Preaching by Edward Cooney
Sermon #1 Auckland Special Meeting, New Year's Day, 1921
Sermon #2 Auckland Special Meeting, New Year's Day, 1921
Sermon #3 Avonbridge
Sermon #4 Avonbridge
Additional Writings by and About Edward Cooney
June 11, 1904 - THE NEWTOWNARDS CHRONICLE
"When you go before the Lord," said Cooney on Saturday, "He will not ask you how many scones you sold at the bazaar held in the Town Hall. He will not ask you how many antimacamers you sold, nor will He ask you what the Rev. Mr. Whatham thought of you."
"The Lord keep me away from the doors with the big brass knockers on. When I see them, I slink away and go round to the back and talk with the butler or the slavery."
"I hear the Church people and the Presbyterians are hugging one another over Cooney. Before he came, politically, they would hardly speak to one another." Another sample of how Cooney preaches the Gospel.
September 29, 1904, p. 8 - THE IMPARTIAL REPORTER
Mr. Edward Cooney delivered an address, in the course of which he spoke of his own experience, how he went out to preach the Gospel, and the commission given at the day of Pentecost. It is but just to say that on this occasion Mr. Cooney made no personal references to his family such as he is unwisely in the habit of indulging. He proceeded to say that when he became saved he felt constrained to confess Jesus as his Lord. He then referred to the passage, 'Repent, and be baptised and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost,' and pressed upon his hearers, first to repent and then be baptised after the manner of the Scriptures. Mr. Cooney had no hesitation in affirming his own authority to baptise, his own authority to preach and teach. He said, 'By Jesus Christ to declare that you may have your sins remitted.'
Having spoken for some time on repentance and having quoted the passage 'Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand,' he gave some of his personal experiences, and related how the death of his elder brother had impressed him seriously, that he resolved to give everything up to the Lord Jesus Christ, not to live in his own strength, but by that given by Him. He then asked them what brought many of them there? Curiosity? Yes, and he thanked God for that curiosity, as it enabled him to speak to them about the eternal Salvation. He then referred to John the Baptist baptising our Lord in the river Jordan, and said that in the same way our Lord's disciples must confess His name and be baptised in the same manner as all the baptisms in the scriptures had been carried out.
They were to be baptised, not as the Archbishop of Canterbury said, nor by the manner prescribed by the Moderator of the General Assembly, or the President of the Methodist Conference; 'but' said Mr. Cooney, 'You must follow the example of Jesus of Nazareth, and HE HAS COMMANDED ME not only to make disciples of all nations, but to teach them to be baptised in his Name.' He then warned scoffers and jesters not to make light of baptism. They should not scoff at what Jesus Christ himself passed through; it would make their hearts harder and deaden them to good influences. Perhaps some of them might think he was not good enough company for them, but so long as he followed Jesus Christ he was the best of good company for them, and he would thank them to show him from the Bible where they were not acting up to the Scriptural method of baptism.
Mr. Cooney, at times, dipped into the usual Evangelical method of advising his hearers to repent and to be baptised. Baptism was not necessary for salvation, but just as a wife should live in obedience to her husband, so they should live in obedience to the example of the Lord Himself, and be baptised in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Mr. Cooney, in the course of his remarks, described himself as 'A TRAMP PREACHER,' and quoted examples of baptism from the Scriptures by adult immersion, from the baptism by John the Baptist of our Lord down to the baptism of Lydia by Paul; and invited any one to show him a proof from the Bible of infant baptism. Having made an appeal to his hearers to repent in time before it was too late, the dipping ceremony commenced.
October 13, 1904, p. 5 - THE IMPARTIAL REPORTER - FIRST ARTICLE
'I', said Mr. Edward Cooney, at Ballinamallard, 'am a Tramp Preacher.' Therefore, if the writer describe the latest phase of religious enthusiasm, by the name given by one of themselves, it cannot be misunderstood.
October 20, 1904, p. 8 - THE IMPARTIAL REPORTER - SECOND ARTICLE
Mr. Cooney says, 'I am commissioned:' no one knows who commissioned him: and no one knows who commissioned his followers or any of preachers to disregard the command, 'As oft as ye do this, do it in remembrance of Me.' No excuse that we know of can be urged for the serious offence of avoiding the Lord's Supper.
July 18, 1907, p. 8 - THE IMPARTIAL REPORTER
Mr. Cooney gave a short address. In the course of his remarks he made the momentous announcement, 'We believe this is the last message to the people of Fermanagh.' He also referred to their sect as 'God's saints and servants.' At the close of his remarks he called on those who were saved since the beginning of the convention to stand up and remain standing, the idea being to confess God openly as their Saviour. Seven did so. Mr. Cooney also requested those who had not been publicly baptised, and wished to be, to stand up. Nineteen signified their wish. A baptismal service was then announced for next Sunday.
July 25, 1907, p. 8 THE IMPARTIAL REPORTER
Mr. Edward Cooney was the principal speaker on Saturday evening last. He read the 2nd chapter of Revelations and gave his interpretation of each verse as he read it. He spoke of the seven churches of Christ and said that God was not interested in the Salvation Army, in the Methodist or Roman Catholic churches. He was only interested in the churches in the New Testament, churches formed by angels or messengers. The only one who could form a church was in the right hand of Christ and was ever willing to do His will in His way. That was why John Wesley was not a messenger of Christ, John Wesley never put himself in the right hand of Christ.
People say times have changed. Jesus had been most particular that all sent in the early days should not be greater than He. Now they had the Salvation Army, the clergymen and the evangelists, who were all sent by the Devil, for Jesus never changed. Some people have often asked why they had no organisation. They had none, said Mr. Cooney, because organisation was of the Devil. Why no secretaries, no committees, no directors in the Lord's work?
WHY HAD THEY NO LEADERS? Because, they all were of the Devil. Jesus, himself, was their captain and guide. Every church formed had Jesus for its bishop and inspector. Jesus removed those unfaithful to him and encouraged those who were faithful. Having referred to the preaching of John the Baptist and those who were his followers and called themselves Johnites, Mr. Cooney said that those who called themselves Irwinites or Cooneyites were all going to Hell, for John had preached that they might be Christians and not Johnites. Those men had stopped short and had not understood the preaching of John. He (Mr. Cooney) had a reputation for kicking up rows, but he was always comforted when he read about Paul who went through the country districts and towns and got them turned upside down. If anyone tried to persuade them that John Wesley was an Apostle of Jesus, he could not. Why? Because they believed in the 'Jesus way.' If they tried John Wesley by Jesus, that what he declared himself, the sent one of Jesus, they found he was a liar, because he was not according to the pattern of Jesus, who was the pattern of the Apostles.
In conclusion, Mr. Cooney made reference to baptism. They got baptized by total immersion in water as a public confession that they belonged to Jesus. To illustrate that the speaker said that when a girl wished to get married she first of all told the man of her choice, and afterwards made a public confession of her choice, by being publicly married at a registry office. A registry office was the proper place to get married. Clergymen could not marry. The Apostles never married any one and never would. Giving in marriage was the civil right of a representative of King Edward VII, a magistrate.
