Newspaper Articles for July 29 - August 5, 1909
The Church Without a Name, The Truth, Two By Twos, 2x2s
August 4, 1909, p. 3 New York Times, N.Y.
August 6, 1909, p. 4 New York Times, N.Y.
July 29, 1909 Impartial Reporter
August 5, 1909, p. 8 Impartial Reporter
August 4, 1909, p. 3
DUBLIN, Aug. 3.—In the belief that the millennium may be ushered in
at any moment, more than 2,000 "Cooneyites" are holding continuous prayer
meetings at Ballinamallard, County Fermanagh.
The pilgrims have arrived from all parts of the country, and remarkable scenes are witnessed. Hundreds of persons are baptized publicly in the river every day, and the converts are sleeping in the open air on the farm of one of the leaders.
View New York Times Article on line
August 6, 1909, p. 4
DUBLIN - August 5 - The third annual convention of "The Dippers," as the Cooneyite revival in progress at Ballinamallard, County Fermanagh, is called, presents strange scenes of religious enthusiasm. It is the belief of the sect that the millennium may be ushered in at any moment, and prayer meetings are being held almost continuously.
John West, a well-to-do member of the sect, has placed his large house and grounds, Crocknacrieve, at Ballinamallard, at the disposal of the convention. The house accommodates one hundred persons, and others of the pilgrims utilize the outbuildings and the spacious marquees erected on the lawn for sleeping purposes. Over two thousand pilgrims are attending the convention.
The little colony is the realization of the idea of simple, self-supporting communal life. Sunrise each morning finds the encampment full of life and activity. All the pilgrims are dressed in coarse, plain clothing. The men are unshaven and wear rubber collars. On the heads of the women are straw sailor hats. All are busily engaged in manual labor or domestic duties milking, butter making, cooking, sewing, boot-making, carpentering, &c.--every one being assigned to a daily task. Then follow intervals of devotional meetings--preaching, hymn singing, and baptisms. Energy is the keynotes of the campaign.
Edward Cooney, the leader of the sect, is the son of an Enniskillen
Magistrate. He has a wonderful flow of language and his sermons are
interspersed with racy anecdotes. He easily holds his followers during
his long discourses. He preaches on the unworthiness of all existing
churches and the uselessness of worldly possessions. One of the favorite
hymns of the sect concludes:
Neither carry script or raiment,
Neither shoes nor stave;
Walk unburdened through the deserts,
Through the waves.
The baptismal ceremony is performed in an adjacent stream running along the valley. The leader doffs his boots and wades to the centre of the stream. Then he gently lowers the convert backward until the entire body is immersed, after which the convert is assisted to the shore, while the pilgrims sing "Who will be next?"
No money collections are taken up. Dinner and tea are given freely to all visitors to the convention, crowds of whom flock daily to see the "dippers." Many persons are being converted to the sect by reason of the energetic sincerity of the campaign, and are promptly admitted to the brotherhood. The converts already number over 2,000.
Thus far the convention has suffered no molestation. The pilgrims
say they travel without money, earning their way by manual labor.
Man and women are separated in the devotional meetings.
View New York Times Article on line
July 29, 1909
On last Sunday, at Crocknacrieve, the residence of Mr. John West, the
annual convention of the Tramp Preachers or Pilgrims was opened..
It was not so large as in former years, owing to the fact that this year
there have been conventions held in different parts of the Kingdom.
Still over 1,000 were present, and these included converts from both North
and South and also from across the water. For some days previous
to Sunday, numbers arrived at Crocknacrieve, but on Saturday the chief
influx took place.
The arrangements for the housing of such a large concourse of people are the same as in former years. In no detail is anything left wanting. Certain duties are told off to certain members of the sect, and with all the precision of a military garrison, the regulations as to time and place are carried out. To the west side of Crocknacrieve house a large tent is erected, under which services are held daily, and on Sunday afternoon last the seating accommodation was fully occupied, upwards of 2,000 persons being present, including visitors.
