This Just In: British Stone-Campbell periodicals

Another cataloging project completed in the summer of 2017 was the addition of sixty-three bound volumes of rare nineteenth and early twentieth century British Stone-Campbell periodicals. This gift broadens and deepens the holdings of the Center for Restoration Studies in a significant way.  It affords greater opportunities for our students, faculty and patrons to research the British Stone-Campbell churches.   Besides their richness in local congregational news and personalia, these periodicals reprint many items from American Restorationist periodicals and carry forward these ideals in British context.  Thus they are a fine window into what of the American movement came back to England, how it was received there, and the invaluable detail of the evangelists and congregations.

The titles include:

Bible Advocate in 15 bound volumes covering most of the years from 1890-1907:

Bible Advocate, 1890-1907

British Millennial Harbinger, in 19 bound volumes covering almost all of 1851-1870:

British Millennial Harbinger, 1851-1863

Christian Advocate, (early series), in 7 bound volumes covering 1858 and much of 1875-1888:

Christian Advocate, 1858-1888

Christian Advocate (a later series), in 11 bound volumes covering 1925-29 and scattered years 1951-1963:

Christian Advocate, 1925-1963

Christian Messenger, in 3 bound volumes covering 1839-1841, 1847:

Christian Messenger, 1839-1847

Ecclesiastical Observer, in 8 bound volumes covering much of 1871-1876 and 1882-1886:

Ecclesiastical Observer, 1871-1886

These are held in the collection of Center for Restoration Studies and available for research.

New additions to Stone-Campbell Digital Archive

The latest additions to Stone-Campbell digital archive reflect the diversity of this movement.  A new online home for a 1960s-1980s periodical, rare ephemeral tracts and booklets, along with book-length collections of sermons, a debate, and a historical narrative round out this update.

Mission Journal was a unique voice among Churches of Christ periodicals during its 20-year lifespan.  Established in 1967, Mission provoked discussion about a range of social issues such as the Vietnam war, race, gender and sexuality, poverty, consumerism and how Christian faith intersects the life of the mind and life in both city and suburb.  In partnership with Missio Dei Journal and friends of Mission, we have launched a drive to fund a digitization project that will place the complete run of Mission online in a fully searchable and downloadable form.  For more information about how you can assist with this project, visit Missio Dei Journal.  

Mission, July 1967, Volume 1, Number 1, front cover

R. N. Moody’s 23-page tract is “The Language of Two Ordinances: Reply to a Tract by R. S. Gavin” concerns points of difference between Churches of Christ and Baptists about baptism.  Undated, we estimate this tract appeared in the 1920s.

Front cover, “The Language of the Two Ordinances” by R. N. Moody

At the time Norvel Young delivered his address “The Urgent Need for Christian Education” at the 1952 Abilene Christian College Bible lectures, he was preaching minister at the Broadway Church of Christ in Lubbock, Texas.  ACC President Don Morris prefaced the tract saying “Brother Young’s discussion is presented in a clear, frank, and objective way. Such a far-reaching, timely, and vital subject deserves the prayerful consideration of every Christian.”

Front cover “The Urgent Need for Christian Education” by M. Norvel Young (1952)

Richard Nathaniel Hogan was in 1940 one of the most well-known young evangelists among African-American Churches of Christ.  At the time (1940) his book, Sermons by Hogan, was one of only a handful authored by black preachers in Churches of Christ.  It is a seminal text for the study of African-American preaching in Churches of Christ and we are pleased to make it available now for the first time online.

Cover, “Sermons by Hogan” by R. N. Hogan

 

In 1910 Sherman Sexton of Joelton, Tennessee (just north of Nashville), published a pamphlet of about 36 pages by T. J. Jackson entitled My Mother and I or How “Tommy” Was Converted: Showing How The Holy Spirit Leads in Regeneration.  A scarce item, with only our copy showing on Worldcat, this item will prove useful to anyone studying the Holy Spirit in Restoration thought and history.

Front cover of My Mother and I, or How “Tommy” Was Converted. Showing How the Holy Spirit Leads in Regeneration (1910)

C. P. Roland’s Vanderbilt University MA thesis concentrates on the history of the Disciples in Tennessee to 1850.  Completed in 1931, it is an important early narrative thesis pulling together the early story of the Campbell movement in that state.

Cover, “A History of the Disciples of Christ in Tennessee to 1850” by C. P. Roland

J. N. Cowan of Robstown, Texas and Daniel Sommer, of Indianapolis, Indiana, debated for nearly a week in Sullivan Indiana in November 1926.  Through the lens of this debate, we may explore the disputants’ doctrinal commitments in several areas, especially how they read the Bible and apply its teaching to the life of the church.  An interesting item of ephemera is pasted into the back of this book: a 1941 newspaper clipping describing a terrible accident that claimed Cowan’s life.

Title page, “Debate Between J. N. Cowan and Daniel Sommer”

In about 1914 Ida Withers Harrison compiled and published Forty Years of Service, A History of the Christian Woman’s Board of Missions 1874-1914. This 162-page text describes the work of this missionary society before its incorporation into the United Christian Missionary Society in 1919.

Cover, “Forty Years of Service, A History of the Christian Woman’s Board of Missions 1874-1914” by Ida Withers Harrison

The Stone-Campbell Books section of our online digital archive contains fully searchable and downloadable texts from across the Stone-Campbell movement from the 1790s to the 1970s.  We scanned several dozen new additions over the summer; check back often for further updates.

Illustrated 19th Century Periodical Covers

From the Joe Johnson Collection in American Christianity, these covers represent the variety of artistic decoration of periodical covers in the nineteenth century. The Herald of the Truth and Ladies’ Home magazine illustrates the heights of the craft with elaborate typeface and illustrations.  The Christian Preacher, on the other hand, is more restrained. It accomplishes its purpose in a simple and straightforward manner.

ACU_Johnson_HeraldoftheTruthandLadies'HomeMagazine_vol5nos9-10_cover

ACU_Johnson_ChristianPreacher_vol1nos2-3_cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Covers such as these tell us something of aesthetics, of the printer’s art and provide in many cases valuable data. While subscribers often bound their issues at year’s end, it is not common to find a bound volume containing the covers. Usually they were discarded, and with them went their testimony to aesthetics, or the printer’s art…you get the picture. One type of very useful information found inside these covers can be illustrated, no pun intended, from this early (7 June 1824) issue of Alexander Campbell’s Christian Baptist.
ACU_Johnson_ChristianBaptist_xi_frontcover

ACU_Johnson_ChristianBaptist_xi_backcover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While Campbell often used the covers to advertise books or periodicals, he called readers’ attention to the agents acting on his behalf to secure subscriptions and collect monies owed. Let’s assume you are charting the course of Stone-Campbell Movement into your geographical area.  What a boon it would be if we could know whether any in that area read literature such as Campbell’s works. If we can locate an agent for a periodical such as Christian Baptist in the area, then we can have a certain degree of confidence that someone in that city or town or county was not only aware of Campbell but read and disseminated his ideas. The same holds true for any periodical where something more than the volume and issue number were printed on the covers.  It is a small point, but potentially a significant point.  Those covers really are treasures. We’ll post more…please check back often.