Brethren Archive
The Year 1934

Preaching Christ for 65 Years

by Alfred Mace

"Reminiscences and Experiences in the Life of Alfred Mace. Evangelist and Bible Teacher."
31 Pages
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Tom said ...
This is actually one of the most interesting items I have. Starts by describing his conversion under William Carter (who I have written a blog post on, he preached to 1000's in theatre meetings and tea meetings etc), then goes on to tell about his time among the brethren with stories of JND and others. Even narrates how he preached the gospel in Plum Lane! After this he went full time in the gospel work, and traveled extensively to other places. Of course, Mace is also known for his part in the sin against FW Grant in 1884, though he later apologised for his part in it, and had clearly come along way from there. It is hard to know where to categorise this but as he ended up with Open Brethren, I will put it there. Mentions at the end the possibility of a later edition, which will need to keep an eye out for.
Tuesday, Mar 12, 2013 : 18:36
Rodger said ...
A most interesting account of a most interesting life. Do you happen to have his booklet "Divine Fellowship" to share on the site, Tom?
Tuesday, Feb 3, 2015 : 02:45
Tom said ...
Hi Rodger, Yeah I found that book fascinating too .. I am not sure if I have the pamphlet, I do know I have some Mace stuff but most my books are all packed away in boxes at the moment! I will look out for it though; will appear some-time im sure. Tom
Friday, Feb 6, 2015 : 09:06
Jonathan said ...
I believe he was the grandfather of Dr Neil Shepherd of Levenshulme, Manchester, who lived to a grand old age and passed away a few years ago. I can't remember where I heard this factoid, so I just add for interest and correction if needed!
Wednesday, Jan 4, 2017 : 14:20
Tom said ...
Thanks Jonathan.
Wednesday, Jan 4, 2017 : 18:22
Tom said ...
if you are still looking for the "Divine Fellowship" book then it is now uploaded, and was an interesting read!
Friday, Apr 28, 2017 : 14:19
Rodger said ...
Thanks, Tom. Any idea who he was with in 1890? There is an "A.M." In readings with FER, and wondering who that is. Has anyone ever charted the various initials?
Friday, Apr 28, 2017 : 15:08
Tom said ...
There doesn't seem any indication in the book on this page that he had left the System by 1890 .. just having another look at it though; it seems to come to an end then, and we need the Part 3 mentioned at the back! I don't know about the F.E.R. reference, I guess it is highly possible though. In the Divine Fellowship book, which from the 100 years reference must have been delivered in the 1920s, he speaks about a meeting for reunification 20 years ago, which would put a latter date on him having left.

Saturday, Apr 29, 2017 : 12:40
Tom said ...
There is a picture and some info on Ancestry; will try to delve further!
Saturday, Apr 29, 2017 : 12:42
Rodger said ...
See page 568 of Noel's History, volume 2, for explanation of where Mr. Mace was in 1906.
Sunday, Apr 30, 2017 : 02:41
Timothy Stunt said ...
From notes that I made in the 1960s (almost certainly based on an article in 'The Witness' by Cecil Howley, using his nom-de-plume, 'Touchstone',) Mace's detachment from the Raven connection would appear to date from November 1906, when a conference of c.700 Open and Exclusive Brethren met at Devonshire House, Bishopsgate to discuss reunification. On this occasion a printed letter was read (signed by F[rederick] C[harles] Jennings (1847-1948) and two other brethren from the (formerly, but no longer, Grant) assembly in Plainfield, NJ., insisting that 'Fellowship is not between assemblies as such, but between individual saints.'
This was the position taken by Alfred Mace in a letter of 29th January 1907 where he stated that he felt 'compelled to disregard the claims of any particular circle of saints' as that effectively 'constituted them a sect...' There is an account of the Bishopsgate meeting in Noel's History but it is misleadingly implied that 'the Open Brethren refused to absorb' Mace and those who agreed with him; (Noel, ii.568).
Timothy Stunt
Monday, May 1, 2017 : 17:02
Rodger said ...
Do you have a copy of Mr. Mace's letter at hand, Mr. Stunt? I would be interested in seeing it, if so.
Monday, May 1, 2017 : 19:33
Timothy Stunt said ...
I haven't a copy of the letter, but I have run to earth a rather tattered copy of Howley's article which gives some context for what I quoted from Mace's letter of 29 January 1907:
'...We decided to act upon New Testament principles, as did brethren in the opening years of the past century, and to receive every godly member of Christ's Body irrespective of party or name. This, of course, compelled us to disregard the claims of any particular circle of saints as having any special recognition: indeed, the very fact of their being a circle of their own constituted them a sect, essentially.'
I can e-mail to Tom a copy of Howley's article, as an attachment, and if he wishes to publish it on his this website that will be fine by me. My technical don't-know-how is such that I am unable to do that!
Howley's article is written from an Open Brethren perspective but I notice that he too suggests that 'in the first years of his break from Exclusivism', AM 'found a more congenial home in assemblies that were isolated independent meetings rather than those that were closer-knit in what was recognised as "Open Brethren" '. Howley also suggests that this may have been related to his continued belief in the principle of Household Baptism. Timothy Stunt
Monday, May 1, 2017 : 20:58
Rodger said ...
Terribly interesting. Reminds one somewhat of the sort of circumstances Charles Nunnerley came into.

Even if you don't decide to publicize the article, Tom, please send it my way. Thanks!

Monday, May 1, 2017 : 22:14
Betty said ...
I am the great grand daughter of Alfred Mace. I would like a copy of this book if it is still in print. I have a wonderful Christian heritage.
Monday, Apr 15, 2019 : 08:39
Tom said ...
Hi Betty, Thanks for your message - The book is rare and not in print - if you put an alert on AbeBooks and ebay, eventually one will come up though.
best, Tom
Monday, Apr 15, 2019 : 15:03

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