An interval in the service was made at half-past five, when tea was served to all present. At half-past six the service was resumed, and Mr. Edward Cooney was the principal speaker. He made a number of personal references to his youth and to occurrences which had warned him against a lost eternity. Mr. Cooney also spoke on John the Baptist and his Gospel. The Methodist Gospel, he said, would land them all in Hell. The Gospel of the Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, or Episcopalian Churches would land them in Hell. The only Gospel that would land them in Heaven was the Gospel of Jesus, the Apostles' Gospel. What was the Gospel of the Presbyterians, Methodists, &c.
Here it is: give up smoking, drinking, swearing, dancing, theatre-going, novel reading, &c. Some go further than others. And while they preach that men should give up all those sins, they allow two of the most damnable and devilish sins in the eyes of God. John the Baptist put his two fingers on those two sins: love of money and pride. The proud man was surer of going to Hell than the harlot. Love of money would send them far faster to Hell than the love of whisky. He never met a man or woman who loved his neighbour as himself till he got into fellowship with the 'Tramp Preachers.' The 'Tramp Preachers' demonstrate it in their flesh. John said if a man hath two coats, give one away. The Sunday Suits were of the Devil. If they preached that in Enniskillen Methodist Church, the people there would say they were dafted. He preached it at a convention at Keswick, and a prominent evangelist shouted 'humbug' at him.
July 23, 1908, p. 8 - THE IMPARTIAL REPORTER
The speakers at this service were the two leaders of the movement, Mr. Wm. Irvine and Mr. Edward Cooney. Both speakers denounced the various churches and the clergy in no unmeasured words.
Mr. Cooney spoke first, and referred in the course of his address to his early life and to his attending the services in the Church of Ireland, where the clergyman often read out passages which he (the clergyman) did not understand. Since then he (Mr. Cooney) did, because he had an honest heart and found out what the true way and what the truth was. He advised every man and woman to do what he did; forget their father, their mother, their brothers and sisters, their clerical and individual training, and try and get at the truth. In his youth he began to be bound by the chains of tradition before he knew that he was being bound. He had been brought when an infant to a clergyman who SPRINKLED HIM with water, in the sign of the cross, and made a member of the Church of Ireland before he cut his teeth.
It was very easy to make them Methodist, Roman Catholics or Church of Ireland, by sprinkling water over them, and he believed there was some ceremony whereby children were made members of the Salvation Army by the waving of a red flag over them. Had God anything to do with that devilry. Certainly not. Christ did not say 'Peter, run away for a bowl or can of water and we will baptise them and make them disciples.' They (the tramp preachers) taught and rightly taught that if followers of Jesus had children, they should train them up in the way of Jesus, not in the WAY OF CLERGYMEN: They talked about Protestantism. Why, the Protestants of Fermanagh were rank Papists at heart; because they run away to the clergymen to act Jesus and have their babes blest.
Some say because there is good in Methodism, Presbyterianism, the Salvation Army, in Quakerism, that they are of God. In their hearts they were deluded and blinded by the devil. It was good to begin at the beginning. The first three words they read in the Bible were 'In the beginning God, &c.' If they were perplexed as to what the truth was they should go back to the beginning and go to God. Their perplexity would then vanish and the light of God would shine into their hearts. HOW THE DEVIL TEMPTS.
It was a fact, Mr. Cooney said, that women were less influenced by their judgment than men. Colour or music weighed a good deal with the feminine sex. When the devil tempted Eve, he tempted her through her senses. Why did the Roman Catholics go in such crowds to penance? Because the spirit of God was dealing with their hearts and making them long to be right. The spirit of the Devil was speaking in their hearts and showing them how to be right in the wrong way. If God moved in the hearts of men and made them desire to be right, the Devil was just as active to persuade them that there was some other way to act right than that laid down in the Scriptures. Some people imagined that the Devil was horrible to look upon, quite an ugly character. The Devil always came in the most attractive form he could possibly assume. Probably, he would put on a clerical collar and assume the holiest possible tone of voice.
FAMOUS DIVINES NOT IN HEAVEN. After further remarks Mr. Cooney said that people wondered why they said that Spurgeon, Moody, and Wesley were not in heaven. He held that anyone who did as Jesus did would be in heaven. If anyone could prove to him that Wesley went to heaven the same way as Jesus taught, he would follow Wesley. If they said General Booth would go to heaven the same as Jesus, he would follow General Booth and be General Cooney. He did not want to be fooled, he wanted to be sure that he was on the right road. Why, they said, those men were not in heaven was because they had not walked the way Jesus walked. It was very simple, if they examined the scriptures.
WHY THEY ATTACK THE CLERGY. Mr. Cooney said it had been stated that there were 666 different ways of going to heaven. If they did not like the Roman Catholic way they could try the Church of England way, whose Archbishop had £15,000 a year. If they did not like that they could follow the Methodist way, the clergy of which had £3 a week, a free house, £12 for every child they had, and a superannuation when they got stiff in the joints. (Laughter.) There was very little hope for people who went to church or chapel. There was some hope for those who stopped outside. It was only the hypocrites who went to church and the head hypocrite was the clergyman. 'You say,' continued the speaker 'why do we speak so much against the clergy? Because we want you to get saved. If you go to the preacher you will go to hell. But, if you go to the right sort of preacher you will go to heaven.'
'COONEYITES' GO TO HELL. Mr. Cooney then referred to people talking about such and such a person joining the Cooneyites or the Pilgrims or the Irvinites. If they became pilgrims that would never bring them to heaven. If they became Cooneyites they would go to hell. When he was a Cooneyite he was going to hell. He was not a Cooneyite now, he was a Christian. It was by the religious people he was opposed. The religious people were those who fought hardest against the truth.
WORSE THAN THE LOVE OF WHISKEY. The love of whiskey, said Mr. Cooney, was not as bad as the love of money. Money, the scriptures said, was the root of all evil. The Scriptures did not say whiskey was. The people of Fermanagh were going to hell through the love of money. If they go to the Methodist Church, the Church of Ireland, or the Presbyterian Church, they have the love of money. Who got the foremost seats in the Methodist Church? Those that had the money bags. Who got them in the Church of Ireland and Presbyterian Church? Those that had the money bags. Those were the men who were exalted in those churches.
In the Salvation Army they would 'God bless you' if you put a sovereign in their cap. They also had a silver 'God bless you' and a copper one. (Laughter.) The rich man was always made a church warden or a select vestryman. And he who had no money and was poor was put into the shade. Mr. Cooney concluded his address by appealing to all those present to walk in the Jesus way, to take Him for their pattern and to follow His teachings as they were found in the New Testament.
July 30, 1908, p. 8 - THE IMPARTIAL REPORTER
Mr. Edward Cooney next spoke. He had been over at the great ministerial convention at Keswick, and everyone expected to hear much from him concerning his visit and what had happened there. But, generally, he was silent on the matter and only referred to it for a few moments and told one or two tales about his controversies with clergymen. One of the clergymen wore a gold ring and Mr. Cooney attacked him for it. The clergyman replied, and, said Mr. Cooney, (mimicing) his defence was: 'It was a "de-ah" brother that gave it to me, and it always reminds me when I look at it of the purity of the Gospel.' (Laughter.)
