Workers, Friends, Home Church, The Truth, The Way, Meetings, Gospel, Cooneyites, Christian Conventions, Hymns Old & New
 

Home Page
Site Index
What's New on TTT?

About this Website
2x2 Fact Sheet
Links
Book Lending Library




Send This Page to a Friend

Print this page

The Journal of John Long
About the Early Days
Newspaper Articles
Read about the Early Days
1893 - 1965
1966 to Present
REPRESENTING THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF 2X2 HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS ON THE INTERNET

Letterhead used by workers titled Christian Conventions

Perry, Oklahoma Conv, 1942

Preserving the Truth
The Church without a Name and its Founder, William Irvine

Introduction Index of Chapters
Chapter Links
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43

Appendixes

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O


Chapter 21
Revised May 17, 2017

1900 - 1906

The Restoration Ideal
What were the Early Days like???
How Well Did William Irvine's Method Work?

The Restoration Ideal
Wm. Irvine's Role
Their Mission, Beliefs & Practices
Their Lack of a Name
Their Outlook, Preaching and Teaching
How Well Did Irvine's Method Work?
Arthur McCoy in Australia


THE RESTORATION IDEAL:  Even though the newspapers well documented the details surrounding the early Go-Preacher movement, some of Irvine's workers claimed that their 2x2 ministry and methods were NOT a new method or church, but the revival of the teachings and practices of the New Testament church. They believed God was using William Irvine to restore the New Testament church and the Apostles' ministry.  The correspondent "Within" wrote:

"We are not starting a new religion. We are earnestly contending for the faith once delivered to the saints and trying to separate it from the traditions of men, because there is not a doctrine in the word of God that has not been corrupted by the professing church" (IR, Oct. 7, 1909). A reporter stated: "The majority of the 'Pilgrims' would find fault with me for describing them as belonging to a 'new church,' whereas they claim fellowship with the oldest" (IR, Aug. 12, 1909).

Eddie Cooney told more than 2,000 people at Crocknacrieve convention: "We did not start this 'Jesus Way'...It was started and planned by God before we were ever thought of, and if you go any other way YOU WILL GO TO HELL...If I started the Cooneyite sect, I would go to hell myself, and all my followers. IT'S NOT COONEY'S or another body's way, it is God's plan and way" (IR, Aug. 5, 1909).  He also wrote:

"All that God begins is right...things began with God. So how did God begin to manifest his church in these latter days? I think of how God gave Adam a wife (Adam is a type of Christ). God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam. Out of Adam's side he took a rib, and out of that rib he builded a woman. What was the deep sleep? It was typical of surrender. How did God always get his church? Surrender of the Christ to God. God got a rib out of Christ. William Irvine was part of that rib, and others were part of that rib too. I believe I was part of it and Tom Betty and others also. And out of that rib God builded his church, and so we became (part of) the Bride of Christ in the early days" (Life & Ministry of Edward Cooney by Roberts, p. 23).

William Clelland was the brother of two of Wm. Irvine's brothers-in-law who entered the work in 1900. He stated: "It might be a good question to ask those who say they are from the beginning: Who was ahead of William Irvine? William Irvine was entirely responsible for the creation of this movement. He gathered a few converts around him in Ireland, and he had the idea that he could facilitate the spreading of the gospel by having a few men and women join themselves to him. His ideas of preaching were entirely on his ideas of Matthew 10.  And yet, they have the hide to tell one that it went back to time immemorial. It went back to exactly 1899 when the first workers gathered around Bill Irvine" (Secret Sect by Parker, p. 96, Fn. 32).

Irvine's experiment to restore the primitive New Testament church and to return to the faith and practices of the Apostolic Age was not a novel or unique approach. There were other religious leaders with the same ideals and goals. "The Restoration Movement" was begun in the 19th century when some Christian men attempted to return the church to its original New Testament state and to the simple teaching of the Bible alone. They abandoned man-made creeds, traditions, confessions, teachings and doctrines. They called themselves "Christians" only, but did not believe they were the only Christians. They took no name for their teachings. They did not consider their return to primitive Christianity as a new denomination or sect. They were committed to the restoration principle, to the inspiration and authority of Scripture.  For more information, see Restoration Movement in Wikipedia.

