this is txt file this is txt file
HARVEST GLEANINGS III Zion's Watch Tower Extra, April 25, 1894 A CONSPIRACY EXPOSED AND HARVEST SIFTINGS
Little did the Editor think, when penning words of caution to watch and pray, printed in our issue of April 1, under the caption, "Lest Ye Enter into Temptation," that they were so soon to prove so necessary and timely as they have since proved.
The story we here relate is a sad one; but it seems our duty to tell it in detail, because those most concerned were introduced to our readers and frequently mentioned in these columns in warmest terms of brotherly regard. It is proper now, therefore, that you should know of their deflection. This painful story we have published separate from our regular issues, that if possible only the elder, and it is to be hoped steadfast, readers of the Watch Tower may know of it, lest others- "babes" - might be stumbled.
Those who have been readers of the Watch Tower for several years, well know that on the strength of the words of our Lord and the Prophets and Apostles (Dan. 12:10; Psa. 91:7; 1 Cor. 3:13; Matt. 13:41) we have been expecting "siftings" and "stumblings" and the "falling" of many in this "evil day." Such, therefore, like ourselves, will not be so greatly surprised at the facts, although like ourselves they may well be surprised, each time, to know who stumbles and over what. Unsuspicious hearts are always surprised; and the best and purest hearts are generally unsuspicious.
To prepare the reader for what follows, it is proper to state that the conspiracy of which it is our unpleasant task to tell you, and of which the Editor was made the subject, resembled more the betrayal of our dear Master (as some of the friends here remarked) than anything else to which we can compare it. We had no suspicion of it whatever, until five days before, and only since have learned that it had been gradually forming for the past two years; that it had been expected to "explode" the matter like "a bomb, and blow [dear?] Brother Russell and this work sky-high" at the Spring Meeting a year ago, and by thus breaking his influence to get free from what they call "bondage to Brother Russell," and force open to their own uses and abuses the columns of ZION'S Watch Tower, which they claim a [HGL115] right to command; -because it is Zion's Watch Tower, and they are members of Zion.
They were greatly disappointed, it appears, when that meeting was abandoned in favor of the Chicago Convention later, but declared that the "bomb" would "explode in less than eighteen months"-referring doubtless to the expected Memorial meeting this Spring. But Providence again foiled the scheme by leading us unwittingly to decide not to call such a meeting this year. We knew at the time that they were greatly disappointed, for they said so; but we had no idea that they had such murderous plans and hearts. We use the word "murderous" advisedly, because we esteem that to kill the character and influence of a man is a baser murder than to kill his body merely, and that the murder of the character of one the least of God's children is worse in the sight of God than the physical murder of a worldly man. (See Matt. 18:6; 1 John 3:15.) Perhaps few realize this matter so; but we submit that it is the correct view, as shown by the foregoing Scriptures. If all could get this true view of the matter, they would see the importance of the Apostle's words-Let all evil speaking, backbiting, slander, malice, envy, strife, be put away from you, as becometh saints. -Eph. 4:31; Col. 3:8-10.
About January '93, when they still expected the Spring Meeting to be held that year, they began preparing for it, by hints and suggestions, privately given, that there was something grievously wrong with Brother Russell's business character and methods. This was expected to undermine the confidence of the flock here and to prepare them to believe the "bomb," when exploded at the time of the Convention, when representatives of the truth from all over the country would be here. Of course this was done with many protestations of deep sorrow for "poor Brother Russel" - nothing being stated positively, but everything bad being hinted. My friends would have brought the matter to my attention at once, but of course were diffident about inquiring into my personal affairs and business, -especially as they knew nothing definitely to inquire about. At last, however, I got some idea that "some ugly rumors" were afloat, and at once called together about forty of the principle brethren and sisters of the congregation here, including those whose names seemed to be associated with the "ugly rumors," -which were some of these who, we now find, were even then conspirators. We stated the case, and requested and urged that any and every thing known be told to us all, so that if any misunderstanding had occurred it could be set straight at once; for I assured them that there could be no real foundation to any rumors, my business career, like my religious course, being straightforward and based on principles of justice and truth. All denied any knowledge of anything derogatory to my character, and went away satisfied, except the conspirators, one of whom, (Mrs. Zech) I now learn, while speaking fairly to my face and seemingly joining with the others, remarked privately, afterward, "I could have turned the entire course of that meeting if I had chosen," - referring evidently to the "bomb" which it had been decided should be kept, - to be exploded at the expected Memorial Convention of '94.
At the said meeting at my home, I gave a little resume of my business affairs, protesting, however, that I did so only for their and the truth's sake, and that my business affairs had as much right to privacy as those of any one else; and so I here protest again, but, later on, will go into details, -only for the sake of hindering God's "little ones" from being "stumbled" by the false statements which have already been circulated privately, by letter, and at the Chicago Convention last Summer, and now, within the past few days, in print (the oral "bomb" project having failed). The venomous circular recently issued by O von Zech, E Bryan, J B Adamson and S D Rogers is now to be the "bomb" designed to destroy confidence in Brother Russell (whom Providence has made to some extent an under-shepherd to the Lord's sheep), and thus to shatter the work-in order that the conspirators may gather some of the wreckage; for already they have a new paper under way.
So much for the conspiracy, of which we were in ignorance until a few days ago. Meanwhile, the conspirators were fair to my face and spoke endearing words, as will be shown later on in this case by some of their letters to myself and wife, written during the very time they were concocting their scheme and keeping their "bomb." Meanwhile, we were their sincere friends, and all but one of them has shared the hospitality of our home within the last three months. Yes, at the very time that they were preparing the circular, designed to assassinate my character, one of them, in the presence of a dozen brethren, offered me his hand, as Judas kissed the Master. But by that time, although I knew much less than I now do of his perfidy, I knew him to be my slanderer and refused his hand, telling him that the right hand of fellowship meant something to me, and that I had no desire to give it to those who stealthily and murderously stabbed my character behind my back.
To give a connected view of the things which have transpired here lately, we must recall to the TOWER readers the facts stated in our issue of April 1, under the caption- "The Work in England." (And we assure you that every word of it is strictly correct; and that the figures given, as showing the funds of the Tract Society supplied in books for Brother Rogers' expenses, are net after deducting all money received from him and all books transferred to other colporteurs in England and all books now stored there. These figures, however, include books supplied to Bro. Rogers in the U S before he started for England, from the proceeds of which his expenses there were to be paid. It should be noted, too, that we state in the TOWER the amount of money Bro. Rogers would have received for the books at "retail." We thus particularize because he, in an ambiguous manner, denies the statement.)
We heard Bro. Rogers' proposed mendicant plan in the presence of our office assistants (who with ourselves constitute our household), until Bro. Rogers said that he had told us all about it and "could think of nothing more to explain." As before stated, we assured him that we could not think of adopting his plan and discarding the successful one now in operation, but urged him to try it himself if he felt sure that it was the Lord's will concerning him. He replied that we were "rejecting the Lord's message," etc. (We learn since that he no longer relies for leading upon the Word of the Lord and his providences in Answer'to prayer, but that, instead, he sits down and thinks by the hour'as) [HGL116] (he did during his stay at our home-and believes that the Lord thus reveals things to him. Alas! how many have been misled by this and similar misapprehensions, and to the neglect of the Word of God, which is "able to make wise unto salvation," and through which the man of God may be thoroughly furnished unto every good work. (2 Tim. 3:15-17) Just what bad condition of heart lies at the bottom of such a course we may not be able to discern, but it seems generally to be spiritual vanity.) This was Monday evening; the next two days he visited considerably with Bro. Zech. We know not what passed between them except that by Wednesday night their causes were one; Bro. Zech evidently appreciating the idea of "taking the money from the fish's mouth." If Bro. Zech thus embraced Bro. Rogers cause it was but natural that Bro. Rogers should fall in with Bro. Zech's "grievances," and they strengthened each other's hands and hearts in evil. We since learn that on the Saturday evening previous one of Bro. Zech's family, Paul Koetitz visited Bro. Erlenmyer (whom he had previously tried to poison against me) and in great glee said, We have Bryan and Adamson and now here is Rogers all the way from England. It seems as if the Lord sent him at this time. That makes four, and there are a lot more. Just wait, something terrible is going to happen. And Bro. and Sister Zech and Paul Koetitz were at his house a week previous and stayed until midnight talking about Bro. Russell and a coming catastrophe. They gave Bro. Russell a black character, and Bro. Zech said he was going to tell all to the Congregation, soon. Bro. E said, Why not talk the matter over with Bro. Russell? He replied, It is no use, he would explain everything away; -the congregation ought to know these rotten things. Bro. E was much distressed and waited in fear for the "boiling pot" to "boil over."
To start the matter, Bro. Rogers, Bro. and Sister Zech and Bro. Paul Koetitz attended one of the six Wednesday Evening Prayer and Testimony Meetings, held for nearly a year in this vicinity. There, in the absence of Bro. Russell, those meetings were denounced, and Bro. Russell, for his connection with their institution, was denounced as a "pope," etc. The leader of the meeting in vain called for order and told them that the meeting was for the purpose of divine worship and praise, and for mutual assistance in spiritual development. Mrs. Russell was present and reproved both the interruption and the unkind spirit manifested. She pointed out that while the meetings were suggested and recommended by me, the matter was left to the congregation, nearly all of which had taken up with the suggestion and voted to have the meetings-not for doctrinal discussions, etc., but solely and only for worship and spiritual upbuilding.
She pointed out, also, that none were in any sense forced to attend; and that those who did not care for prayer and conference in harmony with the object of the meetings should stay away and give to the others who did so desire, proper liberty to worship God as they pleased. She pointed out, too, that there are many meetings at which doctrinal subjects, etc., are considered. She showed plainly that while Bro. Russell's course contained nothing like a popish disregard of the wishes of others, the course of Bro. Rogers, in coming from England to force his ideas upon Bro. Russell, and now the course of all these in interrupting the worship of others, was decidedly popish, if indeed it were not worse than popish. Finally the discontents withdrew; Bro. Rogers staying that night at Bro. Zech's.
But I was unsuspicious all the while and lost the morning of that very day from the Lord's work (DAWN, VOL IV) to collect money to make good my check of $700, given to Bro. Zech the afternoon before to keep his note from going to protest. The next day Bro. Rogers returned to our house for another conference (at which the entire family was present and which occupied the whole morning), and remained for dinner. After dinner he said he was going to Zech's but would be back for tea; but we told him that as he had been ten days at our home interrupting important work, and as Bro. Zech with whom he was more in harmony had made him welcome, we would not invite him to stop longer in our home. He then went to Bro. Zech's house, where, evidently, it was decided that now would be the most favorable time to explode the "bomb" that had been kept for some eighteen months. So Bro. Rogers was sent west, arranged with Bro. Bryan, who was to manipulate an assorted lot of grievances and damaging charges against Bro. Russell, and got Bro. Adamson into line; -who, it seems, had some previous knowledge of the conspiracy. Brother Adamson had a grievance relative to his tract, as will be explained further on; and being one of the older colporteurs, it was hoped that his name would add to the destructive force of the coming "explosion." They had seen Bro. Russell pass through trying experiences with "false brethren" before, for God and truth were on his side; but never before had they seen such a combination against him; and they encouraged themselves that now Bro. Russell would be humbled in the dust, and they would profit thereby.
THE CONSPIRACY CULMINATES
Accordingly, they-Rogers, Adamson and Bryan-gathered at Bro. Zech's home, and with him and his family, sent out, on Wednesday, April 4, special letters to the Church at Allegheny, inviting them to gather at Bro. Zech's house the next evening to hear matters of importance, etc., - meaning the "bomb" and smaller fire works.
About forty or fifty of the congregation attended, all of whom except one, so far as we are aware, received special invitations to be present. As we were not present, we submit the report of Bro. E C Henninges, the Secretary of that meeting, well known to many of our readers. It is as follows: -
THE SECRETARY'S REPORT
"In response to invitations sent out, signed E Bryan, S D Rogers, J B Adamson and O von Zech, requesting attendance at Bro. Zech's house on April 5, at 7:30 P M, to hear 'things concerning our highest welfare,' about forty of the Church at Allegheny attended. Finding on arrival that it was to be a congregational meeting at which some kind of charges were to be preferred against Bro. Russell, a Chairman and Secretary were called for by those in attendance, that whatever was done might be 'done decently and in order;' besides which, if seemed proper that if the Congregation were to 'hear' the complaints, it implied that [HGL117] they were to render their judgment or verdict, and all this required proper order and a congregational head or chairman to the meeting and an authorized record. And further, some present who had knowledge of Bro. Russell's past experiences with Bros. Zech, Bryan and Rogers, foresaw that it would be most unjust to have the self-constituted impeaching committee appoint one of their own number to manage the trial, as they insisted on doing, and at the same time call it a congregational meeting. After nearly an hour had been spent in trying to get the congregation to sit quietly and hear their best friend traduced, without any power to properly inquire into facts, etc., the four complainants were overruled by the congregation, and Bro. H C Wolf was chosen Chairman, and myself Secretary, of the meeting."
"Bro. Bryan was first introduced, but became, under some interruption, so excited, disorderly and rebellious that he grievously insulted the congregation by saying, 'I refuse to recognize the authority of the Chair.' It was promptly moved and seconded that we hear Bro. Bryan no further; but an amendment, giving him the alternative of apology or dismissal was carried. On his declaration that he had 'no thought of apology,' he was dropped, after having occupied the floor for about fifteen minutes."
"Bro. Rogers had the next opportunity, and spoke for nearly two hours. He gave a resume of his plan, which several of us had heard before at Bro. Russell's house, a report of which was given in ZION'S WATCH TOWER of April 1, '94, under the heading, 'The Work in England.' At Bro. Russell's he said he had not yet tried his new method. At Bro. Zech's he declared that he 'had tried this method largely in London,' and it was 'very successful.' He stated, as grievances, four ways in which he claimed Bro. Russell had injured him. (1) By pointing out that the printed page is the best way to preach the Gospel. (2) On account of this he got the feeling that he must sell so many books per day to pay expenses, and this kept him from trusting the Lord. These two things kept him in a great bondage which he had felt, but the cause of which he and only lately realized. (3) By telling him that he had 'NO talent' for public speaking. (4) By advising him to change his London meeting to one in Bible-class style. This last he regards as an 'assumption of control of my privileges.'"
