N.B. Hardeman
& The Hardeman Tabernacle Meetings


From Hardeman Tabernacle Sermons Vol. II, 1923

Biographical Sketch On The Life Of N.B. Hardeman

By L. L. Brigance

SKETCH OF THE AUTHOR'S LIFE BIRTH-TIME AND PLACE.

Nicholas Brodie Hardeman was born May 18, 1874, in a log house, consisting of one large room and a side room, about one mile north of Milledgeville, McNairy County, Tenn. This small country village was situated on White Oak Creek, nine miles from Coffee Landing, on the Tennessee River, and about twenty miles from the Mobile and Ohio Railroad.

PARENTS.

His father, Dr. John Bellefont Hardeman, was reared on Big Creek, in Giles County, Tenn., near Pulaski. He stud­ied medicine and had begun the practice of his profession before the outbreak of the Civil War. He entered the Confederate Army; was captured at Island No. 10 and carried to prison at Chicago, Ill. After the war was over, he continued the practice of medicine in McNairy, Hardin, and Chester Counties for the next forty years. For several years he had owned and operated a farm, and in 1884 or 1885 he built a storehouse and began the selling of goods. He was successful in all these enterprises, and soon accumulated considerable property.

Throughout his early manhood he had been a member of the Methodist Church; but during a meeting conducted by J. A. Minton in the storehouse mentioned above, just after it was completed and before it was occupied, he heard, believed, and obeyed the "old Jerusalem gospel."

In 1893 he moved to Henderson, Tenn., where he lived the rest of his life. In January, 1902, the differences in the church at Henderson over innovations resulted in a division and the organization of another congregation. Dr. Hardeman took his stand with those who opposed these innovations, and remained true and faithful to the "old paths" till he died. He took the lead in securing a suitable location and building a new church house. He bought a house and lot, moved the house away, and gave the nice corner lot on which the church house in Henderson now stands. He saw to it that the deed to this property forever secured it too those who opposed innovations in the church of Christ. It was written by E. N. Tabler, N. B. Hardeman's father-in-law, and is a notable document of its kind. In dignity of expression, in strength of diction, in completeness, and in scripturalness of sentiment it is a unique, original, and remarkable production, It has been copied many times for other congregations.

Dr. Hardeman died Sunday afternoon, September 5, 1905. His funeral was conducted the following day in the new church house he had done so much to build. In the presence of a great throng of people both the writer and the subject of this sketch made speeches-a very unusual occurrence for a son to stand with his hand upon his father's casket and help to preach his funeral.

His mother, before she was married to Dr. Hardeman, was Miss Nannie Smith. She was reared in McNairy County, Tenn., near the little town of Enville. To this union there were born four children-two girls and two boys-of which N. B. ("Brodie," as he is familiarly called) was the youngest. The two sisters--Mrs. J. H. Ellis and Mrs. J. E. Ledbetter-are still living at Henderson, Tenn. His brother, Dorsey, who was three years older, died in April, 1893, at the age of twenty-two years. His mother had died many years before September, 1876, when he was only one and a half years of age. He was so young that he doesn't remember her.

STEPMOTHER.

In 1877 Dr. Hardeman was married again, to Miss Eliza Wade, who still lives in the town of Henderson. Five children were born to this second union-two boys and three girls-all of whom are still living. One of these, John B., is a successful teacher and a splendid preacher of the gospel.

Mrs. Eliza Wade Hardeman was a good mother, and especially a good stepmother. She seemed to be just as kind and devoted to her stepchildren as she was to her own. Her husband being a physician and necessarily away from home much of the time, the care of the children was left principally to her. Brodie, when a small child, was very frail and delicate. It was thought very doubtful as to whether or not he would survive. His stepmother nursed and cared for him tenderly during this trying period of his life. It is related that it was a common thing for her to put down one of her own children and take him up instead. Out of a deep sense of gratitude for her devotion during his early childhood it is his desire that she be given her full measure of praise.

