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Edward Cooney's Money
Who Received It?
May 17, 2019

What happened to Cooney's 1,300 pounds?


What happened to Cooney's 1,300 pounds when he entered the Work? Who was the receiver? Did Cooney give his wealth to Irvine? Or to the poor?

Following are quotes regarding the disposal of Edward Cooney's £1,300 when he joined Irvine's band of Workers in June 1901. Irvine Weir, Patricia Roberts and John Long indicate Cooney gave his funds "to the poor," while the Impartial Reporter newspaper claimed it was "applied to the cause." No proof one way or the other has surfaced.

Secret Sect by Doug Parker, p 7:
NOTE: Parkers source was personal visit with Irvine Weir and not a document that can be confirmed; recipient of 1300 pounds not specified.
"Great sacrifices were made by many of the people who became preachers...Cooney gave up his business interests in 1901, donated thirteen hundred pounds and devoted himself to preaching." (Irvine Weir Transcript of personal interview, Nov. 21, 1954)

Life & Ministry of Edward Cooney by Patricia Roberts, p. 19-20
NOTE: Roberts states Cooney gave his money to the poor. Doesn't give an amount.
"Edward, however, having found the pearl of great price, gladly gave up both his inheritance and fine business prospects. His own personal wealth, which was considerable, he gave to the poor. And so, in 1901, at the age of 34, in fellowship with Irvine and his associates, Edward too forsook all and went forth to preach depending on God to move the hearts of others to minister to his needs..."

Page 4: "And so it was to his heavenly Father's business that he would devote his life. For in the fullness of time when the Saviour called with the same message a he had for the rich young ruler, unlike that sad young man, Edward obeyed the call, gave what he had to the poor, took up his cross, and followed Jesus."

John Long's Journal, July, 1898:
NOTE: Long states Cooney gave his money "to the poor" (not to Wm Irvine.)

"While in Kilkee we had a Bible reading on Matthew 10. It was that Bible reading set me first thinking about going on Faith Lines. It was a very remarkable coincident that Edward Cooney turned up next day, for he very soon after gave up a very good situation, and distributed £1,300 to the poor, and went fully on the Lord's work, and became a great advocate of preachers going without a stated salary."

Impartial Reporter, August 25, 1910, p. 8:
NOTE: No source of info provided; also includes incorrect statement re collections.
"However, the chief motive power was latent until Edward Cooney heard Wm. Irvine, and offered him money and even a salary yearly, which was refused by Irvine. At all events, £1,300 from Mr. Cooney alone was applied to the cause, and has been preached as having been 'given to the poor,' on the authority of, 'Sell all that ye have, &c.' Yet as a matter of fact, this sum was mostly paid to transport preachers to places abroad, and not to the poor, as is sometimes understood, the fruit of which even yet in some measure returns annually to Crocknacrieve Convention... Collection are sometimes made, as in some churches of Scotland, and forwarded to the Apostle, and also money may be sent to any other such preachers by any of the members if they care to do so, but especially to Mr. Edward Cooney and Mr. Wm. Irvine."

Goodhand Pattison in "Accounts of the Early Days":
NOTE: No details about what Cooney gave up.

"And now, while I have this name before me, I may well anticipate a little, by relating what doubtless you have already heard, how that one night while out on one of his commercial rounds and staying at William's Hotel, he and William Irvine arranged to meet at our house, and there after we had all gone to bed, the two men discussed so fully the subjects of preachers and preaching of Matt. 10, William pointing out the need, etc. in the face of the greatness of the harvest, and fewness of laborers, and Ed Cooney seeking to escape the issue in one way or another, even to the extent of offering all he could make out of his job as a traveller - some 300 pounds per year or so - to be used by William as he thought fit, for evangelistic purposes, but all to no avail. William would meet such an offer with "it isn't your money the Lord wants but yourself." So in about 2 o'clock in the morning he had won, and Eddie had decided to give up his bags and job and go forth , with the result of becoming what you now know him: I cannot very closely place the date of this very important event, but am inclined to think it was probably a year or more after William's first coming among us."

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