Robert roberts

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  • 1. The Life of Brother Robert Roberts
    Laindon Bible Class
    8th December 2010

2. Portly form
Florid complexion
Red & straggling beard & moustache
Dark hair, oiled and brushed back
Deep set penetrating eyes
Short sighted
Source: Islip Collyer
Robert Roberts
Bro Robert Roberts
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3. Victorias third year of reign
Development of photography
Tea first arrived in Britain
Charles Darwin elected member of Royal Society
First baseball game in America
Belgium becomes an independent Kingdom
British capture Hong Kong from Chinese
Prussia limits the working week of children to 51 hours
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The year 1839
4. Born: Link Street, Aberdeen, Scotland on 8th April 1839
Father was a seaman, later became captain of a small coastal vessel, often away from home
Mother had been educated in London and came to Aberdeen as a school teacher after fathers death
When mother married, raised a large family with little money
Mother was religious and applied wholesome discipline
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His place of birth
5. Family comprised 6 boys and 1 girl (plus 4 others who died)
RR at age 10 went with his mother to a talk by Brother John Thomas on Baptism (1849)
RR left school at age 11, wanted to be a cabinet maker
Started work in a grocers shop, moved to a printer, to a photographer and the unemployed age 13
Resisted temptation to go to sea because he wished to better himself
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His early years
6. Attended evening classes but absented himself with a friend and went out on the town (was found out)
Threw himself into religion as a Calvinist Baptist
Read voraciously and looking for material came across a copy of Herald of the Kingdom and Age to come (through interest of sister and grandmother)
Effect was extraordinary, he was carried away with the Bible based logical argument
He read the magazine monthly and sought a copy of Elpis Israel, which he read cover to cover
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His early years (continued)
7. Was filled with joy at the Truth he had discovered
Sought out the followers of Brother Thomas (about 20) who met in a small room of an old castle
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Follows Brother Thomass teaching
8. Bro Robert Roberts
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Union Street Aberdeen
9. The tunnels under St Nicholas Street
Bro Robert Roberts
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10. Was filled with joy at the Truth he had discovered
Sought out the followers of Brother Thomas (about 20) who met in a small room of an old castle
Attended their afternoon meetings but had to attend chapel in the mornings (age 12)
One day absentedhimself from chapel and went to the brethrens meeting place
His mothers wrath descended on him but a deal was done after some fierce threats (did not last long!)
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Follows Brother Thomass teaching
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Apprentice to a Druggist
12. Recommended by his sister becomes an apprentice and learns Latin and Pitmans shorthand
Was baptised in 1853 (aged 14) in the River Dee after being examined by 2 brethren
Devised a system for reading his Bible, now known as the Bible Companion and marked his Bible
Saw the start of the Crimean war, signs of the times, but disappointed when Russia driven back
Convinced Christs return was imminent
Wrote to Brother Thomas of his zeal for the Truth
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RR is baptised
13. Joins the Aberdeen Daily Telegraph but leaves on a matter of principle
Does odd freelance reporting jobs, one of which was regarding the building of a railway through Aberdeenshire (talk on Daniel 2)
Well paid (bought a watch) but still out of work
Visited brethren at Edinburgh ( met his wife to be)
Recommended by a brother to work for The Caledonian Mercury in Edinburgh
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Starts his career as a reporter
14. Left Aberdeen and moved to Edinburgh
Was drawn to Jane Norrie
Became disappointed with the Edinburgh brethren
Was just 19 (Jane was 27) when became engaged
Sacked from his paper because of an transcription error
Bro Robert Roberts
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Reporter in Edinburgh
15. Whilst serving his notice, receives a recommendation to join the Examiner in Huddersfield
Moved there in 1858 (the same year Darwin proposed his Theory of Evolution)
No local ecclesia so walked 6/7 miles to Halifax and met with 12 brethren (including F R Shuttleworth)
Writes to Brother Thomas, sending 15-5s-0d and inviting him to visit and preach in Britain.Also asks for guidance on witnessing
