Every religious body should be able to give a reason for its existence; enlightened public 
sentiment demands it; if it is not doing a good work for humanity, peculiar and distinct from 
other religious bodies, there is no reason for its existence, for why, should we multiply
agencies to accomplish a certain end, when united effort would accomplish the same in less time?
If then this body of Christians cannot give sufficient reason for its existence, to satisfy an 
intelligent community, it ought to die.  What then are it positions, principles, and purposes? 
I give them by quoting from the pen of our state evangelist, N.S. Haynes: "While this church 
holds much truth, in common with others, yet it has its distinctive features that give it a 
right to live. With others it holds the divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, the revelation
of God's will and character in them, the divinity and Christ hood of Jesus, forgiveness of sins 
through His atonement, faith in the Christ  and obedience to His authority as the necessary 
human agencies in the formation of Christian character, the resurrection of the dead, and the 
doctrines of  future retribution. The peculiar features of this  church are these: that while 
believing this Old Testament is the Word of God and necessary in order to a right understanding 
of the New, yet the Old is not our rule in life, because it was never given as such to us 
Gentiles, and because it has been supplanted by the New Testament;  that the Scriptures are all
-sufficient to make the man of God perfect, and hence the rejection of all human  creed 
schismatical sinful; that in religious teaching we hold the "form of sound words," rejecting all
unscriptural terms, as Trinity, et id emne genus, and all unbiblical names; hence the nickname 
"Campbellite" is unauthorized and offensive; that conversion is not the mysterious and direct 
impact of the Holy Spirit on the sinners soul, but his turning from sin to the Savior, the 
proof of His  conversion being a Christian life; and that an inquirer after salvation must 
always  be answered, according to his condition, in the exact words  of the inspired oracles 
for such cases made and provided; that the ordinances, baptism and the Lord's supper, must be 
observed as given by Christ and His apostles without change; that all of Gods people shoud be 
united in "one body," as in the primitive and apostolic church, in order that they may the more 
efficiently do their Master's work, and turn the world in faith to Him. "Where the bible speaks
we speak, where the bible is silent we are silent." Is a cardinal maxiim? To go back to the 
beginning of the church to make our beginning, to make our teaching and practice, in all
matters essential, coincide with that of the inspired apostles is the aim of this religious 
body. This, our plea, has made wonderful progress in the past fifty years.  From a very feeble 
folk  we have grown to 500,000 in the  United States, besides large and flourishing churches 
in Australia and New Zealand.  Our minisionaries are at work in Jamaica, England, Denmark, 
Norway, France, and Turkey. As many were added to this Church in the United States as to the 
Methodist Episcopal church in the same territory in the year 1879.  The influence of this 
divine plea has reached all classes of society, and this Church has two members in the House of 
Representatives, and our late president, James A. Garfield, was member of this society; besides
these there are other names with a national reputation. It publishes fifteen papers and 
periodicals and a large number of tracts and books.  Its members have under their control 
thirty-eight schools of all classes, one-half of which are academies, colleges, and 
universities of a good grade. The following is the history of this Church in De Witt County.
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