By the Rev. James Kirkland on the 26th of December 1847, in
the C.P. Church house at New-Salem, Limestone Co., Ala., REV.
STOKELY R. CHADICK to Miss MARTHA M. FISHER, daughter
of Jacob Fisher. All of Limestone County.
[Source: The Banner of Peace, January 14, 1848, Vol. 6, No. 33, page 3]
The Banner office received its first formal notice of the departure of Dr. Chadick last week while the paper was coming from the press and being put in the mails. Likely this announcement will be the first news of his demise to the majority of its readers. It would be no easy task to express in words the feelings that must come into the heart of every Cumberland Presbyterian on receiving this one announcement. We have in his own words a better attestation of his faith, zeal and devotion than can be expressed by any other pen.
We cannot speak of Dr. Chadick as being dead. There is a tear in every eye and a pathos of sorrow in every soul over his departure, yet there is a deep consciousness that he continues to live in a heritage to the church that time can never extinguish nor earthly things purchase.
His departure occurred the 12th inst. At his home in Gilmer, Texas. We must leave to some one who knew him longer and more intimately than ourself to prepare a fitting tribute to his memory or record of life.
The Banner has not at all times been able to give space to all that Dr. Chadick has written for its columns. In a personal note he invariably said: "I write much because it is all I am now able to do. And I love to write for our glorious Banner. But you must always do with it as you think best."
The most appropriate tribute we can now pay to his memory is one or two of the last productions from his pen in this issue of The Banner.
The irrepressible conflict, which is even now continuing to wax into white heat and lime light, will not disappear from the ecclesiastical forum at no man's bidding. It continues to grow in vastness of proportions and to coruscate in intensity of interest. It must hold the attention of the Lycurguses, Demosthenes and Ciseros of modern times as well as the theological expounders of doctrine. "Et tu Brute"-thou, too, Brutus-who hath been on both sides. And the masses to both sides of the conflict will not be contented with glossaries, interpretations and explanations, but will investigate, think and conclude for themselves.
I repeat, that this mighty conflict now raging with more than fever heat between the doctrinal standards of Calvinism as formulated in the Westminster Confession on the one hard and those of Cumberlandism as formulated in the clear and succinct Confession of 1883, is irrepressible and will not down. Here I take my stand and renew the fight day by day for a distinctive Confessional doctrine that will stand the test of a fair and honest investigation on the part of all men, and breath a prayer in my last expiring breath, for its triumph over its fores
The issue between these two systems is inherent and fundamental. The conflict is irrepressible until one or the other surrenders.
Any and all efforts to fuse one with the other, or to effect a harmony of reconciliation of either one with the other by glossaries, foot notes or interpretation, only coruscates the conflict in the inherent and fundamental points of difference. Only that system which conforms to the teachings of God's word will survive.
The Cumberland Presbyterian Church is the special instrument of God to propagate and promulgate this doctrine. That she was specially called, set apart and ordained of God to their work, that her heaven-born and heaven-ordained mission cannot end until the world knows of the doctrine of her most excellent Confession of Faith, I am persuaded is true.
I believe that the whole Protestant world is gravitating toward her doctrinal standards. I am firmly fixed in this belief, and for it I pray and work, though I stand on the brink of the grave that must soon cover this earthly body.
Now, to as many of my brethren possessed with like faith, I call upon you to rededicate and reconsecrate your lives to this great work, going on to perfection and ultimate triumph.
S. R. Chadick.
The Cumberland Presbyterian Church is a lawful ecclesiastical autonomy with a legal and euphonious name; written Constitution, Confession of Faith and Catechisms; a well defined ecclesiastical policy; possessing the privileges and immunities in common with all other orders and organizations-all in strict conformity to rights guaranteed under the laws of the Commonwealth. These are the liberty of speech, the right of opinion and the free exercise of conscience. These rights and liberties are neither forfeitable nor susceptible to abridgement by invasion on the part of others. The alliance of intrigues and bargain between some of the leaders of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church to despoil us of our name, Confession of Faith, churchhood and property is nothing more nor less than an effort at outright robbery and ecclesiastical oppression. There are not milder names for the crime. Our church has never been guilty of the despicable work of proselyting. She has been evangelical in spirit without seeking to profit by the work of others. She has been fraternal and co-operative without ostentation. She is the child of God's special providence and will live on, in spite of the intrigues of man or devil, to bear the sweet gospel message to earth's remotest bounds.
