Letters and Writings of

Elder Thomas H. Owen

1797 - 1880

Writings of Elder Thomas H. Owen

Signs of the Times, August 1, 1839, Vol. 7, No. 15, p. 116. DeKalb, Hancock Co., Ill., July 2, 1839.
BROTHER BEEBE: - I have been waiting nearly a month to find leisure time to write you a long letter; and this evening I was taking a view of the crowd of business that appears to be just at hand, which calls for my attention. I despaired of being able to do so short of another month or two, and must now be content with a short communication. I have, a short time since, got home from the Iowa Territory; and during my stay there I preached twice in one settlement where the people appeared to be as religious as any I ever have seen, and nearly every body professors at that. Yet I thought they in general possessed as little knowledge of the spirituality of religion as any people I ever saw. In place of being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone, they appeared to be built upon the foundation of Alexander Campbell, denying the agency of the spirit in bringing sinners from darkness to light. I learned there had never been but very little Old School Baptist preaching among them; yet I found two or three there who appeared to understand the golden bell when they heard it, but they had dwelt in the smoke that ascended out of the bottomless pit, which we learn from Rev. ix. 2; the sun and the air are darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit, until their tongues were ready to confess what their hearts know to be false. Though there are many precious Old School Baptists in the Iowa Territory, there are a number of churches now constituted, and they expect to form an Association there this fall. In the Military District in Illinois, the Old School Baptists are generally sound in faith and doctrine. In the bounds of the Salem Association we have had a moderate increase, at our meetings. We have crowded congregations and some still professing to be brought to the love of the truth. I assisted in constituting an Old School Church on last Saturday in a settlement where Alexander Campbell's smoke has been rising and sending forth locusts for several years, to the darkening of the gospel sun to a great extent, until at length the lot of one of Christ's faithful laborers who had been toiling in his vineyard for many years was cast there; and his labors have been blessed and he has been instrumental in hunting out God's children in the cloudy and dark day. The effort system among the people called Baptists, in this country is getting along but middling at best; they cannot get money enough to support their craft, and when their cash fails, their legerdemain ceases, and they cannot make converts. And you know those greedy dogs will not stay in such a place, but will proceed further, seeking whom they may devour. The Presbyterians are establishing factories in this country to make preachers and I suppose when they get them done, and their preachers made, if their eastern brethren will suffer themselves to be imposed on by falsehood and misrepresentation, and launch out their cash unto these scholastic gentry, our country will soon be enlightened, and the people brought from heathenish darkness to the light of a man made, money bought gospel. Proselyte making has become quite an extensive and money making business in our world, and is progressing largely toward the fulfilling of the scripture and the consummation of the work of making one Proselyte. Matt. xxiii. 15. Woe unto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for ye compass sea and land to make one Proselyte, and when he is made ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. Now is it not plainly to be understood that the New School divinity are busily engaged in making of this Proselyte their whole society system, from the Bible Society down to the Mary Magdalene Society? It is only the making process that is now going on; and when they gain the ascendency they will take the civil as well as the ecclesiastical authority into their own hands and then they will enforce such measures to support their craft as seems good unto them. Now take a view of the civil and religious authorities amalgamated together, and you will see the Proselyte complete, and does it not look as though he is two fold more the child of hell than themselves? I must conclude, as I have been more lengthy than I intended, by requesting you to publish the change of my Post Office address, as there is a Post Office now established at the place where I live, and myself appointed Post Master. My address hereafter,
Thomas H. Owen., P. M.
Signs of the Times, February 15, 1840, Vol. 8, No. 4, p. 29. DeKalb, Hancock Co., Ill., January 21, 1840.
BROTHER BEEBE:- While I am discharging my duty, as agent for your paper, I will inform you and the readers of the Signs that there has been a rejoicing time with the children of God in this part, for some time past, which still appears to be increasing. I assisted in baptizing eight persons at Providence Church, last Lord's day; and two other persons gave a satisfactory relation of their change from nature's darkness to the marvelous light and liberty of God's dear Son, which were not baptized; and from every appearance, there will be at least as many more baptized at the next meeting in course. Some of them came forward confessing and weeping in consequence of their disobedience and date their experience some years back; but the largest portion of them, dated their experience more recently. We have crowded congregations, and strict attention generally given to the preaching. To what extent our anticipation may be realized remains yet for time to develop. As this communication was designed to be short, I shall conclude this epistle, by giving the name and post office address of a new subscriber of the Signs, Vol. viii. I am your brother, and one that suffers persecution with yourself, as well as all that will live godly in Christ Jesus.
Thomas H. Owen.
Signs of the Times, May 15, 1840, Vol. 8, No. 10, pp. 77, 78. DeKalb, Hancock Co., Ill., April 17, 1840.
BROTHER BEEBE:- Some of the Old School Baptist churches in this vicinity of country have had some rejoicing and refreshing seasons; there have been some considerable additions, and is still a pleasing prospect of many more. Notwithstanding we have had while upon earth a foretaste of that heavenly enjoyment, we have had to undergo the slander and abuse of all the Ishmaelitish crew. The children of the bondwoman are still mocking the children of the free woman. All sects, from the ancient Catholics down to the late Mormons, are raging like the infuriated dragon casting forth floods of water after the woman, that she might be carried away of them. So much at present, but remain,
Your brother in affliction, Thomas H. Owen.

Signs of the Times, January 1, 1842, Vol. 10, No. 1, p. 4. DeKalb, Hancock Co., Ill., October 24, 1841.
DEAR BROTHER BEEBE: having a remittance to make to you, seems to render this a favorable opportunity to communicate some of my thoughts to the brethren who are scattered abroad. The shortness of time that I can now devote to writing admonishes me to forbear entering upon the more important considerations connected with the gospel of the Redeemer, and to limit myself to giving a brief account of the state and travel of the Old School Baptists in this country, for a short time past. Since the expulsion, from our fellowship and communion, of the Ishmaelitish band of arminians, who were and are engaged in the modern mission effort system, we have enjoyed peace and harmony throughout our correspondence, and I rejoice to add that none of the preachers remaining with us, especially in the Salem Association, preach a mixed gospel. Our watchmen lift up their voice together, their preaching is of one solid piece, like the two silver trumpets, and they give a certain sound, viz: "Salvation by grace alone." Some of God's people have been captivated and led astray by the alluring charms of missionism, a goodly number of whom have become tired of the husks on which they were fed, and have returned to their Father's house, where they enjoy refreshing manifestations of the love of God, and find bread enough and to spare, and where they enjoy an earnest of the inheritance which God has secured for them in heaven. We have had considerable additions by experience and baptism, during the past year, in many of the churches of Salem Association; this proves the falsehood of the frequent declarations of the effortees, that our doctrine is unprofitable, that while it is true it prevents revivals, &c. They must have forgotten, or they have never known, that it is truth that kills, and truth that makes alive. I hope never to be connected with revivals that are produced without truth. I am happy to testify, to the praise of divine grace, we have enjoyed for the last two years, a general reformation in this part of the country, and it has been under just such preaching as the New School would be offended with. I find that just such revivals are calculated to build up the church with sound materials, such as are able to endure sound doctrine, and grow and thrive upon it. The last annual meeting of Salem Association took place on the Saturday before the fourth Sunday of last month, at which we had in attendance sixteen ordained preachers; from this fact you may judge of the truth and sincerity of those who are raising the great hue and cry at the east, of those who are engaged in begging money to send the gospel to the destitute west. We are indeed pleased to hear the gospel preached, here in the west, by all who bring us the true tidings; but those hirelings from the eastern preacher-factories bring another gospel, which is not another, but a perversion of the gospel of Christ; and is calculated to build up the anti-christian cause, and oppress the true church of God. We have great reason to thank God that he has preserved us from falling into their errors. I will conclude this letter, after stating to you and your correspondents a few questions, which I hope may be answered, in a scriptural manner; they are in regard to the order and discipline of the church, viz.: First. Is it right for a church to grant letters to persons that are in good standing and fellowship, in the church, upon their application for them, to join another church of the same faith and order, when the persons applying do not intend to change their place of residence? Second. Suppose a member to be excluded from a church for a crime of sufficient magnitude to justify the church in his exclusion, should return to the church confessing his wickedness with sorrow, and the church should refuse to hear his confession; what course should he pursue to regain his standing in the fellowship of the church? I remain your brother in the afflictions of the gospel,
Thomas H. Owen.

Western Predestinarian Baptist, December 15, 1842, Vol. 1, No. 11, pp. 165-166. Dekalb, Hancock Co., Ill., August 5, 1842.


This day, for the first time in several weeks, I have found sufficient leisure to fill several engagements, by writing letters on business, and on other subjects. And having a part of the evening left, I have concluded to occupy it in writing a few lines to you. I have received the W. P. Baptist regularly since the 3d number, and I am much pleased that we have a vehicle in the State of Illinois, through which to correspond, and to expose the Idolatry of this generation; and also the truth of the gospel maintained and the glory of Zion's God and King set forth, and widely diffused over our country. The hearts of God's dear children made glad, by thus cultivating an acquaintance with those of their brethren they have never seen; and learning that his dealings with his people are alike in all places.
I have been much refreshed, and my heart has often been cheered while reading in yours and brother Beebe's papers, the communications of many brethren and sisters whose faces I have never seen, and perhaps never shall see, but whose trials and exercises of mind I think I am familiar with. I rejoice to find there are so many able advocates for the truth, in this time of the Church's trials; those who will not hold their peace, but as enemies and troubles increase, they appear to grow stronger and bolder in the cause of God and truth, and in opposing and exposing the craft of the Arminian, the Ishmaelitish hosts of the children of the bond woman, whereby they try to ensnare, and lead astray the children of the free woman. May the Lord strengthen the soldiers of truth.
The Old School Baptists here, are very anxious that you should pay us a visit. We often hear of your visiting other States, and other parts of this State; but the Military Tract has as yet been overlooked by you. We wish you at any rate to visit this region next year at the time of our Associational meetings. The times and places of holding them I will advise you of in due time.
I have not leisure to write a lengthy letter at this time. I have directed brother A. Norton to pay you two dollars for two copies of the Western Predestinarian Baptist, one of which you will send to Elder John Harper, St. Mary's P. O., Hancock Co., Ill. He wants the back numbers. I wish you would send me the 1st and 2d numbers, if you have them, which will make my copies complete. I hope your paper will be sustained; and may the God of grace protect you, conduct you triumphantly through, in your excellent undertaking. I remain your brother in Christ, and companion in tribulation.

Thomas H. Owen.


DeKalb, Hancock County, Illinois, July 1, 1844. (In confidence.)

Dr. Richards.

Dear Sir, --- I hope the subject upon which this communication is written will be a sufficient apology for the privilege I have taken in addressing you, with whom I have not had the pleasure of an acquaintance.
I wish to apprise you that reports are in circulation, which no doubt are true, that the Warsaw and Green Plains mobocrats are making strong exertions to raise forces sufficient to mob and drive the people of your city from their present residences.
I think you should keep a steady lookout, for it seems that the cold-hearted murder of Generals Joseph and Hyrum Smith in Carthage jail has not satisfied the bloodthirsty dispositions of those demons, but they desire to prosecute their wretched purposes still further.
I, as one of General Demings staff, have used my influence against calling out a large force to be stationed at Carthage, fearing that some might be influenced by those mobocrats to join them in their wretched purpose, for I have no idea they can get forces enough to leave their homes, neither in Illinois nor Missouri, for that purpose, to overcome you.
If we could have four or five hundred troops stationed at Carthage, of the right sort, that could be depended on, to suppress mobs, I should like it, but, fearing the influence of those desperadoes might cause them to disobey all orders and join the mob against you, I think it best not to risk it.
The murder of Generals Joseph and Hyrum Smith is deprecated by the community, almost at large, that is, those who are not lost to the principles of humanity; and there seems to be a general feeling of sympathy resting on the public mind.
I was pleased to hear of the prudent course that your people resolved to pursue, in acting only on the defensive and abiding the law, which is on your side.
In haste, yours, etc.,

Thomas H. Owen.

To which Dr. Willard Richards replied as follows:

Nauvoo, July 16, 1844.

Sir, --- I am sorry that there has been delay which caused your letter to arrive so late to hand, and I feel thankful for the very kind and sympathetic manner in which you express yourself towards us as a people, and shall be very thankful if you will continue your favors to me whenever anything may occur, and you may depend upon my doing the same to yourself.
In regard to the assassination of the Generals Smith, we do not intend to take any action in the case whatever, but leave ourselves entirely in the hands of the governor and the majesty of the law, to mete out just and retributive justice in the matter.
You may rest perfectly assured that we never did act on the offensive, or against the law, but shall continue the same course, which appears to have given you so much satisfaction, and act entirely on the defensive, and abide the law.
In haste, sir, I remain yours, etc.,

Willard Richards.

From the "Christian Doctrinal Advocate," July 1844, Vol. 7, No. 10, pp. 307-309. Also published in the Western Predestinarian Baptist, October 1, 1844, Vol. 2, No. 3, pp. 47-48. DeKalb, Ill., May 29, 1844.

