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Old 03-09-2016, 06:27 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 297

William Kelly

William Kelly (1821-1906) was born into an Episcopalian family from Ulster, Northern Ireland. As a young boy he was left fatherless. This misfortune did not rob him of his buoyant sense of humor, but did spur him to diligence in all areas of life. A hard worker and a vigorous student, he graduated at the top of his class from Trinity College, Dublin, where he studied classics.

At age 20, on the isle of Sark, he was shaken out of a religious slumber by reading Revelation 20:11-12 , "And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God..." Years later, Kelly commented on the verses that God used to give him assurance of salvation. "'For three are those that bear witness, the Spirit, and the water and the blood, and the three agree in one'--three witnesses, but for one united testimony. 'If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater.' May I recall the divine relief and deliverance these words gave more than sixty years ago to a soul converted but harassed and deeply exercised through a sense of sin which clouded his soul's rest on Jesus?...It is not my seeing as I ought the efficacy of the blood, but resting by faith on God's seeing it, and God's valuing it as it deserves."

Soon after conversion, Kelly left the established church and threw in his lot with a small fellowship of believers. For the next thirty years, he lived in and near Guernsey, and for the last half of his pilgrimage he lived at Blackheath. Kelly's first wife was a Miss Montgomery of Guernsey. His second wife was the daughter of a clergyman named Mr. Gipps of Hereford. She was a clever linguist with a scholarly bent, giving able assistance in her husband's work.

To measure the caliber of Kelly's learning, consider the massive contributions he made in written and spoken Bible teaching. His expertise was so expansive that when men listened to his lectures, they became convinced that he had actually read all of the 15,000 books in his library! At least he seemed to know what they were about. The titles of Kelly's own writings fill nearly ten pages in the British Museum catalog.

He aided Samuel P. Tregelles in his textual work. For two years he edited a magazine called The Prospect, and then, in 1856, Kelly became the editor of The Bible Treasury which he edited for fifty years. His work with The Bible Treasury brought him into correspondence with keen thinkers across the English speaking world, many of which dreaded what they branded "Plymouthism," or "Darbyism." But despite their prejudices, they admitted that if they wanted to read something which was free of the destructive "higher criticism" which attacked the inspiration of the Bible, and if they wanted ministry that dealt with the serious issues of the Word in a reverential way, The Bible Treasury was what they read. Kelly wrote commentaries on most of the books of the Bible. David Beattie says of Kelly, "His writings, largely in the form of expositions of Scripture, are especially helpful as being at once profound and simple." Some of Kelly's readers will contest the word "simple." Reading him does require some powers of concentration.

The Swiss medical doctor, Henri L. Rossier (1835-1928), was Darby's collaborator across the channel who prepared Darby's Etudes Sur La Parole, which Kelly in turn translated into English as Darby's Synopsis of the Books of the Bible, a work every Bible student ought to have close by. Besides this, Kelly labored for years collecting, editing, and at times translating Darby's Collected Writings, in thirty-four volumes, most of which had appeared in The Bible Treasury.

Kelly saw a grandeur in Darby's works, but was also honest enough to admit that Darby could be unintelligible. Those who have been helped by reading Darby can thank God that there was ever a man named William Kelly to decipher the code. Right to the end of his long life, Kelly would exhort young Bible students to "read Darby!" He had; and it had done him good. Darby once teased Kelly, "Kelly, you write to be read and understood. I only think on paper."

William Kelly varied from Darby on the topics of baptism and some issues of assembly government, but agreed with Darby on most things, so much so that some called him "Darby interpreted." It was Kelly who gave a final defense of Darby's character when an American author tried to link Darby's prophetic teaching with Edward Irving and the prophetess, Margaret Macdonald. In Kelly's excellent article, The Rapture of the Saints: Who Suggested It? (p. 314 of vol. N 4, The Bible Treasury). Kelly draws a comparison from Acts 16 , saying that the notion of John Darby deriving his views of future events from Margaret Macdonald's ecstatic utterance would be similar to saying Paul received his teaching of salvation from the slave girl who had a spirit of Python at Philippi. Did she not say, "These men are servants of the Most High God that announce to you the way of salvation"! If we follow the reasoning of contemporaries like Dave MacPherson, who have labored hard to resurrect this old slander, then Paul's doctrine of salvation might also be an "incredible cover-up."

The cultured linguist, textual critic, and expositor shunned the limelight. Often identifying the author of his articles as simply "W. K.," he hid behind Christ. When his nephew attended university, his Greek instructor was impressed by the young man's facility in the language. When told about his reclusive uncle, the professor made his pilgrimage to Kelly's home bearing an offer to join the faculty in Dublin. Besides the prestigious position, he would "make a fortune."

Unhesitatingly, Kelly replied, "For which world?"

C. H. Spurgeon said Kelly was a man "who, born for the universe, narrowed his mind" by Darbyism. It is hard seeing how such a large-hearted brother as Spurgeon could write such jarring things about men like Darby, C. H. MacIntosh and Kelly. Spurgeon reviewed thirteen of Kelly's books in his book, Commenting on the Commentaries so one has to wonder, if Kelly was so tainted, why did Spurgeon bother to read so many of his books? It is amusing to us today to read Spurgeon's remarks about Kelly's Lectures on the Minor Prophets. "Mr. Kelly finds in the Minor Prophets a great many things which we cannot see a trace of. For instance, he here discovers that we shall lose India. It is a pity that a man of such excellence should allow a very superior mind to be so warped." We can only suppose that Spurgeon thought it was not only warped, but also unpatriotic to tell an Englishman that Britain would lose India. Shocking indeed.

Unlike so many prophetic teachers, Kelly was a Bible student, not a news commentator. This fact enabled Kelly to make many statements about Israel and the nations which were unimaginable at the time of their writing, but have since been proven correct.

Besides exposition, Kelly was enough of an Irishman to engage in the controversial. He even answered the Pope's Encyclical with a forceful rebuttal. Thereafter, H. W. Pontis reported that a number of "interesting cases of converted priests, monks, and others of education and high place have come before him [Kelly] both at home and in France."

When running the marathon, a grueling race of more than twenty-six miles, experienced runners talk about "the wall." Somewhere after the twentieth mile it will hit them. They began to hurt miles ago, and yet they ran on in spite of the pain, through the pain, and beyond the pain. But then they came to "the wall." For instance, in the annual Boston Marathon, toward the end of the course, the runners take a turn and as they do they see an incline rising before them. It has been dubbed "heartbreak hill." Those who make it beyond to the finish line have said it was as though they were not the ones running anymore. They could not run. Their legs refused to cooperate. It was as though something or someone else took over.

How many of God's choice saints met "the wall" as they neared the finish line. And our brother William Kelly was not exempted. All his Christian career he had been a controversialist of the first order. Critiquing the work of the most brilliant scholars of that period. Kelly took on all comers. But would he expect to be attacked by the ones that should have been his closest allies? Yet, in 1881, while John Darby's health slipped away, some of Darby's loyalists took Kelly in hand.

Kelly foresaw this misery. He was increasingly alarmed by an attachment to external forms and practices among the assemblies that he and Darby labored with. A kind of uniformity was being insisted on that tolerated no diversity. Then a disciplinary action was taken at the Park Street assembly in London, and Kelly objected to the action. Explaining his position, Kelly wrote, "Surely our Lord has said, when the preliminaries are done in obedience, 'Hear the church;' but is this His voice when they were not? Has He not also called him that has an ear 'to hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches'? To idolize assembly judgments as necessarily right is condemned by His Word" (from Why Many Saints Were Outside the Park Street of 1881).

When Darby realized that his own devotees had given Kelly an ultimatum, either to bow to the Park Street decision, or be excommunicated, he was mortified. Darby's last letter ended: "I do add, Let not John's ministry be forgotten in insisting on Paul's. One gives the dispensations in which the display is; the other that which is displayed. I should particularly object to any attack being made on William Kelly."

But that plea was not heeded. Kelly was excommunicated from the fellowship of so many assemblies which themselves owed a huge debt to him. He was not being shunned because of any serious doctrinal error or moral problem. Rather, he was put out because of ecclesiastical "independence." Perhaps the finest and most able Bible teacher then living heard a host of doors slamming shut against him.

Sorrow upon sorrow came when, in 1884, his beloved wife and collaborator was taken from him. But even then, as he attended her sickbed, he took time to write brother Heyman Wreford, to encourage him in his evangelistic work. Himself suffering from insomnia, Kelly did not allow himself the luxury of wallowing in discouragement. Others would have assumed that it was time to convalesce. But it was during these turbulent years that Kelly's most fruitful work was beginning. After doing and enduring so much, he was not ready to hang up his shield and sword. In the last fifteen years of his life, most of his written ministry streamed out.

With brother Wreford's help, an energetic work was in progress in Exeter. Wreford preached the gospel in Victoria Hall where throngs came to hear him. David Beattie, in Brethren: the Story of a Great Recovery, tells how in "those stirring times, it was not unusual to see an audience of one thousand people at the Sunday evening service. The work was abundantly owned of God, and it is no exaggeration to state that hundreds were led to the Saviour through his preaching."

For twenty-two years, Kelly gave annual series of lectures in the Queen Street Meeting Room and in the Victoria Hall. These lectures were taken down in shorthand and eventually went into The Bible Treasury and are now available in individual volumes.

The man with the small spectacles, an occasional shrug of the shoulders, and a steady smile that seemed engraved into the lines of his sunny face, stood at the door of the doctor's home in Exeter. His barbed witticisms and outgoing ways were still the same, but the spring was lacking from his step. Weary from sleeplessness, a drawn-looking man stepped into Dr. Wreford's home in 1906. Heyman Wreford would take care of brother Kelly till he died. In his last days, as two of his daughters attended his bedside, his conversation was an outpouring of worship and praise to God. It could be said that in his last days he prayed without ceasing. Looking up from his bed at Mrs. Wreford, he said, "The light of my heart is Christ."

Brother Wreford stepped up to the bed and said, "How do you feel, dear Mr. Kelly?"

"Weak enough to go to heaven," he replied.

One of his last expressions became the outline of one of the messages preached at his funeral. "There are three things real--the Cross, the enmity of the world, the love of God."

May God help us not to lose sight of these realities.

John Bjorlie

Material for this article has been taken from:

A Historical Sketch of the Brethren Movement by H. A. Ironside

A History of the Plymouth Brethren by William Blair Neatby

Brethren: the Story of a Great Recovery by David Beattie

Chief Men Among the Brethren by Hy. Pickering

The Autobiography of a Servant by A. C. Gaebelein

John Nelson Darby: A Biography by Max S. Weremchuk

Life and Last Days of William Kelly by Heyman Wreford

The History of the Brethren by Napoleon Noel

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Old 03-13-2016, 09:14 PM   #2
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Starting with this post, I am going to give a brief summary, mainly with extracts form different sources, of the life and work of JND.

There are comparatively few among the millions directly or indirectly influenced spiritually by the life and labours of John Nelson Darby who have any clear perception of this man whom Professor Francis Newman described in Phases of Faith as "a most remarkable man, who rapidly gained an immense sway over me."

John Nelson Darby by W. G. Turner
First published June 1944
Second Impression February 1951
C. A. Hammond, 11 Little Britain, London EC1.