--S. R. C.
(From previously written and unpublished manuscript.)
The bed rock, the keynote of the Christian religion is regeneration. "Ye must be born again." To every true Christian born of the Spirit, is given a little white stone, with a name written on it, that no one can read except the one who gave it and the one who possesses it. Therefore, no other man, not even an angel, has or can have any legal or logical right to say by what sign or name any one may have to wear, or may not have or wear, this little white stone. It is known only to the Spirit that gives it and the one who receives it. If any one should
attempt to affirm as to any one's having or not having this
little white stone, under the strict rule of evidence, he would
be ruled out of order by the Court of Heaven, because he does
not know and cannot know as to the possession by another. So every
one must and will stand or fall for himself, not for another,
and be judged by the Judge of the quick and dead, according to
the deeds done in the body.-S. R. Chadick.
[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian Banner, Volume V, Number 17, February 26, 1909, page 1]
[From a letter, written by his own hand and with his own pen, dated Gilmer, Texas, August 26, 1908, addressed to Dr. C. P. Baird, Arcadia, Fla.]
I am reduced to a shadow, am very weak. I can scarcely stand alone and cannot walk about the house and yard without a staff. I have not been to church or any where else for over a year, and never expect to be able to go any more. I have no hope of being able to fulfill my promise to the brethren to meet them in the General Assembly at Dickson, Tenn., in 1910. But I am in the full blast of radiant hope of meeting in the General Assembly above-the far away home of man-the beautiful, calm, bright forever.
"Where no storms ever beat on that glittering strand,
Whilst the years of eternity roll."
Ah! Yes, in the world above, unmeasured by the flight of years, all of which is love.
"Oh! who would live always away from his God,
Away from yon Heaven, that blissful abode,
Where the rivers of pleasure flow o'er the bright plains,
And the noontide of glory eternally reigns.
Where the saints of all ages in harmony meet
Their Savior and brethren transported to greet,
While the anthems of rapture unceasing roll.
And the smile of the Lord is the feast of the soul!"
Physically I have no tension spring and elasticity of muscle-none of the natural glow, tingle and sparkle of this vis vita of physical life. I am weak, fainty and tottery, and yet I have no aches nor pains; my nerve is steady, without the least tremor or shaking, and my pulse is regular, strong and good. My physical condition is really phenomenal.
Mentally, my head is as clear as a brass bell. When I am sitting straight, or standing up, it seems a little dizzy; but when I sit down to write, and assume the attitude of penciling, my mind becomes as clear and bright as an X-ray, and my ideas flow rapidly, and powers of dictation and choice of word and terminologies to express them in any line of composition in literature, science or philosophy, are as good as they ever were, or better. Sometimes I hardly know whether I am in the flesh or our of the flesh, but I do not profess at these times to hear and see things, as Paul did, "unlawful to be expressed." I do not claim to have gone into the mysteries further than my peers or to be wise above my fellows, or that which is written. But I do believe that when the mists have cleared away, I shall see as I am seen, and know as I am known, in the far away home of man, in my full personality and identity. 'Till then I can afford to wait and watch and see, as it were through a glass darkly.
Something in respect to my racial origin, natural idiosyncrasies, boyhood, early and later manhood, in the common relations, associations and contacts of life. First, as a kind of prelude, I will state that I am a mystery, a riddle, a conundrum to myself. It was a common precept with Grecian philosopher, "Know thyself." I am not certain that I know myself. I have been led in all relations of life, in ways I know not. I have proposed and marked out for myself certain pursuits of action, when, lo! I would unwittingly find myself pursuing the opposite course.
First. As to my racial descent. I am an equal mixture of Holland Dutch, English, Irish and Scotch, not a very bad mixture.