The departure from strong language and abuse may account for the lessening of public interest in the convention. Several went for the purpose of ‘fun,’ to hear scolding of the clergy, and came away disappointed, while others who in past years were disgusted with the addresses delivered were quite pleased on the occasion and described the whole proceedings as ‘very nice and good.’
Towards the hour of the afternoon meeting there was a continual stream
of cyclists towards Crocknacrieve, many, doubtless attracted by curiosity,
others to take part in the service. Members of all Protestant denominations
visited the services, as also did a number of Roman Catholics.
The opening proceedings on Sunday were of a much quieter kind than usual. The oratory was less ‘spicy,’ there were no attacks upon individuals, and whilst several churches came in for a good deal of criticism, it was of a broader and more general character than we have been familiar with. The tent was crowded, and many could not gain admission.
Mr. William Gill led the proceedings. Mr. Cooney had gone to be present at a church revival at Keswick to ‘dispute with the doctors’ if the occasion should avail, and make some converts amongst the ministers. Mr. Gill told of his conversion in Meath, of how he was an earnest churchman for years. But when the Holy Spirit spoke to him, he came out of the churches and into the Christ way. He had several interviews with the old rector of the parish, who confessed with tears in his eyes, that the poor preachers were in the right way—the Christ way. Somebody wrote to the Bishop, who came down and gave the rector the choice of disassociating himself from the poor preachers or else giving up his living. ‘It was worth £300 a year,’ said Mr. Gill, ‘and the rector was old, and in the end he decided for the world, and a few months after the poor man was dead.’
A lady in the tent sang a solo: ‘The End of the Way.’ She sang it sweetly and clearly, and the people were evidently much impressed.
It was perhaps the speaking of Miss Jennie Gill which was the feature of the evening. Without dramatic gesture, without heat or personalities, this young lady held the people for half an hour. She speaks gracefully and impressively. ‘It always surprises people,’ she said, ‘when they find a preacher who lives the Christ life, as well as preaches it. It is all very well to preach humility and poverty, but put the preaching to the test, and see how the Churches will come out of it?’ The poor preachers were said to be ‘queer.’ So were Christ's disciples—the men who eschewed money and power and made themselves, Paul-wise, even ‘as the dirt of the street.’ The hymn 99 of their little book might be taken as a synopsis of Miss Gill’s appeal:
From the brightness of His glory,
‘Go thou forth,’ he said,
‘Heal the sick and cleanse the lepers,
Raise the dead.
‘Freely give I thee the treasure,
Freely give the same,
Take no store of gold or silver,
Take My name.
‘Neither carry script nor raiment,
Neither shoes nor staves,
Walk unburdened through the deserts,
O’er the waves.’
Tea was provided for everybody who chose, and nice currant cakes were passed around.
Miss Barton, the Waterfoot, Pettigo, also spoke, telling of the great peace she has found with the Pilgrims. Each of the churches said their way was the best, but it was manifest that none of them had Christ's way—the way of self-sacrifice and suffering and poverty.
August 5, 1909, p. 8
The Tramps or Pilgrims had another public meeting at Crocknacrieve, Ballinamallard, on Sunday last. It had been remarked that on the previous Sunday the denunciatory tone of the addresses had been, to all appearance, abandoned, as there had been less than usual of consigning people of the past and present to hell. It was thought that this style of address had been laid aside, but on Sunday last Mr. Edward Cooney revived the former method, though at one point in his discourse he said that he had not intended to follow that line of thought.
