Brethren Archive
Thursday January 12, 2012

Welcome to my Website

Well this is my new website; it started as a project six months ago, was put on hold for quite a while, and recently I had time to take it up again.  It is no where yet finished at the present time, but I feel if I don't get it going then I never will.  It's purpose is essentially two-fold; Firstly, to put up on the 'blog', things I am reading which I would like to share with others, as well as maintaining a smallish collection of articles which I myself have profited from.  Secondly, I intend to make available the large collection of 'brethren' historical material (letters, manuscripts, tracts, etc) that I possess.  Hopefully over time, both these sides will develop, but for now, please enjoy, and send me any comments you might have!

On the technical side, this site has been developed in Umbraco, which is an open source ASP.Net based CMS.  I spent a lot of time looking at various CMS options, and I love the concept behind Umbraco, however I can't deny that continually thinking I wish I had just done it in WordPress, as would have saved a lot of time!


In This Section

Gordon Rainbow said ...
I would be interested to know why, under 'Brethren Archive' you restrict viewing by saying "Most of the items here listed require you to have created an account to view the actual item".
Sunday, Mar 4, 2012 : 14:02
Tom said ...
Dear Gordon,
Thank you for your message .. to answer your question, there are a few reasons I had in mind.

1) Some of the material, for example that which is contesting error and put forward publicly and that I believe is thus useful to anyone, I would seek to make freely available without restrictions, and other material which could be of help or interest in regards to the principles I believe in. Other parts of the material though don't fall into that category and would only be of genuine interest to a smaller group of people, or those connected with the fellowship. I would still make the material available to anyone who was interested , but I don't want it just there and indexed by google etc. As you would no doubt appreciate, these are about serious matters concerning the Lord's things, so I don't want them available anonymously. I know you have made similar comments about the material in the history / memorabilia section on your own website, so I trust you would sympathise.

2) Parts of the collection, particularly the manuscript material, I acquired at considerable expense, so I would prefer if it is not just possible for anyone to download the images.

3) I am keen to know those who have a similar interest in such material as I do, and thus making it that someone has to 'introduce' themselves first helps achieve this end, otherwise there would be no means of contact between myself and my audience.

Hope that makes sense, the process to create an account only takes about a second, and Im not asking for anyones address more than a city. After that there is a small contact form asking people to introduce themselves but that is all.


Sunday, Mar 4, 2012 : 23:08
Iain Martin said ...

Thanks for the effort with the site, for sharing your resources, and making the access to the material so easy.

