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Robert roberts Robert roberts Presentation Transcript

  • The Life of Brother Robert Roberts
    Laindon Bible Class
    8th December 2010
  • Portly form
    Florid complexion
    Red & straggling beard & moustache
    Dark hair, oiled and brushed back
    Deep set penetrating eyes
    Short sighted
    Source: Islip Collyer
    Robert Roberts
    Bro Robert Roberts
    2
  • Victoria’s third year of reign
    Development of photography
    Tea first arrived in Britain
    Charles Darwin elected member of Royal Society
    First baseball game in America
    Belgium becomes an independent Kingdom
    British capture Hong Kong from Chinese
    Prussia limits the working week of children to 51 hours
    Bro Robert Roberts
    3
    The year 1839
  • Born: Link Street, Aberdeen, Scotland on 8th April 1839
    Father was a seaman, later became captain of a small coastal vessel, often away from home
    Mother had been educated in London and came to Aberdeen as a school teacher after father’s death
    When mother married, raised a large family with little money
    Mother was religious and applied ‘wholesome discipline’
    Bro Robert Roberts
    4
    His place of birth
  • Family comprised 6 boys and 1 girl (plus 4 others who died)
    RR at age 10 went with his mother to a talk by Brother John Thomas on Baptism (1849)
    RR left school at age 11, wanted to be a cabinet maker
    Started work in a grocer’s shop, moved to a printer, to a photographer and the unemployed age 13
    Resisted temptation to go to sea because he wished to better himself
    Bro Robert Roberts
    5
    His early years
  • Attended evening classes but absented himself with a friend and went out on the town (was found out)
    Threw himself into ‘religion’ as a Calvinist Baptist
    Read voraciously and looking for material came across a copy of “Herald of the Kingdom and Age to come” (through interest of sister and grandmother)
    Effect was extraordinary, he was “carried away” with the Bible based logical argument
    He read the magazine monthly and sought a copy of Elpis Israel, which he read cover to cover
    Bro Robert Roberts
    6
    His early years (continued)
  • Was filled with joy at the Truth he had discovered
    Sought out the followers of Brother Thomas (about 20) who met in a small room of an old castle
    Bro Robert Roberts
    7
    Follows Brother Thomas’s teaching
  • Bro Robert Roberts
    8
    Union Street Aberdeen
  • The tunnels under St Nicholas Street
    Bro Robert Roberts
    9
  • Was filled with joy at the Truth he had discovered
    Sought out the followers of Brother Thomas (about 20) who met in a small room of an old castle
    Attended their afternoon meetings but had to attend chapel in the mornings (age 12)
    One day absented himself from chapel and went to the brethren’s meeting place
    His mother’s wrath descended on him but a deal was done after some fierce threats (did not last long!)
    Bro Robert Roberts
    10
    Follows Brother Thomas’s teaching
  • Bro Robert Roberts
    11
    Apprentice to a Druggist
  • Recommended by his sister becomes an apprentice and learns Latin and Pitman’s shorthand
    Was baptised in 1853 (aged 14) in the River Dee after being examined by 2 brethren
    Devised a system for reading his Bible, now known as the Bible Companion and marked his Bible
    Saw the start of the Crimean war, signs of the times, but disappointed when Russia driven back
    Convinced Christ’s return was imminent
    Wrote to Brother Thomas of his zeal for the Truth
    Bro Robert Roberts
    12
    RR is baptised
  • Joins the Aberdeen Daily Telegraph but leaves on a matter of principle
    Does odd freelance reporting jobs, one of which was regarding the building of a railway through Aberdeenshire (talk on Daniel 2)
    Well paid (bought a watch) but still out of work
    Visited brethren at Edinburgh ( met his wife to be)
    Recommended by a brother to work for The Caledonian Mercury in Edinburgh
    Bro Robert Roberts
    13
    Starts his career as a reporter
  • Left Aberdeen and moved to Edinburgh
    Was drawn to Jane Norrie
    Became disappointed with the Edinburgh brethren
    Was just 19 (Jane was 27) when became engaged
    Sacked from his paper because of an transcription error
    Bro Robert Roberts
    14
    Reporter in Edinburgh
  • Whilst serving his notice, receives a recommendation to join the Examiner in Huddersfield
    Moved there in 1858 (the same year Darwin proposed his Theory of Evolution)
    No local ecclesia so walked 6/7 miles to Halifax and met with 12 brethren (including F R Shuttleworth)
    Writes to Brother Thomas, sending £15-5s-0d and inviting him to visit and preach in Britain. Also asks for guidance on witnessing
    Receives a warm letter in the magazine by way of reply
    Bro Robert Roberts
    15
    RR moves to Yorkshire
  • Brother Thomas says: “Do brethren expect to get the Kingdom if they do nothing and live like other men?”
