My friend Ted, a regular reader of my blog, has sent me these quotations from Don Akenson’s An Irish History of Civilization, volume 2, about the beginnings of the Plymouth Brethren:
“The moment of creation is when John Nelson Darby, Anglican priest and avocational ascetic, came down from the Wicklow mountains in 1827, broken in body, unstable in mind, incandescent in belief. He created a tiny religion in Dublin, whose chief characteristic is everything that the Church of Ireland is not. His Brethren are not ordained, not salaried, not corrupt, not accepting of dogma. They are committed to a literal reading of the Bible, and what a reading it is…"
"These people extend in England into the Plymouth Brethren and of course they fight with each other…"
"William Bell Riley… becomes one of the two strongest figures in the American fundamentalist movement, an unswerving promoter of John Nelson Darby’s literalist and apocalyptic reading of the bible, and the godfather of the twentieth century’s most influential preacher, the Rev. Dr. Billy Graham.”