- or -
Francis William Newman, 1874

This was a young relative of his,—a most remarkable man,—who rapidly gained an immense sway over me. I shall henceforth call him "the Irish clergyman." His "bodily presence" was indeed "weak!" A fallen cheek, a bloodshot eye, crippled limbs resting on crutches, a seldom shaven beard, a shabby suit of clothes and a generally neglected person, drew at first pity, with wonder to see such a figure in a drawing-room. It was currently reported that a person in Limerick offered him a halfpenny, mistaking him for a beggar; and if not true, the story was yet well invented. This young man had taken high honours in Dublin University and had studied for the bar, where under the auspices of his eminent kinsman he had excellent prospects; but his conscience would not allow him to take a brief, lest he should be selling his talents to defeat justice. With keen logical powers, he had warm sympathies, solid judgment of character, thoughtful tenderness, and total self-abandonment. He before long took Holy Orders, and became an indefatigable curate in the mountains of Wicklow. Every evening he sallied forth to teach in the cabins, and roving far and wide over mountain and amid bogs, was seldom home before midnight. By such exertions his strength was undermined, and he so suffered in his limbs that not lameness only, but yet more serious results were feared. He did not fast on purpose, but his long walks through wild country and indigent people inflicted on him much severe deprivation: moreover, as he ate whatever food offered itself,—food unpalatable and often indigestible to him, his whole frame might have vied in emaciation with a monk of La Trappe.
Such a phenomenon intensely excited the poor Romanists, who looked on him as a genuine "saint" of the ancient breed. The stamp of heaven seemed to them clear in a frame so wasted by austerity, so superior to worldly pomp, and so partaking in all their indigence. That a dozen such men would have done more to convert all Ireland to Protestantism, than the whole apparatus of the Church Establishment, was ere long my conviction; though I was at first offended by his apparent affectation of a mean exterior. But I soon understood, that in no other way could he gain equal access to the lower and lowest orders, and that he was moved not by asceticism, nor by ostentation, but by a self-abandonment fruitful of consequences. He had practically given up all reading except that of the Bible; and no small part of his movement towards me soon took the form of dissuasion from all other voluntary study.
In fact, I had myself more and more concentrated my religious reading on this one book: still, I could not help feeling the value of a cultivated mind. Against this, my new eccentric friend, (himself having enjoyed no mean advantages of cultivation,) directed his keenest attacks. I remember once saying to him, in defence of worldly station,—"To desire to be rich is unchristian and absurd; but if I were the father of children, I should wish to be rich enough to secure them a good education." He replied: "If I had children, I would as soon see them break stones on the road, as do any thing else, if only I could secure to them the Gospel and the grace of God." I was unable to say Amen, but I admired his unflinching consistency;—for now, as always, all he said was based on texts aptly quoted and logically enforced. He more and more made me ashamed of Political Economy and Moral Philosophy, and all Science; all of which ought to be "counted dross for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord." For the first time in my life I saw a man earnestly turning into reality the principles which others confessed with their lips only. That the words of the New Testament contained the highest truth accessible to man,—truth not to be taken from nor added to,—all good men (as I thought) confessed: never before had I seen a man so resolved that no word of it should be a dead letter to him. I once said: "But do you really think that no part of the New Testament may have been temporary in its object? for instance, what should we have lost, if St. Paul had never written the verse, 'The cloak which I have left at Troas, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.'" He answered with the greatest promptitude: "I should certainly have lost something; for that is exactly the verse which alone saved me from selling my little library. No! every word, depend upon it, is from the Spirit, and is for eternal service."]

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Phases of Faith, by Francis William Newman
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net
Title: Phases of Faith Passages from the History of My Creed
Author: Francis William Newman
Release Date: April 15, 2004 [EBook #12056]
Language: English
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Old 03-15-2016, 08:32 PM   #3
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Part 1

John Nelson Darby as I knew him.
W. Kelly.
A friend of Mr. Darby's, who was for many years on intimate terms with him, has kindly forwarded the following interesting account of a most interesting career.
As you wish for some personal reminiscences of the late J.N.D., I go back to my first intercourse with him in the summer of 1845 at Plymouth. For though I had been for years in communion before this, it had not been my lot to see him for whom above all others I had conceived, because of his love and testimony to Christ, profound respect and warm affection. I was then living in the Channel Islands, in one of which I began to break bread with three sisters in Christ, before ever looking a "brother" in the face. It was in J. B. Rowe's shop, Whimple Street, that we met; and very cordial and frank was his greeting... But a little matter of a private kind will interest you and your readers, as it gave me (some twenty years or so his junior), a practical lesson. When dining with Mr. Darby, he by the way said, "I should like to tell you how I live. Today I have more than usual on your account. But it is my habit to have a small hot joint on Saturday, cold on Lord's day, cold on Monday, on Tuesday, on Wednesday, and on Thursday. On Friday I am not sorry to have a bit of chop or steak; then the round begins again." I too, like Mr. Darby, had been ascetic as a young Christian, and had been reduced, by general indifference to outward life, so low that the physician prescribed as essential what had been discarded in self-denial. How uncommon to find a mind endowed with the rarest power of generalisation, able to come down like the apostle, and impress on a young disciple, eating, drinking, or whatever is done, to do all unto God's glory!...

I was unable to attend the Conference at Liverpool in the forties, but was present at that which was held in London in 1845. Only on the afternoon of the third day did J.N.D. rise to speak, and this, after a well-known friend had alluded to his silence in singular terms. Mr. Darby explained that he had not spoken because so many brothers had a great deal to say. It was a most impressive discourse; for after many, and not leaders only, had spoken with considerable power and unction, he gave a terse summary, which set their main points in the best position, and then brought in a flood of fresh light from Scripture on the whole theme. During the same Conference a noble personage, who resented Darby's exposure of a foolish and injurious tract by himself, gave way to vehement spleen. But J.N.D. answered not a word. ...

Mr. Darby was deliberate and prayerful in weighing a Scripture; but he wrote rapidly, as thoughts arose in his spirit, and often with scarcely a word changed. He delighted in a concatenated sentence, sometimes with parenthesis within parenthesis, to express the truth fully, and with guards against misconception. An early riser and indefatigable worker, he yet had not time to express his mind as briefly and clearly as he could wish. "You write to be read and understood," he once said playfully to me; "I only think on paper." This made his writings, to the uninitiated, anything but pleasant reading, and to a hasty glance almost unintelligible; so that many, even among highly educated believers, turned away, because of their inability to penetrate sentences so involved. No one could be more indifferent to literary fame; he judged it beneath Christ and therefore the Christian. He was but a miner, as he said; he left it to others to melt the ore, and circulate the coin, which many did in unsuspected quarters, sometimes men who had no good to say of him, if one may not think to conceal the source of what they borrowed. To himself Christ was the centre of all, and the continual object before him, even in controversy; nor is anything more striking, even in his hottest polemics, than his assertion of positive truth to edification. He was never content to expose an adversary, where not only his unfaltering logic, but instant and powerful grasp of the moral side, and above all of the bearing of Christ on the question, made him the most redoubtable of doctors. Yet the same man ever delighted in preaching the glad tidings to the poor, and only paid too much honour to those whom he considered evangelists more distinctively than himself. Indeed I remember one, who could scarcely be said to be more so than he was, happening (to his own discomposure) to preach in his presence at one of the Conferences in the past (Portsmouth); and for months after, this dear simple-minded servant of the Lord, kept telling brethren in private, and not there only, "Ah, I wish that I could appeal to the people as So-and-so does!"

STEM Publishing: William Kelly: John Nelson Darby as I knew him. http://www.stempublishing.com/author.../jnd_knew.html
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Old 03-20-2016, 12:45 AM   #4
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Part 2

John Nelson Darby as I knew him.
W. Kelly.

That he exercised large and deep influence could not but be; but he sought it not, and was plainspoken to his nearest friends...
It was my privilege, being actively engaged, to hear him very seldom, and this at great meetings in which he ordinarily took a large part; but I remember once hearing him preach (on Romans 5:20, 21) to a small company of the very poor; and to a more powerful and earnest discourse I never listened, though in the plainest terms, exactly suited to his audience...
Yet was he anything but self-confident. Being asked once to preach in the open air, he begged the younger man to take it; for said he, "I shrink from that line of work, being afraid of sticking in the midst, from not knowing what to say." ... Yet were some weak enough to call him a Pope who would have his way, and bore no contradiction...

No man more disliked cant, pretension, and every form of unreality. Thos. Carlyle loudly and bitterly talked his detestation of "shams," J.N.D. quietly lived it in doing the truth. He often took the liberty of an older Christian to speak frankly, among others to a brother whose love, as he thought, might bear it. But sometimes the wound however faithful only closed to break out another day. "What were you about, -, hiding among your family connections, and not once seeing the brethren around?" On the other hand reliable testimony is not wanting of his ready love in so lowly a way as to carry him where few would follow, especially where known. In early days, among the few at Plymouth a barber brother fell sick; and as no one else thought of his need, J.N.D. is said to have gone in his absence and served as well as he could in the little shop.
Thoughtful for others he was indifferent as to comforts for himself, though he did not mind buying costly books, if he believed them of value for his work. Then he was habitually a hard worker, from early morn devoted to his own reading the word and prayer; but even when most busily engaged, he as the rule reserved the afternoons for visiting the poor and the sick, his evenings for public prayer, fellowship, or ministry. Indeed whole days were frequently devoted to Scripture readings wherever he moved, at home or abroad. But his clothes were plain, and he wore them to shabbiness, though punctiliously clean in his person, which dressy people are not always. In Limerick once, kind friends took advantage of his sleep to replace the old with new, which he put on without a word, as the story went.
In middle life he trudged frequently on foot through a large part of France and Switzerland, sometimes refreshing himself on the way with acorns, at other times thankful to have an egg for his dinner, because, as he said, no unpleasant visitors for certain could get in there! In his own house, or lodging, all was simplicity and self-denial; yet if invited to dine or sup, he freely and thankfully partook of what was set before him. Still he had a vigilant eye for the Lord, particularly with younger fellow-labourers; and I remember that when with me on first setting up house, he deliberately looked at a table-spoon or fork before him. Happily I passed muster; and nothing was said: they were only plated! So he lived himself. Even in such things he hated for Christians the pride of life, and justly felt that one little licence opens the way for many greater.
His largeness of heart, for one of strong convictions and of practical consistency, showed itself in many ways...It was only fundamental error which roused his deepest grief and indignation. Then, as one of these (a heterodox teacher) said to me, J.N.D. writes with a pen in one hand and a thunderbolt in the other...
A great man naturally, and as diligent a student as if he were not highly original, he was a really good man, which is much better. So, for good reason, I believed before I saw him; so taking all in all I found him, in peace and in war; and so, in the face of passing circumstances, I am assured he was to the end. Do I go too far if I add, may we be his imitators, even as he also was of Christ?
W. K.

STEM Publishing: William Kelly: John Nelson Darby as I knew him. http://www.stempublishing.com/author.../jnd_knew.html
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Old 03-24-2016, 07:45 PM   #5
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Let us hear a person who was very conversant with JND’s writings. There were
two clergymen named William Reid who wrote something regarding JND. One,
a United Presbyterian, wrote a hostile polemic against J. N. Darby 109 and the
other wrote a ‘eulogy’ called, "Literature and Mission of the So-called Plymouth
Brethren." 110 I will cite some of this paper.
Like Owen, you will find him [JND] involved, discursive, and rather hard to read;
in Mr. Darby’s case with far more reason, as he is incomparably more profound,
as well as more learned. . . .

