|Birth: ||Oct. 31, 1796, Scotland|
|Death: ||Apr. 23, 1861|
Listed in Ligon's Portraiture of Preachers of 1899.
Walter Scott was born October 31, 1796 in Moffat, Dumfrieshire, Scotland to John Scott (a music teacher) and Mary Innes Scott and graduated from the University of Edinburgh in the class of 1817. Both parents died in 1821 within the same month. Brought up in the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, he was deeply religious, but found Calvinism unsatisfying and gave himself to searching out the ancient Gospel. At the invitation of his uncle, George Innes, he landed in America July 7, 1818 and became a teacher of Latin in a classical academy at Jamaica, Long Island, New York. Catching the fever to "Go West", he and a companion walked from New York to Pittsburgh where he taught in a religious academy. George Forrester was principal and also a minister of a fundamental Baptist church. Forrester rejected all human creeds and accepted the Bible alone as his religious guide. This appealed to Scott and he sat at the feet of Forrester hour after hour examining the Scriptures. Having come to grips with immersion, as opposed to sprinkling or pouring, he was immersed by Forrester. While bathing in a river Forrester drowned and Scott became principal of the academy. Walter Scott first met Alexander Campbell in the winter of 1821-22. After discussing their religious views they were surprised that they occupied similar ground; this meeting formalized the beginning of a cooperative movement in restoration preaching. In 1827 Alexander Campbell was instrumental in the selection of Scott as Evangelist for the Mahoning Association. His first sermon was in a Baptist church at New Lisbon, on the Western Reserve of Ohio- November 18, 1827. In the opening statement he quoted Acts 2:38; William Amend, who had just arrived at the meeting house, immediately made his way to the front and requested to be baptized "for the remission of sins". He had wrestled with the passage and had vowed that he would obey it the first time he heard it preached. As a patriotic, country-loving citizen, Scott was crushed by the Civil War. For several months he refused to take the Lord's Supper because of strife among brethren. He was stricken seriously ill on April 16, 1861 (diagnosed as typhoid-pneumonia) and died April 23.
Women In His Life
He was first married to Sarah Whitsett at age 26. She inspired his ministry, overlooked his lack of money sense, endured his poverty, and of her he wrote at her death: "Best of wives, tenderest of mothers, the most faithful of friends, a Christian in faith, works and charity." Next, he married Nattie B. Allen, beautiful, young and affectionate. When told she might outlive him she said: "I would rather be Walter Scott's widow than the wife of any other man." She died in 1854. Finally, he married Eliza Sandidge. A rich widow who was intolerant and often drove him from the house. This was an unfortunate marriage.
Native Ability And Academia
J. J. Haley wrote concerning Walter Scott in Makers and Molders of the Reformation Movement: "Theology and the religious consciousness run in the blood north of the Tweed. Brains and reverence and appreciation of Biblical knowledge appear to be congenital with the typical Scotchman . . . His deep religious nature, his love of truth and righteousness, his keen perception, his fine capacity for the acquisition of knowledge, and his profound reverence for the Bible and the Christian religion, made him a splendid subject for instruction and inspiration to the Campbells" (page 60-61). Walter Scott was a diligent Bible student and suggested that a chapter a day memorized will put the head of a family in possession of the entire New Testament in much less than a year. For Scott to have baptized 1000 each year of 1828 and 1829, he had to love the Bible and engage in some hard work.
Contribution To The Restoration Movement
As Mahoning Association Evangelist Several years earlier Scott had read a tract written by Henry Errett (father to Isaac Errett), an elder in a Haldanean "Church of Christ" in New York, on the subject of baptism for the remission of sins. This tract made a deep impression upon him, and when he became evangelist for the Mahoning Association he saw opportunity to put it into practice. Faith, repentance, baptism, remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Spirit-this was the "gospel restored" in Scott's preaching. The result was a great revival among Mahoning churches-but a different kind from those at Cane Ridge and other places in the West. There was none of the emotionalism, no exercises, no continuous camp meetings. Hundreds responded. His work on the Western Reserve mushroomed, but not without opposition. One young man threatened to shoot him if he baptized his mother. Sects were aroused, names were called, challenges were issued. Scott was in demand everywhere—New Lisbon, Deerfield, Austintown, Warren, and scores of other places. Within two years people were stirred up like never before. Alexander Campbell heard of the revival sweeping the Mahoning churches and sent his father to observe. After seeing, Thomas Campbell wrote that even though they had understood the gospel correctly for a number of years, it was now being put into practice for the first time. As a result of the revivals the total membership of the Mahoning churches was more than doubled within one year. By 1830 the Association had been so transformed that it dissolved itself out of existence.
