Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 28, 1952

Old-Fashioned Discipline

W. C. Anderson, Rosiclare, Illinois

(Editor's Note: It is generally recognized today that scriptural discipline is almost non-existent among churches of the Lord. Consequently sin and worldliness are everywhere accepted and taken for granted. Our fathers of past days had a healthier and far more scriptural attitude — as witness this interesting article by brother Anderson.)

Anton Volkert, an elder at Rosiclare, Illinois, is in possession of two old church record books. On page one of one of them is the following language:

"A. D. 1833, July. The Church of Christ at Roswell Chancey's, Pope County, Illinois, was organized the fourth Lord's Day in July A. D. 1833 with the following named members by elder Adam McCool and Elijah Isaac. Members names: David M'Murphey, Judith M'Murphey, Richard Hubbard, and Alexander Parkerson."

The original Pope County was divided in 1839 into two counties. The southwestern section retained the name "Pope" while the northeastern section was named Hardin county. The church about which this article is written was in Hardin County about two miles north of Rosiclare. Some of the members of the church in Rosiclare are descendants of members of that early church.

Let anyone who thinks that the expression "church of Christ" has only been used for about twenty-five years know that it was used by our people in Illinois one hundred and nineteen years ago.

One of these old books is a record of the names of the members and how they were received into the fellowship. This same book states briefly how many of them were removed from fellowship. The other book is a record of their business meetings. Their business meetings were not like ours. Most of their business meetings concerned the conduct of someone's life. Believing that I will not injure the feelings of any descendant of any of the people named, I shall quote from the book exactly the language written there many years ago.


"Feb. 14th, 1844. Met at brother John Keeling's for the purpose of recording the decision of the members concerning the charge alleged against Adam McCool by Francis Chancey. According to the evidence given in at the investigation of said charge. Having truly consulted one another we came to the conclusion that he is entirely innocent of the charge alleged, namely: lying. For confirmation of which we do hereunto set our names: Franklin Dimick, Wm. Chancey, Thos. Kelton and John Keeling."


"Dec. 21, 1844. This day at the insistence of bro. John E. Mott, the Church of Christ came together; and bro. John E. Mott confesses that some time before that he being provoked suffered himself to be overcome by anger that he made use of erroneous and profane language, desiring the forgiveness of the brethren and their prayers and says that with the help of God he will set a double guard for the future. Done by order of the church. Wm. Chancey, elder, Franklin Dimick, clerk protem."


"April 24, 1850. The Church of Christ at the Stone Meeting House, Hardin County, Illinois, being convened for the purpose of enquiring into the standing of its members. Received the report of brother Franklin Dimick who had been some time previously appointed by the church to visit brother R. Hubbard. Reported that said Hubbard alleged that his nonattendance at church was owing to, or on account of the disorder in which the said congregation was in. Whereupon the church not considering said Hubbard's apology satisfactory, and having no manifestation of an intention to reform his course of life, do exclude said Richard Hubbard from the congregation of Christ by unanimous vote of all present. John E. Mod, clerk."


"December the 27th, 1850. An abstract of the report of the committee appointed November the 23rd to inquire into, and search for the origin of the infamous report in circulation derogatory to the character and impeaching the chastity of brother T. O. Spencer and sister White. The committee having used all due diligence to find out the origin of the report against the above named brother and sister, and find the same to have originated without any foundation, or from characters too base to be noticed so far as known to us, for further information see report on file. John E. Mott, clerk."


"April 26, 1851. The Church of Christ met according to previous appointment. After reading, singing and prayer the church proceeded to business. The first before the church for consideration was a charge against brother Job Metheney for drunkeness. After hearing the testimony of some two or three of the brethren and an examination of the scriptures we came to the conclusion that we can no longer fellowship him. We therefore exclude him from among us.

"The next brought before the church was that of sister Sarah Ann Cope for dancing. After hearing the testimony of brother J. Davis with the said sister on the subject himself we came to the conclusion that we can no longer fellowship her in a church capacity. John E. Mott, clerk."


"May the 24th, 1851. The Church of Christ met according to previous appointment. After reading, singing and prayer by brother J. E. Mott, brother J. T. M'Murphey made his report concerning Wm. Groves. After taking said report into consideration with other testimony on the subject the church came to the conclusion that the conduct of the said Groves is unchristian like and not in accordance with the divine rules of our Heavenly Master and we therefore excluded the said Groves from among us. The church then appointed brother John W. Thompson to visit brother Samuel Williams respecting a certain report in circulation against him (viz) the using of ardent spirits intemperately. No other business before the church the congregation was then dismissed by prayer by brother J. W. Thompson. John E. Mott, clerk."