It is written by Divine Inspiration "when the enemy shall come in like a flood,
the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him." Of late years the
enemy has been coming in like a flood and where is there anything in these lands
that can be called the lifting up a "standard against him?" except it be the
intensely spiritual movement and thoroughly Biblical writings of the Brethren?
For, drawing only from the Holy Scriptures have they not displayed a banner
because of the Truth against every great evil that has come in for the past forty
years? Are they not the present day standard bearers of a recovered Christianity?
Who answered F. W. Newman’s "Phases of Faith?" J. N. Darby in his great
work, "The Irrationalism of Infidelity" (see Vol. 6 of his Collected Writings).
Others have replied to it, no doubt, but this had refuted the book. Who has
answered his brother’s -- Dr. Newman’s "Apologia pro sua vita?" None, save Mr.
Darby; and he has done it on its own ground, with a learning which evinces
thorough competency. Who laid bare the showy skepticism of Prof. E. Scherer
on his way from theological chair of Strasburg to the portfolio of the Revue des
Deux Mondes? Above all, Mr. Darby in his "Lettre sur l’inspiration de l’ecriture
Sainte" (translated, for the substance into his English tract On Inspiration) and a
subsequent brochure "de l’oeuvre de Christ." Who has exposed the sophistries
and refuted the arguments of the writers of "Essays and Reviews"? Only Mr .
Darby (Vol. 9, Collected Writings), Dr. Milner’s "End of Controversy" has also
been met and answered by him, and so have Bishop Colenso and Archbishop

He has, by anticipation, discussed and settled the Church and State question
fully 30 years ago (Vol. 15, Collected Writings). The Church of God has also
been defended by him in its principles, privileges, spirituality, separateness from
the world, its worship, its destiny and hopes as it has been by us, one writes in
modern times. The doctrine of the Holy Ghost has also been expounded with a
freshness, fullness, and scripturalness in such writings as "Is the Comforter come
and is He gone?" and "The operations of the Spirit of God," by J. N. Darby, and
in the "New Testament Doctrine of the Holy Spirit" by Wm. Kelly, such as you
will find nowhere else, and surely the giving of scriptural views on the Holy
Ghost is a most vital part of the standard against the enemy.
Then the great subject of prophetic truth has found the clearest expounders
among the "Brethren." (Mr. Darby has at least four large volumes on it.) They
have not only simplified the subject, but are at present almost the only parties
who discuss and expound the prophetic word with clearness, fullness and
intelligence. Sir Edward Denny has likewise spent his lifetime in the study of
prophecy and has published extensively on the subject and has issued a series of
prophetical charts which are unique, and full of valuable instruction. "Plain
Papers on Prophetical Subjects," by the late W. T rotter, being a digested
summary of all the best works on prophecy is the best book on the subject for
general readers, as it contains reliable papers on the whole of the prophetic word.
Whatever they teach on prophecy may, as a rule, be relied upon, and will
never need to be unlearned, for it is substantially the truth. Then again, the
fearful error about sin and its punishment which are abroad and have been
spreading so rapidly -- such as annihilationism, not-eternity of punishment, and
all the other phases of eschatological skepticism and infidelity -- have been
answered by Mr. Darby as they have not been by any other man. And, since the
last Oecumenical Council and the proclamation of the Infallibility of the Pope,
Mr. Darby has been writing most learnedly and conclusively against the Roman
dogmas, and giving an awful exposure of Popery from its own chief writers (see
Familiar Conversations on Romanism) with a severe reproof of Archbishop
Manning. The learned labor and research needed to accomplish what he has
done in lifting up a standard against Popery in its last days is quite amazing; and,
though engaged with this great controversy with Rome, and also with infidelity,
he has not overlooked the little controversy about holiness that has been going on
among Christians for some time back, but has settled it, too, for all subject minds,
in his recent masterly pamphlet against Perfectionism a review of R. Pearsall
Smith’s book, "Holiness through Faith," and a letter on the practical
consequences. His "Dialogue of the W esleyan Doctrine of Perfection," might
also be noticed; and his standing against E. Irving and B. W. Newton repelling
their false views.

Perhaps in none of his writings is the weight as well as the acumen of Mr.
Darby more conspicuous than in his masterly critique of Irving’s grand essay, the
"Preliminary Dissertation to Ben Ezra." Irving was then in his zenith before his
sad aberrations, J. N. Darby not 30 years old; yet that most outstanding hero of
the day was but as a child in the hands of a man of surpassing strength, who knew
how to control it for Christ’s sake. Let the reader compare his "Reflections" in
the beginning of Prophetic I with Irving’s "Prelim. Diss. to Ben Ezra." But, his
most searching and sustained criticism is to be found, probably , in his
"Examination of B. W. N.’s Thoughts on the Apocalypse," which he simply and
most fairly crushed to annihilation; (see his Prophetic 3).

From: Darby - Precious Truths Revived and Defended, Volume 3, R. A. Huebner, pages 52-54   
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Old 03-28-2016, 10:22 PM   #6
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Some Open-Brethren have expressed themselves in a quite hostile manner also.
E. K. Groves (son of A. N. Groves) wrote:
But if, as I firmly believe, the mischief wrought by Mr. Darby among the children
of God is largely the result of a mental infirmity not unknown in the sister island
-- I mean a quality of mind, however richly endowed, which wholly disables it
from taking evidence in a case when passion has once been roused.129

A. Murdoch approvingly quoted someone saying "He was a Pope in all but
name." 130

Mr. Boardman commented upon ". . . all the pretentiousness of a kind of
‘Secondary’ Apostleship and Prophetship, (see ‘Operations of the Spirit,’ by
JND). . ." 131 Well, read the paper and judge for yourself. G. H. Lang represents
JND in regards to Bethesda this way: "While he was cursing it the Lord was
blessing it." 132

F. R. Coad has the dishonor of being among the most vehement Open
Brethren in this way against JND. He says that "he was arrogant" (p. 112);
"used disingenuous tactics" (p. 143); "descended to the disreputable" (p. 145).
Much of this applies to the controversy with B. W . Newton where JND was
"dangerously unbalanced" (p. 141); used "semantic and doctrinal juggling" (p.
150). He was -- "more ruthless" than B. W. Newton (p. 146); and is guilty of
a "long and viciously worded attack" (p. 149). On p. 162 he says of JND,
"Psychologically, he was obviously abnormal: but so have been many
geniuses," while, interestingly, on p. 113 he says "Yet, small as were his powers
of self-analysis, Darby’s personal counseling had about it something of those
deeper insights into human nature which characterize the psychoanalysts." And
what think you about "Darby’s was a mind impossible to bring to objective
debate" (p. 136)? I suggest that F . R. Coad has not helped at all to
understanding JND, but he has helped us to understand F. R. Coad.

From: Darby - Precious Truths Revived and Defended, Volume 3, R. A. Huebner, pages 62-63 

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Old 04-04-2016, 02:11 AM   #7
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Benjamin Wills Newton
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Benjamin Wills Newton
Born 12 December 1807
Plymouth, England
Died 26 June 1899
Tunbridge Wells, England
Occupation evangelist, writer

Benjamin Wills Newton, (12 December 1807 – 26 June 1899) was an English evangelist and author of Christian books. He became the most notable leader of the church in Plymouth after which the Plymouth Brethren were named. Although he had been a close friend of John Nelson Darby, they began to clash on matters of church doctrine and practice which led to the 1848 split of the brethren movement into the Open Brethren and Exclusive Brethren and Newton's withdrawal.


1 Early days
2 Establishment of a brethren assembly at Plymouth
3 Relations with John Nelson Darby
4 Post Brethren years
5 George Muller
6 Works
7 Notes and references
8 Further reading
9 External links

Early days

Newton was born in Davenport near Plymouth, Devon in a Quaker family. His father died shortly before Benjamin was born. Newton had no siblings. He studied at Exeter College, Oxford, where he obtained a 1st Class Classics degree in 1828 and became a fellow of the college.
Establishment of a brethren assembly at Plymouth

At Oxford he abandoned Quaker beliefs and joined the Anglican Church. He was friends of Francis William Newman and George Wigram. Through Newman he first met John Nelson Darby. Newton and his friends in Oxford became increasingly critical of the Anglican Church especially in regard to its subjection to the sovereign state and the appointment of ordained clergy. In December 1831 Wigram left the Anglican church and bought a nonconformist place of worship, Providence Chapel in Raleigh Street, Plymouth, Devon. Meetings were open to Christians from all denominations for fellowship, prayer, praise and communion. In January 1832, Newton and Darby, although at the time, both Anglican clerics, shared communion with Wigram at such a meeting.

By March 1832 Newton had left the Anglican Church, committed himself to the new fellowship and married a local girl, Hannah Abbott. The “Providence People” as they were known locally, grew quickly, became known as “The Brethren from Plymouth” and then were referred to as the Plymouth Brethren. Around 1832 Darby also left the Anglican Church of Ireland.

The predominant features of the Plymouth assembly in 1832 included:

Rejection of clergy and adoption of the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers
Plurality of Elders – The elders were unpaid. Newton soon became an elder, and earned his living as a school teacher
Weekly communion
Separation from evil systems – e.g., not being in the armed forces or a member of any apostate denominational church

The Plymouth assembly was similar to an assembly in Dublin, Ireland which was established in 1827 by Anthony Norris Groves, Darby and other Christians who sought a return of Christendom to New Testament principles. Like the Dublin assembly which originally was anti sectarian in that it was open to all Christian believers, the Plymouth assembly in 1832 began defining qualifications for membership and an insistence that fellowship could only occur after severing any other fellowship with a denominational church. The shifting to a sectarian position was detected by Anthony Norris Groves after visiting the brethren in Plymouth.[1][2]
Relations with John Nelson Darby

John Nelson Darby was the dominant force in the early Brethren movement. Newton saw him as his mentor whilst Darby saw Newton as a prized disciple. It was Newton who had first invited Darby to the Plymouth Assembly in 1831 in order that the Plymouth assembly could be modelled on the assembly in Dublin. Darby, eager to evangelise and teach throughout Europe, appointed Newton as the primary elder in Plymouth. Although they were in agreement over many issues, such as the rejection of the pentecostal teachings of Edward Irving, by 1834, cracks began to develop in their relationship.

In 1834, a dispute arose over their friend, Francis Newman, who had started to hold heretical beliefs in regards to the divinity of Christ. Darby excommunicated Newman, but Newton allowed Newman to keep fellowship with the Plymouth assembly in the hope that Newman would be restored. In 1835, demonstrating his increasing independence of Darby, Newton stepped down as presiding elder, believing that elders should not be elected by the authority of man as had been the case at Plymouth. Although no longer the presiding elder, his influence and leadership of the assembly continued to grow.

A bigger dispute also began to arise in the 1830s over their differing views of future events predicted in the Bible. Although both were premillennialists, Newton believed the church would go through the tribulation, whilst Darby, who previously also believed in a post tribulation rapture,[3] began to shift positions and became increasingly convinced in a pretribulation rapture.[4] Newton also had a different view on dispensationalism and believed the present dispensation consists of three concurrent parts. Firstly the dispensation from Noah to the 2nd coming of the Lord (Genesis 9 v1-6), secondly the Gentile dispensation commencing with Nebuchadnezzar and also terminating with the 2nd coming of the Lord, and thirdly the New Covenant dispensation.[5] Newton was particularly critical of Darby’s belief that future events in chapter 24 of the Gospel of Matthew relate primarily to the Jews after the church had been secretly raptured and said that "the Secret Rapture was bad enough, but this [John Darby's equally novel idea that the book of Matthew is on 'Jewish' ground instead of 'Church' ground] was worse." [6]

Newton interpreted 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and 2 Thessalonians 2 v1-4 [7][8] as proof of a post tribulation, non-secret rapture. He viewed Darby's dispensational and pre-tribulation rapture teaching as "the height of speculative nonsense".[9] Unlike Darby, he also believed that the church is made up of both Jews, including Old Testament saints, and Gentiles who have been made one in Christ and that Darby's scheme, followed logically, implied two distinct and separate ways to salvation. [10]

Between 1835 and 1845, Darby spent much of his time in Continental Europe during which time the assembly in Plymouth had grown to over 1000 people with the condition of the assembly being likened to "heaven on earth".[11] In 1840, a larger chapel in Ebrington Street, Plymouth was built and used for the main worship services, while Providence Chapel was retained for smaller meetings such as evangelistic services.

In 1843, Darby briefly visited Plymouth, and tensions with Newton grew. Darby was dismayed by the state of the assembly which, in his absence, he perceived as having shifted away from the priesthood of all believers towards the establishment of official clergy. The doctrinal dispute over future events also was intensified by the publication of Newton’s book Thoughts on the Apocalypse in 1842 which, in the following year, received a hostile 490-page review by Darby.[12]

In March 1845, Darby fled Switzerland, due to a threat of revolution in Geneva, and travelled directly to Plymouth to “battle for the soul of Brethrenism”. A war of words, escalating into a pamphlet war ensued. The battle was over eschatology, the priesthood of all believers together with the role of assembly leaders, Darby had by this time developed strong views against the formal recognition of elders. Also at dispute was whether, as Newton believed, each assembly was independent and autonomous or, as Darby believed, were connected and integral parts of a universal body. Both Darby and Newton had strong, intransigent personalities which exacerbated the situation. The dispute became personal with Darby exiting from fellowship with the Plymouth assembly and publicly accusing Newton of deception and dishonesty.[13] The charges against Newton were investigated by the elders at Ebrington Street and were dismissed.

Although most of the Plymouth assembly, at this stage, supported Newton, Darby did have some support in the dispute, particularly from Wigram, by then living in London, who had earlier financed the purchase of both the Raleigh Street and Ebrington Street premises. In December 1845, Wigram wrote to the Plymouth elders formally withdrawing his fellowship from Ebrington Street and revoking his loan of the Raleigh Street chapel. The use of Raleigh Street was given to Darby and his supporters, resulting in two local brethren assemblies at odds with each other. Both parties continued with the dispute and were eager to explain their position to other brethren assemblies which were springing up throughout the country. In 1846 whilst Newton was travelling around London holding private meetings to partly answer charges levelled against him by Darby, a brethren assembly in Rawthorne Street, London, where Wigram was leader, requested Newton to attend a meeting so that the charges against him could again be looked into. Newton, backed by the Ebrington Street meeting, declined their persistent requests to attend, and was subsequently excommunicated by Rawthorne Street.