"Bro. Zech spoke at odd times against Bro. Russell in general terms, to the effect that Bro. Russell had too much authority and lack of love for the brethren; also 'Bro. Russell does great sins; and, if you do not want to hear it, you are partaker of his sins.' Twelve o'clock, midnight, came without Bro. Adamson having had his say except in the opening prayer, in which he thanked God for having the privilege of sharing in 'this great reform movement' for liberty and equality amongst the brethren."
"Upon motion, the meeting adjourned, while Bro. Bryan shouted that they would be heard from fully in a few days-that a hall would be rented where they [the four] could have matters all their own way, and that it would not be called as a congregational meeting and that 'this thing will not down; we will print it and publish it to all the world,' etc."
After the meeting had dismissed, a few were invited to stay longer, and did stay until four o'clock A M. Then were detailed the other matters, and through some who were there we finally got to know about the "bombs," etc. When asked if they had gone to Brother Russell and asked whether he could or would give them an explanation, they replied that some of the minor charges had been presented and that "he had explained them away;" but they had never mentioned the two leading items (the "bombs" which they had been keeping for eighteen months). When asked why they had not presented those leading matters to Bro. Russell they replied, -We knew before-hand that Bro. Russell could Answer'them, and explain them all away. "And so" said the inquirer, "you thus confess that you did not want an explanation, but wanted to slander Bro. Russell."
THE CONSPIRACY EXPOSED
The next Sunday afternoon, after the discourse, strangers were dismissed during the singing of a hymn and the regular congregation was requested to tarry. To those who remained we gave a full history of the matter, in substance as we now present it below: -
The conspiracy which reached a head on Thursday evening April 5, at the residence of Bro. and Sister Zech was a surprise to us all; and although we now find that it had been forming for nearly two years, yet, so far as we can learn, Bros. Adamson and Rogers had nothing to do with it until the past few weeks, although the former had considerable information respecting it. But their readiness to become participants therein speaks for their hearts much of the same "gall of bitterness" which has for a longer period been the power of Satan working in the others; -for we cannot but believe that Satan has been the moving and inspiring conspirator-moving to envy, jealousy, etc., and now, finally, to an attempt to assassinate my character and thus to greatly injure the cause which, under God's providence, I represent to a considerable degree.
When I shall now relate to you in detail the charges brought against me, you will indeed be surprised that "brethren" could be so confused by Satan as to become his tools and to attempt to make charges and "bombs" OUT OF NOTHING. I am not surprised at Satan; for I well know that he has long sought occasion against me, because of my activity against him and his works and in the service of the Lord. He has repeatedly set for me pitfalls and snares, but by the grace of God I escaped them. I am not surprised, therefore, that after besetting me for years and finding no real charges to bring against me, the great Accuser of the Brethren finally endeavors to misconstrue virtues and make them appear to be vices.
Born in this city of Allegheny, which, with the exception of about three years, has always been my home, I should be, and am, well known here. My religious views, of course, make me a mark, a target; and on this account if anything were known derogatory to my character, either in morals or in my business dealings, surely there are thousands of tongues in Pittsburg and Allegheny that would not hesitate to make abundant use of them to oppose my religious teachings. Can any one doubt that if such things could be produced, Satan would have found willing agents to publish them to the world long ago, to counteract the religious truths I publish, which they oppose, yet cannot gainsay nor contradict? [HGL118] But what even the godless world would not do, because too honest, Satan now succeeds in getting some "brethren" to attempt. We do not claim that they realize what they are doing; -no, we trust that they do not fully realize the atrocity of their crime. For, if they have pursued their course for eighteen months with a full appreciation of its atrocity there would surely be little hope for them. We trust, therefore, that of them as of some of old it is true, -"they know not what they do," the god of this world having so thoroughly blinded their moral sight.
Yet while hoping that sometime they may get free from their captor, Satan, we cannot think that they have gotten into their present dreadful condition inadvertently, or merely by error of judgment. If their hearts were right God would not have permitted their poor judgment to get them into their present plight. We fear, from the bad fruits which they are bearing, that ambition and envy have for some time been "roots of bitterness" which only recently blossomed, and are quickly yielding the fruitage denounced in God's Word as works of the flesh and of the devil, -malice, hatred, contentions, envy, strife, back-bitings, slanders and every evil work.
Those whose hearts could treasure up supposed "bombs" for eighteen months to explode in the midst of the Church and ruin the character of a brother, who meantime did more than a brother's part to them (as will be shown later), and who all this time called him "dear Brother Russell" and wrote him letters expressive of their love and esteem-these have a depth of wickedness and deceit which would shock a noble-minded worldly man not a professing Christian, and ignorant of the great light of present truth. Blasphemous unbeliever as he is, we believe that Mr. Robert Ingersoll would have no sympathy with such ungodly works of darkness; -he has enough of manhood to keep him out of such a snare of the devil.
BROTHER ROGER'S GRIEVANCES
We will examine these charges separately. We have already referred to Satan as the chief conspirator and it is not difficult to judge of his motives. We have also mentioned Bro. Roger's grievances-that he was not allowed to overthrow the present Colporteur work and substitute his new preference.
We never forbade Bro. Rogers or others to preach Christ in any and every way they can. Quite to the contrary, as many can testify, we have always urged upon all the necessity for watching for the hearing ears, and that where such are found they do all they can to supplement the influence of the DAWNS. But we have advised, and do still advise, that it is useless to get into a wrangle and dispute and waste time at every house. Far better leave the majority of people to fight with DAWN and the BIBLE, than for the average colporteur, or indeed any one, to attempt it. Stir up the curiosity and interest of the purchaser, so that he will surely read, and then endeavor to water and to harrow before going to the next field of labor, -has been our advise to all colporteurs. And on their Report-blanks we have a space left, in which we request that they mention the number of persons with whom they have had special talks, and another blank in which we request them to state how many they have found who seem to be true wheat. Does this look as though we endeavored merely to see how many DAWNS could be sold, regardless of any work upon the heart?
Furthermore, several of the Brethren who seemed to have some ability for public speaking, have been supplied without charge with large charts similar to the one in DAWN, VOL 1. (which cost us eight dollars each, in quantities), to enable them to preach when opportunity offers. Bro. Adamson, one of the conspirators, has such a chart. Indeed, about two months ago, we contracted with a painter in Pittsburg to prepare one hundred cloth charts, five feet long, on rollers, suitable for parlor-meetings. These will soon be ready and will be supplied to TOWER readers at about one-third what they would cost to get them up singly. Thus different little groups can edify and instruct each other, as well as their neighbors. Already there are two, and I am now making arrangements for two more, who seem "apt to teach," to go from place to place and hold meetings, public and private, chiefly the latter. Do these things look like objections on my part to oral teaching? Surely not; and Bro. Rogers knows that he misrepresents me, whatever may be his object in so doing.
We do learn, however, since the publication of the article, - "The work in England," 'that Bro. Rogers had a very poor plan for colporteuring. Brother Utley, to whom Bro. Rogers gave some lessons, writes that he could not conscientiously adopt the plan, which, while successful as to sales, really did not make any opening for the reception of the truth. He describes the method thus: Rogers rings bell'servants appears'Rogers says, Please tell the lady that a minister wishes to see her. Servant leaves him in the hallway and he pushes on into the parlor. The lady enters, somewhat indignant at the intrusion, but is awed by the words, "I am a minister of the gospel," and readily consents to her name being entered for the three books to help on some good work.
"A sister here asked me if I did not think it would be well to let Bro. Russell know how much harm had been done here by Mr. Rogers in his very disagreeable manner of insulting those who refused to buy 'DAWN;' but I thought he was in England and beyond giving further offense here, so we would not trouble you, but took him to the Lord in prayer-that he might be humbled and given a better spirit."
We can assure Bro. Rogers and others that the trouble is not with the colporteur work, but with his methods of doing it. Others are still greatly blessed in it, and are a great blessing to the Lord's hungry sheep, preaching so much of the plan as the people have ears to hear and leaving the books to preach to them many things which they would not hear orally.
Another grievance was that when he came here from England I did not show him special attention more than to others, by inviting him onto the platform, and to speak to the congregation, and to lead a Wednesday meeting.
Recognizing all of the consecrated as Royal Priests, it has been my custom to ignore distinctions, and when [HGL119] another speaks I myself take a seat with the congregation. Our congregation almost every Sunday has from two to five ex-ministers of various denominations who at times have addressed the congregation, -in my absence.
BROTHER ADAMSON'S GRIEVANCES
Bro. Adamson's grievances may be summed up as follows: He has for some four years held some views upon some of the parables, which I consider incorrect and misleading expositions. These he brought forward at the Spring Convention of 1892, in connection with a little talk to the colporteurs after the close of the meeting proper. Seeing that those who heard him had not generally caught the drift of his thoughts, my remarks following his were few, because I had no desire to hold up his views to ridicule-for some of them were too childish to treat in any other manner. I merely remarked that Bro. A's views of these parables, they would notice, differed a little from my own view, which I stated in a few words. But, said I, since the Lord expounded only a few of his parables, and since we know that they do not mean what they say, but are figurative, it would not be in order for any one to be dogmatic in interpreting them: it is well also to remember that no doctrines should be built upon parables; at most they may be used to illustrate doctrines made plain by non-symbolic scriptures. Thus, kindly, did I push aside, rather than crush, what then seemed to me harmless, nonessential differences.
But, alas! how great a flame a little spark may kindle. Had I realized, then, how an insignificant difference may be used by the Adversary for evil, how gladly I would have spent several hours in pointing out what seemed to me to be Bro. A's errors of interpretation. But I was busy, and said to myself- "In nonessentials charity and liberty."
I now learn that Brother Adamson, like many others, has been under the influence of the Allegheny conspirators for more than a year. I noticed a change in his letters and manner, and in his zeal for the work, but could not account for it, until I learned of the "bombs" conspiracy, a few days ago.
About a month ago several brethren wrote to me saying that Bro. Adamson was preparing and intending to publish a tract, that he was writing to them for money to publish it, and that he had requested that the matter be kept secret from me, which request they felt it a duty to the Lord and his truth to disregard. In some of these letters Bro. A explained that the coming tract would contain some of his views on some of the parables, and at least one or two parables as treated by Bro. Russell, and some other extracts from Bro. Russell's writings.
Bro. Weber received one of Bro. A's appeals for aid. He answered it kindly saying that he hoped to see him soon. Shortly after, he came from Maryland to Allegheny at Bro. Bryan's request to meet him on very important business, which business he found after his arrival was to sit in judgment upon and condemn Bro. Russell. After this interview, seeing the evil disposition manifested by Bro. Bryan, and his threatening attitude (which will be explained later), and knowing that in some way he was already influencing Bro. Adamson, and that he was about to visit Bro. A, Bro. Weber thought it would be well if he and I should visit Bro. Adamson at once, and if possible shield him from the subtle and evil influence of Bro. Bryan, who had stated his intention of leaving the city for Chicago the next day to see Bro. A. We therefore started that evening.
Our talk with Brother and Sister A was a kindly one, in which I pointed out what I consider to be his errors of interpretation of some of the parables, particularly one of them (Matt. 5:25, 26), which seemed to convey the idea that the world during the Millennial age would each man pay the penalty of his own sins to the "uttermost farthing"; and I showed that with such a view in mind some might draw the conclusion, even if not meant, that the death of Christ was not necessary as a ransom price for all. We then told him of the unhappy change that had come over Bro. Bryan and of his strange and unwarrantable attitude toward myself and the work in general, that he might know something of the spirit which was prompting a new trial of his faith.
But Bro. A's manner was not as formerly, and premonitions of his present condition of heart and mind were distinctly felt. I further stated that his proposition to place his tract in the hands of the Dawn Colporteurs for sale (of which he had not informed me, but which I learned through others) would be contrary to our arrangements with them-that those who handle DAWN should do so to the exclusion of everything else. This is a general rule among those who employ agents in any business, the object being to concentrate the entire effort on the one thing- "This one thing I do," and it is largely due to this regulation that the work has been so successful thus far. Therefore I had to assure Bro. A that we could not institute any precedent in favor of his tract.
Bro. A makes a great mistake in saying, "Bro. Russell's spokesman offered me twenty dollars not to print the tract." His reference evidently is to Bro. Weber, who was not my spokesman. Whatever Bro. W said he said for himself entirely, and he says that what he did was to offer twenty dollars to cover certain expenses already incurred if Bro. A desired to discontinue the preparation of the tract, and give his energies as formerly in the direction of his special talent-the Colporteur work.
Brother A's grievances are two: (1) We were informed about his tract before he got it out. (2) We found that he had on the face of his tract the words Old Theology Tracts and Tower Bible and Tract Society, Bible House, Allegheny, which deceptions we would not permit. After two notifications that we considered those references unjust and deceptive, and that he had no legal or moral right to so misuse our names to gain credence for his tract, he still persisted, and had many of them printed thus, Bro. Zech upholding him in it and doing the work. Finally, however, threatened Bro. Zech's partner (who although not interested in the truth, seemed to have better ideas of moral honesty) with damages if they let the tracts go out in that form, and they thus were forced to remove the deceptive title pages.
Seeing him thus out of all harmony with the Tract Society, and as he had gotten into debt to the Tower Publishing Co. (not to the Tract Society) $218.00, during the time he spent in preparing his tract, we offered to credit on his TOWER PUB CO account all that he ever donated to the Tract Fund '$139'if he so desired and [HGL120] would resign the Directorship in the Tract Society, 'to which, being continually absent from the city, he could not and did not give the least attention. This he refused to do; and, from what he says, he intends to owe the Tower Pub. Co. its $218.00 balance as long as he lives.
He states that he spent hundreds of dollars and traveled about without salary, circulating pamphlets at Camp-meetings, etc. It is true that the Tract Fund paid him no stated salary, but the way in which he states the matter is calculated to give a false impression. The fact is, that money was furnished him for all his expenses; and so far as we have any knowledge, he used it for all his expenses. Of the $218 now owing to the TOWER PUB CO (not to the Tract Society) $35 was sent him in cash about one month ago to help him make a payment due on some real estate in Chicago, purchased last year.
