From the Editor’s Notebook: William Kelly's Library

MIF 8:5 (Sept-Oct 1976)

From the Editor’s Notebook

W. Ross Rainey

William Kelly’s Library

Last November, Mr. Edward F. Armstrong wrote an interesting letter to Mr. James Gunn, our associate editor, regarding William Kelly’s valuable library of 15,000 volumes. The following is the substance of Mr. Armstrong’s letter:

Dear Mr. Gunn:

Many brethren on both sides of the Atlantic have desired to see William Kelly’s choice collection of books. I had contacted many libraries, also publishing houses in England, but to no avail.

After spending two wonderful weeks at the Keswick Convention this past summer, we remembered the Lord in an assembly at Stockton, England, where I spoke to an elderly brother of my desire to see Mr. Kelly’s collection. He told me where I might get information regarding the same.

I was then led to the library in the town of Middlesbrough, England, where they very kindly gave me the following important items to copy:

“September 27, 1904.

“Offer of Reference Library to the town of Middlesbrough, England. The chairman, Alderman Ball, having reported that an anonymous donor was desirous of presenting a reference library of 15,000 volumes. It was ordered the same be gratefully accepted.”

The librarian visited Mr. Kelly’s home in Blackheath, London, to inspect the collection and report thereon.

“March 3, 1906. William Kelly: Extract from his obituary in the ‘London Times.’ Mr. Kelly, on the suggestion of the Archbishop of York, presented his large and valuable Theological Library to the town of Middlesbrough, Yorkshire, England.”

Here are two items of great interest. First, a Bible of tremendous value. A Complutensian Polyglot. This edition of the Bible was undertaken by Cardinal Ximenes in 1502 to commemorate the birth of Charles V of Spain. It was printed at Alsali in Spain between 1514 and 1517, but its issue was not sanctioned by the Pope until 1522. It is the first and most famous of the Polyglots and contains the Greek Septuagint, Hebrew, Latin, and Chaldee Paraphrase. About 300,000 pounds was spent in the work of procuring manuscripts, editing and printing it.

Although its text of the Greek New Testament was the first to be printed, Erasmus’ New Testament of 1516 is generally awarded the title of “First Greek New Testament,” as it was published six years before the Complutensian Polyglot was issued.

Second, there are issues of the oldest Bibles in the world:

    1. The Vatican Manuscript.

    2. The Sinaitic Manuscript.

    3. The Alexandrian Manuscript.

    4. The Manuscript of Beza.

    5. Cursvive Manuscripts.

These are just a few that may be seen in a private room of the library where one can sit quietly and make notes with permission of the librarian.

A brother in Scotland writes: “What a pity the whereabouts of Mr. Kelly’s wonderful library is not better known to the Christian public. He was a mighty apostle of the Word and his writings have been a blessing to many.”

After many years of research, I was very pleased to locate this great writer’s works, as he is my favourite author, and in my library I have many of his books.

Yours in His service,
Edward F. Armstrong

The Dead Sea And Skin Disease

Three years ago, standing by the northern edge of the Dead Sea, I watched people sitting and floating in the water, while others had smeared themselves with gray slimy mud from the bottom. The mud treatment did not appeal to me, although looking back I wish there had been time that day for a dip in the world’s richest body of water. Nevertheless, since “feeling” and tasting the Dead Sea’s water that day, I have often thought it must surely have some therapeutic value for those suffering with skin diseases of one sort or another.

My thoughts along this line were recently confirmed. According to the May 18, 1976, issue of The Jerusalem Post the beneficial effects of the Dead Sea in treating psoriasis have been recognized by medical insurance funds in Scandinavia and Central Europe. This was stated by Dr. W.W. Avrach, of Hadassah Hospital (Jerusalem), dermatologist to the 11th national scientific convention of the Dermatological Society.

Dr. Avrach said that “results of the treatment at the Dead Sea were just as good as in any hospital—and the Dead Sea was much cheaper.”

Of the several hundred patients treated at the Dead Sea, “24 per cent recovered completely, 53 per cent showed a marked improvement, and 19 per cent partial improvement; and 4 per cent showed no improvement.”

But, he noted, the cure is not permanent, the rate of relapse being similar to that after treatment in a hospital.

The Dead Sea, called in Scripture the Salt Sea (Genesis 14:3), the Sea of Arabah (Deuteronomy 3:17), or East(ern) Sea (Joel 2:20; Zechariah 14:8), has the earth’s lowest surface, 1290 feet below sea level. It occupies part of a geologic fault that extends from Syria through the Red Sea into Africa. Measuring 47 by 10 miles, it has an area of 300 square miles with cliffs rising 1500 — 2500 feet on either shore. The water attains a depth of 1300 feet, though southward it averages less than ten feet.

The Dead Sea is the most important mineral resource of Palestine. The quantities of common salt (sodium chloride), chloride of magnesia and magnesia bromide dissolved in the water of the unique lake are practically inexhaustible. According to experts, the Dead Sea contains 2000 million tons of potassium chloride, 980 million tons of magnesium bromide, 11,000 million tons of sodium chloride, 22 million tons of magnesium chloride and 6000 million tons of calcium chloride.

From these figures it is readily observable that astronomic sums in dollars are represented. Some have estimated that the Dead Sea alone would produce 200 trillion dollars in wealth. An American chemical engineer, Dr. Thomas H. Norton, estimated the content of the salts to be at least 250,000,000,000 pounds. The world’s most ample supply of potash, used for explosives in wartime and for fertilizer in peacetime, is located at the southern end of the Dead Sea.

Ezekiel predicts a healing of its waters, granting abundant life during Christ’s future millennial reign (47:8-10). Meanwhile, in so many ways—the wealth of the Dead Sea being one of them—the nation Israel is a prime target of aggressive rulers and will be the specific target of the coming world ruler, the Man of Sin.

I Sought the Lord

I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew
He moved my soul to seek Him, seeking me;
It was not I that found Thee, O Saviour true,
No … I was found of Thee.

Thou didst reach forth Thy hand and mine enfold;
I walked and sank not on the storm-vexed seas,

’Twas not so much that I on Thee took hold,
As Thou, Dear Lord, on me.

I find, I walk, I love, But, O the whole
Of love is but my answer, Lord, to Thee;
For Thou were long beforehand with my soul,
Always … Thou lovedst me.

— Author Unknown