ON many accounts, the following Sketches are very interesting and valuable. The period of time which they cover was one of astonishing movements in social, political, and religious affairs. The opening of the nineteenth century was an important era among the nations, and especially was it important in the history of our own country.
In various departments of human interest, the period since then has been very full of both thought and action. The ecclesiastical world has been all astir with vital forces which have accomplished, already, wonderful things at home and abroad, and which promise to do even greater things in future times. The wide field of Christian missions, which previously to the year 1800 presented such a sad picture to the benevolent heart, has since then become the area of most cheering and happy influences and effects. A state of things existed in the Church of Christ such as to afford small comfort and hope to the lover of his race; but the Spirit of God was richly poured out upon the hearts of true men and women, and the result has been most glorious.
In every branch of the Church new life and power have been inspired and developed, and the cause of Christ marches forward, with rapid and steady strides, to ultimate victory. The Presbyterian household of faith has, since A.D. 1800, expanded without a parallel in its previous history. The Cumberland Presbyterian portion of that household was organized into a separate family since that date, and, by God's abundant blessing, has grown into quite a considerable body of believers. Rev. Samuel McAdow, the sketch of whose life is first in this volume, was one of the three ministers who constituted its first presbytery, on the fourth day of February, 1810, now near sixty-four years ago. The whole intervening space in our Church's history, from then until now, is here surveyed in the lives of some of its devoted men, including those of the man of wondrous pulpit power, C.A. Davis, D.D., and the man of broad and truly catholic views, Milton Bird, D.D.
Not the least interesting thought connected with these Sketches is that their venerable author, whose long life in his Church's service has been so fruitful of good works, whose eighth decade of years is beautifully iklustrating the Psalmist's words, "They shall still bring forth fruit in old age," was himself a participant in much of the experience of the times he records, and that he intimately knew many of the noble characters he presents to our view. This, his last book of Sketches, must some day be followed by one written by another hand, in which his own excellent career shall be prominently portrayed by a faithful and loving pen.
M. B. DEWITT, Book Editor.
NASHVILLE, TENN., Jan. 1, 1874.
REV. SAMUEL MCADOW 7 REV. ALEXANDER ANDERSON 27 REV. JACOB LINDLEY, D.D. 45 REV. JAMES BROWN PORTER 70 REV. ROBERT BELL 95 REV. WILLIAM HARRIS 121 REV. ALEXANDER CHAPMAN 148 REV. WILLIAM BARNETT 174 REV. JOHN BARNETT 186 REV. JOHN MCCUTCHEN BERRY 198 REV. JOSEPH BROWN 217 REV. REUBEN BURROW, D.D. 240 REV. JOHN BEARD 266 REV. LABAN JONES 277 REV. HUGH BONE HILL 298 REV. SILAS NEWTON DAVIS 321 REV. MILTON BIRD, D.D. 339 REV. WILLIAM CALHOUN LOVE 356 REV. SUMNER BACON 375 REV. CLAIBORNE ALBERT DAVIS, D.D. 380
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