Like the 2x2 fellowship, several other religious movements also held the belief that no one on earth for eighteen centuries had understood the Bible until their particular self-proclaimed leader was "raised up to restore" the correct or true interpretation of God's truth, will and way to earth through their personal revelations. Some of these were Mary Baker Eddy, founder of Christian Science; Charles T. Russell, founder of Jehovah's Witnesses; Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of the Worldwide Church of God; Victor Paul Wierwille, founder of The Way International; and Joseph Smith, founder of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Mormons). All these religious leaders claimed that God broke through hundreds of years of silence to speak solely through each of them individually.

William Irvine, Founder of the Church without a Name (or Christian Conventions), also believed he alone had been divinely appointed to restore God's true way to earth. He also claimed that all other churches and ministers led to hell, and that the Church he founded was God's ONLY True Way on earth. What makes Irvine's self-proclaimed revelation, or experiment more reliable or superior than other Founders' self-proclaimed revelations?

WM IRVINE'S ROLE: The Workers viewed Irvine's role as: "Undoubtedly God called us and separated us to be His people in the beginning; and most prominent and most used in this calling out a people for God's name was William Irvine..."  (Ed Cooney letter May, 1930; Secret Sect by Parker, p. 71).

[Wm Irvine]"...thrives on the excitement and his burning zeal impresses itself on any who listen...he is rather of the fiery Peter nature, and however amiable in private life, as a speaker is a rather repugnant type of Christian, with a hard and harsh voice; rugged, denunciatory, argumentative, Pharisaic, self-sacrificing, full of earnestness, consumed by the idea that he is God-sent, and that he has a great mission to fulfil. Mr. Irwin [Irvine] is absolutely adamantine in his manner. No sweetness or graciousness. Nothing winning or attractive. And yet because of the zeal and power of his speech, and his threats of hell, he obtains adherents...take away ‘hell’ from the addresses of these people and there is nothing left. They have no teaching power" (IR, Jan. 29, 1903).

Wm. Clelland wrote: "In our conventions at Rathmolyon and other places, Bill [William Irvine] was always the leader of the meetings, and chose all the speakers...in one of the meetings at Rathmolyon, Bill gave us a list of his preferred Workers, and here's how he put it: I would rather have Willie Gill, George Walker, Joe Kerr and Eddie Cooney than all the others of you put together. Now who was boss when he gave the list out? There was only one boss in the Tramp Preachers in those days, and they all knew who he was" (Secret Sect by Parker, pp. 34–35, Fn. 6, personal communication, Nov. 8, 1954).

Irvine was far more than just a figurehead; he ruled over the other workers in every sense of the word "rule."  He was recognized as being more than "just a worker" by his friends. Dialogue from a play titled Outline of the History of a Peculiar People from 1900-1931 by Alfred Magowan:

First Visitor:   "They speak of him as a man raised up.
Second Visitor: "They trace their spiritual genealogy to him.
First Visitor:   "I hear they are doing it now, and many have already given up what they call their old profession, and refer to him as the beginning of a new order, as Adam was the beginning of human descent."

THEIR MISSION, BELIEFS & PRACTICES: Various articles printed in the Impartial Reporter in the Early Days describe some of their beliefs and practices. Their Mission and calling was described as:

 "They think the churches have lapsed or back-slidden, and that they are called by God to rouse people to a sense of their danger from hell-fire" (IR, Jan. 15, 1903).

"The Pilgrims imagine that each of them has the gifts of preaching and teaching. They do not concede that you serve God where you are placed; you must leave your place and family and go out with them...They think God will give them the power to speak and teach, but for so far the Almighty has not done much in this direction" (IR, Jan. 29, 1903).