Thursday, Dec 27, 2012 : 23:38
Rev. Colin Paterson said ...
I saw a church in Bracknell named Gospell Hall, I decided to spend my sunday morning there to spend time with the Lord, on entering, a young man immediately jumped up and guided me out of the room, he informed me they were having the bread and wine that morning, he then informed me I would have to abstain as they did not know me? I informed him I was an ordained Minister and Missionary and I am subject only to the Holy Spirit and my conscience whether I take of or abstain, he then tried to school me what the bread and wine sacraments meant, I asked him if he was an Elder he said no! I asked to talk to one.
On coming out I explained what the young man had said, the elder then informed me. "He is not a young man but a man schooled in the word??? He then informed me the young man who was about 20 - 24 years old was an Elder, I told him one of them was lying as he informed me he was not. The Elder said "He is an Elder in my eyes"! A liar! Even after informing them I was a Minister their behaviour was disgraceful, I also informed them I was the Fire Service Chaplain to no avail.
A church does not belong to anyone but for the Glory of the Lord, the spirit of control and manipulation, legalistic mentalities are exactly what cause divition in the body of Christ, I asked their denomination they said they were private or free Church another Lie! I investigated and found they were Bretheren. Bretheren of what I ask you? The Minister I asked regarding their denomination said he had met a couple of others who were rebuked when needing help, how many more has there been? perhaps not dressed sufficiently well enough for such a blessed elite gathering?
My Lord welcomed all and excluded none, your theology needs a good look over and if you unfortunately think your some elite, I pray you get together and measure up to reality, when we stand before Him. Think of the the moment He says. "Get behind me, I knew you not".
In this very obvious end times we as Christians are commissioned to gather in the harvest, with such behaviour when was the last salvation in that church or indeed any of your churches?
1 Corinthians 13 v 1-13
Monday, Feb 27, 2012 : 20:52
Tom said ...
Thank you for your message! These days sadly, there are many groups of 'brethren', and am sorry to hear about the negative experience you have had, and though I don't know this 'meeting' at Bracknell personally, nor is it in the fellowship of meetings with which I associate, I can say it does seem somewhat strange. Id is hard to know whether it is an 'open' or extreme 'exclusive' meeting from your description, but as you say it was marked a 'gospel hall', it would seem to indicate the former but that makes it even harder to understand as they are usually very friendly and welcoming to visitors. Though, it is generally the case that 'brethren' would not let anyone turn up and take communion without having some knowledge of them first. I think that is Scriptural and beneficial to all, as we want to be sure any one that breaks bread is firstly a believer, and then walking free from moral or doctrinal sin which would exclude them from communion (1 Corinthians 5). That is not with the aim of excluding anyone, but with the aim of maintaining the holiness of the 'House of God'. Usually though a visitor would have this explained and made welcome to sit in the meeting though not to partake of the emblems. The very nature of the Lord's Supper in the 'one loaf', is a manifestation of the unity of the Church - the Body of Christ - even if outwardly in this day it be scattered and divided.
Would be interested to know where abouts this meeting was if you had the time to write back?
Yours in Christ,
Thursday, Mar 1, 2012 : 20:51
Dominique said ...
Bonjour Monsieur,
Please, I would like to create an account and register but I don't know how to proceed, since I am concerned with none of the button you propose. I tried by google and it says it doesn't work any more.
Please excuse my poor English, I am French. But I read current English, that's why I wish I had access to your archive. I'd rather read texts in the original, as often as possible. I attend a brethren church overhere in France.
Thank your in advance
Friday, Jun 5, 2015 : 09:11
Tom said ...
Hi Dominique .. yep the Google login is broke at the moment sadly. Drop me an email to and I will create an account for you.
Friday, Jun 5, 2015 : 12:21
Kyle Yoakum said ...
Thank you for providing amazing old "Brethren" material. I know this is a labor of love. I am unable to log in to explore members only material. Can you send me an invitation? Facebook and Google logs in haven't worked. Grace,
Kyle Yoakum
Wednesday, Apr 6, 2016 : 15:39
Tom said ...
Hi Kyle, should work now, see email.
Wednesday, Apr 6, 2016 : 16:57
Joice Sam said ...
Greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I Thank the Lord for your labour of love to put forth such a resource for the edification of the saints.
I am in fellowship with the saints in a local gathering in a small city, North Richland Hills Texas. As I desire to learn more about our Lord and His work and the saints in His service please provide me with access to the site or help me register to create an account.
In Christ
Joice Sam

Thursday, Apr 21, 2016 : 12:06
Tom said ...
Hi Joice, I have sent you an email. Tom
Friday, Apr 22, 2016 : 09:45
Lance said ...
Hullo Tom
Has there been no entries since the 22nd or am I not linked in?
Wednesday, May 11, 2016 : 19:44
Tom said ...
Hi Lance, yeah it's a bit quiet at the moment .. the brother who had mainly been helping me with the transcripting has work busy-ness at the moment so that stuff is on hold for now. Also I tend to have more time to work on the website in the colder weather :-)
Wednesday, May 11, 2016 : 20:16
Lance said ...
Thanks Tom
Just a question which maybe you or Mr Stunt could correct me on
If JND resigned from the church in Sept 1827, he was still serving as a curate in Dec1827 when he had the accident - was there a period of 'notice' to serve out?