Bro. Adamson tries his hand at evil surmisings and says, "I believe that much more than I owe was expended in attempting to thwart Bro. Rogers' work in England." I reply, Aside from my time and stationary, I spent only twenty cents for four stamps, and this was not charged to the Tract Fund. Two of these stamps carried to Bro. Rogers the kindly put suggestions that his talent lay not in the direction of public speaking, as mentioned in the article "The Work in England;" -the third stamp carried a reply to Mr. Elliot Stock, of London, who had complained that Bro. Rogers was collecting money under false representations, from people who supposed that they were donating funds to the British and Foreign Bible Society, but who were finding out, from the tracts left them, that they were mistaken. I replied, that surely some mistake had occurred, for I knew that Bro. Rogers would make no misrepresentations, and that none of our colporteurs were authorized to solicit money, directly or indirectly, and that I would request Bro. Rogers to call personally and explain. The fourth stamp was used to advise Bro. Rogers of this, and to caution him that he be very careful that the truth be not evil spoken of, and to ask him to see Mr. Stock and explain matters, as I felt sure he could do; for his letters stated that he represented himself as the agent of our Society.
This is a dispassionate statement of the injury Bro. A has received at my hands. For all this he and the others reach the conclusion that Bro. Russell can only be completely overwhelmed by calling him, - "The Man of Sin."
BROTHER ZECH'S GRIEVANCES
Here, as it relates to this case, it is necessary to give a little resume of my business history from '81 onward. I was then engaged in mercantile business and had a large store on the principle street of Pittsburg, and three branch stores. These were chiefly controlled by clerks and merely had my supervision; the most of my time being occupied in the publishing of the WATCH TOWER, Food for Thinking Christians, etc., which was circulated in large quantities. As the literary work increased it became necessary to dispose of these stores; and as I found it much easier to spend money than to earn it, I concluded that the capital formerly invested in the stores should not all be lavishly spent even in the good work of circulating the tidings of great joy: that the Lord would be better served if it were invested so that my time could go to his service, than if all were spent at once in his service and I then were obliged to give my entire time to business; for my determination has always been that I would never beg, either for ourselves or for the Lord's cause; but that the same Lord who blessed Peter's fishing and Paul's tent-making (Matt. 17:27; Acts 18:3; 1 Thess. 2:9; 2 Thess. 3:8) could bless, according to his wisdom, my business talents.
My money-capital being limited, I saw that it would never do to invest the funds in mortgages or in a bank, because the interest on the sum would be inadequate to the demands of ourselves and the work. Under what seemed to be a providential leading, I decided to invest with others in some oil property-oil wells. I chose this business because it seemed to be profitable, and because it would require little or no time and personal attention; for others, interested in looking out for their own interests, necessarily looked out for mine also. And this judgment has, on the whole, proved correct-several coins have been taken from this fish's mouth for our support and for the Lord's cause. -Matt. 17:27.
When Bro. Zech received the truth and left the Lutheran church, he owned a good property which, aside from being a home free of rent, paid his taxes and left him a net income of about ten dollars per month. Full of zeal for the newly-found truth, he engaged with me to translate articles from the WATCH TOWER into German, which I published in great quantities. He also proposed to translate M DAWN, VOL I, and to do the type-setting on same if I would pay for the electro-plates, supply the paper, printing and binding, and that we be share-owners in the work when completed.
We agreed to this, and it was begun. But watching the results of the circulation of the German TOWERS, and seeing them to be very meager, I foresaw that the publication of the German translation of DAWN would be very unprofitable, and so pointed out to Bro. Zech, urging that his income and the needs of his family would not justify him in doing all that his zeal had prompted him to propose. At that time he had translated about two hundred and fifty pages and had set in type about one hundred pages, and my suggestion was: Now, Bro. Zech, suppose we reckon that the time already spent by you on this volume represents the translation of the whole of it and suppose that this be your donation to the German cause, and I will proceed with the publishing, paying all of the expenses-what I shall pay you for your time in translating the remainder of the volume being reckoned as pay for the type-setting already done by you. This was mutually agreed to.
Meanwhile, my early suggestion, that Bro. Zech get at some sort of "fishing" or "tent-making," forced itself upon my attention. Various occupations were thought of, but none seemed so favorable to him as type-setting, and he requested that he be permitted to learn English type-setting and have the job of preparing the WATCH TOWER every month. I foresaw difficulties from his lack of a knowledge of the trade, as well as from his lack of knowledge of English, and urged that he choose something else. But, as [HGL121] nothing else so favorable offered, and, as he urged that he would see that his blunders should cost me nothing-that the work should cost me no more than I was then paying to a Pittsburg firm'I consented. Under these arrangements I paid him thirty-five dollars a month for a time; afterward when he became more expert, and when we began to set up M DAWN, VOL II, I increased the pay to forty dollars per month, and later, when he requested that he be paid by measure for the type-setting, and told me that he thought he could earn more money that way because he was getting more expert and would work longer hours, I consented; but instead of paying him the Union rates, I paid him more; namely forty cents per thousand ems, - because he was a Brother.
Later, when Bro. Zech had inherited something like fifteen to eighteen thousand dollars, from his father's estate in Germany, he thought that he would like to build somewhere near our home; and knowing that I owned some lots opposite it he inquired whether I would sell to him. I assured him that I would be pleased to have him for a neighbor, and gave him a price on eight small lots. I told him that I thought them worth four thousand dollars at the rate other lots in that neighborhood were selling-for him to inquire and thoroughly inform himself-but that as a brother in Christ I would give him a discount of $1000. So he bought the eight lots and paid me $3000. But he has since "whispered" that he was cheated.
Seeking an investment for some of his money, and knowing that I had some interests in the oil business, he asked my advice as to investing in that business. Judging that he would be one greatly affected by either a loss or a gain I advised him not to engage in the oil business.
My book-keeper and general business representative at that time, Bro. Geo. Rindfuss, was very intimate with Bro. Zech. Bro. Rindfuss it seems advised Bro. Zech differently, respecting the oil business, and Bro. Zech seemed to misunderstand me and to imagine that from jealousy I had advised him against his best interests, lest he should prosper greatly; -but nothing could have been farther from my thoughts.
About this time Bro. Rindfuss, as my business representative, called attention to the fact that I would soon need considerable money and suggested that he try and sell an eighth interest in some oil property for which not long before I had paid $3500. I consented. In a few days he reported that he could get $3300, and urged that I accept it as it was for a friend, -Brother Zech. I objected that Bro. Zech was unused to business, and if anything should go wrong he might reflect upon me for having helped him into it. The reply was that the property was as safe as could be found, and that Bro. Zech was not a child and knew what he was doing; and that besides Bro. Zech had been to see the property, while I had never seen it, having bought it on the explanation of Bro. Rindfuss and others, without taking time to visit it. So I consented, and as a favor to Bro. Zech sold him a one-eighth interest in the property for $200 less than it cost me and less than Bro. Rindfuss paid for a similar interest purchased from another party. I still, however, owned an eighth interest.
To the complete surprise of all concerned, the property suddenly declined in oil production, and hence also in value, until what I had paid $3500 for was not worth $700. As we had feared, Bro. Zech's feelings suffered severely by the fall from great expectation to such realizations; and, although without cause, he proclaimed that I was responsible for his loss. I then felt that it would be to the brother's benefit spiritually and to the Lord's praise, and at the same time to the assistance of the German work, that I should help him out of his difficulty. Accordingly, I advised him to have nothing more to do with the oil business, and I managed to purchase back the said interest, worth at the time $700, and another small interest purchased of Bro. Rindfuss, and worth at the time $300, and so pay him for these their net cost (adding expenses and deducting oil received by him), which amounted to $3386. This sum by arrangement was paid him with my notes bearing six per cent interest and running for some time. They have since been paid in full with interest - $2386 and interest more than we knew the properties were worth, -and they never were worth more afterward.
Meantime Bro. Zech had urged that I go into the printing business with him, as a partner; but I refused, and advised him that it was a troublesome business. I never advised him to invest time or money in the business. On the contrary, I advised him against it. However, when he afterward found an partner and desired to do our work I promised him an preference over others, prices and work being equal; and this preference he has always had. Meantime, also, he had desired to have the full control of the German work and we sold him the plates, etc., of the German DAWN, VOL I, at cost, -giving him privilege also to translate and publish the series, a condition being that he should supply the books at the same prices that we had been supplying them to the public and to colporteurs, and the promise made that if at any time Bro. Zech could not or would not supply the books at the same prices, the privilege of publishing them should revert to the TOWER PUB CO The restriction as to price was afterward modified as respects Vols. II and III, and they are now sold at a higher price, yet only about cost, because fewer are sold. And to meet Bro. Zech's views I agreed to pay him the full retail prices on all German Dawns I have occasion to purchase from him.
Judge of my surprise when, in January 1893, Bro. Zech told me and others that I had treated him shamefully, etc. I said to myself, If this be bad treatment, what would be considered good treatment? A number of the church friends of all concerned were called together to hear the matter and advise.
Brother and Sister Zech and family urged that I should pay more to Bro. Zech's firm for the printing and binding of the Dawns than responsible firms would charge for the same work. He complained, too, about being limited in the selling price of Dawn Vol. I; and declared that I had almost starved them at first on $35 and $40 per month, etc. I explained our dealings as above to the friends present and that we were paying our brother about twice as much as he could have gotten elsewhere-if he could have gotten any opportunity or pay when new at the business. I explained, as I do now, that it was no more my duty to pay a brother more than a worldly firm would charge, than it was his duty as a brother to do the work for less. Business should be done [HGL122] on the lines of justice: charity and love can find exercise in other ways-as, for instance, in our dealing with Bro. Z in the oil transaction, in which we made him and the German work a clean present of $2386 with interest. Bro. Zech complained that we gave one lot of DAWNS to another firm to print and bind. I showed the friends that Bro. Zech's firm was continually complaining that they were losing money on the Dawn work, while others were bidding lower, and were anxious to get the work. Bro. Zech's firm being full of work we finally gave one lot to another firm at a saving of $130 on twenty thousand books. And then I gave about one hundred dollars of that saving to the German cause, by donating the cost of the electro-plates for the third volume of German DAWN
It is almost needless to say that the friends after hearing us both fully-until daylight of Feb. 5, '93-assured Bro. Zech that Bro. Russell's course was not only just, but very generous and brotherly toward him. His judgment was so warped, however, that he could not see the matter at the time; but a day later he expressed himself differently by letter to us and to all. The following is a verbatim copy of his letter:
"Dear Brother Russell: -Thinking the matter over since our long conference with the different brethren and sisters in your house on February 4th, I find that I have erred in my judgment regarding the charges made against you, and I therefore express my regret for having done so and for the trouble and anxiety resulting from it. May the Lord grant us that no such misunderstanding will arise again to injure our mutual brotherly feeling and fellowship. And since so many of our friends have been witnesses, I would be very pleased to express the above sentiment in their hearing, or, if you deem it preferable, to have them read this letter. In sincere love and fellowship, Your brother in Christ, Otto Von Zech."
"P S So far as Sister Zech is concerned, I must state that she never agreed with me concerning the right I thought I had to claim, but took, so she says, the position she did from a sense of wifely duty. O V Z"
This experience led to the preparation of the article entitled, The Relative Claims of Love and Justice, which, that it might not be construed as a blow at Bro. Zech, was held back and published in the Tower of June 1, '93.
"Dear Brother Russell: -I embrace the opportunity of this celebration of our Redeemer's birth to tell you in writing what I could not so well express orally. I want to make you the best Christmas present I know of in telling you of our deep and ever increasing gratitude and love toward you and Sister Russell for your work's sake, and for the kindness and love shown and daily bestowed upon us."
"In reading the other day what the Apostle says, that 'we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord are ( being) changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Lord's spirit,' and finding that the Apostle spoke thus not of the future but of the present, I could not help thinking, Yes, that is so. If we look back these seven years since we came into this marvelous light by the grace of God, we have experienced an ever increasing and burning love toward those who had been God's blessed agents to help us see the truth."
"And I concluded, dear Brother and Sister, to let you know this our sentiment as our best gift we possibly could give, and thus to thank you from our hearts for your labor of love which our Heavenly Father has so abundantly blessed also toward us, and at the same time for the firm stand you take and always took in the defense of the central truth in our Father's plan-the ransom for or instead of us."
"May our Lord and Shepherd grant us to stand side by side in this battle till it is over. In Him we will remain, Your Brother and Sister Zech." It seems strange indeed that people could write such letters and yet keep "bombs" ready and waiting for convenient "explosion."
A little more than a year ago, studying the spiritual needs of the flock, and remembering that our central prayer meeting had been a failure, because the friends here are widely scattered, we conceived the plan of having meetings in various parts of these two cities, not for Bible study, but for prayer and testimony, for the cultivation of the fruits of the spirit and the binding together of the body of Christ in love and Christian fellowship. I suggested to the Church the advisability of such meetings, urging that while doctrines are necessary, the cultivation of the fruits of the spirit is the real object of all doctrine. I asked those who favored the plan to signify it by rising; and almost all arose, Bro. Zech and family being conspicuous as voting against the meetings, -which they had a full right to do. I was not surprised at the matter, however, as I knew that Sister Zech had frequently expressed herself as having no confidence in prayer.
Next we asked for houses to be volunteered in which the meetings could be held, and several promptly offered, the object of the meetings being clearly understood by all as not doctrinal, but social meetings.