EARLY LIFE.

N. B. Hardeman grew up on a farm, part of which lay in each of the three counties-Hardin, McNairy, and Chester. His father being away from home much of the time and he himself not being strong enough to do much work, he was left very largely to his own devices. He spent a great deal of his time in breaking and riding young mules and yearlings-it didn't make much difference which, nor did it matter how wild and ungovernable they might be. During the summer months he passed many of his leisure hours in "the old swimmin' hole." After he became large enough, he was put to hauling goods for his father's store from Coffee Landing with a yoke of oxen. He spent a good portion of each year in this way. It is said that he became an expert in that picturesque and emphatic form of expression generally used by those who drive "steers."

He has always been a lover of good stock, especially of fine horses. He is today one of the best horsemen in the country. When he was a boy, he had a race track on his father's farm, where he engaged in the training of such stock as happened to be on the place. Later on he attended the county fairs at the nearby towns of Savannah, Purdy, Lexington, and Henderson. He took great interest in the races, and often rode or drove a horse therein.

While he was growing up, he seems to have been under very little restraint and to have had what is generally termed a "good time." When it suited him to do so, he would take his "colt" and go to "Uncle Bill's and Aunt Addie's" -his father's brother and wife-and stay for weeks at a time. On one such trip he rode a small "tow-headed" mule. In approaching rapidly the brink of Middleton's Creek the mule stopped very suddenly and unexpectedly. The rider, however, did not, but went straight on over the mule's ears and landed in the midst of the creek.

He also stayed a great deal with his oldest sister and her husband-Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Ellis.

EDUCATION.

The first school he ever attended was taught in a one­room log house by Miss Sue Inman. He then went to old Salem, in Hardin County, and Mount Zion, in McNairy County, walking a distance of three miles to the latter place. He was ten or twelve years old at this time. He rode horseback a distance of five miles and attended school one entire session at Morris' Chapel, in Hardin County. This school was taught by Prof. A. C. Ham. In September, 1890, he came to Henderson and entered West Tennessee Christian College, then under the presidency of G. A. Lewellen, but later of C. H. Duncan and H. G. Thomas. He graduated from this institution with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in June, 1895. During the year following-1895-1896-he did review work under A. G. Freed, who had succeeded to the presidency of the college; and still later, after the West Tennessee Christian College had become the Georgia Robertson Christian College, he received the Master of Arts degree from the latter institution.

MARRIAGE AND FAMILY.

N. B. Hardeman was married to Miss Joanna Kendall Tabler on Sunday evening, April 21, 1901. The wedding took place in the Christian church house at the close of the evening service, with Prof. A. G. Freed officiating. Mrs. Hardeman-"Miss Jo," as most of her friends still call her was reared in Henderson, and is a graduate of the Georgia Robertson Christian College. She is a talented musician, and for many years was principal of the department of Instrumental Music and Voice in Freed-Hardeman College and its predecessor, The National Teachers' Normal and Business College. She is a woman of fine character and culture, and is devoted to her home and family. She thinks there is no other man in the world quite the equal of her husband, to whom she has been a real helpmeet. She is in hearty sympathy with his work; and though it deprives her of his presence much of the time, she never complains on that account. Her interest and cooperation has been one of the primary factors in making him the great preacher that he is.

They have three children just now getting grown-Dorsey B., Mary Nell, and Carrie Neal. They are all bright and intelligent, and, having been almost literally brought up in the college, are consequently well advanced in their literary studies, as well as accomplished in music, expression, and other things.

RELIGIOUS HISTORY.

During childhood and youth his religious environment. was wholly Methodist. His father, mother, and stepmother were all "members of the Methodist Church, and so were nearly all of the religious people of the community. The religion of those days was highly emotional. The protracted meetings were characterized by great excitement, and they aroused the highest interest among both saints and sinners. Everybody went-some, to have a part therein; others, to enjoy the "show." It is to be feared that the subject of this sketch was among the latter class. The fanatical emotionalism of these religious services disgusted rather than impressed him. It did not appeal to him as being common sense, and he concluded that, if it was a fair sample of the religion of the Bible, he wanted none of it.