Mr. Cooney spoke for over two hours. It was not a Gospel address, or one of teaching; but one of condemnation of those who differed from his views. They were all going to hell. He knew all about it. He pointed out that it was not Mr. Cooney who said or condemned so-and-so, but the Bible or the Lord Jesus who did it. He did not add—as he (Mr. Cooney) interpreted the Bible. Mr. Cooney adhered to his former course of personalities; and as before, dragged himself, his own family, the Reformers, and others by name into his discussion. When he had no abuse to offer about the Editor of the IMPARTIAL REPORTER, Mr. Cooney mentioned him by name, and said he did not need any whitewash from Mr. Trimble. He repeated his denunciation of John Knox, Calvin, John Wesley; they had all gone to hell; and as for ‘General’ Booth and others they were going to hell. There was the usual torrent of abusive talk, bristling with denunciation and everlasting torment, so that those who went to hear something out of the common got it, only that it was a repetition of former harangues.
Asking those who had been influenced to stand up he found there were only five ‘converts’, so he attacked the ‘hypocrites’ who had listened to him and did not reply. He also mimicked questions and answers regarding ‘the Dippers,’ and poured out a quantity of talk containing either little or nothing of the Gospel message, as most people understand it, for Mr. Cooney’s idea of what he calls ‘The Jesus Way,’ seems to possess none of the sweetness and love-compelling power of the ‘Good News’ as voiced by Him who spoke as never man spake; and those who went to Crocknacrieve in the hope of receiving some of the Bread of the Gospel received, instead, a stone.
The following excerpts from Mr. Cooney’s address have been furnished to us as examples of his ideas:—
The Mohammedans were more religious than Protestants, because they did not drink (intoxicating liquors).
Satan was the first dissenter, and he could not agree with God.
If people go their own religious way, they go to hell.
The common uneducated people were always the good preachers. The chances were ten to one against the rich being saved. Adam was only a farmer, as well as his sons.
When a good man married the right woman there was happiness in the home, but it was only a preparation for the future fellowship, a stepping stone to the bride-groom in the house above.
These professing Christians, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists, are all wrong, they were all different from Jesus.
Young children while still innocent are baptised, (when they generally cry). Then they were brought to Sunday school where Lord ——’s children were taught by the agent, Mr. Smyth; the middle class children by the middle class people; (he was middle class because he was in trade); and the poor by the corduroys. He had been taught in a so-called church. No boy or girl likes church.
That horrible ordeal of the clergy house was a miserable business—they were dressed up like peacocks. The children were prepared for hell there. The rich and proud who go to hell were shocked when by chance any poor person got into their pew. The rich were generally sitting in one place, the middle-class in another, and the poor people in the free pews.
The devil was behind all that Irish pride. English and Scotch pride were just the same. He was put through it all, but in spite of his family he was delivered. The Episcopalians were not in God's way; neither were Presbyterians, Methodists, Salvation Army, Mohammedans, nor Buddhists. The Roman Catholic system has no foundation in New Testament. Their idea of sin is different from Gods. Peter lived differently from the Archbishop of Canterbury with £6,000 a year. The Tramps tried to live like Peter, with no home, money, &c.
Mr. Cooney declaimed against church buildings, because Christ brake bread and gave wine in disciples’ houses. He preached in the houses of saints. That was God’s way, and because they tried to follow him they were hated. The clergy's way was not God’s, and therefore the clergy were not hated.
Only men and women can be Christians. Men are those who stand up for principles, only manly men and womanly woman could do that.
He had an half hour's talk with his brother-in-law, Rev. Boyton Smith, B.A. who wanted to convert him (Mr. Cooney), but he (Cooney) told Mr. Smith that he himself was not converted yet. He (Cooney) told Mr. Smith his doctrine, and when he had finished, Smith said merely ‘Fiddlesticks;’ and his (Mr. Cooney’s) explanation of that reply being that Smith had no argument.
When in Greenock he (Mr. Cooney) got into trouble. A Plymouth brother and Roman Catholic woman sailed up, and the woman demonstrated her arguments with her fists. The darkness had to vanish when it saw the light. He was then nearly mobbed in the open, so he engaged a small hall. While there, two detectives were sent to ask him to stop preaching as the people were against his doctrine. Both Protestants and Catholics were united against him. So long as he spoke against Catholics, Protestants would listen. When he spoke against Protestants, Catholics would listen; but when he preached Jesus neither would listen.