'Would to God' cried Mr. Cooney, 'that Dean Ovenden would come out on this platform. We would willingly give him a whole hour. If he can prove according to the New Testament that he is right, I will then become Dean Cooney and wear knicker-bockers.' Needless to say this statement was received with loud laughter on the part of the Tramps. Later in his address, Mr. Cooney again referred to the Dean.
Mr. Cooney told his hearers that he used to preach for the Methodists, and once he actually preached in an Episcopalian pulpit, and the reason why he was allowed to preach in those places was because he was considered a reformer. Poor blind foolish fool that he was. If he were to go amongst the Methodists and knock off a few twigs, they would say 'God bless you.' He and his friends were open to preach in any Church, whether it be Methodist, Church of Ireland or Roman Catholic. And they would preach free of cost, and give their listeners four hours, for nothing. (And they would be mighty dear at the price. ED. I.R.) Did they imagine that they would be allowed to do so! No, because they would lay the axe at the root of the tree. That was why John the Baptist was not allowed to preach in the synagogue, and he had to go to the banks of the Jordan. They wanted to put the axe of truth at the foot of every tree.
Every town he (Mr. Cooney) visited he could divide it into two classes. It was a case of for or against. When he went to Keswick, there were only two sects, one for and the other against. The Salvation Army, the Presbyterians and the Methodists and the Roman Catholics would all be joined together, again. When Jesus went forth to preach there were a large number of sects, and he divided the country into two camps, one for and the other against Him. As God looked down on this assembly today, he saw the sheep and the goats. The sheep were those who believe in the Shepherd, and proved their belief in the Shepherd by standing by Him.
Mr. Cooney during his address referred to private conversations in the family circle, and remarks made by different members in it. He also referred to the IMPARTIAL REPORTER as showing them as saying such awful things, but it had made many come out four miles to hear them and that was something.
July 30, 1908, p. 5 - THE IMPARTIAL REPORTER
On arriving at the tent it was seen to be full to overflowing. Delegates, I was told, were present from both England and Scotland, and I was pointed out a man who had come all the way from South Africa. On the left hand side a platform had been erected, and from this structure the three or four leaders gave forth.
The subject under discussion -- I was too late for the text -- was the BLIND CLERGY AND their poor deluded hearers. The speaker a man of medium height with a brown beard and sun-tanned face, who was dressed in clothes that had seen better days, and whose cap was projecting from his pocket, was evidently on good terms with himself.
His main purpose was to try and raise a laugh at clergymen of all denominations by making jokes about their style and appearance. 'Did you fellows ever try to button your collars at the back of your necks? -- it is a very hard thing to do? --or by picking out passages from Holy Writ?' (imitating the voice and style of those who minister in holy things) and asking the people that a text such as the following applies to the minister who makes it the subject of his discourse -- 'For whom I have suffered the loss of all things and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.' His hearers were asked 'Can you imagine Dean Ovenden who has £12 a week or a Methodist Minister with £3 per week and a manse preaching from such a text?'
The Pope--who, he said, lived in a house with 1,000 rooms and yet was a bachelor--the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Moderator of the General Assembly, and the Methodist Minister were all denounced as blind and leaders of the blind, there was none good, no, not one, and it was stated that hell was full of ministers and their people. All people in the world, all in this tent were divided into two classes--the sheep and the goats. There were no sheep, from his arguments, prior to the inception of Cooneyism, so needless to say hell is going to be a very big place.
Up to this time I did not know the name of the gentleman who was so sweetly discoursing until he related a family story in which his father, his mother, and his brother--who, he told us, rode to hounds--figured, and then I learned he was Eddy Cooney.
A WHOPPER. A Scotch gentleman followed who started by reading extracts from a local paper (the IMPARTIAL REPORTER) and commenting on them, making some personal remarks about the editor of the paper. He next gave out a text and began a la Cooney. Holding up his Bible in front of his face he said, 'There is no clergyman who has ever stood behind this book but is in hell, or is going there.' This was the subject matter of his discourse, but he went further, and said that all those who listened to clergymen and supported them were also on their way to the place of perdition. Having concluded, he announced that tea was being prepared, and asked everyone to keep their seats.
July 30, 1908, p. 5 - THE IMPARTIAL REPORTER
Another hymn and then the appeal of Mr. Cooney. He said two things were necessary--a wish in the heart; and the outward manifestation of this wish before all present, by standing to their feet, of those who were willing to follow 'the truth,' and the truth alone.
August 5, 1909, p. 8 - THE IMPARTIAL REPORTER
Mr. Cooney spoke for over two hours. It was not a Gospel address, or one of teaching; but one of condemnation of those who differed from his views. They were all going to hell. He knew all about it. He pointed out that it was not Mr. Cooney who said or condemned so-and-so, but the Bible or the Lord Jesus who did it. He did not add--as he (Mr. Cooney) interpreted the Bible. Mr. Cooney adhered to his former course of personalities; and as before, dragged himself, his own family, the Reformers, and others by name into his discussion.
When he had no abuse to offer about the Editor of the IMPARTIAL REPORTER, Mr. Cooney mentioned him by name, and said he did not need any whitewash from Mr. Trimble. He repeated his denunciation of John Knox, Calvin, John Wesley; they had all gone to hell; and as for 'General' Booth and others they were going to hell. There was the usual torrent of abusive talk, bristling with denunciation and everlasting torment, so that those who went to hear something out of the common got it, only that it was a repetition of former harangues.
Asking those who had been influenced to stand up he found there were only five 'converts', so he attacked the 'hypocrites' who had listened to him and did not reply. He also mimicked questions and answers regarding 'the Dippers,' and poured out a quantity of talk containing either little or nothing of the Gospel message, as most people understand it, for Mr. Cooney's idea of what he calls 'The Jesus Way,' seems to possess none of the sweetness and love-compelling power of the 'Good News' as voiced by Him who spoke as never man spake; and those who went to Crocknacrieve in the hope of receiving some of the Bread of the Gospel received, instead, a stone.
The following excerpts from Mr. Cooney's address have been furnished to us as examples of his ideas:
The Mohammedans were more religious than Protestants, because they did not drink (intoxicating liquors).
Satan was the first dissenter, and he could not agree with God.
If people go their own religious way, they go to hell.
The common uneducated people were always the good preachers. The chances were ten to one against the rich being saved. Adam was only a farmer, as well as his sons.
When a good man married the right woman there was happiness in the home, but it was only a preparation for the future fellowship, a stepping stone to the bride-groom in the house above.
These professing Christians, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists, are all wrong, they were all different from Jesus.
Young children while still innocent are baptised, (when they generally cry). Then they were brought to Sunday school where Lord_____'s children were taught by the agent, Mr. Smyth; the middle class children by the middle class people; (he was middle class because he was in trade); and the poor by the corduroys. He had been taught in a so-called church. No boy or girl likes church.
That horrible ordeal of the clergy house was a miserable business--they were dressed up like peacocks. The children were prepared for hell there. The rich and proud who go to hell were shocked when by chance any poor person got into their pew. The rich were generally sitting in one place, the middle-class in another, and the poor people in the free pews.