    New paper started in Dewsbury and RR gives a lecture there
    RR feeling unwell and comfortless in lodgings, decides to hasten his marriage to Jane (April 8th 1859)
    Meets wife’s relations, then settles down in Huddersfield, preaching amongst those with whom he worked
    Maintains a marital diary but becomes very unwell
    Bro Robert Roberts
    16
    RR in Huddersfield
  • Continued with public lectures in Huddersfield
    Provided help to Fowler & Wells taking shorthand notes
    Was offered a job at double the salary, opportunity to travel and to finish up in New York
    Phrenology involves a study of the shape of the skull as an indication of personality and character
    Travelled the country: Leeds/Birmingham/Wolverhampton /Leicester/Nottingham/Derby/Sheffield/York/Durham/Newcastle on Tyne/Sunderland
    5 months on the road brought a change of heart
    Bro Robert Roberts
    17
    Meets the phrenologists
  • RR’s lack of personal ambition
    Took an unpaid assistant that gave him time to write the 12 lectures, precursor of Christendom Astray (age 22)
    Established an ecclesia in Huddersfield (6 brethren)
    Outdoor meetings up to 70 persons, indoors 0 to 13
    Gave series of 12 lectures with 50-100 attending, followed by a tea meeting
    1862 saw the American Civil War and the prospect of Brother Thomas visiting Britain (Eureka volume 1 issued)
    Bro Robert Roberts
    18
    Return to Huddersfield
  • Brother Thomas stayed with RR who paid his expenses
    Took notes of an interview which would become a biography
    Brother Thomas gave lecture to a half filled room, started with an exposition of Hebrews, difficulty with questions
    RR concludes not good at presenting his knowledge but admits a youthful lack of understanding
    Envious elder brethren turn Brother T against RR
    Bro Robert Roberts
    19
    Brother Thomas visits
  • RR had to wait for Brother Thomas to understand the situation and relations to be repaired
    Brother T, now on tour of Britain, criticises RR for lack of action on Dowie error (1864)
    Brother Thomas advocates RR moves to Birmingham
    Difficulty of finding a job in Birmingham (no weeklies) but moves to work as a freelance (age 25)
    Birmingham Ecclesia some 15-20 brethren
    Bro Robert Roberts
    20
    Brother Thomas & RR
  • Starts a contract job from his office with Daily Post
    Publishes a magazine “Ambassador of the Coming Age,” later renamed “the Christadelphian”
    Reports on an enquiry into General Hospital and gets paid £50 so buys a new house
    Birmingham Ecclesia grows, produces a hymn book (the Golden Harp) and draws up some ecclesial rules
    After Sunday meetings had to work till late at night but was accompanied by his wife
    Bro Robert Roberts
    21
    RR in Birmingham
  • Continued 15-18 months to 1865 (age 26)
    Some problems in ecclesia, “lovers of their own selves”
    RR at first thought Brother Thomas too “severe and suspicious” but came to realise his wisdom
    Brother Thomas to publish Eureka volume 2, RR looking for another visit to Britain
    RR holds a town hall event, 1500/1800 attend and 23 candidates for baptism result (ecclesia now 68)
    RR becomes shorthand writer for Bankruptcy Court
    Bro Robert Roberts
    22
    Birmingham Ecclesia grows
  • Brother Thomas petitions for exemption from military service and names Christadelphians
    Civil War ends in America but Federal Army become known as Army of Thieves
