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Beginning of the story



He now goes over into Linn county to a country place to hold a meeting. Here he meets more bitter, openhanded hoodlumism under the guise of Christianity than at any place in his life on the Coast.

While getting the material together to organize, the Baptists, Methodists and United Brethren begin and continue the most bitter opposition. They organize a little army to down "this man Waller." Time after time some of these smoke makers would contradict and malign. Each evening after services, too, they would make an onslaught upon him.

One Baptist, by the name of Gay, said one evening while Elder Waller was preaching: "I don't care what the Bible says, I have a testimony here" - beating his breast.

Said Elder Waller: "I have a testimony in my heart, too, and a better still in the Bible itself. By the mouth of two or three witnesses let everything be established. You, Mr. Gay, have only one, I have two." Then Elder Waller quoted to him John v. 31: "If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true." Jesus said this while he had a cloud of witnesses.

This was enough to silence for a time the source of objection.

After this the combined sectarian army set up a man by the name of Finlayson, a man who cared for nothing good, who commenced to teach the young men that "Christ was a bastard, his mother a strumpet," etc. This was the strait to which sectarian bitterness led these pretended followers of Christ. "O Religion, what crimes are committed in thy name!"

He showed clearly from the first of Matthew and the first of Luke that this man Finlayson's statements were lies, and burst forth in storms of rebuke to the spirit that prompted this movement by the enemy. "Some people," says he, "are so low and earthly that they can see neither virtue nor good in anything. The breath of such men must be so fetid that the buzzards are watching the carcass to fall that they may eat and be merry. Such people are too low to reach. I can only let truth and virtue ride on to victory."

At the close of one evening meeting these human vultures, pretending to be under the influence of the Holy Spirit, pounded him on the back and breast till he was almost exhausted. Just as though the Holy Spirit ever prompted any one to become a battering ram. Sister Churchill came to his rescue and delivered him form the ruffians.

They now bring the biggest Baptist preacher in the West to "whip this Campbellite." After this big-gun Baptist had heard two or three sermons, he holds a council with the others of his church, and they decide now to sanction the teachings of Elder Waller, but reports that he is not representative of the Church of Christ's teaching.

He says: " All my life I have been evangelizing and among the leaders of the Church of Christ, and have never been questioned as unsound or teaching aught but what they all teach. The people would surely not let me do as I have without rebuke if I were not in harmony with their teachings. I am in harmony, sirs."

They now decide to let him alone.

Once during the meeting Mr. Williams, a Baptist preacher, was asked to briefly open the morning social service. He began with Rom. v., and read and talked right along for about forty-five minutes. At last he thunders out, "I believe in salvation by faith alone without additions or subtractions."

When he had left the floor, Elder Waller made a searching review of his speech, winding up with: "All the water that ever dripped from the mountains, or flowed in streamlets from the hills, never could, never can, cleanse any one. But the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin. All our prayers, all our services of whatever name or sort, without the blood of Jesus, avails nothing. I believe in faith, but not in faith only. Neither faith, nor repentance, not confession, nor baptism alone ever avail to cleanse us from our sins. Our hope lies in our obedience to our Master, and a Scriptural application of the means of salvation."

The organization was made, and it retains its identity and regular services to the time of this writing.

The Oak Creek church, in Linn county, now hires him to preach once a month during the dry season of the year for $75. Continues another year with them on the same terms.

In 1880, he engages for all the time with the church at Monmouth. He continues with them through two years.

At the beginning of the third year he divides his time with the Monmouth church, giving the time to Bro. Floyd who, at this time, was editing most ably the Messenger. The running of the paper did not furnish him with a very fat living, so Elder Waller thought to help him by giving him half his time and salary. At the end of the first six months Elder Waller resigns all time in favor of Bro. Floyd.

Soon after this Bro. Floyd leaves both the Messenger and Monmouth church and moves to Albany. Here he makes an unsuccessful attempt to revive the work. This man Floyd seemed to be greatly misunderstood. Elder had learned to love him. He showed his learning and genius in the able manner in which he edited the Messenger. He was lately from the University of Lexington, in "old Kaintuck," and was seemingly a little too proud in his way to suit the wild West.

O, how we are misunderstood be times! How often some of us are called "proud" or "stuck up." when we only have the military bearing! It will be a glorious day when "we shall know as we are known," and when we shall be seen as we are. God helps us all to be kinder, gentler, more forgiving, more bearing and forbearing. Let us all try to make the world sweeter, and more like home and heaven. I am glad the world is beginning more and more to recognize bravery, zeal, talent, large-heartedness and Christlikeness in each other. A man may have a military bearing and yet be a Christian brother. A man in rags or buckskin is not necessarily bad or low, for bucked behind that external garb may be one of the loveliest hearts of one of God's children.


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