The devil was behind all that Irish pride. English and Scotch pride were just the same. He was put through it all, but in spite of his family he was delivered. The Episcopalians were not in God's way; neither were Presbyterians, Methodists, Salvation Army, Mohammedans, nor Buddhists. The Roman Catholic system has no foundation in New Testament. Their idea of sin is different from Gods. Peter lived differently from the Archbishop of Canterbury with £6,000 a year. The Tramps tried to live like Peter, with no home, money, &c.
Mr. Cooney declaimed against church buildings, because Christ brake bread and gave wine in disciples' houses. He preached in the houses of saints. That was God's way, and because they tried to follow him they were hated. The clergy's way was not God's, and therefore the clergy were not hated.
Only men and women can be Christians. Men are those who stand up for principles, only manly men and womanly woman could do that.
He had an half hour's talk with his brother-in-law, Rev. Boyton Smith, B.A. who wanted to convert him (Mr. Cooney), but he (Cooney) told Mr. Smith that he himself was not converted yet. He (Cooney) told Mr. Smith his doctrine, and when he had finished, Smith said merely 'Fiddlesticks;' and his (Mr. Cooney's) explanation of that reply being that Smith had no argument.
When in Greenock he (Mr. Cooney) got into trouble. A Plymouth brother and Roman Catholic woman sailed up, and the woman demonstrated her arguments with her fists. The darkness had to vanish when it saw the light. He was then nearly mobbed in the open, so he engaged a small hall. While there, two detectives were sent to ask him to stop preaching as the people were against his doctrine. Both Protestants and Catholics were united against him. So long as he spoke against Catholics, Protestants would listen. When he spoke against Protestants, Catholics would listen; but when he preached Jesus neither would listen.
'General' Booth did evil that good might come. The 'General' raised millions for the support of the staff, for emigration, insurance, &c., &c., but without Christ's authority.
The Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Salvation Army sects were never invented by God, but by Luther, Knox, Wesley, and Booth, respectively. The Pope professes to follow Christ, but he does not. The Protestants were likewise. Here Mr. Cooney challenged anyone to stand up for the clergy, and, as none accepted his challenge, he called them all mean, low, contemptible people, selling their souls for self and £ s. d.
'If any of you had any grit you would stand up for your clergy.' (No reply was given.)
He had not intended to talk so strongly that afternoon, but he was compelled to do so. He did not want W. Copeland Trimble to white-wash him in the IMPARTIAL REPORTER. It was said that the tramp preachers were not learned, they had never been to college, were ignorant in fact, but Jesus was merely a carpenter.
'Did Jesus preach with hope of becoming Pope, or Archbishop of Canterbury, or General? Never. These were the devil's ways.
'When you are in hell, remember that we told you the truth, and forget your Sunday school teaching.'
They then sang a hymn, but before the last verse, Mr. Cooney stopped and spoke for half an hour, having spoken for two hours previously. The last verse was then sung with bowed heads. While the converts stood up, four women and a girl, he prayed for them and the meeting finished with the doxology.
August 5, 1909, p. 8 - THE IMPARTIAL REPORTER
A correspondent writes: One of the first points which would strike a listener to Mr. Cooney's discourse, was the entire lack of charity and kindness. Mr. Cooney is excellent as a spouter of damnation and hell fire, but when it comes to the love of God, and the tenderness of the Saviour for mankind, Mr. Cooney appears to know nothing of it. He reiterates the statement which his hearers know so well, how he left his home about eleven years ago, and discovered the 'Jesus' way of preaching the gospel.
One of the most repellent features in this address was the way in which he damned such great reformers as Martin Luther and John Knox, because they did not think as he did. The wonder is that he dared to say men like that had gone to hell, men whom the world knows to have been the salt of the earth. General Booth did not escape his condemnation. According to Mr. Cooney, the devil had whispered in the ear of a man of gigantic brain and swayed magnificent talents (to quote the speaker's own words) in a manner to surpass Wesley and those chaps. In fact, Mr. Cooney continued, the splendid idea of dressing men in uniform and making them play tambourines had won him a place in the highest society, his latest patron being Edward VII.
So, in their turn, all denominations and creeds were subject to Mr. Cooney's wrath, which his followers seemed to think very admirable and amusing, for numerous bursts of laughter greeted his rather common burlesques of supposed ecclesiastical personages. If Mr. Cooney wishes people to believe the Jesus method of converting is by imitating supposed idiosyncrasies, I fear he may be disappointed. After exhorting and haranguing his followers Mr. Cooney concluded an address which even the most generous could hardly call comforting and hopeful.
August 5, 1909, p. 8 - THE IMPARTIAL REPORTER
Mr. Edward Cooney, in the course of a 'red hot' address, prefaced his remarks by saying that mostly all denominations and religions knew what sin was, and believed Jesus had died for sin! but the devil had deceived men and women on this point all along the years. He deceived, he continued, my forefathers and he deceives the large majority of the human race. SATAN WAS transformed as an angel of light to deceive men and women. Let them not suppose that it was the publicans who were keeping in public houses working in Enniskillen and other places, for if they did they made a great mistake, for they were kept working and looked after by the religious demons of those places.
Satan was the first Non-conformist they read of and so Satan was a dissenter, and Roman Catholics were very ready at saying not all dissenters will perish, but every man who dissents from God would perish. Proceeding, the preacher referred to the higher classes of society and said that it was just TEN CHANCES TO ONE, in any one man belonging to the higher classes got saved. Adam was only a farmer 'and some of you' he continued 'may have blue blood in your veins; you hold your head high and despise the farmers in Fermanagh, but Adam was made a farmer because that was the position in which God could bless him.'
Referring to his own life the preacher said he never would cease to thank God for showing him eleven years ago that he himself not only was wrong but that the professing Christians of his native town were wrong, Protestant and Catholic, and that the men and women who were singing about Jesus, praying to Jesus and preaching about Jesus were all living contrary to Jesus' way of living. They were TRYING TO DODGE GOD. 'My own way,' he continued, 'was Episcopalianism, because my father and mother, whom I deeply respected, were Episcopalians and still are.' 'Why did I start life as an Episcopalian? he asked. 'I never studied it, nor exerted my human judgment as to what I should be. The operation began when I was only a baby.
HOW THEY BEGIN. I was brought to the clergyman, who sprinkled me and entered my name in the church roll, and lo and behold I was an Episcopalian. (Laughter.) A child is brought to the clergyman, who converts it, and its name is entered on the church roll and though you may squall during the process you will be spattered all the same (laughter) unless you are otherwise delivered.'
If you look at the Methodists they begin the same way, the Salvation Army begins in the same way. 'They duck the baby with the flag over it, or put it on the flag--or something like that. (Laughter.) At all events it is made a red jersey baby. (Laughter.) Roman Catholics are initiated into that church while in their tender years. That's how I began to become an Episcopalian. I was incapable then. I was afterwards brought to Enniskillen Parish Church whether I liked it or not. I didn't like it a bit, nor did I ever meet a boy that did. v HAD TO GO. I remember standing in the pew with my chin as high as the place for the prayer books, and having to be wakened from sleep with my chin resting on the prayer book in front of me. (Laughter.) I had to go dressed in my Sunday clothes and kneel, sit and stand through that horrible ordeal of the clergy house--and I never yet met the boy who took kindly to it, and even then you only know it in a sort of way.
