Brethren Archive

Tom said ...
Appears in the Montage of Early Brethren,
Referenced in Three Letters to the Author of 'A Retrospect of Events that have taken place amongst the Brethren'" as Captain Johnson.

Does anybody have any dates or other info about him?
Friday, May 5, 2017 : 11:37
Andrew Burr said ...
I have another photo with his dates - 1850-1921, which agree with my deductions from what he says in speaking of himself. He was a lad in Brixham and went to sea at the earliest opportunity - but, he says, his many of my pleasures were ruined by my mother's prayers. He was reached when 18 at a preaching in Glasgow, and speaks of this as 53 years ago in about 1920. I have seen suggestions he was latterly at Wimbledon. I would very much like to read the other tracts listed at the back of those on your site, which are excellent.
Wednesday, Nov 28, 2018 : 05:24
Tom said ...
Thanks Andrew.
There is a death record from the middle of 1921 in Wandsworth locality which would tie in with him latterly being in Wimbledon.
Because of the commonness of the name, it's hard to be sure of all the other census records. Though in 1891 he was a visitor in a house in Newbury, where Sarah Balding is listed as head. Arthur Cutting was visiting at the same time.
Where are you getting your biographical information about his conversion etc from?
Wednesday, Nov 28, 2018 : 17:58
Andrew Burr said ...
There are two deaths for William Johnsons buried in Putney Vale Cemetery in 1921! This would be a local cemetery for anyone living in Wimbledon (although not the only one!).
The 1891 reference looks interesting! I can't nail him down in earlier Census records.
A friend has recently shared manuscript notes of five gospel addresses by William Johnson in Ilford in 1916 - as choice as the others you already have! He makes several asides about his own history. These match the dates the dates I had from the back of a photograph - you may have come across a pack of 'ministering brother' photos which I think was produced by a Mr Aris who had a photo studio in Bournemouth; and WJ's dates are on the back of the one of him. (I have an idea the montage you mention comes originally from the same studio - at any rate, it was in the pack.
Wednesday, Nov 28, 2018 : 22:51
Timothy Stunt said ...

The Captain Johnson, whom Tom mentioned in connection with Tregelles's Three Letters,  was Captain (later Major) Richard Courtenay Johnson who supported BWN and was a trustee of the Compton Street chapel to which the remnant of the Ebrington Street assembly relocated in Midsummer 1848. There is a copy of his The Point at Issue (replying in 1848 to JND's Remarks on BWN's Letter connected with our Lord's humanity)  in the CBA in Manchester.  He was born c1802 and had been an officer in the 50th Regiment of Native Infantry but was invalided out in c.1838.  He died at Arcachon (near Bordeaux) in France in 1869.  His daughter Charlotte ('la Signorina Carlotta") was active in the 1850s and 60s among the Brethren in Florence where she died and was buried in 1869.  Timothy Stunt

