Death of Edward Cooney 1867-1960, Newspaper Articles:
June 23, 1960 Impartial Reporter - A Great Figure Passes
July 14, 1960 Life of Faith-Cooneyites Lose Their Leader
Other Newspaper Articles:
Belfast Newsletter, 10-Year Anniversary of Ed Cooney's Death, February 10, 1971
The Orange Standard, October, 1984
1907 Fermanagh Times County Fermanagh, N. Ireland (no longer in business) Edward Cooney responded to many of the Letters to Editor, Correspondence: The Pilgrims at Ballycassidy-Question of Infant Baptism:
See March 14, 1907, p. 2; March 21, p. 7; March 28; April 4, p. 6; April 11, p. 7; April 18, p. 7; April 25, p. 7; May 2, p. 3; May 16, p. 2; May 23, p. 3; May 30, p. 6; June 6, p. 7; June 13, p. 6; June 20
Edward Cooney’s Family Background by Séamas Mac Annaidh (The Fermanagh Miscellany 2)
Books About Edward Cooney and his Followers
Testimony of Edward Cooney
Cooney's Statement for Court Case (1) about himself
Cooney's Statement for Court Case (2) re sister workers
Princess Victoria Account - 1917 - Listens to Cooney preach
No. 2164 lawsuit/actions Edward Cooney v. William Dennis Wilson and William Henderson (filed April 17, 1913 in Ireland)
No. 323 lawsuit/action Ernest Walter List and Edward Cooney v. The People, Limited (filed Feb. 14, 1913 in England)
Senior Workers Meeting at Lurgan, Ireland of 1928 re Ed Cooney
Wilson Reid Letter regarding Cooney's Ex-communication, 1928
My Great Uncle was Edward Cooney by Helena Halpin
Mrs. John West (Sara) Statement About The 1928 Division, August 31, 1954
Ida West Testimony, August, 1954
John West re: Ballinamallard Methodist Church Inquiry. Dec. 14, 1903
Letters by the Outcasts:
James Bothwell's Letter to Wilson Reid, December 28, 1928
Wm West's Letter to George Walker, October, 1929
Fred Cooney's Letter to Wilson McClung, June 1, 1930
Charlie Woodard to Ed Cooney, February 3, 1957
Letters to/From Ed Cooney:
Cooney's Letter to My Dear Sister, May, 1930
Cooney's Letter To/From Mrs Alice Flett, circa 1930, New Westminister, B.C. Canada
Irvine's Letter to Ed Cooney, February 23, 1921
Irvine's Letter to Ed Cooney, March 2, 1923
**Cooney's Letter Ex-communicating Wm. Irvine, March 3, 1924**
Irvine's Letter to Edward Cooney, August 19, 1923
Irvine's Response To Ed Cooney, July 8, 1924
Irvine's Letter to Cooney, May 5, 1928
Cooney's Letter to Wm, Irvine May 2, 1931
Sermons 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
Sermons by Ed Cooney in Impartial Reporter Newspaper
Letters by Ed Cooney to the Editor of Fermanagh Times
Introducing Fred Wood...
Early Memories Recalled By Fred Wood
TTT Editor's Note: In 1904, the first CROCKNACRIEVE CONVENTION was held in County Fermanagh, Ireland (about 4 miles NE of Enniskillen) and lasted about a month. Crocknacrieve was purchased from Sir Edward Archdale in 1901 by John and Sara West, the year they were married. All twelve of the West children were born there. In 1921, John West sold the property to Simon Christopher & Penelope Barton Loane, the parents of the late Warren Loane and his wife Anne. (See: The Go Preacher Movement- An Anthology by Patricia Roberts, p14)
Statement About The 1928 Division
By Mrs. John West (Sara)
August 31, 1954
I grew up in the same town (Enniskillen) as Edward Cooney and knew that he with Tom Betty, and my husband John West (deceased) held evangelical meetings together in connection with the different churches. Edward Cooney was then in fellowship with William Irvine of Kilsyth, Scotland and others including William Carroll (deceased), George Walker, Thomas Elliott and his wife. At that time Edward Cooney travelled through Ireland in connection with his father's business and met William Irvine a preacher who was moving out from the Faith Mission to go forth without purse etc. (Matthew ten) to preach the gospel of Jesus, the Son of God (Mark 1:1) on apostolic lines; he was seeking after truth and clearer light. These things happened in 1890’s and onwards.
About 1902-3 my husband and I went to meetings in a cottage owned by Tilly Moore who afterwards became a preacher. She was a convert of Edward Cooney's who had given up money and possessions sometime previous to this to preach the Gospel of Jesus in fellowship with William Irvine. In those meetings referred to, we heard Thomas Elliott, one of this small group of preachers give testimony to having sold his home and farm to go forth with his wife to live a life of faith preaching the Gospel of Jesus. Believing them to be God's true people we became one with them in the faith and opened our home to them. Many others in the County did the same thing; among them were my husband's brother Wm. West of Mullaghmeen, Ballinamallard, also three sisters, Mrs. Roberts and husband, Mrs. Reid, and Miss West, Bournemouth, England.
About this time William Irvine and Edward Cooney asked my husband and I if we would be willing to have convention in our home. We were willing and conventions were held there (Crocknacrieve) until 1920 when we sold it and came to live at Rossahilly, Ballinamallard. After that conventions were held at Mullaghmeen.
In 1928, an overseer preacher, Wilson Reid, who often visited our home told us that Edward Cooney, who was then in America was coming home, and warned us that he was giving trouble out there and not to have fellowship with him. George Walker and others called on the same mission of warning. My husband and others suggested having a meeting on Bible lines with elders and have Edward Cooney there too, so that both sides would be heard by them to judge. A meeting was arranged in Irvinestown but Edward Cooney was not there. My husband and others then decided to keep an open mind until Edward Cooney came back and hear his side. They thought it very strange to hear that Edward would change and preach false doctrine inside a few years because we knew that God had used him in a great measure in different parts of England and Ireland. Wilson Reid and many in fellowship with us never came back to our home after making the decision to hear Edward Cooney's side
When Edward Cooney did come back, we could not see any change in him; he was as sincere and ardent as ever, preaching the same simple gospel as we heard at the beginning. A meeting of old workers was held in Clankilvoragh, an open home near Lurgan, Co. Armagh, among them being T. Elliott, Jack Carroll, Wm. Gill (deceased) etc. J. Carroll refused to listen or have fellowship with Edward Cooney who was also there. Thomas Elliott stood by Edward Cooney at that time because he saw an unrighteous act being done towards him. To the sorrow of many, those who kept their homes open to Edward Cooney became outcast from their brethren, and in that way the division started.
I should mention here that William Irvine (deceased) professed through Rev. John McNeill (Presbyterian) Scotland some years before going forth to preach on apostolic lines. Many of the older ones in fellowship for a long time felt there was a drift in Testimony towards organization and compromise with world's way, away from simplicity of Christ, before division took place, and we then understood that the trouble Edward Cooney was charged with causing in America was his anxiety as an elder, to warn his brethren of the falling away from early teaching.
By Mrs. John West (Sara)
Rossahilly, Ballinamallard, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland
Testimony of Ida West
An interested person has asked me to tell my story with regard to my faith and the fellowship I have kept.
My parents, John and Sara West, were brought up in the Church
of Ireland (Anglican). My
father, for a time previous to his marriage, moved and worked among
the Methodists. Soon after
his marriage in 1901, he, Edward Cooney, Tom Betty and others, all
of whom used to
evangelize together, moved out of the sects to which they belonged,
Church of Ireland,
Methodist, Presbyterian and so on, into fellowship with William Irvine,
a Scottish Presbyterian
evangelist in the Faith Mission, who was with others moving out of
Faith Mission toward
clearer light on New Testament teaching and practices.
They took the view that Christendom was confusion of which God was not the author. So they decided to go to Christendom and the world the way Jesus sent his apostles to Israel (Matthew 10) and to the world (Matthew 28). This is what the preachers did. My father, who did not go to preach, opened his heart and home to these preachers who sold their possessions, scattered their money to the poor and went out to preach by faith. Their message was repent, believe the gospel, follow the teaching and example of New Testament founders--Christ and the apostles. This move raised the opposition of clergy and leaders among the denominations, e.g. Church of Ireland, Methodists, Presbyterians, Salvation Army, Plymouth Brethren and others.
The young movement held the course to take was 'Come out of Babylon' which is confusion. By this they meant to refuse fellowship with the world, false teachers and systems because they contradicted the teaching and example of Christ and his apostles. Their opponents held that it was better to stay in and clean up inside; but they ignored the fact that principalities and powers need exposure and triumphing over (Col. 2:15). This could only be done by a fuller manifestation of Christ through willing witnesses which this people proved by bearing their cross representing Christ as He in bearing his cross represented or declared the Father.
The movement grew and spread rapidly. Some mistakes were made, the chief of which came to light in 1914. These were:
1. They became a registered sect to avoid military service during World War I. They were registered in London as 'Testimony of Jesus'.
2. The 'living witness' doctrine introduced circa 1905 held William Irvine to be a prophet raised up to protest against the evils of Christendom. This could have been in order; only that to it was added that none could be 'born again' except through hearing the gospel from Irvine or the preachers in fellowship with him. This dangerous doctrine was based on Romans 10, imperfectly understood. For a careful study of the text shows God speaking through the heavens (nature), through the law (Scripture) and then through the preacher, the words of whose mouth and the meditations of whose heart are acceptable in God's sight. In 1914 Edward Cooney and Tom Elliott rejected this doctrine as a heresy that savoured not of God, but of man.
Matthew 16:13-18 shows Christ's church built on the rock of revelation
of the Christ from the
Father, through the Spirit to Peter's heart. The keys of the kingdom
only used when Peter was in
the Spirit (Acts 2). He was out of this condition Matthew 16:22-23
also John 21:3, after which
in John 21:15-17 Christ's commission was given him. One must judge
between the human
element and the godly continually, as the best of humans are fallible.
With this background and in fellowship with these people I surrendered to Christ. As a child each evening, with my brothers and sisters, I had heard the Bible story simply told by my mother. She would point out outstanding, faithful characters and their struggle against sin in themselves, in the world, and in God's people of the time. As often as possible, my father would join us to question us on what we had heard. On surrendering to Christ, an intense hunger for knowledge of God and Christ replaced former selfish, temporal interests. I was young and at school. It was here that first opposition came, and my chief battle was to keep right up to the light I had. Some time later I felt I could not go on. I felt too weak and unfit to keep up this high standard, and so decided quite definitely to stop. That night I had a dream. I thought I was in a large gathering of people, more than could be numbered, where hymn 115 was given out to be sung. When I awoke I got the hymnbook then in use, and I looked up 115, which reads:
"Patiently continue in the way with Jesus
Joyfully obeying the Father's blessed will;
Mid sin's angry billows, hearken to him calling
Over the waters saying, 'Peace be still'
"I will never leave thee, sweetest words of comfort
From the lips of Jesus who walked life's troubled sea;
Thou art not forsaken, I am with thee always,
Darkness or sunshine, ever follow me.
"None so true and tender as the man of sorrows,
From this world's illusions, oh let him keep thee free;
He will lead thee onward to inherit glory;
Riches unfading he will give to thee.
"Patiently continue with him in the conflict,
Patiently enduring with him unto the end;
Numbered with his chosen, found among the faithful
One on whom Jesus always can depend."
I had never previously seen or heard this hymn, and I am glad I took it as my guide to go on again.