‘General’ Booth did evil that good might come. The ‘General’ raised millions for the support of the staff, for emigration, insurance, &c., &c., but without Christ's authority.
The Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Salvation Army sects were never invented by God, but by Luther, Knox, Wesley, and Booth, respectively. The Pope professes to follow Christ, but he does not. The Protestants were likewise. Here Mr. Cooney challenged anyone to stand up for the clergy, and, as none accepted his challenge, he called them all mean, low, contemptible people, selling their souls for self and £ s. d.
‘If any of you had any grit you would stand up for your clergy.’ (No reply was given.)
He had not intended to talk so strongly that afternoon, but he was compelled to do so. He did not want W. Copeland Trimble to white-wash him in the IMPARTIAL REPORTER. It was said that the tramp preachers were not learned, they had never been to college, were ignorant in fact, but Jesus was merely a carpenter.
‘Did Jesus preach with hope of becoming Pope, or Archbishop of Canterbury, or General? Never. These were the devil's ways.
‘When you are in hell, remember that we told you the truth, and forget your Sunday school teaching.’
They then sang a hymn, but before the last verse, Mr. Cooney stopped and spoke for half an hour, having spoken for two hours previously. The last verse was then sung with bowed heads. While the converts stood up, four women and a girl, he prayed for them and the meeting finished with the doxology.
A correspondent writes—One of the first points which would strike a listener to Mr. Cooney’s discourse, was the entire lack of charity and kindness. Mr. Cooney is excellent as a spouter of damnation and hell fire, but when it comes to the love of God, and the tenderness of the Saviour for mankind, Mr. Cooney appears to know nothing of it. He reiterates the statement which his hearers know so well, how he left his home about eleven years ago, and discovered the ‘Jesus’ way of preaching the gospel.
One of the most repellent features in this address was the way in which he damned such great reformers as Martin Luther and John Knox, because they did not think as he did. The wonder is that he dared to say men like that had gone to hell, men whom the world knows to have been the salt of the earth. General Booth did not escape his condemnation. According to Mr. Cooney, the devil had whispered in the ear of a man of gigantic brain and swayed magnificent talents (to quote the speaker's own words) in a manner to surpass Wesley and those chaps. In fact, Mr. Cooney continued, the splendid idea of dressing men in uniform and making them play tambourines had won him a place in the highest society, his latest patron being Edward VII.
So, in their turn, all denominations and creeds were subject to Mr. Cooney’s wrath, which his followers seemed to think very admirable and amusing, for numerous bursts of laughter greeted his rather common burlesques of supposed ecclesiastical personages. If Mr. Cooney wishes people to believe the Jesus method of converting is by imitating supposed idiosyncrasies, I fear he may be disappointed. After exhorting and haranguing his followers Mr. Cooney concluded an address which even the most generous could hardly call comforting and hopeful.
MR. COONEY’S ADDRESS.
‘It reminds me of the 12th July,’ remarked a casual visitor to Crocknacrieve
on Sunday as he looked around and saw the immense crowds of men and women
young and old, roving to and fro over the beautiful grounds at Crocknacrieve,
the scene of the annual convention of the ‘tramp’ preachers—as they passed
the interval between the morning and afternoon meetings.
The number of tramps at present accommodated at Crocknacrieve, totals about 300. Sunday's proceedings commenced in the tent with a ‘testimony’ meeting, the key note of which was the desire and determination of each and all to ‘go on in the Jesus way.’
As is usual after this meeting dinner and tea was served to all who cared to partake.
