Josephine Butler to Miss Forsaith

Scope and Content

Written from Wooler, Northumberland

To tell her that if she is not well enough to attend the Conference at Neuchatel in Sep, their friends in Switzerland think that her paper on the 'true spirit of Rescue work' would be very valuable to have. The paper was entitled:

'Some Fragmentary Thoughts on Rescue Work. A humble contribution to the discussion at Neuchatel of 28 Sep 1905 by Miss Forsaith' - Typed copy of this paper with letter from JB

Describes a two days visit she has had from Mr Allan of South Africa [see letter of 1 Jul [1902] about her first introduction to him with his appeal for help] 'It has been a very precious visit'. She advises her friend to get the two last numbers of the 'Life of Faith' (a weekly paper) with 'an account of the wondrous revival at the Keswick Convention'. Some who went were 'alarmed and electrified'. Mr Allan had been rather tired and sleepy when he arrived on his visit to her 'because he with hundreds of others had held all night meetings of prayer at Keswick to ask for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Also speaks of a real Revival in Japan and she thinks it will be a sad pity if the Liberal Party when they come into office oppose the renewal of England's peaceful alliance with Japan.

She is still very weak and cannot leave her room.

Administrative / Biographical History

'The Jubilee Meeting'

The 30th anniversary of the Federation was celebrated at Neuchatel (Switzerland) 26-29 Sep 1905. JB was not able to attend because she was not strong enough; Miss Forsaith was ill at the time so was not able to go either, but she had written a paper on the true spirit of Rescue work which JB thought would be very valuable to read at the Conference

The paper was entitled:

'Some Fragmentary Thoughts on Rescue Work. A humble contribution to the discussion at Neuchatel of 28 Sep 1905 by Miss Forsaith' - Typed copy of this paper with letter from JB

'The Keswick Convention' - This was an annual summer reunion held at the above town for the main purpose of 'promoting practical holiness' by meetings for prayer, discussion and personal intercourse. it was started in 1874 by the vicar of Keswick and was chiefly supported by the 'Evangelical' section of the Church of England

(Enc Brit 11th ed vol 15 p 261)

For a description of the routine followed at one of these conventions read the quotation, given by Osbert Sitwell in his Autobiography vol 2 pp 98-99, taken from his Aunt Florence's Journal - Sunday 21 Jul to Wednesday the 31st at the turn of the century. Osbert's grandmother, Lady Louisa, his Aunt Florence and 3 parsons made up the party which attended what Osbert terms 'This earthly instalment of the Low Church Heaven'

In 'The Keswick Story' by JC Pollock, 1964, the author after giving an account of the Welsh Revival which began in 1903, went on to describe the Keswick Convention of 1905. 'Three hundred Welshmen came to the Keswick of 1905'. The old hands feared Keswick being turned into a Revivalist meeting; they did not wish for excessive attendances and late nights. In the end it was an unusual Keswick but 'boisterous exhibitions' were avoided. (See pp 123-8)

'Life of Faith'

In 1879 the Rev Evan Hopkins, vicar of the parish of Holy Trinity, Richmond, took over the editorship of a monthly paper entitled 'The Christian's pathway to power'*. This was founded by Robert Pearsall Smith in 1878, an evangelist preacher who came to England from America in 1873. He travelled widely in S England and influenced several leaders in the Evangelical movement, such as Evan Hopkins and Harford Battersby (the latter a cousin of the Rev George Butler)

(Taken from 'Keswick Story' by JC Pollock)

JB though not thinking a great deal of the paper says that the two last numbers give 'an account of the wondrous revival at the Keswick Convention' The name was later changed to 'Life of Faith'

Biog: Madame Pieczynska; Mr Allan (of Cape Colony); Mrs Terrell; Harford Battersby, Rev Dundas; Webb-Peploe, Harmer William; Campbell-Bannerman