In 1847 the Darby party discovered that Newton, firstly in an article printed in 1835,[14] had taught heretical doctrine in regards to the Person of Christ. The article was produced as a rebuttal to Edward Irving's heretical teachings regarding the Person of Christ which had gained popularity.[15] Newton believed that Christ, although perfect, experienced sufferings before the day of Crucifixion, not for the sake of others, but due to his association, through his mother, with Adam and his descendants and more specifically with the apostate nation of Israel. Therefore, according to Newton, Christ suffered hunger and pain and had a mortal body. Darby and his supporters seized the opportunity to condemn Newton as a heretic. Although Newton apologised and retracted his “Adamic error”, and withdrew for consideration his views on the sufferings of Christ, some of the elders at Ebrington Street began to lose confidence in him. Darby was not satisfied at this, allegedly due to the lack of repentance shown by Newton or as Henry Groves, the son of Anthony Norris Groves, another eminent Brethren leader said, Darby was "bent on ruling" and wanted rid of his rival. Darby's persistence in the matter and Newton's refusal to retaliate but rather to "turn the other cheek" resulted in Darby winning over the elders who had supported Newton, leaving Newton isolated. On December 1847 Newton permanently left the brethren movement and moved to London where he established an independent meeting.

The feud led to the division of the Plymouth Brethren in 1848 when George Muller, the co-leader of Bethesda chapel, a brethren assembly in Bristol, allowed visitors from Ebrington Street into fellowship in Bristol and was slow to comply to Darby's ultimatum for all assemblies to condemn Newton's heresy.[16] Darby, in response, excommunicated all those in fellowship at Bethesda. The assemblies which supported Darby’s action became known as the Exclusive Brethren and those which rallied behind George Muller and Bethesda chapel, and subsequently also excommunicated, were named Open Brethren.

In 1858, Darby also was accused of holding a similar heresy to that of Newton’s in regards to the sufferings of Christ.[15][17]
Post Brethren years

Newton married Maria Hawkins in 1849, his first wife having died in 1846. His only child died at the age of 5 in 1855.

Throughout the next 50 years, he remained active as a Christian teacher and writer. After leaving the Plymouth Brethren, he set up an independent chapel in Bayswater, London. He later lived in Orpingon, Kent, followed by Newport, Isle of Wight. For the last three years of his life he lived in Tunbridge Wells.

Although labelled as an evil-doer and a false teacher by the Darbyites,[18] other people view Newton as the John Calvin of the 19th century and believe the Brethren movement may have done better if it had followed his teaching rather than Darby's dispensationalism, and Darby's belief in the any moment pre-tribulation secret return of the Lord for the secret rapture of the saints to heaven, and for the Lord to return publicly with the church seven years later for the commencement of a thousand-year reign.

His friends and supporters during years of relentless vilification by the Darbyites included Samuel Prideaux Tregelles, George Muller and Charles Spurgeon.

Historian Roy Coad notes, "He lived until 1899, retreating into a little circle of two or three churches of his own, and leaving a devoted following, mainly among Strict Baptists."[19]

As a writer he produced more than 200 published works. His great gift was exposition of the Scriptures and, particularly, unfulfilled prophecy.

George Muller

George Muller of Bristol wrote "I consider Mr. Newton's writings to be most sound and scriptural, and my wife and I are in the habit of reading them, not only with the deepest interest, but great profit to our souls. His books are certainly most valuable, for they exalt the person and work of our blessed Lord Jesus Christ to the very utmost. If anyone honestly wishes to know what Mr. Newton's views really are, let him carefully and attentively read some of his principle writings through, such as Salvation by Substitution; Atonement and its Result; Gospel Truths, from which he will clearly see, not only that Mr. Newton is sound in the faith, but also that his teaching is of a most valuable character.... I regard Mr. Newton as the most accurate writer on religious themes of the nineteenth century." [20]

Gospel Truths, 1885
Thoughts on the Apocalypse, 1842
Occasional papers on scriptural subjects, 1866
Doctrines of Popery, 1867
Prospects of the ten Kingdoms of the Roman Empire considered : being the third series of aids to prophetic inquiry, 1873
Aids to prophetic inquiry, 1881
Thoughts on parts of the Songs of Solomon, 1906
Christendom, Its Course and Doom, 1876
Events To Precede the return of our Lord
The Day of the Lord in Zechariah Chapter 14
The Millennium: Distinctions which make Difficulties Disappear
Patmos Series
Narratives From The Old Testament, 1886
Thoughts on Scriptural Subjects, 1871
Thoughts on parts of Leviticus, 2nd Edition 1857
The Perfect Sacrifice by B.W. Newton, Publisher: University of Michigan Library, 2006 ISBN 1-4255-1433-2
B.W.Newton on Ministry and Order in the Church of Christ, Pearl Publications, 1997 ISBN 1-901397-00-9

Notes and references

Anthony Norris Groves's prophetic letter to John Nelson Darby
Groves, A. N. (1869). Memoirs of Anthony Norris Groves (3rd ed.). p. 356. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
Both Newton and Darby earlier held a historicist view, and hence a post tribulational position, believing that they were living in the final years of Daniel's 70th week, with the Pope being Antichrist. This view became increasingly under question as the supposed relevance attached to Napoleon and the socio-political turmoil of the French Revolution did not lead directly to an anticipated end of the world. This encouraged the search for other interpretations, some being more new and novel than others, to Biblical passages such as Daniel 9.
John Nelson Darby (1800–1882) The Father of Premillennial Dispensationalism at the Wayback Machine (archived October 9, 2007)
The Dispensations in the Christian Witness periodical (Vol 5, 1838) pages 285 to 308 Archived October 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
F. Roy Coad's Prophetic Developments, p. 29.
The Approaching Advent Of Christ by Alexander Reese (A critical, post-tribulational examination of the teachings of J.N. Darby) at the Wayback Machine (archived October 1, 2011)
AntiChrist Comes First at the Wayback Machine (archived February 16, 2005)
page 41 of "The Blessed Hope" by George Eldon Ladd
John Nelson Darby--The Father of Premillennial Dispensationalism at the Wayback Machine (archived February 7, 2012)
Start of small informal gatherings
An Examination of the statements made in the "Thoughts on the Apocalypse"
A Nineteenth Century Nestorius
Doctrines of the Church in Newman Street Considered – Article written by Newton refuting Irvings teachings on Christ
The Humanity of Jesus Christ by F.F. Bruce
Excommunication took place on August 26, 1848, when Darby issued an edict from Leeds, Yorkshire after he discovered that some assemblies in Yorkshire were sympathising with Muller and not condemning the teachings of Newton. On October 31st 1848, Muller responded by condemning the heresy previously taught by Newton, which Newton had already retracted, with Muller stating that anyone holding the heresy would not be received into fellowship. (The alleged followers of Newton from Plymouth which were in fellowship at the Bristol assembly had already been cleared of holding the heresy). "As you have now judged Newton's tracts the reason why we should not be united no longer exists" Darby is alleged to have said after he had unexpectedly turned up at Muller's orphanage for an unarranged meeting in June 1849. Muller replied with "I have only 10 minutes now free having an engagement at 1 O'clock, and therefore cannot now enter upon this subject;for you have acted so wickedly in this whole affair, that many things have to be looked into before we could be really united again". That was George Muller's account of the private meeting, Darby denied its accuracy but decided to leave no record of his version of the meeting. Darby and Muller never met again.
Mr. Grant on the Darby Brethren
Mr Newton and the Brethren
F. Roy Coad, A History of the Brethren Movement (Vancouver: Regent College Publishing, 1968), page 151.
page 23 of "Teachers of the Faith and the Future : B.W.Newton and Dr. S.P. Tregelles", 2nd Edition 1969 by George Fromow.

Further reading

Jonathan D. Burnham: "A Story of Conflict. The Controversial Relationship between Benjamin Wills Newton and John Nelson Darby." Foreword by Grayson Carter. Studies in Evangelical History and Thought. Milton Keynes: Paternoster 2004
"Benjamin Wills Newton – Maligned But Magnificent : A Centenary Tribute" by Ian Paisley. Publisher Sovereign Grace Advent Testimony, 1999

External links

Newton's Statement of belief
A Retrospect of Events that have taken place amongst the Brethren, 1848
Biographical History of B.W. Newton from Manchester University Library

Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Benjamin_Wills_Newton&oldid=695060144"

1807 births1899 deathsBiblical scholarsPeople from PlymouthEnglish evangelicalsBritish Plymouth BrethrenPremillennialismFellows of Exeter College, Oxford

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Old 04-05-2016, 06:46 PM   #8
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George Müller

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

George Ferdinand Müller

George Muller.jpg

Johann Georg Ferdinand Müller
27 September 1805
Kroppenstaedt, Kingdom of Prussia (now Kroppenstedt, Germany)

10 March 1898 (aged 92)
Bristol, England


Cathedral Classical School, Halberstadt

Evangelist and missionary, Director of Orphan Houses

Mary Groves (7 Oct 1830 – 6 Feb 1870), Susannah Grace Sanger (30 Nov 1871 – 13 Jan 1894)

Lydia (17 Sep 32 – 10 Jan 90); Elijah (19 Mar 1834 – 26 Jun 1835). Two other children were still-born, 9 Aug 1831 and 12 Jun 1838.

Johann Friedrich Müller (Oct 1768 – 20 Mar 1840), Sophie Eleonore Müller (née Hasse; Apr 1771 – 16 Jan 1820)

George Müller (born Johann Georg Ferdinand Müller, 27 September 1805 – 10 March 1898), a Christian evangelist and Director of the Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England, cared for 10,024[1] orphans in his life.[2] He was well known for providing an education to the children under his care, to the point where he was accused of raising the poor above their natural station in life. He also established 117 schools which offered Christian education to over 120,000 children, many of them being orphans.

[hide] ◾1 Early work
◾2 Orphanages
◾3 Evangelism
◾4 Theology
◾5 Personal life ◾5.1 Youth
◾5.2 A life of prayer

◾6 The George Müller Charitable Trust
◾7 See also
◾8 Notes
◾9 References
◾10 Further reading
◾11 External links

Early work

In 1829, Müller offered to work with Jews in England through the London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews, and arrived in London on 19 March 1829. By mid-May, he fell ill, and did not think that he would survive. He was sent to Teignmouth to recuperate and, whilst there, met Henry Craik, who became his lifelong friend.[3] Müller returned to London in September, but after ten days started to feel unwell again, blaming it on being confined to his house because of his studies. He asked the Society to send him out to preach but received no reply. By the end of November he became doubtful whether the Society was the right place for him and on 12 December made the decision to leave but to wait for a month before writing. Müller returned to Exmouth on 31 December for a short holiday and preached at various meetings whilst there. He wrote to the Society in early January, requesting that they might consider allowing him to remain with them if they would allow him "to labour in regard to time and place as the Lord might direct me". This they refused to do at a meeting on 27 January 1830, communicating this to Müller in writing, and thus bringing to an end his association with the Society. He moved from Exmouth to Teignmouth and preached several times for Craik, which led to a number of the congregation asking him to stay and be the minister of the chapel of Ebenezer Chapel in Shaldon, Devon, on a salary of £55 per annum. On 7 October 1830, he married Mary Groves, the sister of Anthony Norris Groves. At the end of October, he renounced his regular salary, believing that the practice could lead to church members giving out of duty, not desire. He also eliminated the renting of church pews, arguing that it gave unfair prestige to the rich (based primarily on James 2:1–9).[4]

Müller moved to Bristol on 25 May 1832 to begin working at Bethesda Chapel. Along with Henry Craik, he continued preaching there until his death, even while devoted to his other ministries. In 1834, he founded the Scriptural Knowledge Institution for Home and Abroad, with the goal of aiding Christian schools and missionaries; distributing the Bible and Christian tracts; and providing Day-schools, Sunday-schools and Adult-schools, all upon a Scriptural foundation.[5] By the end of February 1835, there were five Day-schools – two for boys and three for girls.[6] Not receiving government support and only accepting unsolicited gifts, this organisation received and disbursed £1,381,171[1] – around £90 million in today's terms[7] – by the time of Müller's death, primarily using the money for supporting the orphanages and distributing about 285,407 Bibles,[1] 1,459,506 New Testaments,[1] and 244,351 other religious texts,[1] which were translated into twenty other languages.[8] The money was also used to support other "faith missionaries" around the world, such as Hudson Taylor.[9] The work continues to this day.


