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The history of any people is the biographies of its great men. This is preëminently true of Virginia Baptists. As the life of a state is seen best in the lives of its leading citizens, the history of Virginia Baptists is fully and faithfully delineated in the lives of its ministers. They are a noble succession. From the days of Semple, Rice, and Clopton, through all the intervening years, among the fairest names on the pages of history are the de fenders of our Faith.
The biography of the eminently pious may well be regarded with deep and living interest. In every herald of the Cross we behold a monument on which is inscribed the triumph of the gospel. They reflect with no common luster the glory of their divine Redeemer. These "good ministers of Jesus Christ” have left their impress on the world. Where is the state, North, South, East, or West, that has not been made a debtor to the ministry of Virginia ? The memorial of their deeds is recorded in this series of biography. Preceding volumes have been widely read, and preserve in permanent form the consecutive story of our people from the beginning in Virginia down to the present day. The forthcoming volume will be gladly welcomed, and will possess an entrancing interest for the reader of to-day, because it holds the portraiture of those of our own time. Many of these we have "seen in the flesh," and, having known, we love. They are among the faithful ministers who were pastors of the churches where we now worship, and who led many of us to Christ, and baptized us, and married us. They buried our dead and now they have
ceased from their labors, and we are reaping in the fields where they so richly sowed.
Our historian has here a happy period to cover—the men of this volume he has known in person, and his information comes to us first hand. Princely subjects has he too, for among these are the beloved Tupper, Hawthorne, Hatcher, and George Boardman Taylor, his own earthly father. There are countless others dear to many of us, and faithful in every relation of life, whose biographies adorn these pages.
The work has been well done. It is fitting that the history so nobly begun and prosecuted through two volumes by the gifted Dr. James B. Taylor should be continued so worthily by his distinguished grandson, Dr. George Braxton Taylor. The Baptists of Virginia, the South, and, indeed, of all the world, are under a lasting obligation to Dr. George Braxton Taylor, the versatile and scholarly author of the forthcoming volume, the fifth of the series, and the third one to be edited by him. He has, gratuitously, rendered this beautiful service to the denomination. With him, as with his illustrious grandfather, it was a labor of love. His task has been pursued with patience, through careful research, in painstaking application, and with a discriminating mastery of details. Who else among us has made so large a contribution of his time and his talent as has Dr. Taylor, in this splendid service so unselfishly rendered to the great Baptist Brotherhood ?
GEO. W. McDANIEL.
om their labors, and we are reaping in the fields
so worthily by his distinguished grandson,
GEO. W. McDANIEL.
In 1837 Rev. James B. Taylor published the "First Series" of "Lives of Virginia Baptist Ministers.” The “Second Series," written by the same hand, covered the period to 1860. Upon the request of the Baptist General Association of Virginia the “Third Series” and the "Fourth Series" were written and published. Details as to the origin and scope of these two "Series" will be found in the preface of each of these volumes.
A Resolution, offered by Rev. Dr. E. W. Winfrey, at the meeting of the General Association at Lynchburg, in 1913, and adopted by the body, requested the author of the "Third” and “Fourth Series" to prepare a “Fifth Series.” The Association appointed W. F. Fisher, W. W. Hamilton, and W. S. Royall, a committee to coöperate with the author in the matter of the publication of the "Fifth Series." This "Fifth Series" is now presented. It contains sketches of ministers who died between 1902 and 1914. (Some of the sketches in the Supplement belong to an earlier period.) The roll may not be complete, yet the effort has been to make record of all. Even where men have so recently passed away, in many cases it has been impossible to secure the facts necessary for satisfactory accounts of their lives. In one or two instances relatives were unwilling for sketches of their loved ones to be published. To help secure the five hundred advance subscriptions necessary to make the publication of an edition of a thousand volumes possible, each of the following persons has subscribed for ten copies: Rev. Dr. E. W. Winfrey, Culpeper; Mr. F. W. Whitescarver, Salem; Rev. W. A. Pearson, Keysville; Hon. Chas. A. Johnston, Christiansburg; Mr. Richard H. Edmonds, Baltimore; Mr. A. J. Chewning, Richmond, Va.; Mr. H. M. Riffe, Elliston; Mr. George A. Diuguid, Lynchburg; Mr. E. E. Tompkins, Roanoke; Mr. E. R. Monroe, Brookneal; Rev. Dr. James T. Dickinson, Brooklyn; Mr. E. L. Flippo, Roanoke; Mr. M. P. Gatewood, Pleasant View (Amherst County); Rev. F. P.
Berkley (Baptist Church), Covington; Judge W. W Moffett, Salem ; Mrs. D. G. Whittinghill, Rome.
It would be impossible to set down here the names of all who have helped to supply the data for these lives. Not a few of these kind friends are mentioned in various sketches. It is not perhaps invidious to say that Prof. W. A. Harris, of Richmond College, by his willing and patient assistance, has made possible more than one of the life records that follow. Dr. R. H. Hudnall, of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, has read the "proof” and rendered other valuable help.
This “Fifth Series” is presented with the sincere hope that it will do good, give pleasure, and, by perpetuating the story and showing the spirit of noble men of God, bring many young men to hear the call of God to the gospel ministry. While it has been the aim to secure accuracy, there are doubtless errors. Wherever it was possible original sources, such as Minutes of Associations, family records, letters, and files of newspapers, have been consulted. If I could have spent a considerable time in the room of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society at Richmond College, this volume might have been made more interesting. In the midst of my twofold work as pastor and professor, among the blue mountains at Hollins, with now and then a day in the archives at Richmond, by more than two years of work, this volume has been prepared. While it has not seemed best to give the authority in a footnote for each statement, all of the sketches are based on presumably reliable information. To write this book has been a joy and a blessing to me, making me realize more fully what I had known before, that the Virginia Baptist Ministry is a consecrated band of brothers, who, with love that envieth not and that thinketh no evil, work together with a high degree of unselfishness, for the coming of the Kingdom of God in Virginia and the world.
GEORGE BRAXTON TAYLOR. “The Hill," Hollins, Va.,
October 4, 1915.