The afternoon meeting commenced shortly after three o'clock when a crowd of considerably over 2,400 persons were provided with seating accommodation inside and around the tent. This meeting, as is usual, was characterised from beginning to end by personal attacks on the clergy, and others who have incurred the disapproval of the sect, while the various denominations were denounced right and left as having neither part nor parcel in the carrying out of Biblical teaching.
Mr. Edward Cooney, in the course of a ‘red hot’ address, prefaced his remarks by saying that mostly all denominations and religions knew what sin was, and believed Jesus had died for sin! but the devil had deceived men and women on this point all along the years. He deceived, he continued, my forefathers and he deceives the large majority of the human race.
transformed as an angel of light to deceive men and women. Let them
not suppose that it was the publicans who were keeping in public houses
working in Enniskillen and other places, for if they did they made a great
mistake, for they were kept working and looked after by the religious demons
of those places.
Satan was the first Non-conformist they read of and so Satan was a dissenter, and Roman Catholics were very ready at saying not all dissenters will perish, but every man who dissents from God would perish. Proceeding, the preacher referred to the higher classes of society and said that it was just
TEN CHANCES TO ONE,
in any one man belonging to the higher classes got saved. Adam was only a farmer ‘and some of you’ he continued ‘may have blue blood in your veins; you hold your head high and despise the farmers in Fermanagh, but Adam was made a farmer because that was the position in which God could bless him.’ Referring to his own life the preacher said he never would cease to thank God for showing him eleven years ago that he himself not only was wrong but that the professing Christians of his native town were wrong, Protestant and Catholic, and that the men and women who were singing about Jesus, praying to Jesus and preaching about Jesus were all living contrary to Jesus’ way of living. They were
‘My own way,’ he continued, ‘was Episcopalianism, because my father and mother, whom I deeply respected, were Episcopalians and still are.’ ‘Why did I start life as an Episcopalian? he asked. ‘I never studied it, nor exerted my human judgment as to what I should be. The operation began when I was only a baby.
HOW THEY BEGIN.
I was brought to the clergyman, who sprinkled me and entered my name in
the church roll, and lo and behold I was an Episcopalian. (Laughter.)
A child is brought to the clergyman, who converts it, and its name is entered
on the church roll—and though you may squall during the process you will
be spattered all the same—(laughter)—unless you are otherwise delivered.’
If you look at the Methodists they begin the same way, the Salvation Army begins in the same way. ‘They duck the baby with the flag over it, or put it on the flag—or something like that. (Laughter.) At all events it is made a red jersey baby. (Laughter.) Roman Catholics are initiated into that church while in their tender years. That's how I began to become an Episcopalian. I was incapable then. I was afterwards brought to Enniskillen Parish Church whether I liked it or not. I didn't like it a bit, nor did I ever meet a boy that did.
HAD TO GO.
I remember standing in the pew with my chin as high as the place for the prayer books, and having to be wakened from sleep with my chin resting on the prayer book in front of me. (Laughter.) I had to go dressed in my Sunday clothes and kneel, sit and stand through that horrible ordeal of the clergy house—and I never yet met the boy who took kindly to it, and even then you only know it in a sort of way.
I went to Enniskillen Church Sunday school, as they call it. They had swells teaching swell's children, and middle class teaching middle class children. I was in the middle class because my father was in trade. You can see then all this dirty pride right through the Sunday school. Sunday school means dressing up in your Sunday best, to excel other children. I have still recollections of the devilish stinking pride crammed into me there. I was being properly
PREPARED FOR HELL
instead of heaven; I was being schooled for hell. Father and mother
little thought so, for they loved me and wanted me to go to heaven, and
they believed that was the way for preparing me to go there. The
best men in that school were poisoned with dirty, hellish Irish pride,
which is just the same as Scottish pride, for it came from hell and back
to hell it goes. The religious leaders were the proudest of the lot.
I used to sit as a boy and watch these swells go into church, and if a
person happened to go in to one of their pews he would soon hear ‘How dare
you’ and the Sexton would come in for his share for allowing a poor man
to do such a thing. I saw that THE DEVIL WAS
behind the whole thing.
