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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; McNamar, John. 'John McNamar to William H. Herndon' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: letter]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon420.html


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-- 422 --

The most numerous Body of professing Christians However at that time here were the Cumberland presbyterians so called from the county in which they Originated they are as I presume you are well aware an offshoot from the Old Presbyterians at an Early day there was a Great revival in the Presbyterian Church in Cumberland and perhaps other Counties on comberland river A great many of the Converts as is generally the Case wanted to preach "Dr Syntax [13] Said nay, they wanted Preachers such as Paul Brought up at the feet of Gamalial. to stand forth "the messenger of truth the Legate of the Skies" whose theme Divine" they considered too sacred to be commited to the hands of Uneducated Men, they held to the Maxim Expressed in the Old College Saw "Ne suter ultra crepidem Est" [14] while the young Convert Burning with Newborn Zeal considered himself abundently capable of Playing upon a harp with a thousand Strings "and he played" there is but few of that class of Preachers now they have a more educated if not a more able Ministry, the rev'd John Berry was the acknowleged Leader of the sect here

He was a large and powerfull Man had a powerful Voice and was altogether a powerfull Preacher but in Later years he became somewhat dogmatical on baptism and some other points, the People in Most Churches have adopted Douglas's "Popular Sovreignity" on the Mode of Baptism and their Pastors generally acquiesse except Perhaps the Baptist. Mr Berry however published a Book on Baptism [15] Denounced immersion as no baptism at all, stating as one reason that the river Jordon when our Saviour was baptized was not Shoe Mouth deep, which reminds me of a little story I heard Mr Lincoln relate he said he was talking with a virginian once an FFV [16] and while speaking of James river the Virginan said he knew it when it was only a little Brook, could step across it any where But we had other preachers one of whom I have mentioned before he like Mr Lincoln obtained a Grammar I heard him attempt to parse a little in one of his Sermons soon after, My Brethren he Says is is a verb of the diminitive Mood and the present Tense emphatically; whether he ever went beyond is this deponent Saieth not yet he was a good soul and may be pardoned a little pious vanity

Library of Congress: Herndon-Weik Collection. Manuscript Division. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C. 2798 — 2800

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Wilson, Douglas L., ed.; Davis, Rodney O., ed.; McNamar, John. 'John McNamar to William H. Herndon' in 'Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements About Abraham Lincoln' . Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998. [format: book], [genre: letter]. Permission: University of Illinois Press
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=herndon420.html
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