Shortly after I had decided to follow Jesus, a Division took place in the fellowship to which I belonged. This was in 1928 and was a great shock to all concerned. It caused considerable anxiety and heartbreak, especially to the elders, and indeed, to all of us in this part of the world. My sympathies were with Edward Cooney and Tom Elliott, who were cut off as heretics. My father and any who continued to receive them as God's servants were also cut off from fellowship by Wilson Reid (the then overseer in Ireland), Jack Carroll, Willie Gill, Andy Robb, James Jardin, Ben Boles and some others including George Walker. The most serious statement made to me was that I was doing the devil's work in standing by Edward Cooney. But God by His Holy Spirit and through Scripture revealed otherwise. We outcasts learned that man cutting us off was no proof that God had. We drew near in humility and weakness, and God drew near to us revealing much we had not yet learned.
Much has happened during the past 26 years. We outcasts soon found Satan on our track to wipe us out. Our newly-found liberty caused a responsibility to fall on us we had not anticipated. But it brought light to those who individually sought the guidance of God. Thus, fellowship was sweet and edifying. Some tried to abuse this liberty, using it to please themselves in different ways. Some turned to the world. Some tried to undermine Edward's testimony, and also the testimonies of Tom and Mrs. Elliott. However, experience taught us how to try the spirits and to distinguish between heresy and prophecy. Heresy means choice, i.e. choosing anything which differs from the teaching and example of Christ and his apostles. If we are guilty of heresy, then we deserve to be cut off, but only after just trial on scriptural lines. Prophecy means 'speaking for Deity', showing revealed truth from God flowing through one led by the Holy Spirit. We thus learned to judge between a heretic and a prophet. This called for knowledge of 'controls in the church,' so that the right methods could be used in dealing with the erring. Edward Cooney's testimony proved very helpful in this respect. He pointed out four 'controls in the church', and since then, we observe another, making five. These are:
1. Foundation control, i.e. Christ and the apostles and prophetsWith these controls being exercised, fellowship became orderly and discipline good with love of God and neighbour prevailing.
(1 Cor. 3: 11-12) and (Eph. 2:20).
2. Overseer control i.e. bishops and deacons and others (1 Tim. 3:1)
(Titus 1:7) and (1 Peter 2:25).
3. Parental control i.e. Paul's and John's children in the gospel
(3 John 4) (1 Cor. 4:15).
4. Angelic control i.e. message to the churches (Rev 2 and 3).
5. People's control (Matt. 18:17).
For a time I was discouraged with the pressure of life 's demands in
general, my own weakness,
and sin and confusion all around. But God had mercy on me, and the
spirit's groans prevailed,
restoring to me the early joy of salvation. Thus, first love and works
returned with increased
strength and faith to witness to what was revealed to me. With this
also came the great joy of
seeing some heartbroken, bewildered souls brought out of confusion
and darkness into clearer
light and the liberty to walk in it. I see in the younger people
the same fight, growth,
development with God winning as they yield.
Together we all resist principalities and powers in heavenly places, the chief sin of which is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. This means attributing to Satan what belongs to God, a sin not to be forgiven in this age or in the one to come (Matt. 12:23-31).
My prayer is that all leaders would humble themselves, confess their sins and forsake them now before they meet the harder knock of judgment. Suffering in rejection now with Christ brings wisdom, love and power essential to fit us for judging angels, when we through Christ become a new creation (Heb. 2) higher than angels and at first resurrection return to reign with Christ over humans on earth for the glorious work of the restitution of all things bringing peace, righteousness and order to this sad, chaotic world of confusion and woe. So we see the vital importance of being born of and led by the Spirit, which gives progressive revelation of the Christ from the Father to the individual human heart.
By Ida West
Reprinted with permission from Patricia Roberts
From: The Go Preacher Movement - An Anthology
The foll. letter was passed unceremoniously and entered on the minutes. It was directed that a copy be sent to Mr. John West, Crocknacrieve.
The brethren view with intense regret the entire absence of Bro. John West from the public worship of God in the Church in which he holds the important dual office of Leader & Local preacher. The brethren also notice his irregular attendance at the Circuit Quarterly meeting, showing a lack of interest in the work.
They wish to convey to him in the kindest spirit that they consider his treatment of the public worship of his own church neither brotherly nor christian, & calculated to be a bad example to the unconverted. Bro. West has the good wishes and prayers of the Bros. but they are compelled to say that he should take a practical sympathetic interest in the Meth. Church so long as he remains a member of it.
The Brethren wish to know definitely before the next Quarterly meeting if he will fulfil the requirements attached to the offices mentioned above viz: loyalty to the Meth. Church; attendance at its public worship; & a faithful fulfilment of his duties as an official. In the meantime the board has appointed Bro. James Winters as his co-worker in Larafh(?) Class.
14th December 1903
Letter by Edward Cooney
I remember getting a letter from you about a year or so ago in which you wrote of having a dream concerning me as follows: You saw me in your dream in a difficulty you could not understand; and you reached out your hand to help me, but were not able.
At the time you wrote I was passing through a period of trial which I could not myself understand. Physically and spiritually I was having a conflict; and the latter, which at the beginning of my ministry was mostly from without, was now beginning to be consciously and increasingly from within. I see now more clearly what was taking place, so seek in answer to your request through John Owens to let you know some of the developments of the work of God and the adversary amongst us as God's people.
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 who, at the time of his being sent forth to be a prophet, saw more clearly than any of us that the revelation of the Father to each individual child of His is the Rock alone on which Jesus Christ would build his church, and that the gates of Hades should not prevail against it.
Luther saw this in a great measure when he declared that the Scriptures, unfolded by revelation from the Father through the Son by the Spirit, were the final court of appeal for each child of God; and that the way into the holiest was available for God's child through the veil, viz., the flesh of Jesus by his blood right into the Father's presence from whom the revelation (which alone is Rock) came. Luther afterwards left this position, and as a consequence landed with his brethren into Babylon because his flesh and blood mind failed to see that the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
The kingdom about which Jesus spoke for the space of 40 days to his sent ones began when the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, took control of the church, and like a rushing mighty wind impelled it into the good fight of faith. Barrenness and dearth are always the result of organization caused by flesh and blood revelation. We are slowly but surely drifting into this condition, and prophecy has almost ceased amongst us. Our only hope is to get back to the simplicity and childlikeness of the beginning, especially those of us who have the oversight.
When I returned from abroad, the year before last, I had a long talk with Willie Gill about the situation. I told him that we who claim to have the apostolic oversight needed to be converted and become like little children so as to enter the kingdom, Matt. 18/3. He agreed with me regarding the necessity, that we, like the twelve whom Jesus desired should tend his lambs, feed and shepherd his sheep, needed conversion from the who-is-greatest-in-the-kingdom-of-heaven spirit so as to become like little children as they did on the day of Pentecost, when they entered into the kingdom of which the Holy Spirit became the controller as the executive of the Father and the Son.
From Jesus spoke those words till Pentecost, the twelve were being converted and at that time with the 108 saints in fellowship with them became converted. The sent ones of Jesus got to the place where they were willing to do the will of God as recorded in Mark 3, and were brother and sister and mother to him. But they got away from that childlike trustfulness, and so have we. A few of us see our need of turning again to this childlikeness that we had in the beginning; and I believe we are being converted toward it. But our brethren, who as yet fail to see their need of this, have put us out even as the patriarchs put Joseph out. Hope we may so prove God to be with us even as Joseph did, that our fellow patriarchs may see their mistake, and become again our brothers as in the case of Joseph and his brethren.
In the beginning we were all free to express the revelation God made clear in our hearts. The proof that it was God's revelation being that it was according to the Scriptures, and in agreement with Him who was the word made flesh. Now a verbal agreement has been framed by apostolic overseers. William Irvine, John Hardy, and some others at the beginning believed they were born again in Babylon, but I am sorry to say that I accepted the flesh and blood revelation through Joe Kerr backed by William Irvine, that previous to meeting him we were unregenerate.
John Hardy for many years refused to accept this, then I took up the same position as John. In 1914 God showed me the pre-eminence William got through this error, leading together with other things to his ceasing to be the humble brother amongst brethren he was at the beginning. I am sorry to say that John Hardy has embraced the error he stood out against for so long. Wilson McClung declared that this, which he calls Babylonish testimony, is my chief offence. But I am happy to be back at the place we occupied for 4 years after God called William Irvine and others of us to rebuild Jerusalem. I have been excommunicated by my fellow workers, and hundreds of saints and eight workers have been put outside the camp with me.
It would grieve me to think of, and grieve me more to write of the appalling change in God's servants and saints who have actively promoted this ungodly course of action. So I ask you to forgive me for not giving you details which my love of those with whom I used to take sweet counsel and together walked in company to the house of God caused me to refrain from declaring what I hope they may yet turn from.
Believe me still to be Christ's bondsman and yours for his sake. I can humbly say more so than when we first met in Newcastle.
by Patricia Roberts
Extracts of Letter From & To Mrs. Alice Flett
New Westminister, B.C. Canada
We did not meet you when you were here, but hearing of you and having had the privilege of reading some of your recent letters, I feel you love all the brethren even as many do, and as Joseph did, but like him, you have been kept in separation because of measures taken against you by them. I understand you could not agree in all things with them. You felt some of their works were not scriptural.
My one reason for writing you is, I would love to hear from you of the first years and first experiences in this testimony. I always thought, at least I hoped, and always told strangers, since first realizing I had found the truth as it is in Jesus, that the testimony had always been; had never ceased since it was given to the world by Jesus himself. I would like to know from you about your first steps into the truth, first years in fellowship, and your separation.
Edward Cooney's Answer to the above
Letter from Alice Flett, circa 1930
My dear Sister, (Alice Flett)
Your letter has just come and I am inclined to reply without delay in the hope my answer may help others in similar circumstances. I am glad you gather from my letters I love all the brethren, even as Joseph did. I am far behind Joseph in the volume of my love, but I would like to increase more and more. The breadth of which takes in the whole world; the length of which is expressed by Paul in Ephesians 5:1 "Be ye therefore imitators of God as children beloved and walk in love even as also the Christ loved and gave up himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for an odour of a sweet smell." This love is beyond all natural love and needs to be poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which was given to us. Then we will be willing to die for sinners inside Gods family and outside. See Romans 5:5-8.
You mention ‘My one real reason for writing is to hear from you of the first years and first experiences in this testimony.’ You write that since you believe the truth as it is in Jesus that The Testimony ‘had always been’. You are right. Abel, the 2nd son of Adam, was the first preacher to give the testimony of Jesus, and through ranks of messengers this testimony has been passed on to this day. The church, so called, has failed to give the testimony of Jesus, hence Jesus has sent prophets, wise men, and scribes. In the Old Testament, beginning with Abel to Zacharias, whom those who sat in Moses’ seat slew, between the temple and the altar, because he told them the truth: "Ye have forsaken the Lord, and the Lord has forsaken you.") In the New Testament times from the testimony given by Jesus at Pentecost till the present time.
I was born anew in the city of Armagh, Ireland, some time during 1884. After that, a number of us who had been through the same experience, met in a room from time to time, to encourage one another to follow Jesus, still attending the same denominations we belonged to. After a few years I got to see I should be a continuing disciple of Jesus. I ceased to belong to any denomination, and with progressive light pressed on in the path of discipleship, preached in the open air and in the synagogues when permitted. Some got won to Christ, during this my ministry. In Enniskillen, my native town, we met in a Presbyterian man's home Sunday afternoons, and preached in the slums in a schoolhouse granted the use of by the Methodists.
I travelled for my father's business and preached inside and outside, as occasion offered, with some persecution, and whilst doing so, met William Irvine, through whom George Walker, Jack Carroll, William Carroll, Willie Gill and a number of the present leaders professed, including James Jardine. He and I were drawn together as brothers in Christ, each of us claiming liberty to follow Him as we received progressive light from God by the Spirit. He was at that time Pilgrim Irvine, a preacher in a denomination called the Faith Mission, into which May Carroll entered, and in which she preached for some time after being won to Christ by William Irvine.
