Brethren Archive
7th May 1877


by William Kelly

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Incomplete - Needs help !!


7 May 1877

Dear Br.

I hardly know how to arrange for Mansfield, or whether it is practicable this time. For 9/0 [9 shillings, 0 pence?] to Derby from Nott[ingha]m & from D[erby]. to Sheffield, & perhaps Roth[erha]m but whether thence to the west is not yet plain. Much pressure lately has hindered.

Have you seen or heard of the current No. of the Southern Review, edited by a Dr. Bledsoe of the Meth[odist]. Epis[copal]. Ch[urch]. (South), America? The Ed. waxes valiant in fight for J.N.D. &c. denouncing in no measured terms the falsehood & abuse levelled from all sides on certain Xns. known to you & me. It is a long article of 80 pp. 8vo. The S[outhern]. R[eview]. is sold in London by Trübner ___. 60 Paternoster Row.

I suppose W. Reid’s “Bible Witness” (Broom) will be appearing soon, 430 pp. 8vo. chiefly critical papers by J.N.D – W.K.

Michael Schneider said ...
I've made a first attempt at transcription. Two cryptic abbreviations (?) were undecipherable for me. Improvements are always welcome ☺
Saturday, Apr 16, 2022 : 00:23
Timothy Stunt said ...
I think 'practicall' should read 'practicable'; and Dr Bledsoe is probably described as 'of the Meth[odist]. Epis[copal]. Ch. of Scot[land]./America?'.

I’m flummoxed by the abbreviation prior to ‘to Derby’ in line three!

Saturday, Apr 16, 2022 : 02:08
Michael Schneider said ...

Thanks, Timothy, "practicable" of course makes much more sense!

The word before "America" could indeed be "Scotl", but on the other hand a "Methodist Episcopal Church, South" did exist at the time (cf. Wikipedia).

Aren't you persuaded by the "9/0" that somebody suggested? I think the characters after "Trübner" could be a similar price quotation ...

Saturday, Apr 16, 2022 : 07:25
Michael Schneider said ...

The Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia says that Bledsoe "after 1867 published The Southern Review at Baltimore, which under his management became one of the leading periodicals of the Methodist Church, South." I think that settles it ☺

Saturday, Apr 16, 2022 : 07:31
Roger Holden said ...
If the abbreviation before Derby is a train fare it cannot be 9/0. Bradshaw’s Guide for December 1895 gives the fare from Nottingham to Derby a 1/0 3rd class or 1/9 1st Class. From Derby to Sheffield 3/0 3rd Class, 4/11 1st Class. Possibly it is a time, 9 0’clock?
Saturday, Apr 16, 2022 : 16:17
Syd said ...
What is most interesting, is that W. Kelly refers to the current No. of the Southern Review, which is April 1877. Kelly alludes to a valiant fight for JND by Dr Bledsoe. In this edition, Dr Bledsoe seeks to discuss the following questions: “Who are the Plymouth Brethren? What is the character of their theology and religion? Or, in one word, are they on the Lord's side, or are they in league with the powers of darkness?”

He reports of parties that characterise the Brethren as, “a fungus which appears after a considerable religious excitement.” Bledsoe says, “If it be true, they should be shunned as the plague and detested as emissaries of the devil. But if false, what then?”

He raises a point which should be an exhortation to all of us: “Should we not examine for ourselves, and endeavour to form a ‘righteous judgement,’ lest by giving currency to such calumnies, we be found to fight against God.”

Then giving some assessment of Darby, he writes: “We confess that we do feel for this persecuted man, John Darby, for this Wesley of the 19th century, a sympathy as deep as it is warm, as strong as it is inextinguishable. His great learning, his earnest piety, his immense capacity for labor, and his high social position, might have secured for him (they certainly ought to have done so) a high place in the established Church of England. But the high places, the honors and the emoluments of an established and worldly-minded church, was not to his taste.”

It is a most interesting read. It is not a defence of “Brethrenism” – Dr Bledsoe was Methodist - but a balanced, informed and godly review of what he found from a sensible study to answer the questions he posed for his wide readership. Lessons to be learned!
Tuesday, Apr 19, 2022 : 03:21
Syd said ...

I see now that this article in the Southern Review of April 1877 was posted on 15 April.

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2022 : 03:27

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