But about this time there came into the community in which be lived two preachers of an altogether different sort. Their manner of preaching was quiet and dignified. They appealed to the word of God and to the intelligence of men. They called the people's attention to the Bible, and insisted that a faithful compliance with the conditions of salvation as revealed in the gospel of Christ was the only way to life and salvation. These preachers were J. A. Minton and J. L. Haddock, both of them strong men and able expounders of the old Jerusalem gospel. He began to get a glimpse of the beauty and simplicity of the gospel plan of salvation. Certain expressions-such as, "We call Bible things by Bible names," and, "Where the Bible speaks, we speak "made a profound and lasting impression upon. his young mind. He remembers especially to have heard Brother R. P. Meeks use these expressions many times. Having heard all three of the above-mentioned preachers on a good many occasions and having become more and more favorably impressed with that which they preached, it is not surprising that when he came to Henderson in 1890 and entered West Tennessee Christian College, during a meeting conducted by Professor Lewellen, he accepted the gospel and was baptized by Brother Meeks in the baptistery, of the old Christian Church.

TEACHER AND SCHOOL MAN.

He began his career as a teacher out in the country in a rural school. After teaching two summer schools, he became principal of a two-teacher school near Kenton, Obion County, Tenn., during the year 1896-1897. The next year he came back to Henderson and became a member of the faculty of the Georgia Robertson Christian College, where he remained for the next eight years. During this time he taught quite a variety of subjects. The writer remembers to have had classes under him in psychology, logic, literary criticism, biblical geography, and church history. At that time the annual enrollment of the college was above five hundred. There was no member of the faculty more popular among them than "Professor Hardeman."

After the church in Henderson divided over innovations in its work and worship, Professor Freed quit the Georgia Robertson Christian College, which was under the control of the "digressives" and went to Texas. Hardeman also severed his connection with it, and he and the writer took charge of the public schools of Henderson for the next two years.

In the winter of 1906-1907 Hardeman began to make plans for the building of another school. He took the matter up with Prof. A. G. Freed, who was then president of Southwestern Christian College, Denton, Texas. They soon came to an agreement that Freed should return to Henderson, and that they should undertake to erect another building and start another school. These plans culminated in the National Teachers' Normal and Business College. This school opened in the fall of 1908 with a large enrollment. It continued to flourish as a private institution, belonging to Freed and Hardeman, till the spring of 1919. Brethren over the country, feeling that the permanence of the school, belonging as it did to Freed and Hardeman, was an uncertain matter, decided to undertake the raising of a fund of $100,000, buy and enlarge it and place it in the hands of a board of trustees. The transfer of the property was made in March, 1919, the name changed to "Freed-Hardeman College," and a campaign to raise the money was inaugurated. It was thought best to build a girls' dormitory with the first funds raised and defer the payment of Freed and Hardeman until later. So this building was begun and partially completed, when the funds were exhausted. Money matters had become so close that it was difficult to raise any more. The girls' home was unfinished and badly needed. Finally a good friend of Hardeman's-James T. Anderson, of Hurricane Mills, Tenn.-voluntarily offered to loan him $12,000, without any security, without even a note, but solely upon his promise to return it when he should call for it. So the money was received upon these conditions and the building finished. The financial condition of the school grew worse and worse, until in the spring of 1923 it looked as if the property would have to be sold to pay off its indebtedness. A supreme effort to clear the school of all obligations was made, and, in order to do this and thus save it, N. B. Hardeman made a donation of $10,000. Considering his financial ability, it is perhaps the largest gift made by any member of the church of Christ in recent years.

He has been with the school continuously since its beginning. During the many years he has spent in the schoolroom "Professor Hardeman" has taught a great variety of subjects, but of recent years has confined his work principally to the Bible and related branches-biblical geography, church history, hermeneutics, homiletics, etc. He is a great teacher from any consideration; but as a teacher of the Bible itself, and those branches that aid in its understanding, he probably stands without a peer in all the brotherhood.