Dear Brother Jewett, -- My health being yet poor and as I am yet confined to my room, I have thought to write a communication for your paper, that our brethren at a distance might judge whether we are sound in the faith of the Gospel.
Unconditional and personal Election, and the eternal Union of Christ and his people, is generally believed among the Old School Baptists; but how it is true and why, many seem at a loss. The Lord by the prophet says, "I have loved thee with an everlasting love," &c. Jer. xxxi. 3. And the Saviour says, speaking of the Father, "and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me." John xvii:23. And then in the 24th verse tells when the Father loved him, "For thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world." Now love is the bond of union, and we find from the above quotations, that this bond of union existed between the Father and children in eternity. This being so, we can account for the children being blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus. But his loving of them did not in itself give them a personal relationship; so let us draw again from the fountain of eternal truth. The Savior says, "At that day ye shall know, that I am in my Father and ye in me and I in you." And Paul to the Ephesians v:30, says, "For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones." And 29th verse says, "For no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church." In this we see the joint connection between the Father and the Son and the church. Now under this view of the subject we can see how it was, that Christ, who knew no sin, was made sin for us. He being the Head of the church, his body, the law of God could reap its fullest demands in his atoning sacrifice.
But this gives rise to another question: was it our Adamic bodies that this divine relationship existed with: or was it the spiritual or new man, that Paul speaks of? It seems the church had no spiritual standing in the earthly Adam, according to I. Cor. xv. 46; consequently it was the natural man that fell, and the natural man that Christ was manifest to redeem. And if so, was it not the natural man that was chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we (the same characters) should be holy and without blame before him in love? Now it seems that these same characters must be made holy, relative to their connection with the earthly Adam; and according to I. Peter i:2 and Jude 1, they stood in need of being 'sanctified and called.' And it seems that these characters, according to the principles of union and Election, eternally had a standing in Christ. But it appears according to the divine arrangement, that they must have a standing in an earthly head and be manifested here in the world, possessing all those intellectual faculties, which should enable them to realize the nature of joy and grief, ease and pain; although previous to the fall these different sensations were not all brought to bear upon that mind. But since the transgression of the law of God in our federal head, how sensible this mind has been of grief, and how sensitive this body to pain; notwithstanding which there is no spiritual life therein, but an element of sin and rebellion against God; as the Apostle would describe it, Rom. iii. 13-18. "Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood: destruction and misery are in their ways: and the way of peace they have not known: there is no fear of God before their eyes. Alas, how unprepared for heavenly enjoyment! how dry the bones of all the spiritual house of Israel, that are still lying in the valley of sin and death! Now nothing short of that grace that was "given them in Christ Jesus before the world began," is able to quicken them from that dead state. The Lord by the prophet says, "I will give them a heart of flesh," and again he says, "I will write my law in their hearts." And the apostle says, "By the law is the knowledge of sin." In the law's being thus written, spiritual life is communicated, the understanding is enlightened, and the evidence of their true state by reason of sin now received; faith comes into exercise, on which they believe they are the worst sinners that ever lived; they now begin to feel the condemnation due to sin and iniquity, which Christ bore for them on the tree of the Cross, when he made full satisfaction for all their transgressions. O what a hatred of sin takes place in the mind of that penitent soul! Its desire for the Righteousness of the Savior is indescribable! This is the fruit of the work of the strong arm of grace, that is binding the strong man and stripping him of his armour and spoiling his goods; the new man of grace rising into power, taking possession of the habitation and bearing rule according to his divine character. Here we see the lion-like disposition of the old man being subjected and becoming peaceable and docile. Here we see two characters, bearing the image of the earthly and spiritual Adams, united in one new man, who is now prepared to receive and elemented to enjoy spiritual blessings.
My sheet is full, and I must conclude by wishing grace, mercy and peace to abound among all the dear children of God.
Yours in the faith of the Gospel,

Thomas H. Owen.

Christian Doctrinal Advocate, August 1844, Vol. 7, No. 11, pp. 338-340. From Elder Thomas H. Owen, DeKalb, Ill.
Dear Brother Jewett, --- I received yours a few days since, and take this as the earliest opportunity, to reply in part, and to comply with your request to abridge my two letters into one for publication. Let me, my brother, before I proceed, assure you, that ever since becoming acquainted with your paper, I have had full confidence of your impartiality as an editor, and I hope you and all my dear brethren will excuse my plain manner of expression, and not think that I intend harshness.
My object in writing this communication, is to try to disprove the supposed ground of censure, which by some of our eastern Brethren is cast on Old School Baptists at the West, for holding doctrines which they are pleased to call heresy. I have taken some pains in acquainting myself with the articles of faith held and believed by the Old School Baptists at the East generally, and find them the same in substance with ours of the West. And the Old School Baptists at the West are as strongly opposed to the men-made religious systems, that are at open war with the church of Christ, as any people can be. And these are marks whereby the church of Christ is distinguished from the body of Antichrist. Besides, the peculiar views of Elder D. Parker, relative to the two seeds spoken of in the Scriptures, has never formed any part of the articles of faith among the Old School Baptists in the West.
Elder Parker's Two seed doctrine, as it is generally termed, is the heresy complained of, as being held by the western Baptists. It is upwards of 15 years, since I read Eld. P.'s pamphlets on the two seeds, and at this time only possess something of a general idea of his views; and I must acknowledge, that my understanding of Bro. Parker has not been so, as our eastern brethren understand him. They seem to understand him to believe, that the non-elect are the creation of Satan, and not the creation of God. Let this be Eld. P.'s view or not, we of the West, so far as I have acquaintance with Old School Baptists, repudiate any such idea. We understand Adam to be the direct creation of God, and that from him all the human family have sprung. The brethren here do not feel disposed to lay aside any portion of truth, that Bro. P. has advanced, because he may have advanced some errors in connexion with it. As far, as his doctrine comports with the word of God, they receive it; but they set up no man's word for their faith, nor worldly invented rules for their practice; relying alone upon God's word of eternal Truth, as the only sure guide.
Still I find many of our brethren of the West as well as at the East, who form strange opinions about subjects, that the Scriptures have given but a very limited and indirect explanation of. Now there is something of a difference among the brethren of the west, and I think it is equally so at the east, relative to the origin of Satan; some think him to be self-existent, while others think him to be the creature of God, made for the purpose which is now fulfilling. Elder Trott seems to entertain a rather different idea from either of these, far as I have been able to comprehend him. And I find, that they all come together just about where the Scriptures commence that subject. All agree, that there is a devil, an intelligent spirit called Satan, which has a predominating influence over all natural men and women, leading them on in sin and rebellion against the laws of God. Now, my brethren, we are all agreed upon this one fact, that there is a Devil, and as to the work that he is about. So then, upon the grand principle we all 'see eye to eye' and are agreed.
Again, relative to the elect and non-elect, we find some speculative notions among the brethren upon that subject. Some are of the opinion, that the multiplication of the woman's conception after the fall, was the bringing into existence the non-elect. To which position I have some strong predilections; not that I believe that it was the devil, that did it; for I consider, that it was according to the predestinating purpose of God in eternity and a work of his own; for we hear the great I AM saying to the woman, 'I will greatly multiply thy sorrows and thy conception,' &c. Gen. iii. 16.
In my former letter to you, Brother Jewett, (which was mislaid,) I proposed a question to Brother Trott, which I shall now omit, after having explained my own views upon that subject, as above. And I hope, Bro. Trott, or any of the brethren, who take strong exceptions to the same, will give me their views and the reason why they entertain them. Others think the conceptions of the woman were not increased by sin. Yet our brethren all believe in the doctrine of Election and predestination, as the Scriptures demonstrate; so we are all together upon scriptural ground.
There has been much said about the introduction of Sin; but my Brother, it seems to me there can be but one opinion upon that subject, if we can understand each other, as we understand ourselves. The Scriptures are to the point and leave no room for speculation. Sin is certainly a transgression of the law of God. I. John iii. 4. Paul says, "wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world,' &c. Rom. v. 12. Again he says, "for where no law is, there is no transgression." Rom. iv. 15. Now it is very evident, that sin is transgression; and transgression cannot take place without a law. And when Adam violated the law, it entailed sin upon all his posterity, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Rom. 5th, 12th. Now, Bro. Jewett, we find the brethren of the east and of the west all come together on these points in due time. And I do think, that you need not fear a split or dissolution of union and fellowship between eastern and western Baptists to result herefrom. For all that is wanting on these points, is to properly understand each other; and the difference will be found not to be of such a character as to break fellowship. I hope, if this short explanation of the doctrine held by the western Old School Baptists, is not sufficient to convince our distant brethren, that we are free from reasonable censure as to holding heresy, -- I hope they will show us, and wherein we have failed, and they shall hear from us again.
May the God of grace be with you and all his dear children in this day of delusion. I am yours in the support of truth.
T he Lord of glory reigns above.
H ow matchless is his Grace!
O may he, by his Spirit, move
M y soul to speak his praise.
A nd while his mercy thus unfolds
S uch blessings from above;

H is grace is present to uphold

O what unbounded Love!
W hen doubts arise and faith grows weak,
E ternally uphold;
N or let my soul in anguish weep,
Thy blessings, Lord, afford.
T. H. O.

The Christian Doctrinal Advocate, March 1845, Vol. 8, No. 6, pp. 169-170. From Elder Thomas H. Owen, Hancock Co., Ill., January 1845.

DEAR BROTHER JEWETT: -- I received yours, and I should have written sooner, had I not been absent from home until lately. I have just got home again from another six days' rout.
Several settlements and churches that I visited seem to be enjoying the visitations of our Heavenly Master. I preached two nights and one day in a settlement where a reformation had been going on for some time. I found that, near its commencement, a Cumberland Presbyterian got up a protracted meeting & produced a tremendous excitement, and previous to the time I visited them about 40 or 50 had professed religion. The noisy ones had united with the Presbyterians, while those of the thinking sort could not go that; his baptism & some other things that he held were not according to their views and experience. He had tried just before I went there, to explain Baptism away. Some he satisfied, while others considered it a perversion of the Scriptures. I spoke on Baptism the last night I was with them, which seemed to be well received by a large portion of the congregation; while others appeared after meeting to be very much agitated; I suppose, because of their craft being in danger.
We have a gradual increase to the churches here, that I attend, by experience and baptism.
Brother Jewett, I find a very great sameness in the sentiments of satan and those of his followers. We learn from the Scriptures, that the serpent told our mother Eve in the garden, that God did know that they should not die, if they ate the forbidden fruit; but should become as gods, 'knowing good and evil.' By which it seems, that he charged God with lying. So in like manner we find his followers charging God with falsehood: saying, they did not die, but that there is a spark of spiritual life in every body by nature; and if they will improve it, they can prepare themselves thereby for heaven and immortal glory. Now, Brother Jewett, wherever we find people advocating such principles, we may know, that they are of their father the devil & enemies to God and his people. These same servants say, that salvation depends on the act of the creature, and that God is calling every body and trying to get them to repent, but they will not. This, it appears to me, (if it were true) would render the help of the creature necessary to make God the Almighty, & the same power and action of the creature, when thrown on the side of satan, would make him stronger than God; and in that case the devil would be the Almighty. How derogatory to the nature of our God are these sentiments! Never was there more idolatry practiced by Ahab's prophets, than by this kind of professors. No wonder the apostle Paul under the influence of the Spirit of God should warn the church to beware of dogs and of the concision! Is it not astonishing to think how much money is spent in building kennels (seminaries) to breed and raise up and train dogs to destroy the flock and feast on the fat thereof?
But, O my brother, notwithstanding the children of God may as to their usefulness and enjoyment, in the church militant here below, be destroyed; nevertheless, as they are sheep of His pasture, the Great Shepherd will collect them into the heavenly fold, where the dogs can never come.
I must conclude, wishing grace, mercy and truth to abound with you and all the dear children of God.

Thomas H. Owen.

Western Predestinarian Baptist, August 1, 1845, Vol. 2, No. 22, pp. 350-352.
DeKalb, Hancock Co., Ill., June 22, 1845.

Dear Brother Newport:

It has been a long while since I have written anything for your paper, & it was not because I disapproved of the principles or doctrinal sentiments it contained; but, because I ever thought that I was not treated with that courtesy and respect that a brother and patron of your paper should have been, by refusing to publish a communication that I wrote for the purpose of disabusing the minds of our brethren at a distance, relative to a charge made against myself and the Salem Association, by some of the members of the Spoon River Association, which charge was without any foundation in truth. Which report could not be so easily checked in any other way, as a communication in yours or some other paper that the brethren were conversant with.* But while perusing the 12th No. of the Signs of the Times early this morning, which came by last night's mail, I found a communication from brother Callahan, of Boon county, Indiana, in which he seemed to indulge very lavishly in the abuse of our late brother Daniel Parker, whose name is cherished with feelings of respect, and whose labors and usefulness with long be remembered by many of the western Baptists, who are as much entitled to the name of O. S. as any other Baptist in the United States. Bro. C. denounces the views of Elder Parker on the Two Seeds, and the origin of the devil, as a heresy, and says it never emanated from the Son of Righteousness, but from a parhelion of anti-Christ, to cause division in the church as all other religious inventions of men are calculated to do. This is just about the same sentiment that is frequently reiterated by the brethren in the east, and many of the west also, and is often warning the brethren and calling upon them to mark those that cause division. Now, I just want to ask, and examine who it is that is causing division in this case? Is it those that embrace the views in full, or in part, of Elder Parker upon those points. As far as my acquaintance of these things exist, I answer it is not. But it is those that disbelieve those sentiments, that is fanning the flame of disunion and excluding from their fellowship those of their brethren that embrace those sentiments. When and where was the instance that Elder P. ever disfellowshiped any brother that was a predestinarian because he did not embrace his P's particular views of those scriptures? Such an instance cannot be pointed out, and I presume cannot, in reference to any others that embraced his sentiments, so that I consider the cry of "mark those that cause divisions" comes with an ill grace from those who are exciting the feelings of the brethren to division. I now wish to contrast, what I understand to be the doctrine of Two Seeds, with the doctrine of predestination, and see where the objectionable sentiments are, that our brethren are pleased to call heresy; and before I produce it I will state to my brethren, that I do not adopt Elder P's views of those scriptures as my own; yet the foundation that I understand him to predicate his views upon I consider tenable from scripture. But the idea advanced by him, that the non-elect never had a standing in Adam, neither directly nor indirectly, before the fall, I consider not to be in unison with the foundation; consequently, I view it as an error of his, which is no more than fallible man is subject to. But because he may have erred in that point, I do not throw away every thing else that have been advanced by him, that I consider to comport with the scriptures. Now, I consider the doctrines of predestination to be this: That God according to his irrevocable decree and purpose, chose his people in Christ before the foundation of the world that they should be holy and without blame before him in love, Eph. i:4. Then some characters Paul speaks of in this wise, "who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works; but according to his own purpose and grace, given us in Christ Jesus before the world began," II. Tim. i:9. Now, all this is fraught with the doctrines of predestination. And why was grace given them in Christ before the world began. We would answer, in consequence of the corrupt channel of human depravity that the God of heaven knew, designed, and purposed they should pass through, and that grace is made manifest unto them in time, which releases them from the element of sin, and gives them a knowledge of the goodness of God in predestination that they should be conformed to the image of his son. The non-elect never had any of those provisions made for life in Christ, they never had the promises of any life but the life they inherited from the earthly Adam. Now, upon these points Elder P. and all other sound predestinarians are agreed, all believe that part of the human family are the elect of God, and that they eternally have had a standing in Christ; the other part, the non-elect; and never had a standing in Christ. Now does the views of the Two Seed Baptists "so-called" make the situation of the non-elect any better or worse because they believe the provision for bringing them into existence, were not made complete until after the transgression of our foreparents, when God said to the woman, "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception," &c., Gen. iii:16. All will agree it does not. Then the difference is, others believe the provision for their propagation were all completed before the fall. But of their existing in the world as a part of the human family there is no disagreement. Now why all this noise about heresy, and division among the Old School Baptists, upon a subject of minor consideration when compared with Fullerism, or Campbellism? Bro. C. seems to oppose the idea of the self existency of the devil. Now the disagreement among Old School Baptists upon this point, is about in character with that of Two Seeds. All agree there is a devil existing in the world, and not much disagreement as to his character and influence; then why all this fuss about the way he has come; none of us expect to be able to drive him out through the same gate, by which he has entered. The only alternate for us is to look to the Lord for strength, to keep us from being led by his influence. Now brother Newport, you may feel somewhat reluctant to give this a place in your paper, as you have some time since seemed to be disinclined to let the subject of Two Seeds be investigated through your paper. But I believe that is due to the western Old School Baptists to have the privilege through your paper, or some others, to investigate the principles that many have alleged as the cause why they accuse us of heresy. To be sure, brother Jewett has granted me that privilege through the Advocate and Monitor, but that paper is not so generally read among the western Baptists, but if you are not willing to give it a place in your paper, you will please send it back to me immediately. I do consider it very uncourteous for a paper to publish communications charging one portion of the Old School Baptists with heresy, and then deny the accused the privilege of replying by way of vindicating themselves from such imputation.
I must conclude; may grace, mercy, and truth, abound among all the afflicted in Zion.

Thomas H. Owen.


It was not through any disrespect to Bro. Owen, that we declined to publish the communication referred to by him, in the commencement of the above letter; but, because we were apprehensive it might be productive of widening the breach between brethren, who, we think ought to be closely united in the bowels of Christian love. Had we published brother Owen's letter in relation to the difficulties existing between the Salem and Spoon River associations, it would, in all probability, have called forth a reply from some of the Spoon River brethren; and thus a public altercation would have been opened that would have embittered feelings, aroused angry passions, distressed the feelings of many brethren who, perhaps would never have heard of the difficulty, but for its publication, and been edifying to few, if any. We would not be understood as possessing a disposition to debar brethren the privilege of defending themselves through our paper, when their standing and character is wantonly assailed, before the public. But in most cases, even where we are reviled, we think it best not to revile again, but to maintain a dignified silence, and leave the event with God who judges righteously where the parties are brethren of the same faith and order. In all such cases our creed is, keep the confusion in its own bounds, and never let it transcend those limits, if it can possibly be prevented.

Signs of the Times, April 1, 1852, Vol. 20, No. 7, p. 53.
Benecia, California, December 28, 1851.

Brother Beebe: Having located myself and family permanently in this country, I am desirous to avail myself of the earliest opportunity of obtaining your excellent paper, the Signs of the Times.
I left the States in 1849, since which time I have never been able to learn anything in relation to the progress of your publication, but I have strong faith to believe that you are still upon the watch tower, and in the defense of the truth. As I write this scroll in haste, I will not attempt to describe to you at this time, the scenes and privations I have experienced since I came to California. I have been located, until this fall, in the vicinity of the mines, where I had no opportunity of enjoying any religious intercourse among the people. I have found but very few Old School Baptists in this country. My family arrived here about three weeks since, and we are located in a valley near the San Francisco Bay, about fifty miles from San Francisco city, and the same distance from the city of Stockton; and forty miles from Sacramento city. We have about one hundred settlers now in this vicinity, all of whom seem to be very friendly. We have preaching every Lords day. The Methodists occupy two Sundays, and I occupy the third. My appointments have been very well attended so far. I have had no opportunity as yet to hold meeting in any other settlement since I came here; but I intend doing so as soon as the spring season is over. And if there are any Old School Baptists in this country, I will try to find them.
The effort system folks, are making great exertions, and truly seem to compass sea and land to make proselytes, and after they have made them, I fear that they are no less of the bond woman than they were before.
If you are still publishing the Signs of the Times, please send me the Volume commencing Jan. 1852.
I remain your brother, in tribulation,


Messenger of Peace, July 15, 1892.

The portrait (below) will no doubt bring to the memory of many of the readers of the Messenger of Peace, the Old School Baptist minister of early days, Elder Thomas H. Owen, of Hancock county, Ill.
He was born in Buncombe county, North Carolina, in the year 1797. His parents were of Welsh descent, and settled in that state at a very early date. In the year 1816, they moved to Franklin county, Illinois, where the subject of this sketch was married to Miss Mary Wren, a resident of that county. They had both united with the Old School Baptist church at that place and he was ordained to the ministry soon after, in which capacity he labored the rest of his life.
In 1830, he, with his family, located in Hancock county, Illinois, it being very sparsely settled at that time. He constituted the first Old School Baptist church in the county and preached regularly at different places during his many years residence there and was regarded among the Primitive Baptists as a sound doctrinal minister, and one of great ability. In the year 1849 he was seized with the prevailing California fever and with two of his sons undertook the perilous trip across the plains, arriving in California in the spring of 1850, after a tedious journey of over one year. He commenced business in the mining portions of the state but soon disposed of his effects there and procured a farm in Suisun county, between the cities of Sacramento and San Francisco. He was so benefited by that healthful climate that he decided to remain there and sent to Illinois for the remainder of his family, who joined him in his valley home in 1851.
The next year a number of Primitive Baptist people found homes in the valley and other counties. He sought them and organized a church in the valley and one in Santa Rosa, Sonoma county. Here he again entered upon his ministerial duties and as the country became more settled, he aided in instituting churches in other parts of the state with few members.
He traveled and preached untiringly as long as his declining health would permit. His wife died in 1876, after which event he failed more rapidly and died with partial paralysis in 1880 at the age of 82 years after a lingering illness of nearly two years. He died in the same faith and belief in the doctrine that he had defended for over fifty years. "Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." He had ten children born to him, five of whom are living, three sons and two daughters. His experience is here given as written by himself to Elder Beebe, of the Signs of the Times, forty years ago:--

Signs of the Times, Vol. 20, No. 18, September 15, 1852, pp. 140-142.
Suisun Valley, California, May 10, 1852.

Brother Beebe:-- Having received the Signs, I hasten to comply with my promise to send you the subscription money, and at the same time express to you and to the numerous readers of your valuable paper the consolation and pleasure it afforded me to have the privilege of again hearing from the saints scattered abroad, and of reading their communications, which come to me like cold water to a thirsty soul. To think of being deprived of church privileges and the company of the children of God for the term of three years, will give my brethren and sisters far distant from me, some idea of my disconsolate state, but I can assure you that I have not language to express the greatness of the privation; but I trust I can say with the poet,

The Lord is precious everywhere,
His children cannot rove so far
But he his promises will fulfill,
In being present with them still.

