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Download The Old Brethren fb2, epub

by James H Lehman

Download The Old Brethren fb2, epub

ISBN: 0871786508
Author: James H Lehman
Language: English
Publisher: Brethren Press; 1st Printing edition (1976)
Pages: 384
Subcategory: No category
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 904
Size Fb2: 1256 kb
Size ePub: 1419 kb
Size Djvu: 1275 kb
Other formats: azw doc rtf mobi

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The old Brethren book. Details (if other): Cancel. Thanks for telling us about the problem. by. James H. Lehman (Goodreads Author).

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James H. Lehman is the author of The Old Brethren and two children's books. Lehman is glad to return to writing fiction and has a particular fondness for the characters of this story. He has been a freelance writer, and in the 1980s he wrote and produced audiovisuals. For more than fifteen years he did assemblies, workshops, and author residencies on writing for elementary school children, visiting more than 400 schools in 13 states.

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They have given up horse and buggy transportation and accepted the use of automobiles, while they have retained plain dress  .

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Book by Lehman, James H


Lots of information in the book, but I wish it had more personal stuff. I barely could get through it, but I did.
I picked The Old Brethren up to finally read through it after having it in my possession for many years, thanks to a family member leaving it with me. James H. Lehman published this history of the Old Brethren from the 1840s through the 1880s as told mainly through stories of the lives of notable Elders (ministers) of the church. These church elders traveled long distances for those times to preach and attend Annual Meeting, at which the rules and positions of the church were decided.

My interest was due to a curiosity about my family’s history and genealogy. The Brethren were a relatively small group, and there is no doubt that my distant relatives in Virginia crossed paths with these traveling Elder Ministers. Even having grown up in the Brethren Church, I had never heard much of this history of my ancestors, so it is interesting as background. I have come to realize that my values and beliefs have been shaped and handed down through the generations from these people described in The Old Brethren.

The anti-slavery position that was taken by the Brethren as a church is one of the most interesting topics researched and described by Lehman. On this subject there is the historically significant story of Elder George Wolf, who traveled the southern Illinois region around his church to campaign against a referendum to turn the state from a free state to a slave state. The Brethren, as a church, had long opposed slavery, even though many of them had lived in southern states. Lehman relates that Elder Wolf persuaded many people to oppose the referendum and played a key role in the effort to insure that Illinois remained free.

Another very interesting story is of Elder John Kline from Linville Creek in Rockingham County, Virginia. He was moderator of the Annual Meeting for four consecutive years during the Civil War. For this work, he had to cross the battle lines from Virginia in the south to the Brethren communities of Ohio and Pennsylvania in the north. This attracted the attention of the Confederate forces who believed he was a spy, even though the Brethren remained neutral and refused to serve with or take either side in the fighting. In 1864 the confederates ambushed and killed Elder Kline near his home shortly after he had returned from the Annual Meeting.

Lehman describes this religious community’s disdain for formal education – though they were obviously intelligent and productive people. He explains other unique beliefs held by the Brethren, such as that their word was their bond; their refusal to swear oaths; their pacifist beliefs and refusal to serve in the military; that they kept simple neat and orderly homes and farms; and of course always devoutly followed their religious beliefs. The Brethren also believed in non-conformance, which came from a view that the ways of the world were ‘sinful’ and corrupting, and they therefore shunned ornamentation and displays of wealth and status. This is what lead to their label as the “plain people.”

The Old Brethren will give those of us from the Brethren tradition a better understanding of our values that have been passed down generation to generation. Others, outsiders, interested in history will find this book to be a unique depiction of the cultural life of the early Brethren, who were similar in their lifestyle and worship to groups such as the Mennonites and Quakers.

I was very pleasantly surprised at how interesting and informative Lehman’s stories were. If a copy can be found, The Old Brethren is an entertaining window into the lives of these unique and deeply religious people in the early days of our nation.

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