Not only is he an able teacher in the classroom, but he is a fine executive and administrator. He is a pretty strict disciplinarian, demanding that students shall behave themselves, that they learn obedience, that they "do all things decently and in order," and that they devote themselves to their work. He believes in securing these ends by appealing to a student's sense of honor and duty, by encouragement and inspiration; but when "kind words and gentle means fail, he doesn't hesitate to resort to sterner measures. For a period of twelve years he was Superintendent of Public Instruction in Chester County.

It is safe to say that during his career as a teacher not less than ten thousand students have come under his influence and instruction. They have gone away better prepared to take their place and do their work in the world. The most of them are succeeding in the various fields of labor into which they have entered. Scores of young men are able preachers of the gospel today because of their connection with him. His chiefest interest of recent years has been teaching and training young men to proclaim the gospel to a "lost and ruined and recreant race." In spite, however, of his great love for this work, the demand for his services as an evangelist has become so great, the calls so numerous and urgent, and the advice of friends and brethren so insistent, that he finally made up his mind to give up his school work, at least temporarily, and devote himself more completely to the ministry of the word. This decision is a great event in his career-greater by far, perhaps, than he can realize. It means the closing of a long chapter in his life and the beginning of another, probably the last one. It is to be hoped that henceforth his labors may be productive of greater good than ever before and that before he goes hence he may be the means through which thousands shall be "turned from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God."

As A PREACHER.

He didn't start out in life with the intention of being a preacher. While a boy and during his early manhood it was his ambition and purpose to be a doctor, like his father. With this end in view, he did a year's premedical work in college. During this time, however, he was studying the Bible, making talks at prayer meetings and in the Bible society in the college, and thus unconsciously preparing himself for the great work he was afterwards to do. In the month of April, 1898, Professor Freed, then president of Georgia Robertson Christian College, had an appointment 'to preach on a certain Sunday in the little town of Enville, about fifteen miles from Henderson. When the day arrived, for some reason he could not go. So, rather than disappoint the people entirely, he induced young Hardeman to go in his place; and thus on this occasion, in just a few miles of where he was born, he preached his first sermon on the text: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. " The preaching, therefore, of his first sermon was somewhat of an accident-i.e., it was altogether unexpected and unpremeditated upon his part. The theme he selected for his first sermon was characteristic. During the twenty-five years that have elapsed from, that day to this no one who has ever heard him preach has any reason to believe that he is either ashamed of the gospel or afraid to preach it just as he finds it revealed in the book. On the other hand, he has startled his own brethren many times by his boldness and fearlessness in contending "for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." No man sticks closer to the book nor fights harder for the ancient order of things than does he. No man more unreservedly condemns human creeds, doctrines and dogmas, and "every high thing that exalteth itself against God." He is one of the few men among us in these degenerate times who seems to still have the courage, spirit, and vision of the great pioneer preachers of the "Restoration Movement."

After preaching his first sermon, notwithstanding it was unexpected and accidental, "the die was cast," the Rubicon was crossed. He soon began preaching frequently and regularly. He sprang into prominence very rapidly, and it was not long until his services were in great demand. It was noised abroad that he was the most promising young preacher anywhere in his section of the country, and people went far and near to hear him. His youthful appearance, engaging manner, fluency of speech, and remarkable ability to quote the Scriptures attracted much attention and caused a great deal of favorable comment.

In preparation for his work as a preacher he studied the Bible under R. P. Meeks, A. G. Freed, and H. L. Calhoun, who is now connected with Bethany College, W. Va., the school founded by Alexander Campbell. He took a special two-year course under Calhoun, from whom he acquired that careful, exact, and thorough method of studying the Bible which has ever characterized his work as a teacher and preacher.