There seems to be quite a change in the character of the communications in the Signs from those of three years ago. Then they were mostly on doctrine, now they seem, (by the fifth number which I have received,) to be mostly on experimental religion, which has proved very consoling to me, especially to witness the sameness of the work of grace on the hearts of Gods children, from Maine to Florida, and from Oregon to Georgia. It is an evidence that God is revealing almost daily, of his wonder working power and grace in the salvation of his elect, and it should make our faith strong, that salvation is of the Lord. When I commenced writing it was with the intention of giving a relation of what I hope was the work of the Lord with me in changing my mind from the element of sin, and giving me a desire for holiness. If I knew that it would afford to any of the dear lambs of the flock the same satisfaction that the like communications from them have me, I should take pleasure in doing so. But before I proceed, let me say to you, that although it has now been more than thirty years since, I have never been able to get any better evidence of my acceptance with God, although I have sought him more than thrice; and it has not been such an anchor as to keep me steady in one place, for I have been on every side, up and down, but oftener down than up; yet there is but one thing I would exchange it for, and that is a better one.
I was born in Buncombe county, North Carolina, in 1797. My parents were Baptists. There was no distinction then among the Baptists as there is in these days. I had serious reflections about death when I was quite young, which I presume were caused by hearing my parents and others talk of the horrible state of those who die in their sins. But as I grew older, those impressions wore off and I became very much attached to the vain amusements of the world, particularly frolicking and dancing. This, I thought, was a small way of sinning, and would be easily gotten along with when I should get ready to attend to it. Many times at meeting when I heard the preachers speak of the change necessary to fit us for death and judgment, knowing that I was a sinner, I would be so affected that I could not refrain from shedding tears, and often promised in my mind that I would do better. But when I got off with youthful companions it would all wear off. Thus I continued promising and failing until I was 22 years old. I had got married and my wife and I were living alone. I came in from work one evening in the fall of 1821 and my wife's sister and another young lady were there. After supper they asked me to help them sing; I replied that I did not feel like singing. They, however, commenced singing a hymn, during which I felt that I was a sinner in the sight of God, and that I was not in a condition to enjoy the blessings alluded to in the hymn, and that without a change, I never could. My thoughts traveled back over my whole life and instead of my sins looking small, they seemed to me to be of the most heinous character. My many broken promises and vows seemed arrayed before me, as if to show me that I had forfeited all claims on God's mercy, and that the time was once when I might have obtained the mercy of God, but now it was too late.
Those whom I had regarded more wicked than myself seemed to have a better chance for heaven than I had, for they had sinned ignorantly; but I had sinned against a better informed judgment, which made the justice of my fate more apparent.
I went to bed with a heavy heart and slept some, but when I awoke in the morning my case was no better, my distress of mind increased. I tried to pray, but it seemed that I could have no hope that God would answer my prayers. I had been so treacherous that it seemed like presumption to ask God for any favor. I continued in this state of mind, sometimes trying to fulfill the righteousness of the law, but growing worse in my own view, instead of better. I recollect sitting down to breakfast one morning when my mind was so distressed that I was afraid to eat, for it seemed to me that I was so unworthy of any of God's mercy, that the food would certainly choke me. My wife at length became alarmed about me, for fear that I was becoming insane. I still did not tell her what my feelings were, but assured her that she need not be uneasy about my becoming deranged. I felt willing, if it had been possible, to exchange conditions with the beasts, or the meanest of reptiles, for they seemed better off than I, as they had no souls to be lost.
After lingering in this way some weeks, while sitting by my fireside one night and meditating on my deplorable condition, I felt confident that my time in this world was very nearly at an end, that my preparation for eternal misery was nearly complete, and I felt thankful that God had born with me so long. I thought I would go out and try to pray once more. The night was very dark, but I made my way a little distance to where I had cribbed my corn; for I had often poured out the bitter lamentations of my soul in that place. I tried again to pray but it seemed that God heeded nothing I said and that my case was sealed. I felt a spirit of resignation to the will of God, and fell prostrate on the floor feeling that God was just in my condemnation, and I felt perfectly calm. The contest seemed to be decided and the struggle over. How long I lay there I do not know. The first thing that attracted my attention was the appearance of a personage right above me, who with a bright smile, spoke and repeated what was at that moment revolving in my own mind, that surely mercy was too great a favor for such a sinner as I to obtain. I arose, wondering what these things could mean. My troubles were gone and I felt comfortable.
But why it was so, I could not tell. I returned to the house and my wife was still sitting up, but I told her nothing of my feelings. After some time spent in deep meditation, I retired and slept better than usual. In the morning when I awoke, my mind was still at ease. I wondered, with astonishment, what could be the cause, as the things which had transpired on the evening before, seemed only to confirm the impressions of my mind that grace was too great a favor for such a sinner. I thought my situation was worse than before, for my troubles were gone, and I had no hope for happiness. I could see no other purpose in it, only that the trouble and distress that I felt, was to convince me of the justice of God in my condemnation, that my cup was full and when death should have done his work my soul would sink in the regions of eternal misery. What seemed to me more astonishing, was that I could not grieve about it. I began to wish for my troubles again. Finally, I went to the woods and while trying to implore the mercy of God, I found myself breaking forth in praises to God, for his long forbearance, in keeping me out of an awful hell.
I arose from my knees and returned to my business. Everything seemed wrapped in mystery, but the whole desire of my soul was to get the burden of my guilt back again; but all my efforts were unavailing. I often went to meeting and when hearing the preacher describe the Christians travels, I could witness it all until hope took the place of despair and the love of God banished all fear. There, he left me short of the promised land, to mourn for the body of Moses. I spent about four years in this wilderness, during which time it seemed to me that satan was permitted to afflict my mind as he did the body of Job, in the days of old. Often it occurred to me, that it had been told me in a manner that I could not misunderstand, that there was no mercy for me. Oh my brother! What a wretched slough of despond this was. To go forward, I could not, to go back, I was not willing. Finally, as a last resort, I thought if I could commit some known wickedness, as I had formerly done, it might have a tendency to convict me and I might get my troubles back again. I resolved to go to the first ball that I could have the opportunity of going to, and I would dance and see what effect it would have. I did so, and while on the floor waiting for the music to start, I felt so miserable, that it seemed to me that I could not raise a foot from the floor. To think of backing out, would not do, for the people would suspect what were my feelings. I went through with it and hardly knew how. Instead of bringing my mind into the state of condemnation as formerly, it produced grief for the act itself.
The next victory satan gained over me, was to induce me to give credence for enough infidelity to examine the reasoning in favor of it and against the existence of a God, and the truth of the scripture. I commenced the investigation, which soon resulted in throwing aside the Bible and disbelieving its testimony. I fully believed that I was able to maintain my position by the principles of sound reasoning. I rested here for a time, if rest it might be called. At length an Old School Baptist, an acquaintance of mind, called at my house and during the evening he inquired of me what my feelings were on the subject of religion. I told him that it was a matter that I thought but very little about, for I did not believe there was any reality in it, nor in the scriptures either. He looked me in the face and remarked, Now you dont believe that. I answered that I did believe it, and that I believed I could convince him of it. He remarked that if he had been in error all his life, he would like to know it. I set about it, confident of success. I found my starting point and began to hunt for my stakes that I had set up. But to my astonishment they were all down and out of the way. I could find nothing of them. I made an effort, but seemingly got hold of everything left-handed, or by the wrong end, so that I could not produce any argument that pleased myself. I got along so badly that I gave it up as a complete failure. He then commenced on me and gave me what I considered a sound drubbing. I felt exceedingly mortified, and retired very soon, but rested badly.
I could not keep from thinking of the poor subterfuge I had laid hold of and had been resting upon. For all nature, when I looked upon it and considered its wonderful formation, its strict obedience to the laws by which it was governed, gave evidence too strong to be denied, that there was a God who had created all things, and that I could not avoid his requirements. My souls desire was that God would pardon my unbelief and forgive my trespasses and make me to understand the full nature of my case. I resumed the practice of going to hear preaching and sometimes could weep over my forlorn situation. Sometimes my mind led back to the time when my troubles left me, and while pondering over these things, the thought would recur to me, Now you are trying to force yourself into the belief that you are a Christian, whereas you have had no evidence of it and you are acting the hypocrite. These thoughts always alarmed me, for I was afraid of hypocrisy and would try to banish them from my mind as speedily as possible. I spent over a year in this way. In March, 1826, I heard that one of my old associates had joined the church and was to be baptized the second Sunday of that month, about six miles from where I lived. I attended and felt very solemn under the preaching, part of which seemed to suit my feelings, while other portions of it, I dared not embrace. After preaching, the congregation repaired to the water for baptism, and I followed with a very heavy heart. I placed myself outside the crowd, but where I had a fair view of the water. While the congregation were singing and the preacher was praying, I felt lonely in the extreme. I witnessed the administration of the ordinance and the whole seemed very beautiful and charming to those who were engaged in it and the thought was in my mind, how glad I should be if I were fit to follow the example of the Savior, which seemed to be followed with an almost overwhelming anxiety to be baptized, when in quick succession, these thoughts rushed in, that it was wicked for such an unworthy creature to desire that sacred ordinance. These simultaneous thoughts produced a sensation that I was hardly able to bear. I grew weak and turned and sat down by a tree that was near, and remained there until the shock was abated. I thought it best to leave the place, lest I should attract the notice of the congregation, which had not yet dispersed. After going a short distance from the crowd, I ceased to restrain my feelings, which gave vent to a profusion of tears. Walking slowly toward the house, unconscious that anyone was near me, my attention was attracted by some one behind me. I turned and saw one of the members of the church coming toward me. He saw that I was weeping and called me by my name and said, Is not this a glorious time? I replied that I supposed it was to those who could enjoy it. He asked me if I could not enjoy it. I answered in the negative and he inquired the reason. I told him that I had no evidence of the forgiveness of my sin and never expected to have. He asked me several questions in regard to the state of mind and I began to tell him how my feelings were wrought upon that day and how miserable I felt. He then asked about my previous exercises. I just then discovered what I was doing and was sorry I had told him, for I feared that it would make a wrong impression on his mind, and I felt reluctant to answer him any farther, but he insisted, and on reflection I concluded that if I did not answer him, he would think I had experienced more than what I had, and his impressions concerning me in that case, would be equally erroneous. So I answered his questions in a way that I thought I would be the least likely to create a wrong impression. After a short conversation he advised me to read the promises and try to embrace them and we parted. I then became more willing and less afraid to investigate and naturally consider the nature and effect of my former exercises, which was continued with a fervent desire to God, that if I had found grace in his sight, he would show me evidence and enable me to trust in his name. Sometime in May, while alone at work in the field, my mind was deeply impressed upon the subject of my situation and of eternal things, when the words of the apostle John, (though I did not then know they were his words), came to my mind with more power than anything I ever heard, "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." It seemed to me that the love and mercy of God, accompanied it to the inmost recesses of my soul, for I thought that if I ever knew anything, I loved the people of God and I felt that I had the witness within me that I was born of God. Oh my brother! this was a feast of fat things to my soul. I had received Benjamin's mess, a forty day's meal, and even now, while recording the scenes of that day, I feel to hope that it was a foretaste of the glory that the Savior had with the Father before the world was, and which he has promised to make all the heirs of heaven partakers of. I found that the enemy which I feared would slay me, was vanished and completely routed, that he nevermore could resume the conflict. But Oh! I then, little thought that one of his emissaries had a dwelling place in the same tenement, and was always watching for an opportunity to dispossess the rightful owner. I felt willing and anxious to be baptized, but circumstances seemed to require that I should defer offering myself to the church at that time. I was still drinking copiously of the river, the streams whereof make glad the city of God. The June meeting came on and I had to be in another part of the county on Saturday, but rode nearly all night that I might attend the services on Sunday. When I got home my wife told me that several persons had been received on Saturday and were to be baptized on Sunday. I was pleased to hear it, but slept very little that night. In the morning we went to meeting early. The people seemed cheerful and lively and I enjoyed the preaching well, after which the people repaired to the water. I went with them, but had no intention of offering myself to the church at that time. I intended to keep on the outskirts of the crowd, for I did not want anyone to know my situation. The preacher, however, opened the door for the reception of candidates for baptism, and a gentleman of my acquaintance came forward, and as I was anxious to hear his relation, I crowded up near, and when he got through the question was taken and he was received. The brethren began to sing and the love of God seemed to animate every heart and the preacher proclaimed, "we have done as we were commanded and yet there is room." A member of the church who stood near, said to me, don't neglect your duty any longer. The thoughts of my former disobedience rushed upon my mind with such force that I abandoned my resolutions and went forward, feeling that it was better to obey God than to confer with flesh and blood. After I got through the main question was put without asking me any questions. I was disappointed, for I would rather have been interrogated; however I was received, and after those who had come prepared had been baptized, I put on the wet clothes of a brother and was baptized.
When coming up from the water, my mind was so impressed to warn everyone who had been changed from the love of sin to the love of holiness, against the forbidden paths of disobedience, that it was with difficulty I could refrain, and it lasted me until I got home. After that went off, I had no other trouble of mind for several days, when a gentleman, who was a well wisher of the Baptists, but not a member, called at my house on business, and after that was over, he asked me how I felt since I was baptized. I told him that I felt very well and he replied that I was not like two that he named of the brethren, who were baptized the same day, for they had gotten into such trouble and doubts, that one of them had resolved to go to the next church meeting and have his name erased from the church book. The thought then entered my mind, that I was no Christian for I had felt no such thing as that. I could then recollect that I had heard old professors complain in that way.
Here the warfare commenced with your poor, unworthy brother, which has continued nearly twenty-seven years, and I am well convinced, that if I am not saved by grace alone, I shall be found on the left-hand at last.
I am yours in hope through grace, of eternal life.

Thomas H. Owen._________________________

Signs of the Times, Vol. 22, No. 17, September 1, 1854, p. 130.
Solano Co., Cal., July 8, 1854.

After attending to the business part of my letter, I feel inclined to fill up the remainder of my sheet in giving a brief statement of the progress of religion; as far as my observations have extended, which I presume will not be uninteresting to your patrons, or the Old School Baptists in general. I feel well convinced that we have two kinds of religion in this country, to wit, the religion of Christ which is pure and undefiled; and the religion of anti-Christ. The latter abounds in great abundance in all the cities and towns and popular settlements, their altars are plenty and many of them decorated with all the costly trappings which characterized the scarlet colored beast, and her that sat upon it. And a variety of musical instruments, all of which are the workmanship of men. And I fear their religion is of the same manufacture. The time has been that money hunting preachers fared well in California, but times have changed, money has become scarce and their craft commands but a low price; yet they ought not to complain, for all other business transactions have fallen short in their profits. And as I heard the presiding elder tell the people at a night meeting in one of our cities, that to get religion was nothing more nor less than a business transaction; and if so, their preaching is only to accomplish a common business transaction; and should fall in price as other commodities. There has been a very great struggle among all the workmongrel professions, to see who should gain the ascendency in this country. They have all fanned the flame of animal passion, until it has become old and stale with the people, who seem no longer to be alarmed at it.
The desire to procure wealth and the good things of this world, seems to have taken a deeper hold on the minds of the people in this country than in any other I have ever lived in. I have tried to preach considerable to the people here; and it has been very seldom, while preaching, that I ever could discover from the countenance of any that contrition of soul that is an evidence of genuine repentance. But all seem to indicate a desire to be troubled before their time.
I heard of some Old School Baptists located some forty or fifty miles from where I live, and I resolved on taking a journey through that part of the country to see if I could find them, which I did some time since; and found some ten or twelve members of the Old School, that had not been decoyed by the Missionary Baptists, and it seems that I came among them just in time to save some others from being led off by them. A missionary preacher had constituted a church in that part of the country; and denied being a missionary and had succeeded in getting some of the Old School to join him, and was fishing after some others, but they had become rather suspicious of him, and wanted to prove him further; during which time I fell in with them, and was able to give them a true knowledge of his standing. I tried to preach for them and gave them some Old School papers, and minutes containing our articles of faith, all of which they have been well pleased with; and were very desirous to have a church constituted in that vicinity. I agreed to return in three weeks, which I did; and some of them were very anxious to be constituted at that time, but some three or four members that lived at a distance failed to attend; and I thought myself that such a course would probably be premature and that further acquaintance would do no harm. I agreed to visit them Saturday before the first Sunday in August, when, if nothing is in the way, I expect to constitute them; notwithstanding it is taking more responsibility on myself than I ever have done; for on all such occasions in the States I have been accustomed to acting with Elders, and generally council from churches, but in this case I am deprived of that privilege, for I have no knowledge of any other ordained minister in this state but myself; yet I find nothing in the scripture that would forbid such a course.
Brother McCormack of Iowa, and brother Cox of Kentucky, desired to hear from me through the medium of the Signs. I will say unto them that I highly appreciate their friendship, and continued remembrance of one so unworthy, and whose lot seems to be cast among strangers, in a spiritual point of view; where none seemed to understand the language of Canaan, or sympathize with me in my lonely state. But the promise of my divine Master gives me comfort the world knows not of, where he says and lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.
If it had not been for such precious promises recorded in Gods word, I know not where my faltering hopes would have found a resting place. I often thought while in the States, that my trials were more serious, and more of them than was common to professors of religion. But since I have come to California, I find trials that arise from new sources that often threaten to make my soul a captive to unbelief. And the spirit of iniquity certainly has a dwelling in this tabernacle, where he is always in attendance, for I can never find him absent, but when I would do good evil is present. And I become more and more assured that unless I am saved by free and sovereign grace that there is no salvation for such a sinner as I. And when I look at myself, and then view the torrent of opposition and error, that I must inevitably encounter in this country, for a time, single, and alone, it makes me exclaim, I am not sufficient for these things. And I know that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. And I know that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And I know that Israels God is able to fight his battles and conquer his enemies through the most inferior instruments. I thank God and take courage, that success is not to the strong but to the faithful. I send you some verses herewith, which you can publish or throw them aside. They contain my views in a brief manner of salvation by grace.

When grace first comes it finds us dumb,
And deaf, and blind, and lame,
It makes us see our final doom
Unless were born again.

Then we begin to strive and pray,
For mercy from on high,
We see that we have broke the law,
And for it we must die.

The death in our Adamic head,
Has left us all for slain,
But grace laid up for sinners dead,
Secures them life again.

By grace the plan was laid in Christ,
The Fathers only Son,
Fulfilled in time, but laid at first,
Before the world began.

That grace to thirsty souls how sweet,
It fills their heart with joy,
The wondrous love to men how great,
That reigns in God on high.

God loved his bride when made at first,
He loved her when she died,
He loved her and redeemed in Christ,
None but his loving bride.

Then glorify the Saviors name,
Proclaim his grace abroad,
Until we rest to reign with him,
In heaven his blessd abode.

Thomas H. Owen.

Signs of the Times, Vol. 23, No. 16, August 15, 1855, p. 124.
Suisun Valley, Cal., June 26, 1855.

