Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1879, by
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C.
When it was announced that Benjamin Franklin was dead, letters of inquiry relating to his biography came to hand. It seems to have been generally agreed that I should be the author. All agree that he was a great reformer, a distinguished preacher, and a popular writer, whose memory should not be lost. Believing such a work was demanded and anxiously looked for by thousands of his friends and admirers, and in conformity to wishes repeatedly expressed during the last years of his life, and the wishes of his surviving relations, the work was undertaken and is now submitted to the public.
My father's constant labors in the field as an evangelist, his unremitting toil as a writer, in conducting a large weekly journal, and the numerous books and publications which he has given to the world, prevented him from leaving a journal of his life, labors and travels. This work has therefore been prepared with much labor and difficulty.
A son attempting to write his father's biography would naturally incline to present his father in the most favorable light. I have felt some delicacy lest I should magnify his virtues beyond degree and entirely overlook his faults. While it is not pretended that he was above all human weakness, it cannot be expected that any biographer (much less a sou) should dwell upon the defects and foibles of his character. Our purpose has been to impress upon the mind of the reader such traits of his noble character as will tend to elevate mankind, and such virtues as are worthy of imitation.
At the suggestion of some of our public men and best advisers, I have deemed it wise to@ associate with me in the work a competent helper in the person of Joel A. Headington, [[Page:vi]] well known to the public as assistant editor of the American Christian Review, who was intimately associated with my father for many years, and hence is well qualified for his part of the work.
The entire work has undergone his careful revision, and several of the chapters are written by him. The reader may be assured, therefore, that he is not invited to the perusal of a mere eulogy written by a fond son, but that he opens upon the pages of a fairly-written history.
CONTENTS OF CHAPTERS.
Origin of the name Franklin. —Sir John Franklin. —Dr. Benjamin Franklin. —Ancestral lineage. —Joseph Franklin. — Settlement in Eastern Ohio.
—Birth of BENJAMIN FRANKLIN. —His Sisters and Brothers. —Occupation of his Father. —Making Coffins. —A Superstition. —Amusements and Incidents of the younger Franklins. —A Severe Test of Benjamin Franklin's Physical Strength. —His Vigor, Endurance and Skill. —His Father moves to Henry County, Indiana. — Benjamin at his Majority. —Secures a Farm. —Builds him a Log House in the Woods. —His Marriage. —The Franklins Practical Men —Benjamin's Habits of Youth Develop his Manhood. —Morals of his Parents. —His Mother Hopeful, his Father Despondent. —Pioneer Employments. —A Mill. —Incident. —Influences Developing his Character . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Current Events. —Religious Subjects Discussed. —Influence of the Holy Spirit. —An Amusing Incident. —Denominationalism of the Times. —Human Creeds. —Baptism for the Remission of Sins. —" A Race of Frogs."—Calvinism. — Universalism. —Intolerant or Liberal.
Two Original and Independent Reformations in Virginia and Kentucky. —The Reformation in the West a Union of the other two. —The Campbells Expect Great Success. —Virginia Reformers not Disposed to Sound out the Word. — An Experiment. — Mahoning Association. —Birth of the Evangelizing Spirit in the Association. —Walter Scott chosen as its Traveling Evangelist. —Sketch of Walter Scott. —Scott on his Mission. —Mourners' Bench and Anxious Seat. —Baptism for the Remission of Sins. — Scott at New Lisbon, Ohio. —Baxter's Account of his "Work at Lisbon. —Reformation in the Minds of Many at the same time. —William Amend. —Opposition of the Clergy. — Origin of Reformation in Kentucky. —Scott Joined by Thomas and Alexander Campbell, Joseph Gaston, Aylett Raines, Wm. Hayden and others. —Barton W. Stone. — Stone's Ordination. —Accepts the Presbyterian Confession only so far as it is Consistent with the Word of God. — Becomes Pastor at Caneridge and Concord. —Religious Excitement in Southern Kentucky and Tennessee—James McGready. —Nervous Agitations and Cataleptic Attacks. —The "Jerks" under Stone's Preaching. — Calvinists Awakened to the Use of Means. —A Preacher on Trial. —Five Preachers Protest. —Springfield Presbytery Dissolved. —The Bible Sufficient. —Christian Connection. —Newlights. —Reformation Extends Eastward and Northward; from Bethany and Eastern Ohio, Extends Westward and Southward. —Union of the Two Wings. —Walter Scott Chosen Evangelist. —Difference between Stone and Campbell. —John T. Johnson and the Christian Messenger. —Union of Churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Sketch of Samuel Rogers. —Moves to Henry County, Indiana —Benjamin's Father and Mother Protestant Methodists. — His Father's Prejudice against Rogers attracts his Attention. —Benjamin Sympathizes with Rogers, and asks, "Is it Right to Obey Christ?"—A Revival.