But then when was the first Breaking of bread - I have read all the references and conclude the Winter of 1827 ( Say December) i.e the same month as the accident?
Is that possible?

Others give Feb 1828 which seems more likely

Can you comment please
Friday, May 13, 2016 : 09:30
Lance said ...
Just another question
When JND 'resigned his curacy' - does that mean that he ceased to be an Anglican priest, or could was he still the Rev John Darby?
Friday, May 13, 2016 : 09:55
Timothy Stunt said ...
Lance's question about Darby is straightforward. His accident in c. December 1827 prevented him continuing with any parish work in Calary (part of the parish of Delgany). There is nothing to suggest that he resumed work in that parish after his accident but he hadn't resigned from the established church. He continued to serve in parishes where he was invited but he was effectively a freelance missioner with no parochial responsibilities. (He was preaching in Anglican churches as late as December 1830 and probably later...) In the Powerscourt notebooks for 1831 that Tom has been transcribing for us, he is referred to as 'Rev'd. J. Derby'
The question about the date of what you call 'the first Breaking of bread' is far more complex and I hesitate to express an opinion as it is difficult to reconcile the later accounts of Cronin, Bellett, Parnell and Darby, all of which, in any case, are short on precise dates.
Timothy Stunt
Friday, May 13, 2016 : 21:26
Dave said ...

I'm looking for biographical information on Robert Dougall Johnston. Also known as Robert D. Johnston or R. D. Johnston. Author of Arithmetic in Heaven, Resurrection: Myth and Miracle, The Man Who Moved Multitudes, The Solace of the Shadowland and Sound Speech. A book I have says he was a Bible teacher among Brethren assemblies in Britain. I also think he was Scottish.


Dave Kinsella
Sunday, Sep 11, 2016 : 19:50
Tom said ...
Sorry Dave, he isn't someone I am familiar with.
Tuesday, Sep 27, 2016 : 16:00
Robert Patenaude said ...
Is there a registration process for this site? Can some one instruct me, please?
Tuesday, Apr 7, 2020 : 00:55
Tom said ...
Hi Robert,
95pc of the material is available without registration, but there should be a link in the top right to the login/register page, or you can email me at
Tuesday, Apr 7, 2020 : 06:10
Hi my mother is Phyllis Bedard previously Schaumburg. Shes wondering if your wife goes by Betty. If so she is my mother's aunt and would love to get in contact with her. Please respond as soon as you have the time. Thank you so much
Tuesday, Aug 25, 2020 : 21:26
mr. w. smith said ...
what are your thoughts on the written works of
Saturday, Sep 12, 2020 : 02:00
Sym Terhune said ...
I am facinated with the subject of "church history". I am also facinated with the Biblical word "one". The two don't seem to compliment one another. The subject of church history is consumed with innumerable number of religious churches, yet Scripture speaks of one only. Scripture also speaks of one body, one loaf, one cup, one mind, one accord, one Lord, one Spirit, one baptism, etc. Harry Ironside once remarked there are only two religions, the true and the false. The same can be said about the subject of the church, there are only two, the true and the false. There is only one true church as related in the New Testament scriptures beginning at Act 2 and following created by Christ Himself. All others are the creations of men and found nowhere in Scripture. Man uses the word church in ways not found in Scripture. The most common example is in reference to buildings called churches. Thus the word "church" becomes a homonym. Homonyms being words that are spelled the same, pronounced the same, but have totally unrelated meanings. The church mentioned in Scripture has no correlation to buildings. What is interesting is if you look up the word church in a dictionary listing of English homonyms the word "church" is not found. Hence it has no counterpart being there is only one church and no other according to the common dictionary. This is an interesting observation for a secular publication to agree with Scripture. Scripture states there is only "one". Man in his endless effort to create his own ways to worship God with the aid of Satan uses the term "church" as a homonym which in Biblical terms it is not. Satan in his efforts to maintain confusion fosters this kind of ignorance to blind the eyes and hearts of people to the truth of God's word. Volumes of books have been written on church history, when in fact the only history God desires of us to know and follow is what He has written in His word. Man may not agree with it, but it not for us to agree or disagree, it is for us to obediently follow according to His word where in also is the history of His Church. All others are of men, thus false.
Monday, Nov 16, 2020 : 20:28
Brian said ...
Hi. I wonder if anyone can help me. I have a recollection (it may be a false one) of a place in one of Darby's writings in which he addresses the charge that the rapture was a novel doctrine. In his defence, he makes reference to the recovery by Luther of the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith as something that had been lost and recovered. Does such a statement ring a bell for anyone and if so, could someone point me to a reference?

