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JOSEPH WOLFF, "That Sublime Vagabond".

Joseph Wolff (1795 – 2 May 1862)

What must have been a most interesting meeting took place in 1842 between Joseph Wolff and the Squire at Walton Hall.

Joseph Wolff was a curate at High Hoyland at the time.[1] He was a Jewish Christian missionary, born at Weilersbach, near Bamberg, Germany. He travelled widely, and was known as "the missionary to the world".[2] He published several journals of his expeditions, including Travels and Adventures of Joseph Wolff (London, 1861).

Wolff describes his meeting with the Squire at Walton Hall.

"After Wolff had spent some happy days with his family in the houses of Mr. Spencer Stanhope and Sir William Pilkington, he also paid a visit, with his family, to the great traveller and earnest and straightforward Roman Catholic, Mr. Waterton; and he was the first who made Wolff acquainted with the miraculas conversion of the Israelite Ratisbonne, who now preaches the Gospe in Jerusalem. He also told Wolff candidly, that he believed the account that Saint Alphonsius Maria Liguori had been in two places at one and the same time; and he gave him letters for the family of the Weld, who resided in Bruges. Wolff then set out with his family for London, where they spent a whole month with that good holy, and excellent man, Sir Thomas Baring; and then they went to that extraordinary an, Wolff's friend, Henry Drummon d, where he met with his attached friend, John Bayford, father to the present Dr. Bayford, who had accompanied him on board the ship when he set out the first time on his mission to the East in the year 1821." Wolffe writing in the third person. [3]

Ellen G. White, one of te founders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, has this to say about Wolff.

'In 1821, three years after Miller had arrived at his exposition of the prophecies pointing to the time of the judgment, Dr. Joseph Wolff, "the missionary to the world," began to proclaim the Lord's soon coming. Wolff was born in Germany, of Hebrew parentage, his father being a Jewish rabbi. While very young he was convinced of the truth of the Christian religion. Of an active, inquiring mind, he had been an eager listener to the conversations that took place in his father's house as devout Hebrews daily assembled to recount the hopes and anticipations of their people, the glory of the coming Messiah, and the restoration of Israel. One day hearing Jesus of Nazareth mentioned, the boy inquired who He was. "A Jew of the greatest talent," was the answer; "but as He pretended to be the Messiah, the Jewish tribunal sentenced Him to death." "Why," rejoined the questioner, "is Jerusalem destroyed, and why are we in captivity?" "Alas, alas!" answered his father, "because the Jews murdered the prophets." The thought was at once suggested to the child: "Perhaps Jesus was also a prophet, and the Jews killed Him when He was innocent." — Travels and Adventures of the Rev. Joseph Wolff, vol. 1, p. 6. So strong was this feeling that, though forbidden to enter a Christian church, he would often linger outside to listen to the preaching.' [2]

1. 'That Sublime Vagabond', pp 126-8, Eccentric Travellers, John Keay. Published by John Murray (Publishers) Ltd, London, 1982. See also the chapter on 'Charles Waterton - A White Man From Yorkshire'.
2. The Great Controversy, Ellen G. White. Originally published: 1858. Publisher: James Springer White.http://www.ellenwhite.info/books/ellen-g-white-book-great-controversy-gc-20.htm (357)
She was one of the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and held in esteem as a prophetess or messenger of God among Seventh-day Adventist members.
3. Travels and Adventures of Joseph Wolff, Chapter XXXII, pp 524-5. Saunders, Otley & Co., London, 1861.


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