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field. Occasionally the demands of the Church elsewhere require his services, and he is found proclaiming a Redeemer's love on Guilford Circuit, North Carolina, and on Holston, in the State of Virginia. Two years of this time he traveled the Cumberland Circuit, lying chiefly in Middle Tennessee. In 1804 and 1805, his field of labor is the Ohio District, embracing the extensive territory along the waters of the Muskingum, the Little Kanawha, Hockhocking, Scioto, Miami, and Guyandotte Rivers. The remainder of the time, embracing thirteen years, he devoted his energy and strength to Kentucky. Prompted by motives of the sublimest character—the love of Christ and the salvation of the people—he enters upon his work with the certainty of success.

The declension in piety, to which allusion has already been made, had reached the Danville Circuit. Mr. Burke says:

“We received our appointments at the close of the Conference, and separated in love and harmony. I was this year appointed to Danville Circuit, in charge, and John Page as helper. We entered upon our work with a determination to use our best endeavors to promote the Redeemer's kingdom. The circuit was in but a poor condition. Discipline had been very much neglected, and numbers had their names on the class-papers who had not met their class for months. We applied ourselves to the discharge of our duty, and enforced the Discipline, and, during the course of the summer, disposed of upward of one hundred. We had some few additions,

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but, under God, laid the foundation for a glorious revival the next and following years. The bounds and extent of this circuit were large, including the counties of Mercer, Lincoln, Garrard, and Madison. The west part of the circuit included the headwaters of Salt River, and Chaplin on the north; bounded by Kentucky River south and east, and extended as far as the settlements—taking four weeks to perform the round. There were three log meeting-houses in the circuit: one in Madison county, called Proctor's Chapel; one in the forks of Dix River, Garrett's Meeting-house; and one on Shoenea Run, called Shoney Run. Not far from Harrod's Station, in Mercer county, during the course of this year, a new meeting-house was erected in Garrard county, considered the best meeting-house in the country, and they named it Burke's Chapel. I remained on Danville Circuit till the first of April, 1794, and on the 15th our Conference commenced at Lewis's Chapel, in Jessamine county, in the bounds of Lexington.

Such is his own account of his labors for this year. In 1794, his appointment is to the Hinkstone Circuit, then including Clark, Bourbon, and Montgomery counties; † and in 1795, he has charge of the Cumberland, embracing Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky. We have already noticed the influence he exerted in the Cumberland Circuit, in arresting the tide of opposition to the Methodist


* Western Methodism, p. 37.

f He remained on Hinkstone only until the first quarterly meeting, when he was removed to the Salt River Circuit.

Episcopal Church, when almost the entire community had been enticed from its teachings by the leading advocate of the views of Mr. O'Kelly. The declaration of the Rev. Learner Blackman, that “an almost expiring cause was saved”-in his reference to the controversy between William Burke and James Haw-is a worthy tribute to the talents and devotion to the Church of the former. From this period the Methodist Church, embraced in what was then the Cumberland Circuit, took a more elevated position; and from that date to the present time, its influence within the same territory has been more commanding than that of any other denomination of Christians.

The following account of the debate with Mr. Haw is from William Burke himself:

“On inquiry, I found that James Haw, who was one of the first preachers that came to Kentucky, had located and settled in Cumberland, and embraced the views of O'Kelly, and by his influence and address had brought over the traveling and every local preacher but one in the country to his views, and considerable dissatisfaction had obtained in many of the societies. Under these circumstances I was greatly perplexed to know what course to take-a stranger to everybody in the country, a young preacher, and Haw an old and experienced preacher, well known, a popular man, and looked up to as one of the fathers of the Church, and one who had suffered much in planting Methodism in Kentucky and Cumberland. After much reflection and prayer to God for direction, I finally settled upon the following plan, namely, to take the Discipline and examine it thoroughly, selecting all that was objected to by O'Kelly, and those who adhered to him, and then undertake an explanation and defense of the same. I accordingly met Brother Speer at Nashville, and after preaching, requested the society to remain, and commenced my work. When I concluded my defense, I took the vote of the society, and they unanimously sustained the positions I had taken. Brother Speer also asked the privilege of making a few remarks. He stated to the society that he would consider the Church as a house that he lived in; and notwithstanding the door was not exactly in the place he should like it, or the chimney in the end that best pleased him, yet he could not throw away or pull down his house on that account; and therefore he concluded that he would not throw away the Church, although some things, he thought, could be improved in the Discipline. In consequence of this victory on my first attempt, I took courage, and proceeded with my work in every society; and, to my utter astonishment, I succeeded in every place, and saved every society but one small class on Red River, where a local preacher lived by the name of Jonathan Stevenson, who had traveled the circuit two years before, and located in that neighborhood. Haw and Stevenson appointed a meeting on Red River, and invited the Methodists all over the circuit to attend the meeting, for the purpose of organizing the new Church. The result was, that only ten or twelve members offered themselves, and the most of them had formerly belonged to the Baptist Church. Having failed in every attempt to break up the societies, the next step was to call me to a public debate. I accepted his challenge, and the day was appointed to meet at Station Gap, one of the most popular neighborhoods, and convenient to a number of large societies. Notwithstanding I accepted the challenge, I trembled for the cause. I was young in the ministry, and inexperienced in that kind of debate. He was an old minister, of long experience, and of high standing in the community. I summoned up all my courage, and, like young David with his sling, I went forth to meet the Goliath. The day arrived, and a great concourse of people attended. The preliminaries were settled, and I had the opening of the debate. The Lord stood by me. I had uncommon liberty, and before I had concluded, many voices were heard in the congregation, saying, "Give us the old way!' Mr. Haw arose to make his reply very much agitated, and exhibited a very bad temper, being very much confused. He made some statement that called from me a denial, and the people rose up to sustain me, which was no sooner done than he was so confused that he picked up his saddle-bags and walked off, and made no reply. This left me in

, . possession of the whole field, and from that hour he lost his influence among the Methodists, and his usefulness as a preacher. In this situation he remained until 1801; and when the great revival began in Tennessee among the Presbyterians and Methodists, he connected himself with the former,

VOL. 1.-6


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