Rare debate now available

The Paton-Williams Debate on Universal Salvation and the Destiny of the Wicked, between John H. Paton and Thomas Williams, is now available for browsing and full-text download.

Paton-Williams Debate on universal Salvation and the Destiny of the Wicked, 1906, front cover

This item, from the Joe Johnson Collection in American Christianity, is the only known copy.  The pamphlet is just a few dozen pages in length and in very good condition. Thomas Williams, editor of The Christadelphian Advocate, represents a Christadelphian position.  The propositions are:

  1. The Bible teaches that all mankind shall finally be saved (Paton affirms; Williams denies)
  2. The Bible teaches that the punishment of the wicked will result in their final destruction (Williams affirms; Paton denies)

The debate may be viewed and downloaded here.  It is the newest addition to the collection of digitized Stone-Campbell Books at DigitalCommons.acu.edu

#tbt from ACU Special Collections: A minister writes his family, 1891

Dallas minister Morrison Meade Davis wrote to his wife and daughter in Sedalia, Missouri on 28 August 1891.  In it he writes of the weather, of making pastoral visits, of his loneliness and of the family’s plans for further travel.  He mentions attending a prayer meeting at the Pearl and Bryan Church of Christ, which he describes as “for the head, not for the heart.”

The letter is one of several (along with many cabinet-card photographs belonging to Davis of Christian Church ministers) acquired by Joe Johnson in the 1990s.  The Davis photo and letter collection is one sub-set of Joe’s remarkable assemblage of Stone-Campbell books, periodicals, ephemera now housed in ACU’s Center for Restoration Studies. Right-click the images to open in a new tab or window; click here for an annotated transcription of this letter.







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.

























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.
























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.