CLASS TEACHING. I went to Enniskillen Church Sunday school, as they call it. They had swells teaching swell's children, and middle class teaching middle class children. I was in the middle class because my father was in trade. You can see then all this dirty pride right through the Sunday school. Sunday school means dressing up in your Sunday best, to excel other children. I have still recollections of the devilish stinking pride crammed into me there. I was being properly PREPARED FOR HELL instead of heaven; I was being schooled for hell. Father and mother little thought so, for they loved me and wanted me to go to heaven, and they believed that was the way for preparing me to go there.
The best men in that school were poisoned with dirty, hellish Irish pride, which is just the same as Scottish pride, for it came from hell and back to hell it goes. The religious leaders were the proudest of the lot. I used to sit as a boy and watch these swells go into church, and if a person happened to go in to one of their pews he would soon hear 'How dare you' and the Sexton would come in for his share for allowing a poor man to do such a thing. I saw that THE DEVIL WAS behind the whole thing.
Roman Catholicism could not be traced to Biblical times. 'Thou art Peter and upon this rock will I build my church' was never spoken to the Pope living in his immense palace with over 1,000 rooms, but it was spoken to a man like me and like my fellow-preachers. Was there a scrap of resemblance between Peter and the Pope or even the Archbishop of Canterbury with his £5,000 a year? Not a scrap--Peter hadn't fifteen pence. 'We did not start this Jesus way,' he declared, '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. We love you and we want you to turn from your own way.'
'REV. O-MUCH-A-WEEK.' Roman Catholics cannot be traced back further than 300 years after Christ. For the first 200 years after Christ no Pope was recognised nor clergy nor paid preachers--no buildings for the worship of God--or proposed worship of God--they walked the Jesus way. Some people set aside God's plan and said 'O, they ought to have a Rev. at any rate with a salary of £3 a week with an encouragement to many of £12 a year for each child.' We would not be despised and hated he continued, as we are if we became Roman Catholic priests--Father this or Father that (laughter) with a prospect of becoming Pope, or if we joined the Salvation Army with General, Colonel, Lieutenant, Major, and so on.
'SURE OF HELL' The Methodist clergymen must have a salary of £2 a week. He would not be a preacher like us: O, you must say 'I believe in the Rev. Mr. 'who?' How much a week? (laughter) and if you continue following them then you are as sure of hell as if you were in it.
MY BROTHER IN-LAW the Rev. Sidney Upton Smith, M.A., [TTT Editors NOTE: name should be "Boyton" not "Upton"] Vicar of St. Clements, Bristol, is a clergyman. I saw him a few months ago when I called on him and my sister. I had a talk with him and he did not begin going into preliminaries with me, as he knew my history and life and testimony. He began telling me of some people that were getting converted through his preaching in Bristol.
I said to him, 'You want to be converted yourself.' (Laughter.) He began then pointing out to me the different other things., I proceeded to tell him that unless he joined the Jesus way he would be lost for ever and all he could say was 'fiddlesticks' (laughter); and the reason he said this was because he had not been left a leg to stand on, and that's all he could say and I never yet met a clergyman who had a leg to stand on.' The reason why they keep so quiet while we speak is because if they open their mouth they will get deeper into the 'bog.' 'Until you cease standing by the clergyman,' the speaker continued, 'I cannot offer you any hope of you ever being saved.'
Continuing, the speaker referred to the work of the SALVATION ARMY and said that General Booth was a man that did evil that good may come. 'He is a man that has turned his back on the work of Jesus and has raised thousands of pounds for the purpose or insurance, organisation paying the staff--transmission of darkness for light, and all this is done in the name of Jesus and the English nation. Think of everything going as a Salvation Army office for a clergyman, and using the name of Jesus for raising millions of pounds, without a scrap of authority from Jesus for doing so.
The DEVIL SUGGESTED TO JOHN KNOX to start Presbyterianism by his own standard and judgment, and the end of their damnation is 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. What right has Cooney or any one else to say what's right or what's wrong? (Laughter.) You think the clergy ought to GET A SALARY. You puppy, how dare you try to change God's plan. John Wesley thought the Episcopalians were wrong more or less, and he thought it would be a good thing to start Wesleyanism. He knew the fox-hunting parsons were wrong right through, and he thought the Wesleyan system would be better, and he invented a superannuation allowance. The new system boomed in England and got a fine following, until now they can boast of millions of followers.
General Booth thought METHODISM WAS RATHER flat, and with his brilliant intellect, for he is a very capable man--his gigantic genius, his masterly mind--conceived the Salvation Army, with the beautiful music of the band dressed in the uniform of soldiers, a splendid idea, soldiers on preacher's terms. He had planned it, and now 'God bless the General,' (laughter) 'Long live the General,' (more laughter) until he has now convinced King Edward VII that he is an excellent man of God. You thought, I thought, and somebody else thought, and that is the way the thing goes. (Laughter.) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow 'the Archbishop of Canterbury?'--No--'General booth?'--No--'The Pope?'--No--'They follow Me,' says Jesus. 'Some of you here enjoy hearing the religious people getting a 'knock.' You are going your own way, and you WILL BE IN HELL,TOO. The sooner you give up Episcopalianism, Methodism, Plymouth brethrenism, Roman Catholicism, and become disciples the better.
Episcopalianism was founded by Martin Luther, at a time WHEN THE DEVIL took advantage of his uneasiness and made the suggestion to him. Presbyterianism was founded by John Knox, and Methodism was not planned by Jesus, but by John Wesley, and the Salvation Army was never founded by Jesus, but by General Booth, who thought that Methodism was rather flat. In Fermanagh Orange districts you could sit and listen to the clergy denouncing the Pope from morning till night. The Pope is wrong because he professes to follow Jesus and doesn't do it, and all the clergy are wrong and all you Protestants and Catholics who don't live according to Jesus. You cling to the clergy because you love No. 1, because you love the gold, the good position, and so on.
YOU MEAN, CONTEMPTIBLE, low, sordid creatures. You talk about going to heaven, and you are selling your souls for men, £ s. d., for the dirty filthy position you have, what I used to have, but which I now despise.' 'I don't want your money,' he continued, I don't want your coppers, your gold nor your silver. I don't want Wm. Copeland Trimble whitewashing me in the IMPARTIAL REPORTER, and I recognise no man in the preaching of the truth of God.' 'Is not this the carpenter?' Is not this Cooney? you will always hear his reverence say. He has no education, never been to college, merely you would have no part with that ignorant man or allow him to instruct you? I wonder you Episcopalians come here at all. Wait till his reverence hears it! (Laughter.)
'DIRTY DEVILISH POISON.' 'We are the light,' he proceeded, 'and the condemnation of Fermanagh is, that they won't have the light, but choose the darkness, Methodist darkness, Episcopalian darkness, Plymouth brethren darkness, Salvation Army darkness, Roman Catholic darkness: you have been with the clergy, and supported them here, and you will be with them in hell. What would you think of the Rev. Jesus, M.A., or B.A., with £3 a week with an encouragement to get married with £12 a year or 'Father Jesus' hoping to die a Pope some day, or 'Rev. Jesus' with his eye on the Archbishopric of Canterbury, or 'Lieutenant' Jesus hoping to become a Colonel or General some day in the Salvation Army?