Orphanages at Ashley Down

The work of Müller and his wife with orphans began in 1836 with the preparation of their own rented home at 6 Wilson Street, Bristol for the accommodation of thirty girls. Soon after, three more houses in Wilson Street were furnished,not only for girls but also for boys and younger children, eventually increasing the capacity for children who could be cared for to 130.

In 1845, as growth continued, the neighbours complained about the noise and disruption to the public utilities, so Müller decided that a separate building designed to house 300 children was necessary, and in 1849, at Ashley Down, Bristol, that home opened. The architect commissioned to draw up the plans asked if he might do so gratuitously.[10] By 26 May 1870, 1,722 children were being accommodated in five homes, although there was room for 2,050 (No 1 House – 300, No 2 House – 400, Nos 3, 4 and 5 – 450 each). By the following year, there were 280 orphans in No 1 House, 356 in No 2, 450 in Nos 3 and 4, and 309 in No 5 House.[11]

Through all this, Müller never made requests for financial support, nor did he go into debt, even though the five homes cost over £100,000 to build. Many times, he received unsolicited food donations only hours before they were needed to feed the children, further strengthening his faith in God. For example, on one well-documented occasion, they gave thanks for breakfast when all the children were sitting at the table, even though there was nothing to eat in the house. As they finished praying, the baker knocked on the door with sufficient fresh bread to feed everyone, and the milkman gave them plenty of fresh milk because his cart broke down in front of the orphanage.[12]

receipt form issued by George Müller

Although he never asked any person (only God) for anything, Müller asked those who did support his work to give a name and address in order that a receipt might be given. The receipts were printed with a request that the receipt be kept until the next annual report was issued, in order that the donor might confirm the amount reported with the amount given. The wording in the image reads: "Owing to the great increase of my work, I have found it necessary to authorize two of my assistants (Mr. Lawford and Mr. Wright) to sign receipts for donations, if needful, in my stead.-Donors are requested, kindly to keep the receipts and to compare them with the "Supplement" to the Report, which records every donation received, so that they may be satisfied that their donations have been properly applied.-The "Supplement" is sent with the Report to every Donor who furnishes me with his or her name and address.-I would earnestly request all Donors (even those who feel it right to give anonymously) to put it in my power to acknowledge their donations at the time they come to hand; and should any Donor, after having done this, not receive a printed receipt within a week, they would much oblige me by giving me information at once. This interval must, of course, be extended in the case of Donors who send from places out of the United Kingdom. George Müller". Every single gift was recorded, whether a single farthing, £3,000 or an old teaspoon.[13] Accounting records were scrupulously kept and made available for scrutiny.[14]

Every morning after breakfast there was a time of Bible reading and prayer, and every child was given a Bible upon leaving the orphanage, together with a tin trunk containing two changes of clothing. The children were dressed well and educated – Müller even employed a schools inspector to maintain high standards. In fact, many claimed that nearby factories and mines were unable to obtain enough workers because of his efforts in securing apprenticeships, professional training, and domestic service positions for the children old enough to leave the orphanage.[15]

Dining hall at Ashley Down


On 26 March 1875, at the age of 70 and after the death of his first wife in 1870 and his marriage to Susannah Grace Sanger in 1871, Müller and Susannah began a 17-year period of missionary travel:




26 March 1875 6 July 1875 England
15 August 1875 5 July 1876 England, Scotland and Ireland
16 August 1876 25 June 1877 Switzerland, Germany and Holland
18 August 1877 8 July 1878 Canada and the United States (including a visit to the White House)
5 September 1878 18 June 1879 Switzerland, France, Spain and Italy
27 August 1879 17 June 1880 United States and Canada
15 September 1880 31 May 1881 Canada and the United States
23 August 1881 30 May 1882 Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor, Turkey and Greece
8 August 1882 1 June 1883 Germany, Austria, Hungary, Bohemia, Russia and Poland
26 September 1883 5 June 1884 India
18 August 1884 2 October 1884 England and South Wales
16 May 1885 1 July 1885 England
1 September 1885 3 October 1885 England and Scotland
4 November 1885 13 June 1887 The United States, Australia, China, Japan, the Straits of Malacca, Singapore, Penang, Colombo, France
10 August 1887 11 March 1890 Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Ceylon and India
8 August 1890 May 1892 Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Italy

Müller always expected to pay for their fares and accommodation from the unsolicited gifts given for his own use. However, if someone offered to pay his hotel bill en route, Müller recorded this amount in his accounts.[16]

He travelled over 200,000 miles, an incredible achievement for pre-aviation times. His language abilities allowed him to preach in English, French, and German, and his sermons were translated into the host languages when he was unable to use English, French or German.[17] In 1892, he returned to England, where he died on 10 March 1898 in New Orphan House No 3.


George Müller's tombstone

The theology that guided George Müller's work is not widely known, but was shaped by an experience in his mid twenties when he "came to prize the Bible alone as [his] standard of judgement".

He records in his Narratives that "That the word of God alone is our standard of judgment in spiritual things; that it can be explained only by the Holy Spirit; and that in our day, as well as in former times, he is the teacher of his people. The office of the Holy Spirit I had not experimentally understood before that time. Indeed, of the office of each of the blessed persons, in what is commonly called the Trinity, I had no experimental apprehension. I had not before seen from the Scriptures that the Father chose us before the foundation of the world; that in him that wonderful plan of our redemption originated, and that he also appointed all the means by which it was to be brought about. Further, that the Son, to save us, had fulfilled the law, to satisfy its demands, and with it also the holiness of God; that he had borne the punishment due to our sins, and had thus satisfied the justice of God. And, further, that the Holy Spirit alone can teach us about our state by nature, show us the need of a Saviour, enable us to believe in Christ, explain to us the Scriptures, help us in preaching, etc. It was my beginning to understand this latter point in particular which had a great effect on me; for the Lord enabled me to put it to the test of experience, by laying aside commentaries, and almost every other book, and simply reading the word of God and studying it. The result of this was, that the first evening that I shut myself into my room, to give myself to prayer and meditation over the Scriptures, I learned more in a few hours than I had done during a period of several months previously. But the particular difference was, that I received real strength for my soul in doing so. I now began to try by the test of the Scriptures the things which I had learned and seen, and found that only those principles which stood the test were really of value."[18]

Müller also wrote of how he came to believe in the doctrines of election, particular redemption, and final persevering grace while staying in Teignmouth, Devon in 1829.[19] George Müller was a founding member of the Plymouth Brethren movement. Doctrinal differences arose in the 1840s and Müller was determined to determine the truth by the "infallible standard of the Holy Spirit".[20] At the time, he and Craik were pastors of the Bethesda and Gideon fellowships in Bristol. Membership at Gideon was open to all believers, while only believers who had been baptised could claim full membership of Bethesda, although all believers were welcome at Communion. Müller consulted Robert C Chapman on the issue of accepting unbaptised believers, and Chapman stated that distinction should be made between unbaptised believers who "walked disorderly" and those who lived according to the Bible.[21] Müller and Craik independently contemplated the issue and decided that unbaptised believers, who otherwise lived according to Scriptural principles, should not be denied membership.

Dissension arose at Gideon regarding the presence of unbelievers at Communion and the view held by some that pews were private property, and eventually Müller and Craik withdrew from this fellowship on 19 April 1840,[22] concentrating thereafter on the Bethesda Chapel.[23]

John Nelson Darby and Benjamin Wills Newton became opposed concerning certain matters or doctrine and a discussion was held in Plymouth on 5 December 1845. A document entitled The Principles of Open Brethren stated: "Certain tracts issued by Mr Newton were judged to contain error regarding the nature of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the question arose whether it was sufficient to exclude from fellowship those who held the erroneous teaching, or whether all who belonged to a gathering where the error was tolerated were to be put outside the pale, even if they themselves had not embraced it. One party, led by Mr Darby, took the latter view. Others, in particular the Bethesda Church, in which Messrs Müller and Craik ministered, refused to admit any who were convicted of holding the evil doctrine themselves, but did not exclude those who came from Mr Newton's meeting. The exclusive party thereupon declined to have any further fellowship with members of the Bethesda Church or others like-minded. The latter soon came to received the title of 'Open Brethren'."[24] The more exclusive side of the brethren movement became known as the Exclusive Brethren and was led by Darby.[25] Darby called on Müller in July 1849 to discuss the split, but Müller had many prior engagements and could only receive Darby for 10 minutes. It was impossible to fully discuss the problem in such a short time, and the two men never met again.[26]

Though the pre-tribulational rapture doctrine gained momentum as a result of the literature of the Brethren movement, Müller's church was wary of such teachings. George Müller held to a Post Tribulation Rapture doctrine along with others such as Benjamin Wills Newton and Samuel Prideaux Tregelles,[27] and said that "scripture declares plainly that the Lord Jesus will not come until the Apostasy shall have taken place, and the man of sin shall have been revealed..."[28]

Müller wrote frequently about the stewardship of money and the non-reliance on earthly riches, and how God would bless the man who kept to these principles, and felt that laying his own experiences bare would prove the truth of his claims. His personal income, from unsolicited gifts (he refused any kind of salary) rose from £151 in 1831 to more than £2,000 in 1870. However, he retained only around £300 a year for himself and his family, the rest he gave away.[29]

William Henry Harding said, 'The world, dull of understanding, has even yet not really grasped the mighty principle upon which he [Müller] acted, but is inclined to think of him merely as a nice old gentleman who loved children, a sort of glorified guardian of the poor, who with the passing of the years may safely be spoken of, in the language of newspaper headlines, as a "prophet of philanthropy." To describe him thus, however, is to degrade his memory, is to miss the high spiritual aim and the wonderful spiritual lesson of his life. It is because the carnal mind is incapable of apprehending spiritual truth that the world regards the orphan Houses only with the languid interest of mere humanitarianism, and remains oblivious of their extraordinary witness to the faithfulness of God.'[30]

Personal life

His name is frequently spelt as "Mueller", particularly in the US. Whilst "Mueller" is a possible substitute spelling for "Müller" in German, George Müller never changed his name from the original spelling and always took care to place the two dots over the letter "u" to form the umlaut. When asked by his nephew, Edward Groves, what difference this made to the pronunciation, Müller pronounced his name as though it was spelt "Meller".[31]


Müller was born in Kroppenstaedt (now Kroppenstedt), a village near Halberstadt in the Kingdom of Prussia.[32] In 1810, the Müller family moved to nearby Heimersleben, where Müller's father was appointed a collector of taxes.[33] He had an older brother, Friedrich Johann Wilhelm (1803 – 7 Oct 1838) and, after his widowed father remarried, a half-brother, Franz (b 1822).

