Friday, September 19, 2014

Alexander J. Campbell on the Internet Archive

The Internet Archive has quite a number of writings by and on Alexander J. Campbell. It makes sense to look at Campbell, since he was a contemporary of Joseph Smith Jr, against whom he pamphleteered, and since he was in the same business of rectifying the sorry state of Christian disunity (albeit with a Scottish background, thus obviating the need for historical surgery that Jan Shipps has identified in Joseph Smith Jr's approach).

There are first of all his own writings:

Finally, some of them, especially ones gathered from the Millenial Harbringer that Campbell published, were re-issued by W.A. Morris, MD, in Austin, TX, in 1896.

Then there are various reminiscences. There is the one of Dr Robert Richardson, who had been requested to provide a Memoirs of Alexander Campbell (Volume I 1868, Volume II 1870) in Philadelphia (J.B. Lippincott & Co). Then there is Selina Huntington Campbell's Home Life and Reminiscences of Alexander Campbell by his Wife, St Louis (John Burns) of 1882. This was followed in 1892 by the work of Thomas Chalmers, a Church of Christ pastor from Brooklyn, NY, on the impact of Campbell's journey in Scotland, entitled Alexander Campbell's Tour in Scotland: How he is remembered by those who saw him there, Louisville, Kentucky (Guide Printing & Publishing Co).

Then there are theological assessments of his work, some of which refer back to the earlier publications, especially Richardson's two-volume maior opus. There is Thomas W. Graftons' Alexander Campbell: Leader of the Great Reformation of the Nineteenth Century,  published in St. Louis in 1897 by the Christian Publishing Company. Then there is Winfried Earnest Garrison's Church History dissertation, submitted at the University of Chicago, entitled The Sources of Alexander Campbell's Theology, also published by the Christian Publishing Company in St. Louis in 1900.

Campbell's work had already raised criticism during his own lifetime, and the detractors sound suspiciously like those that attacked Joseph Smith Jr.

Of course, additional criticism was levied against Campbell after his death, for example:
Keep in mind that this is not all that's available from Campbell on the web; for example, the Alexander Campbell Page has a list of articles, esp to the inside of Richardson's biography.

PS: Most likely the two-volume Journey from Edinburgh Through Parts of North Britain from 1802 (Volume I, Volume II) is by a different Alexander Campbell, a Scottish writer and musician, who also authored the long poem The Grampians Desolate of 1804.

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