I then appointed leaders of those meetings-asking Bro. Zech first, whether he would serve. He declined. Later he started a German meeting at his house for doctrinal disputations, which of course, was all right; for the appointment of the social meeting did not hinder any who pleased from holding or attending other meetings. But because I urged that these meetings, appointed for social worship, should be held strictly to their object, Bro. Zech and his wife complained that I was a pope, and privately, we now learn, endeavored to raise a spirit of opposition in others, but without success, as the congregation appreciates the meetings greatly. Bro. and Sister Zech, after trying for six months to discourage the meetings, began to attend them: and we were greatly encouraged for two months, -especially when at a general church meeting (Dec. '93) Sister Z testified before all, of the benefit she had derived from those meetings. This sympathy and interest ceased, and they at once changed their plans, when it was known that there would be no general Convention here this Spring. [HGL123] The charge of "bondage" and "under my thumb," etc. which now they make public, I find has been a part of their "whisperings" for the past four years. They did what they could to prejudice the mind of the Tower office helpers: slanderous falsehoods, called "revelations" were made to them, to undermine their confidence and poison their minds against me; so that when the time for "exploding" the "bombs" should come, I should have no friends. Three years ago Sister Ball was invited over to their home to spend the evening and then advised, confidentially, that she was imposed upon by us, etc., etc., etc. Sister Russell and myself then visited them, showed the error of this course and they apologized. But within a year it now seems that they began again: Bro. Henninges was "talked to" about being in bondage to Brother Russell; and it was intimated that he was a fool for staying here. Bro. Campbell was made a "confidant" before he had been here a month, every endeavor being made to prejudice him against me. Bro. Abbott was similarly approached; and when questioned as to his salary, replied: "I am not sure that Bro. Russell would want his private affairs discussed, but I will tell you this much: he is paying me more than I asked for." An attempt was even made to alienate my wife, and to make her my enemy; but praise God it did not succeed. I can now heartily thank the Lord that I have such faithful, proved ones so closely associated with me in the work. It is strange how blind I must have been, not to have noticed what others all around seem to have seen and heard. But I placed too high and estimate upon those who bear the, to me, sacred name of "brethren."
Since Bro. Zech has alluded to the events of Christmas evening 1892, I must give the facts. Sister Russell and I invited Bro. and Sister Zech and a few other friends to a six o'clock Christmas dinner. After dinner, while in the parlor, Sister R interrupted me in some trivial matter, and then catching herself asked me to proceed. I replied, "No; you tell it-you are the head of the house." This I admit was sarcastic; and seeing that it hurt Sister Russell's feelings and that she at once disclaimed any wrong intent, I excused it, and said that I did not mean it literally, that indeed Sister Russell is a very model wife, etc., and thus the matter ended.
But Bro. Bryan (who we will see presently is a most peculiar person, who fancies himself able, as he is ever willing, to give everybody instruction, and whose idiosyncrasies I had put up with for several years, as a member of our family and one of the office helpers), fancied that the above incident gave him a chance to meddle; and so the next morning at breakfast he took occasion to insult me. His remarks were ten times as strong as mine of the evening before, and wholly inexcusable. Sister Russell remonstrated, that his remarks were out of order, and I at once told him that I had borne his insolence and meddlesome busy-body disposition entirely too long; and now to go at once from the home whose head he had not respected and to whose every member he had made himself a disturber.
He went at once to Bro. Zech's where he was made warmly welcome as a co-conspirator against Bro. Russell, but their cause would suffer if he left the Tower office before the "explosion;" so they got up a letter and with one argument or another got those who had been present on Christmas evening to sign it. That is the letter which Bro. Zech drags into his statements of his grievances. But their real object was to get me to take Bro. Bryan back into the TOWER office. Of the circumstances under which the signatures were obtained the signers themselves have something to say below. Those circumstances exonerate all of them except the conspirators, Bro. and Sister Zech and Bro. Bryan, whose malicious intent seems now very manifest; but of course I knew no difference among them at that time.
I very humbly consented that these friends should help me mind my business: and at the request of that letter invited them all to meet me at my house. When they arrived, by way of showing them that I considered this an interference in my affairs in a way that they would not like to have me interfere in theirs, I suggested that perhaps the meeting had best be turned into one for the investigation and criticism of the private affairs of all present. I suggested that I knew considerable of their private matters which it would be quite embarrassing to us all to have related, even to a small audience (referring specially to Bro. and Sister Zech and Bro. Bryan); but that if it was their duty to investigate my private affairs it must be equally my duty to investigate theirs.
The three in question got loud and angry and dared me to say what I could. But I assured them that I had no thought of telling anything-that I had no such misconception of duty, but merely wished to remind them of the propriety of not being busybodies in other men's matters. We then proceeded to the consideration of Bro. Bryan's offense, and the company united in telling him that his course was wrong, and advising him to confess it and apologize-which he did do that evening. (Judge then of the unfairness of Bro. Zech's statement on this subject.) This led to the discussion of the subject, Who is the head of the family? Sister Zech, who had gotten some extreme ideas on the subject, called up the question, and expressed the opinion that the Apostle Paul's expressions on the subject were incorrect. My views on the subject appeared in print later, -in the Tower of May 1, '93, in the article "The Twelve Apostles," etc., and in July '93-a double number-on "Man and Woman in God's Order."
"Dear Bro. Russell: -We, as your friends, whose names are appended to the portion of a letter published by Otto von Zech, feel a deep sense of regret, not only for your sake, but also for our own, at the light in which it makes us appear; for we have no sympathy whatever with the spirit and intent of his libelous circular."
"We desire, therefore, to acquaint you with the peculiar circumstances attending our signing it, which we have not previously explained, because of the completeness with which the entire matter was BURIED (so far as you were concerned) the same week it occurred. The circumstances are as follows:"
"We with others of the Church of Christ here had prepared some New Year presents for you and Sister Russell, and Bro. Zech had been appointed to make the presentation speech and had proffered his home for the [HGL124] presentation, because so near to your own that the things we proposed to present could be readily transferred, after the surprise of New Years' night, 1893."
"When Bryan left your home and went to Zech's they commended his conduct, claimed that a great wrong had been done him, and prepared the letter in question. The signatures were obtained in this way: Mr. Zech with the letter in hand called upon each one and in an excited manner represented that a great injustice had been done Bro. Bryan-that he had been rudely thrust out of his place in the TOWER office and Bro. Russell house, through the tyranny of Bro. Russell. He then added that Bro. Russell had too much power and ought to be taught a lesson; and that although the presents were at his house and the congregation were invited to assemble there, he could not make the presentation speech with good grace unless this matter of Bryan's were settled and he returned to his former position. Now, said he, if you add your signatures to this letter, requesting a meeting of us all with Bro. Russell, we can have this matter settled and then we will carry out the previous arrangements."
"By such talk he obtained our signatures, but not for the object apparent in the letter, the language of the letter passing comparatively unnoticed, because our attention was specially drawn to Zech's excited words with reference to Bro. Bryan. It would now appear that this was intentional on his part, and that he kept a copy of the letter for its recent malicious use; and on the evening appointed, although Bryan and Zechs continually persisted in dragging up the little matter about Sister Russell, both she and we protested that that was unnecessary and that that was entirely settled between you and her."
"Although feeling the matter was none of our business, we added our signatures because we were so anxious to have everything smooth and pleasant before the evening of the presentation, then so close at hand, and fearing that if we did not there would be some unpleasantness with Bro. Zech before the congregation which was to assemble for a purpose so different. The letter concluded as follows: 'May our dear Lord guide and direct your judgment or ours, that it may all be to his glory. Yours in the Redeemer. (Signed.).' The signatures were obtained only with this object in view, and on condition that the matter should never be mentioned outside of the number present that evening. This promise they have entirely failed to keep, and ever since have talked of it in private; and now, judge of our surprise and chagrin on finding a portion of that confidential letter in print and our names heralded as busy-bodies in the affairs of one whom we love and esteem as a tried and faithful servant of our dear Redeemer and Lord and in whose integrity as a Christian brother we have full confidence: and as having part in the present infamous conspiracy to overthrow him from the place which he holds, and that rightly, in the hearts of many of the Lord's people. It is an unwarrantable misuse of our names, against which we (as the signers) most earnestly protest."
"At the meeting which resulted, all (including Zechs) admitted the justice of your course toward Bro. Bryan, whom we and they urged to apologize for his misjudgment ( we did not at the time doubt his good intention); and he did so in our presence. Thus the matter ended, and a pleasant New Year's evening followed."
"Otto von Zech's conduct and libelous circular remind us of Korah, the 'ringleader' of the rebellion against Moses and Aaron (Num. 16 and 26:9-11), who, with Dathan, Abiram and On, was not content with his honorable post, but 'sought' the office of Moses. From the above reference we discern that Korah with the other three charged Moses (without cause) with the very sin which he and his associates themselves committed. We find the same ambition, jealousy and pride in the conduct of Ahithophel, who, being King David's counsellor and friend, became, through this same leaven of sin, the most treacherous enemy of the servant of God; but David's heart remained loyal, and his prayer to the Lord 'turned' Ahithophel's bad-intended course into what his name signifies, foolishness; for, said David, 'O Lord, I pray thee, turn the (treacherous) counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.' (2 Sam. 15:31.) A like conspiracy we find against the Apostle Paul, when they banded themselves together to 'kill him.' (Acts 23:12.) And a like conspiracy was kindled against our dear Redeemer by certain ones of his time; for they 'consulted that they might take Jesus by subtlety, and kill him.' (Matt. 26:4, 5) And again, it is written, 'They hated him without a cause.' (John 15:25) May the dear Lord strengthen your mind and heart, so that through you, dear Brother, the proclamation of the gospel cause may be fully established."
"Hoping that this explanation will fully clear us in your eyes from any connection with the libelous circular, and desiring that, if opportunity present itself, you will make this known to any who may have seen the present statement of the conspirators, We remain, yours in love and service of the truth, J A Weimar, Elizabeth K Weimar, John Cromie, Laura J Raynor, H C Wolf, Rose J Ball."
"P S -Brothers Ohlsson and Winter are not now in the city, and hence their signatures have not been obtained; but besides them the only other signers, exclusive of ourselves, are the conspirators."id=HGL124:7.end>
Let me here remark, incidentally, that if there are any of God's married children whose interests are more thoroughly one, and whose esteem for each other is greater than that which exists between Sister Russell and myself, we would be glad for them to have it so; but we have no present reason for so believing. Ours, we feel, is indeed a union in the Lord, which we believe that even death will not sever.
Is it any wonder that, when I came to know the depth of their perfidy, I refused to allow Bro. Zech to preach in the chapel-the use of which for years I have furnished free of charge to the German friends? Could I, in justice, do less than inform those German brethren and sisters (about twelve persons), that while they were as welcome as ever to use the chapel every Sunday morning, Bro. Zech had proved himself wholly unworthy of my confidence, and that I felt that it would be wrong to supply him the opportunity to attempt a further defamation of my character, by misrepresentations slobbered over with protestations of brotherly love? Indeed, I am of the opinion that not one man in a thousand, professor or non-professor, would have had so little shame as to have attempted further [HGL125] abuse of my generosity, after having publicly done all he knew how to defame me. He claims to have been "under bondage" to me. So I at once forced him to become a free-man by refusing him longer the privilege hitherto enjoyed of speaking to the German friends in the chapel. But even this enforcement of liberty is one of his charges against me.
BROTHER BRYAN'S GRIEVANCES
Bro. Bryan served the cause in the TOWER office for several years-well in many respects. But by heredity he has a very violent temper, a vindictive disposition and a penchant for minding others people's affairs. It is with deep regret that I thus write, and now only because it seems a necessary explanation of what follows. When I say he evidently inherited these ungainly traits I consider that I am making an apology for him. Time and again have I helped to settle differences between him and the other office helpers, in which he was uniformly to blame-generally trying to mind some one else's business; and time and again has he repented and lamented his course and promised to turn over a new leaf. But his difficulty seemed to grow upon him. He got worse and worse. He at least six times during the last three years of his stay urged that he should leave the office for the relief of others; and each time I persuaded him to try to do better: yet, when at last I concluded to let him go, he seemed determined to stay. I could not then judge why, but can now see that it was because he had become one of the conspirators and was waiting for the time to explode the bombs. It was after his conduct finally became unbearable, that I wrote him the following letters.
"Dear Brother Bryan: -Your note, which I requested last evening, saying, if there are other matters 'that you say would still be difficulties, even if you could determine not to meddle with and annoy Sister Ball,' is before me. In reply I must tell you that this note manifests still more of the same wrong spirit of which I complain on behalf of Sister Ball."
"It shows that you not only want to annoy and manage her and her work, but that you also want to do the same for me and my business, and that of the entire office and home. I have assured you repeatedly of my Christian love and my care for your every concern, and my desire that you enjoy every comfort and pleasure which our home and office afford, but you seem to think that every thing should be run according to your ideas, which is neither possible nor reasonable."
"For over two weeks (I might almost say three years) you have been worrying the office and home circles, and that without any justification. You should be conscientious enough to admit that you have no right, human or divine, to interfere with Sister Ball's rights or business, nor with mine, nor with those of others. If, therefore, this matter can be fixed only by your leaving the TOWER office, do not persuade yourself to a false view, in supposing that you will be going forth for righteousness' sake, or for conscience' sake; for, on the contrary, it will be because you are a persistent busybody in other people's affairs-and an intentional one, since instead of acknowledging the fault you attempt to excuse it, and even argue by the hour that you have a right to judge the conduct and even the consciences of others, and to give them tongue chastisements and other incivilities until they adopt your conscience as instead of their own and repent to you, etc. I should tell you also that Sister Ball is not the only one who has mentioned your interferences."
"A month or so ago Bro. Henninges said to me: -'Bro. Russell, cannot I do some of the work of the composing room, or in some way shift so as not to be so much of an annoyance to Brother Bryan?' I replied that I thought I had a plan for dividing the work which would harmonize the difficulties peacefully, and to wait and see."
"Within a week Bro. Page said, 'Bro. Russell, I feel that I am the seat of Bro. Bryan's trouble, and while I came here, as I believe, under the Lord's leading, do not let me stand in the way of the smooth running of the Lord's work. At the same time I scarcely think that you do your duty toward Bro. Bryan and the others, and the work, to permit him to interfere with and snap the head off everybody and everything. In a worldly office such conduct would not be endured five minutes.'"
"I explained how I believed the trouble to be in part a heredity and that I was trying to have you take the right view of it, and that if you could see it fully and clearly I had confidence that you would do differently. But why you cannot or will not see so plain a matter I cannot understand."
"You know better than any one else, dear brother, how, with great patience, prompted by loving interest for you and for the work, I have tried to have you see the error of being a busybody-especially so when you knew that those you interfered with are fully as conscientious as yourself, -and full more so on the subject of respecting the rights and liberties of others."
"I have exhausted every proper means at my command to have you see right and DO RIGHT But you all the more assume a self-righteous air and insist that you have a right to be the judge of the rights, liberties and consciences of others."
