The Life of Brother Robert Roberts<br />Laindon Bible Class<br />8th December 2010<br />
Portly form<br />Florid complexion<br />Red & straggling beard & moustache<br />Dark hair, oiled and brushed back<br />Dee...
Victoria’s third year of reign<br />Development of photography<br />Tea first arrived in Britain<br />Charles Darwin elect...
Born: Link Street, Aberdeen, Scotland on 8th April 1839<br />Father was a seaman, later became captain of a small coastal ...
Family comprised 6 boys and 1 girl (plus 4 others who died)<br />RR at age 10 went with his mother to a talk by Brother Jo...
Attended evening classes but absented himself with a friend and went out on the town (was found out)<br />Threw himself in...
Was filled with joy at the Truth he had discovered<br />Sought out the followers of Brother Thomas (about 20) who met in a...
Bro Robert Roberts<br />8<br />Union Street Aberdeen<br />
The tunnels under St Nicholas Street<br />Bro Robert Roberts<br />9<br />
Was filled with joy at the Truth he had discovered<br />Sought out the followers of Brother Thomas (about 20) who met in a...
Bro Robert Roberts<br />11<br />Apprentice to a Druggist<br />
Recommended by his sister becomes an apprentice and learns Latin and Pitman’s shorthand<br />Was baptised in 1853 (aged 14...
Joins the Aberdeen Daily Telegraph but leaves on a matter of principle<br />Does odd freelance reporting jobs, one of whic...
Left Aberdeen and moved to Edinburgh<br />Was drawn to Jane Norrie<br />Became disappointed with the Edinburgh brethren<br...
Whilst serving his notice, receives a recommendation to join the Examiner in Huddersfield<br />Moved there in 1858 (the sa...
Brother Thomas says: “Do brethren expect to get the Kingdom if they do nothing and live like other men?”<br />New paper st...
Continued with public lectures in Huddersfield<br />Provided help to Fowler & Wells taking shorthand notes<br />Was offere...
RR’s lack of personal ambition<br />Took an unpaid assistant that gave  him time to write the 12 lectures, precursor of Ch...
Brother Thomas stayed with RR who paid his expenses<br />Took notes of an interview which would become a biography<br />Br...
RR had to wait for Brother Thomas to understand the situation and relations to be repaired<br />Brother T, now on tour of ...
Starts a contract job from his office with Daily Post<br />Publishes a magazine “Ambassador of the Coming Age,” later rena...
Continued 15-18 months to 1865 (age 26)<br />Some problems in ecclesia, “lovers of their own selves”<br />RR at first thou...
Brother Thomas petitions for exemption from military service and names Christadelphians<br />Civil War ends in America but...
Aberdeen Ecclesia call RR to task over judging, he distinguishes two sorts of judging (Kingdom v right)<br />RR’s view on ...
Eureka volume 3 published in 1869 and Brother T sails after publication<br />Spends 4 weeks in Birmingham (now 123 brethre...
The temporal power of the Pope overthrown (1870)<br />1873 Renunciationist controversy, Edward Turney issues a pamphlet “3...
1877 Russo-Turkish War (Prophecy and the E question)<br />Gladstone responds to copy of pamphlet<br />1879 Ways of Provide...
1886 the Sugar Disaster – electrical refining of sugar<br />Many Christadelphians involved – aim to raise funds to support...
1895/6 RR’s first visit to Australia and New Zealand<br />1897 second voyage to settle in Australia, given a house in Cobu...
Green-Wood CemeteryBrooklyn New York<br />Bro Robert Roberts<br />30<br />
Used every opportunity to preach the Truth<br />Saw everything in his life in the context of the Truth<br />Managed his wo...
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Robert roberts

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

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