"One feature in connection with these people is one of the saddest. Their idea is that a ‘saint’...must go out to preach the–(i.e., their)–Gospel, and hunt for ‘saints.’ To this end they give up their situations. Mr. Irwin, himself, gave up a comfortable business. He had £300 a year when 20 years of age. A few others have given up lucrative business connections.  Some have sold their farms to join the craze..." (IR, Jan. 29, 1903, p. 6).

"The ‘Tramps,’...must forsake ‘the world,’ and go about from place to place, preaching, because the Lord did. They put themselves in His place, and consider that the state of things existing now justify them copying the Master’s methods 1900 years ago. Why not copy His dress also? And walk from place to place? Bicycles, which are largely used by the ‘Pilgrims,’ were not used by the Master. Guns are put aside now and rowboats because the Master did not use them, and newspapers are not read because He did not read them, but neither did He use a bicycle" (IR, Jan. 29, 1903, p. 6).

THEIR LACK OF A NAME:  In the early 1900's the Sect took no official name. The Irish reporters dubbed them as the "Tramp Preachers, The Tramps, Go-Preachers, Cooneyites, Pilgrims, Dippers.  Ed Cooney called them "God’s saints and servants." Letters by Willie and Elisabeth Jamieson from Scotland, dated 1910 forward, often referred to the Sect as the: "Way of God, Way of Jesus, Jesus' Way, God's Way and God's Truth and Way."

The name "The Testimony of Jesus"  was registered in the U.K. by Willie Gill during World War I. Wm. Irvine identified the Sect as "the Testimony" in letters written after he was expelled.

"‘We have no name,’ he replied, ‘but the ribald multitude give us many.  Some call us Cooneyites, some call us Tramps, Faith Missionaries, No Secters, Women-Thieves, and so on.  Well, we are Cooneyites.  We are also McClungites, for Cooney is no greater than I.  We have no established leader in this world"  (Wilson McClung (IR, June 21, 1906).

"These words "As ye go preach" gave rise to the name "Go-Preacher" [Matthew 10:7 "And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand"] (Long's Journal July, 1898). "The ‘Cooneyites’ call themselves the ‘Go Preachers,’ and they have taken that name from the injunction in the Gospels to ‘Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature’ (IR, June 19, 1917).

THEIR OUTLOOK, PREACHING AND TEACHING: In their Early Days, irish Reporters described the Workers' preaching of folks going to hell.

"Indeed, they profess little respect for clergy...they are severe...upon ‘ministers and preachers.’ Hell is a word in frequent use with them.  Everyone–almost everyone–is going to hell, according to their ideas" (IR, Jan. 15, 1903).

"Various speakers at the meetings say the townspeople are going to hell. They are all very cocksure about it. No Pope ever claimed the power of loosing and binding in hell and heaven stronger than these Pilgrims or Tramps claim to know those who will go to the hot place...they are always judging their neighbours severely, and scarcely ever in charity; their preaching is invariably of hell...Every other sentence almost of Mr. Irwin’s [Irvine's] oration one night had hell mentioned in it" (IR, Jan. 22, 1903, p. 8).

"... and they assume with the most sublime audacity to take upon themselves to say who is and who is not going to hell..." (IR, Jan. 22, 1903, p. 8).

"The Pilgrims know they are not liked, and for that reason they say they are ‘persecuted.’ One of their dogmas—for they have no doctrines—is that if you are ‘really saved’ you must be persecuted; and argue if you are not persecuted, you cannot be saved...No one persecutes them, as they are generally credited with being soft-headed—perhaps an unkind thing, but nevertheless this is the attitude of the public, and this is the kindest way of viewing their extravagances" (IR, Jan. 22, 1903, p. 8).