—Conversion of BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, his Wife and Brothers. —Conversion of his Father and Mother. —Joseph Franklin and John I. Rogers Obey the Gospel. —Interesting Sketch of the young Franklins and John I. Rogers. —Shouting Proclivities of Benjamin's Mother, —Sketch of the Franklins by John I. Rogers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
An Effectual "Consecration to the Ministry."—Early Efforts at Preaching. —Sketch of John Longley. —[[Page: ix]] Deficient Education. —Incidents. —Effort at Improvement. —Drilling on the Battle Field. —An Efficient Grammar School. —Sale of the Mill. —Debts and Poverty. —His First Debate. —Inclination to be a Traveling Evangelist. —Preaching with Daniel Franklin. —Residence at New Lisbon. —John Short-ridge and Samuel Hendricks. —Debate with G. W. McCune. —Residence at Bethel. —Hosea Tilson and Elihu Harlan. —Small Salary and no Salary. —Removes to Centerville. —Sorrows and Deprivations of a Preacher's Wife. — Tribute to a Mother. — Evangelist vs. Pastor. —" Setting Churches in Order."—Discussion Without Strife . . . . . . 59
Zeal of the Disciples to "Sound out the Word."—Power of the Press. —Periodicals Published in 1837 and 1847—Daniel K. Winder. —The Reformer. —BENJAMIN FRANKLIN Becomes an Editor in 1845. —Character of his First Periodicals. —His Views. —Success. —Subjects Discussed. —A Protracted Union Meeting. —Comparison of Former and
Latter Days. — Singing. —Magnifying Existing Evils. — Tours to Kentucky and Michigan. —A Demand for his Services. —Example for Young Preachers. —" Place Hunting." —Sickness and Death in the
Enlargement of the Reformer. —A Cheap Paper. —Editorial Forecast for Volume V. —Change of Name. —Removal to Milton. —Debate with Manford. —Pritchard and Terrell Debate. —Somerville Debate. —" Can Christians go to Wars?" —Samuel K. Hoshour. —Church of Christ in Centerville. — Educational Spirit and Enterpise. —Fairview Academy and Butler University. — Church Music. — "The Christian Psalmist." —Mr. Franklin's Interest in Congregational Singing. —The Gospel Proclamation. —Alexander Hall. — "Universalism Against Itself."— Union of The Gospel Proclamation and The Western Reformer. —Circulation of the Periodical. —" Emblem of a Christian Church."— Mr. Hall's Withdrawal. —" Tour to Ohio."—Debate with an "Anti-Means
Great Men and Great Names. —Alexander Campbell. —Character of the Early Reformers. —Co laborers with Benjamin Franklin. —Gary Smith. —Founding- of the Church at Harrison, Ohio. —The "Battle of Whitewater."—Butler K. Smith —John P. Thompson. —He Joins the Reformation. —Rude Houses of Worship. —The Boundary Line Church. —The Leaven in Flatrock Church. —The "White Pilgrim." —John Longley. —Benjamin F. Reeve. —The Bible Test, as Applied by Him. and its Result. —Ben Davis Creek Church. —Jacob Daubenspeck. —John O'Kane. —Organization of the Indianapolis and Connersville Churches. —Ryland T. Brown. — Flatrock Association. The Four Radiating Points of the Reformation. —" Two Hundred Dollars a Year, Payable Chiefly in
Produce."—Dr. Brown's Labors in connection with Benjamin Franklin