DEAR BROTHER BEEBE: -- The business part of my letter occupies but a small portion of my sheet, I will write you a few things in relation to this great Pacific country, the business of which has called hither people from almost every part of the world, and they have brought their manners, customs, and sectional prejudices with them; all being acted out, as far as practicable, they truly present a hotch poch appearance. The foreigners adhering to their religious sentiments has baffled to some extent, the ecclesiastical workmongers of our day; for we know that religious prejudices are harder to eradicate from the mind, than almost anything else. Consequently finding the foreigners invulnerable to their various systems and machinery for making Christians, many of them hailed with delight that mysterious system of know-nothingism, when it first made its appearance on this side of the American Continent, as being the very thing by which they could proscribe those foreigners, and deprive them the privilege of free-men, so that their influence might be felt less in the councils of the nation, and in the states where they are now emploring the strong arm of law, to aid them in the progress of their system; which, if carried out would overthrow our Republican government. Our brethren may think that the various catch-penney systems of modern religion which are common in the states, have not found their way into California; but they are very much mistaken. They have all crossed the great American desert without impairing their strength in the least.
I have no doubt that God had a purpose (out of which will flow great events) in the settlement of California, and its acquisition to the United States. But his purposes and events, whether they be political, moral or religious, or all, time will unfold to us. Their political influence, and commercial intercourse, in civilizing several heathen countries are already apparent; but civilizing a people does by no means christianize them. Whether it will be the pleasure of God to send his gospel there in its purity, and take from among them a people who shall repent of their idolatry and worship him in spirit and in truth, remains to be developed. But certain it is that the spurious, and counterfeit gospel which is flooding our world, is beginning to find its way there. Whether it will make them any better than they were before is a matter of doubt. The God of heaven may make use of them, as he has often done, with many of satans plans and devices, to carry out and accomplish his own purposes. Who knows but that it may be his will to give those people his own gospel in the English language, and that he has chosen those work-mongers to introduce that language among them, preparatory to the exercising of his mighty power in bringing many of them to serve him, as he did Cyrus in the days of old, to rebuild the Temple and restore the captive Jews to their own land and place of worship? We have many who like Ahimaaz, are anxious to run, and who do run, but they only produce confusion or tumult. But when God sends his own servants he gives them true tidings to bear, and they never fail to produce the proper effect.
Brother Beebe, my situation for the last six years, has been a very lonely one. I have passed through many dark scenes, temptations, doubts and fears; yet I have found rest nowhere only in confiding in the everliving God. Oh, how I have longed to meet with a true yoke-fellow in the gospel, in this country. How much more consoling it is to hear the gospel preached, than to preach it myself. But I trust the dawn of better times has already appeared in California. We have some here who have not bowed to the image Baal, who are enquiring after the old paths, and desiring to walk in them. And we have some young gifts among us, that we trust will be useful. But it seems, to all human appearance, that we need more laborers in the field. But in Gods own time he will supply them according to the harvest to be gathered.
I wish to inform Brother Crooks, of Oregon, and all other faithful brethren with whom I have been acquainted, that I have not forgotten them, nor the many comfortable seasons we have had together in times past. I feel grieved at the thought that we never shall be permitted to enjoy those pleasant seasons together again on the shores of time. Brethren, farewell. Do with this as you please, Brother Beebe. Remember me at the throne of grace.

Thomas H. Owen.

Signs of the Times, Vol. 23, No. 20, October 15, 1855, pp. 155-156.
Suisun Valley, Cal., July 13, 1855.

BROTHER BEEBE:--Having finished the business part of my letter, I feel inclined to fill up my sheet with a few reflections on some of those passages of scripture which the arminians are clinging to, to prove a universal atonement. The construction that the world of mankind generally put upon these scriptures is in direct conflict with other portions of God's word, and calculated to lead even true christians astray. They are very tenacious that the word all when used in connection with the atonement, means every one of Adam's posterity, which is a great error.
We will begin with Rom. v. 18, "Therefore, as by the offense of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." Now if the righteousness of Christ be applied to the justification of all Adam's posterity, they must certainly all be saved. Such a construction of the text is in conflict with other portions of the word, as, Jude 4, "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation; ungodly men, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." Now, if those men were before of old ordained to this condemnation, they could not have been justified by the righteousness of Christ; hence the construction of the former text by the arminians is wrong, or the scriptures clash; and Paul and Jude are at issue. Peter sustains Jude, II. Peter. ii. 1-14. Their construction represents Paul also at war with himself, 2 Thess. i:9, and 2 Tim. iv. 12. The true meaning of the passage, (Rom. v. 18,) must be considered either nationally or representatively. If nationally, the all men spoken of, have reference to the church among the gentiles, and not confined to the Jews, as was supposed by the pharisees of that day. This is the correct sense in which most of these terms are used, which the arminians pervert to prove their doctrine of chance; such as I. John ii. 2, I. Tim. ii. 4. But if representatively, then it is to be understood that the first Adam as a head represented all his natural posterity, and in violating the law of God his act was theirs, and the penalty which he incurred is entailed on them; so that judgment came on them, to condemnation, according to the text.
Even so, or in the same manner, according to the same similitude, the second Adam, which is the Lord from heaven, represented all his spiritual seed; and as his seed became, by their natural relation to the first Adam, by nature children of wrath even as others, they needed redemption from sin, and everlasting righteousness, which Christ has brought in for them, and thus the free gift came upon them all unto justification of life. As Aaron the high priest, as a type of Christ, bore the names of all the twelve tribes which he represented on his breastplate when he went into the holiest place to atone for the sins of Israel, even so did Christ, the high priest of our profession, bear the names which were written in the Lamb's book of life from the foundation of the world, when he offered himself a sacrifice for sin, by which offering he perfected forever all them that are sanctified, or set apart, as his peculiar people. So that in and by his righteousness alone, they are redeemed and justified, and can never more come into condemnation. Also, Luke ii. 10, "And the angel said unto them, Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." Here we have another of those alls, which the arminians construe to mean everybody. But how will that construction agree with Math. ii. 3. "When Herod the king heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him." The news of the birth of the Savior was not joyous to Herod and to all Jerusalem; for according to Matthew, they were troubled when they heard it; and Herod had all the children slain, from two years old and under; designing thereby to put him out of his way. The proper construction of the angel's words, is that the tidings of the Savior's advent should afford joy to the Gentiles who believe, as well as to the believing Jews. Again, Math. iii. 5, 6, "Then went out to him, Jerusalem and all Judea, and all the regions round about Jordan, and were baptized of him in Jordan." Here according to the arminians construction, we should suppose that Herod and Pilate, and all the scribes and pharisees which John called a generation of vipers, were actually baptized by John; but the seventh verse gives a key to the meaning of the fifth and sixth, namely, that some people from all those places named, believed John's preaching and were baptized of him in Jordan.
Too much care cannot be taken in comparing scripture with scripture, so that we may avoid making wrong constructions of the word, and contrary to the obvious testimony of other passages. Certain it is that the proper construction of any portion will harmonize with all other portions of the scriptures, which is one consistent chain of truth.
Do with this, brother Beebe, as you think best, and I will be satisfied. Remember me at the throne of Grace.

Thomas H. Owen.

Signs of the Times, Vol. 25, No. 1, January 1, 1857, p. 3.
Suisun Valley, Cal., October 30, 1856.

Brother Beebe:-- Having attended to the business part of my letter, I now propose to give you, and the readers of the Signs of the Times, a sketch of the appearance of things - religiously - in this far-off land of California. The people in some parts of this country have, this summer and fall, seemed to take more interest in matters of religion, than they have hitherto done since the country has been settled. But what will be the result of these things, God only knows. If it is his work he will carry it on, and be glorified in it; but if it be from any other source, it will soon pass away, and the hoped for result will not be realized. I have noticed, through life, that when the people of any settlement or neighborhood becomes religiously inclined, the work-mongers and effortees of the day are sure to hitch in and try to inflame the passions of the people, and thereby raise a great excitement, which is well calculated to deceive many, and to make them believe that they have experienced religion, when the grace of God had nothing to do with it. But, it does not follow, as a matter of course, that the God of heaven does not convert sinners, during such excitements. The Methodists, north and south, succeeded in getting up quite an excitement in Suisun Valley, and have made some converts; but from the appearance of things, I fear the excitement originated more from a desire of each party to excel the other, than from a genuine work of grace on the hearts of sinners. I would hope that time may prove these fears to be groundless. There has been considerable excitement on the subject of religion in the settlements and valleys bordering on the Bay and the Pacific. I resolved, in September, to visit that part of the country, and accordingly sent on appointments to be filled in October. But before the time came for me to leave to fill them, a gentleman who lived forty miles from me, came to see if I could go and preach in his settlement. He had not heard of my appointments in that neighborhood. All the sects had united, some two weeks previously, in holding a Camp Meeting and some of his children had professed religion, and one of them had been baptized unbeknown to him, and a prospect of some of the rest pursuing the same course; and the old man was nearly distracted. He had been an Old School Baptist, and could not bear to see his children led off in the isms of the day. I agreed to fill an appointment at his house on the next Sunday night, and he left apparently much better satisfied. After he left, I weighed the matter well, and finally concluded that the circumstances were such as might have required more prompt attention than I had given to the subject. So I concluded, as I had to be at Santa Rosa on Saturday and Sunday, I would set out one day sooner, and go by the settlement where my attendance had been solicited. So I left home on Thursday, and the night of that day found me some eight miles from the house of my friend. I stopped for the night with an acquaintance, and was soon informed that there was a prayer-meeting to come off there that night. When the people were collected, and were informed that I was a preacher, the crowd seemed unanimously to desire that I should preach. I accordingly did so. The people seemed to be religiously inclined, and they were very attentive. On the next day I made my way to the house of my friend, and found all well, and his family in a more settled state of mind than I had anticipated. Word was given through the neighborhood that there would be preaching that night, and about sunset the people commenced gathering, and continued until the room was about as full as the people could be comfortable in. They all became seated, and seemingly, anxiously waiting to hear what the stranger the old iron jacket preacher would say. The meeting was opened in the usual manner, and the text was read from Psa. xlv:14 and part 15th The kings daughter is all glorious within; her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of fine needlework. A literal view was given, to prepare the minds of the hearers for the spiritual application; and while illustrating the clothing of wrought gold, and raiment of fine needlework, that the church must be in possession of, in order to appear acceptable to the king, there were many persons who shed tears copiously. After preaching was over and the assembly dismissed, they seemed unwilling to disperse, and many of them engaged in singing, until a late hour.
On Saturday was the Conference Meeting at Santa Rosa. After breakfast, old brother Faught, with two of his sons and myself, set out for Santa Rosa, fifteen miles. On our arrival we found the church together, with some of old brother Faughts children, and others, who lived in that vicinity. After preaching, the church came together for business, and the door being opened for the reception of members, the eldest son of brother Faught came forward and gave a relation of the dealings of the Lord with him, and was received for baptism. Old sister Faught and brother Vanwinkle and son-in-law, put in their membership, one by relation, the other by letter. On Sunday, after preaching, the door was again opened, and three more of brother Faughts children two daughters and a son -- came forward and joined on experience. After baptism, we had to go fifteen miles to brother Faughts, to attend an appointment at night. When we got there the people were assembling, and continued to come in until the room was crowded, and many were in adjoining rooms. Before I opened meeting, I was introduced to the New School preacher who lived in the vicinity. My subject that night was As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so shall the son of man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth on him might not perish, but have eternal life. I occupied as much time as my worn out condition would allow, and after the people were dismissed, I heard a gentleman near the door remark, If that is what they call iron jacket doctrine, then he was one, for it was just what he believed. I made an appointment for Monday night, at a School House in the neighborhood, which was well attended, and the people manifested the same interest that they had done. But I was much worn out, that being the eighth sermon I had preached, from Thursday night up to that time that it was with much difficulty I could speak. After meeting, I rode in the open air one mile, and after I got there I took a hard ague, which was followed with a high fever for two days; so that I was not able to proceed on my contemplated journey, to fill my appointments in the settlements ordering on the Pacific. I remained at old brother Faughts until the next Monday, before I thought it safe to undertake to ride home. The Reformers commenced a protracted meeting at the School House on Friday evening, and on Sunday I concluded I would ride that far; so I went to see if Campbellism in California was the same as it had been in the States. I heard the big gun; he was a learned man and a good speaker. His subject was faith, and so far as that faith, which is predicated on literal testimony which is but a literal faith is concerned, his effort was an able one; but he never touched that faith that works by love, and purifies the heart. I returned to brother Faughts to spend the night, and leave for home on the next morning. About night, the neighbors began to come in, until there was quite a collection of them, and finally they desired to know if I felt able to preach to them again. I told them I would try, and if my strength failed me I would stop. So I again tried to preach to them salvation by grace, and left the event with God, who alone is able to make his Gospel powerful unto salvation, to every one that believeth. I arrived home on Monday evening, and found all well. I am yours, in hope of eternal life,

Thomas H. Owen.
Signs of the Times, Vol. 25, No. 18, September 15, 1857, pp. 139-140.
Suisun City, California, July 16, 1857.

