Circulars

Scope and Content

Collection of circular correspondence and other documents, mostly concerned with meetings, sermons and a conference. The documents pertaining to the conference propose 'special meetings' in Birmingham on June 8th and 9th 1908, on subjects such as church unity and discipline. The circular note advises that "sisters as well as brothers are invited to all meetings". A connected letter addressed to Mr Bergin is attached. A bundle of circulated letters is also included, concerned with a debate on the concept of separation and exclusivism. One letter, dated 1906, from G.W Heath, is a reply to "82 letter writers and Brethren who have written for further information" about two previous circulars of his denouncing separation and extolling the practice of welcoming non-Brethren Christians into their community. This letter answers criticisms of his position and asks those who are in agreement to come out in sympathy and prayer. It also encloses a pamphlet entitled 'Fellowship Among Saints' by William Shaw, which discusses the need to welcome new members from outside of the community and opines that exclusivism should be replaced by fellowship. Another 1907 letter from Heath criticises the 'present broken condition' of the Brethren, claiming that the exclusive belief that 'separation from evil is god's principle of unity' has brought 'incalcuable harm' to the community. Also included is a statement by JND (presumably John Nelson Derby) on the subject of taking the Lord's supper with any type of Christian. The rest of the papers are transcipts of sermons given by Dr Pierson, Henry Groves and James Wright, as well as an address made by Mr Bergin concerned with a week of prayer at the time of Lydia Wright's death.