Receives a warm letter in the magazine by way of reply
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RR moves to Yorkshire
16. Brother Thomas says: Do brethren expect to get the Kingdom if they do nothing and live like other men?
New paper started in Dewsbury and RR gives a lecture there
RR feeling unwell and comfortless in lodgings, decides to hasten his marriage to Jane (April 8th 1859)
Meets wifes relations, then settles down in Huddersfield, preaching amongst those with whom he worked
Maintains a marital diary but becomes very unwell
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RR in Huddersfield
17. Continued with public lectures in Huddersfield
Provided help to Fowler & Wells taking shorthand notes
Was offered a job at double the salary, opportunity to travel and to finish up in New York
Phrenology involves a study of the shape of the skull as an indication of personality and character
Travelled the country: Leeds/Birmingham/Wolverhampton /Leicester/Nottingham/Derby/Sheffield/York/Durham/Newcastle on Tyne/Sunderland
5 months on the road brought a change of heart
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Meets the phrenologists
18. RRs lack of personal ambition
Took an unpaid assistant that gavehim time to write the 12 lectures, precursor of Christendom Astray (age 22)
Established an ecclesia in Huddersfield (6 brethren)
Outdoor meetings up to 70 persons, indoors 0 to 13
Gave series of 12 lectures with 50-100 attending, followed by a tea meeting
1862 saw the American Civil War and the prospect of Brother Thomas visiting Britain (Eureka volume 1 issued)
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Return to Huddersfield
19. Brother Thomas stayed with RR who paid his expenses
Took notes of an interview which would become a biography
Brother Thomas gave lecture to a half filled room, started with an exposition of Hebrews, difficulty with questions
RR concludes not good at presenting his knowledge but admits a youthful lack of understanding
Envious elder brethren turn Brother T against RR
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Brother Thomas visits
20. RR had to wait for Brother Thomas to understand the situation and relations to be repaired
Brother T, now on tour of Britain, criticises RR for lack of action on Dowie error (1864)
Brother Thomas advocates RR moves to Birmingham
Difficulty of finding a job in Birmingham (no weeklies) but moves to work as a freelance (age 25)
Birmingham Ecclesia some 15-20 brethren
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Brother Thomas & RR
21. Starts a contract job from his office with Daily Post
Publishes a magazine Ambassador of the Coming Age, later renamed the Christadelphian
Reports on an enquiry into General Hospital and gets paid 50 so buys a new house
Birmingham Ecclesia grows, produces a hymn book (the Golden Harp) and draws up some ecclesial rules
After Sunday meetings had to work till late at night but was accompanied by his wife
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RR in Birmingham
22. Continued 15-18 months to 1865 (age 26)
Some problems in ecclesia, lovers of their own selves
RR at first thought Brother Thomas too severe and suspicious but came to realise his wisdom
Brother Thomas to publish Eureka volume 2, RR looking for another visit to Britain
RR holds a town hall event, 1500/1800 attend and 23 candidates for baptism result (ecclesia now 68)
RR becomes shorthand writer for Bankruptcy Court
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Birmingham Ecclesia grows
23. Brother Thomas petitions for exemption from military service and names Christadelphians
Civil War ends in America but Federal Army become known as Army of Thieves
Edinburghs antagonism to Brother T and George Dowie allows brethren freedom to decide on immortality (discussing everything and settling nothing)
RR leads a withdrawal from Edinburgh Ecclesia
Emerging principle re doctrines to be rejected
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Troubled times
24. Aberdeen Ecclesia call RR to task over judging, he distinguishes two sorts of judging (Kingdom v right)
RRs view on contending for the faith: An effort should doubtless be put forth to reclaim those who are in error but where the efforts fail, disassociation by withdrawal is natural and inevitable.Division is the inevitable concomitant of an uncompromising adherence to the Truth
The Declaration is published in 1867
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Reaction to RRs actions
25. Eureka volume 3 published in 1869 and Brother T sails after publication
Spends 4 weeks in Birmingham (now 123 brethren)
Moves on to a lecture tour but arranges to have a house built outside Birmingham
RR paid as Editor of Christadelphian after his job at the Bankruptcy Court concludes
1871 Brother Thomas dies in New York, RR notified by Sister Lasius
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Brother Thomass 3r