BROTHER BEEBE:--As I do not wish to send you a blank sheet, I thought I would fill up a part or all of it, in alluding to a sentiment, that from the manner in which it has gained circulation, I should suppose to be somewhat prevalent among the Old School Baptists. The sentiment is this: That the first Adam, while in the garden, before he violated the law of God, was a spiritual man. I had not heard the idea advanced for many years, and supposed it had been abandoned by the Old School Baptists, until the year 1853, when it was advanced, in a Circular Letter, by an Association in Kentucky; and in 1856 the same doctrine was advanced in a letter, (headed a Circular Letter,) but did not state of what Association. Now, when I see that sentiment published in Circular Letters, and endorsed by the whole Association, it makes me fear the idea is becoming too prevalent not to be regretted -- and especially when endorsed by an Association in Kentucky, in the vicinity of our most orthodox churches. I consider it an error of an essential character; first, because it is at war with the apostle's doctrine upon that subject; I. Cor. 15 chap., 46-47, "Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural, and afterward that which is spiritual." "The first man is of the earth earthly - the second man is the Lord from Heaven." In the second place, I consider it calculated to brace up a very gross error, that is becoming too common amongst the Old School Baptists, to wit: the non-resurrection doctrine. The writer in the last Circular alluded to, remarks: "Now, to find out what kind of a death the man (Adam) died, we must first find its effects." And speaking of its consequences, goes on to say, "sinners are not naturally blind, deaf, and insensible, -- their senses are as acute in temporal matters, as the regenerated; but not so in spiritual matters. Consequently, the death that Adam died, was a spiritual death, as we see its products are of a spiritual character."
Now, it seems to me, that the writer assumes that to be so, which the Apostle contradicts. He assumes that Adam, before he fell, was in possession of all the faculties of the new or spiritual man; and that the atonement of Christ, was only to restore to man that which he lost in the fall. Now if man is placed in no better situation through the redemption of Christ, than he was in before he fell, I cannot see any reason to hope, or expect, that he will make any better disposition of his spiritual life in the latter case, than he did in the former. But I do not consider from the scriptures, that we have any right to believe that Adam, when he was created and made a living soul, possessed any of the faculties of the spiritual man, which is the seed of the spiritual Adam, any more than the sinner now does, before he is made alive by the power of divine grace. But his mind, and capacity, were suited to the situation he was placed in, and he enjoyed himself well in his natural state, until he violated the law of God, -- after which, the spirit of iniquity took possession of his mind, and became the settled principle thereof; and they abide there and never become finally eradicated while in the flesh; but are only brought in subjection to the reign of the new man.
Now, the manner in which this doctrine of spiritual Adamism can be used as a brace to the non-resurrection system, is very obvious. For if it was the spiritual man that fell, it follows as a matter of course, that it was the spiritual man that Christ died to redeem; for that which was not fallen, or lost, was not redeemed. Then the same that fell, and was redeemed, is the same which Christ has promised to quicken by his spirit, and resurrect to eternal life. Consequently, I consider the whole non-resurrection scheme predicated upon the character of the first Adam. I suppose the advocates of the spirituality of the first Adam, would not contend that his fleshly body was spiritual; but that the spiritual man dwelt therein, and fell; and incurred spiritual blindness and death. And if so, is it not the most rational conclusion, that it is the spiritual man that is resurrected? But, brother Beebe, I consider their premises all wrong, and their conclusions likewise. For the Apostle says, "For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." I. Cor. xv. 52, 53. Now, if the character to be resurrected was not mortal and corruptible, why does the Apostle speak of its putting on incorruption, and being raised a spiritual body, as that which is spiritual is not corruptible?
Brother Beebe, this is a copious subject, and I should like to pursue it further; but my sheet is full, and I must stop. Do with this as you think best. I am yours, in hope of eternal life,

Thomas H. Owen.

Signs of the Times, Vol. 27, No. 15, August 1, 1859, p. 114.
Suisun City, Solano Co., California, June 16, 1859.

Brother Beebe: - Having attended to the business part of my letter, I propose now to give you and the readers of the Signs of the Times some account of our progress in California. I visited Ione Valley again the first of May, and found several Old School Baptists that I did not see last fall. We constituted a church of six members, and received one on experience. We also heard of some others, and the prospect is somewhat flattering in regard to the building up of the Old School cause in that valley. Brother Kendall attends them once a month. Ione Valley is eighty miles from my residence. Brother Holman and myself, with council from Santa Rosa church, constituted a church at Liberty School house, in Sonoma county, forty miles from my house, on the first Saturday of this month, with eight members, and a good prospect for an increase. We now think of forming a Corresponding Meeting this next fall. There is a prospect that churches will be formed shortly in other settlements. We have a great time here with the popular denominations, who are seeking to make proselytes. The Presiding Elder of the Methodist, South, thinking, no doubt, that the people were too backward in having their children baptized, preached a long sermon on baptism, at their camp meeting, in our valley, in which he affirmed that the Greek word Baptizo did not represent Baptism in the English language, that the Greek word which represents Baptism in the English signifies to sprinkle or pour. He professed to be a thorough Greek scholar, and his people seemed to think he knew it all, and they had a real squalling and scrambling among the babies and larger children, in having them baptized, and brought into covenant with God. I was requested by a gentleman at the same meeting to preach a sermon on Baptism, which I agreed to do after the excitement which had been raised should cease, and reason should have time to resume her throne. I fulfilled my promise on the fourth Sunday in last month, in the Methodist Church, South, liberty to do so having been obtained by the friends. The day was rather unfavorable, but there was quite an attendance. I occupied two-and-a-half hours, and proved by many of their own witnesses, for I used no authors but paedo-Baptists to prove what was the mode and primitive practice, and that Baptizo in the Greek signifies in the English to dip, immerse, or plunge, and that the primitive practice was immersion. One of their ablest preachers from another county was present, and he let it be known, that he would preach a sermon on Campbellism, at the same house in the course of a few weeks. This he did in my absence, but I learned that he spent considerable time in patching up their shivered citadel which was demolished with their own artillery. The Campbellites and them, have gotten up a big fight which is to come off, as I learn, in August. While these children of the bond-woman are fighting with each other, perhaps the children of the free-woman may have peace.
Brother Beebe, I wish you would republish Mr. Westons letter which was written in relation to the Missionary cause in Jamaica, as I desire to use it in the close of my historical sketches of the Baptist church, which are now being published in the Southern Baptist Messenger, published by William L. Beebe, in Covington, Newton county, Georgia. I want to compare the digression of the church from the apostolic order, in the second century with that of the Missionary Baptists from the same rule and order in this nineteenth century, from which we may infer with considerable accuracy how long it will take the Missionary Baptists to produce the same result. Please let it come in the first issue of the Signs of the Times, after you receive this letter.
I remain yours in the faith of the gospel.

Thomas H. Owen.

Signs of the Times, Vol. 28, No. 18, September 15, 1860, pp. 142-143.
Suisun, California, January 22, 1860.

Dear Brother Beebe: -- I see in the Signs, present volume, No. 9, a communication from Bro. Stipp of Oregon, in reply to a communication of Brother Trott, published in the Signs, volume 27, No. 20, giving his views on Zech. iv. 12, "And I answered again and said unto him, What be these two olive branches, which, through the two golden pipes, empty the golden oil out of themselves?" &c. I have examined both communications, and compared them with the text and other portions of scripture connected with it, or relating to the same great transaction; and finding they both differed widely from my own views upon the subject, I thought it would not be taken unfriendly by the brethren for me also to "shew my opinion." But in quoting Elihu to Job and his three friends, I do not want brother Trott and brother Stipp to think that I wish his further remarks to apply in our case; for I have read the communications of both brethren with a great deal of interest, and in many cases with much benefit; yet this is not the only case in which I have differed from the views of my brethren, but always felt a delicacy in shewing wherein I differed, for the reason that many of the readers of the Signs seem to construe those different opinions as a kind of controversy that produces prejudice and hard feelings; but this is a great mistake, as far as I am concerned; for I think an interchange of views on those mysterious subjects is of great utility to the cause of truth. But all those differences of opinion should be made known in meekness and brotherly kindness. Now, I do not design to explain this the reasons why I differ from the brethren; but will give my views upon the subject of which the text at the head of this forms a part; and those who will take the trouble to compare our views will readily perceive the difference.
Brother Beebe, I approach this important subject with diffidence; the more so, because I am aware that our denomination, as far as I am acquainted, differ with me in the main on this subject.
In the second verse Zechariah says, "I have looked and beheld a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof." Third verse, "And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof." In the former chapter, Zechariah was evidently speaking of the restoration of the spiritual Israel, and the establishment of his gospel kingdom; for he says, "Lo, I come, and will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people." The Lord then went on to shew Joshua, the high priest, how this work should be accomplished. He called upon Joshua to hear, and said, "For behold I will bring forth my servant, the Branch;" and then speaks of the stone that he laid before Joshua, upon which should be seven eyes. Now I understand the Branch and the Stone to represent the Lord Jesus Christ in his incarnation. The fourth chapter commences with a further description of the same character, under the similitude of a golden candlestick, as embodying everything necessary to accomplish the salvation of his people, and the setting up of his kingdom on earth. Candlesticks are used to hold instruments of light; and to my view I have seen nothing in the scriptures that portrays the Savior with so much beauty and fulness as "A candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps upon the top thereof." What a beautiful emblem of Jesus Christ is this "candlestick all of gold," nothing impure connected with it! "And a bowl upon the top of it," the great repository of the golden oil; or, as we would term it, the grace of God, given us in Jesus Christ before the world was. "And his seven lamps and seven pipes." Lamps are instruments of light, and the pipes the channel through which the fluid is conveyed from the bowl to the lamp that sustains the light; those lamps representing the seven spirits of God, all of which dwelt in Jesus Christ, and answers to the seven eyes that were upon the stone that was laid before Joshua - chap. iii. 9, - and the same referred to again in chap. iv. 10, "For they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth." John, in Rev. v. 6, says, "the seven eyes are the seven spirits of God sent forth into all the earth." Through the figure of this golden candlestick, and its appendages, we see a fulness in Jesus Christ for the salvation of his people; but how are they to be made partakers of the benefits of that fulness? Those blessings are spiritual, and his people in a state of nature are carnal, sold under sin, and knowing not the things of the Spirit. Now, in the 3rd and 12th verses we find a solution of the question. Zechariah saw "two olive trees by it; one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof." It seems that the prophet did not understand the utility of those two olive branches, and enquired of the angel what they were; the angel went on to explain how the kingdom was to be set up by Zerubbabel, whom we see portrayed by the golden candlestick. The prophet still seems not to comprehend the use of the two olive branches, and made a second inquiry, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick, and upon the left side thereof? He proceeded to make the inquiry the third time, but more fully in regard to their use, What be these two olive branches, which, through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? The term gold, as used in this subject, is designed to represent the purity of the things spoken of. These two olive trees constitute the medium through which the grace of God is applied to every subject of the kingdom. The explanation given by the angel no doubt was satisfactory to the prophet; yet it was not sufficient to cause us short-sighted creatures to understand it alike. The two olive trees here spoken of are the same as the two witnesses in Revelations, 11th chapter; John calls them "the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks, standing before the God of the earth." Now comes up the important inquiry - What are they? and the work they are performing? My opinion is that one is the Spirit of truth, or Holy Ghost; the other the scriptures of divine truth, with every gospel sermon that ever has or ever will be preached. The business of a witness is to testify to the truth, or to a transaction known and understood by the witness. John says, "They shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and three score days, clothed in sack cloth." Prophesying, I understand to be teaching; and all will admit that the Holy Ghost is a great teacher, and that the scriptures and the gospel ministry is a teacher also. I will first give some proof that the latter is a witness; and then show the utility of it. The Savior said to the Jews, Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life: And they are they which testify of me." - John v. 39. Again, John came to bear witness of the Light, &c. John i. 7, 8, 15. "And ye shall be witnesses unto me," &c. - Acts i. 8. And this gospel shall be preached in all the world, for a witness, &c. - Matt. xxiv. 14. Many more texts might be adduced on this point, but I consider it unnecessary. The scriptures do not only testify that he professed to be the Christ, but they bear testimony to the miracles that he did, which he said bore witness of him. I understand the utility of this witness to be the same now that it was when it was first proclaimed in Judea. The Jews, none of them, would have believed that the Kingdom of heaven and the advent of the Messiah were near at hand, if John the Baptist had not preached the gospel unto them. And Paul speaking of the Gentiles, said, "How shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? &c. - Rom. x. 14. Now, the reading of the scriptures, and hearing the gospel preached by the natural man, does not change his heart, not give him a hatred to sin; and the faith produced by it is only a literal faith; like unto that procured by any other literal testimony. And as Johns preaching was to make ready a people prepared for the Lord; that when he was made manifest by the spirit in his baptism, and the miracles he performed, they might receive him with joy; in like manner, the gospel is the forerunner of the spirit of truth; and prepares the literal faculties of the mind for the reception of spiritual things.
The reading of the scriptures and hearing the gospel is to every natural man, and the proclamation was to the Children of Israel, while in the wilderness, of the brazen serpent, that Moses raised upon the pole, as the antidote to the poison of the fiery flying serpents. They all understood what it was designed for; yet it benefitted none of them except those that were bitten. When the people of a city or neighborhood learns that a good physician has settled among them, the news is very pleasing; but none of them receive any benefit from his skill but those that are sick; yet they could not have called upon him had they not known that there was such a man among them. This olive branch, to a regenerated soul, is of incalculable benefit. He being made spiritual, is prepared to draw spiritual food and nourishment through this golden pipe. When he gets under the clouds of despondency, and doubts and fears rest heavily on him, he flies to this witness for relief; he there finds his own character pointed out, and Jesus the Savior of just such, and he finds the same answer to confirm his withering joys that was given to old brother John, when he was in prison: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached unto them. Oh, what a blessed witness this is, to the poor, disconsolate children of God.
In relation to the Holy Spirit being one of the olive branches, or witnesses, I quote from John xiv. 26 "But the comforter, which is the holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." Again, John says, "He shall take of mine, and show them unto you." It seems that the disciples understood the Saviors teaching literally; but it was the office of the Spirit of truth to give them a spiritual understanding of those things, "and to guide them into all truth."
Again, we learn that the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. And the apostle says, "You hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and in sins"; and that the Spirit beareth witness with our spirits, that we are the children of God. Now, without quoting scripture to show that the Spirit is still bearing witness, and revealing Christ unto sinners, I think all will admit the fact, that it is the preaching of the gospel that brings Christ to view as a Savior to the literal minds and that it is the Spirit that quickens dead sinners into life, and enables them to understand spiritual things, and reveals Christ unto them as their Savior.
Those two witnesses executed their great mission under the law dispensation, as well as under the gospel. God first revealed himself to man, in relation to literal things, before he revealed unto him the great subject of his spiritual kingdom. And the extraordinary powers that they were capable of exercising, might have been performed (if at all) during the old dispensation; for in Elijahs day the heavens were shut, that it rained not for three years, and the waters of Egypt were turned to blood. All the miracles that Moses did were performed in the presence of the children of Israel, for a testimony unto them, that the power of God was engaged for their delivery. Now, I frankly acknowledge that there is a great deal of mystery connected with this subject; that those witnesses possessing such extraordinary powers, at length should be killed by the beast. And I do not pretend to hazard an opinion in relation to the time of their being killed. I have seen several expositions or views of that matter. Some think the killing of them is yet to take place; while others think it was accomplished in the seventeenth century, when the church was slaughtered and driven from her place of concealment, from the face of the serpent, in the valleys of Piedmont, where she had been fed, and preserved a thousand two hundred and three score days, common computed as years. If this view of the killing of the witnesses is correct, it is not by any means contrary or at war with my views, of who the two witnesses are. The church certainly never has existed in any part of the world without the witnesses, nor ever will; and the three days and a half that their enemies rejoiced over their dead bodies, alluded to the time when no traits of their religious sentiments appeared in the country where they had so long dwelt in the peaceable possession of their religious privileges; and their resurrection and ascension to heaven was their taking their place again in the gospel kingdom, where it assumed a visible appearance again in the same country, under the toleration of the Duke of Savoy.
It has not been my design, in this communication, to point out when and where those extraordinary circumstances took place, but to give my views of what they represent and the work assigned.
Now, Brother Beebe, I have written a great deal to express a little, which is one of my failings. But when you examine it, if you think it will do harm, throw it aside; but if you publish it, any brother who differs with me will not hurt my feelings to express it. I am yours in love,