The Reformation in Eastern Indiana. —The Light Radiating from this Centre. —George Campbell. —His Early Life and Religious Impressions. —From Universalism through Congregationalism into the Christian Church. —His Location at Harrison, Ohio, and Marriage. —His Labors at Oxford, Ohio, and in Rush County, Ind. —His Instrumentality in Establishing the Northwestern Christian University. — Labors at Fulton, and in connection with the Christian Age. --HisRemoval to Illinois and Death. —His Personal Appearance. —Friendship for Young Men. —James M. Mathes. —His Birth and Religious Education. —Struggles with Orthodox Dogmas. —The New Testament: He Reads, Believes, and determines to Obey. —" What am I, that I should withstand God?"—His Immersion by Elder Henderson. — Gospel Labors—A Student in Bloomington University. —Four Thousand Persons Immersed. —His Debates. —He starts the Christian Review. —His Literary Labors. —Death of his Wife, and Second Marriage. —Mr. Mathes' Views of Sunday-schools. —John Wright. —Origin of Blue River Association. —The name "Baptist," discarded. — Success of Mr. Wright's Labors in Harmonizing Different Bodies of Christians. —Three Thousand Strike Hands in one day. —Beverly Vawter. —He Joins the Christian Connection and Preaches Baptism for the Remission of Sins. —Spread of Mr. Campbell's Views. —Effect of the Reformation on the Baptist Churches. —Stirring Times in the History of Religion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150
Mr. Franklin's Persistence in Preaching. —Commendatory Incidents, by James M. Mathes. —Mr. Franklin's First Visit to Cincinnati. —Incidents of the Tour. —Opens the Way for his Future. —An Unfortunate Marriage. —Protestant Unionist removed to Cincinnati and changed to Christian Age. —An Editorial "Tilt."—Logic and Intuition vs. Rhetoric. —Changes in the Ownership of the Age. —Partnership of Burnet & Franklin in the Aye and the Reformer. —Removal to Hygeia. —Biographical Sketch of D. 8. Burnet. — Comparison of the new Partners. —" Hygeia Female Atheneum."—Suddenness of the New Arrangement. —Two Monthlies and one Weekly. —An Unprofitable Business. — Mr. Franklin Abandons his Interest in the Periodicals. — Specimens of Mr. Bin-net's Compositions. —Unpleasant Social Condition of Mr. Franklin's Family at Hygeia. — Meeting at Mt. Healthy. —Mr. Franklin's "Co-Editors."—
Formation of "The Societies."—A Strife for the Mastery. . . . . . . . 169
A "Musical Department" in the Reformer. —Sketch of A. D. Fillmore. —Mr. Franklin's Sermon on Predestination and The Foreknowledge of God. —Correspondence with Rev. James Matthews. —Propositions for the Carlisle Debate. — "Debate on Predestination."—Rise of Spiritualism in the "Rochester Knockings."—Advance of Spiritualism. —Mr. Franklin's Views. —" Solution of the Mysteries."—Jesse B. Ferguson. —Commanded by a Spirit from the Seventh Sphere not to see Mr. Campbell. —A Spirit not so far removed Commands his Attention. —Mr. Ferguson complains of Proscription. —Unjust Charge against Mr. Franklin. —His Liberality to those who differed from him. —Further Changes in the Christian Age. —" Benjamin Franklin, Editor," again. —His Association with it a Necessity. — Editorial Independence. —Evangelical Tours. —Removal to Cincinnati. —Labors with the Clinton Street Church, and in Covington, Kentucky. —Financial Embarrassment. — Incidents. —Daylight
Comes. —Relieved from Embarrassment, but never Rich . . . . . . . . . . 197
Disciples at first a Unit Against "the Sects."—Reformation vs. Restoration. —Rise of Internal Disagreements. —Subjects on "Which they Disagreed.
