Monday, January 30, 2017

Elie Jerville

Elie Jerville was a French Bible Student who was well-known in his day. Franco has kindly sent some correspondence Jerville received between 1909-1914.

He is reportedly mentioned in the French edition of Watch Tower in July 1910 (attending a meeting) and March 1911 (speaking at the funeral of J B Tillman). There is also a letter from him in the standard American issue of Watch Tower for June 15, 1916 (reprints page 5915). Under the heading LETTERS FROM FRENCH BRETHREN Jerville wrote:

In accordance with the invitation of dear Brother Russell in his wonderful and comforting article on "Divine Love," published in the last July French TOWER, I am intending to write to him.

May the God of all grace and peace be with each of you in your activity for the Lord's cause, till by and by above we shall sing an everlasting alleluia to the honor and glory of our great Creator!

ELIE JERVILLE, Corporal at Bailleul.--Northern France.

Jerville survived the war, but appears to have left fellowship with the parent Watch Tower/IBSA after the death of CTR.

In reverse order, there is a letter written by CTR to Jerville in 1914. Dated 22 July 1914, there is an error in the address, the city is not Rouboix but Roubaix, but the letter obviously reached its destination.

Prior to this letter, Jerville received a postcard dated March 23, 1913, which is signed by three names, Weber, Boillet and Freytag.

Prior to this postcard, Jerville received a postcard , dated February 6, 1909, signed by (Adolphe) Weber.

I am afraid that I failed all my exams in the French language very many years ago, but some enterprising reader might like to copy the cards, increase their size to make them readable and translate for us.


Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Thanks to Jerome and Franco for this post. Jerome posted it for us and Franco sent the material.

bruciolis said...

I translated the postcards and others (sent to Jerville)... in italian!
I wrote to Roberto and I've asked him if he can to translate in english because I can't speak english.

Stéphane said...

If it's not too late, I submit below a transcription followed by a literal translation of the postcard written from Geneva. Please note that I am ready to do the same with pleasure with the postcard written by bro. Adolphe Weber. With best regards. Stéphane

[RECTO] [Vue de « Genève - La rade au crépuscule »]
A. Freytag
Ad. Weber Aline Boillet

[VERSO] [Sceau de la poste daté du 23.III.1913 (23 mars 1913) 23-24 h de Genève Exp[édition] lettres]
Genève, le 23 mars 1913
Cher frère Elie, Adèle et Paul
Que la grâce et la paix vous soient multipliées de la part de Dieu le Père et de notre Seigneur Jésus Christ. Quoique[?] absent de corps mais présent d’esprit et j’espère que tous les frères et sœurs ont reçu bon nombre [de] bénédictions durant ces deux jours de Pâques à Lens et que tous sont retournés fortifiés pour continuer la course qu’ils ont commencée, toujours plus remplis d’ardeur pour faire la volonté de Dieu. Ici aussi tous les frères et sœurs sont aussi bien disposés à combattre le bon combat jusqu’à la mort. Au même instant que j’écris, fr. Weber demande pour nous rendre à Lausanne demain mais ce n’est pas encore certain, nous verrons la décision de frère Lanz. Présentez les amitiés des frères et sœurs d’ici et de ceux du dehors venus ici à tous les frères et sœurs de Roubaix.
Votre frère au service du Seigneur
Louis Durieu

[RIGHT SIDE] [View of “ Geneva - The lakefront at dawn ”]
A. Freytag
Ad. Weber Aline Boillet

[BACK] [Post office stamp dated March 23rd, 1913, at 11-12 PM, from Geneva Mail Sending]
Geneva, March 23rd, 1913
Dear Brother Elie, Adele and Paul
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you from God the Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ. Though[?] absent in body but present in spirit and I hope that all the brothers and sisters received any number of blessings during these two days of Easter in Lens and that all returned fortified to continue the race they have begun, always more filled of fervour to do God’s will. Here too all the brothers and sisters too are well-disposed to fight the good fight until death. At this moment as I am writing, bro. Weber asks us to go to Lausanne tomorrow but it is not yet sure, we shall wait for brother Lanz’s decision. Give the best wishes of the brothers and sisters from here and from those who came here from outside to all the brothers and sisters of Roubaix.
Your brother on the Lord’s service
Louis Durieu

Stéphane said...

Here comes the transcription of the postcard from Adolphe Weber together with a literal translation.