Thursday, Nov 29, 2018 : 01:37
Martin Arhelger said ...
The magazine "The Believer's Friend" printed Johnson's thoughts on the Psalms. In the issue May 1921 the author is given as "W. Johnson" (page 91), but since issue June 1921 (page 110) it is "The late W. Johnson". So Johnson's departure was ca. May 1921.
In Johnson's book "The Riches and Glory of God's Grace" he tells us something about himself on page 60, for example: "My life has been very varied; I have been near to death. I have been covered up for dead, and I have been on the Atlantic when we expected to go to the bottom at any moment; . . . I was once a sailor and have been tossed up like Jonah to come and preach to you." etc.
Thursday, Nov 29, 2018 : 05:29
Andrew Burr said ...
Thanks for the tip about Believer's Friend. I wonder if it has anything else of WJ's. That booklet has the comment in about his mother's prayers. If he died in the slot indicated, he is neither of those buried in Putney Vale. But that narrows it down enough to look for a death record - which I will do.
Friday, Nov 30, 2018 : 06:30
Rodger said ...
Would this be the same "WJ" with a few articles in Simple Testimony?
Friday, Nov 30, 2018 : 08:32
Andrew Burr said ...
This William Johnson was not with the 'Glanton brethren' who are credited with 'Simple Testimony'. I am old enough(!) to know people who knew him. There are some articles by him in 'Words of Grace and Encouragement', which a friend is combing for me.
I should have said WJ is the author of a familiar remark - sometimes mistakenly attributed to JND - that the Lord Jesus never ceased to be what He was on account of what He became, but was perfect in what He became. This remark occurs several times in the Ilford addresses I have mentioned.
I have found a death in 1921 for a William Johnson born in 1850, on 6 June 1921 - in Balham, which could easily have been at a hospital for Wimbledon, and a burial in Morden (between the two places). This seems to fit best with the clue in The Believer's Friend.
Saturday, Dec 1, 2018 : 23:39
Rodger said ...
Until 1908-09, Simple Testimony would have been one of the publishers of ministry of brethren in fellowship with Park Street, London, hence articles in its pages from FER, THR, EHC, etc. That being said, WJ is not a very distinct set of initials, so possibly hard to identify. Unless someone has further information (?).
Sunday, Dec 2, 2018 : 05:42
Andrew Burr said ...
Rodger: I follow that. Yes 'WJ' is hardly unique, but publishers might not have used just initials if more than one author could be confused. Sometimes there is a clue in the style - and William Johnson's is quite personal. I will look as you suggest - as there is a link to that magazine.
Monday, Dec 3, 2018 : 23:40
Rodger said ...
William Johnson is also, I trust, the same WJ as regularly found in readings with Mr. Raven?
Tuesday, Dec 4, 2018 : 02:07
Tom said ...
I can see two articles in WoGaE from a quick search of the scans I have for "W.J." - there may well be more though, as the OCR can struggle with initials.
Vol 1 - The Kingdom of God
Vol 3 - Psalm 16
Tuesday, Dec 4, 2018 : 14:47
Andrew Burr said ...
A friend who is looking (as mentioned) has spotted those two articles in WoGaE and is scanning and converting them to Word for me.
I guess this WJ is the one in FER.
I have looked at the articles in Simple Testimony - the late one seems not necessarily to be by WJ. I compared the one on the Gospel in the Psalms with Meditations to see if there were common thoughts. They both suggest that the 'hind of the morning' (Ps 22 heading) refers to the way the rising sun shoots up rays like horns before it appears; which was a new thought to me and I am not sure it is elsewhere - suggesting a common author. I am trying to find out a bit more about the editor of this periodical.
So far, I have 21 WJ gospel addresses (with two more promised) and four tracts - not counting anything from 'Simple Testimony'.
I don't think 'The Believer's Friend' is online anywhere - I am tapping a few possible sources for the loan of a set.
Wednesday, Dec 5, 2018 : 00:31
Andrew Burr said ...
Why are we speculating about when WJ died, when the 'places' section on this site has a picture of his gravestone in Bournemouth, showing 28 April 1921 as the date? It also gives a wife's name - which may help to trace him in census records. one of his addresses refers to experiencing bereavement and I also see that a son pre-deceased him - apparently dying abroad.
Wednesday, Dec 5, 2018 : 00:44
Stephen said ...

Here is the location of addresses by William Johnson/W.J. in the Believers Friend. Vol.9- Recovered for Gods Pleasure pg 64: Vol.9- The Law of the House of God pg 116: Vol.9- The Priesthood of Christ pg 176: Vol.10- A New Generation pgs 172 & 204: Vol.10- Our Place and Portion pg 63 (correction in relation to this address pg 112) : Vol.11- The Perfect Servant pgs 5 & 34 That's all I could find? But the friend who is searching WoGaE for you may also have copies of TBF?

Wednesday, Dec 5, 2018 : 02:35
Tom said ...
Thanks Stephen, I've added those articles to the website.

Ha yeah I completely forgot about the grave, even though I revisited Bournemouth this summer 😂 I'll add the updated picture too. The reference to his wife, Amelia, indeed fixes him in the genealogical) records. Amelia, was Amelia Turpin (no relation to WTT), who also came from Brixham, though they married in Thanet, and seemed to spend some time living there. Her mother was a Amelia Wynn Johnson, so I suspect the families were closely related.
Wednesday, Dec 5, 2018 : 04:19
Tom said ...
The son William Johnson, was part of the Royal Army Medical Corps and died 26th November 1915, in the Great War, in France / Flanders.
Wednesday, Dec 5, 2018 : 04:22
Andrew Burr said ...
Stephen - I should have spotted The Perfect Servant (missed twice!) but I have the others now. I have given Tom a list of 40 articles I have collected - I don't know how to upload them. I have seen reference to four (or it may be 6) others I have yet to find -

“Blessed Are They That Dwell in My House”
Jehovah My God, My Holy One. Address at Park Street, 1921
Salvation and Righteousness and The Blessing of a Fixed Heart
“The God of Glory” and “My Glory”

I contemplate a print-on-demand book, and am shaping all the scripts up into a common format for that.