He has never devoted himself entirely to preaching. He has been constantly engaged in the schoolroom from nine to ten months in the year ever since he began to preach; besides, he has had a number of other interests to look after. He has been the administrator of other men's estates. Most of the time he has looked after a farm. He has been the business manager of Freed-Hardeman College for many years, and other things of lesser importance have engaged his attention and taken his time. Despite all these hindrances, he has forged his way to the front among preachers of the church of Christ. While he has only conducted meetings during the summer vacations between the closing of one session of school and the opening of another, he has had many successful meetings and baptized hundreds of people. He has labored in Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Colorado.

While he has never sought religious discussions, yet he has had quite a number with champions of the denominations. He has met the Goliath of the Baptist Church in this country-I. N. Penick, dean of the Theological Department, Union University-in seven debates. He met another great Baptist debater-Ben M. Bogard twice. Besides these, he has had several other debates with Baptists, Methodists, and "digressives." Polonius advised his son, Laertes, "to avoid entrance into a quarrel, but, being in, to bear it so that the opposed may beware of thee." This is Hardeman's attitude in regard to religious debates. He doesn't seek them, doesn't want them; but when he thinks the interest of the cause of Christ demands it, he doesn't hesitate to enter into it, and he conducts it with such masterful ability, meets his opponent's arguments so squarely, and treats him so fairly and courteously, that he not only wins the argument, but the audience as well. There are very few men among us who are his equal as debaters, and, perhaps, none who are his superior. He never dodges the issue nor evades an argument, but meets them all with fairness and candor. His thorough understanding of both sides of the question under discussion, his comprehensive and accurate knowledge of the Scriptures, his keen logic and quick repartee, make him a formidable opponent in a discussion. Notwithstanding his great ability to do so, he prefers, however, not to engage in religious discussions, desiring rather to devote himself to the proclamation of the gospel.

AS A SPEAKER.

N. B. Hardeman is regarded as one of the best speakers in the State of Tennessee. It makes no difference what the occasion or how short the notice, he can always make an interesting speech. When he gets on his feet before an audience, it seems to set all of his mental machinery to work, and his thoughts come rapidly and clearly, and he is never at a loss for words to express them. He speaks with great ease, entirely free from self-consciousness, and in language that the humblest can understand. He is very unlike our distinguished Ex-President, who said he had a "one-track mind," because his mind will run on almost any track and with very little shifting of gears. At least once per week for more than twenty years he has spoken to the student body of Freed-Hardeman College and its predecessors. For the most part, these speeches have been extemporaneous, delivered today and forgotten tomorrow, and yet many of them have been gems of oratory. If a statesman, orator, or lecturer comes to his town to make a speech, by universal consent he is expected to be master of ceremonies and introduce the speaker. First and last, he has spoken on a great variety of subjects, many times under very trying circumstances, and always with credit to himself and delight to his audience. He has a pleasing personality, an engaging manner, and a pleasant and well-modulated voice that carries distinctly to the remotest corner of the largest auditorium. His speech carries conviction with it, for "he speaks as one having authority, and not as the scribes." His language is not flowery nor rhetorical, and yet it is truly eloquent. Taking him all in all, there are not many better speakers on the platform or in the halls of Congress today than he. He is really and truly a "master of assemblies."

As A MAN.

It matters not how brilliant or talented a man may be; how great an orator, statesman, or preacher; how distinguished his name or exalted his fame, "a man's a man for a' that." Is N. B. Hardeman a real man, or does he just appear so on the surface? The writer knows him better, perhaps, than anybody in the world, except his own immediate family, and he can say without any reservations that he has never known him to do a little or mean trick. His word on any matter is worth one hundred cents in the dollar. He is scrupulously strict in keeping a promise or agreement. He has no secrets, tricks, or schemes, but is open and frank in everything. One of his hobbies is paying his debts. He believes that when he owes a debt and has the money to pay it, then is the time to do it; and he will do so without delay if it takes the last cent he has.