Roman Catholicism could not be traced to Biblical times. ‘Thou art Peter and upon this rock will I build my church’ was never spoken to the Pope living in his immense palace with over 1,000 rooms, but it was spoken to a man like me and like my fellow-preachers. Was there a scrap of resemblance between Peter and the Pope or even the Archbishop of Canterbury with his £5,000 a year? Not a scrap—Peter hadn't fifteen pence. ‘We did not start this Jesus way,’ he declared, ‘it was started and planned by God before we were ever thought of, and if you go any other way YOU WILL GO TO HELL. We love you and we want you to turn from your own way.’
Roman Catholics cannot be traced back further than 300 years after Christ. For the first 200 years after Christ no Pope was recognised nor clergy nor paid preachers—no buildings for the worship of God—or proposed worship of God—they walked the Jesus way. Some people set aside God's plan and said ‘O, they ought to have a Rev. at any rate with a salary of £3 a week with an encouragement to many of £12 a year for each child.’ We would not be despised and hated he continued, as we are if we became Roman Catholic priests—Father this or Father that—(Laughter)—with a prospect of becoming Pope, or if we joined the Salvation Army with General, Colonel, Lieutenant, Major, and so on.
‘SURE OF HELL’
The Methodist clergymen must have a salary of £2 a week. He would not be a preacher like us: O, you must say ‘I believe in the Rev. Mr. ‘who?—’ How much a week?—(laughter)—and if you continue following them then you are as sure of hell as if you were in it.
MY BROTHER IN-LAW
the Rev. Sidney Upton Smith, M.A., Vicar of St. Clements, Bristol, is a
clergyman. I saw him a few months ago when I called on him and my
sister. I had a talk with him and he did not begin going into preliminaries
with me, as he knew my history and life and testimony. He began telling
me of some people that were getting converted through his preaching in
Bristol. I said to him, ‘You want to be converted yourself.’
(Laughter.) He began then pointing out to me the different other
things., I proceeded to tell him that unless he joined the Jesus
way he would be lost for ever and all he could say was ‘fiddlesticks’—(laughter);
and the reason he said this was because he had not been left a leg to stand
on, and that's all he could say and I never yet met a clergyman who had
a leg to stand on.’ The reason why they keep so quiet while we speak
is because if they open their mouth they will get deeper into the ‘bog.’
‘Until you cease standing by the clergyman,’ the speaker continued, ‘I cannot offer you any hope of you ever being saved.’
Continuing, the speaker referred to the work of the SALVATION ARMY and said that General Booth was a man that did evil that good may come. ‘He is a man that has turned his back on the work of Jesus and has raised thousands of pounds for the purpose or insurance, organisation paying the staff—transmission of darkness for light, and all this is done in the name of Jesus and the English nation. Think of everything going as a Salvation Army office for a clergyman, and using the name of Jesus for raising millions of pounds, without a scrap of authority from Jesus for doing so. The
DEVIL SUGGESTED TO JOHN KNOX
to start Presbyterianism by his own standard and judgment, and the end of their damnation is hell. If I started the Cooneyite sect I would go to hell myself, and all my followers. IT'S NOT COONEY'S or another body's way, it is God's plan and way. What right has Cooney or any one else to say what's right or what's wrong? (Laughter.) You think the clergy ought to GET A SALARY. You puppy, how dare you try to change God's plan. John Wesley thought the Episcopalians were wrong more or less, and he thought it would be a good thing to start Wesleyanism. He knew the fox-hunting parsons were wrong right through, and he thought the Wesleyan system would be better, and he invented a superannuation allowance. The new system boomed in England and got a fine following, until now they can boast of millions of followers. General Booth thought METHODISM WAS RATHER flat, and with his brilliant intellect, for
WHEN THE DEVIL
took advantage of his uneasiness and made the suggestion to him. Presbyterianism was founded by John Knox, and Methodism was not planned by Jesus, but by John Wesley, and the Salvation Army was never founded by Jesus, but by General Booth, who thought that Methodism was rather flat. In Fermanagh Orange districts you could sit and listen to the clergy denouncing the Pope from morning till night. The Pope is wrong because he professes to follow Jesus and doesn't do it, and all the clergy are wrong and all you Protestants and Catholics who don't live according to Jesus. You cling to the clergy because you love No. 1, because you love the gold, the good position, and so on.