Second. I was born and raised literally in the backwoods, always in sight of the Red Man, who is a very old, if not the oldest, race of the human family. I was born in Overton county, Middle Tennessee, Kentucky purchase. When I was two years old my parents moved to East Tennessee, Hiwassee purchase, and settled on Sweetwater Creek, Roan county. When I was ten years old my parents moved to North Alabama, Cherokee purchase, and settled on the north bank of Tennessee River, the south boundary of said purchase. The Indians still occupied the territory south of said river. I lived there unlettered until I was grown. In 1840, September, when I was nearly twenty-two years old, I professed religion. At that time I had never been to school where any books were studied but Webster's blue back spelling book and Smiley's arithmetic-not even a first reader. I had not been through the spelling book and only to the single rule of three. In 1841 I attended a village school eight months, where I studied grammar, arithmetic, geography, natural philosophy and composition. And in September of that year I joined the Jackson Presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. In September, 1842, I taught two free schools, five months each, and was licensed to preach in September of the same year. In 1843, I rode a circuit six months, extending over a part of three counties-Jackson, Madison and Marshall, filling twenty-seven appointments per month. I was ordained in September of this year. In 1845 I studied in Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tennessee. In 1847-1848 I taught at New Salem and Mooresville, Limestone county, Alabama. In 1849 I was pastor of our church at Fayetteville, Lincoln county, Tennessee; and also taught a select class of sixteen girls. I came to Texas in the fall of 1849, and have been here since that time. For the first nine and a half years in Texas I taught school, preached and built up churches. Perhaps I preached more than any man in Texas. I taught the first year in Jefferson, Texas, and organized and built our church there, which still is in the hands of the unionists. The next five and a half years I taught in the Academy, of Coffeeville, Texas. Both of these schools I founded, and built up good village churches at these places.
Now I have been somewhat tediously prolix in relating historic facts, in regard to my ethnological descent, boy and early manhood, education and earlier pursuits in life, that you may the better understand what I shall further say in respect to my middle life and old age.
For the last forty-five or fifty years, I have been a close student of science, philosophy and belles-letters, in all lines, yet preaching all the time, as well as leading an exceedingly busy life, in various other legitimate pursuits of life.
For instance, I spent four years as a Confederate soldier in the late civil war. I soldiered in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky preaching everywhere and at all times I could get a chance. Was in many battles, served in the hospitals, preached the funerals and buried the soldiers who died in camps in my immediate command, and at the same time carried on a farm in Texas, giving directions as to the planting, sowing and reaping. I owned a farm and a few servants. After the war I still carried on my farm, and preached in 1866 and 1867. I supervised the American Bible Society for the eastern half of Texas in 1868-9 and 1870-71. I reorganized said Society in this vast district, which had been torn up during the war, I preached and organized Bible Societies in every city, town and village and leading neighborhood in this wide territory. It took me one year to go around my circuit. During the four years I traveled 19,645 miles on horseback, and collected and transmitted to said Society over $12,000 in gold. I still carried on my farm, working free negroes, giving orders from various parts of my circuit. Since that time have edited and published papers, merchandised, plead politics, acted as life insurance agent, in the meantime still farming and planting orchards, vineyards and berry gardens and preaching till now. That is, I direct an orchard and vineyard, vegetable and berry garden. I preached my last sermon, orally, last July a year ago-most likely the last that I shall every preach.
Now during all of these fifty years and more of strenuous life in the various pursuits of activity, I have kept up with the advanced thought and the ever onward progress of science, philosophy and literature, and have written various manuscripts. I have reviewed and criticised many of the leading scientists and philosophers of Europe and Asia-as Darwin, Tyndall, Huxley, Cooks, Douser, Hekle, Tolstoi and others. And to-day, strange as it is to myself and may appear unto others, I stand in the front rank of scientists, not however as an experimental or experimenting scientist, but as a logical and philosophical scientist, physicist and philosopher. Even in the van of the host on the profound problem of organic life, both insentient and sentient, which is the question of the ages, and on the logic, science and philosophy of Eschatology. The science and philosophy of the future life of man. Somewhere beyond the dark sea, and in some place in Heaven's wide domain, either in Beulah Land or Port of Peace,
"When we shall sing in night's royal diadem,
The Star, the Star of Bethlehem."
I am no better, but rather worse. Still I am trying to do something for the uplifting of our glorious church, and the promulagtion of her peculiar and distinctive doctrines, which are the doctrines taught in the Gospel of Christ, pure and simple. I am determined not to sleep the balance of the way on the course of life, though it is short, but to be up and at work, keeping in memory and obeying the commandments of the refrain of the railroad song:
Keep your hands upon the throttle, and your eye upon the rail.
Blessed Saviour, thou wilt guide us to the angels' peaceful shore.
And the Saviour waits to welcome us to the blissful everymore."
[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian Banner, Volume V Number 20, march 19, 1909, page 6]