He is exceedingly unselfish and liberal in money matters. He believes that "the Lord loveth a cheerful giver" and "that the liberal soul shall be made fat." An appeal for help is rarely ever made to him in vain. He has remarked many times—that if he should be so unfortunate as to be lost in eternity he doesn't intend that it shall be on account of stinginess or covetousness. He is one to whom hospitality is not a lost art, and during the past several years hundreds of friends and brethren have been entertained in his home. He gives freely to the cause of Christ, and has taught his children to do likewise. No man is more ready to do his fellow man a "good turn" than is he. "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith," is a divine injunction that he literally and constantly heeds; and it makes no difference who it is, whether white or black, male or female, rich or poor, Greek or Jew, Barbarian, Scythian, bond, or free.

The Hardeman family is endowed with a rather unusual amount of that rare and valuable commodity called "common sense." They are anything else but fanatics, hobbyists, cranks, or extremists. They have good judgment about most matters, and are usually able to appraise things at about their proper value. They are not easily deceived nor imposed upon. N. B. is not a whit behind the rest of the family in this respect. He is quick to detect all sorts of shams, frauds, and affectations; hates and abominates them; and, when occasion requires, is merciless in exposing them. He has no use for "aristocracy" nor "society," because he believes the very soul and spirit of it is hollow and false and contrary to the spirit of Christ. He despises its exclusiveness and the "I-am-better-than-thou" air that goes with it. His tastes and manner of life are simple, and he is exceedingly democratic in his relations with his fellow man. He associates with perfect ease and on a plane of equality with all classes and conditions of men, adapting himself easily to their manners and customs and modes of thought, He has great tact, and is able to handle persons and situations with rare skill and good judgment.

Because of the above qualities he would have made a successful politician and an able public official. We have had scores of Congressmen, Senators, and Governors that were far inferior to him in the necessary qualifications for the offices they held. On account of his social qualities and his oratorical powers he would have been a great "vote getter." Because of these well-known abilities he has been urged time and again to "cast his hat into the ring" and become a candidate for some of our higher State or national offices. At one time a man who exercised more political power and influence, perhaps, than any other man in the State urged him to enter the race for Congress, assuring him of the almost certainty of his election. It is but fair to say that these prospects of political success and preferment were exceedingly alluring. During a period of several years they were a constant source of temptation to him; but as his faith in God and his word and his interest in the cause of Christ grew stronger, he became less and less interested in political affairs until finally he dismissed the matter from his mind entirely.

VERSATILITY.

It is an old saying that a "jack at all trades is good at none," but this won't do in Hardeman's case. He is a many-sided man. It has been sometimes remarked that "he can do anything and make a creditable job of it." It would be hard to find a man that has been engaged in a greater variety of activities than he. At times he has had so many "irons in the fire" that it looked like he would be compelled to let some of them burn, but he has generally managed to keep them from being scorched. He can do almost anything, from digging a ditch on his farm to officiating at a fashionable church wedding. He can take care of himself in a horse trade or preach the commencement sermon for a college or university. In short, he will undertake almost anything, and, to use a slang phrase, he generally "gets by with it."

His religion is not the long-faced and "hark-from-the­tomb" kind. He makes no hypocritical pretense to a piety that he does not feel and live. He believes that the way to be good is to do good, and that no man is better than another unless he does better. He believes in what the late Ex­President Roosevelt called "robust righteousness"-that is, an earnest and aggressive fight for truth and righteousness, backed up by a life consistent therewith.

He is a kind and indulgent husband and father, a good neighbor, a first-class citizen, and a genuine Christian gentleman.

TWO EVENTS OF SPECIAL IMPORTANCE.

