Brethren Archive

Extracts from "Personal recollections of ... Robert Daly"

There are interesting references to the Powerscourt Meetings in this book (available on Google Books in full)

Personal recollections of ... Robert Daly ... bishop of Cashel, at Powerscourt and Waterford, by an old parishioner [mrs. Hamilton Madden].

Here are some relevant extracts;

Another extract from "Memoir of the late Right Rev. Robert Daly, D.D., Lord Bishop of Cashel";

Lady Powerscourt was present at these meetings, as 
appears from a letter to Mr. Daly, of which the following 
is an extract : I am going to the prophets meeting at 
Mr. Drummond s. . . . No arguments are to me stronger 
than yours, so much so that I always conclude I have 
strong grounds for an opinion if it is not shaken by your 
arguments to the contrary. They appear to have sug 
gested to her the idea of holding similar * discussions at 
Powerscourt House, which she did in the autumn of the 
year 1827, on which occasion she invited to her house the 
most remarkable men, of whatever Christian denomination 
they might be, who were interested in the study of pro 
phecy, from all parts of England, Scotland, and Ireland, 
and entertained them at her house for a week; during 
which time meetings were held morning and evening, to 
which every one in the neighbourhood was invited. Mr. 
Daly took the chair, and they were conducted uniformly 
on his part in a spirit of Christian love, and in a very 
judicious manner. A subject was arranged for considera 
tion for each day, and a copy of the paper which con 
tained them given to each person. The meetings were 
begun and concluded with prayer. In his closing address 
on one of these occasions he expressed himself as follows : 

As to the grand outlines of threatenings to sinners, 
and promises to the people of God, and as concerns the 
personal glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, I feel pleasure 


and comfort in dwelling on them ; and I feel obliged to 
the students of prophecy for having led me to a more 
clearly defined view of glory, as connected with the glory 
of Jesus. I find something upon which my mind rests 
with more security than upon a vague idea of the happi 
ness of a disembodied spirit, with which for many years 
I was content. I have only to add, that I thank my 
Christian brethren for the edification and comfort which 
I feel grateful for having been allowed to enjoy amongst 
them ; and if at any time I have said anything that was 
unsuitable, and that should not have been said, I feel 
assured they will overlook it, and consider it as the in 
firmity of man. I am thankful for their communications ; 
and I pray for them as for myself, that the Lord may 
enable us all to minister His word " as to the Lord and 
not to men," as workmen of the Lord that need not be 
ashamed, out of whose treasures we may bring things 
new and old, and rest our souls upon the Eock of 

These discussions were held annually at Powerscourt 
House for three or four years. They were much enjoyed 
by many, but they became latterly a source of great 
anxiety to Mr. Daly, who felt that he was set as a watch 
man over the souls of his parishioners, and feared lest 
the many strange doctrines which were propounded then 
might disturb the simplicity of their faith, and alienate 
them from their scriptural Church. Unfortunately these 
students of prophecy (although the interest they felt in 
that study was shared by him) held, and brought forward, 
on other subjects very erroneous opinions. Amongst these 


was that celebrated and truly pious though mistaken 
man, Edward Irving. Mr. Daly s opinion concerning the 
doctrines held by the Irvingite party is expressed in a 
letter to a Christian friend : 

DUBLIN, 29th April 

MY DEAR Miss P., I return you the letter. I feel 
a great deal for the state the Lord s Church is in, yet I 
cannot think that really Christian people will be long left 
in the fundamental errors of Irvingism. In the conversa 
tion I had with my dear friend H., I said to him, "I 
ought first to know your doctrines before I inquire even 
into your pretensions to gifts ; for if an angel from heaven 
should come and preach any other gospel than that which 
the apostles preached, I ought to hold him accursed." He 
assented to this, and I asked was it true that they denied 
the imputed righteousness of Christ. He said it was ; that 
it was a gross mistake to suppose that God accounted a 
man to be anything but what he really was; that God 
accounted no man righteous but just in proportion as the 
man really was righteous. ... I said, " Let us go to texts 
of Scripture Phil. iii. ; do you consider that the right 
eousness there spoken of as being of God by faith is 
an imputed or an imparted righteousness ? " He said, an 
imparted righteousness. He went so far as to say that the 
manifestations in their Church were the testimony of 
God to their holding that holy truth. Nothing could be 
plainer than his language. As a body they have departed 
from the gospel of Christ. Mr. Baxter s tract, which I 
gave you, will furnish Mrs. P. with full materials for 


those failures of prophecies which she wants to show 
among them. 

