to him, saying, i Brother Gardner, 
I think, in all probability, this will be the last letter that I shall 
have the privilege, as clerk of this conference, of handing to 
you.' He replied, 'Yes, there is no doubt that, before another 
conference meets, I shall leave you.' I said, 'Brother Gardner, 
we will miss you very much; at least, I shall.' He replied, 
' Brother Sheldon, do you stand firm, and we will meet in a 
better world.* Elder Gardner remained from eleven a. m. to 

two P. M. 



254 



LIFE OF 






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MATTHEW GAftD&QB. 255 

Is Last Sermon.— The hour has come. Here is the church 
wliich he had organized half a century before, and of which he 
had been pastor forty-five years, and was yet a member. Here 
are the representatives of the churches, many of which he had 
organized, and to all of which he had preached statedly or at 
intervals for many years. The aged patriarch could not stand, 
"but sat in his large chair. It was a sermon directed chiefly to 
the ministers. Before the sermon he sang in a loud, clear voice, 
that touching hymn : 

44 Oh land of rest, for thee I sigh, 
When will the moment come, 
When I shall lay my armor by. 
And dwell with Christ at home f 

\ 

44 No tranquil joys on earth I know ; 
No peaceful, sheltering dome ; 
This world's a wilderness of woe: 
This world is not my home. 

44 To Jesus Christ I sought for rest. 
He bade me cease to roam ; 
And fly for tuccor to his breast, 
And he'd conduct me home. 

44 When, by afflictions sharply tried, 
I view the opening tomb, 
Although I dread death's chilling tide, 
Yet still I sigh for home." 

But his utterance was almost stopped when he came to the 
last verse* 

44 Weary of wandering round and round, 
This vale of sin and gloom, 
I long to quit the unhallowed ground. 
And dwell with Christ at home." 

Text. — " Preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee." Jonah 
in. 2. 

Elder Gardner said : " I believe that the Lord has spared mo 
to preach this sermon." 

I. He expounded the text, showing the necessity of abiding 
by the word of God. If it is changed ever so little, it is no 
longer God's word. The universal command of God to every 
preacher, sent by him, is, 4< Preach the preaching that I bid 
thee." He said : 

"1. This is the last conference that I ever expect to attend." 
He then alluded to the conference in its rise and history, and 
of his early labors in this region of country and elsewhere, and 
said : 

"2. I desired to be at this conference, and the Lord has 
granted my request." 



256 LIFE OF 

II. He exhorted the preachers to faithfulness, and spoke of 
the opposition which he had encountered, the persecutions which 
he had endured, and the long labor which he had performed, 
and said : 

u 2. Be faithful. Never preach a doctrine which can not be 
stated in the exact words of the Scriptures." He then exhorted 
all to live prayerful lives, and said : 

" 3. My success in a ministry of over sixty years I attribute 
to my strict adherence to the word of God. I have preached 
the preaching that God bid me to preach. This is the last con- 
ference that I ever expect to attend. Remember the word, 
4 preach the preaching that 1 bid thee.' And now, farewell! 
farewell ! " 

Brother Newhouse says : " His sermon consisted in a state- 
ment of his experience as a minister, and an exhortation to the 
ministers of the conference to be faithful to God, and < to preach 
the preaching ' that God commands them; that is, the Bible. 
Prom the words of the text he spoke of his obedience, through 
his entire ministry, to this command of God. He had preached 
what God gave him to preach. He sjsoke of an instance or two 
in his life when he was reasoned into error, and was thus about 
to espouse false doctrine; but by obeying the command of God, 
in the words of the text, he was led to give them up." 

Report of Elder Bush> the Editor. — "We made good time to 
Maysville. Landing there we ferried the river to Aberdeen. 
It was now eleven o'clock a. m., and the conference nearly two 
miles away. We heard that Father Gardner was to preach at 
eleven. So learning, we hastened to a livery stable, determined 
to hear at least a part of what we feared would be the dear old 
man's dying discourse. And so it proved ! He preached with 
strength and emphasis ; told them it was his last sermon, went 
home, and two days afterward died, after thirty minutes' sick- 
ness. After Elder Gardner's discourse there came a season of 
farewell handshaking I The crippled and helpless old veteran 
sat in the chair from which he had preached his sermon; The 
large congregation came forward, and one by one bid him a final 
farewell. Ah, who that had tears could not have shed them 
then? Strong men wept, and from many, many eyes, came 
these overflowings of grief. It seemed really like a funeral of 
the living, and such in a sense it proved to be. It was Father 
Gardner's dying farewell to the people for whom he had been 
pastor forty years; it was his final farewell to his brethren of 
the ministry, who shall see his face no more in the flesh." 

Elder J. r. Daugherty says : " He gave his last solemn charge 
to his brethren in the ministry, in the fifty-fourth session of the 
Southern Ohio Christian Conference, he himself having never 
failed, in a single instance, to meet the conference in any of its 
sittings. Every heart was full, and every face bathed in tears, 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 257 

as he bade the conference an affectionate farewell. As he clasped 
my hand he said, 'My dear brother, I have been anxious to see 
you. I desire to have a talk with you at some convenient time.' 
. Then the tears of seemingly mingled joy and sorrow flowed 
freely, and I turned away to make room for others. 

The Maysville at which Elder Eush landed on his way to 
Bethlehem, over a mile distant, to hear Elder Gardner preach, 
was the * Lime Stone ' village in the fall of 1800, just seventy- 
three years before, at which Matthew Gardner landed, then a 
little boy, on his first voyage down the Ohio. How little the boy 
thought, when standing on the shore in 1800, that in seventy- 
three years he would be preaching his final farewell to a weep- 
ing congregation, within about a mile of where the boy then- 
stood, and that editors and ministers would be hastening over that 
same Lime Stone landing to hear him 1 How little we know of 
the future ! The meeting has closed. The pligrim has bidden 
farewell to his brethren, the church, and the conference; and 
under the shadows of the great hills which border the eastern 
shores of the Ohio River, the aged minister*, sitting in the 
spring wagon, is for the last time returning to his earthly home, 
then only ten miles; but he will be far, far away in two or 
three days." 

Elder Daugherty further writes : " He said to his son-in-law, 
on his way home from the conference, <I am now entirely 
released from the affairs of this life, and will never again bo 
entangled therein. , " 

The Last Day. — The morning before his death he had a talk 
of about two hours with his daughter, Mrs. Hopkins, in which 
he said, "If I die soon, all is well; the will of the Lord be done. 
All I need here is a place to stay a little while." 

The Last Night — " He was well and hearty last night. Ho 
ate heartily at supper, and retired as well as usual." 

The Last Hour. — He began to complain soon after half-past 
one o'clock in the morning. He was perfectly sane, but said 
nothing about dying, except the words, "1 fear that I shall not 
live till morning" His mental powers continued strong to the 
very last ; and his utterance was clear and distinct. 

Mis Last Words. — His son-in-law, Samuel H. Hopkins, wrote, 
" 1 was holding him in my arms, when he said : c Lay me down.' 

" He lived but a few minutes afterward. A more devoted 
man I have never seen end his days than Father Gardner." 
The immediate cause of his death was supposed to have been 
"valvular disease of the heart." He had often prayed, "Lord, 
give me a tranquil hour in which to die," and the hour was 
there. The prayer was answered, and he said, " Lay me down." 
• And all the days of Matthew Gardner were eighty and two 
years, ten months, and five days ; and he died. 

17 



258 LIFE OF 

October 11th his body was conveyed by land, thirty -two miles, 
for-interment ; as he had himself directed them to bury him in 
the burying-ground of the " Union Church," the first church 
organized By him, in his early ministry, and now commonly 
called "Shinkle's Ridge," near Higginsport. The body was 
interred October 12th, after which a funeral discourse was 
preached by Elder J. P. Daugherty, on the words of Saint Paul 
(II. Timothy iv. 6-8) : " For I am now ready to be offered, and 
the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good 
fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith : hence- 
forth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which 
the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day ; and 
not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." 
While the minister was proceeding from one to another of the 
parallels between the deceased and the great apostle, in perse- 
verance, energy, devotion, labor, persecution, suffering, and suc- 
cess, the audience, largely composed of the most prominent 
citizens and statesmen of the four consecutive counties, was 
bathed in tears. After reading Elder Gardner's own account 
of his life, as read to the Hyannis camp-meeting by Dr. Craig, 
the preacher said : 

"As a minister of the gospel, and indeed in every relation of 
life, he was most scrupulously exact and punctual in his prom- 
ises, both with regard to time and the thing promised. When 
he announced preaching at eleven o'clock, he never meant ten 
minutes after. He was a textual preacher, carefully stating his 
points in the exact language of the Bible. Though not a learned 
man, in the common acceptation of the term, yet his knowledge 
of the Bible and of men made him successful in many theolog- 
ical discussions. He was practicully educated. He was a man 
of prompt decision, and seldom, if ever, had occasion to change 
his first impressions. He was an excellent financier ; and by his 
industry and ^economy accumulated a large estate. His large 
compass of mental vision, and far-reaching judgment, enabled 
him to succeed in almost every thing he undertook. His moral 
courage enabled him to stand where most of men would have 
fallen. Having determined his course, he was unmoved by flat- 
tery or reproach ; hence, while he had many warm friends, he 
also had some bitter enemies. These he at last won, and died, so 
far as I know, without a personal enemy. He was a profound 
judge of human nature, and hence was seldom deceived in men. 
He was emphatically the man for the time and place of his min- 
istry, and though it lasted sixty -three years, yet he kept pace 
with the world's advancement in thought; hence his congrega- 
tions were large and attentive till the close of his ministry. He 
was a strong, lion-hearted man — victorious over fear ; gather- i 
ing strength and animation from danger, and bound the faster 
to duty by its hardships and privations. He was a man of great 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 259 

firmness-<-his countenance at times wearing the stern decision 
of unyielding principle. Uninfluenced by numbers, popularity, 
or power, he seemed almost too tenacious for his own convic- 
tions. His heroism had its origin and life in reason; in the 
sense of justice, and in* the disinterested principles of Chris- 
tianity, which recognize the rights of every man. He had great 
respect for minds which had been trained in simple habits, and 
amidst the toils of an industrious life. He despised indolence 
and lack of economy almost beyond expression. With what- 
ever faults he had, he was a great and good man. His greatness 
as a minister was immeasurably above the arts by which inferior 
minds thrust themselves into notice. Surrendering himself 
wholly to the cause of God and salvation of men, he labored to 
that end with unfaltering zeal till Jesus called him to his im- 
mortal home. * * * * 

"Having timely made his will, and properly adjusted all his 
earthly business, he now seemed to have nothing to do but to 
fall asleep in Jesus ; hence he calmly sank into the repose of 
death without a struggle. * * * 

"But what shall I say more? The time would fail me to 
speak of all the interests of so long and eventful a life as that 
of Elder Matthew Gardner ! What I have here said is but the 
plucking of a little fruit here and there from the wide-spreading 
branches of a life-tree, bowing under the fullness of more than 
three-score years. We are only satisfied to pause here, and await 
the production of some abler pen, and in the expectation that 
we shall soon be favored with the autobiography of his long and 
eventful life. 