—I. CONGREGATIONAL INDEPENDENCY. —The Campbells Exchange the Presbytery for the Association. —Red Stone and Mahoning Associations. —Opposition to the Association. —Its Dissolution. —Annual Meetings. Lamentation over the Extinct Association. Caneridge Reformation on Ecclesiastical Organizations. — Formation and Early Dissolution of" Springfield Presbytery."—Sentiments Expressed in the "Last Will and Testament."—Union of the Disciples with the Christian Connection Accomplished Without a Formality. —Disciples Without a Representative Assembly. —Young Disciples Ignorant of the Above History. —" Cooperation Meetings. —District and State Meetings. —Indiana State Meeting changed from a Mass Meeting to a Representative Assembly. —Distrusted by the People of the State. —First Step toward Denominational Headquarters. —" American Christian Bible Society."—"
American Christian Publication Society."—A "Book
Concern."—"American Christian Missionary Society."—Auxilliary Societies. —Mr. Franklin's Editorial Notice of the Missionary Society. —Missionary to Jerusalem. —Ministerial Titles —Enthusiasm over the Jerusalem Mission. —Editorial Notes by Mr. Mathes and Mr. Burnet. —"Organization" Complete. — Favorable State of Public Opinion. —Principle Involved in the Discussion. —Influences which Changed the Minds of Benjamin Franklin and others towards the Missionary Society. —The Society out of its Sphere . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 221
II. RELATIONS OF THE" MINISTRY TO THE CHURCH. —Views of the Disciples not always Clearly Defined. —" Lay Preaching."—Views of Bethany. —Overseers, Deacons and Evangelists. —Kentucky Reformers no Record on this Subject. —Proselyting Zeal in Eastern Indiana. —Churches without Oversight. —"Evangelist" Gives Place to "Minister," and this to "Pastor."—" The Pastorate" not a Seriously Disturbing Question. —III. EXPEDIENCY IN THE WORSHIP. — Effect of the Increase of "Wealth on People at Home and in their Churches. —Meeting Houses. —Ministers. —Music. Questions Discussed. —"Progression" and "Old Fogyism."—"Demands of the Times."—Summary. —The People "Wearied with the Discussion, and Periodicals closed against it . . . . . . . . . . . 252
The American Christian Review Founded. —Repeated Changes in Mr. Franklin's Periodicals. —The Review his Personal Property. —Introduction. —Heartily Welcomed by the People. —" Downward Tendency of the Reformation."—The Small-Pox in Mr. Franklin's Family. —Kindness and Liberality of the Covington Church. —Travels as an Evangelist. —Visit to Indiana. —Old and Young Preachers. —"Liberalism" and "Conservatism."—Extremes. —Decline of the Evangelical Spirit. —Success of the Review. —" Sincerity Seeking the "Way to Heaven."—Elijah Martindale. — Close of the Review, Monthly. —Trouble Brewing. — ""Where is the Safe Ground?"—Mr. Franklin's Position as to Slavery. —" One-Ideaism."—The Great Civil "War.—"Shall Christians go to War?"—Position of the Review. "Constructive Treason."—Effect of his Course on the Paper. —Mr. Franklin Works on the Fortifications of Cincinnati. —Taking the Oath of Allegiance. —Within the Confederate Lines at Richmond, Ky., and Escapes on a Sidesaddle. —His Views as a Citizen. —A Southern Man's Testimony. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 267
Union of the Christian Age and the American Christian Review. —Increase of the Business. —George W. Rice. —Firm of "Franklin &
Rice."—Contributors and Assistant Editors. —Historic Connection in Mr. Franklin's Publications. —The "American Bible Union."—" Organization" of the Reformation Sought through the A. C. M. Society. —Kentucky "Central Christian Union."—Principles Involved. — Indications of a Desire for Centralization in a Representative Assembly. —Mr. Franklin Corresponding Secretary, pro tern. —High Hopes of the Society —Opposition, Modification, Dissolution. —"Higher Order of Literature."— Allied to Question of Cultivated Ministry and Improved "Music."—Inquiries as to Possible Improvement in Literature. —Speculations on the "Divinity Within."—Treatment of the Subject by the Review. —Numbers Estranged from him thereby. —Mr. Franklin Carries the Masses with him. —Evidences that he was not Personal in his Opposition. —"New Interest."—The Christian Standard. —A Dreadful
The Reformers not a New Sect. —Early Views of Denominationalism-—The Denominational Idea in the Reformer. — Held by Mr. Burnet in 1849. —Discussion of Ecclesiastical Societies begun in 1845. —Answer to "Paul Pry."—The "Expediency Argument."—Resolutions of the Church in Connersville, Penn., and Mr. Burnet's Comments. —Mr. Franklin's Answers to Queries by Josiah Jackson. —Views of A. Campbell in the Christian Baptist and Millennial Harbinger. —The Societies Modified to Conciliate the Opposition. —Opposition Measurably Suspended. —Assumption of Prerogative by the A. C. M. Society. —The Hymn Book. —Educational Projects. --Slavery. -- The Society Crippled by War Resolutions and Financial Disturbances. — Pure Congregationalism of Campbell and Stone. —Discussion Re-opened in the Review. —Mr. Franklin Silent but Change. —"The Louisville Plan."-Mr. Franklin Deprecates Discussion, Advocates the Louisville Plan, but afterward Abandons It. —His Position in 1876. —The Reformers Decidedly Opposed to Denominational