At this time we believed that all who were born anew including ourselves, in the denominations, were children of God, needing to become continuing disciples. Two heresies arose amongst us at this time, started largely by Joseph Kerr, who said no one could be saved who had not met William Irvine, or some of those in fellowship with him. Others held that only through sister or brother workers could any be saved, and that these workers must be William Irvine's associates. In 1914, I declared that I returned to the gospel William Irvine and I, with others, preached for some years before these heresies were introduced.
Plans were made secretly to get me excluded, and in 1928, at Clankilvoragh, Lurgan, ten workers put Thomas Elliott, since deceased, and me out, excluding us from fellowship, because we would not agree to two decrees which were additions to the scriptures.
Now my dear sister, I could write much more, but if you get in touch with Andy Boyd 10187 103rd St. Room 8, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, he was one of those who met with me in Enniskillen, and he may be able to answer some of your further questions. Am sure Sam Boyd has given you some light on our spiritual experience before we met William Irvine. Ask any further questions you wish when you reply.
Yours lovingly in Christ,
My dear Eddie:
I find that during these past 7 years, 100 workers and many hundred saints have been treated violently by those who call themselves the servants of God, and pride themselves in having 2 hands, 2 feet, 2 eyes, which are perfect, and who do violence to others, because their works, walk and sight have been faulty in their eyes.
Thus have you become the judgers of your brethren and put them out of fellowship, and taken all that belongs to them and left them hungry, thirsty and half clad strangers, sick and in prison, while you and Co. feast and carry on your activities in justifying your wickedness towards your brethren. You have seen the mote of sin in your brethren and want to take it out, while you are quite unconscious of the beam, or log of wickedness which blinds you to the fact that you have erred in heart, hardening it against those who need mercy, in place of showing you have the mercy heart of God, and whose chief business is to assure the sinner of the Mercy of God, rather than rob them and leave them half dead, scattered in the mountains.
When I warn you of judgment and hell for having done these things, you gainsay it, and proceed to prove that I am a false prophet, and will neither listen nor allow others to listen, read or write to those in sympathy with what I say and write, while you carry on your campaign of evil speaking, and working violence to all who dare------------ your authority. Your methods are much too like the Ecclesiastical authority of the Clergy to pass muster with those who have eyes to see, and ears to hear what the Spirit saith.
Such wisdom is Earthly, sensual and devilish, and not the least like the wisdom which is from above, which is pure--not mixed--in its motives; peaceable, gentle, easily entreated, full of mercy and of good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy, and the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by them that make peace, instead of making and spreading hatred and war. James writing those things must have had pretty much the same condition in the Church of his day, when the true Apostles were rejected for witnessing to the Judgments of God about to fall on the Jews--both Christian and Non-Christian--and which fell in the year 70 AD in fulfilling what the Apostles had witnessed to for 10 years before it came. The false Apostles and prophets of the Church were many, who gainsaid these things and led the people to scoff, 2nd Peter 3.
What came of the many Sons of God and false prophets who succeeded in making the people gainsay and scoff at the words of Noah, till only he and his family were found in the Ark. They succeeded in deceiving the people who put their confidence in them as men of renown, but they were found out when the Flood came, which they said would not come, and so perished with the people whom they had deceived. It’s an easy matter to deceive the people, but it’s a hard matter to face the consequences, and what had given great satisfaction in life, produced weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth when too late.
What came of Ham, who violated mercy to his father Noah, and judged him by his sin and forgot all the mercies he had received at his hands? The white Ham produced a black seed, to remind the world that all who violate mercy are accursed of God. Many theories have been offered by men regarding the black seed, skin of Ham, but God’s verdict is enough for all who have ears to hear what the Spirit saith. The quarter of the human race in Blackness of their skin, witness against you and all who have ever done as you have done to your brethren by the hundred. God never changes. Those who measure others by their sins and violate mercy, are accursed of God, no matter what they appeared to be in men’s sight. How they multiply to prove their rightness in their wickedness!
The whole record of the world’s history has been to justify wickedness, and thus far succeeded, but its end is at hand, when those who have been the victims of wickedness by the religious world are coming back to reign for 1000 years, when there will be neither Cain, Ham, nor Eddie Cooney seed found amongst them. What happened to Korah, Dathan and Abiram, and the 250 Princes (and Moses had much of such) and who were found famous in the congregation—men of renown? They became the accuser of Moses and Aaron. They succeeded in getting many to believe in them, and even to blame Moses for their death, but they and all who were with them perished in their gainsaying. Moses, the mercy hearted man, gave them the fruit of the power of God, which they were so glad to have, but they failed in getting a heart like Moses and so perished. Only two out of the two million Moses delivered escaped the consequences of their heart attitude towards God.
What happened to those of the Ham seed who put out Samson’s eyes and made sport of him in prison, and in their feastings? Did they escape? Did God justify the sinner Samson, or those who were his accusers and tormentors?
What happened to the many who owed their place in the Kingdom, and preeminence in Israel to David, and who afterwards became the sword which never departed from the house of David, because of his sin? Was God for David and against all those who sought to take the Kingdom from David. Absolom’s tomb here in the Valley of Jehosophat is full of stones today, to remind us of the Judgment of God on all who do what you have tried to do to me. The Jews spit when they pass by. Absolom was no sinner, but he was wicked as you are, though fair to look upon, so much so that even David wished he might have died for him, showing the difference in heart between David the mercy hearted man, and wicked son who owed all that he had to his father.
What happened to all the zealous, holy, prayerful false prophets of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel’s time, who gainsaid what the true prophets, in rejection, said would happen to Israel? They promised them peace until they stirred up the people and killed Isaiah, who said they would be carried away captive for 70 years. Did their gainsaying hinder the captivity? What happened to the multitudes who had tasted the fruit of the mercy heart of Jesus, but who failed to get the root and the planting of the father? When the Mercy test was applied to them by Jesus, in His rejection, they were found amongst the false prophets and their victims. THEY COULD NOT SHOW MERCY BECAUSE THEY HAD NOT OBTAINED MERCY.
Just as in Paul’s, Peter’s, James’s, and John’s day, those who had professed and had not been regenerated because of pride and iniquity working in their hearts, became the rejecters of those who were made the test of their mercy. God CALLED (by me) many to be partakers of the Divine Nature, FEW are being chosen when tested by the mercy test. They took all the fruit of my mercy heart, but they missed getting the root, and so are found wanting. God always tests His professed people in the same way.
The stone of stumbling and rock of offense, and is the one which the builders reject, is the one which becomes the head of the corner, by which the next course in the building is to be lined up and put in place by. Those who fall on this rejected stone will be broken or made to suffer, but on whomsoever it falls, it will grind him to powder. This was true of Noah, Moses, Samson, David, Isaiah, and the prophets; Jesus and the Apostles, up until you and I. The men who would fail in mercy and become the wicked accusers of the hundreds in the Testimony, whom they have treated violently and put out, would have rejected all those whom we now know to have been true servants of God, because of the judgments which came on their enemies, after they were dead.
Matthew 13 is very good—outlining the Testimony. I sowed the word of the Kingdom: three parts failed to receive the root, one part got the root; so many are the rejecters of their brethren, and 25% (the few) are worthy of the rejection and being outside the Camp. I sowed good seed; the enemy sowed tares, those who were perfect outwardly but had failed to get the mercy heart of God. Both grew together till these harvest days when the separation takes place. The rejecters are gathered together to burn, and the wheat is being gathered as a seed for the next sowing.
My mustard seed became the great tree with branches, wide spreading. The black, evil fowl brood came and made their nest in the branches of it, and now it’s a nest tree of squawking activities, whose increase only adds to the filth which hides the tree that was once living, and which attracted them to it for what they could get, in place, power, position and comfort. The tree is to be cut down, and a shoot from the old root made to bud more glorious than the other, in that it will be to all nations, in the fullness of the Everlasting Gospel.
The Kingdom is like leaven which the harlot hearted woman hid in three measures of meal till the whole was leavened. Leaven stands for human influence which the harlot hearted have in getting power over the whole Testimony or Church as we see at the end of the Prophets’ and Apostles’ lives. The mustard tree shows the living power of God. The Leaven shows the death working power of the false harlot hearted hireling hypocrites of the Church.
I found gold in my field, and worked it after buying it. I sold all a second time and bought the Pearl of great price—a rejected, mercy hearted, anointed man such as we see the true prophets all were at the end. The dragnet caught many of all sorts, now it’s drawn to the shore and we see the rejecters cast away of God, while the good are being gathered into vessels for the Master’s use. These things were all hid from our eyes until they were fulfilled in our lives. Paul and Co. could not see these things until they could see them from the place of rejection—at the end of their life’s work.
PAUL SOLD ALL TO GET THE GOLD OF THE KINGDOM. HE LOST ALL IN BECOMING A PEARL OF GREAT PRICE, TO BE COUNTED WORTHY TO RISE AND REIGN IN REVELATION 21.
I COUNT MYSELF HAPPY TO HAVE SOWN MORE OF THE SEED OF THE KINGDOM THAN ANY MAN IN OR OUT OF THE TESTIMONY. I count myself happy to have the devil produce so many imitations around 25% of the true seed, and my being tolerant enough to let the tares grow up amongst the wheat, till the harvest these 7 years. I count myself happy in making it possible for so many foul birds to make their nest in the tree which they never produced. I count myself happy in finding a few hundred who have suffered for being true to my name, and being rejected and cast out for having fellowship with me in any sense, whether as sinners, heretics, blasphemers, or movers of sedition.
No man can mention my name lovingly in the Testimony and not suffer for it; try it and see for yourself. Happy will you be if you find yourself despised and rejected, rebuked and chastened, outside the Camp for doing it. If you want to take the hatred of the haters, mention my name and stand for mercy of God to me and others like me, and see what you get, either in a church meeting or in a convention. All who have tried it have proved it, and happy are they no matter what the cost to them, for they will find the Pearl of great price, and be one of the Bride (chosen) and come back to reign on the earth. You will find the Lord at your heart’s door knocking to come in and share your sorrow, ready to impart to you His revelation for these days; a program which will interpret all that is going on in the Testimony and in your own heart, as well as the world.
You will have an open Heaven, an open Book and an open Providence, revealing His working as the King on the Throne, judging the world, the Church, and perfecting His own in making them merciful, as He is merciful. Now cheer up, I don’t care whether you are good or bad, if you are willing to put on the white robe of mercy to all men, you are welcome to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, but if you think to sit down at the feast in your self-righteousness and wickedness, you will find the King command you to be bound and cast out, where the greatest, and the goats, dogs, swine, and wolves in sheep’s clothing are—in outer darkness, blind to all that’s going on in the world; to be found weeping, wailing and gnashing your teeth in the day when His wrath is let loose on the wicked, good and bad, who dwell on the face of the whole Earth.
Yours very truly,
My dear Edward (though I like Eddie best),
I was pleased to see your letter and to hear of some evidence of returning humanity in three of you, for that will precede any hope of deliverance from the snare of the Devil, into which you have all fallen, and which accounts for the deadness and corruption, which characterized the whole Testimony these 9 years. And if nobody else knows it, I do; and always knew more of these conditions than anyone else. And rightly so, for the Testimony was the Seal of God and proof of my anointing. And if I was not the father, certainly I was not the brother of any. God never gathered brethren but by a father, and all your attempts to change these facts only reveals the secrets of your hearts and leaves you where you began, and as you began—without God, and knowing it not, though full of zeal, knowledge, profession and fruit, which you long ago recognized was only adding to the wickedness of the world.
The scriptures take no notice of anything which has not been produced by prophets, sealed and sent of God. The foundation of the Church, in every age, is the true prophet and apostles whom He has sent. False prophets may be produced by the historical and traditional, or by the true Prophet and Servant of God. Cain and Abel were the seed of Adam-natural and spiritual, but at the end of days, or the lap as you call it, we see the greatest and the least; the strong and the weak; the kings and the slaves; the Rich Man and Lazarus; The Elder Brother and the Prodigal; the killer and the killed; the rejecter and the rejected; the judge and the judged. The one, not fit to live on the Earth, going home to Heaven to wait the manifestation of the Sons of God; the other, going forth on the Earth to multiply and build cities and all their abominations, which have characterized these past 6,000 years, and finding himself at the end of a long life, protected by God with the cry of the Rich Man in Hell, and the gulf fixed.