" His remains were interred in the cemetery at Shinkle's Ridge, 
on the 12th of October, 1873 after which a sermon was deliv- 
ered with reference to the deceased, by the writer, in the pres- 
ence of a large and weeping audience. The Lord sanctify this 
dispensation of his providence to the good of all concerned. 

"Georgetown, Ohio, October 18, 1873. 

"J. P. Daughertt." 



HOPE. 

The Christian religion, by the grand assurance of a resurrec- 
tion to immortality and eternal life which it gives, is adapted to 
the wants of our nature, and commends itself to the admiration 
and to the hearts of all people of feeling, judgment, and consid- 
eration. 

N. SCMMERBELL. 



Elder Matthew Gardner, 



A CHRISTIAN MINISTER. 



Born in the State op New York, December 5, 1790, 
Died in the State of Ohio, October 10, 1873. 



HE PREACHED THE GOSPEL SIXTY- THREE YEARS. 



EECOLLECTIO]S T S OF ELDEE GAEDNEE. 

BY ELDER H. SIMONTON. 

It may be of interest and value to the "Herald" readers'to 
make a brief record of my early recollections of Elder Gardner, 
who met the adverse and prosperous events of eighty-three 
years, $nd has, at a good ripe old age, quietly passed to his re- 
ward. The conflict of life with him was long, and, at times, the 
battle raged fiercely and strong ; but with him all is hushed in 
quiet and retired silence. Now, after life's fitful fever, the 
once strong man sleeps well. All is quiet in the retired city 
of the dead, and let us, as we should in all cases, pass over, 
in the kind spirit of Christian charity, the errors and supposed „ 
errors of erring humanity, and look at the nobler and finer 
traits of character. 

Our aged ministers are fast passing over the dark, turbid 
stream, to view the distant, and we trust, better land — the land 
of which they have so often spoken to us, and the one to which 
they so often looked with aspiring wings of an inspiring Chris- 
tian hope. The most of them have gone over into the better 
land, and doubtless they are at homo among the loved ones 
who passed on before them. They fought the hard battles for 
Jesus and his blessed truth, and theirs will be the glorious vic- 
tory ; they will be crowned by the Master. Heaven and glory 
will be their eternal home. Their venerabje presence, their rich, 
ripe experience, and their wisdom in council, will be enjoyed 
no more in our annual and other meetings. But it is the fort- 
une and end of earth with men, and it is for us to learn to be 
content. In their day, they did a grand and glorious work for 
Jesus, truth, and humanity. The world's conference of min- 
isters and others have recently held a grand union jubilee on 
the basis of the union on which our fathers started, lived, and 
died, and could their bones be made to see and hear, they would 
move in their graves for joy. I thank God that we ever had 
such fathers, who came out on the only sure and true basis of 
the word of God and the union of all who love Jesus. 

Elder Gardner stood long in our midst as an able and notable 
minister of the gospel, and I can remember him as such be- 
tween forty and fifty years. I have been quite intimate with 
him ever since I commenced preaching, which has been over 
thirty-five years. He and my father often met in the work in 
my younger days. Elder Gardner, when in the prime of life, 
had a very commanding presence when before a congregation. 
Even hiS general appearance itself would demand attention. 
I remember well before I was a man to have seen and heard 
him preach Jesus and the resurrection with great power and ef- 
fect. I can yet see him standing and calling on sinners to come 

261 



262 LIFE OP 

to Jesus. This was in the days of his physical and mental 
strength, when he stood before the great congregations with 
his strong, nervous, muscular, and well-built frame, with 
his strong mental powers in mature vigor, and his fine r 
strong, full, musical and well-managed voice in good con- 
dition for both speaking and singing; always self-possessed, 
having a complete command and control of his physical 
and mental powers; often speaking with great energy, 
and power, and pathetic feeling, and in the deep sym- 
pathy of his soul, but never exhausting his physical and 
mental powers. Hence, in the defense of truth, and in call- 
ing sinners to the Lamb of God, having such good command of 
his physical, mental, and passional powers, to an extent that 
but few men ever attain, it gave him great power in argument, 
and in presenting the claims of the gospel. In this there were 
but few, if any, who were in advance of him. I think I may 
say, and not use words of adulation, that, in the days of his full 
manhood, in this light, he had but few equals. In those days, 
he always had a definite point before him, and that was clearly 
defined in his own judgment by cautious, deliberate reflection ; 
and, as a general thing, he would make that point. He might 
not do it at the first effort ; if not, he would continue on in the 
same line. He was a man of great nerve and energy. When 
duty presented itself, he had no use for the words, " I can not 
do it;" hence, he worked all his long life, up to almost the day 
of his death. In the days of his strength, he was a man of re- 
markably strong, comprehending motive power, with a large 
and full development of hope, connected with an unbending 
will, and a large portion of moral courage which gave him 
great force to stand up for what he believed to be right, and to 
meet adverse events ; hence, what would be great obstructions 
and hindrances to the most of men in life, to him would be but 
as small pebbles in his path, and he would move on in life in 
the way he had marked out for himself with firmness, so far as 
others could judge, caring but little for the adverse events of 
life. 

Elder Gardner has met with much strong and intensely bitter 
opposition from different sources, and from different causes;, 
but these he stood until the last day's work was done, like an 
old weather-beaten oak in the midst of the forest, that had 
stood many hard and pelting storms, and was prepared to meet 
others, should they come that way; but the last storm was 
death, which found the old man standing up, fighting the real 
battle of life, at the post at which he had stood for about Bixty- 
three years. 

Extremes often meet in men, and it was so, in a marked de- 
gree, in Brother Gardner. He was a man of strong combative 
powers, and at one time in his life was fond of debate; and 



MATTHEW GARDNER 263 

when this power was fully aroused and ' called forth in all its 
tints of color, in debate, or otherwise in self-defense, he was in- 
clined at times to be severe. His sarcasm was pointed, taunt- 
ing, bitterly satirical, cutting, withering. Hence, he could do 
this with much self-possessed gravity, and often in an indirect 
as well as a direct maimer, which made it all the more severe. 
This was something peculiar to the man. He could use it when 
so disposed, or he could dispense with it at his pleasure. 

Then, on the other hand, he was a man of more than an or- 
dinary amount of tender feeling, when that part of his nature 
was called forth. Let him take for his theme, as I have often 
heard him in my younger days, the love of God and the com- 
passion of Jesus, and let his strong mind and large soul become 
all absorbed in the loving spirit of the man of sorrows, he was 
tender, kind, gentle, and full of the loving sympathy of Jesus, 
and one could scarcely believe him to be the same man who 
was so severe in debate. Both of these conditions of mind I 
have seen and heard in Brother Gardner as I have never found 
them so strongly developed in a,ny other man. 

He was, indeed, a very remarkable man. In many of his 
movements he was hard to comprehend. He, as a general 
thing, developed his plans in his own mind, and, as a general 
thing, you got hold of his intentions by his actions. He wa3 
one among our most independent thinkers. He seldom gave 
you to understand fully his main designs in advance. It was 
very hard to anticipate him. This gave him an advantage and 
strength in debate. When his plans were well matured in his 
own mind, then, with his strong, unbending will-power, he 
would go to work with a fixed and settled determination to 
attain the desired end before his mind. He had many devoted 
iriends, and many bitter enemies. He was a man of that pe- 
culiar tact, that those who were his* friends were real, devoted, 
and settled in their friendship. But few men, if any, in my 
experience, had such bitter enemies as he has had at times in 
his life ; yet he stood up in the midst of all opposition, and I 
think that he lived long enough to soften down very much of 
it. Had he been as pure as an angel, he was the sort of a man 
to have enemies. He has left us, and left his mark in the world. 
He had the imperfections of human nature, in common with 
others, to contend with. 



A VEESE. 

There is no remedy for time misspent, 
No healing — for the waste of idleness, 

Whose very languor — is a punishment 
Heavier than active souls— can feel or guess. 



264 LIFE OF 



A LETTER 

BY ELDER JAMES SUMMER BELL. 

Dear Brother : — I had often heard you speak of Elder Mat- 
thew Gardner in terms which excited my curiosity. I had also 
sometimes read his name in such connection as to make me feel 
an interest in the man ; but he being far advanced in years, I 
had no expectation of ever seeing him. In the spring of 1871, 
I took my seat in the pulpit of the Christian chapel of South 
Berlin, New York, and while waiting for the gathering of the 
congregation, side by side with Brother Philo Hull, entered a 
tall, straight form, with a head crowned with hair white with 
age, and a face outside of the range of ordinary aged men. 
Who can it be? This was Elder Gardner, on a visit to his old 
friends and home in the East ! 

