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The Irish Saint and Scholar - A biography of William Kelly

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The Irish Saint and Scholar - A biography of William Kelly
by: E N Cross

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This biography of William Kelly (1821-1906) is the first of a man who, though younger than the first Brethren, was at the forefront of their activities throughout much of the nineteenth century, and who had a very large influence in Brethren circles and far beyond through his writings and preaching. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin, he was held in esteem for both his scholarship and his godly ways. This esteem continues; his books are still widely sought after. The author of this biography has sought to convey as much as possible of Kelly's work, personality, and domestic circumstances as can be gleaned from the material now available. In addition, considerable information is given on a number of Kelly's lesser-known contemporaries and on the assembly at Blackheath during the years he attended there. Through these pages, we learn of the way God used a man who dedicated his energies and scholastic brilliance, not to his own advancement, but to the glory of the Lord who had died to save him.

Product Description

An interesting, illustrated biography of one of the foremost men among the so-called Plymouth-Brethren. This long-awaited book will be much appreciated by those who value the leading of God in the life history of a man destined to be greatly used in the recovery of New Testament Church truth.
It is clear from the very outset that this book, which charts the life of William Kelly, is thoroughly researched and the fruit of extensive reading. As the author states of Kelly, like his mentor Darby, he left no diaries for our study ... Kelly would rather we learnt more of our Bibles and Christ, since the prime and constant theme of his written and oral ministry was to this end.
Edwin Cross writes about the life of one of the foremost scholars of his day and, yet, one who used that ability to defend the truth of scripture from fierce attack. Whilst the Oxford Movement may mean little to many today, it was then a powerful force for evil. Together with social and political factors, the author seeks to paint the background of the life of a man who was undoubtedly used of God. Few have been as prolific a writer and distributor of literature as Kelly. Even his mentor, John Nelson Darby, owed much to the work of William Kelly in seeing his collected writings published. This is a fascinating book and one that demonstrates the author's obvious affection for his subject. However, the divisions of the system with which Kelly had become associated cast a shadow over a life which had, otherwise, achieved so much. Being part of that system, the author is at pains to support the stance that Kelly took and the weakening of testimony that ensued.
Overall, this is an interesting book that is recommended as one from which we can learn a lot about the early days of a movement that restored so much of New Testament church principles and the truth of the rapture that had been lost to generations. Precious Seed Magazine


  1. Publishers's note
  2. Introduction
  3. Ireland & Sark
  4. Guernsey
  5. Blackheath
  6. Preaching & Teaching
  7. Some Letters!
  8. The Worker
  9. 'In Journeyings Oft'
  10. The Library
  11. Closing Day
  12. Appendices
    • The Judgment, not Reunion of Christendom
    • Dates in Brethren history relevant to Kelly's life
    • Copy of Kelly's will
  13. Bibliography
  14. Acknowledgements
  15. Index

Additional Information

Order Code 123235
Author(s) E N Cross
Subject(s) History
Binding Hardback
Number of Pages 181
Language English

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