I am the one God used altogether—not most. No William, no Testimony. The mountains echo and re-echo the human voice, and so the Testimony was the echo and re-echo of the Voice of God through my lips, though I knew it not then, as I do today. For the prophets and apostles only got to know who they were, when they found themselves the victims of the iniquity and scandal of those who were called the Church, or seal of their anointing. Paul, Peter, James, Jude, and John speak in the days of their rejection, with a much more certain end. And I know, from experience, how these things can be and need it, when the Church is left desolate and Godless, to have the secrets of their hearts made manifest; so that the few may be gathered out, and the many gathered in bundles to burn, as we see being made manifest in these days in fulfilling Matthew 13:34-43.
The Bride is the few who cleave to the Anointed of God; for many are called, but few chosen. And the first in men's eyes, are the least in Gods and vise versa. Let both grow together till the harvest, is true of every generation, as well as for the last and finish of the age we are now in. The harvest came in Paul's work in 60 A.D, when he was apprehended and put in jail. Then, the secret of men's hearts were revealed and Paul had to learn, by experience, as all Gods chosen have, the meaning of it all bit by bit. The men who then, or now, could believe that God was in the churches or apostles who forsook Paul, were neither human, nor divine, but Devil-possessed and did not know it, and so went on with the whole activities of word and form till the end of their natural life, like Cain and Esau, while Paul had been gathered home to wait the manifestation of the Sons of God by the Roman headsman’s ax, to their shame and confusion.
Paul was the Lazarus of his time, laid at the gate of the Rich Man, feeding on the crumbs, which came from his table—the pieces of bread, which they thought were not fit to be received into their holy, Devil-possessed bodies. Just as I have been feeding on the crumbs, which my deluded ‘Bride ‘ friends have given me. The Dogs love to lick the sores on Paul, produced by his thorn in the flesh--The Messenger of Satan to buffet him for his perfecting, and they revealed the scandal and iniquity which had been hid in their hearts so long, as they had never been known of God.
If you can find any man in the Book, who was the Truly Anointed of God and lost it, I would be glad to find it; Yet all of them were cast down and cast out, and became as the hand that knocks at the door to call the Bride. The sedition of Miriam and Aaron was the beginning of the end of days for Moses. Then, the people murmur, and only Caleb and Joshua-one per million of those who left Egypt. The revolt of iniquity was by Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, and the 250 Princes of the Assembly, famous in the congregation and men of renown--Just such as I gave you the chance of being, and which was used for your fame and renown. Your attempt to call me "Brother" and "Leader" is of the same nature as Korah, Dathan and Abiram & Co., but it was the revealing of the secrets of their hearts. They were but the echo of the Voice of God through Moses, but they could not know the difference, being unregenerate.
You can see the harvest days leave Noah with only his own family in the ark, while the Sons of God and Daughters of Men filled the Earth with their wicked violence. Noah preached 120 years, but only 7 were chosen out of the wicked generation.
Jacob had 10 sons during the 25 years, when he had no lame leg, but the 2 he got after getting the lame leg, were the deliverance of the world in famine, and the comfort of his old age. And you see how the Lord treated the one who was to be deliverer. All working out in perfecting, and in Enoch’s life—very clear from Jude.
Then you have Samson harvesting the secrets of the Philistine heart; in prison with his eyes out, while God was preparing to honor Samson and destroy those who were his enemies in Israel.
Job, you are familiar with, and if you go over all that's said by the four friends of Job, you will find it like a looking glass to your comforters of William. David's harvest day began with his sin, but how many rotten hearts were revealed, can only be learned by the whole of the Psalms.
They could either believe the words of Eternal Life from His [Jesus’] lips and live, or pray, read, listen, think and perish; for there never has been any other salvation than by the lips of God by a man. The more you pray, read, preach, and listen to me, the blinder, drunker, and more devil-possessed man becomes. The Devil works his way into every church or Testimony, just as surely as God works His way out. The harlot-hearted, are Church--Devil-possessed. The Bride are the God-possessed, put out and called out by the Voice of Him who stands at the door knocking, so that people may know that He's outside. Revelation 3:20-22 is not part of the Laodicean’s message, but is general for all the 7, and shows how the Bridegroom calls the Bride of all the 7 churches; even the fact that the Devil was getting control inside, just as the Lord was outside. John was outside in Patmos, rejected by the churches for 6 years, when he got the Revelation of the final harvest, which we are now in the midst of. These past years, since 1914, have been the ripening days. The cutting down, or falling away period, comes as soon as they say Peace and Safety, which is now hanging in the balance. Lausanne Conference began with earthquake and tidal waves, and finished on 3rd Feb. with same in Hawaii, and another on the 26th Feb.
I am not surprised you enjoy the fellowship of John Hardie and Wilson. [McClung] Are you not brethren? I would to God you all enjoyed my fellowship, which is 10 times better today, than of yore. And I know best, both ends of it. But it's hid from your eyes and ears by the condition of heart, as Isaiah, Jesus and Paul found it in those they reasoned with in their day, who professed to know God, but were never known to God. Their hearts had waxed gross through hearing and handling of the things of God, without being born and sealed of God. If you read the parables in Matthew 20-25, you will find I planted the Vineyard and it has fallen into the hands of wicked husbandsmen. And I am the Servant sent to find the fruit; and those who mistreat the Servant are the same as the killers of the Son and Heir, as Paul found in his day in Philippi, spoken of, whose end is destruction.
I, also, have given you the bidding to the Marriage of the Kings’s Son, but you would not listen. And these have gone their own ways to farm, merchandise and marriage, while a remnant have treated it despitefully, but the wrath of the King is absolute to send forth His armies of war, famine, pestilence and plagues to destroy those murderers. And we will go to the highways with the Everlasting Gospel to gather guests for the Wedding—the greatest event in all ages. And the one to which God and all His Bride have been looking for, for 6,000 years; and as the only hope for the poor, suffering creation.
Then, we will see the Rapture people crying for a little of the Water to cool their parched tongue, which they refused from the Man who was laid at their gate, full of sores for the revealing of the secrets of their hearts and their salvation, if they had had ears to hear and a heart to understand. Then, you will be sure of why I am who and where I am, and what I have been doing. This is the key to the Foolish and Wise Virgins. The Foolish will be revealed, and the Wise-- when the war, famine, pestilence and plagues begin, at the finish of Peace and safety, or the winding up of the late war, which is now in the hands of the Turks—the Wise will go in; the Foolish be shut out from the Everlasting Gospel led by the 2 Witnesses of Revelation 11.
By the way, would I not be foolish to fail to see the end of my life? To lie, 3 ½ days, dead in the streets of Jerusalem and rise and be caught up to Heaven is good enough for any old fool like me, so that I neither feel old, nor look to a cold tomb and a hot hell. And I'm just as serious about this, as anything you ever heard come from my lips and life in the days of yore. Days of yore have no attraction for the Anointed of God. It's always better as we go along, even though it may seem to be harder in men's eyes, who measure things by human standards, because they have no other.
Do you think that David, Samson, Jacob, Joseph, Noah, or Abel would want the day of yore? The Angel had to give Jacob a lame leg, ere he could convince him that he was chosen a Prince, having power with God and Man; and when we have learned this lesson, we don’t want to be Jacob anymore, when we know we have become Israel—His chosen, Elect Bride. There is not much illness in a man, when he can get 1,000 words out of his pen a day, and never less than 500 any day (other). I find I am fitter today, than any time in my life—10-20 miles of a walk; I do all my own chores, and at all time. I have just finished putting in 3 ½ years supply of food. If I don’t need it, some of those who will come to worship at my feet, and confess that God had loved me in all my rejection, will be glad of it. I have, all along, been willing to help the few whom I found in need, and have no fear, worry, doubt or trouble. I speak honestly before God and man. If I were wicked, I would have counted it an insult for anyone to send me money who had not the humanity to answer my letter, but as I am not wicked, nor humanly in bondage to the Devil or any of his fellowship, I can honestly thank you for your kindness and hope it may be the means of waking you to the awful condition I find you in.
The Rich Man could not see as clearly as the man that lay outside his gate, for when once a man is fool enough to be deceived by purple and fine linen righteousness, there is no hope but in the Man with the sores, which the dogs love to lick. To be called in vain, is to receive one talent; and to hang on to it like death, hid in the Earth—all our human understanding, etc. To be called and become partakers of His divine Nature is two talents. Our gaining of other two as Saint, means that we will also become the Chosen, as well as the Called. To be called [and] effectually sealed of God is five talents, to which we gain choosing as well as calling as a servant. There can be no gain in a man who has been called in vain, just as a man who is truly called, is bound to go on and gain. And so the servant will be chosen as Bride and also share in the Everlasting Kingdom about to be set up by the Everlasting Gospel and Witnesses.
The unregenerate marks are seen in the conception of the One Talent Man, both of the gift, and the nature of the giver. From him shall be taken away even that, which he seemeth to have; for to him that hath, (the nature and seal of God) shall be given and vice versa. For many are called, but few chosen. The Goats and the Sheep are enough for any man, and had no meaning in other days, but is for today. And happy are they, who have been made hungry and thirsty, etc. in the Choosing Days. We did not know the difference at the time; now we do, and rejoice. These are the great truths of the Omega, or finishing days, and if I was ignorant of them, what chance was there for any others in the Testimony to know them? And if they believe not when I tell them, what hope have you of ever finding them out in your present condition? And it's only sporting with death to go on as you are today—despising the Man and Message, which can give you hope.
In the calling, we are justified freely by His Grace from all things that God may work in us, but in the choosing days, men are justified by the fruits, which is the proof of Gods nature having been wrought in them. Hence, Peter's injunction to make your calling and election sure. And I have no doubt that the whole Testimony today, is making its calling and election impossible by their words and works. I have borne ample proof of their scandal and iniquity of me and many others. And worst of all, [they] try to justify it by the scriptures, as has always been the case.
To measure any of the Anointed of God by their sins, has been the fatal marks in all who have failed of the Grace of God in the record of the whole Book. And all others’ righteousness is but filthy rags which appear righteous before men, but are abomination in the sight of God. The bundle has always been for the fire; the few gathered by rejection and the Voice of God, have been the Bride.
You can be sure that the Stone of Stumbling and Rock of Offense has ever been the Anointed of God, while those who stumbled were the seed of the Serpent generation of vipers, who could not escape the damnation of Hell. I ask you, seriously, to stop and think what the end of all this campaign of wickedness is going to mean for all who has any part, or lot, in it. If the signs of these past 8 years don’t cause people to recognize the near approach of Tribulation, then it's because it's hid from their eyes. The gulf is not yet fixed, but may be very soon. And if you don’t get where I am and be more hearty with me, than you were ever before, then it will be eternal separation and the gulf fixed, where there will be no more living to despise and reject.
The Choosing Days at the end of Jesus’ 3 ½ years of work, is part of the Jesus Way, which people seem to be strangers to. The multitudes that were called, faded into nothingness, as we see the few stay with Him to the end, but in weakness, scattered and were filled with doubts and fears; but they became the Bride and seed of the church of the next generation. To make loose straws or chaff as the test as to where God is, is foolish and begging the question, as they can be blown about by any wind which blows hot or cold.
I have not written these things to exasperate you or grieve you, but to give you the only hope that lies your way. I have nothing to gain but you. Your silence to me has been the most terrible witness against you, for such is seen through the whole Book as the mark of those who were the Cain Seed. And the Book leaves no room for doubt about the end of such, as truly as the rejected of every age bring the seal of God on their lips and witness. The many prophets and professors of every Testimony in the world's history—uniformly doomed and damned by their own words and actions towards the very few true Prophets and their Chosen Seed are many, or few, right today.