Being properly introduced, he, with convincing positiveness, 
declined my invitation to preach, saying he " was an old friend 
of Eider ]ST. Summerbell, and purposed to hear his brother 
preach." I agreed that he should listen at this time, but 
preach the following Sunday, and the appointment was made 
accordingly. Many who were personal friends, or who had heard 
his fame, came at the appointed time to hear him. Prompt at 
the time, with an almost youthful vigor of step, and a face 
aglow with the theme which animated his mind, the man of 
eighty years took his place in the desk. Without the aid of 
glasses, he read the Scriptures, dropping here and there a perti- 
nent comment; and the hymns, not omitting a well-adminis- 
tered rebuke to the man who, unable to write as well as himself, 
altered and mutilated such grand and sacred poetry as "Kock 
of Ages, cleft for me;" or, "My faith looks up to thee, thou 
Lamb of Calvary;" and then printed their garbled work in 
hymn-books, confusing and confounding people, who, having 
learned a part, try to sing together. 

His text was Genesis xxn. 2; and his subject grew out of his 
text as naturally as a tree grows out of its seed, and as majes- 
tically. At first the text seemed a crumbling, eliminating 
germ ; then it rooted outward, hero and there taking hold, in 
surprising ways, on Christ. Then did Genesis xxn. 2, as I 
thought it never did before, "grow up into Christ, the living 
head." It was an Old Testament gospel sermon, full of Christ, 
of faith, of love, of obedience, and full of JLhe mountain of the 
Lord. As he told of Abraham's love for Isaac, and his* struggle 
between love and dutj r ; as he described the mother expecting 
the return of her son, and then the odium that should come 
upon him for killing that son, he seemed to stand an Abraham 
before us, and tears moistened many a dry cheek that day. 



MATTHEW GARDNER, 265 

The old man lost both age and infirmity in his theme, and we 
lost the old man in his sermon. 

After preaching, he readily accepted an invitation to visit me 
at my home in Berlin, and preach to my congregation there. 
"When he preached for us, his subject was "the providence of 
God." His text was : " Behold the fowls of the air : for they 
sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns ; yet your 
heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than 
they?" Matthew vi. 26. 

All were interested in the subject. First: He dwelt on 
God's love everywhere, always, in all things, culminating all 
in Christ, and on his people. Then he told us how intimate 
our heavenly Father is with all our experiences, wants, dan- 
gers, sufferings, sins, our very thoughts ; and last, he told of his 
bounteous providences, particular as well as general, running 
out into his controlling providence somewhat peculiarly. Elder 
Gardner had opinions of his own. They were a part of himself; 
and on this occasion, as was his wont, he advanced them with 
great frankness, and I, with equal good-nature, indulged in an 
agreeable repartee. Being public, it was enjoyed by others as 
well as ourselves, and gendered no ill feeling. After this, Elder 
Gardner spent two or three days with me, at my home, and 
visiting at Elder James Hays 1 , in Petersburg, during which 
time he was ever ready to discuss all religious subjects with 
sufficient energy to convince me that — first, any doctrine, once 
received into his faith, would not be soon forgotten, or die of 
neglect; second, that he was honest in his convictions, and un- 
tiring and fearless in their propagation ; 'third, inside and out- 
side, whether in the field or in the pulpit, that his religious 
faith was his life, and just what he tried to make it seem to be. 



A BEAUTIFUL PAEAGEAPH 

A Deity — belietfd, is joy begun; 

A Deity adofd, is joy advancd 

A Deity belov'd, is joy matufd. 

Each branch of piety delight inspires : 

Faith — builds a bridge from this world to the next, 

O'er death's dark gulf, and all it horror hides ; 

Praise the sweet exhalation of our joy, 

That joy exalts, and makes it sweeter still; 

Pray'r ardent opens heav'n, lets down a stream 

Of glory, on the consecrated hour 

Of man — in audience with the Deity. 



ELDEE GAKDNEK. 

CLOSING VIEWS BY THE EDITOB 

The candid and thoughtful reader, in tracing the strange life in 
this book, has formed no exaggerated conception of the man. I 
knew him intimately nearly a quarter of a century. I am ac- 
quainted with those who knew him longer, and am certain that 
the picture is not overdrawn. He was always associated in my 
mind with the old Grecian philosophers, Diogenes and even 
Socrates. I do not mean that he was a cynic, like the first, or as 
cool a reasoner, as the last ; yet I do mean that he resembled 
both in the peculiarities of character which rescued each from 
oblivion, and rendered the names of both immortal, and that he, 
living in their age, would have ranked with them as a wise and 
great man. His mental powers were strong; his perceptive 
powers were quick; his judgment was deep; his observation 
was close ; his memory was retentive. He inquired into causes ; 
he perceived consequences ; he studied men. I do not regard 
Elder Gardner as a perfect man, after whom others should pat- 
tern their lives, but I do rank him as a great man, from whom 
all may learn. He resembles Joshua rather than Moses, Elijah 
rather than Isaiah, and Peter more than John. Powerful him- 
self, it is doubtful if he considered any with whom he associated 
as his equal, and therefore he feared no one. Persecution only 
roused his resolution, and his courage rose with the occasion. 
Difficulties called for increased resources, and obstructions only- 
developed greater exertion. Yet, though strong and confident, 
he relied not upon himself. He was a man of prayer; but, 
while praying for help from on high, he prepared to help him- 
self. No recluse was more thoughtful, no ascetic more self- 
denying, no philosopher more disciplined. Every thing was 
exact — his dealings, his devotions, his labors, and his rest; his 
daily walk, and his manner of walking; his daily talk, and his 
manner of talking; his preaching, his prayers, his food, his 
drink; every thing was prescribed, defined, restricted, and 
governed. He was more studious than the student, more labor- 
ious than the laborer, more saving than the miser, more devoted 
than the devotee, more prayerful than the Puritan, and more 
zealous than the fanatic. He was always punctual to time, 
always true to his word, always faithful to his promises, always 
prompt to duty ; so that with him, whatever came next in 
order demanded his next attention. No matter whether it was 
of much or of little importance ; if he had consented to the 
arrangement he would be found present, prepared, earnest, and 
all attention. 

266 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 267 

ELDER GARDNER AS THE YOUNG PREACHER 

I have at various times met with aged people who knew 
Elder Gardner when he was a young minister. They de- 
scribe him as he appeared in his early days. He was then 
what the world calls a "fine-looking man." He was tall, but 
well-proportioned. His hair was as black as the raven, his eyes 
keen and piercing; his voice was loud, clear, and musical, his 
disposition kind, his spirit affectionate, his heart full of sym- 
pathy and tenderness, and his labor, exposure, and endurance 
wonderful; his manner was dignified and commanding; his 
speech was attractive ; his spirit was earnest ; he spoke right to 
the people, and made them to feel that he was addressing them. 
He felt that his mission was important, and his manner gave 
expression to his feelings. To him it was a message of life or 
death, heaven or hell; and each sinner saved was a brand 
plucked from the burning. One of his opponents said to me 
it was of no use to oppose him, for the crowds would go with him. 
If he had no house, he would speak in the open air; he would 
preach and pray and sing anywhere, and the people would 
always go to hear him. One, speaking of him as a stranger, at 
an out-door meeting, where many ministers were preaching, 
said, "When Gardner began to speak, every body was attracted, 
and pressed up to hear. He wore common clothing, but his 
appearance was wonderful. The people gazed at him as they 
would at something strange that had just appeared in the sky." 
His voice was so clear that all could understand his words, and 
his words were so plain that all could understand his meaning. 
Every body was affected by his preaching. He was a power 
when alone, and poor, and every change increased his power. 
His studious habits soon made him well-informed. By careful 
speaking, he soon became widely known as an eloquent orator. 
His indomitable courage commanded respect, and his unwaver- 
ing perseverance secured success. His physical strength and 
unfaltering self-sacrifice won the respect of the rustic, while the 
soundness of his judgment won the admiration of the refined. 
By his wonderful success in preaching, he won converts, planted 
churches, built chapels, secured friends, and his independence 
excited envy. When young in the ministry, plots were formed 
against him by opponents, but cautious, politic, and ingenious, 
he would snatch the victory from his enemies when they were 
preparing to shout a triumph ; and while he went on preach- 
ing the gospel, they would meet, like Milton's fiends, to — 

" Consult how we may henceforth most offend 
Our enemy, our own loss how'repair ; 
How overcome +his dire calamity 
What reinforcement we can gain from hope ; 
If not, what resolution from despair." 



268 LIFE OF 



ELDER GARDNER'S MIDDLE AGE. 