Thomas H. Owen.

Signs of the Times, Vol. 29, No. 18, September 15, 1861, pp. 137-139.
Suisun City, California, July 24, 1861.

Dear Brother Beebe:--After reading the communications of brethren Trott and Stipp, on the text in Zech. iv. 2-3, in relation to the golden candlestick and the two olive branches, I feel inclined to send you for publication in the Signs another communication on that subject. I find my views in relation to the two olive branches pretty fully set forth in the communication of the brethren, taken both together, but in neither of them separate. Brother Trott seems to think the two olive branches, or the two witnesses (for John says they are the same,) must be visible; consequently he blends them together, and makes them the church and the gospel ministry; still I am inclined to think that he does not wish to be understood as separating the gospel ministry from the church in the testimony they bear, but that the truth is deposited in the church, the spiritual ark of the testimony; and the gospel ministry bears witness also. Now, if I understand him right, this comprehends his view of the olive branches, and how he can see any consistency in calling the church two witnesses is beyond my comprehension; for the church and the ministry make but one body one cannot exist without the other.
Brother Trott, in speaking of the slaying of the two witnesses, says: "If I could be fully satisfied that the opinion entertained by some, viz: that the scriptures, the two testaments, are the two witnesses, is correct, I should say they were killed on the 6th of November last." Now, I cannot see the consistency in believing the church is the two witnesses and not believing the two testaments to be the same, or bear the same testimony, for it is the testimony that constitutes the witness, and if the church through her ministry testifies anything that is not contained in the scriptures of the Old and New Testament, that testimony must be false. Now, according to my understanding, every gospel sermon that has ever been preached, or that ever will be preached, is only a declaration of the same great truths that are recorded in the two testaments; and I consider constitute but one witness.
Brother Stipps views of the two witnesses seem to me to be subject to the same inconsistency that he and I complain of in Brother Trotts in dividing one to make two. Brother Stipp thinks that Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are the two witnesses. Here, it seems to me, that he is also dividing one to make two. The testimony that Jesus Christ bore, in relation to the great work of salvation was as God, and the testimony that the Holy Ghost bears is in the character of God also. As such, I understand it to be the witness of God through Jesus Christ by word and power, and the witness of God the Holy Ghost by divine influence, and in both offices exercising the power of God in giving life. The Savior, when here, raised the dead; the Holy Ghost, when risen, did the same. Jesus Christ was here in person; the Holy Ghost was not here separate from him. He says, "But when the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, is come, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." John xiv. 26. He says again: "For if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart I will send him unto you." John xvi. 7. He says the Comforter is the Spirit of truth, and that he shall abide with you forever. Now, I understand from the scriptures that Jesus Christ, as Mediator, is still bearing testimony, by the Spirit of truth to his church and people of his power to save, and that he is reigning with them, in a spiritual sense; and this divine teaching, I consider, is the other witness.
Now, I propose giving my views more fully of what was designed to be represented by the golden candlestick, and the two olive branches in their connection, and in doing so will reply to Brother Trotts objections to my views on the text as given in a former communication. The text reads thus: "And, behold, a candlestick, all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof; and two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof." -- Zech. iv. 2, 3. In my former communication I made use of some prominent points contained in the context of this subject as proof of my position, which I shall omit rehearsing here, and shall proceed to examine the emblem, and then try to find its prototype. The prophet was no doubt familiar with the golden candlestick of the tabernacle, which had some resemblance of the one under consideration that had its six lamps and six branches, with its bowls, knobs, tongs and snuff-dishes, which required the constant attention of the priests; but the candlestick under consideration was designed to some extent to be a self-sustaining instrument. The seven golden pipes connected with the lamps were suggestive of their use. The prophet would naturally conclude the bowl upon the top was designed to hold the oil for the purpose of supporting the light of the lamps, and the pipes to convey the oil from the bowl to the lamps, and I presume the prophet was at no loss to account for the use of all those things necessary for the production and support of the light. But the two olive trees having no connection with the lamps, he would not account for their use, and the enquiry he made of the angel was in relation to the two olive trees.
Now, the obvious use of the candlestick with its appendages was to form a system by which light could be produced and maintained; and if we are right in the view we have expressed of the use of the bowl, the lamps and the pipes, then it would seem the two olive trees could not be used for the purpose of light, but must be designed for some other use. Brother Stipp seems to think the oil for the support of the light was derived from the two olive trees, and that the pipes connected them with the lamps. Thus, if his view is correct, it would seem that the bowl upon the top of the candlestick would be useless, and the enquiry of the prophet would have been in relation to the use of the bowl instead of the use of the two olive trees. I think brother Stipp has mistaken the place from whence the oil was derived for the support of the light. I cannot think that the text justifies the idea that the two olive trees were connected with the lamps by the two golden pipes. The text says, "and two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof." The bowl seemed to be the grand centre, to which everything was connected, and from which everything was derived for the accomplishment of the great purpose thereby prefigured. Now, the enquiry arises, What did this golden candlestick, with all its appendages, represent? Brother Trott and Brother Stipp both consider the candlestick to represent the church, though they differ in assigning a place for the lamps. One thinks they represent the preachers, and the other that they represent the churches in their different organizations; all of which, to me, seems inconsistent with the type. Brother Trott seems to think because the angel told John in his Rev. i. 20, that the seven golden candlesticks were the seven churches, that it is safe to consider that when the word candlestick is used in other passages of scripture, that it represents the church. I do not think that follows as a matter of course. I presume that brother Trott would not contend that the candlestick of the tabernacle was a representation of the gospel church, notwithstanding it very much resembled the candlestick under consideration. The candlestick, when used as a figure, always represents something that reflects light; and we find that God and Christ are more frequently spoken of in scripture as reflecting light than the church is. Brother Trott thinks that the candlestick of Zechariah cannot represent Christ, for the reason that the priests services were required to trim and keep the lamps in order. But if brother Trott will examine the text closely, it justifies no such a conclusion, and he no doubt presumes it to be so, from the usage of the candlestick of the temple. I consider the candlestick under consideration represented something that was self-sustaining, or there would have been something connected with the figure pointing to the source of its supply. I am not surprised at Brother Trott assuming that the tongs and snuff-dishes were necessary and the priests to use them, when he considers the lamps represent the preachers; for they certainly stand in need of the attention of the high priest.
Brother Trotts comments on the ministry are certainly very true, and show the impress of Divine teaching; and if he had placed them and the testimony they bear, as the antitype of one of the olive trees, to my mind it would have been much more consistent with the type. The church is represented under different similitudes several times by that of a woman, and the sheep, and a horse, and a garden enclosed, and many others; yet they do not always when mentioned in the scriptures, represent the church.
We may judge upon the principles of reason, why Christ and the church and the olive trees were symbolized by a candlestick. The Savior says to his disciples, "Ye are the light of the world." Matthew v. 15. Paul says, "Whatsoever doth make manifest is light." Eph. v. 13. The seven churches of Asia, as organized bodies, attracted the attention of the world, and the gospel flowing from the spiritual ark, proclaiming the advent of the new dispensation, and the reign of Messiah as King thereof. They stood as monuments of light to the idolatrous world, and might well be termed the seven golden candlesticks; but this is no reason to my mind why the Savior and the two witnesses should not be represented by the same type. Now, I cannot conceive of anything that could be more appropriate to typify the Lord Jesus Christ, in his mediatorial character, than a candlestick of the dimensions of the one shown to Zechariah the prophet. The bowl upon the top, the place where the oil is deposited for the support of the light of the seven lamps and for the sustenance of the two olive branches in the great work assigned them, represented the Godhead dwelling bodily in him. Col. ii:9. The seven lamps representing the seven spirits of God. "These things saith he, that hath the seven spirits of God," &c. Rev. iii:1. "And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God." Rev. iv:5. I understand the candlestick to represent the character that should build the spiritual Jerusalem or gospel church. The angel was certainly personating Jesus Christ in the third chapter when he says, "Behold I will bring forth my servant, the Branch"; "for behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes." In the fourth chapter the angel brings the golden candlestick to the view of the prophet, and in answer to the inquiry of the prophet, he personated Christ as Zerubbabel, who was the governor of Judea, and superintending the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem, and contains a description of the manner in which the gospel temple should be built, and in the tenth verse he says, They shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth, evidently alluding to the seven lamps. I consider the seven spirits of God shine conspicuous in all his works, both in the salvation and comforting of his people and the punishment of his enemies. It is from the bowl upon the top through the seven pipes and lamps or seven spirits, that he exercises his almighty power in controlling the universe and fulfilling his promises and gracious designs to his people in the economy of salvation. And every child of grace, in being made partaker of the divine nature, is enabled to realize the force and effect of those seven spirits, which I will more particularly notice in defining the work assigned to the two olive trees or witnesses. As the seven pipes and seven lamps were the medium through which the character of God shines forth as the great first cause, and controlling all things by his almighty power, even so the two witnesses, which were termed olive trees, through which the golden oil of Gods grace was conveyed, must have been designed to accomplish some grand purpose. If I am right in supposing the inquiry of the prophet was in relation to the two olive branches, and not of the instruments of light; then we may quote the answers of the angel as evidence of their use, Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Zech. iv. 6. Here, it seems to me, is a solution of the question. The word of the Lord was first necessary to shew the manner in which the work was to be done. It was not to be done by armies and kingly powers, shedding each others blood, but by the Spirit of God. After speaking of the process used, he shews the manner of its progress, and declares his success; and in the last verse of the chapter the angel says, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth. John says, These are the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. - Rev. xi. 4.
Now, I cannot think that these two anointed ones represented the church, but the process by which Jesus Christ prepared the materials and built up his visible kingdom here in the world, and under whose testimony and influence he is still preparing, building up and sustaining his church and people, and will continue to do so until the work of salvation is accomplished.
I have already stated what I considered the two witnesses to be, in replying to brother Trotts and brother Stipps views, and will now take up each separately, and show the use that Christ makes of them in building up and sustaining his kingdom here in the world. I understand the testimony of the first witness to be literally suited to the capacity of the natural mind; for we must understand things literally before we can understand them spiritually. Without the scriptures and the gospel ministry or, in other words, the ambassadors of the scriptures we never could have received a spiritual understanding of Jesus Christ as Mediator and our salvation through him; for the understanding of spiritual things is received through the natural faculties of the mind. I understand the work of the Spirit, which is the second witness, is to give spiritual life and a spiritual understanding to his people of the things recorded in the scriptures and proclaimed by the true gospel ministry. It is the Spirit, according to Jeremiah and Paul, that writes the law of God in the hearts of his children, by which, Paul says, is the knowledge of sin. This Divine teaching always produces repentance. Having given my views in my former communication quite full in relation to the work of the two witnesses in building up Christs kingdom and sustaining it, I shall omit saying anything more here on that part of the subject. John, the revelator, says they shall have power to shut heaven, that it rain not, and to turn waters to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues. I understand that it is through this medium that God exercises his power in bringing judgments upon the world for its wickedness. He does not bring those judgments upon the world of mankind out of revenge, but through mercy and for their good, and in order that good may grow out of it; he witnesses unto them the cause why he does so. As my views are more full on these points than when I wrote before, I shall notice them more fully. The drought and the turning of waters to blood may be fulfilled literally and figuratively. The nations and the people are sometimes called waters, and the bloody contests in battle among the nations of the earth may be intended; and the drought may allude to the time when the church was in her secreted situation from the face of the serpent (which agrees with the time that the witnesses prophesied in sackcloth,) compared with the time of the sounding of the seventh angel, when the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever, and when the temple of God shall be opened in heaven, and the ark of the testimony seen by all his suffering saints. The time the witnesses were to prophesy in sackcloth were a thousand two hundred and three score days, supposed by all commentators that I have seen to mean twelve hundred and sixty years. The time when this period began to run seems to be rather uncertain Brother Trott thinks most likely it would commence in the year 606, when the Pope assumed universal power, which I think myself most reasonable; and if we are right, the time when the witnesses will be killed must be near at hand. Brother Trott concludes that the two witnesses spoken of in Rev. xi. 3, must be visible and public in their testimony, and quotes, For they shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, &c. I understand the witnesses here spoken of to allude to the testimony given; for a man cannot be a witness in any case unless he knows something bearing on the case. Brother Trott will readily agree that the children of God receive testimony through an invisible source, upon which their hope for eternal happiness depends. This I understand to be one of the witnesses. I cannot think the slaying of the witnesses will be done by the shedding of blood through natural warfare. The text says, The beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make a war against them, and shall overcome them and shall kill them. I understand the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit was the second beast spoken of by John in Rev. xiii. 11. In the seventeenth century the ten-horned beast received a deadly wound, but yet lived. In the eighteenth century we see the beginnings of the two-horned beast rising up out of the earth. He advocated the same principles of religion that the former did, but in a different form.
The Pope suppressed the scriptures from the laity, and taught them that salvation was only attainable through his intercession as vicar of Jesus Christ. The servants of the two-horned beast comes up with a show of opposition to the old mother, professing to take for their guide the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, but perverting their truth, and teaching that salvation is by the efforts of man, thereby occupying Popish ground, and making an image to the first beast. They are compassing land and sea to make proselytes; they have got their systems, and the prevailing opinion that salvation is by works, established in every civilized nation on the globe, and are indoctrinating the heathens with the same system, as fast as they can raise money to pay missionaries to do it; and I know of no people in the world but the Old School Baptists that contend that the scriptures teach that salvation is alone by grace. The Pope of Rome, when he held both swords, never exercised a greater influence over the world than the second beast does at this time. The war that this beast was to make against the two witnesses is in full progress, and is increasing its forces at the rate of sixty thousand yearly on one horn, viz: the New School Baptists; and the other horn is no doubt making more rapid progress. These preachers, who profess to be servants of God, and whom the world thinks ought to know, are proclaiming to the ends of the earth that the testimony that these two witnesses bear is not the truth, and the reasons they assign are so plausible and pleasing to human nature that the world receives them, and is wandering after the beast, whose names are not written in the Lambs book of life, slain from the foundation of the world.
This is the manner in which I consider the witnesses are being slain; and, from the signs of the times, I think their death knell will sound shortly.
I will now offer a few thoughts in relation to the dead bodies of the witnesses. My opinion is, that the church is the bodies of the two witnesses. We understand that Moses placed the two tables of testimony in the ark, which was a figure of the gospel church, and, under the new dispensation, the two tables of testimony are placed in the gospel or spiritual ark. The scripture is the churchs chart and constitution, the sword of the Spirit, the last will and testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in which we find the legacy of eternal life bequeathed to his children. The Savior tells his apostles, And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him, for he dwelleth in you, and shall be in you. - John xiv. 16, 17. And again he says, The Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things. - verse 26. It is by this Spirit that Christ reigns in the church as her life. The body acts from the principle of life that is in it, but when the vitality of life is paralyzed the body dies, and ceases to act, yet it does not lose its visibility. The killing of the witnesses is not contrary the purposes of God; for he is able to cease their testimony to banish error from the world. The text says, And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt. Rev. xi. 8. Sodom was the city of wickedness, and Egypt the land of bondage. The influence of the beast through the miracles and wonders that he was permitted to perform in the sight of men, has brought the church into a state of bondage, and thereby will slay the witnesses in the streets of error and wickedness. The killing of the witnesses is not the annihilating of the church; for they of the people, and kindreds, and tongues, and nations, shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, and shall rejoice over them, because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. Do we not see this state of things even now existing? Do we not hear them proclaiming to the world that those two prophets have ceased to torment them, and rejoice for the fallen state of the church, and make merry, and send gifts one to another? I know that is the state of things even now in California; for I have heard them proclaim rejoicingly that the testimony of the two witnesses, which is preached by the Old School Baptists, has become unpopular, and is not believed by the world, and that their advocates will soon pass away. Is not this the slaying of the witnesses? But their body, the church of Christ, will never lose its visibility; for Daniel the prophet says, In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people. Notwithstanding we mourn over the fallen and dead state of the church, yet we should rejoice in the precious promise of God, that after three days and a half the Spirit of life from God shall enter into the witnesses, and they shall take their place in heaven, to the great astonishment of their enemies, when the earthquake shall destroy the tenth part of the city of wickedness, and seven thousand of men shall be slain, signifying no doubt the destruction of a large portion of the machinery used in killing the witnesses. And it may be that the present wars in our own country, and in other parts of the world, are designed to accomplish that purpose, by requiring the surplus gold and silver of the world, (which is the propelling power of the beast,) to be used for a different purpose. We hear the image of the beast now crying aloud through their publications for more money, or his work must go down.
If the present wars of the world are not designed to bring the reign of the beast to an end, I have no doubt but something of the kind will do it, when his reign is accomplished; and when the seventh angel shall sound, and the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ. Then shall the temple of God be opened in heaven, and the ark of his testimony seen there; then no longer will the prophesying of the witnesses be in sackcloth.
Now, brother Beebe, if you think this will do no harm, and you will give it a place in the Signs, I shall be gratified. I hope I have not said anything that will mar the feelings of brethren Trott and Stipp; for I am sure I have not designed to do so. I am your brother in sorrow, in these troublous times.