As it was in Noah's day, so shall it be in the day of the Son of Man of every Age. Son of Man is the man whom God has anointed against all who were but echoes of His Voice and words. I have had 30 years of a long, up-hill battle, single handed, but the end becomes the more wonderful to me, for I know, and am assured, that life and death, not only to the Testimony, but to the world, is in my hands. Put there by the God whom I have served faithfully and well; through good and bad report, and the finish is just as clear, bright and glorious as the beginning was very dark and obscure.
The one half of Revelation has been fulfilled, and the last lap—the 7 years of Tribulation--about to begin when death and doom await all whose eyes and hearts are not centered in Jerusalem and the 2 men of Gods choice, for the gathering of the guests for the wedding feast out of the highways.
If you were reading my life work, as you read Moses’, and as it appeared to Moses and God, you might have more silent wonder at the marvelous Grace of God. Looking back over the 30 years since I forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of Kings, it's truly wonderful.
You will find it very useful to read Matthew 5, 6, 7, 13, 18, 20, & 25 and see the 2 seeds all through. The many always tares, while the few have been the seed of God at the harvest. Give God and me a chance. Be final, and you will have to taste the consequences very soon, and you must surely have lost all sense of proportion, if you don’t see that I offer you life or death. The Book is one long record of one man against the world, and it's the same today, if you had eyes to see, or ears to hear what the Spirit saith from Jerusalem, as He spoke by John from Patmos. The church was never the channel through which God spoke, if we believe the record. And, especially, when judgment was on hand, as it is today.
Yours very truly, and gladly in Christ, Jesus,
RE: Excommunication of Wm. Irvine
As the result of my consultation with George (zealous in the Lord), Jack C. And my friend, Willie G. (a very meek man) we have agreed that this deadly doctrine of yours must be completely stamped out that the whole family of Gods faithful people perish not as the result of the awful leaven permeating the whole body. Where would there be any light for this poor, dark world, if Gods faithful sacrificing servants and saints become corrupted? At present, we have a few thousand spreading the glad tidings to many poor souls, but we hope soon to have more out in the work, as the harvest is truly great and the laborers few.
We have come in contact with a number lately, who have got mixed up in this terrible affair of yours—those of them, not a few, who have swallowed the serpent's venom and are willing to look up at the serpent on the pole as we who expose it get deliverance; thanks to the mighty power of God. But a few—chiefly those who are unable to get victory in their lives and put to death the flesh, remain stubborn and stiff-necked. We have done all in our power to help such, but without avail. We have not cast out these people as they went out from us, that it might be made manifest that they were not of us. It is heartrending to see them wandering about with no where to go—no hope nor refuge nigh—outside of the ark. Many of them I have heard are having an awful time with the devil, and as a result, they have got to that place where there is no turning back.
When any of them pass me on the street they have the audacity to say “Good day” to me, a wicked smile coming over their faces; to think they feel no shame for their doings; well, seeing brother, (in Adam) that things have reached such a crisis, we consider it incumbent upon us not to put you to death, as we do not believe in an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth; but we feel it is our duty in the sight of God, as faithful stewards over His household, to protect the sheep of his pasture; so we regret to say, even weeping, that we must give you in charge, on the ground that you are a lawbreaker and a mover of sedition amongst the people; also that you use witchcraft, sorcery, hypnotism, etc., in order to put people out of their minds; some call it mesmerism. Many who come under your spell, are sad to say, never the same again as they were before. We believe in Jesus as the Way, Truth and Life, and He is the same yesterday, today and forever, and His way has never changed. The way is so plain that even a child cannot err therein.
Now dear brother, we hope you will not have any hard feelings towards us, as we still have your welfare at heart, and we feel that the Lord has compelled us to do as we do. If you should care to make any statements to us we would be only too glad to hear you, or in the event of your being willing to repent, and take your place with us (not over us) again we might consider extending to you the right hand of fellowship; though you have not stuck to your guns like us; but never mind Wm. God will abundantly pardon.
Yours in Adam,
P. S. When walking about the streets I often take off my coat and hang it over my arm, thus I am in readiness to give it to the first man who likes to take it, along with the waist coat too, if necessary. I am sure if you come back again to the Father's house we will have the fatted calf ready for you to eat and to make merry with His dear sons and daughters. Since you have gone out from us, the whole camp has had to stand still, as if one member suffers the whole body suffers. We greatly desire to see you back with us again.
[E. C. Per W. McFarland]
** Patricia Roberts (the acknowledged expert on Edward Cooney, who has written 4 books about him and the Cooneyites, of which she is a member) wrote the following opinion about the above letter purportedly written by Cooney in a letter to Cherie Kropp dated August 26, 1997:
"This letter you sent me which claims to be from Edward Cooney is undoubtedly a forgery. It was never composed by him. It is totally out of character with Edward's spirit, attitude and style.
"Irvine, himself, obviously didn't believe it came from Edward for he says in his letter to Edward: "I had what is said to be, a copy of a letter sent to Ethel McFarland without date or address. If such letter exists in your handwriting, it must come on to me." Irvine had obviously never received such a letter in Edward's handwriting.
"May I point out that by 1924 E.C. was practically outside the fellowship himself and would therefore have been in no position to excommunicate anyone else. But he never did excommunicate anyone, nor did he ever want to, for he believed that only God could cut off branches from the Vine. Plans were being made from 1914 onward to excommunicate E.C.
"(See p. 15ff of Selected Letters of E.C.) And although he could not agree with the strange and erroneous ideas that W.I. came to espouse, he treated him with compassion and did all he could to restore him to what he once was but without success. (See Selected Letters of E.C. p21ff, 28ff, 43ff, 88ff. See also Life & Ministry of E.C. p. 114ff."
My dear Edward:
I had, what is said to be, a copy of a letter sent to Ethel McFarland without date or address. If such a letter exists in your hand writing, it must come on to me. I don’t object to the whole Testimony having such a valuable document. It's only the natural outcome of your ten years in the snare of the Devil, and heralds the day of deliverance for the whole creation which begins in the bringing forth of the Manchild and the final casting down and out of Heaven of the Dragon and Devil who accuse before our God day and night all who are of the Woman of Revelation 12:1 & 2. Michael and His Angels are on our part and are winning all the time, while the Dragon and his Angels fight but prevail not.
If we are not afraid of the great Red Dragon with 7 heads and 10 horns, with crowns on his head and one-third part of the stars of Heaven on his tail, certainly we are not afraid of Eddie, who is ready to give his coat and vest as proof of his charity; or of George, the Zealous, Jack the righteous, or Willie, the Meek The chief of sinners is worth a world full, or a Hell full, of such, for Jesus was the Chief of Sinners and was put to death as such, as well as being a heretic, blasphemer and a mover of sedition, and had "bewitched" a few disciples, so that they could not be terrified by all their wicked array of power.
They resolved to "stamp out" the heresy and disturbing influence which has brought their wicked hypocrisy to a stand-still and disturbed the whole of the people, endangering the salvation of the world through their wicked gospel, as they compassed sea and land to make one proselyte, who, when made, was two-fold more the child of Hell than themselves.
Your thousands, who go preaching, and the many still to go, is only proof such as Rome would suggest as an argument. And the method of stopping the "heresy and sedition," and power over the people is of the same nature of Rome and the Jews, which remind me that the best statement to make is that found in Matthew 23, which led to His death, which is about now to be avenged on the whole wicked religious, political world by the Manchild, who is to rule the nations with a rod of iron and dash them to pieces as a potter's vessel, as you see if you compare Psalm 2:8 & 9, Revelation 2: 26-29, and Rev. 12:5, and I'm your man with the few overcomers of the wicked one, who has come like a flood into the Testimony and world.
Your blindness to all these, the most wonderful things of all time, is only proof of your wickedness; for the wicked shall do wickedly, but they shall not understand, till it's too late. And their weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth will be sure evidence of what I say is true, if you read the seven-fold marks of devil possession of the seven churches of Asia, which were the first generation churches of the Gentiles, and the best works of the chiefest of the Apostles of whom Jesus honoured, in using them as the type of the last generation of the Gentile churches, which was my work.
Paul began alone and he finished under the headman's ax in Rome with only a few overcomers with him at the end. Such is my privilege. Paul was "given in charge" by the Jewish Christians because he would not bow to their law interpretation of the Gospel, such as the Cain and Esau seed of both Moses and Jesus’ Gospel must ever be and do, for unregenerate hearts must be made manifest and are the vessels of dishonour, which God uses in perfecting His vessels to honour, who are to taste of Mercy and compassion, when the Esau vessels taste of the severity of God in Judgment, such as now, in the shadowing the whole Earth.
You chose your own ways, and God has chosen your delusions, so you can only go on to your doom. None of the accused seed of God repented of their witness against the wicked of their day. They gave up their lives gladly to the very death. You have no kiss, robe, ring, shoes or fatted calf to offer, you have devoured the fattest of the flock for ten years, and could not help devouring if you tried now. But it's the devourers who are to be devoured this time. They shall be as ashes under our feet, as the Sun of Righteousness arises with healing in his wings. Ye, who have been with him, will go forth and grow up as calves of the stalls, for the Manchild is to have the Morning Star as well as the iron rod to rule the nations.
This is the beginning of the seventh day creation, and as Adam was made, not from the great animals or monkeys which populate the Earth, but from the dust of the ground, which accounts for the humiliation and grinding which we have had these past years that we may be the man of Isaiah 66:2, poor and contrite in spirit that tremble at His word. You can read the facts in this chapter for both the rejecters and rejected.
It's good to recognize that Cain and Abel, Esau and Jacob all had the same privileges, but at the end you see the use they made of them, in heart, being the killers and the killed; the rejecters and the rejected. Those who exalt justice over mercy, and those who exalt in mercy over justice; the dead killers and the living victims.
It was pitiable to see Cain and Esau with all their privileges miss the blessing at the end, which revealed their heart condition at the beginning as only God could see it, but which He made very manifest at the end.
If you read the promises to the Overcomer of the wicked one, who takes possession of the churches, when the anointed of God is cast down and out, you see the marks of those who are the Woman and Manchild for the seed of the Kingdom about to be set upon the Earth by the Two Witnesses and 144, 000, who are being perfected to scatter it to the whole world in fulfilling the promise given Abram’s spiritual seed. "In thee and thy seed shall all families of the Earth be blessed." All that Jesus received of the Father is to be executed by the Manchild as you see from Revelation 12:26-28, and you would do well to give these things your solemn consideration, for you can't do one thing to hinder. No matter what you try you are up against a stone wall and as easy to overthrow His Throne in Heaven as to hinder the Manchild or Woman and the Message given by the Twelve Star Crown on the Head of the Woman in Jerusalem. Jesus said to Judas, "What thou doest, do quickly." He knew the quicker the better for the power of God over death and the grave would be revealed, the sooner he would set on His Throne and the Disciples receive the anointing which they had tried to stamp out. This time, it's going to be much more definite and terrible, for life and death are in the message. Death to every wicked, scandalizing heart, and life to everyone of their victims and the sinner world.
As you have given the four names who led into the snare of the Devil, so it's only mete that you should declare yourself as you have done, and we will see the end, as we have the beginning. I don’t wonder at those who say "Good day," and have a look on their face which shows they know who you are. The Disciples must have had a queer look on them to the holy, wicked Pharisees of their day, which those of "double mind" did not have, as Judas proved to his final cost, after disturbing the Disciples as long as he could, and such are just as clearly revealed to me as they were to Jesus.
