Dr. Thomas didn’t start out with a crotchet or a theory, or and enterprise to which he successfully applies the energies of a lifetime. Circumstances drove him into a path of research, which he was not seeking. He was impelled forward by a series of unwelcome incidents and experiences, which imposed on him the acquisition of knowledge not, in the first instance, sought for, and conclusions as unexpected as they were startling and disastrous to popularity.
It is probably true that but for Alexander Campbell there would not have been a cult started by Dr. Thomas. He was at first welcomed by the leaders of Campbellism as, a “chosen vessel,” but soon bitterly discarded and maligned, as he was greatly misunderstood.
The pressure of circumstances alone forced him into a religious path. His theological career was emphatically a providential development. He had neither designed nor inclined it. Although he went to a French Protestant Church near the Bank of England, every Sunday for two years, it was but for improvement in the French tongue, not for the religious aspect and at that time he supposed “theology” was as much a settled branch of knowledge as any other, and as a young man took no special interest in it.