As Elder Gardner's ministry and years increased, his troubles 
also increased. His popularity created fear in the enemies 
of his faith. His eloquence created envy. His success excited, 
opposition. The crowds attending his ministry spread alarm. 
Counsel was taken by the opposers of his religious views to 
destroy his influence. Jealous priests, forgetting that they had 
no jurisdiction over him, stept out of their own sects to publish 
defamatory pamphlets concerning him. A new sect arose, with a 
new way to pardon, and holding that any number of anxious 
brethren may be organized into a church, and that the church 
is "the highest tribunal. ,, The adherents of the new sect, find- 
ing free chapels built by the Christians, entered into them and 
organized their highest-tribunal churches ; and as Elder Gardner 
did not regard them or their tribunals, they often tried him 
without his knowledge, and excommunicated him without in- 
forming him of his fate. The waters were troubled ; the storms 
beat upon him ; but while he had suits at law, he had success 
in the gospel. Relieved from court, he labored in revivals. 
He went from legal battling to baptizing ; from court to com- 
munion. He turned from law pleadings to pleading with sin- 
ners to be reconciled to God, and was everywhere successful. 
The suits were decided in his favor ; converts were multiplied ; 
new churches were planted ; new chapels were built, and the 
cause of truth advanced. Then new trials came. Champions 
challenged him to debates. Btit in discussion it was soon found 
that no ordinary man could cope with him. He was quick to 
discover the weak points in his opponent's system, and terrible 
in exposing them. He would keep those weak points constantly 
before the people. No fear or flattery, no tact or cunning of 
his adversary could decoy him from his work. He made the 
weak points the base of all arguments, the butt of all criticisms, 
the index to all errors, the grounds of repeated appeals, the 
cause of damaging denunciation. Ho would stir the assembly 
by his eloquence, and drown his adversaries in floods of ques- 
tions, difficulties, and arguments. During the first day they 
discovered that, right or wrong, he was not a man to be man- 
aged ; and before noon of the second day they were willing to 
close the discussion. The feelings of Elder Gardner's friends at 
such times were never those of care or fear for him, but pity for his 
unfortuate opponent. His skill in debate kept his opponents in 
awe, and his success in publishing, widened his reputation. 
The able management of his home by his wife relieved him of 
half his cares, and the 'growth of a large family, instead of en- 
cumbering him, gave him a young colony of industrious chil- 
dren for farmers. His rapid accumulation of wealth now made 
him one of the richest men in the county, and his widely in- 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 269 

"•Teasing fame for honesty, industry, courage, and success, made 
Tnany to confide in him. The last time that I saw Elder 
Gardner was on Monday, May 26, 1873. He came from Dayton 
the Saturday before, and called at my house. He was at church 
on Sunday, but declined preaching. He returned to see me on 
Monday, before leaving for his home, and we talked over mat- 
ters in general, especially in relation to publishing his life*. He 
requested me to prepare it for the press, as I had his former 
works ; which I assured him that I would do. Though looking 
well, his spirit seemed more subdued than formerly, and his 
manner more tenderly affectionate. Tears fell from his furrowed 
eheeks when he bade us farewell. We all felt sorrowful, think- 
ing it possibly the last meeting, as his solemn partings seemed 
ominous. The following lines are descriptive of his appearanco 
on this his last visit in Cincinnati, and are recorded here to 
preserve a last view of him while in the strength of his old age. 

THE CHRISTIAN PREACHER — AGED, YET ABLE. 

If you would picture to your mind a portrait or a repre- 
sentation of Elder Gardner as he appeared in the spring of 
1873, when nearly eighty -three, do not fancy the form of a 
poor old man, with piping, treble voice, feeble, infirm, and pit- 
iful, bracing his bending body over a staff to stay his tottering 
form, and turning up a haggard face, sore eyes, thin jaws, sunken 
cheeks, and drooping chin, to tell over in child-like tones the 
sad complication of infirmities of mind and body ; rheumatic, 
toothless, sight dim, hearing dull, memory almost gone ; life a 
great burden, yet loth to lay it down; nothing to live for, yet 
afraid to die j — such a picture is no portrait of Elder Gardner. 
Though aged, he is yet strong; though tall, he is erect. His 
body is large, and was once athletic, as his mind is now. His 
solemn, measured step is slow, but firm. Every move is precise 
and accurate ; every word designed. His self-reliance never 
falters ; his faith never fails. His mind is ever bent on business 
or devotion. He has no playful mood; no jest; no joke; no 
nonsense or playful word ; no relaxation of mind ; no pleasure - 
seeking ; no 'pandering to appetite or self-indulgence — at least, 
he approves of none. With him all is earnest effort. Each 
moment, each opportunity, each material, however small, i 
made to minister to the wealth of this world, or of that to come 
His bearing is bold and confident. Once his youthful eye, 
strong as an eagle's, flashed in preaching with Promethean fire. 
Even now, its second sight has strange, magnetic power. His 
face in meditation is placid, calm, and pleasant, but wiien in 
the deep study of silent thought, with every fibre drawn, and 
every muscle strained, its deep furrows and hard ridges show 
the indelible lines traced by the cares of four-score years. In 



270 LIFE OF 

speaking, all is changed, and it glows with animation, earnest 
and forcible ; expressive of every emotion, and completely chain- 
ing attention. His voice is still powerful, and he sings with 
more ease and accuracy than most people of middle age. His 
hair, once black as the raven, is now of silvery whiteness, pro- 
fusely- covering his large head, and rising like a snow-tower 
high above his wrinkled forehead. His address is earnest, his 
answers ready, his speech positive. He will canvass any ques- 
tion, explain any theorem, solve any problem, extinguish every 
supposed heresy, and defend every approved principle — battling 
with opposition as naturally as the sea dashes its force against 
the island rocks. His whole appearance represents a man of 
giant frame, vigorous constitution, and determined will, waiting 
the slow approach of death without awe, resolutely attending 
to the things of time ; unwilling to bow to the infirmities of 
age, and determined to resist to the last moment all approaches 
of debility. Though long an octogenarian, he braves any dan- 
ger, presumes upon the soundness of his own judgment, persists 
in traveling alone, determines to carry out his own plans, and is 
in every thing independent. 

HIS RELIGION. 

Elder Matthew Gardner held, to no doubtful faith or un- 
certain religion. Every thing with him was conformed to the 
Scriptures with verbal accuracy. Like his brethren of the 
Christian Church, he held to the Bible as his all-perfect and 
sufficient heaven-given creed and discipline, such as Jesus left 
for his church, with nothing purposely added, and nothing de- 
signedly omitted. On this he relied. This was the creed of 
the ancient church, and is the only evangelical creed of the 
church now. He says: " As I found no human system exactly 
suiting me, I adopted the following platform for myself; I will 
use no terms or language in explaining the personality, character, or 
relation of God and his Son, and the Holy Spirit, but such as are 
contained in the Scriptures, This being now the character of my 
preaching, few wero disposed to contradict me. Many of the 
most talented Christian ministers traveled at large preaching 
union, in the hope of bringing all the followers of Jesus into 
union. Regarding this as their mission, some of the first and 
most able and talented Christian ministers never organized a 
single church, but seemed opposed to separate church organiza- 
tions." (See his words on human systems, p. 34). 

Confirmed by the Scriptures. — "Search the Scriptures; for in 
thorn ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which 
testify of mo." % John v. 39. 

14 In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the com- 
mandments of men. M Mark viu 7. 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 271 

"If they hear not'Moses and the prophets, neither will they 
be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." Luke xvi. 31. 

" Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's 
•wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; compar- 
ing spiritual things with spiritual." I. Corinthians n. 13. 

" All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profit- 
able for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in 
righteousness : that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly 
furnished unto all good works." II. Timothy in. 16, 17. 

The Bible was the only creed of the first church ; and there 
need be no better proof that a man is not sound in the faith 
than is afforded by his not being satisfied with the Bible, the 
God-given creed. 

II. His God was "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, the God of glory, the Creator of the universe, and of all 
things seen and unseen, as beautifully stated in his words on 
the Bible, man's best companion. (See p. 209.) 

Confirming Scriptures, — " Hear, O Israel : the Lord our God is 
one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine 
heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these 
words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart : 
and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and 
shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when 
ihou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when 
thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine 
hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And 
thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy 
gates." Deuteronomy vi. 4-9. 

" Which is the first commandment of all ? And Jesus answered 
him. The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel ; the 
Lord our God is one Lord : and thou shalt love the Lord thy 
God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy 
mind, and with all thy strength : this is the first command- 
ment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy 
neighbor as thyself: there is none other commandment greater 
than these. And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou 
hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none 
other but he : and to love him with all the heart, and with all 
the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the 
strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more than all 
whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices. And when Jesus saw that 
he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from 
the kingdom of God."* Mark xn. 29-34. 

" These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, 
and said, Father, the hour is come ; glorify thy Son, that thy 
Son also may glorify thee: as thou hast given him power over 
all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thpu 



272 LIFE OP 

hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know 
thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. 
I have glorified thee on the earth : I have finished the work 
which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou 
me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee 
before the world was." John xvn. 1-5. 

"There is none other God but one. For though there be 
that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth (as there 
be gods many, and lords many); but to us there is but one 
God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and 
one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. 
llowbeit, there is not in every man that knowledge." I. Cor- 
inthians viii. 5-7. 

" There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in 
one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one 
God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in 
you all." Ephesians iv. 4-6. 

III. The Savior he believed to be "the Son of God his Fa- 
ther," and adored him with all his heart. He did not regard 
him as an inferior being, but the true and proper Son of God, 
inheriting and equally sharing all his Father's greatness, good- 
ness, wisdom, power, and glory; yet, not so as to make two 
gods, nor yet make Christ to be God the Father. He held the 
highest possible views of the Savior, consistent with the faith 
that he is the Son of God. Those who go farther, in effect deny 
the Son, as all those do who deny his being a derived being. 

Confirming Scriptures. — "God, who at sundry times and in 
divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the 
prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, 
whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he 
made the worlds ; who being the brightness of his glory, and 
the express image of his person, and upholding all things by 
the word of his power, when he had himself purged our sins, 
sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high." Hebrews 
i. 1-3. 

" k And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, 
for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after : 
but Christ as a Son over his own house." Hebrews in. 5, 6. 

"In the beginning was the Word, and the "Word was with 
God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning 
with God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among 
us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only-begotten 
of the Father), full of grace and truth." John i. 1-14. 

" For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten 
Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but 
have everlasting life." John in. 16. 

"For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 273 

but the will of him that sent mo. "And this is the Fathers 
will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I 
should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last 
day." John vi. 38, 39. 

Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me be 
with me where I am ; that they may behold my glory which 
thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the founda- 
tion of the world." John xvn. 24. 

" If thou believest with all thine heart, thou may est. And 
he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of 
God." Acts vin. 37. 

" Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were 
at Damascus. And straightway he preached Christ in the syn- 
agogues, that he is the Son of God." Acts ix. 20. 

" Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the 
kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put 
down all rule, and all authority, and power. For he must 
reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last 
enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all 
things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put 
under him, it is manifest that he is excepted which did put all 
things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto 
him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that 
put all things under him, that God may be all in all. I. Cor- 
inthians xv. 24-28. 

"And we have seen and do testify, that the Father sent the 
Son to be the Savior of the world. Whosoever shall confess 
that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in 
God." I. John iv. 14. 

"And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal 
life : and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son, hath 
life ; and he that hath not the Son of God, hath not life. These 
things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the 
Son of God ; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that 
ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." I. John v. 11-13. 

"And I knew him not; but he that sent me to baptize with 
water, the same said unto me, Upon whom tbou shalt see the 
Spirit descending and remaining on him, the same is he- which 
baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw and bare record 
that this is the Son of God." John i. 33. 

IV. He relied upon the Holy Spirit as his comforter, and re- 
garded it as the Spirit of God the Father, and by no means as a 
separate person from God the Father. 

Confirming Scriptures. — "In the beginning God created the 

heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and 

void ; and darkness was upon the face of the deep : and the 

Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." Gen. I. 1, 2. 

18 



274 LIFE OP 

" And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost 
shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall over- 
shadow thee : therefore also that holy thing which shall be born 
of thee, shall be called the Son of God." Luke i. 35. 

" Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was 
opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a 
dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, 
Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. 1 ' . Xiuke 
hi. 21, 22. 

" He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire." 
Matt. in. 11. 

" And suddonly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rush- 
ing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were 
sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as 
of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they w r ere filled 
with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, 
as the Spirit gave them utterance." Acts ii. 2-4. 

"The Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the w r ord." 
Acts x. 44. 

"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another 
Comforter, that he may abide with you forever ; even the Spirit 
of truth ; whom the world can not receive, because it seeth him 
not, neither knoweth him : but ye know him ; for he dwelleth 
with you, and shall bo in you." John xiv. l(i. 17. 

V. He contended all his life for the necessity of the "ne%v 
birth," but considered tjie love and service of God the best 
proof that a person had experienced it. He often quoted, " He 
that loveth is born of God." 

Comfirming Scriptures. — "Born, not of blood, nor of the will 
of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John r. 13. 

"Jesus answered, Yerily, verily, I say unto thee, except a 
man be born of water, and of the Spirit, ho can not enter into 
the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh, is flesh ; 
and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that 
I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth 
w r here it listeth, and thou nearest the sound thereof, but canst 
not tell whence it cometh, and w r hither it goeth : so is every ono 
that is born of the Spirit." John in. 5-8. 

"Every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God." 
L John iv. 7. 

"Being boim again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorrupt- 
ible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever." 
I. Peter I. 23. 

YI. The atonement he regarded as the reconciliation of men 
to God, by the death of him who died for all, that all might 
live through him. (See p. 34). 



o^rs. 



MATTHEW GARDNER. ZlO 

Confirming Scriptures. — "The atonement was made, to conse- 
crate and to sanctify them." Exodus xxix. 33. 

"And not only so, but we also joy in God, through our Lord 
Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." 
Romans v. 11. 

"If when we were enemies, we were reconciled (o God by the 
death of his Son ; much more, being reconciled, we shall be 
saved by his life." Romans v. 10. 

"He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for 
our iniquities ; the chastisement of our peace was upon him ; 
and with his stripes w T e are healed." Isaiah liii. 5. 

" He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth 
live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and 
rose again." II. Cor. v. 15. 

"But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the an- 
gels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor ; 
that he by the grace of God should taste death for everyman." 
Hebrews n. 9. 

"Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due 
time." I. Timothy n. 6. 

"He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only 
but also for the sins of the whole world." I. John n. 2. 

VII. He received into full fellowship all who professed to love 
God and his people, and to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ 
as the Son of God, who were willing to obey the Bible. 

Confirming Scriptures. — "Wherefore receive ye one another, 
as Christ also received us, to the glory of God." Romans xv. 7. 

u By this shall all men know that ye are my* disciples, if ye 
have love one to another." John xm. 35. 

"Then they that gladly received his word, were baptized: 
and the same day thero were added unto them about three thou- 
sand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles 7 
doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in 
prayers." Acts u. 41, 42. 

" If thou believest with all thine heart, thou may est. And he 
answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 
And he commanded the chariot to stand still : and they w-ent 
down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch ; and he 
baptized him. And when they w r ere come up out of the water, 
the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw 
him no more, and he went on his way rejoicing." Acts viu. 
37-39. 

"Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful 
disputations." Romans xiv. 1 

VIII. He believed in baptism, as the immersion of believers, 
(but made no form of baptism a test of fellowship). 



276 LIFE OP 

Confirming Scriptures. — "Then went out to him Jerusalem, 
and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordon, and were 
baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins." Matthew 
Hi. 5, 6. 

"And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out 
of the water." Matthew in. 16. 

"John also was baptizing in Enon, near to Salim, because 
there was much water there." John in. 23. 

"And he commanded the chariot to stand still : and they went 
down both into the water, botli Philip and the eunuch; and he 
baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, 
the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw 
him no more : and he went on his way rejoicing " Acts vin. 
38, 39. 

" Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death : 
that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of 
the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." 
Romans vi. 4. 

" Buried with him in baptism, wherein also yo are risen with 
him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised 
him from the dead." Colossians n. 12. 

"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are 
above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God." Colos- 
sians in. 1. 

" Let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of 
faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and 
our bodies washed with pure water." Hebrews x. 22. 

r< IX. Communion he practiced usually semi-annually in the 
country, but conformed to the custom of the churches where he 
preached. He invited all Christians to his fellowship, though 
in the heat of debate he might sometimes seem to excommuni- 
cate precious persons; his anathemas were only designed to 
include impious opinions. 

Confirming Scriptures. — "This is my body which is given for 
you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup 
after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, 
which is shed for you. But behold, the hand of him that be- 
tray eth me is with me on the table. And truly the Son of man 
goeth as it was determined : and woe unto that man by whom 
he is betrayed." Luke xxn. 19-22. 

"And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, 
and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with 
gladness and singleness of heart." Acts n. 46. 

"And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples cam© 
together to break bread, Paul preached unto them (ready to 
depart on the morrow), and continued his speech until mid- 
night. When he therefore was come up again, and had broken 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 277 

bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of 
day, so he departed." Acts xx. 7, 11. 

ik For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do 
show the Lord's death till he come. ,, I. Corinthians xi. 26. 

" For ye are yet carnal : for whereas there is among you 
envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk 
as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul: and another, I 
am of Apollos; are ye not carnal ?" I. Corinthians in. 3, 4. 

X. While teaching the purest piety, and holding ministers to 
the strictest accountability, he suffered in members the greatest 
liberty; seldom resorting to expulsion. 

Confirming Scriptures. — "Thou thyself art a guide of the blind, 
a light of them which are in darkness, an instructor of the fool- 
ish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge, and 
of the truth in the law: Thou therefore which teachest another, 
teach est thou not thyself? thou that preachest, a man should 
not steal, dost thou steal ? Thou that sayest, a man should not 
commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhor- 
rest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy 
boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonorest thou 
God ? " Bomans n. 19-23. 

"Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my 
brother sin against me, and 1 forgive him? till seven times? 
Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: 
but, Until seventy times seven." Matthew xvin. 21, 22. 

XI. He was circumspect in his conduct, much absorbed in 
religion, faithful in prayer, seldom visiting a family without 
worship, strict in the observance of the Sabbath, faithful to his 
engagements, true to his word, punctual to his promises, but 
cautious in all his manners and conversation. 

Confirming Scriptures. — "These things command and teach. 
Let no man despise thy youth ; but be thou an example of the 
believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, 
in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhorta- 
tion, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which 
was given thee by prophec} 7 , with the laying on of the hands 
of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things ; give thyself 
wholly to them ; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take 
heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them; 
for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that 
hear thee." I. Timothy iv. 11-16. 

"Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are 
not convenient : but rather g>ving of thanks." Ephesians v. 4. 

" To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for 
glory and honor and immortalit}", eternal life." Rom. n. 7. 



DEATH OF ELDER GARDNER. 

REMARKABLE INCIDENTS AND COINCIDENCES. 

July 10, 1873, Elder Gardner arrived at the Ilyannis camp- 
ground, at Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Precisely three months 
from this date, his spirit arrived at a more coveted country. 
July 26, 1873, he fell, injuring himself so much that few thought 
that he could recover. The note of prayer was sounded 
throughout the whole country — prayer that he might live to 
return home and die among his friends. He was on the sea- 
coast a thousand miles away, and, when nearly eighty -three, 
received injuries regarded as fatal. Then prayer from a thou- 
sand fireside altars went up to heaven for him! He gave his 
farewell address to his brethren there ; he lived to get home. 
His age, the warm weather, and the jolting of travel, were 
against him, hut he lived to get home. He slowly recovered, 
so as to attend church. His own loved conference was to meet 
in a few, days, under three months from the time he was hurt, 
and he was able to meet with it. It met in the church, his 
loved church, of which he was the sole pastor nearly forty- 
five years ; he lived to preach his last sermon to that church 
and to the conference assembled there, and to visitors from 
distant states. This took place within two days and a half of 
his death, yet he lived to see it, and was able to preach. 
It was recognized as his last sermon. He bade the people 
" farewell," went home, and died without a murmur. Died 
after all was done! Died as he desired! Were the prayers 
answered? 