Tom - the gravestone confirms the wife's name, which means they were in Ramsgate in 1881 (with an infant William) and he was running a smack and acting as a [shipping?] agent.
Friday, Dec 7, 2018 : 02:23
Tom said ...
Yes in 1881, and with 2 apprentices, and a servant, at 11 Spencer Square.
In 1891, as mentioned before, visiting in Newbury with Arthur Cutting.
1901 is interesting, he is listed at 12 Spencer Square with his father William 83, and sister Elizabeth 39, whereas his wife is in West Ham with William aged 21, Amelia W 17, Edith 14, and Phebe 11. Maybe he was visiting his parents?
I can't find 1911 record at the moment.

Friday, Dec 7, 2018 : 03:34
Andrew Burr said ...
As to Amelia Turpin, my mother and her family joined the meeting in New Milton in 1936, and there was a Mr Turpin there, who had retired from - and eventually returned to - Southampton.
Sorry - I am straying from the WJ story rather!
Friday, Dec 7, 2018 : 03:51
Stephen said ...
I have Salvation and Righteousness The Blessing of a Fixed Heart. I will pass it on to Tom!
Friday, Dec 7, 2018 : 07:54
Rodger said ...
Some others I see in the Mutual Comfort index: The Disciplined Man, Moral Power, Maschil - or Giving Instruction, The Apple Tree
Friday, Dec 7, 2018 : 11:51
Tom said ...
Thanks guys, added "Salvation and Righteousness The Blessing of a Fixed Heart", and the other articles from Mutual Comfort.
Friday, Dec 7, 2018 : 14:59
Andrew Burr said ...
I found three WJ booklets in a box of old books at our meeting room -
- Jehovah My God, My Holy One - which is actually three addresses with other titles
- Recovered for God by Christ as Head - a very early Stow Hill Depot publication.
- The Way Out of Confusion - published in Belfast as the 3rd in what is called the (4 part) "Sunrise Series".
I will scan these and forward to Tom. I now have over 50 WJ pieces.
Still looking for "Blessed are They..." and "The God of Glory...."
Monday, Dec 10, 2018 : 05:00
Tom said ...
Brilliant, thanks Andrew.
Monday, Dec 10, 2018 : 06:06
Andrew Burr said ...
And now I see in the Ryland library catalogue another called The Believer's Progress - addresses etc: how can a copy be had?!
Monday, Dec 10, 2018 : 06:18
Theophilus said ...
I think I have a copy somewhere, but from memory I believe it is ‘Pardon, Salvation, and Peace' under a different title. I'm away from home at present so cannot check. Sorry if this disappoints! Theo
Monday, Dec 10, 2018 : 17:09
Andrew Burr said ...
Theophilus - thanks for that; of course I can wait - there is a lot else to work on! I am most grateful to the respondents on this site for all the help they have given me!
Monday, Dec 10, 2018 : 18:04
Theophilus said ...
Andrew, are the other tracts in “Sunrise Series” listed on the cover? And is anything known about Garfield, the Belfast publisher? Fascinating! I suggest you catalogue the box of tracts in your meeting room (where?). There might be other treasures. I am interested in old pamphlets and tracts by authors outside of the 'big names' from the period say from the home call of JND through to the 1920s, a period exceedingly rich in ministry. Also, I am after scans of JND, JBS, FER, CAC, etc. in their original dress (the pamphlet and booklet form in which first issued). Books tend to survive but pamphlets and tracts tend to be more ephemeral and become extinct. Every now and then something turns up not in collections. Can any readers help? Theo
Monday, Dec 10, 2018 : 21:07
Andrew Burr said ...
Theophilus -There is only a note on the back -
No. 1 -” SUNRISE AND SUNSET”. A Word for the New Year. By J.B.S.
No .4-” Hearts in Tune”. By J.N.D.
(Unpublished hitherto).
Sixpence per dozen.