His early life was not marked by righteousness – on the contrary, he was a thief, a liar and a gambler. By the age of 10, Müller was stealing government money from his father.[33] While his mother was dying, he, at 14 years of age, was playing cards with friends and drinking.[34][35]

Müller's father hoped to provide him with a religious education that would allow him to take a lucrative position as a clergyman in the state church. He studied divinity in the University of Halle, and there met a fellow student (Beta) who invited him to a Christian prayer meeting. There he was welcomed, and he began regularly reading the Bible and discussing Christianity with the others who attended the meetings. After seeing a man praying to God on his knees, he was convinced of his need for salvation. As soon as he got home he went to his bed where he knelt and prayed. He asked God to help him in his life and to bless him wherever he went and to forgive him of his sins. He immediately stopped drinking, stealing and lying, and began hoping to become a missionary. He began preaching regularly in nearby churches and continued meeting with the other churches.[36]

A life of prayer

Müller prayed about everything and expected each prayer to be answered. One example was when one of the orphan house's boiler stopped working; Müller needed to have it fixed. This was a problem, because the boiler was bricked up and the weather was worsening with each day. So he prayed for two things; firstly that the workers he had hired would have a mind to work throughout the night, and secondly that the weather would let up. On the Tuesday before the work was due to commence, a bitter north wind still blew but in the morning, before the workmen arrived, a southerly wind began to blow and it was so mild that no fires were needed to heat the buildings. That evening, the foreman of the contracted company attended the site to see how he might speed things along, and instructed the men to report back first thing in the morning to make an early resumption of work. The team leader stated that they would prefer to work through the night. The job was done in 30 hours.[37]

In 1862, it was discovered that one of the drains was blocked. Being some 11 feet underground, workmen were unable to find the blockage despite several attempts. Müller prayed about the situation and the workmen at once found the site of the problem.[38][39]

Strong gales in Bristol on Saturday 14 January 1865 caused considerable damage in the area and over twenty holes were opened in the roofs. Around 20 windows were also broken and two frames damaged by falling slates. The glazier and slater normally employed had already committed their staff to other work so nothing could be done until the Monday. Had the winds continued, with heavy rain, the damage to the orphanage would have been much greater. After much prayer, the wind stopped in the afternoon and no rain fell until Wednesday, by which time most of the damage had been repaired.[40]

Once, while crossing the Atlantic on the SS Sardinian in August 1877, his ship ran into thick fog. He explained to the captain that he needed to be in Quebec by the following afternoon, but Captain Joseph E. Dutton (later known as "Holy Joe") said that he was slowing the ship down for safety and Müller's appointment would have to be missed. Müller asked to use the chartroom to pray for the lifting of the fog. The captain followed him down, claiming it would be a waste of time. After Müller prayed, the captain started to pray, but Müller stopped him; partly because of the captain's unbelief, but mainly because he believed the prayer had already been answered. When the two men went back to the bridge, they found the fog had lifted. The captain became a Christian shortly afterwards.[41]

Müller's faith in God strengthened day by day and he spent hours in daily prayer and Bible reading. Indeed, it was his practice, in later years, to read through the entire Bible four times a year.[42]

The George Müller Charitable Trust

After his life, his work was continued by The George Müller Foundation, which was renamed The George Müller Charitable Trust on 1 March 2009. The Trust maintains the key principle of seeking money through prayer alone – it actively shuns fund-raising activities. The charity works together with local churches in the Bristol area to enable them to reach out and care for their communities, especially children, young people and families with physical, emotional, social or spiritual needs; and encourages giving to support mission, social care, relief and development work across the world.[43] From 1986 to September 2010, it also provided residential care for the elderly in Tilsley House, Weston-super-Mare. The Trust continued to maintain a sheltered accommodation unit for the elderly in Tranquil House, next-door to Tilsley House, until it was closed in 2012.

A small museum is maintained by the Trust at its headquarters in Cotham Park, Bristol. Records of all children who passed through the orphanage are held and may be inspected by relatives for a modest fee.[44]

See also
◾The Open Brethren
◾Arthur Tappan Pierson, Muller's biographer and friend


1. Müller (2004), p. 693
2. Pierson (1899), p. 301.
3. Steer, p. 24
4. Müller (2003), p. 54
5. Harding, p 79
6. Harding, p82
7. "Currency converter" (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/currency/). The National Archives. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
8. Harding, p 269
9. "A Brief Narrative of Facts Relating to The Ashley Down Orphanage (The Annual Report) 1931-32 p 5
10. Steer, p. 98-101
11. Müller (2003), p. 354
12. Steer, p. 131
13. Harding, p88
14. George Müller Charitable Trust Annual Reports 1834 – present
15. Steer, p. 140, 152–3
16. Garton pp126-148
17. Garton, pp126-148
18. Müller (2003), pp 39–40
19. Müller (2003), p.40
20. Harding, p117
21. Harding, p 117-8
22. Müller (2003), p 224
23. Harding, p 119
24. Harding, p 123-4
25. Collingwood, WilliamO (August 1899). "The "Brethren"" (http://www.bruederbewegung.de/pdf/collingwood.pdf) (PDF). The Bible and Tract Depot. p. 8. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
26. Harding, p 124
27. Cordner, Michael. "The Rapture of the Church" (http://www.ntslibrary.com/Online-Lib...the-Church.htm). Online Library. Northwestern Theological Seminary. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
28. Mueller, Susannah Grace (1883). Preaching tours and missionary labours of George Mueller. p. 148.
29. Garton, pp88-89
30. Harding, p 3
31. Groves, p. xi
32. Our Own Correspondent (22 December 1868). "George Muller; The New Orphan Houses of Bristol" (http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive...B4678383679FDE). The New York Times (New York: New York Times Archive). Retrieved 27 June 2010.
33. Müller (1984), p. 31
34. Müller (2004), p.2
35. Müller (2003), p. 10
36. Müller (2003), p. 23-24
37. Steer, p. 124-6
38. Ellis, James J (1912). George Muller – The Man who Trusted God. Pickering & Inglis, 14 Paternoster Row, London EC4. p. 49.
39. 24th Annual Report, 1863, page 8
40. Annual Report, 1865 page 7
41. Steer, p. 177
42. Warne, Frederick G (1898). George Müller: the modern apostle of faith. Fleming H. Revell. p. 230.
43. Steer, p. 249-252
44. Steer, p. 253

◾Garton, Nancy (1992). George Müller and his Orphans. Bath: Chivers Press. ISBN 0-7451-1675-2.
◾Groves, Edward Kennaway (1906). George Müller and His Successors.
◾Harding, William Henry (1914). The Life of George Müller. London/Edinburgh: Oliphants.
◾Müller, George (2004). Autobiography of George Müller: A Million and a Half in Answer to Prayer. Vestavia Hills, AL: Solid Ground Christian Books. ISBN 0-9647552-0-3.
◾——— (1984). Autobiography of George Müller: the life of trust. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House. ISBN 0-8010-6105-9.
◾——— (2003). A narrative of some of the Lord's dealings with George Müller Volume 1. Spring Lake, MI: Dust & Ashes Publications. ISBN 0-9705439-6-4.
◾Pierson, Arthur Tappan (1899). George Müller of Bristol. London: James Nisbet & Co.
◾Steer, Roger (1997). George Müller: Delighted in God. Tain, Rosshire: Christian Focus. ISBN 978-1-85792-340-7.

Further reading
◾Benge, Geoff and Benge, Janet (1999). George Muller: The Guardian of Bristol's Orphans (http://www.ywampublishing.com/p-213-...s-orphans.aspx). YWAM Publishing. ISBN 1-57658-145-4.
◾Coad, Roy, A History of the Brethren Movement, 2nd ed. Exeter: Paternoster Press, 1976.
◾Cross, F l; Livingstone, E A, ed. (1997). The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-211655-0.
◾Ellis, James J (1912). George Müller. London: Pickering & Inglis.
◾Groves, Anthony Norris (2008). On the Nature of Christian Influence (An Abridgement) (http://silicabiblechapel.com/uploads..._influence.pdf) (PDF). A book originally written in 1833 by the brother-in-law of George Muller.
◾Larsen, Timothy, ed. (2003). Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals. Downers-Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press. ISBN 978-0-8308-2925-5.
◾Müller, George; Brunel, Ida (2008). George Müller – Sa vie et son oeuvre (1805–1898) Le miracle de Bristol (in French). Trois-Rivières, Québec: Saone. ISBN 978-2-89082-114-9.

External links

Wikiquote has quotations related to: George Müller

Wikimedia Commons has media related to George Müller (evangelist).

◾Russell Boulter (actor), Crawford Telfer (director) (2006). Robber of the Cruel Streets – The Prayerful Life of George Muller (http://www.christiancinema.com/catal...oducts_id=1598) (Anamorphic, Widescreen, PAL (region-free)) (DVD). Clevedon, Somerset, UK: Christian Television Association.

◾Works by George Müller (http://www.gutenberg.org/author/Müller,+George) at Project Gutenberg
◾Works by or about George Müller (https://archive.org/search.php?query...pe:software%29) at Internet Archive
◾Works by George Müller (http://librivox.org/author/1550) at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
◾The George Müller Charitable Trust (http://www.mullers.org/)
◾Mueller Resources at Christian Biography Resources (http://www.wholesomewords.org/biogra...rpmueller.html)
◾George Mueller's Strategy for Showing God (http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceL...r_Showing_God/) (lecture by John Piper on 3 Feb 2004)
◾Bristol Suburbs Photo Album (http://www.about-bristol.co.uk/) – including pictures from the Orphanage at Ashley Downs (http://www.about-bristol.co.uk/ash-01.asp)
◾The Church under attack : George Müller & Bethesda Chapel, Bristol (http://www.concernedbrothers.com/Wor...der_Attack.pdf)
◾ Texts on Wikisource: ◾"Müller, George". The American Cyclopædia. 1879.
◾Johnstone, Thomas Boston (1901). "Müller, George". In Sidney Lee. Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement​. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
◾"Müller, Georg Friedrich". New International Encyclopedia. 1905.
◾"Müller, George". The Nuttall Encyclopædia. 1907.
◾"Müller, George". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911.
◾"Müller, Georg Friedrich". Encyclopedia Americana. 1920.

http://www.georgemuller.blogspot.com/ George Muller – A Man Who Simply Trusted God

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Old 07-04-2016, 07:29 PM   #9
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 297

STEM Publishing: William Kelly: The Rapture of the Saints:
The Rapture of the Saints:
who suggested it, or rather on what Scripture?
W. Kelly.

The Bible Treasury, New Series, vol. 4, p. 314-318
(Also published by T. Weston 1903.)

When a bitter adversary of the Christian's heavenly hope sought many years ago to stigmatise it as having a foul and even Satanic origin. there were questions, in which he was compromised, too serious for any who weighed their import to notice so unworthy an insinuation. It is much to be doubted that the late Mr. J. N. Darby saw or heard of it; nor did I ever meet with it till lately, long after its dispersion far and wide. A recent American journal brought it first under my notice; but the idea was probably derived, directly or indirectly, from that source. I quote from a "little booklet" written with no small warmth on our side of the Atlantic by a clergyman. This one could appreciate if Christ's person or work were assailed; but is it not extravagant, if not unaccountable, in such a question where all agree in the general truth?
"I am not aware that there was any definite teaching (i.e. in the early days of the Plymouth movement) that there would be a secret rapture of the saints at a secret coming, until this was given forth as an utterance in Mr. Irving's church, from what was there received as being the voice of the Spirit. But whether anyone ever asserted such a thing or not, it was from that supposed revelation that the modern doctrine and the modern phraseology respecting it arose. It came not from holy scripture. but from that which falsely pretended to be the Spirit of God; whilst not holding the true doctrine of our Lord's incarnation in the same flesh and blood of His brethren, but without taint of sin."
What must one think of a polemic who would extract an envenomed shaft to injure, if he could, the apostle Paul's preaching and teaching of "salvation", from the utterance at Philippi of the maiden with a spirit of Python? "These men are servants of the Most High God that announce to you the way of salvation." The then instrument of Satan was not so openly hostile as the slanderer of J.N.D, On the contrary the enemy adopted the craftier policy of commending the apostolic testimony. But Paul, distressed by it (for it went on for many days), turned at length, and in the name of Jesus expelled the unclean spirit, disdaining such an ally. The spirit's talk of "the way of salvation", however, did not hinder Paul or his companions from proclaiming "so great salvation", which, having been spoken by our Lord, was confirmed by those who heard, God also bearing witness with them. Argue, as adversaries might, from the fact that the apostle never wrote a word on the way of salvation before the evil spirit proclaimed this as his errand, he was not to be driven from the truth by the wiles of the devil; and woe would surely be to such as availed themselves of that craft to turn away from the glad tidings of God.
But let us turn from surmise to such facts as exist; for both assailed and assailant are departed. Though Mr. D., in general used to say little of himself, he does speak, in two pieces which appear in his Collected Writings, of the way in which light dawned on his heart as to the future according to the scriptures. The first bore on the change in the divine dealings with men at the end of this age. "But I must, though without comment, direct attention to chap. 32 of the same prophet (Isaiah 32) which I do the rather, because in this it was the Lord was pleased, without man's teaching, first to open my eyes on this subject, that I might learn His will concerning it throughout — not by the first blessed truths stated in it, but the latter part, when there shall be a complete change in the dispensation, the wilderness becoming the fruitful field of God's fruit and glory, and that which had been so being counted a forest, at a time when the Lord's judgments should come down, even great hail, upon this forest; and the city even of pride be utterly abased" (Proph. 1, pp. 165, 166).
Of that light which later shone on the heavenly side of the Lord's coming he speaks rather differently. "It is this passage which, twenty years ago [i.e. from 1850 when he then wrote], made me understand the rapture of the saints before — perhaps a considerable time before — the day of the Lord (that is, before the judgment of the living.)" The difference is this, that he expressly excludes "man's teaching" in the first case, which he does not even imply in the second. There he simply says that it was 2 Thess. 2:1, 2, which made him understand the rapture of the saints to be before the day of the Lord, but not a word about the Lord pleased to open his eyes in the same way: how he does not say, as there was no call for it in his criticism of M. Gaussen on Daniel the Prophet.
Now it so happens that, during a visit to Plymouth in the summer of 1845, Mr. B. W. Newton told me that, many years before, Mr. Darby wrote to him a letter in which he said that a suggestion was made to him by Mr. T. Tweedy (a spiritual man and most devoted ex-clergyman among the Irish brethren), which to his mind quite cleared up the difficulty previously felt on this very question. No one was farther from lending an ear to the impious and profane voices of the quasi-inspired Irvingites than Mr. T., unless indeed it were J.N.D. himself who had closely investigated their pretensions and judged their peculiar heterodoxy on Christ's humanity as anti-christian and blasphemous. As to this anyone may satisfy himself by the Collected Writings XV, the first two articles of Doct. 4, with strictures in six other volumes, to which may be added, in a new edition, a longer paper that has been discovered since.