Farewells. — He bade his friends farewell at Dayton, Cincin- 
nati, Eipley, Stephentown New York, Petersburgh New York, 
Providence Ehode Island, Boston Massachusetts, the flyannis 
camp-meeting, the Bentonville congregation, and finally the 
Southern Ohio Christian Conference, with all its ministers, and 
the church at Bethlehem. He preached his last sermon, after 
seventy-three years, within a little over a mile of the place 
where he waited in 1800 while his father bought his farm in 
Ohio. He died in 1873 at Bentonville, where he confessed Christ 
in 1810. His funeral was preached, and his body was buried 
at the Union Church, the first church organized under his labors 
when a young minister, in 1819. He had divided his property 
among his children, he had bidden all farewell, his work was 
finished, he said, "Lay me down;" and thus closed a life of 
sixty -three years' labor in the Christian ministry! Were the 
prayers answered? He often prayed for a tranquil hour in 
which to die, and he had it! He often prayed for the Lord 
278 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 279 

Jesus to be with him to the end, and one of the best meetings 
of his life, one in which he was able to preach, and sing, and 
pray, and bid farewell to over a score of ministers and hun- 
dreds of brethren, where all felt that the presence of God was 
with them, took place only sixty -two hours before he died. 



» ♦■» 



North Stepiientown, August 14, 1874. 

Dr. Summerbell : Inclosed find the pay for the biography of 
Elder M. Gardner. We received a postal card from you asking 
for some of the last letters of Elder Gardner. Looking them 
over I find very little that would be of use to you, as his letters 
were generally confined to business. Elder Gardner spent some 
of his last summers with us. I can say of him, he possessed an 
almost inexhaustible fund of knowledge ; was a safe counselor, 
and a true friend. Religiously, I esteemed him one of the best 
men of the age. I think that he possessed an even devotional frame 
of mind, such as is seldom found. The Spirit's influence seemed to 
pervade every prayer, and frequently, when in the desk, while 
meditating upon the theme of his discourse preparatory to 
delivering it, I have noticed a change in his countenance that 
seemed almost divine. 

Kindly yours, 

Orlando Rose. 



— o— 



APPENDIX. 

Some documents of a legal character are preserved by the 
editor for future reference. They will be deposited with the 
copyright, only to be published in a future edition, should cir- 
cumstances demand it. N. Summerbell. 



No agents are yet appointed' for this book, but to those who 
buy to sell, a discount is made. N. S. 



This book can be obtained by mail, prepaid, of N. Summer- 
bell, 184 Longworth street, Cincinnati, Ohio. Price $1.25. 



The minutes of the Oshawa General Convention will be sent, 
post-paid, on receipt of ten cents, by N. Summerbell, Cincin- 
nati, Ohio. 



SUBSCRIBERS' NAMES. 



MINISTERS OF THE GOSPEL. 



Abbott, Elder A. J. 
Addington, Elder Thomas. 
Allen, Elder Lyman. 

Brandon, Elder Thomas A. 

Carroll, Elder Asher W. 
Chadwick, Elder Nicholas S. 
Chrisman, Elder B. H. 
Coburn, Elder Keyes. 
Cooper, Elder B. A. 
Craig, Elder Austin, D. D. 

Dawson, Elder If., M. D. 
Dykes, Elder J. P. 

Fifer, Elder Joseph. 

Hanger, Elder A. C. 
Heath, Elder A. R. 
Heston, Elder Thomas. 
Henry, Elder Thomas. 
Holverstott, Elder H. H. 
How, Elder Moses. 

Kindle, Elder Joseph M 
Kirby, Elder Joseph. 

Lepley, Elder D. 

Morrill, Elder W. S. 
Morrill, Elder Alva H. 



^Orr, Elder W. II. 

i 

jPangburn, Elder William. 

^Phillips, Elder Oliver. 

jPittman, Elder William. 

/Poff, Elder Samuel. 

^Rapp, % Eldt3r E. M. 

Rilea, Elder S. 

Roberts, Elder Oliver A. 

Robinson, Elder J. T., M. D. 

Rush, Elder Henry Y. 

>Searls, E.lder George R. 
'{Sheldon, Elder Thomas. 
ijSmith, Elder Jeremiah M. 
jSummerbell, Elder B. F. 
jSummerbell, Elder James. 
^Summerbell, Elder J. J. 
^Summerbell, Elder M. 

; 

t 

^Topping, James P. 
JTrull, Elder W. W. 

*Tuck, Elder M. W. 

> 

^Vancamp, Elder Jesse. 

t 

^Whitney, Elder Joseph. 
^Winebrenner, Elder Peter. 
^Wright, Elder R. J. 
JWyman, Elder O. T. 



SUBSCRIBERS' NAMES. 



Abbott, Lou J. 
Abbott, Rosana. 
Allen, C. B. 
Anderson, Lucinda. 
Atkins, Almira. 

280 



/Anderson, R. 

^Baldwin, D. H. 
'^Bartholomew, Samuel. 
: Bagby, William. 



subscribers' names. 



281 



Banner, Rebecca. 
Bcllis, John. 
Bentley, A. N. 
Bodino, H. F. 
Bone, Christian. 
Briton, Ezra. 
Bransion, Martha. 
Brownell, Mrs. Isaac. 
* Brookover, A. J. 
Brookover, James. 
Brookover, John. 
Bugbee, C. A. 
Bushneil, S. P. 
Bussing, Isaac. 

Carter, Bane C. 
Chadwick, Elsworth E. 
Chase, Willard W. 
Chapin, Asa. 
demons, William M. 
Colburn, Harvey. 
Cranston, John B. 

Daugherty, Jane. 
Davis, E. S. 
Day, John. 
Day, Joseph. 
, Demint, J. 
Deyo, James B. 
Dearborn, J. L. 
Dillman, W. H. 
Dimmit, Joseph. 
Dooley, Kirkham. 
Dunham, L. C. 

Ellis, George, M. D. 
Eshelman, Peter. 

Falson, Mrs. S. T. 
Famous, John. 
Farns worth, H. 
Fiefield, J. C. 
Finch, Smith. 
Fiaugher, Jesse. 
Forman, Caroline. 
Ford, A., M. D. 

Gage, Isaac R. 



'Garasby, D. A. 
^Gaoder, John. 
Hiarvin, Sarah O. 
^Gordon, James C. 
•Gotwals, Daniel. 
jGoldsbery, Mary V. 
{Greenwalt, Rebecca. 
jGrout, Benjamin. 
{Greeley, Mrs. Samuel. 
/Grove, Reuben P. 



i 



<Hall, H. C. 
^Harrington, J. W. 
/Hatton, Thomas S. 
{Hale, Mrs. E. A. 
{Hastings, Henry. 
^Harris, Cummins O. 
{Hains, John. 
^Heath, E. M. 

j Heath, Mrs. M. S. Harpin. 
/Helfinstine, S. Q. 
{Hensley, Martha A. 
/Hiatt, Aaron. 
;Hill, J. W. 
{Hill, George C. 
,' Howard, Titus F. 
{Howser, J. H". 
<Hoel, Catharine. 
I Howard, J. R. 
^Herman, John H. 
{Hornbeck, Cyrus. 
{Hunningham, John. 
{Huey, Hannah. 
{Huff, Peter. 

{ ' 

{Inst, Dr. D. A. 

{ 

^Jervis, Mrs. C. 
{Johnson, Herman, 
/Johns, Esther. 
{Jolly, Mrs. John. 
/Jones, Evan. 

{ 

jKinney, Ellis. 

{Kitchen, Charles H 

£Lang, B. S. 
^Larkin, Amos. 



282 



subscribers' names. 



Lawrence, Eeuben. 
Leedum, Davis. 
Leonardson, H., M. D. 

Maddon, J. P. 
Malory, Ottis. 
Mankes, James. 
Mann, Davis. 
McChesma, Eliza A. 
McDaniel, E. H. 
M^Harman, Lydia. 
McKee, K. D. 
McHench, James. 
Miller, Peter S. 
Miller, John H. 
Miles, John J. 
Moore, T. B. 
Moore, H. C. 
Moore, Mary. 
Mouck, J. W. 

Nevers, Joshua U. 

O'Daniel, Dennis. 
Orr, Elizabeth. 

Palin, Exum X. 
Patterson, E., M. D. 
Parker, Mrs. Lucia. 
Parker, Mrs. C. 
Paulin, Uriah. 
Perry, A. G. 
Pettit, Eobert. 
Phillips, H. H. 
Phister, Colonel, Jacob O. 
Pierce, Henry P. 
Poff, Kate. 

Qualks, Joseph. 

Eandolph, Barbara A. 
Keynolds, George A. 
Eobinson, Jonathan. 
Eoggers, John. 



jBose, N. H. 
JBowe, Elizabeth. 
jByan, G. W. 

JShinkle, J. T. 
<Sherman, Nathan. 
^Shocking, H. A. 
jShow, Wizziah. 
i Skinner, Catharine. 
) Snare, Eliza. 
;Snider, Caroline. , 
jSprong, Cornelius. 
>Starn, John. 
'Stephenson, F. E. 
'Stephenson, James. 
^Stoughton, Maggie. 
^Stroman, S&rah. 
^Stuart, Perry. 
^Stuart, O. N.. 
;Sunday-schQol Eye, X. H. 
;Swope, Eliza A, 

^Tatman, Francis M. H. 
/,Taylor, Daniel W. 
^Tyler, Franklin. 
^Thompson, A. C. 
^Thompson, James H. 
^Trisler, H. S. 

;Uhl, George H. 