There is nothing new in all that has happened, but the New Thing spoken of so often in the book is about to take place, which will reveal the hearts of all men and nations and none shall escape. Those that curse the anointed of God will receive cursing; and those who bless them, will receive blessing. The beginning of the Jesus Way only leads on to the end. You accepted the Alpha and rejected the Omega, but the end is always the revealing of what God saw to be in the hearts of men, who profess through apostolic testimony.
It was at the end of the day that Adam found out where he had been deceived and got his eyes open, very unwillingly. It was at the end of days that Cain and Abel were revealed. It was at the end of days, in Jesus life that the multitude had gone and the few left that he had "bewitched" into believing that He alone had the words of eternal life. It was at the end of days in Paul's life that he had to stand alone against the whole church, Devil-possessed, who had forsaken him, and who clamoured for his life yearly till he was put to death. It was at the end of days that John was alone in Patmos for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus, suffering affliction at the hands of the church, who would neither receive his message or those whom he sent. So, it's good to see the end as well as the beginning. The honour which comes from God is always crowned with thorns, just as the honour that comes from men gets world recognition. It was the wicked one who was to be the god of the world, as he is today, , the "mighty God," you call him who terrorizes all and deceives all who are "weaklings" or "double minded."
I have no hard feelings against you for your wickedness in past ten years, but God-like would rather see you turn and live than perish. I am suffering the suffering, and fighting the battle which is to bring deliverance to the whole weary world and creation that groaneth, sighing for the manifestation of the Son's of God, which begins in the bringing forth of the Manchild, the first to enter into the inheritance we hope for, who have received the earnest of our inheritance, the Spirit-seal of God.
Now go to it with all your might, for things are ripe and I'm ready, for the Testimony has suffered agonies through the wicked deceiver and accuser having come in like a flood. So the Lord has lifted up a Standard against him, and you may be sure there will be a great rush to the Standard. Then you will fall away with the whole wicked world, weeping, wailing and gnashing your teeth, as you see where your unregenerate nature and interpretation of the Love and Mercy of God has led you. Jesus was put to death according to the scriptures. But they erred not having the nature and seal of the spirit, and so, today, men can only use the Book for either becoming the killing seed or the killed.
You will find looking back over ten years, how perfectly God has wrought in bringing it all out clearly before the eyes of men who profess, so that there will be no loophole for the "double minded," Those you have driven out are yours to convince by His word and spirit; but your resort to carnal weapons of threat to me, is only in line with much that has been to them. But it will deliver any who may yet be victims to the seven-fold devil-possessed apostolic church of our day.
These things I write you not weeping, but rejoicing in all the privileges which have been His gift for thirty-one years, and which I have given unsparingly to all who would hear.
Your brother in Adam and Christ.
1 Kingscourt St. Belfast
My dear William,
Every time I ponder on the influence of God's Spirit upon my heart drawing me to God since that day I was born of water and of the Spirit, I can see God planned I should meet you, and by your lips hear words that helped me to understand better God's purpose in calling me, viz., that I should be conformed to the image of his Son and be built on the Rock of revelation from the Father to every simple-minded child of Adam, who like Peter desires to know and become like Christ the Son of the living God.
Christ will not build on any other foundation; and although flesh and blood may be a medium through which the Father, by his indwelling Son through the Spirit, may reveal, yet all such revelation must come to each individual child of God direct from the Father and thus be ratified as the Rock upon which Jesus Christ, the builder, builds.
The Bereans received Paul's word with readiness, daily examining the Scriptures to see if these things were so. Many therefore from among them believed the revelation that had come from God through his Son in Paul by the Spirit, because they examined the Scriptures. And they being of the babe, simple-minded class got revelation from the Father that the things spoken by Paul were so.
Those who begin to build on this Rock of the Christ, the Son of the living God, progressively revealed by the Father, need to continue to be subject to such revelation so as to be built up as part of the spiritual house Peter wrote of (1 Peter 2:5). How sad if one who, like Paul, had had this privilege should seek to occupy the place the Father alone should occupy, and claim that what comes from his lips or pen is Rock revelation, apart from its being ratified in the Holy of Holies from Christ's Father in Heaven to his seeking child.
I am afraid that a number of my fellow labourers have lost sight of this and have yielded to the Nicolaitan spirit, and thus have conquered some of God's people and caused them to become subservient to them. Dr. Schofield, although himself a cleric, has in his translation of the Bible given the true meaning of Nicolaitan, viz., conquereds of the people, from the Greek Nicao to conquer and laos the people. He gives this note regarding them: "They were the beginning of a priestly order that afterwards became the clergy, and divided a hitherto equal brotherhood into two parts, priests and laity." This discovery is interesting to me in the light of recent happenings. Why God hates the deeds of the Nicolaitans is because it gives man the place God alone should have.
I have been pondering on what John has written in Revelation and sent to each angel of the seven churches that they may each read the manuscript containing the message that they as angels or messengers were responsible to convey to the churches to whom the Lord sent the message by them through John (Rev. 1:3). "Blessed is he who reads." This would be true of each angel or messenger afore-mentioned, and also true of all who can read this revelation in the Spirit, because of being in the right hand of Jesus, and then pass it on to those who had ears to hear, and who through hearing would be blessed.
John in writing to the assemblies or churches addressed them as thee and thou. Then in Rev. 2:7: "He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies." "To him that overcometh" is clearly addressed to the assembly telling him that hath an ear to hear, and as a consequence overcome, that the Lord would give to him to eat of the tree of life etc. The same is true of verses 11 and 17 where the promises are prefaced by the same words. Therefore to hold that the promises of a pebble white on which a new name is written, which no one knew but he that received it, is only for one individual and no other, is a perversion of the meaning of the passage which clearly holds out the promise to all overcomers in that assembly, in fact to all who thus overcome in any assembly then and now.
I have also thought about the two witnesses in Rev. 11, said in verse 4 to be the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before the Lord of the earth. The candlestick in Zech. 4 seems to be the Jewish church, and in Rev. 1:12 the Gentile church. The two candlesticks of Rev. 11:4 seem to be the Bride composed of the Jewish and Gentile churches, spoken of under the symbol of two candlesticks, and two olive trees, and spiritually called two witnesses. So it would seem that the Bride clothed in bridal sackcloth will be martyred like her Bridegroom and be caught up after martyrdom. This agrees with Rev. 13:11-15. This is to take place in the great city spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, where her Lord was crucified, Sodom standing for fleshly sinners, Egypt for commercial, worldly sinners, and Jerusalem for religious sinners. In Jeremiah 5:14 it reads: "I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them." Compare Rev. 11:5. Fire goes out of their mouth and devours their enemies, and, in fact, in many parts of Revelation, terms are used in figure and need to be spiritually discerned.
At present we seem to be passing through a time typified by the fourth seal (Rev. 6:7-8). The opening of the fifth seal would speak of the time that Christ's Bride is martyred and joins those already gone before. "Their fellow servants" would be the two olive trees and "their brethren" the two candlesticks, standing before the Lord of the earth. The two prophets symbolizing the saint and sent one prophetic witnesses of the two candlesticks, and the two olive trees, or sons of oil, who stand by the Lord of the whole earth (Zech. 4:11-14). The opening of the sixth seal then comes, which speaks of judgment preceding Christ's millennial reign spoken of in Rev. 11:15.
Hope your health keeps good, and that as you at one time preached most clearly Christ who is the Alpha, so again you may preach the same Christ who is the Omega, progressively revealed from Alpha to Omega by the Father. The Alpha of his birth becomes known to us when born from above. Then as the power of his resurrection is known, we may become to his death conformed. This being for us as it was the Omega for him, so that we, like Paul, may become a key of the knowledge of Him, He being the only key of knowledge to the Father.
Last night I paid a visit to two women, one of whom had been much helped by you in the early days, but she spoke of being greatly disappointed in the course things took afterwards, not in your manner and teaching, but in that of others. She said something to me that confirmed me in the belief that I am contending for the faith once delivered to the saints. She said: "I was much reminded of Wm. Irvine and what I heard from him when I heard you preach in the open air." She said the truth was sweet to hear like what it was when she heard it from your lips. I was much gratified to hear this. But she seemed much disappointed to learn that you now preached another gospel.
I said to her my hope was that, like Samson, your hair might grow again and the power of God might return to you, and that more might be slain of the Lord through you at your death than during your life. She has been diving into Tom Payne and Ingersoll, but I think there is hope of her again being won by the truth that delighted her when she first heard it from your lips, and which attracted me by its sweetness as I have never been attracted before or since.
The wine of flattery which some would give is deadly. I find that to be considered an enemy of God's people by some of God's children overruled to humble me, and hope that, like Paul, I shall yearn after those who thus look upon me.
This flesh and blood revelation Satan has given you of another gospel which he stamps with the name of Omega in order that it may seem to be of Christ is misleading you and others through you. Hoping that you may return and be restored to stand before God so that separating between the precious and the vile your mouth may be God's mouth.
In the Home of Andrew Knox in Clankilvoragh, Lurgan, Co. Armagh, N. Ireland
To God's children at present divided by the sleight of men and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive. In Ephesians 4:14 Paul writes:
"That no longer we may be infants tossed and carried about by every wind of the teaching in the sleight of men in craftiness with a view to the systematizing of error." (quoted from Greek text. Quotations in this letter from same). God's revelation is Jesus the Christ the Son of the living God progressively given to the heart of God's child from his Father who is in the heavens. Matt. 16:16/17. This revelation being progressive cannot be systemized; for we know in part and in part we prophesy; any attempt to organize this revelation so that it becomes final produces stagnation - "for the path of the just is as the dawn that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." If the physical light was organized at the dawn stage what a catastrophe it would be for the children of men. So, any attempt to systematize or organize the progressive revelation of the Christ, the Son of the living God gradually given to God's children individually, with a view to its being received collectively, is equally a catastrophe with more fearful consequences, because the issues are eternal.
It seems to be unknown by many of God's children and unrealized by most that on October 12th, 1928, at Clankilvoragh, Lurgan, Ireland, at a meeting of those who might be called the apostles amongst the people of God - indeed there happened to be twelve present - a verbal agreement was submitted by the summer-up, James Jardine, expressed by John Carroll, called by the latter different times a "Solemn Agreement" binding all the workers not to express individual revelation, even though true, IF the worker in whose field they were had not yet seen it. This verbal agreement was as declared at that historic meeting and apostolic council "a basis of fellowship for all workers."
When Edward Cooney refused to bind himself by it and declared he would retain the liberty God gave him when he started forth to preach. John Carroll, who seemed to be foremost apostle in the introduction of this agreement, rose up and left the room, declaring he would have no more fellowship with Edward Cooney; the other eleven apostles remained; but with the exception of the said Edward Cooney and one of his fellow apostles, Thomas Elliott, they all subsequently acquiesed in the graphic demonstration by which his fellow apostle, John Carroll, had excommunicated Edward Cooney from his fellowship.
This is a true description of what took place on that memorable occasion; and as the untruth has been spread that I went out of fellowship from my brethren and thereby caused a division, I write to let you know that I earnestly desired, and still earnestly desire, to remain in the fellowship of my brethren on the same condition as we had from the beginning, viz., that "the truth as it is in Jesus" be the only test by which His disciples are to be disciplined, and that the Scriptures are to be only written revelation accepted as declaring the truth. One of the apostles has since said that it was not excommunication but withdrawal from a brother walking disorderly and referred me to II Thess. 3:6/12. I appeal to my brothers and sisters in Christ to read the passage and see if it can with fairness be applied to me under the circumstances of which I have given an account.
Believe me still to be Christ's bondsman and yours for His sake.
P.S. I have written this letter in the first part impersonally, and in the latter part personally, purposely. (E.C.)
Edited by Patricia Roberts
The Meeting purpose was a final attempt to organize Cooney by binding him to an Agreement which would restrict his ministry. The Solemn Agreement necessary for the Basis for Fellowship for all Workers was:
"2) That if a Worker desired to preach anything which the Workers as a whole did not agree with, he was to go to a part where the Workers had never been in order to do so.