(This is only a part of the entire answer of Mr. W. Kelly. For those interested they can click the link)
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Old 07-23-2016, 02:21 AM   #10
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One extraordinary fact about the Brethren was the multitude of their publications. Anyone of them could publish his own study of the Scriptures. The difference with the One Publication policy in the Lord's Recovery and the Brethren practice could not be more striking.

One of the most enduring publication was the Synopsis of the book of the Bible.
I like what Darby writes in its Preface.

“A few words only are needed to introduce the reader to the present publication. He is not to expect a commentary, nor, on the other hand, to suppose that he has a book which he can read without referring continually to the word itself in the part treated of. The object of the book is to help a Christian, desirous of reading the word of God with profit, in seizing the scope and connection of that which it contains. God has given to the commentator to understand in the main the intention of the Spirit of God, or to furnish philological principles and information, which facilitate to another the discovery of that intention; yet if it pretend to give the contents of scripture, or if he who uses it seeks these in its remarks, such commentary can only mislead and impoverish the soul. A commentary, even if always right, can at most give what the commentator has himself learned from the passage. The fullest and wisest must be very far indeed from the living fullness of the divine word. The Synopsis now presented has no pretension of the kind. Deeply convinced of the divine inspiration of the scriptures, given to us of God, and confirmed in this conviction by daily and growing discoveries of their fullness, depth, and perfectness; ever more sensible, through grace, of the admirable perfection of the parts, and the wonderful connection of the whole, the writer only hopes to help the reader in the study of them... What the reader is to expect, consequently, in this Synopsis, is nothing more than an attempt to help him in studying scripture for himself. All that would turn him aside from this would be mischievous to him; what helps him in it may be useful. He cannot even profit much by the following pages otherwise than in using them as an accompaniment to the study of the text itself. ”

Here again, the difference between this Preface and the the one in the New Testament Recovery version is self evident.

As much as I love Darby and the Brethren (and all those who have been used by God throughout the entire Church history) I have personally met with very few of them. I remember with gratitude and commotion an old farmer and his little assembly. I tank God that among all the saints He has allowed me to have fellowship with in my Christian path I had the privilege to spend many hours with this truly man of God. His love for God, men, and the Scriptures was something I will remember until I live. I loved to visit him and just sit and listen to whatever he had to say. Though I have met many saints in the LC, I remember for example the humble and kind spirit of John So, only one touched my heart so deeply as that old farmer. That brother belonged to an “Open” Brethren assembly.
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Old 08-16-2016, 05:41 AM   #11
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The year 1848 saw the separation of the Brethren assemblies in what later became known as “Open Brethren” and “Exclusive Brethren”. I'll dedicate some posts to this infamous incident but before that I would like to spend this post and probably others on an article written by Dr. Nigel Tomes, THE CHURCH UNDER ATTACK

After a brief appraisal of the Brethren movement (trough the “mouth” of W. N.) Dr. N. T. (NT, a nice acronym ) asks some questions.

“Implications for today’s recovery are suggested, including the following:
1 · Are groups practicing ‘Quarantine’ destined to stagnate and decline?
2 · Can ‘organic’ be worse than organization?
3 · United leadership is a stabilizing factor during turmoil
4 · Does the ‘local ground’ prevent division?
5 · Should Muller have submitted to Darby as the ‘Minister of the Age’?
6 · The local churches—a ‘loose affiliation’ OR a ‘tight confederation’?”

It seems that the answers to these implications, according to N. T. should be: 1. Yes, 2. Yes, 4. No, 5. No, 6. “lose affiliation”.

To answer the first question more data is required. To try to answer this question based only on what happened in the 1848 among a small group called the Brethren is like figuring out, for example, the average life expectancy of the people of the entire World by considering only as a sample the people of Haiti (that would be 61.5 years for males). If we consider the Roman Catholic Church and the excommunications “administered” throughout the many centuries of its existence, it seems that she is doing pretty well with over a billion members and churches all over the world.

According to Dr. N. T. the “Open Brethren” enjoyed more growth than their “cousins”. Around the 1960 there were roughly 2 Open Assemblies for 1 Exclusive Assemblies, in England and Wales (how about the rest of the World?). Dr. N. T. says, “The Bristol congregation grew steadily—to 900 by1866 and 1200 by 1885.” Wow!

One thing stirred my curiosity, what happened to the Bethesda Chapel? Is it still around today?
“By 1887, four assemblies were part of the United Bethesda Church:
Bethesda, Great George Street
Clifton Bethesda, Alma Road
Stokes Croft Chapel
Totterdown Gospel Hall” http://www.zetlandchurch.org.uk/about-us/our-history/

Bethesda, Great George Street, was bombed and destroyed during the WWII. “Alma Church, Bristol is part of the Evangelical Alliance. The congregation is about 100 people - small enough to be able to make friends and get involved easily and large enough to have plenty of exciting things going on!” http://www.almachurch.co.uk/alma%20c...20history.html
Stokes Croft Chapel (“The Croft, as it was known, soon became the largest of the assemblies and, by the early 1900s, it had a fellowship of more than 400 believers.” http://www.zetlandchurch.org.uk/about-us/our-history/) was destroyed during WWII. In 1957 the members finally moved into the Zetland Hall (at that time there were 400 people present. In 57 years no increase???)
“Zetland Evangelical Church, as Zetland Hall is now called, is no longer a Brethren assembly. It is now an independent church that is committed to the Reformed, Evangelical faith. It still holds to many of the ideals of Müller and Craik.” http://www.zetlandchurch.org.uk/about-us/our-history/

“Nowadays the Gospel Hall, on Bellevue Road, is used for religious meetings by a Christian Asian congregation; but its founding is strongly linked to the work of George Muller, ‘the founder of British orphanages’, the Prussian-born philanthropist who set up the Muller Orphanage on Ashley Hill.”https://sites.google.com/site/totter...rian-buildings
Very interesting informations regarding Gospel Halls can be found at http://www.gospelhall.org/index.php?...=article&id=17

I am still looking for more information about the history of what was called Bethesda Chapel and its other “daughters” churches. So far the story is not as rosy as it has been painted by Dr. N. T.

It is another sad story.
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Old 08-22-2016, 10:39 PM   #12
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In the last post I said the Roman Catholic Church was doing well. Taking centuries as the context maybe it is true. If we consider the last 50 years, it is not doing well. Actually many denominations have seen a decline in “churches” and membership.

Dr. N. T. writes, “The Open Brethren exhibited growth well into the 20th century. In contrast, the number of
Exclusive Brethren meetings stopped growing soon after Darby’s death in 1882....For the main Exclusive group the number of meetings remained
roughly constant for the 20-years after Darby’s decease (1884-1906.)” (p.4)

This assertion is not supported by Roger N. Shuff, quoted a few times by Dr. N. T., who affirms “Before the division a Brethren writer claimed that there were about
750 meetings in the UK. The meetings list for 1882 shows this had dropped
after the division by only nine per cent to 686 in Great Britain.38 More
significant is that by 1903 seven per cent growth had made up much of the lost
ground, with 731 meetings listed.” 1

In any case, Dr. N. T. was trying to draw a parallel only between Exclusive and Open Brethren and the LSM churches (or the churches in the Lord's Recovery) and the church in Cleveland. So the real question is, How is the church in Cleveland doing? Is it growing? Are the churches associated with LSM declining in number?

1.Roger Shuff, “From Open to Closed: The Growth of Exclusivism Among the Brethren in Britain 1848-1953 p. 15
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Old 08-24-2016, 08:47 PM   #13
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Why the Different Patterns?
The Open and Exclusive Brethren branches share much in common. Both stood apart from
“organized Christianity” and denounced the clergy-laity system. On the positive side, both are
fundamental, emphasizing Bible teaching and the Lord’s Table. The divergent patterns of growth must
be explained by their distinctive emphases. Open Brethren emphasize the local administration of each
assembly. They reject all forms of centralized Church government. In contrast, the Exclusives stress the
coordinated action of assemblies expressing the universal Church (‘the Body’).(Dr. Nigel Tomes, THE CHURCH UNDER ATTACK

According to Dr. N.T. the decline of the Exclusives had to do with their stress on “the
coordinated action of assemblies expressing the universal Church (‘the Body’)”.
He also mentions the “global leadership”, and the fact that the Exclusives became more closed.
Later in asking, Does the “local ground” Prevent Division?, in quoting Nee he concludes saying, “The ground of locality teaching alone is not a ‘silver bullet’ dealing with division. The root cause, the flesh, needs to be dealt with.” (p. 6). I am surprised that in analyzing the different patterns he only stressed the different “systems”.

If believers (and not) use the wright principles but do not preach the gospel they will not see much growth. On the other hand if groups with wrong principles (I am not writing about Open Brethren) preach the gospel they will increase (consider the Jehowah Witness and the Mormom, for example).

Using Dr. N. T. words, “the decentralized structure of locally-administered ‘Open’ assemblies” alone is not a “silver bullet” dealing with growth.
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Old 08-29-2016, 10:02 PM   #14
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dot the i's and cross the t's

“Brethren History—Relevance & Applications for today
The Lord’s recovery inherited elements from the Plymouth Brethren. “It has taken from the
Brethren most of its beliefs, organization and practices,” says Gordon Melton.28 They, like us, stand apart from “organized Christianity.” We both declare the Bible is our unique standard for the churchlife. W. Nee absorbed much Brethren teaching. W. Lee met with the Brethren for over 7 years. The local churches in mainland China adopted many Brethren practices. Moreover, the fact that, for a few years (1932-5), the Taylor Exclusive Brethren received W. Nee and 90 local churches into their fellowship29 shows their commonality. Certainly there are significant differences between the local churches and the Brethren. [We are not claiming an identity, nor are we advocating the carte blanche adoption of either the ‘Open’ or “Exclusive’ model.] Yet we ask, given the resemblance, what can Plymouth Brethren history teach us today?” (Dr. Nigel Tomes, THE CHURCH UNDER ATTACK

Dr. N.T. points out how the LR “inherited elements from the Plymouth Brethren” (that means Exclusive Brethren). So it seems that both Nee and Lee were influenced by the Plymouth or Exclusive Brethren. Let's hear it from W. Lee himself to witch group he was associated.

“I was associated with the Benjamin Newton group for seven and a half years during which time I learned all their teachings.” (Life-Study of Revelation, Chapter 5, Section 1)

Witness Lee was not really fond of Darby. I remember, watching a video, where W. Lee asked the audience, “Don't you think that my interpretation of the Bible is better than Darby's?”)
In any case, it is important to know from where W. Lee came from. It might share some light on W. Lee view concerning the the church and the kingdom of the heavens being synonym terms, and the ugly interpretation on Christ becoming sin.