; Walker, Alanson. 
{Waterfield, Samuel. 
ftVaterfield, William. 
^Watson, John. 
/Wellman, John E. 
/Wells, B. F. 
iTVVhitcomb, Aim ore 
/Wood, Owen. 
jWorley, T. A. 
>Wyley, Jane. 
jWyman, Emily. 

/Yetter, Levina. 



INDEX. 



JPage. 

Adventism 95 

Aged Pastor 140 

Aged, yet Able .' 269 

Angels, Ministry of * 241 

Anti-Mason Convention •. 104 

Antioch College 121 

Atonement 34,274 

Anti-slavery 51,65 

Arithmetic, Study of 21 

Association, Publishing 92 

Baptism 25,273 

Bethany Church 59 

Betting on Horse 20 

Bible, The First... % : 28 

Bible, Best Companion 20ft 

Birds, Songs of. „.. 208 

Black Woman's Words 18 

Brandy, Only Dram ^ 19 

Cabin, Cup, and Pail 87 

Campbell, Rise of. 39,72 

Campbell's Doctrine 73 

Campbell's Texts 191,195 

Campbell's Doctrine, Difficulties of. 170 

Campbell's Deacon, Collars Him 77 

Campbell's Disciples Seizing Churches 39,149 

Camp-meetings, Origin of 3-3 

Change, Not Changed 234 

Cheese-making 2tf 

Children, Education of 17 

Christmas, The Word - 235 

Christian Ministers In Ohio 22 

Christian Doctrine ISO 

"Christian Union," New Paper 92 

Church at Home 30 

Church, United with 2> 

Church, Trying Gardner 70 

Churches, Organized twenty-two 154 

Churches Started ^ 37,42 

Cincinnati 63,67,78 

Clark's Lawsuit— Lesson 47 

Co equal Gods— Rankin 68 

Colleges 121,167,200 

Collections Shared 37 

Conventions, General 119,223 

Communions -"6 

Conference, Last 254 

28°. 



284 INDEX. 

Page. 

Cornfield Travelers 11/7 

Cat-throat Letter «. 107 

Dancing Freemason 108 

Deacons Ordained 40 

Deacon, Campbell's, Collars Him 07 

Deaths 114,137,200,212,278 

Debates 80.>8,93 

Deceiver 174 

Dedication i71 

Deed to Powell 76 

Deeding Churches Wrongly 67, 93 

Denomination, Why 154 

Devores', Home at 29 

Dividing Property— Thousands of Dollars— f 1,000 a Year 78,206 

Duel Prevented 71 

Economy of Time 86 

Economy, General 2nfr 

Eclipses * 211 

Elder Gardner Described 265 

Epitaphs 221,289 

Errors in Deeding 39, 48, 67, 76, 93 

Farms 32, 36, 67, 79, 136 

Fall and Injury .-. 248 

Father Leaves the Church 26 

Father's Mistakes— Lesson 70 

Farewells, Solemn 278 

Fellowship for 275 

Funeral of Elder Gardner 278 

Garrard, Lawyer, of Cincinnati 63 

Georgetown, Church at 60 

God, Beautiful Thoughts of 209 

Gods, Three Co-equal 67 

Good Woman 225 

Guardian Angels 62,241 

Hay and Law Lessons 85, 122 

Hewson— An Anecdote 65 

Horse 62,168 

Houses Seized 39 

Humanitarianism 2*3 

Hymn-Books 45, 61,66, 67 

Hymn-Book, Miami Conference 87 

Indians, Life among 20 

Infidel, Converted 226 

Jail, A Preacher in 30 

Jamestown Debate 79 

Journey Home 19 

Jurors' Certificates 67 

Kicked by a Horse 168 

Kinkade and Stone 32,37 

Kirkpatrick, Elder 44 

Knife, Carried Thirty-five Years , 206 

Labor at Seventy-seven 199 



• INDEX. 285 

JPage. 

Laity Convention « 115 

Largest Church '. 16* 

Last Conference Letter 254 

Last ; 257 

Lawlng a Mistake 48, 49 

L***onB 19, 20, 39, 47,70, 79, 85, 93, 96 

Letter Withheld ; 134 

Licken Knobs Preachers 66, 76 

Mann, Hon. Horace 125 

Marriage 30 

McClain a Good Man 87 

Manuscript, End of 244 

Marion Convention 219 

Miami Conference m 87,67 

Mtll« rxhurg Revival— Duel 71 

Millerisra of 1843 95 

Mississippi Boatman , 16 

Money— A Quarter— Th usands 14, 205 

Mount Pleasant i hurch Divided 88 

Negro Whipping 16 

New Birth 275 

New Sect rising in A. D. 1823 72 

New Orleans 17 

Newspaper Started 92 

Novel Court 52 

Offensive Language— McCalla. 47 

OhioSettled 10 

Ohi —Southern Ohio Conference organized, 1820 44 

Old— •• Dear Old Man "—Lesson 185 

Old People— Lesson 168 

Old Lady's Philosophy... 62 

Ordinations 26, 87, 164 

Old Shoes _ 204 

Old Tradition .. 201 

Old Man Closing His Labors 179 

Organizations 41, 44, 61, 65, 88, 92 

Origin of Christians In the United States 65 

Old Elder Gardner. _ 269 

Pamphlet on Campbell 188 

Pamphlet— Facts for Churches «. ^ 132 

Paper— The First 92 

Parental Control • 13 

Pastoral Labors Closed 179 

Pastor's Reflections— Lesson 168 

Pay for Preaching.. .v . 52 

Persecution ~ ~ •«....$. 43 

Pisgah Church 61 

Prayer and Preaching. 85 

Prayer and Promises ~ 249 

Preacher in Jail « 89 

Precious names ~ 88 

Publishing, First Association 92 

Questions on the Trinity 43 



274 LIFE OF 

" And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost 
shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall over- 
shadow thee : therefore also that holy thing which shall be born 
of thee, shall he called the Son of God." Luke i. 35. 

" Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was 
opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a 
dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, 
Thou art my beloved Son ; in thee I am well pleased." .Luke 
in. 21, 22. 

" He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire." 
Matt. in. 11. 

" And suddonly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rush- 
ing mighty w r ind, and it filled all the house where they were 
sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as 
of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were filled 
with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, 
as the Spirit gave them utterance." Acts n. 2-4. 

"The Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word." 
Acts x. 44. 

"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another 
Comforter, that he may abide with you forever ; even the Spirit 
of truth ; whom the world can not receive, because it seeth him 
not, neither knoweth him : but ye know him ; for he dwelleth 
with you, and shall be in you." John xiv. l(j. 17. 

V. He contended all his life for the necessity of the "ne*- 
birth," but considered t^ie love and service of God the best 
proof that a person had experienced it. He often quoted, " He 
that loveth is born of God." 

Comfirming Scriptures. — "Born, not of blood, nor of the will 
of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John i. 13. 

"Jesus answered, Yerily, verily, I say unto thee, except a 
man be born of water, and of the Spirit, he can not enter into 
the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh, is flesh ; 
and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that 
I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth 
where it listeth, and thou nearest the sound thereof, but canst 
not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth : so is every one 
that is born of the Spirit." John in. 5-8. 

"Every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God." 
I. John iv. 7. 

"Being bo»n again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorrupt- 
ible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever." 
I. Peter i. 23. 

VI. The atonement ho regarded as the reconciliation of men 
to God, by the death of him who died for all, that all might 
live through him. (See p. 34). 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 275 

Confirming Scriptures. — "The atonement was made, to conse- 
crate and to sanctify them." Exodus xxix. 33. 

"And not only so, but we also joy in God, through our Lord 
Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." 
Homans v. 11. 

"If when we were enemies, we were reconciled (o God by the 
death of his Son; much more, being reconciled, we shall be 
saved by his life." Romans v. 10. 

"He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for 
our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; 
and with his stripes w r e are healed." Isaiah liii. 5. 

" He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth 
live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and 
rose again." II. Cor. v. 15. 

"But we see Jesus, who w^as made a little lower than the an- 
gels for the suffering of death, crow r ned with glory and honor ; 
that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man." 
Hebrews n. 9. 

"Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due 
time." I. Timothy n. 6. 

"He is the propitiation for our sins : and not for ours only 
but also for the sins of the whole world." I. John u. 2. 

VII. He received into full fellowship all who professed to love- 
God and his people, and to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ 
as the Son of God, who were willing to obey the Bible. 

Confirming Scriptures. — "Wherefore receive ye one another, 
as Christ also received us, to the glory of God." Eomans xv. 7. 

u By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye 
have love one to another." John xnr. 35. 

"Then they that gladly received his word, were baptized: 
and the same day there were added unto them about three thou- 
sand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles 7 
doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in 
prayers." Acts n. 41, 42. 

" If thou believest with all thine heart, thou may est. And he 
answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 
And he commanded the chariot to stand still : and they went 
down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he 
baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, 
the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw 
him no more, and ho went on his way rejoicinc:.*' Acts vm. 
37-39. 

"Him that is weak in the faith receive ye. but not to doubtful 
disputations." Eomans xiv. 1 

VIII. He believed in baptism, as the immersion of believers, 
(but made no form of baptism a test of fellowship). 



274 LIFE OF 

" And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost 
shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall over- 
shadow thee : therefore also that holy thing which shall be born 
of thee, shall be called the Son of God." Luke i. 35. 

" Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was 
opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a 
dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, 
Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased." .Luke 
in. 21, 22. 

" He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire." 
Matt. in. 11. 

" And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rush- 
ing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were 
sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as 
of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were filled 
with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak w r ith other tongues, 
as the Spirit gave them utterance." Acts n. 2-4. 

"The Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word." 
Acts x. 44. 

"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another 
Comforter, that he may abide with you forever ; even the Spirit 
of truth ; whom the world can not receive, because it seeth him 
not, neither knoweth him : but ye know him ; for he dwelleth 
with you, and shall be in you." John xiv. l(j, 17. 

