CONFLICT WITH CAMPBELLISM
At that time there was a general pause in the conflict with Campbellism in most of the territory, but in Nashville, the heart and center of this agitation, the First Baptist Church had been swept into “the current reformation” under the leadership of its pastor, Rev. S.P. Fall, and so the battle was kept up. The fact is that in Nashville, more than any other spot on the continent, the religious discussions were constant, bitter and personal, and with the Baptists it was a battle for existence.
In the forefront of this swirling conflict was this young man placed when he was but twenty-six years old, as editor and leader. Well might he hesitate as he did and ask himself the deep, soul-searching questions, “Is this my work” Has God called me to it?”
There are depths in many a soul, capabilities and powers of which a man in life’s quiet avocations know little or nothing. How little did Luther know the resources and capabilities of that great soul of his when tremblingly he caught the faint rays of gospel truth as there echoed through his being “Justification by faith” and “Romanism is false.” it is so with all brave spirits, not only in those whose world battles change the course of history, but in the heart of every lover and defender of the truth, who sees it with the clear eye of faith and will not give an inch in its defense, nor compromise one iota with that which is false. This was so with the soul of this truly great man. Trial, soul-conflict, faith in God, love of the truth and the determination to fight the battle to the end reveal to him forces and weapons and powers of defense and of endurance of which he little dreamed until the necessity was laid upon him. This was the experience of Dr. Graves. He explored his own inmost soul under the conscious eye of the Lord and said “I will.”
After that he never feared a foe nor shrank from his responsibility.