As Publisher and Author
Walter Scott began publishing a paper, "The Evangelist", in 1832. This work was given to Restoration principles. It was discontinued in 1835 in favor of doing research for his great book, "The Gospel Restored", which was published in 1836. "The Evangelist" was resumed in 1836. Among his other writings were: a pamphlet on "The Holy Spirit", and a "Disciple's Hymnal". His writing was crisp and direct in style, flavored with beauty of language and clearness of thought. His one passion in writing was his burning desire to present the Gospel restored. His purpose for writing "The Gospel Restored" is stated in the preface: "The professors of our holy religion having unhappily strayed from the scriptures and true Christianity, there seemed to be no remedy in anything but a return to original ground. This suggested itself to many, in different places, almost simultaneously, about the beginning of the present century, and numerous churches were formed about that time, both in Europe and America, resembling, more or less, the churches planted by the Apostles, or the church of Jerusalem instituted by the Lord Jesus himself. These churches, with few exceptions, adopted the holy scriptures as their exclusive guide in religion, and rejected the dangerous creeds and confessions of Christendom, which have operated so fatally on the unity of the churches. This formed the first positive step toward that return to original ground, for which the present century is distinguished." A systematic view of Christianity beginning with the original fallen state of man, "The Gospel Restored" is one of the most comprehensive and convincing works of the Restoration Movement. Moses Lard told Scott that it was this book that first taught him the Gospel.
As "The Golden Oracle"
Historians of the Restoration Movement give Walter Scott first place in oratorical expertise. They all seem to be quoting from the same source-although their writings are not always documented: M. M. Davis, in The Restoration Movement of the Nineteenth Century, wrote: "His warm heart, his musical voice, his chaste and charming language, his tender pathos, his winsome personality, his burning zeal and his great theme-the MESSIAHSHIP-made him almost irresistible" (page 1 64). Dabney Phillips, in Restoration Principles and Personalities, wrote: "With his analytical mind, Scott was able to simplify a subject that all might understand. He told the people that the gospel was threefold—facts, commands, and promises. The facts were to be believed, the commands were to be obeyed, and the promises were to be enjoyed. He applied the gospel by emphasizing: (1) faith to change the heart, (2) repentance to change the life, (3) baptism to change the state, (4) remission of sins to cleanse from guilt, and (5) the gift of the Holy Spirit to help in the religious life and to make one a partaker of the divine nature . . . He once preached on 'Three Divine Missions'-one hour on the mission of Christ, one hour on the mission of the Holy Spirit, and one hour on the mission of the Church. He was able to hold his audience spell-bound for three hours" (pages 136- 137). J. J . Haley, in Makers and Molders of the Reformation Movement, wrote: "The big four of the current reformation are Thomas Campbell, Alexander Campbell, Barton W. Stone and Walter Scott. The last named is fourth in enumeration, but by no means fourth in distinctive importance. In originality of conception, vigor of presentation, enthusiasm, courage, boldness and eloquence, he comes near heading the list. He was not the initiator of any original movement within the church like his three illustrious comrades, but so far as the distinctiveness of his contributions to the new movement was concerned, he stands first in historical and theological importance. "This masterful proclaimer of the Word combined the didactic, the poetic, and the evangelistic to a degree astonishingly unusual. His mind was as straight and clear in the comprehension and explanation of facts as his emotional nature was strong and moving in his appeals to men to be reconciled to God. His powers of analysis and classification were phenomenal" (pages 59-63). Isaac Errett once said in referring to a great sermon preached by Dr. Armitage of New York, "I have not heard such preaching since Walter Scott."
An attorney in Kentucky said: "At his worst he could beat them all, and at his best he could beat himself." Those who molded Walter Scott were his parents; his music teacher; John Scott; George Forrester whose congregation rejected infant baptism, accepted only the Scriptures as authority, and practiced weekly communion; and Alexander Campbell who became his companion on the lonely Reformation road. Alexander Campbell provided the intellectual direction, while Walter Scott provided the evangelistic fervor for the Restoration Movement. Robert Richardson, Campbell's biographer, wrote: "Among the helpers and fellow laborers of Alexander Campbell, the first place must be awarded to Walter Scott. Walter made the apostles his model, and went before the world with the same message, in the same order, with the same conditions and promises." The highest tribute to be paid to his life is found engraved in the headstone of his grave at Mays Lick, Kentucky. "The words which thou gavest me, I have given unto them" (John 17:8). —John P. Simpson, 1981 Freed-Hardeman University Lectures, pages 324-328.
Sarah Whitsett Scott (____ - 1849)
Emily Scott Church (1825 - 1910)*
Mays Lick Cemetery
GPS (lat/lon): 38.51336, -83.84393
Created by: Tom Childers
Record added: Oct 31, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 43768780