The first one is a religious discussion held in the Ryman Auditorium soon after the close of the Hardeman-Smith meeting. In the State of Tennessee for twenty-five years or more those of our brethren who favor the use of "mechanical instruments of music" in the worship of the church had followed the policy of silence and ignoring the question. They never advocated it nor defended it publicly, but carried on their propaganda privately. It seems that they finally came to the conclusion that this policy had proven a failure, and, on the presumption that they couldn't make it any worse, they decided to "fight it out" "from Carter to Shelby." Accordingly, they passed a resolution to that effect at one of their conventions, and immediately began to agitate the question of a debate. Those who opposed their practice in this matter were not slow to respond, but immediately accepted their challenge and went about working out arrangements for the discussions. After about a year's negotiations, the two sides agreed on a proposition, also the time and place for the discussion to take place. The proposition as finally agreed upon was : "Instrumental music in church worship is scriptural." It seems that those on the affirmative side of the question had no little difficulty in finding a man to represent them; but finally Ira M. Boswell, of Georgetown, Ky., agreed to do so. Those on the other side selected N. B. Hardeman. The debate was conducted in the Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, Tenn., from May 31 to June 5, 1923.

The Christian Standard, in announcing it, said it is "to be a thoroughly representative discussion on both sides. Its object is to bring out everything that can be said on each side of this question, that all may know the merits of the two contentions, . . . and more people will hear this debate than any debate in our history."

Interest on both sides of the question was intense. Thousands were in attendance every session, and excitement' ran high. Many visitors from other sections were present. The speeches were reported and published in full in the Nashville Tennessean, and the entire debate will be published in book form.

A detailed account of the discussions cannot be given, but suffice it to say that N. B. Hardeman conducted his side of it to the entire satisfaction of all his friends and brethren. In fact, to say they were jubilant and could hardly contain themselves over the masterly manner in which he took care of his side of the proposition would express it very mildly.

The other event to which reference was made was a visit to the Holy Land. For twenty years Brother Hardeman has taught classes in biblical geography. Figuratively speaking, he has measured every hill and valley, followed the meanderings of every stream, visited every village, town, and city, and located every important spot in that historic and sacred country. He has longed to see it with his own eyes, but never felt that he had the time nor means to do so. Finally his release from the schoolroom provided the time, and his good friend and brother, James T. Anderson, provided the means; so on June 23, 1923, he set sail from New York on the steamship George Washington for Egypt and the Holy Land. Brother I. A. Douthitt, of Sedalia, Ky., is his traveling companion. As this book goes to press they are on the long journey. They expect to visit France, Switzerland, Italy, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Greece, England, and some of the other European countries before they return.

NOT PERFECT-HAS FAULTS

It is by no means intended to leave the impression that Hardeman has no faults. Just like all other men, he has them a-plenty. He is human, very much so; and that is to say that he has many of the weaknesses that belong to humankind. The writer could, no doubt, point out errors in his life and preaching, and would not shrink from doing so if he felt that any good purpose could be served thereby. But inasmuch as it does not appear that any good would likely come of it, he throws the mantle of silence and charity over that phase of the subject, with the hope that as he grows older his faults may become fewer and his virtues more numerous.

Let it be said, further, that this sketch represents the subject as he is today, or seems to be; but "it doth not yet appear what he shall be." Men have lived honorable, upright, Christian lives till they were older than he and then gone wrong and spoiled it all before they died. So it might be with him; but let us hope that he may grow better as he grows older, and, finally, that his last days may be his best ones and that his journey toward the "golden gate" may be like the path of the just that "shineth more and more unto the perfect day." L. L. BRIGANCE.

P.S.-The writer of this sketch realizes that it is a difficult and delicate task to write the biography of any one so as to please him and his friends and give no occasion to his enemies. It has probably not been done in this instance, but a sincere effort has been made to present the facts as they have been gathered from friends and relatives of Hardeman and from an intimate association with him of more than twenty years' duration. L. L. B.

—Hardeman Tabernacle Sermons, Volume II, McQuiddy Publishing Co. c.1923, pages 9-25


Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee
First Tabernacle Meeting With N.B. Hardeman Speaking
And C.M. Pullias Directing The Singing
{Picture From Vol. I, Hardeman Tabernacle Sermons}

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