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Robert roberts

Robert roberts






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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
    • 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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      Follows Brother Thomas’s teaching
    • Bro Robert Roberts
      Union Street Aberdeen
    • The tunnels under St Nicholas Street
      Bro Robert Roberts
    • 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
      Follows Brother Thomas’s teaching
    • Bro Robert Roberts
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      RR’s trips to Australia
    • Green-Wood CemeteryBrooklyn New York
      Bro Robert Roberts
    • 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
      Lessons from RR’s life