    Edinburgh’s antagonism to Brother T and George Dowie allows brethren freedom to decide on immortality (“discussing everything and settling nothing”)
    RR leads a withdrawal from Edinburgh Ecclesia
    Emerging principle re doctrines to be rejected
    Bro Robert Roberts
    23
    Troubled times
  • Aberdeen Ecclesia call RR to task over judging, he distinguishes two sorts of judging (Kingdom v right)
    RR’s view on contending for the faith: “An effort should doubtless be put forth to reclaim those who are in error but where the efforts fail, disassociation by withdrawal is natural and inevitable. Division is the inevitable concomitant of an uncompromising adherence to the Truth”
    The Declaration is published in 1867
    Bro Robert Roberts
    24
    Reaction to RR’s actions
  • Eureka volume 3 published in 1869 and Brother T sails after publication
    Spends 4 weeks in Birmingham (now 123 brethren)
    Moves on to a lecture tour but arranges to have a house built outside Birmingham
    RR paid as Editor of Christadelphian after his job at the Bankruptcy Court concludes
    1871 Brother Thomas dies in New York, RR notified by Sister Lasius
    Bro Robert Roberts
    25
    Brother Thomas’s 3rd visit
  • The temporal power of the Pope overthrown (1870)
    1873 Renunciationist controversy, Edward Turney issues a pamphlet “32 Qs & As concerning Jesus Christ”
    RR immediately delivers a response entitled “the Slain Lamb”
    RR is severely ill but whilst recuperating writes article “21 years waiting and watching and at it still”
    1876 the Bradlaugh Debate and 1885 the Inspiration Controversy (Robert Ashcroft)
    Bro Robert Roberts
    26
    More troubles develop
  • 1877 Russo-Turkish War (Prophecy and the E question)
    Gladstone responds to copy of pamphlet
    1879 Ways of Providence
    1880 Thirteen Lectures on the Apocalypse
    1882 Britain moves into Egypt and Jewish restoration gains momentum
    1883 The Visible Hand of God and The Trial
    1885 division after 6 months over partial inspiration controversy
    Bro Robert Roberts
    27
    Some key dates
  • 1886 the Sugar Disaster – electrical refining of sugar
    Many Christadelphians involved – aim to raise funds to support Jewish Colonisation
    Venture crashes in 1889, all is lost and recriminations fly in the direction of RR
    1893 J J Andrews introduces error on resurrectional responsibility
    1894 Unbreakable Glass scam
    RR ill as a result
    Bro Robert Roberts
    28
    Some sad developments
  • 1895/6 RR’s first visit to Australia and New Zealand
    1897 second voyage to settle in Australia, given a house in Coburg near Melbourne
    Visited New Zealand en route for England
    Died unexpectedly of heart failure in San Francisco on September 24th 1898
    Brother C C Walker went to arrange burial and remarked when he looked in the coffin that RR looked ready to step out
    Bro Robert Roberts
    29
    RR’s trips to Australia
  • Green-Wood CemeteryBrooklyn New York
    Bro Robert Roberts
    30
  • Used every opportunity to preach the Truth
    Saw everything in his life in the context of the Truth
    Managed his working life to fit the Truth
    Learned in the face of controversy that “the Truth of God is the rule of friendship and communion”
    Greatly valued the writings of Brother Thomas
    Although flawed like all men, is a great inspiration and has left a large legacy of immensely valuable writings
    Bro Robert Roberts
    31
    Lessons from RR’s life