Would to God that this dirty devilish poison crammed into you at the Sunday school, took in through every bone of your body in the clergy house, as the workings and doing of Christianity were crushed out of your lives. Of course you must think of the awful drop in society in Enniskillen if you venture to become as one of us. I knew a little chap whose father was in fellowship with us, and who went to serve his time to business in Enniskillen, and as soon as he entered the shop door they began calling him 'you dipper, you dipper,' and they tormented him so much that he was obliged to leave the place altogether.
'I think I hear them in High Street, Enniskillen, pointing at you and saying, 'Did you hear about Billy. He's with the Pilgrims?' That would take the starch and cheek out of you, but it is far better to have that than to go to everlasting damnation. You back up the clergy--what awful cowards you are!--not an ounce of wit in any of you, you are even bad Pharisees. If I believed in the clergy I would fight for my life for them. 'The only reason you back them up is because you love your own skin better than Jesus. As I stand in my native country here, and 'a prophet has no honour in his own country,' we are taught, and since I came here some of my honours have been taken from me,--I chose some 11 years ago between God and gold, and gold is a powerful temptation in the county of Fermanagh, to greedy Methodists, greedy Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and Roman Catholics.' The meeting was over shortly after six o'clock, and those who cared to were entertained to tea.
August 5, 1909, p. 8 - THE IMPARTIAL REPORTER (Evening Mtg)
'Clericalism has reeled under the blow I have given it,' shouted Cooney; 'Thank God, it may never return.
'Think of the drunkard when he rises up in hell, with a terrible thirst on him, and no public-house to go to. Think on the lustful women in hell, who cannot get their desires gratified. There are no 'pubs' in hell, no ball-dresses in hell, no curling pins in hell, no card-playing in hell, no dancing in hell.' This is a sample of the beautiful (?) oratory of the new Apostle.
It was ten o'clock on Monday night when Cooney got his disciples to give their testimony. Cooney threatened them if they did not give their testimony, they were damning their souls. The meeting began at about eight o'clock and lasted till twenty five minutes to eleven. Is this a respectable hour? Perhaps Cooney does not think so, as he informed those present at a period of the meeting that if they were shut out they were to go and sleep on the straw at Russell Court. For the information our readers this court, we are told, is the head-quarters of the traveling Cooneyites.
Talking about baptism on Wednesday, he said since he had been sprinkled in the Episcopal Church he had been a child of the devil. Sprinkling was no good, 'You must be born again.'
'If there had been newspapers in the days of Jesus, He would have been reported, and would have had a hot time of it,' says the versatile Cooney.
'Three years ago,' said Cooney, 'the Lord said to me, 'Go, Edward Cooney, without scrip, and go into all nations, baptising them in the name of the father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and teach them to observe, all things whatsoever I have commanded you.' Then he gave me His promise, 'Lo, I am with you until the end of the world,' and he has kept it.'
August 12, 1909, p. 8 - THE IMPARTIAL REPORTER
Mr. Edward Cooney, who was the principal speaker at the afternoon meeting, adhered to his usual course of pouring out torrents of denunciatory and repulsive language on all who differed with his views, heading the list, of course, with the clergy, and leaders of the different denominations, one and all of whom, together with all their supporters, he consigned to that place where there's no snow.
He proceeded to drag such personalities as his father and mother, Mr. W. Copeland Trimble, Dean Ovenden, and numerous others into his line of fire, and some were subjected to Mr. Cooney's rancour and denunciation, while he condemned in the strongest manner the clergyman who, he said, was making £12 a week by damning his father and mother, and those whom he (Mr. Cooney) loved.
August 12, 1909, p. 8 - THE IMPARTIAL REPORTER
Mr. Edward Cooney was the next speaker, and his address, which occupied almost two hours in delivery, was as we have already intimated, absolutely devoid of the slightest indications of that spirit of love and sympathy which is supposed to characterise the true preacher of the Gospel.
He commenced by quoting the text 'God willeth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should turn from his wickedness and live.' That's plain enough, isn't it?' he queried. Its not the purpose of God that any man or woman should go to hell. It's the purpose of God that every man and woman should be born again to become partakers of the divine nature. It's the purpose of the devil, he continued, that man should be deceived, and remember, the devil has thousands of years' practice in deceiving the human race. Let them remember that! Let them also remember that the best woman that ever lived--Eve--he (the speaker) had never seen a woman with such a perfect human nature, so thoroughly deceived by the devil, and surely when a perfect woman with a perfect human nature could be thoroughly deceived by the devil, it's enough to cause every one of them to ask 'Have I been deceived by the devil or not?' How does he deceive us? By getting us to call evil, good, and good, evil. Once he can get you to set up a standard of your own, of good and evil, of right and wrong, heaven to hell, surely it's time to get your eyes opened.
Mohamedan preachers believe in the perfect Mohamed. They will tell you what sin is from their standard. The Buddhists will tell you what sin is from their standard. The Wesleyan Methodists will tell you what sin is from John Wesley's standard. The Episcopalians will tell you what sin is from the standard of Martin Luther. The Presbyterians will tell you what sin is from the standard of John Knox. The Salvation Armyists will tell you what sin is from the standard of General Booth. The Plymouth Brethren will tell you what sin is from the standard of John Darby. But friends, he proceeded, if you are wise you will seek with your own heart and find out what I have found out some years ago--find out and see something of God's standard. We don't want you to go along this way without examining and proving what we say from the Scriptures. We don't ask you to shut your eyes and open your mouth and drink in all we say. We don't want you, Roman Catholics, to believe what we say without first examining your R.C. Testament to see who is right. We don't want any of you, members of the Protestant sects, to believe what we say apart from searching the scriptures. I never met a man or woman yet who honestly searched the Scriptures, whether we were right, who didn't cast in their lot with us.
If you Protestants and Roman Catholics here search the scriptures the result will be that you will throw in your lot with us, because we have cast ours in with Jesus. The divine life of Christ was manifested in Jesus 1909 years ago, but remember Christ was in the world before that. When the Roman Catholics say that Mary was the MOTHER OF GOD they blaspheme, and you Roman Catholics never say that again. (Laughter.) Mary was not the mother of God, for God never had a mother, unless you, Roman Catholics, say that God had a mother and that Mary brought forth God. You blaspheme! Mary is never called the mother of God in the Protestant or Roman Catholic testament. She was not the mother of Christ, but she WAS THE MOTHER OF JESUS, and Jesus had human nature. Jesus had a divine nature before Mary was ever thought of.
Some people say, he proceeded, that we tramp preachers are very impertinent. You say, he added, you tramp preachers say that all the Catholics and Protestants are going to hell except a few who are going to heaven. You know, he continued, we are not all going to heaven; there are SOME HYPOCRITES WITH THE TRAMP PREACHERS. Judas was a hypocrite and professed to be in fellowship with Jesus. But you say: 'Is it possible, Cooney, that there is only a little flock going to heaven.' I say 'Yes,' he added. In the Bible times there never went a big crowd.