[RECTO] [Vue de « Beaucourt* - Place Neuve »]
(*) NB. Beaucourt se trouve en France (département du Territoire de Belfort, auparavant jusqu’en 1871 département du Haut-Rhin, mais en Allemagne de 1871-1919, ce qui explique l’annotation de A. Weber), à 5 km de la frontière franco-suisse de Delle - Boncourt

D’ici on voit déjà les blancs sommets du Jura, symbole de pureté et de virginité à quoi nous sommes appelés pour être façonnés à la ressemblance du Seigneur, selon les miséricordes de l’Éternel.

Salutations & bons vœux à vous deux chers amis E. Gerville, aus[si] Delécaut
La température est douce ici, sans neige.
Beaucourt (Haut-Rhin) 6 février 09
A. Weber

[VERSO] [Sceau de la poste daté du 8/2/09 (8 février 1909) de ? département du Nord]

Cher frère :
J’ai été bien réjoui de vous revoir à nouveau avec les amis Delécaut que veuillez remercier pour le bon accueil qu’ils me témoignent toujours. Je n’ai plus eu le temps de m’arrêter à Roubaix, à mon retour, et n’ai pas pu visiter Mr. Jaquet. J’avais tant de frères et amis à visiter en Belgique, qui m’attendaient, que ç’aurait été perdre du temps précieux en allant voir Mr. Jaquet qui n’a pas encore faim et qui est en train de se créer une église baptiste et pense devoir aider à guérir l’inguérissable Babylone. Je peux dire, loué soit Dieu ! qu’en Belgique les frères ont fait des progrès, surtout à Jumet, Haine St. Pierre et Liège. La grâce de Dieu avec vous.
A. Weber

[RIGHT SIDE] [View of “ Beaucourt* - Place Neuve ”]
(*) Note : Beaucourt is situated in France (in the department of the Territory of Belfort, previously in the department of the Haut-Rhin, hence the annotation of A. Weber), at 3 miles from the Swiss border near Delle - Boncourt

From here the white summits of the Jura can already be seen, a symbol of the purity and virginity to which we are called in order to be shaped in the Lord’s likeness in accordance with the mercies of the Eternal One.

Greetings & best wishes to both of you dear friends E. Gerville so Delécaut
Here the temperature is mild, without snow.
Beaucour (Haut-Rhin) February 6th, 1909
A. Weber

[BACK] [Post Office stamp dated February 8th, 1909 from ? in the French department of the Nord]

Dear brother,
I have been well delighted to see you again with our friends Delécaut, whom you should thank for the nice reception that they always offer to me. I no longer had enough time to stop in Roubaix, on my return, and was not able to visit Mr. Jaquet. I had so many brothers and friends to visit in Belgium, who were waiting for me, that it would have been losing a precious time to go and see Mr. Jaquet who is not hungry yet and who is presently starting up a Baptist church and thinks he needs to help cure the incurable Babylon. I can say, God be praised ! that the brothers in Belgium have made progress, especially in Jumet, Haine St Pierre and Liège. God’s grace be with you.
A. Weber

Stéphane said...

Concerning Bro. Adolphe Weber, I got to scavenge some years ago what is probably one of the first publications of the Bible Students in French : it is a 92-pages brochure released in Switzerland in March 1900 (3 years before the publication of the first issue of the actual French language Watch Tower) under the responsibility of Adolphe Weber, and containing an extract from the September 1899 edition of the Zion's Watch Tower magazine together with an annexe composed of pages from the Volumes II, III and IV of the Millenial Dawn series. The front cover presents the following text, with all its lines centered on the page (as translated from the French) :

Extract of the September 1899 edition
of the
Tour du Phare de Sion <--- that is Zion's Lighthouse Tower, please see Note below
(Zions Watch Tower - Hab. II, 1-2) <--- this line written in English

With a summary of Volumes II, III and IV
of the Millenial Dawn

Granges (Soleure)
Print[er] Guldimann & von Gunten

Note : the watch tower was understood as a lighthouse tower, hence the translation of A. Weber. When the magazine starts to be published in French in 1903, it appears with an inversion of words in its title : Le phare de la tour de Sion (i.e. Zion tower's lighthouse) instead of A. Weber's more accurate variant. --- This intended for the lovers of the details...

I have got a scanned copy of the brochure in pdf multi-page format, or as a Zip archive of either png, tiff or jpeg images. But alas I don't know if somebody is interested, and this being the case, where and how to transfer it.

And last but not least, to the attention of Mr. Schulz and Mrs. de Vienne, if you feel that it could be useful for your research to obtain the original of the brochure, I am ready to send it to you free of charge by postal mail.

Then, if given enough time, I could undertake its translation in English, or at least recover the exact references to the publications used in the compilation of the brochure.

I await your reactions. Thank you in advance

jerome said...

Thank you very much Stéphane, this is much appreciated.