Wilson Reid's Letter
c/o Mr. Holland
27 Rosewood St.
Belfast, N. Ireland
13 December 1928
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I feel responsible to God and to His people in Ireland to give them a little explanation and advice regarding the situation that has arisen with Eddie Cooney. Ezekiel 13:3-6 has been on my mind. I could have told long ago most of what I am now about to write, only I kept hoping it never would be needful. It was, and still is, the last thing I wanted to do, but I have been forced to it, and I may add that I do certainly feel that it is a most unkind, unrighteous, and ungodly thing for Eddie to have brought the children of God in Ireland into this trouble, and more so when I had kept him, and his testimony as clear as possible of it. I knew what a source of weakness it would be to all, and how hard it would make it for his own friends especially. I knew too that some might be caused to think I only wanted to weaken him, and strengthen myself, but God knows and many others also know, that I never wanted to stay in Ireland.
When I left Africa in 1921, it was to go to Holland. (I had looked forward to going for 16 years) and later on when Adam Hutchinson died in India, I would have gone there had it been the mind of my older brothers in the work. Even now I would gladly leave Ireland and go to the Dutch East Indies where a brother worker is needed if Eddie were one with the older brothers and wanted to stay in Ireland. It is not over 7 years since I came to Ireland, and in that time I have tried to help Eddie's friends as much as any others. To me it made no difference, and does not yet, who people come in through. I would not like to encourage the calamity Paul speaks of in 1 Cor. 3:4. He says there that "while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?" It is sad in the light of this to see Eddie finding out who is of him and claiming them instead of making the family of God one and blotting out the other as Paul tried to do. This with other things, only helps to satisfy me that Eddie is now working for himself and his own name.
As regards the cause of the trouble, it is not a thing of today or yesterday but a matter of years. The first I clearly saw of it was in 1916, although others can trace it back much further. About this time Eddie began to change his testimony and went back to claim he was saved at 17 years old, which was many years before he began walking in The Truth. Many things I heard him say then I did not fully understand until long after. As I look back now I can see where he was then heading to at the time. I returned to Africa from where I had come in 1913, and did not see Eddie again until 1921. Things had developed further with Eddie and he had begun teaching things on his own without consulting any of the brothers. Some of these things were dealt with at the time (1921) and Eddie and Willie Gill went abroad. It was then hoped that as Eddie would mingle with the other brothers in the other countries that he would be helped. But instead of this, he got worse, until in 1925 some of the brothers in Australia and New Zealand sent home quite a few letters showing that the trouble with Eddie had become very serious. I carried these letters for over 2 years but showed them to very few in Ireland and about 6 months ago burned the lot. I can tell today what they contained, but it would take up too much time and space here.
The following portion of a letter to me from a faithful sister worker, who has laboured in New Zealand, Africa and India, will show that there must have been and still is serious trouble over Eddie in New Zealand. The letter was written spontaneously and just at the same time when Eddie was on the water coming from Canada to Ireland. I surely do look upon it as from God to me so that all doubt might be removed from my mind with regard to the outcome of Eddie's labours on this side. The letter is written from New Zealand on October 3rd and is as follows:
* * * * * *
"My dear Brother,
"It is a long time since I sent a few lines to you though you are often in my mind; and I do not forget the fellowship and help of past days which still often stand one in good stead. We hear of you through others sometimes, and I am sure your help will be valued there more than ever in these days of trouble. Truly God's people have always been a tested and tried people, and often their biggest tests come from within.
"We hear that Eddie Cooney went to Ireland last month, or he wrote to his brother here saying he was going, and gave Harvey's, Newtownards as his address. His brother here is in sympathy with him and some few others too. But some of those who are on his side are outside of us now, and having meetings by themselves; and it is the safest place for them. There was great talk for a while of Eddie coming over here this year, but I think, and others think too, that probably because the turn things took and these people being now outside that he feels his power is broken and his opportunity to work under cover is finished. Perhaps you know far more in detail about him and the depth of his wickedness than we could tell you, but I thought it might be no harm to send you on the enclosed letters written to Mr. Holman and his son this year. They certainly are very deceptive to anyone who did not know the truth of matters concerning him; and I am sure he will be using the same spirit to overcome people with wherever he goes. It will be a time of real worry and trouble to you and many others if he has gone to that side." (end of letter quote)
* * * * *When Eddie left New Zealand and Australia in 1925, he went to U.S.A. where in view of this trouble, Jack Carroll asked him not to labour in that part of America where he had been, but Eddie settled down to work a mission in Seattle, a city where Jack had friends both in and around. The result was that Jack had to ask them to keep away from Eddie's meetings. When the mission finished Eddie remained on and got into the clothing business and remained in it until the early part of this year. He was there almost 3 years in all. Soon after the mission however, George Walker and a number of older workers met in Seattle and did all they could to fix things up with Eddie and make it possible for him to be in fellowship. He then gladly agreed to what was suggested, but afterwards did not act upon it, and thus has been out of fellowship since.
When Eddie came to Ireland, Willie Gill met him at Belfast and spent a day with him. George Walker also spent a day talking with him before he came this side. I too saw Eddie and told him what I had already written him a couple of years ago, viz., that so long as he was out of line with the other older brothers, whom I could not disbelieve in, I could not be one with him.
It was then arranged that we would call a meeting of older brothers and let them hear and speak with him. This we held on Friday after Eddie landed, but it accomplished nothing so far as helping him was concerned, although we spent about 6 hours talking. He went off to do and say as he himself thought good and has been doing so since. You will understand, therefore, that he is out of fellowship with us all except Thomas Elliot who that day, and for a long time previous, was one with him. So far as I am concerned, I was and am satisfied that there is no use talking any more to Eddie, and I have not tried to do so since. We can't bind him down or stop him in any way in this country where he worked many years and has many friends; but we can tell them where he stands. This I have been slow to do until lately. George Walker and I have spoken to a number and this is written to reach others. I will be glad if it is made known to all in the family of God, but on no account to those outside it. The brothers who go around for Christmas and New Year meetings can tell you more. I do trust God will enable all to stand fast and be true to Him and to teach others so that all may be preserved.
You may hear of Eddie's work; he could always create a stir, especially in Ireland. And he has now so much, if not more, zeal than ever; and as much outward marks of humility, but I'm afraid more exaltation and pride of mind and of his own name. I have lately been caused to think much of Colossians 2:23 in connection with him. Paul speaks there of the outward show that would not deceive; and while I refer to this I would like to say that I would believe as much as ever I did in having the outward marks in our dress and otherwise. Eddie nor any other took any firmer stand with regard to dress than we did a few years ago at the conventions in Ireland; and we would still do the same again if it were needful. But at the same time I see the possibility of having the outward right and the inward wrong.
Evidently there were those in Paul's day who went in for voluntary humility (see verse 18), a humility of their own, put on and yet vainly puffed up in mind. In verse 23 he said this had "indeed a show of wisdom in will worship (human force and zeal, I should say) and humility, and neglecting of the body..." All those things counted with many then, just as they do now and could go a long way to deceive and make many believe that God was behind when he was not.
The fire, the earthquake and the whirlwind of Mt. Carmel in which God is not could move many but it did not move the man who knew God, the still small voice, or the sound of gentle stillness was the thing that did, and it still is what those who know God today look for. I think too of a way which would deceive the very elect, and have already said years ago that if such a way came, it would have to spring from inside and not arise outside the Lord's Testimony. We may be up against this now as far as Ireland is concerned, but if it takes from us only those not born of God, we shall see in the end it has been a blessing. We see, however, the possibility of many of the true children of God being moved, and if not moved, harassed and troubled. We therefore feel we must make it known that we cannot ask Eddie or his companion to take part in any meetings we are responsible for or encourage any saint or worker to attend theirs. We feel we must henceforth advise them to stay away. We can't at all accept any responsibility for those who decide to go with Eddie, nor for those who profess in his meetings, now that he is out of fellowship and on his own.
We won't be any hindrance to him, and there will be no strife to disgrace us all and the Lord's name before the world. In writing this, I feel I am adding to my own responsibility in every way, but I would not have a clear conscience if I did not, and I can, therefore, have hope in God. I have not been able to go into every detail in this, but if any desire any further information, I will gladly give it.
I trust that the Christmas and New Year meetings may be good. And although this may not be read by many until they are over, I hope each and all will do his and her part more truly than ever and make it possible for God to preserve and keep us until His heavenly kingdom. My fellow laborers are one with me in this.
Our love in Christ to you all,
Yours truly in Him,
Signed: Wilson Reid
"Fred Wood was born at Dawlish. Devon May 6, 1890, but at the age of 6 moved with his family to London where he grew up, and where he worked in the Customs & Excise from leaving school until shortly after he met Edward Cooney on Tower Hill in 1916...Soon after Fred's conversion, he gave up his fiancee and his job, distributed his money among the poor, and went to preach according to Matthew 10 in fellowship with Edward and those associated with him. He spent the following 20 years preaching in Spain, in South America, and the British Isles...in 1938 he married an Ulster girl, Sadie Greenaway, who was one of his own converts. Thereafter Fred earned his living in the offices of Harland & Wolff in Belfast until his retirement. Sadie and Fred had a home and four daughters...Their home was always open for God's people to stay in and worship in. The church met in their home, according to the Scripture, for the breaking of bread on Sunday mornings. They were Edward Cooney's staunchest supporters and Edward used to say that Fred was to him what Timothy was to Paul. ..All their spare time was given over to pastoral work, including open-air preaching…When Edward (Cooney) was excommunicated in 1928, Fred was one of the very few preachers who supported him. After Edward's death in 1960, the outcasts (Cooneyites) everywhere looked to Fred as their elder brother…Fred retired…in 1960 at the age of 70. From then until shortly before they died, he and his wife, Sadie, as well as shepherding the outcasts in Ulster (Northern Ireland), also paid regular visits to England and Scotland and made many trips abroad to Canada, the United States and Norway to strengthen the outcasts in those countries…In 1985…Sadie died after a short illness, at the age of 69…he (Fred Wood) died peacefully at his home in his 97th year on September 11, 1986."
Early Memories Recalled By Fred Wood
Editor's Note: The following is a transcribed tape of a 1985 conversation with FRED WOOD, age circa 93, which a Cooneyite elder made in the home of a professing American 2x2.
The Living Witness Doctrine (states) no one could be saved apart from hearing William Irvine or a preacher sent out by William Irvine. Eddie Cooney said this was a heresy, but proselytized his conscience for four years, in order to keep in with his brethren.
And another weakness that I believe came was when there was sister workers sent out two-by-two which, of course, was started by William Irvine, seeing he was...belonged to these whatchamacall people (Faith Mission), and he brought in the sister workers.
And when I was with Edward (Cooney) one day cycling in the South of England, we arrived at a village where there were some saints. I didn't know about it, but Edward must have known it was a place where saints met together. And he found several women folk, about half a dozen, talking together, and he sat down and encouraged them to go on in the straight way. Presently, a sister worker came in, and she (blackened) them all out, one by one. We never saw anything more of those saints, and they promised they would put us up for the night there, because they had different places in the village where they lived. We never saw them anymore, but when supper time came, this sister worker said to Edward, "We will give you food as men, but not as brothers." Edward said, "We won't take it," and that night we had to lay down on the floor and do the best we could. It was the month of November, but it wasn't too warm, we can tell you. So when we got up the next morning, breakfast time, the same conditions were put forward. "We'll give you breakfast as men, but not as brothers" Edward said, "We won't take any breakfast then." We got on our bicycles and cycled away. Edward had a few shillings in his pocket, and we called at a little cafe there and had a cup of coffee, and then we cycled on to a place called Lie in the center of England, and they treated us more kindly than this sister worker who is supposed to have the love of God in her heart. So that was one of the conditions under which I suffered in being in fellowship with Eddie Cooney.