"This I can no longer permit. It becomes my duty, therefore, dear brother, to say, Stop this wrong-doing and uncharitable judging! and if you will not stop it you must cease to occupy the place you have occupied for so long in the office."
"Nevertheless, dear brother, it will be in sorrow and not in anger that we will part with you. You have many excellent traits to which I cheerfully bear witness, and I shall always feel a deep interest in your welfare, and should opportunity ever offer I will be glad to prove this in some more substantial way. But if disposed to see your error and to manifest a reform of your course, not only I, but all the 'family' I am sure will be glad, not only to have you stay with us in the work, but to assist you and bear with you. Please let me have your decision this evening, on the lines laid down in this letter."
March 3, '93.
"Dear Brother Bryan: -My letter of yesterday was very [HGL126] plain. While assuring you of my love and interest, it stated the necessity and laid down the conditions upon which you should have acted pro or con at once. Matters have run along now for nearly two weeks in a very unsatisfactory manner and one very disadvantageous to the Lord's work. Others are idle while you have and hold onto more than you can do."
"Forbearance longer would not be a virtue. Your letter or note in reply to mine of yesterday is not a reply-merely a delay. What can be your object? I must insist, dear brother, either that you fully consent to all the reasonable requirements of my letter of yesterday, and indicate this in no uncertain words, or else that you hand over your keys and place, that some one conscientious enough to recognize and respect the rights of others may, with those who love and make for peace and right, occupy in your stead."
"After reading this letter and communing with the Lord, remembering that my course is the one of duty and that I still abound with love for you, save me further annoyance by acting at once. You had best re-read my letter of yesterday. May the Lord guide you, has been my earnest prayer for several days, but a conclusion must be reached now."
"With continued brotherly love and interest, and the hope that you may gain the victory over self-will and other foes, and humble yourself to be and do what you see to be the right, I remain,"
Bro. Bryan finally concluded to go into the colporteur work, and we parted seemingly warm friends, as the following extracts from a letter received later shows; their "bomb" plot seemingly having been abandoned for a time.
"The whole situation here seems as favorable as any that could have been chosen. To be with your father's family has been most helpful. Then I have made a little beginning in canvassing that is not discouraging, though not nearly so good as I wish it were. Then, through advice from you, three brethren visited us last Sunday. I was very favorably impressed by the appearance of'-. If I am not mistaken, he is quite able to be a local teacher and leader. And he seems to have a beautiful spirit. Some brethren here had been meeting with a little group of Adventists; but quite lately the latter withdrew to another room. To our great pleasure, these brethren said they had already secured a room and arranged to have a regular Sunday meeting. They wished they had known earlier of the presence of your father's family in Richmond. I anxiously await the meeting next Sunday and will tell you how things seem. If I had the address of all Tower readers, could call on them and judge whether to notify them of the meeting and invite them to it. I have reconnoitered a little, and find good, long streets of residences evidently of the class where I will get access to the husband or wife, and not to the servant alone. I am quite hopeful that my record will grow better, as I get into the adjoining territory named."
But a little Christmas token, sent him four months ago, seems to have been the innocent instrument by which Satan again got to work upon his naturally not too well balanced brain, reviving and exaggerating previous "evil surmisings" and enlarging his "root of bitterness."
He then began to write frequently about some trifles connected with his office experience. I answered these kindly and fully, and explained to him that we understood the matter thoroughly and that they were all right. However, about six weeks ago he concluded to ask two of the brethren to come with him and hear his statement of my sins and to reprove me according to Matt. 18:15-17. Bros. H Weber and M M Tuttle came with him to see me and to hear his charges. When these brethren heard the charges, they told Bro. Bryan that they were ridiculous; that so far from being to my discredit they were to my credit, -every one of them. Here they are: -
Answer. -Bro. Bryan was in the office constantly and could better than any one else Answer'the questions of applicants. I preferred not to have my own name on the notice (1) because my forenoons are usually spent at home, writing, and (2) because my name being necessarily prominent, I modestly preferred to avoid any unnecessary notoriety. Bro. Bryan's name would be unknown.
Charge 2. -Once when I was intending to purchase some clothing Bro. Russell gave me a letter to one of the prominent Pittsburg clothing stores, assuring me that it would secure for me a ten per cent. reduction in the price. It made me feel bad to think that Bro. Russell would thus deceive and cheat them, and I could not use the order.
Answer. -The letter was entirely proper. I am personally acquainted with the proprietors who grant me a discount, and invited me to send over any of those connected with the office, and that they should have the same.
Judgment of the Brethren. -Proper and commendable. Bro. Russell was endeavoring to extend to you, at the expense of his own time in writing the note, a privilege which all the large stores are glad to give, to get trade. Nearly every one gets a ten per cent. discount upon some score: Prices are so arranged as to permit of these discounts to customers. You merely did not comprehend the matter and thought evil of what was really a kindness.
Charge 3. -Bro. Russell received for many of the Colporteurs clerical half-rate arrangements over one of the railroads, and I am sure that he got these by deception and fraud; for I know that the R R people would not grant those rates if they understood that the colporteurs sell books.
Answer'by Bro. Weber. -A very unjust and uncharitable thought on your part, Bro. Bryan; and a very mistaken one. I, myself, arranged the matter you condemn; and I did it in a perfectly honorable manner. I am [HGL127] well acquainted with the gentleman in charge of that business, and explained that the colporteurs are preachers, ministers of the truth, who give their entire time to this work, but that they do it in a different manner from the clergy of the nominal church. I explained to him that they explained the Scriptures from house to house, and sold books which would continue and elaborate the preaching after they were gone.
Judgment of the Brethren. -Entirely proper so far as we can understand the matter. Anyway, we feel that the United States Government is abundantly able to look out for its own rights, and that it is very far from the spirit of Christ for you, Bro. Bryan, to be surmising evil against the very one through whose efforts God sent the truth to you. We could not think you more conscientious than Bro. Russell, and as for ability to interpret law, human or divine, we consider him entirely your superior.
Charge 5. I claim that Bro. Russell cheats the government by putting only half enough postage upon the Tower binders. He made us stamp them at "book rate," while I claim that they should be stamped at "merchandise rates." I wrote to the P O Department at Washington asking whether a Newspaper binder should be stamped as book-matter or as merchandise, and they replied- "as merchandise." Here is the letter signed by the third assistant P M General.
Answer. -The Tower binders were for some time mailed with double the proper postage. When I noticed it I had it changed to the proper rate. The binders are merely book- backs, and when filled with TOWERS constitute a bound volume. It requires no great mind to see that a part of a book cannot be rated at a higher charge than a whole book; and book-back or binder should therefore be mailed at book rates. However, lest some uninformed postmaster might not be able to reason properly upon the subject we always put one TOWER into each binder. Surely, it is then a book of 16 pages to any one capable of sound reasoning.
The Third Asst. P M General has been in office only one year, while I have had many year's experience in just such questions. It was this same gentleman who ruled out the Old Theology Tracts some months ago; but I appealed from his decision, and the legal department sustained my understanding of the law.
Bro. Bryan's decision would be binding on himself, but on no one else. The law leaves its interpretation to the common sense of the reader, except when called in question by the postmaster, and then an appeal may be taken if desired.
Judgment of the Brethren. -Without doubt a binder containing sixteen pages of reading matter is a book, and should be stamped at book rates. Bro. Russell should be allowed to mind his own business, and those who cannot help him should not hinder him. If Bro. Bryan thought differently he discharged his duty when he told Bro. Russell how he viewed the matter. The P O Department it seems was not asked about a Magazine-binder with one issue enclosed. That would have been a different question.
Charge 6. -On the missionary envelopes recently isued the last paragraph is marked, "S I Hickey in Christian Herald," but those printed some years ago read, "J E Jewett in Christian Herald." That was a fraud I believe. I have no doubt that was written in the WATCH TOWER office.
Answer. -This is a totally untrue: I first saw the "notice" in the columns of the Christian Herald. It appeared upon a page at that time controlled by Mr. Jewett, and since it had no name to it, I supposed it was Mr. Jewett's expression. Later, I learned that Bro. Hickey had written the commendation; and hence I changed the name on the next lot of envelopes printed.
Judgment of the Brethren. -Bro. Bryan, as only an impure fountain sends forth impure water, so only a wrong condition of heart could send forth such uncharitable thoughts, and these without any foundation except your "evil surmisings." Do not forget that evil surmisings, envy, strife, malice and hatred give evidence of a wrong spirit, little like the spirit which "thinketh no evil" and much akin to the spirit which "loveth and maketh a lie."
Answer. -Yes; it had been our custom for some time to send some of our exchanges and an occasional Pittsburg paper to friends; and these all being "second-class matter" were thrown in with the TOWERS when being sent to the post office. This continued until about six years ago. Somewhere about that time the rate of postage on second-class mail matter was reduced from two cents per pound to one cent per pound and postmasters were notified to be more than ever particular. Our Allegheny postmaster notified us that the German Tower could not henceforth be mixed with the English Tower, and that no other papers must be mixed in along. We called his attention to another part of the law in which it is specially stated that news agents may send out second-class matter at the same rates as the publishers, and showed that news agents do not keep different papers separate. The reply was that the post office department at Washington had made a ruling on that point, to the effect that publishers could send out other papers only when they sent them to all of their subscribers, and hence that publishers have less liberty than news agents. We accepted this ruling, and have never since, to my knowledge, mailed other than our own publications at "pound rates."
Judgment of the brethren. -A most reasonable and consistent explanation of a trifle. It is not within the range of reason, Bro. Bryan, to suppose that one who is giving his time and energy to spread of the truth and the inculcation of righteousness, and spending thousands of dollars to that end, as you and we well know, would be dishonest for a few penny stamps. But it does look to us as though your object in even mentioning such a matter can be nothing less than a malicious spirit, a desire to injure Bro. Russell in our esteem; but we know him too well for that. His Answer'is more than a sufficient exoneration.
(We since learn that some (at least one) of the slanderous circulars sent out by the conspirators went unstamped. Do we evilly surmise that this was cheating the government? No, [HGL128] we thank God that neither our heads nor our hearts are so deranged as to get us into such nonsense.)
Answer. -No wrong was done to any one by the use of the name; but, on the contrary, much good was accomplished. Many readers will remember seeing Mrs. C B Lemuels' advertisements in different newspapers, all over the United States, offering to loan free of charge a book that would be very helpful to honest skeptics and infidels. Many of you first learned of the truth by this means. The book was The Plan of the Ages-DAWN, VOL I, and the name Mrs. Lemuels represented Mrs. Russell. I esteemed that the matter would be better received from a lady than from a gentleman. I could have arranged for the use of Mrs. Russell's name, or the name of some other sister, but reflected that a confusion of letters might result and prove inconvenient. Besides, I bring my own name as little into prominence as possible. This will be noticed in connection with everything I have published-the O T Tracts, the DAWNS, etc.
The name Lemuel is from the Hebrew and signifies Son of God. The initial letter C stands for Christ, and B for before; hence the whole name signifies, a son of God, after Christ. I consider the using of the name for a good purpose entirely proper and not a deception, in the proper meaning of that term; for it could make no difference to the party blessed whether the instrument of his blessing had the name of Smith, Brown, Lemuels or Russell. Indeed, our Lord was known by a variety of names, other than the name of Jesus, given by the angel. He is called also Immanuel, the Son of Man, the Redeemer, the Good Shepherd, Lord of Glory, Prince of Peace, Prince of Life, the Word of God, the Lamb of God, the Just One, the King of Israel, Living Stone, the True Vine, Wonderful, Counselor, Savior, Mediator, the Amen, the Alpha and Omega, the Second Adam, the Messiah. Our Lord and the Apostles and the Prophets, did not think it a deception to apply these various names and titles, nor do I Had I used the name for a wrong purpose, the entire transaction would have been sinful; but as it is conceded that it was used for a good purpose the entire transaction is faultless. Many eminent writers for the press cover their identity under a nom de plume, and justly without reproach.
Judgment of the Brethren. -Legitimate and praise worthy. We wish that more of God's children had the same singleness of purpose to do good to others and serve God and the truth to the disregard of their own name or fame. You, Bro. Bryan might far better be spending your time in holding up Bro. Russell's hands, than in seeing how you can annoy him with such quibbles and disturb the work he is doing.
Charge 9. -Bro. Russell once advised a man to send addressed tract wrappers to the Tower office enclosed in a newspaper; whereas they should be sent at letter rates of postage, "two cents for each ounce." He also published the wrong rate of postage in the TOWER for May 1, '93, page 130.
Answer. -My reason for advising thus was, that I did not want the brother to pay more postage than the law requires. (It certainly made not one cent difference to me. ) I know that many understand as little about the law as does Bro. Bryan, and country postmasters generally ask, Does this contain writing? If the Answer'is, Yes, he charges letter rates, two cents for each ounce, which in the case of addressed wrappers is contrary to the law. The law specifically provides that written addresses may be enclosed in newspapers without adding to the rate of postage, provided no other writing accompanies. But to add one other word such as "Well" or "All are well," would make the postage rate the same as on a letter, two cents for one ounce. If one address can be so sent so can two or five or ten. Indeed, written wrappers sent alone, without a newspaper, are subject to no higher rate than printed circulars according to law, -one cent for two ounces-Bro. Bryan to the contrary notwithstanding.
Charge 10. -Bro. Russell, it seems to me, uses language in a "double dealing" manner. When I attempt to show something wrong in what he has said, he explains it all away and would convince any one it was all right.
Judgment of the Brethren. -This charge is in harmony with all the others, and shows that for nearly six years Bro. Bryan abused his position and the confidence reposed in him by Bro. Russell, that he was all the while hunting for a flaw in his words or character, and that he was disappointed when his evil surmisings of either were corrected. And, because Bro. Russell cleared the matter entirely, it is called "double dealing." Shame! There are broad, medium and narrow minds and hearts. Bro. Russell's is one of the broad and unsuspicious. His poorest judgment, it seems to us, was in not seeing long ago the difference between an office-helper and an office-hinderer. The Dawn and the Towers are witnesses to the fact that he uses language with a directness that is seldom equalled except in the Scriptures and in law books. The message from his lips, as well as from his pen, has "no uncertain sound" to those who really have "ears to hear."