In the days of Noah there were only eight people; in the days of Elijah only a handful. Elijah sat on Mount Carmel and the 850 prophets of Baal and there were only a few to take side with him. There were 850 clergymen, Rev. gentlemen with nice homes, nice families, and patronage of the King and Queen. Which side would you have been on? Be honest, now! We'll suppose you were a cattle dealer, a big draper or grocer in that country, and here's this Elijah, a man without a salary, and with a far hotter tongue than Cooney. (Laughter.) A man that called a spade a spade, a hypocrite a hypocrite, a fraud a fraud. He got into hot water of course, as we do sometimes, but I have never suffered anything like what Elijah suffered. Elijah came to the place where there was neither supper, breakfast, nor bread, nor would the people give him any work. 'It has not come to that with us' he continued. Which side would you have been on?
NOT LOAFERS. Some people say we tramp preachers are loafers. I say we're not loafers. We believe in working hard on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. We do. And Elijah was not a loafer. They boycotted him: I suppose you know what that is in Ireland.
Elijah said to the people 'Why halt ye between two opinions?' After all, the speaker continued, there are only two opinions in Fermanagh. We don't believe there are 20, we believe there are just two. Some say we're right, the majority say we're wrong, and if they don't say it they act it. There were just two opinions in the days of Elijah, and there are just two today, and there will be only two in the day of judgment. The sheep will say he was right and they took sides with him.
The goats say (mimicking): times have changed. Would not suit today. All right for the early days. Must have salaries, incomes, superannuation funds. (Laughter.) That's the goat (Laughter.) They will all be on the left hand side. They must get saved in another way than God. Abel believed in God's way and got saved in God's way. Abel says to Cain 'There's only one way, I have got saved that way, and because you have not got saved that way you will go to hell.' And Cain said 'If you say that again I will give it to you. (Laughter.) He said it again and he gave it to him (laughter) and Abel went home because he took God's way.
Why are we so much persecuted and WHY HAVE WE SUCH A BAD NAME? Because we believe as Abel believed. We believe there are only two opinions and that God's is right and that every other opinion is wrong and of the devil. Jesus preached in God's way instead of becoming a Presbyterian clergyman, a Baptist Pastor, or a Salvation Army colonel. He gave up his home and became a destitute wanderer on the face of the earth, dependent upon God. All the people said he was mad. (Mimicking as he spoke). Isn't it surprising about this young man Jesus leaving his home, his dear mother and going out without a salary, going out liable to be hungry, going out liable to lie out at night, going out in a very unheard of way? Why not become like the scribes and chief priests? What a splendid job--a priest--a climb-up one--a high priest in the palace--so the people say (laughter) and they still say. The speaker next proceeded to deal with the baptismal question.
YOU CALL US DIPPERS sometimes, he said, and you are perfectly right for baptism means dipping or immersing. John the Baptist never took a mug or a cup and sprinkle a few drops on the forehead of Jesus, and God was well pleased with Jesus. It was not what the people said. We look to Protestants and Catholics of County Fermanagh who say (mimicking a countryman) Ridiculous! Ridiculous! to think that a preacher can go without a home. You ask, he continued, a Protestant clergyman or a Roman Catholic priest to live without a salary liable to suffer hardship (mimicking), Never. What do you take me for? Going towards the Archbishop of Canterbury with £15,000 a year, going towards the Pope--You take me for a fool--No. Never--The speaker continuing, remarked your reply to him should be 'you're going to hell.' (Laughter.)
Every man who climbs up in the world in the name of Jesus is GOING TO HELL. Jesus came down, John the Baptist came down, Peter came down, Judas tried to climb up and went to hell. If you are on the side of the climb-up preachers, he continued, you are on the side of the greatest hypocrites in the world, and you will go to the hypocrites' hell unless you repent.
CLERGY PROFESSIONAL WHITEWASHERS. Professing his love for the people, Mr. Cooney went to say--Do you think that if I had hated the people that I would have taken a step some few years ago that left a gulf fixed between my father and mother, sisters, and brother, whom I love dearly? Do you think that if I loved the world I would have turned my back on it and live contrary to my human nature? When you hear a clergyman who is making a fortune out of damning men and women say that I don't love you, turn round to him, he proceeded, and say 'You hypocrite and son of the devil, you call light darkness and darkness light.' Of course you would get into hot water if you did. If I was a professional whitewasher like the clergy, and got a good salary, I would be going to hell myself and everyone whom I influenced in the same direction would go with me to hell.
I follow Jesus and Jesus was right, and if I went by my own judgment, I would go to hell. I am what I am in spite of my Cooney judgment, in spite of my intellectual knowledge and personal tastes. I am what I am because of what Jesus was, and if you fight against that you fight against God. Though you are looked upon as the most religious man in Enniskillen by Catholics and Protestants, every man who fights against God goes to hell, and God grant you may never taste the TORMENTS OF THE DAMNED.
'Do you know' the speaker added,' 'that the life that suits you will land you in hell.' Every man that does what suits him goes to hell and every man that does what suits God goes to heaven. Jesus pleased not himself, for Jesus says 'you must take up your cross and deny yourself if you are to be my disciple.' I was born into this world some 42 years ago and my brothers and sisters were pleased at being with me. We delighted to go home in the evening, delighted to play with one another, delighted to associate together because we were of one family and had one father and one mother and we all loved one another. There are some of us here (referring to his co-religionists) and we love one another, and we love to associate with one another, because we have the same father--God and the same mother the Holy Ghost, and we enjoy each other's company, and that the way you must walk if ever you get to heaven. Only one Lord, one faith and one baptism. Roman Catholics, he continued, are in many ways sounder in their doctrines than Protestants, for PROTESTANTISM IS ONLY A MASS OF CONFUSION.
If you could get them all into one field, say with a few thousand acres in it (the Protestants he meant) as there were some 560 different sects professing to be christians, you could get a sample of them all together, and you fire off a gun and shoot. 'Now, fire away (laughter) with your religious performance.' Then goes the Salvation Army band, you get the organ from the Cathedral and the bishop in his petticoats (laughter) and you get all the machinery to go (laughter) and you say 'Go on now, you are all right.' (Laughter.) What an awful confusion!
The Roman Catholics believe there is ONLY ONE TRUE CHURCH. In the New Testament only one true church is recognised, and the Roman Catholics recognise that God has not changed, and that there must be only one true church, theirs, and that outside it no one can be saved. That is true, but you may be inside it and go to hell. You may be a hypocrite inside and go to hell, but if you are outside the true church you are bound to go to hell. In the days of Jesus there is only one true church, and so there is only one true church today.
I would like to point out to the Roman Catholics that theirs is NOT THE TRUE CHURCH. It is false, the falsest of the lot. How do you know the true church? Jesus said to Peter, 'Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.' Jesus and the old prophets were like each other. But Peter said 'Thou art Christ' and Christ said 'Thou art Peter.' He had the Christ nature in him, and that's why Jesus said these words. What are the gates of hell? All the Protestant and Catholic sects, Mahomedans and Buddists and all the other sects that seek to bring you to Christ in their way. We stand here today, he continued, in spite of the fact that all the gates of hell are let loose on the Testimony of Jesus, and as we believe they will continue to be let loose till the end, but we're to get the best of it.