And, of course, his life can be divided into three different parts:
30 approximate years before he went out to preach
30 years in fellowship with our very dear brethren, and
30 years after he was put outside the camp
Now the difference between Alfred Magowan--Alfred wanted to cut off his relation to our very dear brethren. And he made a hymnbook entirely of his own hymns, except for a few odd hymns he put in. His idea was to cut off relationship with them. But Edward said, "We'll stick to the brown book we have today. It is the only link with our very dear brethren." And that's how things went on.
And it took them to 1921, where you see that big photograph of nothing but workers, about 800 there (Staffordshire, England) taken in 1921. And they took Edward around the world for seven years to try to get him to change his mind. One of the faults they had to find with him was he never knew what he was going to say when he came into a meeting. From that comes the saying Edward told us, "When you know, you don't know. When you don't know, you know." Because he would come out without anything into the meeting and didn't know what he was going to say. And one sister said to him, "Excuse me, Mr. Cooney, I'd like a piece of paper to take down what you're saying.' 'No need, Madam, no need. Anything I say is best forgotten, but anything that God speaks through my lips by the Holy Spirit will come back to you by the Holy Spirit." Now, these are the things where he differed so from our dear brethren.
And, of course, the conventions were copied from Keswick, in the North of England. They had four days of conventions there, with three meetings a day, just like our very dear brethren have today. They haven't changed one bit--three meetings in four days. I used to go to conventions myself, and they used to number people. "Now there's 200 spoken, and there's only just one day left. You'll have to hurry up if you want to say anything." They were all trembling to feel that they had displeased the workers or committed some sin if they didn't open their mouth. I was there. I knew all about it, and so that's how it went on with all these things--with a nail in Edward's coffin every time.
And then there was the huts (portable wooden buildings also called baches) put up in pieces to put in somebody's field, where they got permission to preach the gospel. And Edward said to our dear brethren, "I don't mind having fellowship with you in your wooden huts, but don't force me to have a wooden hut," because Edward believed the home was the place where a preacher should lay his head. They had beds in their wooden huts to sleep on, and so that was another nail in his coffin, so little by little, they say.
Then George Walker came from Massachusetts to London while Edward was in Ireland with a packed jury of ten men wanting to excommunicate him. George Walker came from Massachusetts to London, while I was there in the meeting. He spoke from the 2nd of Revelations and spoke of casting their (?) into a sick bed unless they repent. And, of course, there was the others of those I'd had fellowship in my time. There might have been about 12 or 14 of us there, and they were all trembling when they heard this. And they had their minds poisoned against Edward in that meeting. I didn't get mine poisoned because I knew I'd heard the Gospel in 1916 in the open air after listening for ten working days--Monday to Friday--in two weeks. And so, when Edward came home, he met some of these dear folks in 1928, and they said to him,
(EC) "Hello, how are you?"
(Them) "I'm all right, how are you?"
(EC) "I'm all right. I'm coming `round to see you."
(Them) "If you come around to see me, you'll find a locked door."
That was what Edward got from one of the converts. He was an engine driver, older than me, he was. He was an engineer driver here in London. That was what he got from one. He went to another man's house who also professed through Edward. He was very deaf. He knocked at the door. He came out to the door.
(EC) "I've come to see you."
(Man) "I can't let you in, Edward." (Tears streaming down his face.) "I can't let you in."
I tell you if that's not bondage, I don't know what bondage is. I feel that that was bondage. I couldn't say, but I never saw any of them after that. And I claim to have been with Edward more than any man living, and I would say more than any man dead, too. I have prayed with him. I have preached with him. I supped with him, and I've suffered with him.
I'm glad today he said to me, "I'll be able to help you better when I've gone on." I thought to myself, "Is there any Scripture for any thought of that kind?" And my thoughts went to Elijah, who was a great help to John the Baptist, because John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of Elijah, who had died 1,000 years previously. But what he didn't have was Elijah's miracles, but he came in the spirit and power of Elijah, so that's the only Scripture I could bring to my mind. Mind you Edward wouldn't say such a thing as that unless he was pretty sure what he was saying. He didn't speak out of his hat. He said that, I'm sure, through revelation. Now, so there it is.
I'm glad of his fellowship. I wept when he left me, and I knew I'd see him no more in this world. I had one sister. She's dead now. When she saw me, she told me they were emotional tears. I don't believe they were emotional tears. I would like to say what's emotional tears, and what's not emotional tears, but Paul said about Timothy, remember your tears. They were tears worth remembering. So I spent plenty of tears since as I think of the future, but I want to walk uprightly. I was brought up a Protestant. I never had any desire to become a Catholic, but it's no good me leaning to the Protestants any more than to the Catholics. If I do, I can't walk uprightly.
In fact, the words that were like bread and jam to me was when Edward came into the open air and said, 'I'm neither a Catholic nor a Protestant.' God knew that I needed to hear those few words, and they were a great comfort to me. I never heard a man say those words before, nor since. And so I want to go on and on, and there's only one way for me to go or any of us to go. And that's forward, forgetting what lies behind and stretching out to the things that lie ahead. And we should all live by revelation from God, for Peter got to know who Jesus was, not through Jesus, but through God the Father. And Jesus said to Peter, "Now, Simon, son of Barjonah, happy art thou for flesh and blood, hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven, and I will give unto you the keys of the Kingdom" (Matt. 16:17). What are the keys?
Christ to you - faith;
Christ in you - hope;
Christ through you - love.
Those are the three keys of the Kingdom, and anybody can have those keys who'll pay the price. And so we get Paul saying, "You are in our hearts to guide together and to live together happily." I think those are wonderful words. No death, no resurrection, and so they overcame by the Blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony. How do we get the Blood of the Lamb? By pouring out our blood which gets replaced by the Blood of the Lamb, little by little. And that's how we can overcome by the Blood of the Lamb.
So I'm glad, you see, that Edward Cooney didn't reveal everything to me. I've had things revealed to me since he left, but it may be through Jesus through Edward Cooney to me. I don't know, but it's a wonderful thing to say "I'll be able to help you better when I've gone on"...and so these words are very encouraging to me, and I hope by God's grace to finish better than I began. We read of some in the Scripture who's latter end was worse than their beginning. God save me and any of us from that. I don't want my latter end to be worse than the beginning. But as we grow up, surely we should get to know better what God's will is. It's not learned all of a sudden. And Jesus said, "I have meat to eat that ye know not of. My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me and to finish His work" (John 4:32-33). So that's where I stand today, and I hope I'll stand fast in the grace of God and have faith, not shrink back, but have faith unto the saving of us all. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb 11:1).
And I'm afraid it's quite true what Edward said, "When the old workers die off, and the younger workers take over, it will develop into a very respectable sect." When Wilson Reid, who had the oversight over Ireland, heard that he said, "I wouldn't doubt it, but we'll keep it clean as long as we can." I think that's about all I have to say. I don't know that there's anything more. (pause).
Alfred Magowan trespassed on another man's field in...I don't know--in America--it must have been in America, and he was put out by George Walker for doing that. That's who he was put out by, George Walker. And when Edward heard that he'd been put out, he invited him to Ireland, and he was in fellowship with Edward. He professed through Edward, but he was more interested in William Irvine and bothered one of the saints to pay his fare over to Palestine to have a talk with William Irvine.
William Irvine got strange ideas into his head, you see, and one of these ideas he had was that he was one of the living witnesses who would wait for John--they'd be the two living witnesses. And, of course, William Irvine had a good many converts, and when they saw that the thing fell through, I don't know what became of those converts, because they thought the world of William Irvine and Alfred Magowan.
As I say, he (Alfred Magowan) came and had fellowship with Edward. He preached with Edward. He preached with me, too, and one of the things I heard him say when there was a lot of young people in the meeting. He says, "I'm sorry for you young people. You're born just a bit too late." I didn't like that. I tell you it didn't go down, but, of course, he was the older man, and I said nothing. I kept my mouth shut about different things that he said. And this hymnbook--oh, he couldn't get his thoughts down quick enough. He got them written down, and he got me to try and make tunes to them, which I found it was impossible because the beat didn't go properly, the rhythm. But there was a time when you wouldn't have got into a meeting in some places without Alfred Magowan's book. You wouldn't have got in without Alfred's book. And you see, I could tell there was a difference between Alfred and Edward. And he wrote 18 pages, and when Edward read these pages, he said, "That's 18 buckets of cold water." So Alfred Magowan, of course, his name is in the book of The Secret Sect. My name is in that book of The Secret Sect, and I'd like to tell you about that man...
Sadie Wood (wife of Fred Wood) speaking: "Glen Smith wrote a lot of the hymns. Wrote a letter to Edward Cooney in 1957."
When I came home from South America where I'd been for nearly two years, I came to England there. West of England, there was a convention going on there, and I'd made up my mind I'd go to the convention. And I saw Willie Gill coming across from the tent of the convention. "You have no free hand here." I said, "Well, I'll get away then, Willie." And if there had been a man around the corner of the road that said to me, "Come and have a pint in the public house," I believe I would have gone. It so discouraged me. I'll never forget it. And Willie discussed the thing with Edward. "I had occasion to deal with one of your friends." "Yes," Edward said, "I know who that was. That was Fred Wood. He's as good as you or me." That's what he said to Willie Gill.
Oh, dear, if Willie Gill had had the love of God in his heart, he'd have said, "Oh, he's one of those fools who professed through Eddie Cooney--I'll try and help him." If he'd had the Holy Spirit with him...I tell you these things have been an eye opener to me. But with all this, Eddie said he'd been helped by William Irvine more than by any of the others. Yes, and William Irvine thought a lot of Eddie Cooney. He wrote to Eddie Cooney. He said, "I'm glad you've broken the power of workerality." We've got a letter written by William Irvine in his pen. I think it was 1938--I'm not quite sure, but I think it was. He thought a lot of poor Eddie.
And then you know, William Irvine is supposed, well, he says he professed through the Reverend John McNeill. He's a man I heard in my teens in the Congregational Church, long before I met Edward. He was a tremendous preacher. He'd bang down the Bible. He had a lovely lot of hair, black hair, and that was the man William Irvine claimed to profess through in Motherwell in Scotland.
So, you can quite understand. Edward left his home to prove that there was a God, and he proved it on his own. He took nothing with him. Nothing in his pocket, and he said it was a wonderful way that God provided for him. He didn't know where he was going, didn't know when his fare would be paid, and so on, and money came unto him from another source--I don't know where. And when he got home, he said he'd like to put God to the test. He emptied his pockets and stood on a railway station (platform). He wanted to go to Belfast from Fermanagh. And a certain sister, she said she heard as plain as anything: "Put your pass in your pocket." And she did. And when she got on the platform, she saw Edward there. "Surely, Edward has got his fare," she thought. When she found out he hadn't got his fare, she pulled out her pass, and paid it--it was 10 schillings. That was a half pound to go to Belfast. He wanted to prove God was with him, after all those years. I tell you, it's a wonderful thing.
And as I say, these young workers are sent out by name--so and so with so and so--yes, we'll send them to Florida; so and so with so and so--we'll send them to Massachusetts. That's not being sent out by the Holy Spirit. Dear, dear Jesus wasn't sent out like that. Paul wasn't sent out like that. He said, not of man, not by man nor through a man, but by Jesus Christ, and he was writing to the, you know, Galatians--Galatia the church that went wrong--Galatian church. They've got a son or daughter. They like to go to the well-to-do families and send the well-to-do out to preach. Doug Parker, he came from a well-to-do family, you know, and they wanted him to give up everything, and he had a desire to take his mother and father around the world, and see a bit of the world. They were against that, and that's when he sort of cut across them and wrote that book The Secret Sect. I'll tell you, it's not a very good testimony, The Secret Sect.