Charge 11. -I once found some four hundred and fifty dollars placed to my credit on the Tract Fund account. I remonstrated and it was taken off; but sums credited to other of the office helpers, not so conscientious, still stand. This shows that Bro. Russell's ideas are peculiar and I should say dishonest.
Answer. -At the close of each year we generally find that we have expended more than the Tract Fund receipts from various sources, and we generally balance the account by donating whatever the receipts are behind, so as to let the fund begin the New Year without back debts. In the case mentioned I thought it would be well as an encouragement to the office helpers to share with them the credit for this sum and the voting shares which it represented. Accordingly the amount was divided with Mrs. Russell and the faithful office helpers. This was certainly not a crime; and indeed it is partly because of their consecration to the work that the expenses of the work are kept low. At all the events the office helpers are in and of our family, and I had pleasure in sharing [HGL129] the credit on the Tract Fund records, although none outside the office would have known these matters had it not been for Bro. Bryan's peculiar view of them. Judgment of the brethren. -Bro. Bryan, the more of such charges you bring the more you reflect to Bro. Russell's honor. Where was the wrong, the sin, in Bro. R's giving you and the others credit on the Tract Fund? Had he not a right to do what he pleased with his own? Suppose he had deposited that four hundred and fifty dollars to your credit in some bank, -would that have been sinful? If not, how could it be wrong to use it in the Lord's service and then give you the credit and the voting-shares? But you admit that he did not insist on your having the credit when you objected. Where, then, is the room for complaint? If your own judgment is confused, do at least try to let other people of sounder judgment mind their own business. Discourage in yourself the disposition to be a busybody.
Finally, we must say to you that this whole matter is simply ridiculous and gives evidence of a very unchristlike spirit. You called us to reprove Brother Russell after hearing your charges; but we find nothing to condemn and much to praise in all that you charge. Study and pray over the matter, and the Lord grant you needed help by his word and providence. Otherwise your present spirit is likely to lead you into "every evil work," and into outer darkness; for if any man have not the spirit of Christ he is none of his.
But Bro. Bryan had not come to be convinced; but said, "I will press this to the utmost, so help me God!" He had merely taken this as a preliminary step to his "telling it to the Church," at which time he, with the other conspirators, had arranged to explode the "bombs" that "would knock this thing (Brother Russell and the work) sky high."
The Brethren expostulated and showed that the very object of calling in two brethren for witnesses was to make sure that which ever one was in error should have the error pointed out to him, and that it was the one who would not hear the other three that was to be reported to the Church; and that, accordingly, Bro. Russell might, if he chose, report him (Bryan) to the Church as a busy body, if he refused or neglected now to heed the counsel of Bro. Russell and themselves.
But the Arch-conspirator, Satan, had evidently determined that the present would be his most auspicious moment, and that he should probably never find any more substantial charges. So he brought Bro. Rogers here; and his arrival, and disaffection because his schemes were not praised, accepted as the Lord's message, and generally substituted for present methods, together with Bro. Adamson's disaffection on account of his tract, seemed to make the present a most favorable time for the firing of the "bombs" that he had been kept waiting for about two years.
However, as before stated, the meeting called by them by personal invitation, and composed of a large number of the best brethren, and sisters of the Church at Allegheny (and which Sister Russell and myself did not attend), was rendered disorderly by the frantic efforts of the conspirators make sure that Brother Russell should have no defenders. But it seems that the bombs and fireworks charges had been entrusted to Bro. Bryan, to be fired with tragic effect, and that they were smothered, when, because of his spiteful, angry and disorderly manner and refusal to recognize the chairman, it was decided by vote of the congregation not to hear him, but to proceed to hear the others.
Having since learned what the "bombs" are, we must now explode them, and show that they are as untruthful as were the other Zech and Bryan charges, and similarly "evil surmisings." We find that while only some of these have been mentioned in the printed circular, others of them have been circulated privately by word of mouth and by letter; and hence we clean up all that we can learn anything about.
Bomb I -Several years ago Brother Russell bought and sold some oil through a broker, a member of the Pittsburg Oil Exchange. This, we believe, is what people call "gambling," and is therefore dishonest and wicked.
Answer. -As before stated, I was in the oil-producing business, and all the conspirators knew this. It is nothing to be ashamed of, and I never kept it a secret. This is a way in which I have done some "tent-making" and "fishing;" and the coin from this fish's mouth supports me and mine, so that we are not chargeable to any, and so that we can help along the work. Some years ago my monthly share of the oil produced by well in which I owned interests was considerably more than it is at the present. The price of oil seemed likely to go lower, so I not only sold all the oil I had on hand, but through a broker I sold in advance oil that I knew I had in the ground, but which it would take time to have pumped out. In due time the oil was produced and the broker closed the contract, earning his commissions for his trouble and securing me a better price for the oil.
This is the legitimate use of the Oil Exchange. The misuse of it, called "gambling," is where people have no oil and merely bet so much money that the price will go up or that it will go down. Only obtuse heads or evil-thinking hearts reach the conclusion that there is no honest use of the great commercial Exchanges of the world. There is genuine and a counterfeit in everything that is worth counterfeiting. The finding of a counterfeit proves the existence of a genuine, in business as well as in money. My transactions were on the genuine, legitimate basis, as any business-man of honor and judgment will declare.
Bomb II -Some one told Brother Bryan that he thought that another person surmised that Bro. Russell had cheated a man in Pittsburg as follows: Brother Russell owned a quarter interest in a small business venture, another man named Dubbs owned a quarter, and a man named Boyd owned the remaining half; that Bro. Russell had transferred his interest to Bro. Sweet and got Bro. Sweet to buy Mr. Dubb's interest for "a mere song," and afterward Bro. Russell got back his own quarter, and evidently Mr. Dubbs had been cheated.
Answer. -This, another case of "evil surmising," can be easily explained and would have been explained to anyone. Evidently they all knew this and did not wish to have an explanation, preferring to believe it, so that they could conscientiously throw it as a "bomb" when they got ready.
The business in question is so small as not to be worthy of the name business. I did purchase a quarter interest in it of Mr. Dubbs, the inventor. Mr. Boyd managed the business and Mr. Dubb's nephew was the only workman. One day Bro. Sweet came into the TOWER office and told [HGL130] me that he was out of work and nearly out of money. He could make no success at colporteuring and was no hand at writing wrappers in the office, so I thought of the fact that Mr. Dubbs was anxious to sell his interest in the little venture, and that if he sold there would be a place for Bro. Sweet instead of Mr. Dubb's nephew. I told Bro. Sweet of it, and advanced him the full value of Mr. Dubbs' interest so that he could buy it, if Mr. Dubbs still wished to sell. But I realized that Mr. Dubbs who had sold me my interest, and was the inventor of the commodity, might feel under obligation to me, not to sell-so long as I held an interest-and especially as he had charged me more for my interest than we afterward found it to be worth-therefore, to let Mr. Dubbs feel entirely free to act as he pleased, I transferred my interest to Bro. Sweet who then bought Mr. Dubbs' interest with money I had advanced and Bro. Sweet got the situation. But as the business was not a success he never paid me back the money advanced. I took back the entire interest and since paid out some money on the same as my share of the loss. And Bro. Sweet's wife being ill, he removed to their old home in Virginia.
Everything connected with this matter is straight-forward and honorable. Mr. Dubbs is still a Pittsburger and a warm business friend, who would take my word on a par with my bond. How is it that these evil surmisers are "brethren," who, while confessing that I never wronged them, but on the contrary, that they are all more or less my debtors, imagine that I have done wrong to some one else? Is it likely that the world, the devil and opposing nominal church people would pass by even slight transgressions of business etiquet or morals, if they could find them? On the contrary, my character, my word and my credit stand high amongst intelligent people whose only objection to me is, "his religious views" - which of course they generally misunderstand, because they have been misrepresented by both friends and foes.
"Mr. C T Russell., My Dear Sir: -My attention has just been drawn to certain charges, made against you by a busybody named Bryan, in the matter of a little business between you and me relating to my boiler-compound discovery, and the transfer of interests in the same to yourself and Mr. Sweet. I have also been shown a proof of your reply to the charge; and I desire to say to you that your conduct in that whole matter was entirely honorable, and quite satisfactory to me. My only regrets in the matter are that it has been the innocent cause of your being subject to such a 'charge.'"
"By the way, I notice that you refer to the slanderer as 'Brother Bryan.' I advise that you have a little as possible to do with that sort of brothers. In business parlance we call such folks 'skunks,' and keep them at a distance."
"In conclusion let me say that your business associations with me have all been most honorable in every respect, and I know that your business integrity stands too high in Pittsburg to be injured by such senseless calumnies. Abroad, however, where you are unknown, your reply may be needed. Sincerely yours, J A Dubbs."
Since receiving this kind note from Mr. Dubbs, he tells me that Bro. Bryan called upon him some time before, and inquired whether he had been wronged in any manner in the matter of the sale of the said interest in the boiler-compound; and he was answered that everything was satisfactory to Mr. Dubbs. Yet, in the face of that, his conscience was so asleep or dead, and his malice so alive, that he still clung to his evil thought and used it as a dagger to strike down one of his best friends-who had always shielded his weaknesses, and spoke so well of him that his present course is a surprise to all except our immediate household.
On the Sunday on which I refuted these charges before the Church here, I was afterward informed that Mr. Geo. Rindfuss (who was present), who had been my book-keeper for several years, and who was quite familiar with the above transaction, was claimed by the conspirators as in some degree associated and in sympathy with them. I therefore sent Sister Ball to see him the next morning with very satisfactory results. The following is her written report of her interview with him.
The following are the sentiments of Mr. George Rindfuss, expressed to me in a special interview on the subject, at the office of Mr. John A Snee, Ferguson Block, Pittsburg, Pa. -on Monday morning, April 9th, 1894, the day after Bro. C T Russell's public refutation, to the Church at Allegheny, of the charges privately and otherwise circulated by Otto von Zech, Paul Koetitz, Elmer Bryan, J B Adamson and S D Rogers.
"The relations existing between Bro. Russell and myself have been uniformly pleasant. A report is being circulated that I lost money through him; but it is untrue. I never lost any money through him; and to my knowledge he never lost any through me."
"I am Bro. Russell's friend, and I never wittingly said anything to damage his character or credit. Viewed from the standpoint of a business man of knowledge, experience and integrity, all his transactions and business dealings, so far as I am aware, are honest, fair and aboveboard-not shady, nor dishonorable, nor derogatory to his character-perfectly legitimate."
"I do not believe in gossip, and if I had not been drawn into this affair, not only this time but several times before, I would have said nothing. These people (Otto von Zech, et al) may as well jump into the sea as to endeavor to do Bro. Russell injury. They will suffer the most. The truth will prosper and the work go on as the Lord sees proper, and they cannot hinder it. I have no sympathy whatever with their position. The trouble with them is they imagine and misconstrue and brood over little things until their minds are confused and they do not know where they are."
"As I said on the evening of the meeting at Bro. Russell's house (about Feb. 15, 1893), these matters are no one's business, any more than my private business or any other man's. It is ridiculous to bring such charges. I never brought any because I have none to make. And I have testified to this in public. I love and respect Bro. Russell and shall do all I can to clear him of these misrepresentations."
These sentiments are all those of Mr. Geo. Rindfuss, and in the majority of sentences I have used his own words; and this I do solemnly, sincerely and truly affirm. Witness, James C Ewing. [Rose J Ball. State of Pennsylvania, ss. County of Allegheny] Personally came before me the [HGL131] deponent, Rose J Ball, who being duly affirmed, testified to the truth of the foregoing statement. Witness my hand and seal at Allegheny, (seal) this 9th day of April, 1894. James C Ewing, Notary Public.
"Evil be to him who evil thinks," is an old proverb and a true one. These conspirators have treasured up evil thoughts and suspicions until they have injured themselves thereby, and are fast bringing forth "every evil work," as might be expected. -Jas. 3:16.
ATTACK ON THE Z W T TRACT SOCIETY
I have now concluded the matter, except one item. The conspirators seem full of Bro. Rogers' idea that the saints are the fish, and that as Peter was sent to catch the fish and take the money out of its mouth, so they must take what money they need from believing saints-not even thanking them for it, but regarding it as a matter of duty on their part. And as some of the saints are already doing what they can through the Tower Tract Fund, and now-hoping perhaps that some of the donations to it would then fall to them individually-it seems policy to attack it. This they have done, declaring that Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society is a myth: it is merely Bro. Russell. Bro. Adamson declares that although a director he has never attended a meeting and knows nothing about the Society. Altogether, they evilly surmise again that something is wrong, and that they will see whether they can have the charter of the Society annulled, etc.
What are the facts? It is necessary that they be clearly stated that not a doubt may find footing-that not a soul who has given a dollar to this fund may have any room to question the proper application of every penny of it. Even money stated by the donors to be for my personal use has all gone into the Tract Fund. The facts are as follows:
The Society was formed in 1881, at the time of the free distribution of 1,400,000 copies of the pamphlet,"Food for Thinking Christians" - now out of print. It consisted of five of the Lord's children, and its affairs were entirely in my charge. Later, in 1884, at the instance of friends of the cause, who advised that matters be put upon a legal footing so that the work might not be interrupted in case of my sudden death, the Society applied for a charter under the laws of the State of Pennsylvania, and received one dated December 13, 1884- a copy of which we present, -
CHARTER OF ZION'S WATCH TOWER TRACT SOCIETY
Be it known that the subscribers, having associated themselves together for the purpose of the dissemination of Bible Truths in various languages, and being desirous of becoming incorporated agreeably to the provisions of the Act of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, entitled "An Act to provide for the Incorporation and Regulation of certain Corporations," approved the twenty-ninth day of April, Anno Domini, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-four, and its supplements, do hereby declare, set forth and certify that the following are the purposes, objects, articles and conditions of their association for and upon which they desire to be incorporated:
II The purpose for which the Corporation is formed is, the dissemination of Bible Truths in various languages by means of the publication of tracts, pamphlets, papers and other religious document's, and by the use of all other lawful means which its board of directors, duly constituted shall deem expedient for the furtherance of the purpose stated.
V The Corporation has no capital stock. Each donation of ten dollars to the funds of said corporation shall entitle the contributor, or his assigns, to one non-forfeitable, non-assessable, and non-divided bearing share, and to one vote for every such share in said corporation. Certificates of membership so acquired shall be issued by the Secretary, countersigned by the President, to the persons entitled thereto.