NO SUNDAY SCHOOL: It seems that a Sunday School was set up for children at one time, but it was shut down when Wm. Irvine heard about it. "The same absurd reasoning of the Tramps that nothing could be adopted unless it were mentioned in the Bible was urged against a Sunday school in Enniskillen for children. When it [the Sunday School] was started, the recognized leader of the schism, Mr. W. Irwin, [Irvine] sent word that it must be stopped, that there was no scriptural authority for it" (IR, Sept. 16, 1909, p. 5, Third Article).

PREACHERS must give up all their possessions and not work:  "The workers do not believe in eating the bread of idleness; to get a living they are occasionally obliged, as they say, ‘to earn their bread in the sweat of their brow’ " (IR, Aug. 12, 1909 p. 3). "They literally obey the injunction to ‘take neither purse nor scrip,’ but leave their homes, and trust to working or begging to maintain themselves during their evangelistic journeys"  (IR, July 19, 1917). "The pilgrims say they travel without money, earning their way by manual labor" (NY Times, Aug. 6, 1909, p. 4).

MARRIAGE:  The Workers found no scripture where Jesus or the Apostles ever performed a marriage ceremony and took the position that marriage was a civil ceremony. They do not perform marriage ceremonies. From the very Early Days, it appears that newly converted wives were required to remove their wedding bands, and new brides not to wear one. W. Trimble deplored the "casting aside the symbol of marriage."

"I confess my ignorance of the reason why married women of the Tramps should be asked to lay aside their wedding ring? All nations, savage or civilized, have some method of indicating the married state. With some it is an arrangement of the hair on the head; with others a garment of dress; with others the ring. Civilized womanhood adopted the ring as the emblem of the married state. It is at once a protection against improper advances and gives a dignity to matronhood....But the Tramps tell their women to put aside the honourable circle of marriage" (The Tramp or Go-Preachers by Trimble, IR, Aug. 27, 1908).

THEIR DRESS: The nickname "Tramp preachers" was appropriate in the Early Days since the Workers literally were not allowed to have two sets of clothing.

"But, like most religious enthusiasts, they have their peculiarities. The use of the razor is eschewed; and those in the highest state of grace, like Mr. Irwin himself, did not use linen collars or shirts; but latterly the white collar has come into use again, but the razor is still avoided" (IR, Jan. 15, 1903).

"His [Edward Cooney's] general deportment is equally arrogant. It is no doubt true that he and his assistant preachers have donned the plainest tweeds, discarding, in some instances, the collar and tie, and in every case cuffs. But everyone knows that peculiarity in dress, even if that dress were a sackcloth, does not necessarily betoken a regeneration of the inner life" (IR, June 2, 1904).

"The ladies affect severity of attire. How far that may go has scarcely yet been defined; but it has gone so far that feathers are discarded and a straw sailor hat is the regulation head covering" (IR, Jan. 29, 1903).

ABSTINENCE:  "The pilgrims are total abstainers both from intoxicating drink and tobacco. A Mr. Donaldson, of Derrygonnelly, who professes to be ‘saved’ since he joined the body, has also as a matter of conscience, given up the sale of tobacco, in which he had had a turnover of £700 a year. He believes it to be a sin to smoke, or to sell the tobacco, and would, doubtless, feel amazed to learn that some of the best and hardest-working clergy of the day smoke, and that Spurgeon said he could thank God for a cigar"  (IR, Jan. 15, 1903).

BAPTISM:  "Their views on baptism are perhaps better known than any of their other beliefs. All infant baptism is, in their opinion, useless...and adult baptism—by immersion, of course—is insisted on, as well as complete separation from the Churches, before full membership can be granted, and the fullness of Gospel blessing, of which they apparently claim a monopoly, can be enjoyed" (IR, March 23, 1905).

HOW WELL DID WM. IRVINE'S METHOD WORK?  In the Early Days, some Workers pioneering in countries where there were no Friends to help support them suffered terrible hardships. According to various accounts, it was not at all uncommon for workers to lack the bare necessities. They were often wet and cold, and slept outdoors in all kinds of weather. The Go-Preacher's Hymn Book mentions workers being hungry three times. Some were frostbitten, suffered malnutrition, experienced mental breakdowns, illness and early deaths, and some retained lasting handicaps from being unable to afford urgently needed medical or dental help. Harry Cross died in 1908 from a spider bite received when sleeping overnight in a barn in Washington. 

