This transient anecdote was the shorter, secondary merchandise in J. W. McGarvey’s weekly “Biblical Criticism” column for the difficulty dated Might 11, 1907. It’s notable primarily as a result of Restoration Motion pioneer “Raccoon” John Smith performs the pivotal position within the story.
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Biblical Criticism—Carried out by J. W. McGarvey: ‘Mendacity for the Love of It’
Might 11, 1907; p. 9
It was in 1858 or 1859, I feel, that G. W. Elley, of Lexington, Ky., served for a yr or extra the church in Lexington, Mo. A person whom I shall name Wiley was preaching in that part of Missouri, and making fairly a stir amongst sure church buildings. He additionally had come from Kentucky. Bro. Elley knew his historical past, and pronounced him a nasty man who ought to not be obtained as a preacher. Wiley heard of this, and appealed to the elders of the Lexington Church for a listening to and a chance to vindicate himself. A day was set for the aim, and the venerable John (Raccoon) Smith occurred to be within the metropolis on a go to. He was invited by the elders to take a seat with them within the investigation. I additionally occurred to be within the metropolis that day, and was invited to be current as a spectator.
After a proper assertion of the fees, Wiley opened his protection by producing a big bundle of letters and commendations which he held to be proof that the fees couldn’t be true. When he had learn all of them, he mentioned he was glad that Bro. Smith was current; for Bro. Smith had identified him a very long time, and he knew that the elders would settle for what he would possibly say. I used to be so impressed by the venerable man’s response that I feel I can repeat it phrase for phrase. He fastened his eyes on Wiley, and, with a voice as solemn as demise, however with a kindly tone, he mentioned: “Properly, Bro. Wiley, as you may have requested me to inform the reality about you, I’ll inform it in addition to I can. It’s true, as you may have mentioned, that I’ve identified you a very long time, and I’ve heard the brethren the place you may have lived discuss you a very good deal. I’ve by no means heard any of them say something unhealthy about you, besides that you’d lie. They didn’t say that you simply lied for mischief, or to hurt anyone; however the thought gave the impression to be, that you simply lied only for the enjoyable of it.”
If some one had dropped lifeless within the room, there would scarcely have been a profounder sensation. Useless silence reigned till Wiley, having stuffed his papers in his saddle-pockets, rose and not using a phrase and left the room. This incident exhibits that with all of the witticisms which had been nearly continually glowing from the lips of John Smith, there was one other facet to his character—that reality, sobriety and unfaltering candor had been as strikingly attribute of him as wit. He was actually a very good and nice man.
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