YOU MEAN, CONTEMPTIBLE, low, sordid creatures. You talk about going to heaven, and you are selling your souls for men, £ s. d., for the dirty filthy position you have, what I used to have, but which I now despise.’ ‘I don't want your money,’ he continued, I don't want your coppers, your gold nor your silver. I don't want Wm. Copeland Trimble whitewashing me in the IMPARTIAL REPORTER, and I recognise no man in the preaching of the truth of God.’ ‘Is not this the carpenter?’ Is not this Cooney? you will always hear his reverence say. He has no education, never been to college, merely you would have no part with that ignorant man or allow him to instruct you? I wonder you Episcopalians come here at all. Wait till his reverence hears it! (Laughter.)
‘DIRTY DEVILISH POISON.’
‘We are the light,’ he proceeded, ‘and the condemnation of Fermanagh is, that they won't have the light, but choose the darkness, Methodist darkness, Episcopalian darkness, Plymouth brethren darkness, Salvation Army darkness, Roman Catholic darkness: you have been with the clergy, and supported them here, and you will be with them in hell. What would you think of the Rev. Jesus, M.A., or B.A., with £3 a week with an encouragement to get married with £12 a year or ‘Father Jesus’ hoping to die a Pope some day, or ‘Rev. Jesus’ with his eye on the Archbishopric of Canterbury, or ‘Lieutenant’ Jesus hoping to become a Colonel or General some day in the Salvation Army? Would to God that this dirty devilish poison crammed into you at the Sunday school, took in through every bone of your body in the clergy house, as the workings and doing of Christianity were crushed out of your lives. Of course you must think of the awful drop in society in Enniskillen if you venture to become as one of us. I knew a little chap whose father was in fellowship with us, and who went to serve his time to business in Enniskillen, and as soon as he entered the shop door they began calling him ‘you dipper, you dipper,’ and they tormented him so much that he was obliged to leave the place altogether.
‘I think I hear them in High Street, Enniskillen, pointing at you and saying, ‘Did you hear about Billy. He's with the Pilgrims?’ That would take the starch and cheek out of you, but it is far better to have that than to go to everlasting damnation. You back up the clergy—what awful cowards you are!—not an ounce of wit in any of you, you are even bad Pharisees. If I believed in the clergy I would fight for my life for them.
‘The only reason you back them up is because you love your own skin better than Jesus. As I stand in my native country here, and ‘a prophet has no honour in his own country,’ we are taught, and since I came here some of my honours have been taken from me,—I chose some 11 years ago between God and gold, and gold is a powerful temptation in the county of Fermanagh, to greedy Methodists, greedy Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and Roman Catholics.’
The meeting was over shortly after six o’clock, and those who cared to were entertained to tea.
THE NIGHT MEETING.
The night meeting commenced shortly after seven o’clock, when there were four addresses delivered, the speakers being Miss Barton, Ben Bowles, Bill Carroll, and John Kelly.
MORE PERSONAL REFERENCES
Bill Carroll was the first speaker, and his address was confined for the
most part to the simple gospel. Miss Barton related her experiences
as an evangelist before being ‘saved’ in the ‘Jesus way.’ She lived
at Pettigo, she said, and so earnest was her desire to be right with God
that she and her sister started the religious life as evangelists in their
native town. She was not satisfied however with this life, as there
was too much of the world in it. She thanked God that eventually Mr. Irvine came round that way and held meetings in Pettigo, as
she then saw the gospel in its true light, and she was determined while
she lived to ‘go on’ in the ‘Jesus way.’ The speaker proceeded to
refer to some of her sisters who were still working as evangelists, and
said she knew they were not satisfied but still they would not give it
up, as there was a certain amount of the world in it.