May the Lord defend His own truth, and deliver His 
Church from error. Yours, in the love of the truth, 


The Plymouth Brethren also gave expression to their 
peculiar views on religious subjects. All that Mr. Daly 
felt to be dangerous he thought it his duty, as the minister 
of the parish, manfully to oppose ; while the Christian spirit 
in which he did so is shown by the following extract from 
one of his speeches at the conclusion of the discussions in 
October 1832, which was taken down by one of those who 
were present : 

1 1 must say in truth that I do feel my mind so harassed 
with all that has passed, that instead of saying anything 
more, I think it best to ask one of rny brethren to entreat 
the Lord s pardon and forgiveness for all the evil that has 
crept in among us through our defilement and infirmity ; 
to ask for more of the Holy Spirit, for more light; to 
return thanks for the privileges that we enjoy, and to pray 
that our meeting together may be blessed; that though 
there may have been error brought forward, the Lord may 
be pleased to lead us into all that is truth, all that is 
holiness ; and if, in the various observations which have 
been made (this evening particularly), there have been 
great differences of opinion upon what appear to be 
fundamental points of doctrine, to pray that we may be 
enabled to exercise towards each other a spirit of love and 
of interest for one another. For myself, I earnestly desire 


to ask that all should remember me as a Christian friend, 
and especially when they think I have erred, that they 
should ask the Lord to lead me into all truth. I would 
desire grace to say, in the spirit of one who was inspired 
to be a writer of Scripture, " God forbid that I should sin 
against my brethren in ceasing to pray for them." May a 
spirit of mutual love and interest be promoted ; and may a 
deep feeling of our own sinfulness, of the sinfulness of our 
brethren, of our own ignorance and error, and the error 
and ignorance of our brethren, produce amongst us tender 
ness and a forbearing spirit towards one another, accom 
panied by an ardent looking up to the Lord, that He 
would cleanse us from all sin, and bring us into the unity 
of the Spirit. For myself, I never felt in spirit so much 
inclined to say, " Oh that I had the wings of a dove, that 
I might flee away and be at rest ! " When my soul is forced 
to dwell in such an evil world, when I see before me the 
prospect of such divisions in the Church, when I think of 
those being so separated upon earth who I do hope are 
joined together in the Lord, there is something within that 
causes me to say, "Better to^depart and be with Christ;" 
that is the wish of my heart. I once heard one much 
loved by many here pray that he might remain on earth 
until the coming of the Lord ; and I did feel (though 
perhaps it might have been sinful) that I would not wish 
to be left to witness all the evil, the separation, and the 
variety of errors with which it seems as if the Lord is 
beginning to allow the Church to be tried even now. I 
certainly felt this evening a more awful sense of coming 
evil than I ever did before ; whilst I trust at the same time 


I felt, though something that was suggested by a brother 
did grieve me, that he was right in speaking of personal 
responsibility, and in saying that it was a small thing to 
be judged of man s judgment. I felt that I stood before 
my God ; and whilst some of my Christian brethren might 
say that I was blaspheming against the Holy Ghost, I 
could go to Him and say, " Lord, Thou knowest all things ; 
Thou knowest that I love Thee." One good effect at least 
that our meeting together this evening may have produced 
is, a more simple seeking after God ; if we have not sweet 
fellowship with one another, that we may be led to seek 
more " fellowship with the Father, and with His Son Jesus 
Christ, till we all come, in the unity of the Spirit, unto 
a perfect man, unto the full measure of the stature of 

Tom said ...
Daly's 1832 closing address quoted here, is probably taken from the pamphlet "AN ADDRESS delivered at the conclusion of a meeting assembled for the purpose of considering the subject of unfulfilled prophecy by the Rev R Daly MA Rector of Powerscourt London Seeley Nisbet" (see comment on previous page). If we could find this pamphlet we may well have the name of the note taker, and it is also very suggestive that full notes exist somewhere for the 1832 conference. Large reward on offer for their finding :-)
Wednesday, Feb 3, 2016 : 12:39

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