VI The Corporation is to be managed by a Board of Directors consisting of seven members, and the names and residences of those already chosen directors are (we given names of the present board and officers) as follows: -Charles T Russell, President, W C McMillan, Henry Weber, Vice President, J B Adamson, Maria F Russell, Sec'y & Treas, Simon O Blunden. Rose J Ball.
VII The said Corporation by its Board of Directors, a majority of whom shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, shall have full power and authority to make and enact by-laws, rules and ordinances, which shall be deemed and taken to be the law of said Corporation, and do any and every thing useful for the good government and support of the affairs of the said Corporation; provided the said by-laws, rules and ordinances, or any of them, shall not be repugnant to this charter, to the constitution and laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the Constitution of the United States.
VIII The said Corporation shall have as officers a President, who shall preside at the meetings of the Board of Directors; a Vice President, who shall preside in the absence of the President, and a Secretary, who shall also be Treasurer; and these officers shall be chosen from among the members of the Board of Directors annually on the first Saturday of each year, by an election by ballot, to be held at the principal office of the Corporation in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania. The members of the Board of Directors shall hold their respective offices for life, unless removed by a two-thirds vote of the shareholders, and vacancies in the Board occasioned by death, resignation or removal shall be filled by vote of a majority of the remaining members of the Board, who shall meet for that purpose within twenty days from the time when such vacancy or vacancies shall occur, and in the event of failure to fill such vacancy or vacancies, in the manner aforesaid, within thirty days from the time such vacancy or vacancies shall occur, then the said vacancy or vacancies shall be filled by the appointment of the President, and the person or persons so appointed shall hold his or their office or offices until the next annual election of officers of the Corporation, when such [HGL132] vacancy or vacancies shall be filled by election, in the same manner as the President, Vice President, and Secretary and Treasurer are elected. The persons entitled to vote at annual elections of the Corporation shall be those who hold certificates of membership acquired in the manner aforesaid.
IX The said Corporation, under the name, style and title aforesaid, shall have full power and authority to make, have and use a common seal, with such device and inscription as they may deem proper, and the same to alter and renew at their pleasure; and by the name, style and title aforesaid, shall be able in law and equity to sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded in any Court or Courts, before any Judge or Justice of the Peace, in all manner of suits and complaints, pleas, causes, matters and demands whatsoever, and all and every matter or thing therein to do in as full and ample a manner, and as effectually as any other person or persons, bodies politic or corporate within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, may or can do.
X The said Corporation, by the name, style and title aforesaid, shall have the right, power and authority to take, receive and hold in fee simple, or any less estate, all such messsages, lots, lands, buildings, tenements, rents, annuities, franchises and hereditaments as may be necessary and proper for its purposes; and to sell, lease, mortgage or otherwise dispose of the same or any part thereof; and it shall have the same right, power and authority to take, receive and hold, and to sell, lease or dispose of any and all kinds of personal property and money. (Acknowledged and Recorded in due form of law.)
The object in taking out a charter is succinctly stated in the Watch Tower for January 1891, page 16, as follows:
"This is a business association merely. It was chartered as a corporation by the state of Pennsylvania, and authorized to hold or dispose of property in its own name as though it were an individual. It has no creed or confession. It is merely a business convenience in disseminating the truth. Any one subscribing to one copy or more of the Society's quarterly, styled Old Theology Tracts ( 6 cents a year), is considered an active member of this Society-but not a voting member. Any one subscribing for $10 worth or more of the O T Tracts, or any one donating $ 10 or more to the funds of the Society for the spread of the Truth, is a voting member and is entitled to one vote for each $10 he or she may have donated. The affairs of the Society are so arranged that its entire control rests in the care of Brother and Sister Russell as long as they shall live. In fact, the only objects in having the corporation are: - "
"First, To provide a channel or fund through which those who wish can employ their money talent, whether small or great, to better advantage for the spread of the Truth than if each interested one acted and published independently of the others. Secondly, The corporation was called for by reason of the uncertainty of the lives of those at present managing the fund. Some wrote that they were doing all that their present necessities permitted but at their death they desired to do more; and urged the necessity of a legal corporation, as Brother and Sister Russell also might die, and they wanted their donations to go to the spread of the Truth."
"The Society owns nothing, has nothing, pays no salaries, no rent or other expenses. Its policy is to use in the work every dollar received, to the best advantage, and as speedily as possible. Its success in publishing and circulating among the right kind of readers tons of Old Theology Tracts, is phenomenal alike to its friends and its enemies. The latter imagine there must be great wealth connected with the concern, whereas there is really very little. Few of the friends of this cause are able to do much financially; but what money there is, under economy and the divine blessing, is like the widow's cruise of oil: it accomplishes about a hundred times as much as other Tract Societies, which spend most of their receipts upon salaries."
It will be seen from this and other mentions of the subject in the Watch Tower that I have never intimated otherwise than that the management of the Tract Society would probably rest entirely in the hands of myself and Sister Russell as long as we live, as provided by the regulations of the charter, -that the majority of voting-sharers elect the executive officers. Our reasons for expecting to control the Society while we live, we did not state, because of modesty and a desire not to seem to boast of our good works. But now it is necessary to state matters plainly in order that our good deeds be not evil spoken of and misunderstood, and thus become a stumbling-block to others. -Rom. 14:16.
The fact is that, by the grace of God, Sister R and myself have been enabled not only to give our own time without charge to the service of the truth, in writing and overseeing, but also to contribute more money to the Tract Society's fund for the scattering of the good tidings, than all others combined. If I were selling my services for money, the Tract Fund receipts could not secure them, as my business ability would command a large renumeration.
God forbid that we should boast of this, or reckon ourselves on this account worthy of more honor than others of the Lord's servants who have been equally faithful in the use of the various opportunities or talents entrusted to them as stewards by the same Lord. The statement is forced from us.
We realize, too, that even should one give all his goods to feed the poor hungry sheep and have not love, it is nothing. We are glad to know that what we have done was not done for vain-glory, but has all been done in love, - love for the Lord, love for his sheep and love for his Truth. Indeed it would be our joy to have done many times as much as we have done; and we could and would have done more than we did during the past two years, had it not been that we seemed to see a necessity for "setting our house in order" financially, and because the "Good Hopes" plan, introduced two years ago, has brought assistance from others of the household who we know have also been blessed by that systematic plan of "laying aside on the first day of the week according as the Lord hath prospered" - as directed by the Apostle.
Having, up to Dec. 1, '93, thirty-seven hundred and five (3,705) voting shares, out of a total of sixty-three hundred and eighty-three (6,383) voting shares, Sister Russell and myself of course elect the officers, and thus control the Society; and this was fully understood by the directors from the first. Their usefulness, it was understood, would come [HGL133] to the front in the event of our death. But, be assured, we shall take pleasure in sharing the responsibilities of the place we occupy with any one whose interest in the mission of the Tract Society shall by his donations to its funds relegate our voting shares to the place of a minority. And such a one would, no doubt, be well qualified to direct in the expenditures, etc.
For this reason, also, formal elections were not held; because it would be a mere farce, a deception, to call together voting-share-holders from all over the world, at great expense, to find upon arrival that their coming was useless, Sister Russell and myself having more than a majority over all that could gather. However, no one was hindered from attending such elections; and all who desired to take part should have kept themselves informed as to their date, - the first Saturday in each year.
We have regularly printed certificates, which for a time we sent out to those who contributed ten dollars or multiples thereof. But they made trouble and extra letter writing, because many of the Lord's sheep have little knowledge of business. Some supposed that the certificates were appeals for money; others could not tell what to make of them, and wrote for full particulars as to how they should vote, etc. Others feared that the owning of the certificates brought them into liability for any debts which the Society might contract, etc. (We here remark that no liability is incurred by any share-holder.)
It required patience and took time from more important work to Answer'scores of such letters; and we concluded that we had made a mistake so far as the certificates were concerned. However, a faithful record is kept of all donations and of all voting-shares, and the books are open to the inspection of all who have ever given one penny to the fund.
Since the adoption of the "Good Hopes" method we credit the voting-shares at the close of each year, so that if a contributor gave a total of ten dollars during the year he would have a voting-share, even though no one of his donations amounted to ten dollars. Thus, if a friend sent in "Good Hopes" of seventy-five cents per week or nine dollars per quarter, he would have no voting-share if reckoned by the quarterly receipts, but if reckoned by the year his four remittances, $36, would represent three shares.
We have plenty of blank Certificates and an accurate record of every dollar you have sent in, as we will take pleasure in making our Certificates for all who, understanding the matter, would like to have them. If you have old certificates issued years ago and have contributed more money since, so as to have more shares now, please send back the old certificates so that the new one when issue will show your full credit up to the end of our fiscal year, December 1, last or, if preferred, up to date.
REPORTS OF THE TRACT SOCIETY
Reports of the receipts and expenditures of the Society since its charter, can be found in Zion's Watch Tower issues of the following dates: For 1885, in Tower, Jan. 1886. "1886 to 1891" Jan. 1892. "1892 Dec. 1" Dec. 15, 1892. "1893 Dec. 1" Dec. 15, 1893.
The donations for the six years 1886 to 1891, aside from my own, were very meager. So little interest being manifested I scarcely thought worth while to make a yearly report. Besides, during that time the inauguration of the colporteur work took considerable time and attention, which continues as the work enlarges. The increase of contributions since 1892, incident to the adoption of the plan called "Good Hopes," led to the return to yearly reports.
In the foregoing extract from our issue of January 1891 (and which appeared in eight issues of the Tower for 1891) we say, "The Society owns nothing, has nothing, pays no salaries, etc." Lest some should misunderstand this, we will explain. The Tower Pub. Co. (which in a financial way represents myself)owns the Bible House, buys the paper, pays for the printing, binding electro-plates, etc., and keeps a large stock of Dawns and Tracts on hand and fills the orders of the Tract Society at any time, and at much lower prices than any worldly firm would charge for much poorer service. To do this requires that thousands of dollars lie idle continually, in electroplates, books, colporteurs' dues, tracts, etc; and as a consequence the Tower Pub. Co., is now a borrower to the extent of over twenty thousand dollars (the interest on which is over $1200.00 yearly), all of which, however, is amply secured by other property which I own.
The Tract Society's funds are usually spent before received, as under the "Good Hopes" plan we know about what to expect. It runs a yearly account with the Tower Pub. Co., paying over moneys as received and balancing the account at the close of the year.
Is it asked why the Tract Society does not do its own publishing? We reply, because it has neither capital nor credit. No banks would want the Tract Society's note. There are two ways in which it could do its own publishing: (1) By doing no work for a while, it could save up the yearly donations until it had a capital with which to purchase or rent a building, buy type, make electrotypes, and pay in advance for paper, printing, binding, and have capital with which to give colporteurs some starting credit, etc. ; but this surely would not be as advantageous a way as the present one. (2) I could make a donation to the Tract Society of a part or all of the Tower Pub. Co's. outfit, and take that many more voting-shares. This I no doubt would have done had it not been for the greater caution of my esteemed help-mate, Sister Russell. Her advice was, -That would be no real benefit to the work, and you may be sure that if the Society really had any assets or property, some would soon begin to interfere with its management, or at least try to. So long as we live we had best keep matters as they are, and at our death put the Tract Society and the Lord's work in general on the best possible footing, and in the most consecrated hands we can find. I followed this advice rather reluctantly; but now, in the light of the slanders herein discussed, I see it to have been the very essence of wisdom.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN THEIR OBJECT
Such a conspiracy, so deeply laid and extending over eighteen months at least, must have had an object; and after-sight often makes known what foresight could not have even suspicioned. It is clear, now, that Bro. and Sister
[HGL134] Zech have long felt envious of Bro. and Sister Russell. We can see now the meaning of their desire to get full control of the German work, which we so readily surrendered, and their anxiety to get the German paper forced into the hands of all the Tower readers. They knew that a good many of them could read German, and they were anxious to exercise a rival influence over them. Had they been more moderate in their efforts I might have granted all they desired; but their repeated, extreme and unreasonable demands made me feel cautious, although I knew not of what. I felt that I must not trust them absolutely. But never for one moment did I suspicion that it was a disease of the heart, as now seems evident: I attributed it merely a differences of heads.
We repeat that the evidence is strong that what has just occurred was planned to occur one year ago; and to use the expression of one who knew of this feverish condition of things before we had the least intimation of it, "the pot was kept boiling, ready for the explosion." And true enough the pot has been boiling, and many of the church here, especially of the new and weaker ones have been forced into it, while myself and Mrs. Russell were in blissful ignorance of it. Some stopped their ears and said, We will not hear this unrighteous gossip; others heard and disbelieved, and covered what they could not understand with the mantle of charity; while with a few others it has acted like venomous poison, prejudicing their minds so that they have no ear for the truth on the subject.
Yes, the explosion has at last come; -but it is the explosion of their malice, hatred, envy and evil surmises. No doubt it will do some damage; for the fallen human mind is much more attracted to evil things than to good things, and more readily surmises evil than good. Only the pure in heart and considerably developed in Christian character are ruled by the love that "thinketh (surmiseth) no evil." (1 Cor. 13:5) No doubt the "explosion" will kill the interest of some of the new born lambs; and many will be wounded by it. But what cared the conspirators for such considerations, Brother Russell's character must be killed somehow, or else the work so successfully managed by him as the Lord's steward would not be wrecked. And only by wrecking the present work could they hope to gather some of its fragments into their "bag" (John 12:6), to start up a new work, -a new paper, a new tract fund, etc., etc.
Yes, that is manifestly the secret of it all: the conspirators managed ably; and Brother Adamson, with a large bundle of the assassinating circulars, went to work at once to take the money out of the mouths of the "fish" in Ohio and elsewhere-to start a new paper, in which, if they do as they desire me to do in the TOWER, all who will may publish truth and untruth ad libitum.
Here I dismiss this painful subject, which has weighed heavily upon our hearts for three weeks past. In various ways it has greatly interfered with the Lord's work. And it has, no doubt, greatly disturbed the whole Church, and caused some at least-we know not yet how many-to turn aside from the way and work which God has seen fit to permit Satan to thus trouble and shake.