Dr. N. T. in footnote 26 writes, A contemporary of Darby & Newton said,
“Had Newton accorded with Mr. Darby on Prophecy wrote [S. P.] Tregelles, we should never have heard his voice raised against him [Newton] as to Ministry or Church Order; his [Newton’s] writings would not have been scrutinized with severity, in order to glean matters of accusation.” Quoted by Coad, “Prophetic Developments with particular reference to the early Brethren Movement.” F. Roy Coad, p. 24 (1966)

Presenting S.P. Tregelles as a simple contemporary of Darby and Newton is too simple. It is like to present, in the year 2116, Obama as a contemporary of H. Clinton and D. Trump.
S. P. Tregelles was a great, great, scholar. “During 1846 Tregelles settled in Plymouth and became associated with the Brethren. “Tregelles was the cousin of Benjamin Wills Newton’s first wife, and he defended Newton in the controversies of the time. Like Newton he diverged from the Brethren
after the 1847 rift. He continued to live in Plymouth.” (The Fry Collection relating to Benjamin Wills Newton, S.P. Tregelles, F.W. Wyatt and A.C. Fry). In the Fry Collection held at The University of Manchester, John Rylands University Library, there are some letters that S.P. Tregelles addressed to his “cousin” B. W. Newton (Reference code: CBA 7181(21)
Dates of creation: 11 Oct 1860
Extent: 5 pages
Scope and Content
From S.P. Tregelles to his "cousin" [B.W. Newton]: thanking him for
correcting proof-sheets; referring to plan of printing the Sinai MS.;
requesting that Newton write to Lord Shaftsbury; order placed for
Tischendorf's book; wish to obtain facsimile edition so as to make a
collation for an appendix to his Greek Testament; commenting on the
Edinburgh society; situation in Spain; [answering question] on
divisions in Alexander's Empire.
Dated at Plymouth.)

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Old 09-15-2016, 01:52 AM   #15
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Before considering another issue with Dr. Nigel Tomes article, I would like to post (in 3-4 parts) an article on Primary Sources.

Medieval Sourcebook:
Why Study History Through Primary Sources

[Adapted from James Harvey Robinson, "The Historical point of View", in Readings in European History, Vol I, (Boston: Ginn, 1904), 1-13 ]

The Sources of History

It is clear that all our information in regard to past events and conditions must be derived from evidence of some kind. This evidence is called the source. Sometimes there are a number of good and reliable sources for an event, as, for example, for the decapitation of King Charles I of England in 1649, or for the march of Napoleon into Russia. Sometimes there is but a single, unreliable source, as, for instance, in the case of the burial of King Alaric in a river bed. For a great many important matters about which we should like to know there are, unfortunately, no written sources at all, and we can only guess how things were. For example, we do not know what the Germans were doing before Julius Caesar came into contact with them and took the trouble to give a brief account of them. We can learn but little about the bishops of Rome (or popes) before the time of the Emperor Constantine for few references to them have come down to us. Few, however, of those who read and study history ever come into contact with the primary, or first*hand sources; they get their information at second hand. is much more convenient to read what the modern historian Edward Gibbon has say of Constantine than to refer to Eusebius, Eutropius and other ancient writers from whom he gained knowledge. Moreover, Gibbon carefully studied and compared all the primary sources, and it may be urged that he has given a truer, fuller, and more attractive account of the period than can be found in any one of them. His Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is certainly a work of the highest rank; but, nevertheless, it is only report of others' reports. It is therefore not a primary but a secondary source.

This text is part of the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.
Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the document is copyright. Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. No permission is granted for commercial use.
© Paul Halsall January 1998
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Old 09-18-2016, 06:12 PM   #16
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The Problem of Secondhand Knowledge

Most of the historical knowledge current among is not, however, derived from even secondary source such as Gibbon and similar authoritative writers, comes from the reading of textbooks, encyclopedia stories, dramas, and magazine articles. Popular manual and articles are commonly written by those who know little or nothing of the primary sources; they are consequently at least third hand, even when based upon the best secondary accounts. As a matter of fact, they usually patched together from older manuals and articles and may be four, five, or six removes from the original source of knowledge. It is well known that the oftener a report passes from mouth to mouth the less trustworthy and accurate does it tend to become. Unimportant details which appeal to the imagination will be magnified, while fundamental considerations are easily forgotten, if they happen be prosaic and commonplace. Historians, like other people, are sometimes fond of good stories and may be led astray by some false rumor which, once started into circulation, gets farther and farther from the truth with each repetition. For example, a distinguished historian of the Church, Cardinal Baronius, writing about 1600, made the statement, upon very insufficient evidence, that, as the year 1000 approached, the people of Europe generally believed that the world was about to come to an end. Robertson, a very popular Scotch historian of the eighteenth century, repeated the statement and went on to describe the terrible panic which seized upon sinful men as the awful year drew on. Succeeding writers, including some very distinguished ones, accepted and even elaborated Robertson's account. About thirty years ago, however, a French scholar pointed out that there was really no adequate basis for this strange tale. To the chroniclers of the time the year 1000 was clearly no more portentous than 997 or 1003. This story of the panic, which passed current as historical fact for some three hundred years, offers an excellent illustration of the danger of relying upon secondary sources. [note (1998): In this case historical revisionism has come full circle - there are now a number of historians who do think the year 1000 was of some cultural importance.]

This text is part of the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.
Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the document is copyright. Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. No permission is granted for commercial use.
© Paul Halsall January 1998
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Old 09-29-2016, 04:43 AM   #17
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Questions to Ask about a Historical Work
One of the first questions then to ask upon taking up an historical work is, Where did the writer obtain the information? Has the writer simply copied his statements from the more easily accessible works in a familiar language, however unreliable and out of date they may be; or, dissatisfied with such uncertain sources, has the writer become familiar with the most recent researches of the distinguished scholars in the field, in whatever language they may have been written ; or, still better, has the historian made a personal study of the original evidence which has come down to us of the events and conditions which are under discussion? For example, a little book or essay on Charlemagne might be written after reading Hodgkin's Charles the Great, West's Alcuin, and one or two other easily accessible books on the subject. On the other hand, the writer might turn to the great French and German treatises Charlemagne's reign and become acquainted with all articles which have appeared on the subject in historical journals or in the transactions of learned societies. Every conscientious historian would wish, however, to go still farther and directly see the evidence and draw personal conclusions. A good historian would turn to the sources themselves and carefully read the Annals of the Monastery of Lorsch, the life of Charlemagne by his secretary, Einhard, and the so*called Annals of Einhard. Such a research would also scrutinize all the numerous laws passed in Charlemagne's reign and consult all the writers of the time who refer to the emperor or to public events. In this way mastery would be gained of all that the past has handed down to us upon this subject and all that is to be known about the matter. The most reliable historians, therefore, are ones who examines the sources for themselves, but who at the same time take advantage of the suggestions, criticisms, and explanations which have been made by other scholars who have also studied the original documents.

Source: James Harvey Robinson, ed., Readings in European History: Vol. I: (Boston:: Ginn and co., 1904), 1-13.

This text is part of the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.
Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the document is copyright. Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. No permission is granted for commercial use.
© Paul Halsall January 1998
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Old 10-02-2016, 08:05 PM   #18
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The Necessity of Using Primary Sources
No improvement in the methods of historical instruction in our high schools and colleges bids fair to produce better results than the plan of bringing the student into contact with the first*hand accounts of events, or, as they are technically termed, the primary sources. This term may perhaps call up in the minds of some the vision of a solitary stoop*shouldered, spectacled enthusiast, engaged in painfully deciphering obscure Latin abbreviations on yellow parchment. But it is a mistake to conclude that the primary sources are always difficult to get at, dull, and hard to read. On the contrary, they are sometimes ready to hand, and are often more vivid and entertaining than even the most striking descriptions by the pen of gifted writers like Gibbon or Macaulay. The best secondary authorities stand to the sources somewhat as the description of a work of art or of a masterpiece of literature stands to the original. Just as we cannot afford to ignore the picture itself, or the great poem or drama, and confine ourselves to some one else's account of it, so in our historical work we ought to grasp every opportunity of examining for ourselves the foundations upon which history rests. It may, of course, be urged that the trained historians, after acquainting themselves with the people and the circumstances of a particular period, can make better use of the sources than any relatively unskilled student. But, admitting the force of this argument, there is, nevertheless, so much to be learned from a study of the original accounts that cannot be reproduced by the most skilled hand, that no earnest student or reader should be content with second*hand descriptions when primary sources are available. The sources are unconsciously molded by the spirit of the time in which they were written. Every line gives some hint of the period in which the author lived and makes an impression upon us which volumes of second*hand accounts can never produce. The mere information, too, comes to us in a form which we do not easily forget. The facts sink into our memory. One who actually talked with Attila, or who witnessed the capture of Jerusalem by the crusaders, is clearly more likely to excite our interest than a writer of our own day, however much the modern may know of the king of the Huns or of the first crusade. It makes no great impression upon us to be told that the scholars of Dante's time had begun to be interested once more in the ancient learning of the Greeks and Romans; but no one can for get Dante's own poetic account of his kindly reception in the lower regions by the august representatives of pagan literature, * Homer, Horace, Ovid, and Lucan, * people "with eyes slow and grave, of great authority in their looks," who "spake seldom and with soft voices." Moreover, the study of the sources enables us to some extent to form our own opinions of the past, so that we need not rely entirely upon mere manuals, which are always one, and generally two or three, removes from the sources themselves. When we get at the sources themselves we no longer merely read and memorize; we begin to consider what may be safely inferred from the statements before us and so. develop the all*important faculty of criticism. We are not simply accumulating facts but are attempting to determine their true nature and meaning. The power to do this is not alone necessary to scholarly work; it is of the utmost importance as well in dealing with the affairs of everyday life. To take a single illustration : one cannot fail to see from a study the sources that Luther was exceedingly unfair to his enemies and ascribed their conduct to evil motives when they were acting quite consistently and according to what they considered the truth. His opponents, on the other hand, treated him with equal unfairness and proclaimed him a wicked and profligate man because he refused to accept their views. We meet precisely the same unfairness nowadays, as, for instance, in the case of a municipal election, where each party speaks only evil of the other. It is, however, not so hard to look impartially at the motives and conduct of people who lived long ago as it is to be fair-minded in matters which interest us personally very deeply. By cultivating sympathy and impartiality in dealing with the past we may hope to reach a point where we can view the present coolly and temperately. In this way really thoughtful, historical study serves to develop the very fundamental virtues of sympathy, fairness, and caution in forming our judgments.

Source: James Harvey Robinson, ed., Readings in European History: Vol. I: (Boston:: Ginn and co., 1904), 1-13.

This text is part of the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.
Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the document is copyright. Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. No permission is granted for commercial use.
© Paul Halsall January 1998
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Old 10-10-2016, 08:16 PM   #19
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In reading Dr. Nigel Tomes article, it is impossible not to notice how the author has portrait J. N. Darby: dark, negative, malignant, furious, unkind, scheming, authoritarian, etc.. On the other side, the person of B. Newton appears innocent (though in footnote 9, he admits that B. Newton had fallen into heresy, but he readily adds that also Darby fell into the similar heresy 12 years later. I'll discuss this point in a future post. D.V.).

When he has to describe Darby, Dr. N. T. relies heavily, or actually exclusively, on Darby's critics, while on the other hand he quotes from Newton's “cousin”, Tregelles, to support his (Newton) cause, and the testimony of a sister, who was associated with Mueller, to describe how G. Mueller (about whom no one questioned his saintly attitude) behaved during the “storm”.

It seems that J.N. Darby didn't deserve any good words whatsoever. We understand that in the polemic nature of Dr. N. Tomes article there is little space for a fair treatment of Darby's person., and that to rely on second hand sources is time saving. Not that quoting from second hand witnesses is per se bad, but why take into account only this kind of “witnesses” (after all they were not living at the time when these events took place)? So Dr. Tomes is happy to present to his readers the opinions, about Darby and the Bethesda Chapel, of critics of Darby, especially those of F. Roy Coad, whom belonged to the Open Brethren.

What if a man by reading a book concerning Jesus, written by enemy of Christianity, and without reading the New Testament believed the negative propositions of infidels? To me it seems that those who speak negatively about Darby have read very little by him and have drank freely only from those who opposed him, for one reason or another.
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