C H R I S T A D E L P H I A N R E S E A R C H
The Graves of Doctor John Thomas and Robert Roberts
Doctor John Thomas, the founder of the Christadelphians was buried in the Green-Wood Cemetery, Long Island in Brooklyn, New York after his death on March 5, 1871. Initially he was put in a burial vault after a ceremony conducted by a Brother Ennis on March 6, 1871, but was transported here to respect his wishes when alive to “Put me quietly out of site in some corner” and a second ceremony was conducted by Robert Roberts on April 30, 1871.
His grave can be seen with an obelisk towering over it, a symbol with pagan origins and esoteric significance in ancient times as a phallic symbol, which was a strange monument to erect by those burying him considering his forthrightness about how paganism was in the beliefs and rites of mainstream Christianity. On the right lies the grave of his wife, Ellen Thomas, and on his left is the grave of Robert Roberts who was instrumental in continuing his work and structuring the Christadelphians into a denomination.
The words on his tomb can be seen to read:
HERE LIES IN BRIEF REPOSE
the return of the Lord
and other works
Born April 12. 1805
Died March 5. 1871
The words on the tomb of Robert Roberts can be seen to read:
of Birmingham England
Editor of the
and many other works
who for Forty Years in the
Front ranks of the
Aided and continued the Work
begun by Dr THOMAS, by whose
side he now sleeps in Jesus
(Can't read dates at end)
Following the burial of John Thomas the obituary seen was published in The Christadelphian magazine, June 1871. This seems to have some extended wording than can be read from the picture of his tomb, although it may simply not follow the printed order and be out of view of the photograph. The obituary also had an unintended error in that it stated “THE LONG-LOST FAITH OF THE JEWS” when it was intended to read “THE LONG-LOST FAITH OF THE APOSTLES.”
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PAGE VISITS FROM 16/09/13
THE TRINITY HURDLE
NOVEL: HOLY BIBLE
You lay a great stress upon facts throughout your letters, and are incessant in your demand that I should attend to them. This is good; but facts have to be rightly put together, and then you must have all the facts. I do not think you put the facts rightly together, and you leave out some, I am sure.
(Robert Roberts, a Christadelphian Pioneer, quoted
by Ruth McHaffie in Brethren Indeed)
The Spirit of liberty, based upon the law of faith, is the Spirit of Christ; and this spirit all the Sons of God are privileged to possess, and having it, to breathe. I claim the right of exercising this privilege, as well as my contemporaries; and I require of them that they should do to me as once they loudly required others to do to them…
(written by John Thomas, the founder of the Christadelphians, when he was against creeds in
The Apostolic Advocate magazine, August 1836)
(John Thomas, from Apostacy Unveiled, p. 137,
quoted in The Christadelphian Magazine, January 1906)
Must a man never progress? If he discovers an error in his premises, must he for ever hold to it for the sake of consistency? May such a calamity never befall me! Rather let me change every day, till I get right at last.
(from a letter written by John Thomas in 1848, quoted by Robert Roberts, in Dr. Thomas: His Life and Work)
Do what is right; be valiant for the Truth; teach it without compromise, and all lovers of the Truth will approve you. For all others you need not care a rush!
(from a letter written by John Thomas to Robert Roberts and published in The Christadelphian magazine, February 1866)