Thomas H. Owen.

Messenger of Peace, Macon, Missouri, January 15, 1878, Vol. 4, No. 5.
Vision - And Notes of Travel, by Thomas H. Owen.

Zem Zem, Napa Co., California.
Dec. 13th, 1874.

Dear Brother Goodson:-- Some two or three weeks since I received a pamphlet of ten pages containing many articles and communications, on the examination of which I found to contain a synopsis of the doctrine, faith and practice of the Primitive Baptists, which we understand to be the true gospel church of Jesus Christ. We was truly glad to have an introduction to so many of the advocates of the truth, few of whom we have ever met in person, and many of whom, we had never read their communications. And now in order to a better acquaintance, I will give you a brief history of who I am.
I was born in the State of North Carolina, and left there in my nineteenth year, and with my parents, emigrated to Franklin county, south Illinois; there I married, and lived thirteen years, during which time, I hope the spirit of truth showed me the exceeding sinfulness of sin; and the corruption of my depraved heart, from which all manner of evil flows. In 1826, I joined the United Baptist Church of Jesus Christ; was liberated to exercise a gift by way of preaching in the bounds of the church in 1829. Emigrated to north Illinois in 1830, and was ordained to the full functions of the ministry, on the 10th day of May, 1834, so that I have been trying to preach, and trying to quit preaching for 45 years; I was 77 years old last June, and I find myself to be the same imperfect
creature still, and that in me, (that is in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing. Paul to the Romans expresses my experience, vii. 17 to 23, yet it seems like presumption in me to compare my experience and travel to that of St. Paul; yet it does my soul good, and strengthens my hope, to read the travels and experiences of the sainted Apostle of the Gentiles.
Brother Goodson, I was truly rejoiced when I received the Messenger of Peace, to know that another bold captain had arisen in the West, to oppose the cohorts of anti-Christ that are flooding our world with spurious doctrines of salvation by works, and not by grace, as taught in the scriptures of truth. I have had no chance to get any subscribers to your paper; but I hope when the Spring opens so that I can get away from home, that I can do something for it.
Now Brother Goodson, may you be sustained in your arduous undertaking and be enabled to fight the battles of the Lord most valiantly, is the prayer of an old soldier, whose hope rests in the mercy of God.

Thomas H. Owen.

Messenger of Peace, Macon, Missouri,

Zem Zem, Napa Co., California., October 12, 1875.

BROTHER GOODSON: We have had the pleasure of reading the Messenger of Peace for over nine months; time sufficient to develop its character. Our confidence in its usefulness when it first commenced have not been disappointed or impaired; and the reason we have not contrivuted something to its columns is that we have been engaged otherwise. And our age and infirmities would be a sufficient reason for our silence now; but for two reasons we are induced to write this one is, that old age has rendered us unfit for an active life in the ministry or otherwise, and we cant be contented without being engaged at something. The other is, we see that a great many of the brethren composing the churches that we used to attend in Illinois, are subscribers to the Messenger of Peace, and we would be glad to correspond with them through this medium.
We have selected the xii chapter of the Revelations of St. John the divine, as a foundation for some general remarks. The chapter commences thus: And there appeared a great wonder in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.
The first thing that seems to claim our attention is to notice why a woman being in heaven should create a wonder. Her attire was wonderful and the place where she appeared insuch attire made it more so. When the woman is used in the scriptures it is generally to be understood to represent some church, either of Christ or of anti-Christ. In this case it meant the church of Christ, the bride, the Lambs wife. The heaven in the text is metaphorical, as well as the woman.
We understand where the God of the heaven establishes a place where His creatures shall worship Him under the old or law dispensation, or the gospel dispensation, they are termed heaven in the scriptures. The scriptures tell us there was a natural man and a spiritual man. The natural man was of the earth and a natural inhabitant of this world. The spiritual man was the Lord from heaven, and is reigning in his spiritual kingdom that he has established in the world. The first heaven was a literal locality, established under the direction of God himself, governed by literal laws and system of cardinal ordinances comprehended and understood by the natural mind. This we understand to be the heaven where the wonder appeared. The time had fully come according to prophesy that the Messiah should make his appearance in the world to redeem his people from their sins, and to fulfill all things foretold of Him, and to fulfill all righteousness and make all things new, but time must first develop the forebodings of the man of sin, by seeking to frustrate the purposes of God by seeking to destroy the life of the young Messiah.
Third verse commences: And there appeared another wonder in heaven, and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. We understand the red dragon here spoken of, had an allusion to Herod, who was governor of Judea at that time, and being disappointed by the wise men in not bringing him news of the whereabouts of the infant Saviour, he made use of the bloody stratagem of slaying all the male children from two years old and under, thinking he would be sure to get him that was born in the manger; but the wisdom of God was too much for the strategems of men and devils. After the wise men had departed the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying: Take the young child and his mother and flee into Egypt and be thou there until I bring thee word.
In due time came John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. His business was to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. By the time the Messiah arrived at a proper age to execute and perform his Fathers business, John the Baptist had made ready a people prepared for the reception of the Lord, whom he received as the first fruits of his spiritual kingdom, whom he blessed with all spiritual blessings treasured up in himself for his spiritual kingdom here in the world.
This is the church, or kingdom that the wonderful woman that was seen in heaven; which we understand was the Jewish church or kingdom, where the priests under the law, made their daily and yearly sacrifices. The first heaven or Jewish church, have long since passed away, and the new heaven, wherein dwelleth righteousness have been the dwelling place for all the children of the wonderful woman, clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. The sun signified the righteousness of Jesus Christ, the moon, the law, under her feet, the stars signified the testimony of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb, testifying Gods approbation of his church.

Thomas H. Owen.

Messenger of Peace, Macon, Missouri,

Santa Rosa, Sonoma Co., California., November 19, 1877.

DEAR BROTHER GOODSON: I herewith send you a communication on a very familiar subject, it will be found in the xii chapter of St. John, 31st verse, and reads as follows:
Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
We understand that the Judge of this world is now sitting on the throne of his glory, judging between the righteous and the wicked. We understand the gospel is the standard by which the judgment will be proclaimed. We understand that all the nations are gathered before him, and he is separating them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats; and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, and the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, come ye blessed of my Father inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, &c. 41st verse. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels, &c.
Now, the gospel is the separating process which has been going on ever since Christs blood was shed to redeem his elect from their sins. And will continue while there is one of his chosen children to repent of sin in the world.
John the revelator says, xx chapter, and 12th verse: And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened, and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Now the living and the dead are all standing before God all the time without changing their position, for his eye is omniscient, beholding all things both in heaven and in the earth. So there is no necessity to raise the dead from the grave, and assemble them together so that God can view them, and separate the good from the bad. As the old traditional resurrectionist believe and argue. As one brother, who opposed our views of the second coming of Christ, we argued that he had already come the second time, and is now seated on the throne of his glory judging the world. Our brother remarked that if he had come and brought the dead with him, that nobody had seen them. He had forgotten that the dead are raised spiritual and immortal, and that the natural eye could not see them. 1st Timothy vi chapter, 14th, 15th, and 16th verses. Your aged brother, in hope of a glorious immortality.

Thomas H. Owen.

The following poem was found
in Elder Thomas H. Owens Bible,
after his death.


The Church - the temple of the Lord;
The place from whence goes forth his word;
The Spirit bearing witness too,
To bring the love of God to view.
The souls thus quickened by His grace,
Behold His glorious righteousness.
Self-confidence then falls and dies,
They fly to Christ, the Sacrifice.
Their prayers, like holy incense come,
A sweet perfume before the Throne.
Where Jesus sits to intercede
For sinners in their time of need.
His intercessions always sure,
His father hears, and asks no more.
He sends his Spirit to reveal
His mercy and their pardon seal.
Then faith and hope begin to flow;
Relieves the mind of grief and woe;
The soul is filled with joy and peace;
Revealed from God, his church to bless.

By Elder Thomas H. Owen.

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