 Fannie Carroll went into the work in 1904 and wrote of her pioneering experiences:  "...we were tested sore. We had nothing to eat. We went out one afternoon to visit, though we weren't able for it. We were weak but it didn't bother us..." A a sister worker in Canada lost her fingers as a result of severe frostbite after she removed her gloves to untangle her horse's harness when the temperature was well below freezing. Annie Cook's foot froze while she was looking for a place to hold Gospel Meetings in Eastman, Quebec. Eldon Tenniswood wrote in his account titled "Early Days in Michigan:"

"Charlie and Jack weren't home when Dad arrived, but he found their little bach.  He looked around the place and there was nothing to eat...Mother and Dad often told us about the reproach that the workers suffered, and often with very little to eat and the only transportation they had was to walk. Usually, when they reached our home, they were dead tired from long walks."

"Around 1904-05, John Hardy and another Worker went to Australia. They lived in a tent where they used one half of the tent for their living quarters and the other half for meetings. One day a big storm came and totally ripped their tent to shreds. They then spread newspapers on the ground and slept on them. One day the elder worker woke to find his companion gone with all their money...Alone in a strange place, he decided to keep spreading the gospel. A man from another city came to listen...The man paid his train fare and asked him to come on the following Friday. So on Friday, the Worker arrived...Sitting down to eat, the first time in a long time, John was ravenous. He was able to maintain good manners, and take appropriate portions of food even though he was starving--until dessert. When he was passed the apple pie, he...proceeded to eat the whole pie"  (The First Two Workers to go to Australia).

In Elisabeth Jamieson's Reminisces, she mentions once receiving a letter from her brother in the work. Willie and Walter Slater were at Pismo Beach, "a grand training ground for preachers." He wrote..."we're living on bread and water."   Elizabeth said, "We paid 25 cents a night for a room, and lived on bread and canned milk. I was young and always hungry! Once...we found an apple a child had bitten into. We cut out the bitten part and divided it, and that was our supper..."

"I recall one occasion when our audience went home and left us to shift for ourselves with empty bellies under the stars. John remarks, 'I think they take us for angels.' When I seemed puzzled, he explained, 'They give us credit for having wings, but no stomachs.' There was always the sky, if others roofs failed"  (Magowan, Secret Sect by Parker, p. 33).

"Tramp preachers did everything but sweat blood in the days of their going forth in strange lands, and without visible means of support. They knew what it was to live on raw turnips in Scotland, and on oranges in California. They also knew what it was to go for days without anything to eat; and I can speak with authority about it, seeing that I was one of them. We slept under the stars, in schools and churches and halls and empty store buildings--with neither bed nor bed covering. We tramped through snow from morning to night in more than 40 degrees of frost...I know what it is to have my tramp-preaching companion rub the frost out of a frost-bitten ear with snow"  (Testimony of a Witness for the Defence by Alfred Magowan).

In Australia, speaking of Sam Jones:  "After landing in Fremantle...his companion left him, being discouraged. Sam letting him have what little money he could give, but getting worn out with the journey, took shelter in an empty house. Next day he found himself to weak he couldn't walk and was there for 18 days til some Gypsies found him half dead, but giving him some food, restored him to life again" (Review of Hymns).

ARTHUR MCCOY, from South Australia entered the work in 1914 and from 1922 to 1927, he labored in New South Wales (NSW) under John Hardie. In 1939, he left both the work and the 2x2 church.

Arthur McCoy did much to make the Australian Friends and Workers aware of the pitiful, deplorable conditions the Workers laboured under in Australia. After some terrible experiences, Arthur didn’t believe the Matthew 10 concept “worked” due to his personal experiences, and came to believe that Jesus never intended for future preachers to follow the Matthew 10 method forever. The Matthew 10 concept had not “worked” for him or many other junior workers.