With Thanks,

Brian Irwin
Friday, Jan 8, 2021 : 07:44
Steve said ...
Hi Brian,

I suppose at some time "The Rapture" was indeed a novel doctrine, but I don't know who was responsible for first using that phrase.

It is certainly not a Biblical term, even if what we understand by it may be found in the pages of Scripture.

Some while ago (26 Sep 2019) there was a discussion on Radio 4 - In Our Time, chaired by Melvyn Bragg on this very subject - in which Darby was clearly mentioned.

Having seen your comment, I have just listened to it again - as it is still available via the BBC website.

An interesting discussion, which touched on various other things, including:-

dual message of prophecy - to Israel and the true Church;
great tribulation;
premillennialism & postmillennialism.



Friday, Jan 8, 2021 : 22:04 said ...
just curious, if you can help, i would like to know the date How Shall They Hear by George Cutting was written. Is it in public domain, would like to use a small part of it in a book as it is so relevant even maybe more so today then when he wrote it, but just as important at any age. Am writing "Nuggets of Wisdom", short excerpts from myself and various others to spread the word as it used to be published. Thank you.
Wednesday, Jan 20, 2021 : 03:37
Ladir said ...
irmãos , estou interessado em encontrar irmãos -reunindo no nome ou em o nome do senhor aqui no brasil , na cidade de belo horizonte , na paz de cristo nosso senhor.
Tuesday, Jun 8, 2021 : 00:17
Paul Kinahan said ...
Good afternoon. My uncle has had this book for a very long time. He would like to know more about it. Your site has the publishers name in it. 'James Nisbet and Co'
Title of book is 'Wells of water by M S Simpson, dated 1883.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Kind regards
Friday, Nov 10, 2023 : 22:18
Gordon said ...

To Paul Kinahan:

“Wells of Water” was written by Mrs Margaret Stewart Simpson née Barbour, the wife of Professor Alexander Russell Simpson (knighted in 1906), who was the nephew of Sir James Young Simpson, Professor of Medicine and Midwifery at the University of Edinburgh, the first to use anaesthesia in childbirth. (A copy of one of Mrs Stewart Simpson’s other little books was inscribed to my great-grandmother by ‘your friend Mrs Stewart Simpson’. As they lived in different parts of the country, long before my time, I do not know how they were acquainted.)

On the death of Sir J.Y. Simpson in 1870, his nephew was appointed to his uncle’s Chair and thereafter resided at 52 Queen Street. (This address was printed at the end of the introduction in “Wells of Water”.)

What follows may be of interest to others who look at this website. As the aunt by marriage of Mrs Stewart Simpson suffered from ill health, her husband, Sir James, bought for her a residence, Strathavon Lodge, overlooking the Firth of Forth, in the Trinity district in the burgh of Leith. Many years later, this house was the family home of Mr Edward Whyte, a brother in the Leith Meeting, who was one of those who began in 1924 the ‘Glanton’ Young People’s Meetings.
Monday, Nov 13, 2023 : 03:54
Ken said ...
Thanks for this site. I can see it is a real labour of love. I have been searching for material that feeds the soul. I think I’ve found it. I appreciate the amount of resources you have made available for download (pdf). Much appreciation for all the work you have put in. Blessings
Wednesday, May 15, 2024 : 05:36

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