(During these remarks it was understood that one of the speaker’s sisters, who was in the tent, evidently resented such a personal reference, and rose and left the meeting.)
MORE ATTRIBUTING MOTIVES.
Miss Barton, continuing, said that she had a brother—and her favorite brother—who was an evangelistic Methodist clergyman, and he was as much in earnest in his religion as she was, but he was full of pride and unwilling to give up his position, and she never expected to meet him in heaven unless he came down and walked as she was walking in the Jesus way. The speaker, continuing, referred to her experience as a tramp preacher in Yarmouth, with such sects as Plymouth brethren, Salvation Armyists, Socialists, Atheists, &c., and went on to show how false they all were.
KNOWS ALL ABOUT HELL
‘Clericalism has reeled under the blow I have given it,’ shouted Cooney; ‘Thank God, it may never return.
‘Think of the drunkard when he rises up in hell, with a terrible thirst on him, and no public-house to go to. Think on the lustful women in hell, who cannot get their desires gratified. There are no ‘pubs’ in hell, no ball-dresses in hell, no curling pins in hell, no card-playing in hell, no dancing in hell.’ This is a sample of the beautiful (?) oratory of the new Apostle.
It was ten o’clock on Monday night when Cooney got his disciples to give their testimony. Cooney threatened them if they did not give their testimony, they were damning their souls. The meeting began at about eight o’clock and lasted till twenty five minutes to eleven. Is this a respectable hour? Perhaps Cooney does not think so, as he informed those present at a period of the meeting that if they were shut out they were to go and sleep on the straw at Russell Court. For the information our readers this court, we are told, is the head-quarters of the traveling Cooneyites.
Talking about baptism on Wednesday, he said since he had been sprinkled in the Episcopal Church he had been a child of the devil. Sprinkling was no good, ‘You must be born again.’
‘If there had been newspapers in the days of Jesus, He would have been reported, and would have had a hot time of it,’ says the versatile Cooney.
‘Three years ago,’ said Cooney, ‘the Lord said to me, ‘Go, Edward Cooney, without scrip, and go into all nations, baptising them in the name of the father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and teach them to observe, all things whatsoever I have commanded you.’ Then he gave me His promise, ‘Lo, I am with you until the end of the world,’ and he has kept it.’
On Wednesday afternoon four women converts were dipped in Strangford Lough, and on Thursday a number of male converts.
John Kelly’s addresses was characterised by strong language towards the clergy and others, and prefaced his remarks by saying that hell would be full of the clergy, as Jesus had said, and every person who followed and supported them, would find themselves in the same place, with the clergy. He next struck a despondent note by remarking that the Pilgrim sect could not go on much longer, unless the Lord turned up something for them, because there were men and women professing to be in fellowship with them there that day, of whom there was no chance of ever seeing in heaven.
Baalam was in hell tonight, though he said he could not go beyond the command of God. His eyes were now opened. ‘One of those professing to be in fellowship with us at Irvinestown,’ he continued, ‘said he would not come to the convention this year, as it was no use.’ ‘That man,’ the speaker continued, ‘was honest, for he would not come because he was not right, and he was quite right in remaining away, instead of acting as numbers of hypocrites had acted that morning by breaking bread. Many of those professing to be in fellowship with them were only so on Sunday, and put on the ‘Jesus way’ clothes on Sunday, and the clergy only laughed at them. He knew a woman in Fermanagh who had a dress for the Pilgrim meetings, and another for the clergy-house. (Laughter.) The cattle were more important to many of them that evening than the ‘Jesus way.’