An Interesting First Find

EliasSmithHello Everyone:

While doing some searches for primary sources related to the Glasites, I came across a letter written by Elias Smith of the Christian Connexion, to Daniel Humphreys, a Sandemanian elder.  Smith’s letter is highly polemic in nature, and he attacks Humphreys’ teachings on subjects such as baptism and  soteriology.

This letter is significant to me because it shows a connection between the Christian Connexion, one early precursor to the Stone-Campbell Movement, to the Glasite/Sandemanian movement, another early precursor.  While the letter is polemical in nature, it provides us with direct evidence about Smith’s beliefs, and his views on how Glasite beliefs fit or did not fit within his religious framework.

I had not previously heard of Humphreys’, but found that the Library of Congress had established a subject heading under his name.  A search of Worldcat found nothing, but I did find that Vanderbilt holds several sermons and letters that he published on microcard.  One of the letters in this collection is a letter to Elias Smith, which possibly is the letter that Smith was replying to in his published letter.  In it, Humphrey’s asks Smith why the Sandemanians, who called themselves “Churches of Christ,”  and the “Christian Church” of Elias Smith could not worship together, an interesting question posed by the typically exclusivistic Sandemanians. This is one question, I am sad to say, that has been asked over and over again by those in the Stone-Campbell Movement.

You can find the full text of the letter at the Glasite Digital Archive.

Erratum: The post above states that Humphrey’s letter to Elias Smith asked why the Christian Connexion could not worship with the Sandemaninans.  This was incorrect. The letter from Humphrey’s is a public response to a series of letters between a Congregationalist minister and Elias Smith, where the Congregationalist was asking Smith why the Chrisitan Connexion could not commune with the Congregationalists.  I regret the error.



Some Accessible, Online Resources on the Glasites/Sandemanians

NPG D2440; John Glas by James Macardell, published by and sold by  Phinn & Mitchelson, possibly after  William MillerHello Everyone,

Since my last post, the website has seen a lot of traffic.  My last blog post alone has received 86 visits in the last few days.  I am honestly amazed that there has been this much interest in this project, but that is exciting.

I have fielded several questions from folks who are unfamiliar with the Glasites.  So, here are some fairly accessible resources that are available online about the Glasites/Sandemanians that you don’t need access to an academic library to read:

Happy Reading!



The Glasite Digital Archive

ArchiveGreetings Everyone:

Part of this project website is the creation of the Glasite Digital Archive.  The goal of the archive is to be a clearinghouse of primary source materials on the Glasite/Sandemanian Movement and closely related independency movements in the United Kingdom and Ireland. This will do three things: it will allow me to have immediate access to important documents before, during, and after my research trip to Europe this summer, and it will provide me with a  place to house new materials that I obtain during that trip, and it will allow other scholars and those interested in the history of the Glasites or the Stone-Campbell Movement with easy access to these documents for research purposes.

The main framework of the archive is now up and running.  55 documents have accessioned into the archive.  The vast majority of these documents are primary source materials such as essays, sermons, and letters.  A small number of secondary source documents are also in the archive, however, these are not available to the public due to copyright restrictions.  I will be communicating with a digital copyright expert in the next few weeks to explore options for hosting these documents on the site for registered users.

The collection itself is currently divided into two sections.  Section one is for Glasite/Sandemaninan documents.  The second section contains documents related to the Haldanite independency movement, which is closely related to the Glasites, and which Alexander Campbell interacted with during his year residence in Scotland.  Additional sections for related groups may be added later as I obtain documents for them, including independency groups such as the Scotch-Baptists.

It should also be noted that not all primary source documents in the archive were generated by the movements themselves.  I am including polemical documents against the groups in the archive as well as these also provide important insights into the groups that they are about from outsiders.

There are, of course, many more published documents out there waiting to be found and added to the collection.  If you have documents on the Glasites, the Haldanites, or related independency groups that you would like to share, please feel free to contact me by posting a comment, or e-mailing me at Josh [at] glasite [dot] org.

You can access the archive at the link above, or through the main website, and clicking on the graphic for the Glasite Digital Archive.




Early this afternoon I received an email from the Vanderbilt Divinity School Imagination Grant Committee, notifying me that I received full funding for my grant proposal for the 2014-2015 school year!

In the proposal, I asked for travel funding to visit both the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland in order to study the history and political theology of the Glasites.

This website, which was part of proposal, will chronicle my preparations for travel, my research process, and eventually, some of the finished results of that research.  Check back regularly to find out what is happening!

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