V. He contended all his life for the necessity of the "ne>v 
birth," but considered t^ie love and service of God the best 
proof that a person had experienced it. He often quoted, " He 
that loveth is born of God." 

Comfirming Scriptures. — "Born, not of blood, nor of the will 
of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John I. 13. 

"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a 
man be born of water, and of the Spirit, he can not enter into 
the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh, is flesh ; 
and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that 
I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth 
where it listeth, and thou nearest the sound thereof, but canst 
not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth : so is every one 
that is born of the Spirit." John in. 5-8. 

"Every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God." 
I. John iv. 7. 

"Being boirn again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorrupt- 
ible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever." 
I. Peter i. 23. 

VI. The atonement he regarded as the reconciliation of men 
to God, by the death of him who died for all, that all might 
live through him. (See p. 34). 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 275 

Confirming Scriptures. — "The atonement was made, to conse- 
crate and to sanctify them." Exodus xxix. 33. 

"And not only so, but we also joy in God, through our Lord 
Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." 
Homans v. 11. 

"If when we were enemies, we were reconciled io God by the 
death of his Son; much more, being reconciled, we shall be 
saved by his life." Romans v. 10. 

"He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for 
our iniquities ; the chastisement of our peace was upon him ; 
and with his stripes we are healed." Isaiah liii. 5. 

" He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth 
live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and 
rose again." II. Cor. v. 15. 

"But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the an- 
gels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor ; 
that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man." 
Hebrews n. 9. 

"Who gave himself a ransom for all, to bo testified in due 
time." I. Timothy n. 6. 

"He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only 
but also for the sins of the wiiole world." I. John n. 2. 

VII. He received into full fellowship all who professed to love 
God and his people, and to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ 
as the Son of God, who were willing to obey the Bible. 

Confirming Scriptures. — "Wherefore receive ye one another, 
as Christ also received us, to the glory of God." Romans xv. 7. 

u By this shall all men know that ye are my* disci pies, if ye 
have love one to another." John xni. 35. 

"Then they that gladly received his word, were baptized: 
and the same day there were added unto them about three thou- 
sand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' 
doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in 
prayers." Acts n. 41, 42. 

" If thou believest with all thine heart, thou may est. And he 
answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 
And he commanded the chariot to stand still : and they went 
down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he 
baptized him. And w T hen they were come up out of the water, 
the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw 
him no more, and he went on his w r ay rejoicing." Acts vni. 
37-39. 

"Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful 
disputations." Romans xiv. 1 

VIII. He believed in baptism, as the immersion of believers, 
(but made no form of baptism a test of fellowship). 



274 LIFE OF 

" And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost 
shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall over- 
shadow thee : therefore also that holy thing which shall be born 
of thee, shall be called the Son of God." Luke i. 35. 

" Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was 
opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a 
dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, 
Thou art my beloved Son ; in thee I am well pleased." Luke 
hi. 21, 22. 

" He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire." 
Matt. in. 11. 

" And suddonly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rush- 
ing mighty w T ind, and it filled all the house where they were 
sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as 
of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were filled 
with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, 
as the Spirit gave them utterance." Acts ii. 2-4. 

"The Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word." 
Acts x. 44. 

"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another 
Comforter, that he may abide with you forever ; even the Spirit 
of truth ; whom the world can not receive, because it seeth him 
not, neither knoweth him : but ye know him ; for he dwelleth 
with you, and shall be in you." John xiv. 10. 17. 

V. He contended all his life for the necessity of the "ne*v 
birth," but considered tjie love and service of God the best 
proof that a person had experienced it. He often quoted, " He 
that loveth is born of God." 

Confirming Scriptures. — "Born, not of blood, nor of the will 
of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John i. 13. 

"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a 
man be born of water, and of the Spirit, he can not enter into 
the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh, is flesh ; 
and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that 
I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth 
where it listeth, and thou nearest the sound thereof, but canst 
not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth : so is every one 
that is born of the Spirit." John in. 5-8. 

"Every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God." 
I. John iv. 7. 

"Being bo*n again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorrupt- 
ible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever." 
I. Peter i. 23. 

VI. The atonement he regarded as the reconciliation of men 
to God, by the death of him who died for all, that all might 
live through him. (See p. 34). 



O* 



MATTHEW GARDNER. . Zii) 

Confirming Scriptures. — "The atonement Avas made, to conse- 
crate and to sanctify them." Exodus xxix. 33. 

"And not only so, but we also joy in God, through our Lord 
Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." 
Romans v. 11. 

"If when Ave were enemies, Ave Avere reconciled (o God by the 
death of his Son; much more, being reconciled, Ave shall be 
saved by his life." Romans A'. 10. 

"He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for 
our iniquities ; the chastisement of our peace was upon him ; 
and Avith his stripes we are healed." Isaiah liii. 5. 

" He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth 
live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and 
rose again." II. Cor. v. 15. 

"But we see Jesus, who AA^as made a little loAvcr than the an- 
gels for the suffering of death, crowned Avith glory and honor ; 
that ho by the grace of God should taste death for everyman." 
Hebrews n. 9. 

"Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due 
time." I. Timothy n. 6. 

"He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only 
but also for the sins of the whole world." I. John n. 2. 

VII. He receiA r ed into full felloAvship all who professed to Ioa'O 
God and his people, and to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ 
its the Son of God, Avho Avere AA'illing to obey the Bible. 

Confirming Scriptures. — "Wherefore receiA-e ye one another, 
as Christ also received us, to the glory of God." Romans xv. 7. 

"By this shall all men know that ye are my* disciples, if ye 
have love one to another." John xm. 35. 

"Then they that gladly receiA r ed his word, Avere baptized: 
and the same day there were added unto them about three thou- 
sand souls. And tKey continued steadfastly in the apostles 7 
doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in 
prayers." Acts n. 41, 42. 

" If thou belie\'est Avith all thine heart, thou may est. And he 
ansAvered and said, I belieA'e that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 
And he commanded the chariot to stand still : and they Avent 
down both into the Avater, both Philip and the eunuch ; and he 
baptized him. And when they Avere come up out of the water, 
the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw 
him no more, and he Avent on his AA r ay rejoicing." Acts viii. 
37-39. 

"Him that is weak in the faith receive ye. but not to doubtful 
disputations." Romans xiv. 1 

VIII. He believed in baptism, as the immersion of believers, 
(but made no form of baptism a test of fellowship). 



276 LIFE OP 

Confirming Scriptures. — "Then went out to him Jerusalem, 
and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordon, and were 
baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. J, Matthew 
in. 5, 6. 

"And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out 
of the water." .Matthew in. 16. 

"John also was baptizing in Enon, near to Salim, because 
there was much water there." John in. 23. 

"And he commanded the chariot to stand still : and they went 
down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch ; and he 
baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, 
the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw 
him no more : and he went on his way rejoicing " Acts vui. 
38, 39. 

" Therefore wo are buried with him by baptism into death : 
that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of 
the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." 
Romans vi. 4. 

" Buried with him in baptism, wherein also yo are risen with 
him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised 
him from the dead." Colossians n. 12. 

" If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are 
above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God." Colos- 
sians in. 1. 

" Let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of 
faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and 
our bodies washed with pure water." Hebrews x. 22. 

1 IX. Communion he practiced usually semi-annually in the 
country, but conformed to the custom of the churches where he 
preached. He invited all Christians to his fellowship, though 
in the heat of debate he might sometimes seem to excommuni- 
cate precious persons; his anathemas were only designed to 
include impious opinions. 

Confirming Scriptures. — "This is my body which is given for 
you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup 
after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, 
which is shed for you. But behold, the hand of him that be- 
trayeth me is with me on the table. And truly the Son of man 
goeth as it was determined : and woe unto that man by whom 
he is betrayed." Luke xxn. 19-22. 

"And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, 
and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with 
gladness and singleness of heart." Acts n. 46. 

"And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples camo 
together to break bread, Paul preached unto them (ready to 
depart on the morrow),. and continued his speech until mid- 
night. When he therefore was come up again, and had broken 



MATTHEW GARDNER. 277 

bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of 
day, so he departed." Acts xx. 7, 11. 

a For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do 
show the Lord's death till he come." I. Corinthians xi. 26. 

" For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you 
envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk 
as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul: and another, I 
am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?" I. Corinthians in. 3, 4. 

X. While teaching the purest piety, and holding ministers to 
the strictest accountability, he suffered in members the greatest 
liberty; seldom resorting to expulsion. 

Confirming Scriptures. — " Thou thyself art a guide of the blind, 
a light of them which are in darkness, an instructor of the fool- 
ish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge, and 
of the truth in the law : Thou therefore which teachest another, 
teach est thou not thyself? thou that preachest, a man should 
not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest, a man should not 
commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhor- 
rest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy 
boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonorest thou 
God ? ' ' Eomans n. 1 9-23. 

"Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my 
brother sin against me, and 1 forgive him? till seven times? 
Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: 
but, Until seventy times seven." Matthew xvin. 21, 22. 

XI. He was circumspect in his conduct, much absorbed in 
religion, faithful in prayer, seldom visiting a family without 
worship, strict in the observance of the Sabbath, faithful to his 
engagements, true to his word, punctual to his promises, but 
cautious in all his manners and conversation. 

Confirming Scriptures. — "These things command and teach. 
Let no man despise thy youth ; but be thou an example of the 
believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, 
in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhorta- 
tion, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which 
was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands 
of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things ; give thyself 
wholly to them ; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take 
heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continuo in them; 
for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that 
hear thee." I. Timothy iv. 11-16. 

"Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are 
not convenient : but rather g'Ving of thanks." Ephesians v. 4. 
. " To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for 
glory and honor and immortality, eternal life." Rom. n. 7.