Circumstances which alienated many of Mr. Franklin's former friends Part of his History. —Contradictory accusations of his Opposers. —Origin of Speculations on "Inner Consciousness."—Younger Men more ultra than Prof. Richardson. —The Reformation to "Go on to Perfection."—The difference Fundamental and Exciting. —"Defection."— Melish, Carman and Russell. —Defection in Sixth Street Church. —Carman's Explanation with Editorial Remarks thereon. —Russell most prominent and most Ultra. —Bethany Faculty on the Defection. —Baptist Comments. —Russell repudiated by the President of Abingdon College. —A Fundamental Doctrinal Difference. —The Reformation unshaken by the Defection . . . .. . . . . . . 353
Why the Disciples are Patrons of Schools. —Editor of the lie-former on Educated Preachers, and the Connection of Education and Christianity. —Denominational Schools and Bible Colleges. —Kentucky University. —Disappointment at the Results of College Enterprises. —American Bible Union. —Dr. Conant on "Baptist" vs. "Immerser."—Demoralizing Influences in the Churches. —Universalist Festival and Dance in Cincinnati. —Missionary Society on Agitation of the Slavery Question. —Temperance. —Mr. Franklin a Teetotaller and Prohibitionist. —Instrumental Music. —Tilt with Dr. Pinkerton. —Temperate Advice to Persons Opposed to the Organ. —Correspondents and Advertising in the Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 389
Sketches Illustrating Mr. Franklin's Evangelical "Work. —Extent of Country Traveled Over. —Situation in the Review Office at the Close of the War. —Effect on the Editor's Health. —Better Days. —Planting of the Church of Christ in Anderson. —Residence of Mr. Franklin in Anderson. — "The Gospel Preacher."—Immense Labor Increases Symptoms of Disease. —Severe Attack of Pneumonia and Susceptibility to Sickness thereafter. —Panic of 1873. —Innovations. —Sells the Review. —Not Actuated by the Hope of Making Money. —His Condition not Known Abroad. — "Gospel Preacher, Vol. II."—Sickness in Richmond, Ky. —Two Years of
Affliction. —Nature of his Diseases. —" Going into Winter Quarters."—Low State of Health in Spring of 1877. —Failure to Meet Appointments. —Travels in 1878. —Exposure in Ohio. —Incidents of his
Mr. Franklin as a Preacher. —Character an Element of Power. Personal Appearance of Mr. Franklin. —His Gestures. —His Voice. —His Manner. —His Logic. —His Matter Mainly Scripture. —His Illustrations. —Effect of his Preaching. — Fruits of his Labors. —Eloquent, but not in a Popular
Mr. Franklin as a Writer. —Not Learned but Successful. —A Genius as a Writer. —His Manner and his Method Original. —Critical in a Commonsense Way. —His Knowledge of Greek. —His Positions Hard to Refute. —Knowledge of Commentators. —Of Human Nature. —A Bible Critic. — Versed in Nature. —Not an Ornamental Writer. —Not Imaginative. —No Copyist. —Did not Seek Popularity as a Writer. —Not Sensational. —Pointed and Analytical . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 453
Reformation Began with Religious Discussion. —Method of the Early Reformers. —The Ground they Took. —Benjamin Franklin a Giant Among Giants. —Meets with Opposition on every hand. —Discussion a Necessity. —His Affirmative Manner. —Alexander Campbell the Model Debater. —Mr. Franklin's Arguments and Illustrations. —Wording and Defining Propositions. —Sticks to the Question. —Relies upon Scripture. —Knowledge of the Bible. —His Manner. —His Published Debates.—Value to the Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 466
Review. —A Wild Boy of the Forest. —Master of Ax and Rifle. Unconscious of his Powers and Future Destiny. —His First Conviction of Divine Truth. —Exchanges the Woodman's Ax for the glittering "Sword of the Spirit."—Puts on the Armor and Fights for Christ. —Makes an Impression on his Neighbors by his First Efforts to Preach. —He presses out into New Fields. —Uses both Tongue and Pen. —Takes his position with Campbell and others. —Opposition an Evidence of Power. —Sources of his Power. —Possesses by Nature the Elements of Power. —The Great Mind is Affirmative. —Estimate of his Life and Labors. Will the Principles for which he Contended be Maintained?— Examples of the Noble Dead.—The Watchword.—Faithful to the End . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 490