A recent post referred to early readers of George Storrs in the British Isles. One such reader was Frederick Richard Lees, editor of a British paper called The Truth Seeker.
Storrs received a copy of the paper and republished an article signed PATHFINDER in the January and February 1848 issues of Bible Examiner. He sent copies of BE to Britain to reach the editor. Lees wrote back and his response was published in BE for July 1848.
Lees’ periodical ran for several years. It was sometimes called The (Manx) Truth Seeker in a reference to the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea. Due to a loophole in British Law mail from the Isle of Man was exempted from paying postal fees at this time, so a number of enterprising publications took advantage of this.
A couple of issues later (BE September 1848), Lees wrote a long letter about the state of conditionalist teaching in the British Isles. This shows that Storrs was already well known in some quarters in Britain. After detailing his own preaching on the subject. Lees wrote:
“In 1846 I began to find that other and influential persons in Britain, had also their thoughts turned to this topic. My friend, JOSEPH BARKER, (now of Wortley, near Leeds,) formerly a celebrated Methodist Minister, but expelled for ‘heresy,’ had republished your ‘Six Sermons’ in a cheap form, and circulated them amongst his friends - ‘The Christian Reformers’ - throughout the North of England.”
The circulation of Six Sermons in Britain obviously created concern in more orthodox circles because John Howard Hinton M.A. wrote the book Athanasia (published London 1849) to combat conditionalist views. Out of its 540 pages, Hinton reportedly devoted 50 of them in an attempted rebuttal of Storrs’ Six Sermons. (According to Hinton's book Six Sermons was published in Newcastle-on-Tyne in the UK in 1844.) Lees sent Storrs a copy of Athanasia and for a number of months over 1849, Storrs’ Bible Examiner dealt point by point with Hinton’s objections, before finally drawing a line under the subject.
Frederick Richard Lees (1815-1897) does not appear to have taken much part in subsequent theological developments. According to census returns, he spent his life as an author, publisher and lecturer, but his specific field was the temperance movement. He died as a “gentleman” leaving an estate of over four and a half thousand GBP.