Arthur explained that the commands of Matthew 10 were given against the background of Jewish social customs at the time of Christ. That the law, customs and traditions of Israel provided for the needs of messengers and prophets who were to go empty handed and were to be treated as guests of the people. There was no such assurance to the preachers who followed Wm. Irvine's idea that Matthew 10 should be copied literally in the centuries that followed in foreign lands.

It was Arthur’s opinion that the overseers were not competent to interpret the scriptures. Arthur wrote: “No properly organized and effective attempt was made to stop short, overhaul and examine fully the whole matter and the reason for the views held and laid down by the one who started this ‘way’ in 1900 and by the group of early leaders following him, including John Hardie, J. and W. Carroll, G. Walker, Sam Lang, W. Gill, E. Cooney...”

At several conventions, Arthur urged Overseers John Hardie and Willie Hughes to review the policy of sending men and women out to preach under conditions that seemed to him to be contrary to the mind of Christ. Arthur wrote:

“In any case the set of commandments given to the apostles at first should not have been taken out of its proper time and situation…This 'way', as it was popularly called, can be seen to be in effect a parody, a travesty, a clumsy and poor imitation of the work into which Christ Jesus called the twelve apostles. It should be admitted honestly that many suffered needlessly for not discerning the true time, situation, circumstances and reasons for the set of instructions Christ gave to the apostles.”

"Preachers were forbidden to carry a change of clothes so Adam Hutchison got round the difficulty of having only one pair of trousers by his ingenious method of having a double seat; he sewed on an extra piece of cloth so that when it wore through from the continuous cycling he was able to take it off and sew on another patch. So strict was he that during a cycling trip of 160 miles in northwestern Tasmania, we did not spend a penny for refreshments, then to be had for sixpence--we got water from creeks and roadside tanks". For three years in Tasmania, he and his "companions lived in poorest rough huts and were often wet with no possibility of changing clothes."

"I would go about a whole year without buying a cup of tea or a meal by the roadside...We were so short for two years that most of the time we lived on about three shillings and sixpence a week for both of us for food. In an old bucket we found we made thin apple jam from windfall apples and a little sugar, and we were so thin that our clothes hung on us. Weeks behind with rent for our empty cottage we cut twenty-two tons of boiler wood at three shillings and sixpence a ton, and packed loads of blue-gum leaves into containers for a friendly old Congregational church man who ran a eucalyptus distillery.

At that time, John Hardie was the Elder or Overseer of New South Wales (NSW). “John's practice was, just after each convention, to ask each worker in turn, ‘How much have you got?’ and hold out his hand for it, acting as controller (i.e. John Hardie). We saw and had part in his doing this after the 1923 convention, handing each worker back two pounds and in some cases also a train or coach fare to go to his or her new field.”

Because we were reduced to severe straits there, we repaired and erected an old windmill to help pay our way, mended cartwheels, and dried our one set of wet clothes as best we might…When our rent was six shillings a week we worked as builders' labourers, but when they heard that McMurray, Helms and I worked to earn a little during missions, Edward Cooney and Adam Hutchison found fault. Edward Cooney said it was a 'travesty of Matthew 10', and Adam asked me not to go to work again. I replied that Paul worked in necessity, and wrote of it, but Adam made no reply to this."

"At the end of 1922...I cycled 109 miles up to Glen Innes and took the opportunity of finding Jim Gordon, whom I met briefly. He noticed my boots, worn into holes, and even wanted to buy me a new pair. I declined this kind offer, not seeing the fairness of it.