I assumed WJ's was No 2 although it isn't numbered. A Garfield St Depot is a new one on me. I use a meeting room in West Norwood SE27 - the premises comprise three rooms, and the 'back-room' has become a kitchen/store. My late father used it when he became responsible for the 1962 hymnbook - but the stock is now elsewhere; and for spares of his magazine (A Word in its Season (1973-2007) - which I have just digitised with the plan to put it with the 2nd Series I do, which is on So the back-room became a bit of dumping ground for odd books picked up by Executors and the like. Few are any age. I know they need sorting - note to self! I know of two other bigger and better origanised stores - one at Witney (it used to be at Walton on Naze), the other in Grangemouth. I doubt there is much unusual in either - although the move to Witney led to the discovery of WJ's 5 Ilford addresses. CAC would be the most likely - actually, most of my set is Old Series! I will keep my eyes open - I would generally settle for a digital version of the sort of thing you want the paper copies for.
Monday, Dec 10, 2018 : 22:58
Martin Arhelger said ...
I have got scans of two tracts which mention "Belfast: Bible and Tract Depot, Garfield Street", namely:
- Higgins, D. L.: Full of Glory, 15 pages
- Chater, E. H.: Unto David, 16 pages.

I have also two tracts by Geo. Cutting which give as address: "Belfast: Tract Depot, Lower Garfield St." - perhaps the same:
- Cutting, G.: Sovereign Mercy A Bushmanns Conversion ["Earing and Harvest" Series, No. 9.], 16 pages
Cutting, G.: God is satisfied and so am I ["Seed-Time" Series, No. 22.], 8 pages.

Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 : 04:10
Tom said ...
The last three Martin mentions are on the website. A few others I think, found using the search page and "Garfield".
Tuesday, Dec 11, 2018 : 05:40
Greg said ...
Added "Vanity of Vanities" from the Day Dawn Series. The back cover lists the others - 24 in total. Mainly George Cutting.
Thursday, Dec 13, 2018 : 10:39
Greg said ...
The Day Dawn Series listing with Geo C prompted another search.
It turns out that some of his printed tracts first appeared as magazine articles in Cutting's "Tidings of Light and Peace". The process of searching turned up a few other items not previously listed - so I collated everything together into one file for convenient reference.
Thursday, Dec 13, 2018 : 14:16
Rodger said ...
I think a book compilation of this ministry would be lovely, Andrew. I am enjoying and being edified by what has surfaced here. Thanks for stirring us up about WJ.
Friday, Dec 14, 2018 : 05:02
Andrew Burr said ...
Thanks, Greg, for your compilation! - any chance of a few dates, in particular for the pieces from Truth for our Time and Tidings of Life and Peace.
And two others pieces listed in the back of Meditations still elude us -
“Blessed Are They That Dwell in My House”
“The God of Glory” and “My Glory”
Friday, Dec 14, 2018 : 23:48
Rodger said ...
I see in the Living Water magazine index a few by William Johnson. Can anyone confirm that these are already found here? Are these just extracts from other ministry?
Saturday, Dec 15, 2018 : 14:10
Andrew Burr said ...
Thanks Roger - I have them all except A Meditation on Psalm 32. I know Mark Lemon at the Stone Trust, and have e-mailed him to ask for a copy of the article. I have been reading the material Greg has compiled - it is really interesting to have summaries from readings - all equally good!
Saturday, Dec 15, 2018 : 17:27
Greg said ...
For the compilation, if you use Acrobat Reader on a PC, the file should include a "bookmarks panel" at the side listing all the dates. If you're reading on a tablet or smartphone, the reader app should have a navigation function that accesses these bookmarks.
But, just in case it won't display: Quemerford was 1902 and 1903. Tidings of Light and Peace 01 was 1889; 15 was 1903; etc.
I'll upload "Blessed are they that Dwell in Thy House" shortly.
Saturday, Dec 15, 2018 : 18:19
Andrew Burr said ...
The item on Ps32 which SPT have is from 'Meditations...' - they are kindly looking for anything else they may have.
Thursday, Dec 20, 2018 : 21:53
Tom said ...

This page gives details of his son who died in WW1, and also a picture of his grave.

Friday, Jan 11, 2019 : 20:54
Andrew Burr said ...
I have finally been able to put together a book of 400 pages of William Johnson's ministry from 65 articles I collected - and a big thank you to everyone who helped. I have used a print-on-demand company to produce it. The company is American but books are printed in (or as near as possible to) the country where the recipient lives. Orders can be placed on - the book can be found by searching under 'william johnson'.
Sunday, Feb 24, 2019 : 03:42

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