Mr. Cooney than said it might be the last time he might be able to address them. He had sacrificed his home without the possibility of ever having a hearth of his own, but he WARNED THEM AGAINST THE CLERGY WHO were making money by damning them, and he said that because he loved them. 'I love my dear old father, ' said he, 'and my dear old mother, and I took a run in this week to see them, and it makes the blood boil hot in me when I see them sticking up to the clergy who are making fortunes by damning their souls. Of course, the IMPARTIAL REPORTER makes me out some sort of a brute, with a brute character, without any human affection for parents or relatives. I am not a brute; I am a man, and I love my father, and mother, and sisters, and brother, and all my fellow-men. Is it fair representing a man like that as a brute? (We fail to find one line in the IMPARTIAL REPORTER of any description as warrant for this statement.--ED. I.R.)
As I spoke to my mother, she said she had not read the IMPARTIAL REPORTER yet, because 'I knew' she said, 'it would misrepresent you.' She believes in me despite what is said about me. The dirty, filthy way that Trimble has of representing me as some of you know--and those of you are here today will perhaps see another report of the same mean horrible character in next Thursday's REPORTER, as perhaps there's a secret reporter in the tent again today. I don't know.
Continuing, the speaker said the Dean Ovenden knocked £12 a week out of the County Fermanagh, in trying to get people saved in his way, according to the scriptures. I said to my mother, he proceeded, 'why don't you come out and take your stand by your son, who has given up all to live for his fellow-men?' and my poor mother, he added could not say a word. When I think of how the clergy have got their horrible chains around my poor mother and father whom I love and would be willing to die for if that would get them saved! Do you think, he continued, that I could look cooly on a man MAKING £12 A WEEK OUT OF DAMNING MY RELATIVES? Do you think a man could look on and not feel hot about it? Nay, you will feel hot, too, some day, and when your eyes get opened may God grant that you may be better than ever I have been, and may God deliver you from these men who get hold of you from your infancy and so blind your eyes that it's just 100 to 1 if ever you get delivered from them.
The speaker then announced a hymn and before singing it, he proceeded to speak for a further period of 15 minutes, during which time he referred to a conversation on religious subjects which he had some time ago with the late chairman of the Enniskillen Town Commissioners (Mr. H. R. Lindsay) and at the end of the conversation Mr. Lindsay walked away without a word to say.
At the close of the address MR. COONEY ASKED the would-be converts to stand up, when two young girls and a middle aged woman responded to the request. One or two others signified their willingness by raising the hand, but declined to get to their feet, while two or three older converts expressed their willingness to be baptised, and Mr. Cooney advised them to get into touch with the nearest 'church,' and get arrangements made for their baptism. Tea was subsequently provided for all who cared to partake.
December 18, 1913 - THE IMPARTIAL REPORTER
Mr. Justice Darling [speaking to Edward Cooney] Were you the founder of this sect?--No, William Irvine was the first, about sixteen years ago. I cast in my lot with him as a fellow-preacher, and preached a good deal in the north of Ireland. I recognise the name, but others have nicknamed us 'The Cooneyites.' I do not like it myself.
July 31, 1913, p. 8 - THE IMPARTIAL REPORTER
Mr. E. Cooney spoke at the mid-day meeting, and in his address dealt with what appears to be the foundation of the Go-Preachers' theology. The world, he said, was full of idols or things that occupy the attention of the heart of man. Man was created so as to become a child of God, and grow up to be like God. The devil was the adversary of the human race, and was very busy to keep man occupied with something else. Perhaps there were some there who knew not the day of their visitation and so their house would be left unto them desolate. They might leave the meeting in a condition in which God could not save them.
July 9, 1914, p. 8 - THE IMPARTIAL REPORTER
Mr. Edward Cooney was a frequent speaker. On Monday he said he did not find it hard to preach the Gospel in this way. He had found all the sorrow in his life had been the result of disobedience. They might not understand it, but God knew better than any of them. If he had planned his life he would not have gone out to preach. It was God's plan, and it had been very satisfactory. He hoped in the days to come he would have less of his own way and that God would have more of His way. 'Ye shall weep and lament and the world shall rejoice, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.' One man who would go out to preach was worth all the money in Fermanagh. The Testimony had progressed in many ways, and some people who had come to pick holes had found nothing to object to.
They needed to guard against the marks of sacrifice disappearing out of their lives, because then the wall of Jerusalem, the separation between them and those without, would be broken down. They did not want to have a repetition of past mistakes, but they did want to have something of the same spirit of sacrifice that was manifest at the outset.
On a later occasion Mr. Cooney spoke on the third chapter of 1st Peter. The world, he said, could not understand the words, 'Be ye all of one mind.' On the previous day some hundreds of people with a little of the love of God in their hearts had met together. They had tasted something of the fellowship that was eternal, and if they loved one another as brethren they would have a foretaste of Heaven. There should be true courtesy amongst them. The world had a dressed up sham, but they had got rid of sham. There was a kindly way of talking to people that made those who heard realise that they loved them. Worshipping Jesus always meant, 'I want to be more like Him.'
June 27, 1940 - THE IMPARTIAL REPORTER
THE ADDRESS: There was no text, but sleeping in a barn, preaching on the Custom House steps in Belfast, talking in a Theological College in Melbourne, smelling an uncertain egg in London--all this formed part of the discourse. Sheep-shearing in Australia and baptizing in Belfast Lough, also had their part in this long harangue. Several statements were delivered with exceptional force 'God has planned the husband you are to get'; 'One must be on fire like Isaiah to save souls, to touch hearts'; 'If your religion is one by which you get (gain) you will go to hell'; 'the majority is always wrong'; 'the people in Enniskillen were doped and sleeping'; 'Joy is only real that is based on certainty.'
ORIGINAL ANALOGIES. Several of the analogies used by Eddie Cooney were most original, for instance Jesus is portrayed as a lamb, a lamb has wool, and this 'wool' will make people eternally comfortable, both here and hereafter. Similarly a ring is a symbol of eternity. When the Prodigal Son wore the ring his eternal life showed in his life and acts. There was a great repetition of the phrases 'become a disciple,' 'follow Jesus,' 'surrender to Christ,' but at no time did the speaker indicate in plain terms what he really meant. Although it was quite obvious that Eddie Cooney despised clergymen who went to College, yet he had to show his own learning by showing up the real meaning of 'believe' which connotes 'to live by,' also he felt called on to put right the mis-translation from the Greek of 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth good will to men,' for according to his private college education this should read 'Peace on earth to those who are pleased to do well.'
FIGHTING SPIRIT - As the address lasted about an hour and a half, without any break, much ground was covered. The war, with invasion imminent in this country, was spoken of, (again the egotism). 'Probably Hitler will kill me first.' No one was to fear those that killed the body. The fight going on today between God and the Devil was bigger than our fight with Germany, and it is quite evident that Eddie Cooney enjoys this fight. Life would be very dull for him without this contest! The word 'Peace' was never uttered!
In conclusion this long monologue was brought to a most telling and impressive close. The dramatic instinct is strong. Speaking of the act of Stephen the first martyr, Eddie Cooney hoped that if Hitler came and he was killed, he would use the same concluding words as the martyr, 'Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.'