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Brown began his career as a Methodist Episcopal preacher. In the 1820s he became a leader of the Reform Movement, which opposed the episcopacy and championed laity rights. He joined the Associated Methodist Churches, which became the Methodist Protestant Church in 1830. Brown was elected President of the Ohio Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church eight times and served as a delegate to nine General Conferences. These quotations are taken from his Recollections of Itinerant Life (Cincinnati: R. W. Carroll & Co., 1866).

“If we can only get a constitution formed on purely republican principles, under the blessing of our glorious Lord, we shall abundantly succeed with a liberty-loving people. I think the day may yet come when we, who are only becoming a people, shall sit under our own vine and fig-tree, eating the pleasant fruit of ecclesiastical liberty, none daring to make us afraid.” From a letter to fellow reformers, May 27, 1829 (p.199)

“Preachers should not be hasty in judging their people for apparent neglects; and the people, immediately on their pastor’s arrival among them, should make haste to show themselves kind. This will promote the happiness of all parties, and secure the greatest amount of usefulness.” (p.257)

“Itinerant ministers cannot, in the nature of things, leave worldly wealth to their children. Let them make sure of giving them a good Christian education. This is the true wealth of the mind and heart.”(p.293)

“Christian union is of two kinds – spiritual and ecclesiastical. I wonder if even in the millennium all denominational distinctions will be entirely done away. If Jesus Christ comes from heaven to reign on earth in person, this thing may be; but should his reign be wholly spiritual, and carried on from heaven, as at present, men, I think, will always find arguments to justify denominational distinctions.” (p.411)

“In order to glorify our Lord Jesus Christ, our whole Church, including ministers and members, should voluntarily consent to be the Saviour’s instruments or agents in the great work of the recovery of our lost race back again from the ranks of proud rebellion to holiness and happiness and heaven.”(p.454)