"We went on to Bellingen, Repton and Uranga on the Bellinger River. We found an old empty cottage near the river; our water supply was from part of an iron tank which contained a foot of water, and there were mosquitoes in swarms so we bought a quarter yard of mosquito netting to make two face covers; otherwise rest was impossible. Fleas were on the floor by our two rugs like Caesar's legions so Harry and I poured hot water on them but more came up out of the cracks. A dentist in Bellingen told me he would charge ten shillings to fix up a damaged tooth which cost was beyond us-so I filed it off with a small file and had to leave it. An abscess came later.

Arthur wound up in a hospital, starving with an infected leg. "...we cycled off again northwards…I felt pain in the right leg, and after a little work decided to visit the Armidale doctor, Dr. Austin, who examined me. He required me to go into hospital at once and that evening he opened the leg from hip to knee to the bone. Other operations followed, eight in all, which finally made the hip rigid" (Secret Sect by Parker, pp. 38-45).

After his hip injury, Arthur was unable to ride a bicycle. He and his companion travelled on a Harley Davidson motorcycle with a sidecar furnished by Arthur's brother Keith (See photograph). Arthur believed he was crippled largely due to the unnecessary hardships and poverty he suffered while in the work in northern NSW under John Hardie’s oversight. He was unable to ignore the indifference shown by his Overseers to the shocking living conditions and medical needs of junior Workers who had and were still suffering needless poverty and health challenges.

In 1939, when he was about 50 years old, Arthur said, "After I protested to the overseer face to face, I left the fellowship and preached no more. I regret at least some of my own venture and have the crippled hip as a result of it.'' His mother, brother and sister also left the church when Arthur did. From that time until his death in the 1970s, he openly criticized the method used by the church in handling funds and the workers’ method of following Matthew 10. After he left the work, Arthur eventually married.

It is not known whether Arthur’s pleas to Overseers on behalf of junior Workers fell on deaf ears...hopefully, his outcry to this great injustice made a difference and changes were modified to alleviate the needless suffering. God respects those who take up for the oppressed. Regardless of his good intentions to alleviate suffering on behalf of others, Arthur was considered by many of his fellow friends and co-workers to be bitter, obsessed, eccentric and fanatical. His reputation was maligned and he bore much reproach as he valiantly attempted to, "make his paths straight” (Matt. 3:3).

Some Workers also suffered great mental anguish when they were physically unable to endure the standards of Matthew 10.  Rarely was financial assistance provided for those who suffered hardship in the work, nor when sickness and urgent personal needs arose. It can be seen that in the Early Days when the Workers went entirely on faith, it did not work out very well for some.

Some Workers and Friends have expressed the reasoning that IF the 2x2 method was NOT according to God's will, then, it would not "work;" i.e. would come to nothing; i.e. that God would hinder its progress, no one would convert and the Workers' needs would not be met, etc. The early Workers used this line of reasoning when they went on Faith Lines on their experimental 1899 bicycle trip to Scotland. They viewed their converts as "proof" that their 2x2 method "worked,"  and, concluded, as some also do today, that God intended for the two by two method on faith lines in Matthew 10 to be followed universally for all time in preaching the Gospel message.

Man's acceptance or rejection is not and never has been a true gauge of what is approved of God. Whether or not something appears to "work," or "feels right" is not a measure of God's favor. Communism, slavery and Satanism all "work." If the Workers' needs being met and their acquiring converts was "proof" that God endorsed a particular Ministry, then the same would also be true for other denominational Christian ministers with the same experience. 

Telling the Truth has a hard copy of the documents, books, newspaper articles, references, etc. used in this book. Any exceptions are noted with an asterisk (*).

Go to Chapter 22


Go to Top of Page

Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the Truth?
Galatians 4:16

"Condemnation without Investigation is Ignorance."

Your comments, suggestions and corrections are appreciated. You are welcome to link to this website.

Contact TTT
© Telling the Truth

Read online book:

Preserving the Truth
The Church without a Name
and its Founder, William Irvine



William Irvine
1863-1947


Founder of the
Church with No Name
aka 2x2 Church,
Friends & Workers Fellowship,
Cooneyites and "the truth"