The two weeks intervening between the receiving of the libelous circular of our enemies and the preparation and sending out of this defense, has doubtless been a period of severe testing to many of you, especially those young in the truth; but all who have been slow to believe evil, and who have determined to wait patiently and prayerfully until the right and the truth should be vindicated, have doubtless been drawn closer to the Lord, and made to feel yet more their dependence upon him. I know that many have been praying for me the Lord's grace and strength; for many have so written, and I am sure that others did who did not write it. I rejoice to tell all such that I have been wonderfully blessed and kept in the peace of God which passeth all understanding. And as a consequence of recent experiences I am sure that I can appreciate and sympathize with the Master's experiences as never before. I have learned to appreciate true friends, and the spirit of Christ as never before. Of course the tendency of the fallen minds is to believe any evil report; and in the present case this tendency would be backed by the fact that the very brethren who bring these charges were lifted up to notice and commended to your confidence by myself. We cannot wonder, then, if a considerable number will have their minds defiled, and be themselves "sifted as wheat" (Luke 22:31), and if some be taken entirely out of sympathy with the truth and its service. All that we could do we have done for these: we have prayed for them that their faith fail not, and we have published for them this lengthy explanation of the false charges.
In writing this explanation, I have avoided making any countercharges or dragging in any of the personal affairs of the conspirators, except such fragments as touched upon their charges against me and were necessary to give you the true view of the matter. I thus avoid their affairs, not because I lack ability to surmise, suggest and hint evil of them, but because I hate such works of the flesh and the devil, and by the Lord's grace am seeking more and more the mind of the spirit-the mind of Christ, which "thinketh (surmiseth) no evil," but suffers long and is kind.
But, dear brethren and sisters, we must beware lest the sacred title of brother and sister be abused and all its meaning lost. There are limits on this subject fixed in God's Word, and it behooves us to notice them and to act accordingly.
First, any one who does not fully and heartily confess the Lord's death as his ransom-price, paid once for all eighteen centuries ago, should not be recognized as a brother or sister, however honorable his conduct, or respectable his manner and appearance.
Secondly, the brother or sister (believer in the ransom), who, by a disorderly walk and conversation, brings reproach upon the cause of Christ, is to be withdrawn from and to be treated "as a heathen man and a publican," that is, in all respects as though he were not a brother-as an erring brother disowned and disfellowshipped until such time as he shall fully and freely confess his fault and ask forgiveness.
The question therefore is, what should be our attitude toward these conspirators? Would the Lord have us continue to fellowship them and think and speak of them as "Brethren," or not? They have not yet denied the ransom, although some views expressed by two of them, recently, look as though they were getting onto dangerous ground, in their endeavor to find something that they can present as strictly new and original. And to our knowledge they are [HGL135] soliciting financial aid from the "no-ransom" folks who "walk no more with us," and are "enemies of the cross of Christ;" and it is but reasonable to suppose that they will seek to please those who will aid them, and that those who give aid will expect favor at their hands.
For my own part I have concluded that it is our duty to fellowship them as brethren no longer; and that each may be able to decide the question for himself, I will lay before you all the Scriptural reasons, as follows:
(1) Read what the Apostle Paul says the true Church should do respecting "unreasonable and wicked men." (2 Thess. 3:1-6.) Question-Are these conspirators unreasonable and wicked? Each must judge for himself according to the evidence; and I have laid it before you very carefully. The evidence proves that they are, all of them, unreasonable; and the facts of this conspiracy of several years-this attempted assassination of the character of one who always did them good and never did one of them the least harm, -is as strong evidence of wickedness of heart as we need ever expect to find. "Disorderly" does not fit this case: it is a thousand times worse than the disorderly conduct mentioned by the Apostle as a ground for withdrawing of brotherly regard, etc. (Verses 8-15.) This case is more nearly described in 1 Tim. 6:4, 5 and Rom. 16:17.
(2) In our Lord's instructions, in Matt. 18:15-17, he gives us a rule for such cases. Has it been followed? Yes, we have here related how the conspirators themselves brought the brethren to hear and to join with them, and how their unjust thoughts and evil surmisings were rebuked by those whom they sought to poison and make my enemies. We have also related how some of the best representatives of thought in the congregation were twice called "to hear," and judge as you now have fully heard. Yet notwithstanding all, they will hear nothing but the voice of Satan, urging them on to more envy, malice, hatred and strife, publicly and privately expressed. Henceforth, such men should be to all who love righteousness, and obey the Lord's command, "as heathen men and publicans" until such times as they shall fully and humbly repent and reform.
(3) The Apostle gives us a sure rule for judging who are and who are not "brethren." He says, "If any man have not the spirit of Christ he is none of his" - no matter what he believes, and no matter what he may formerly have been or believed or done. The spirit manifested by these conspirators is far from the spirit of Christ-meekness, gentleness, patience, brotherly kindness and love which surmises no evil. And those who are none of his should, surely, be none of ours. Every branch in the Vine that beareth not fruit (the fruit of the spirit), God, the great husbandman, will take away (cast off). -John 15:2.
The violation and loss of the spirit of the truth generally comes first, but the loss of the letter of the truth, the true doctrine, is sure to follow, ere long. "If any man will do my Father's will he shall know of my doctrine," said the Master. And it is consistent to reason to the contrary, that those who have the doctrine, but fail to grow its proper fruits will lose the doctrine.
This sudden and venomous attack upon my reputation by those who professed, even to the very date of the outbreak, the warmest of friendship-this search for years for something that could be misconstrued and made unto slander, -this berating of the colporteurs as my slaves, by the very men who (more than myself) urged all who could do so to engage in this service, and who denominated it the highest and best service of the Truth, -this attempt to apply to me all the vile names they can think of, such as "pope," "Man of Sin," "Saul," "King of Babylon," etc., may deceive some, but not those who have the spirit of the truth and who as true sheep know the voice of the Shepherd. Such will recognize it as the voice of a stranger, and will flee from its influence. -John 10:5.
The Lord who saw fit to permit the great Enemy to bring this storm upon his disciples, purposed not only the shaking out of all not worthy of the truth, but also the greater strengthening of faith and closer binding together of all who are truly his. He is able to say now, as of yore (Matt. 8:26), Peace, be still; and to give us a great peace and renewed confidence in him and in each other in whom we see his spirit.
Just a word upon another matter. Slighting remarks have been made respecting the Dawns, and other of our publications, to the effect that these teachings are really old and merely restated therein. I reply: It is well known to all of our readers that we do not claim that our teachings are new; that, on the contrary, we specially designate them "the old theology;" - the teachings of Christ and the apostles and prophets.
If it be true, that the same truths are taught in books published by others, I would be glad to know it; but I regret that I have never seen them. These who profess to know of such publications have evidently gotten as little good from them as they got from mine, -none. For he who gets not the spirit of the truth gets no blessing from the letter of the truth.
That isolated parts or features of the truth are to be found in the various writings of the past three centuries is unquestionably true. Our Presbyterian friends have precious truth in the doctrine of election. Our Methodist friends have long held the blessed doctrine of free grace; our Universalist friends have long preached a false view of restitution; and almost all have held some truth with some error. The special blessing of the present harvest message is that it clarifies, harmonizes and systematizes all these fragments of truth, and brings order out of confusion, -rightly dividing the Word of Truth.
Respecting the steps of the divine leading in reaching the present development of the truth, I refer the reader to three articles which appeared in Zion's Watch Tower for May, 1890, entitled "Perils Amongst False Brethren," "Harvest Gatherings and Siftings" and "Sifting the Wheat." These were published with reference to a previous sifting; but as many of our readers are new since then, we think well to let these articles form a conclusion to this paper.
We know of no other publications than MILLENNIAL DAWN, etc., which teach an opportunity of restitution based upon a ransom- price given for all on Calvary; no others that distinguish between the human and the divine natures, showing the latter to be the heritage of the elect Church and the former the blessed hope set before the world; no others that teach distinctly the presence of our Lord, beginning in the Fall of 1874; no others that [HGL136] show the real cleansing of the Sanctuary; no others that harmonize all these doctrines (election, free grace, the "little flock," the "great company," the restitution class, etc., etc., ) in the one grand, beautiful, divine, Plan of the Ages.
We could wish that there were many and abler pens than ours, to portray a message so worthy of the sublimest expression. But we rejoice, nevertheless, that we have a share in the work; and we remember always that not unto the human instruments, but to God, the divine author of the plan of the ages, belongs the honor. And we remember that in this, as in all things, God's Word is fulfilled which declares that "God hath chosen the weak things of the world and the things that are naught."
But whoever might have been the instrument in the Lord's hands, in bringing to light the harvest message, we well know from the assurances of God's word that he could only expect as his present reward, that which the Master also received, when after opening the eyes of one born blind, they said, "Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner." John 9:16, 24. Surely the disciple is not above his Master.
I take this occasion to thank those of charitable judgment who by letter and in person have expressed their confidence and sympathy in this trial, and who have steadily held us, and all the interests of this harvest work, before the throne of grace. Continue to do so, dear brethren and sisters: "Watch and pray!" Watch, that no criticizing, evil-surmising spirit may find a place among you; and if any such appear in your midst, promptly check the tendency by refusing to be a party to any secret, underhanded slander; bring all such and their charges to the light at once; and if they refuse to state publicly to the accused, what they would hint and insinuate privately, reckon that such persons have not the spirit of Christ, but the reverse, the disposition of Satan, the accuser of the brethren: for the poison of asps is under the lips of the evil-surmising, backbiting gossip. (Rom. 3:13-18.) But cultivate rather the fruits of the spirit of love and peace, and seek to adorn the profession of godliness with a consistent walk and conversation.
I take this opportunity to speak in defense of my husband against the bold attack of our enemies in maligning his character and misrepresenting our domestic relations. Our household is composed only of ourselves and our esteemed and beloved helpers in the WATCH TOWER Office, all of whom gladly bear witness to the tranquility and happiness of our home, save as intrusions of false brethren and busybodies occasionally disturb it.
Our home, so far from being a discordant one, is the very reverse, -most happy. I could, indeed, pray for no greater blessing upon all of the dear saints, than that their home-life might be as peaceful and happy as ours. The liberty wherewith Christ makes free is enjoyed by all who are of our household or in any way connected with the work; -not the liberty of anarchy, however, but of subjection to the spirit and Word of God.
To the above answers of my beloved husband to the charges of his slanderers I give my unqualified endorsement in every particular. Although such calumnies are severe, and doubly hard to bear when they come from those whom we had supposed to be friends, but who, we now find, have been plotting these wicked deeds for several years, I assure you all that God has sustained us and given us his peace through it all. At first it came with almost the force and suddenness of an avalanche, both upon us and upon the Allegheny Church; and although we feared for the stability of some, we felt sure that it was permitted of the Lord for the purpose of what he saw to be a necessary sifting. But, thank God, the Church here has weathered the storm well; and now letters from some of the stronger ones abroad, who have received the libelous circulars are coming in, expressing continued confidence, and showing that Satan's arts are recognized; and these are further encouraging our hearts and answering our prayers, though we are still solicitous for many who are yet young in the truth, and who may be unprepared to withstand such a shock; for we well know that the time intervening between receiving the slanderous report and this reply is one of suspense and severe trial to all.
We reflect, however, that "The Lord knoweth them that are his," and that he is able and willing to keep them from falling; and that, as with Gideon's band, some must needs be turned back. Who is on the Lord's side? -the truth's side? "Who shall be able to stand?"- "Who shall ascend into the hill (the Kingdom) of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?" "He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn (a solemn covenant) deceitfully."
Having committed our way unto the Lord, we are not fretting ourselves because of the evil doers, whose time is short, but we are trusting in the Lord, whose promises will in due time be fulfilled- "He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday" (Psa. 37); and until such time we will try to be patient, and will count it all joy to be esteemed worthy to suffer reproaches and afflictions for the name and cause of our beloved Lord.
In Christian love and fellowship with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ and his truth in truth and sincerity, and who have no disposition to make merchandise of either the truth or the character of any of God's chosen instruments, I am Yours in the faith and hope of the Gospel, Mrs. C T Russell.
ALLEGHENY CHURCH RESOLUTIONS
At a meeting of the Church of Christ, of Allegheny, Pa., held in Bible House Chapel, following the preaching services, over one hundred being present, a Chairman and Secretary were elected, and a committee presented the following Resolutions, which were unanimously adopted.
Whereas, It has come to our knowledge that certain persons, viz., Elmer Bryan, Otto von Zech, S D Rogers [HGL137] and J B Adamson, have been for some time circulating verbal and printed reports concerning our pastor, Brother Charles T Russell, which are derogatory to his character as a Christian gentleman, as a business man, and as our pastor; and
RESOLVED, That we, the congregation meeting at Bible House, Allegheny, Pa., place no confidence in the aforesaid reports which are being disseminated by the above-named persons, but consider them slanderours, and entirely unworthy of persons professing to be brethren in Christ; and be it further
Resolved, That we take this opportunity to express, to Brother Russell and to all whom it may concern, our great regard for him as a Christian gentleman, our unshaken confidence in his integrity as a business man, and our ever-increasing love and appreciation of him as our pastor (not our pope, as they falsely allege); and to acknowledge that, to him, under God, we owe a debt of gratitude for fifteen years' faithful services as our pastor, in ministering to us the Truth, which has made us free, and whereby we have been and are growing in knowledge, grace and steadfastness; and for encouraging us to the use of the talents of which we are severally the stewards; and for providing a commodious and centrally-located meeting-place for us; all of which he does voluntarily, and without a penny of remuneration; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chairman and Secretary of this meeting be and they are hereby authorized and instructed to sign these resolutions on behalf of the congregation, and to convey the same to Brother Russell.
Dear Brother Russell: -Various reports having been circulated by persons, viz.: Elmer Bryan, S D Rogers, Mr. and Mrs. Otto von Zech, J B Adamson and Paul Koetitz, whose conduct shows them to be the enemies of the truth as well as of yourself, to the effect that those working in the office under your supervision are in bondage to you, "under his thumb," "dare not to call their souls their own," "slaves," etc., etc., without liberty to think or act according to the dictates of their own consciences and judgments, we desire to express ourselves positively in the matter, in writing, so that these reports may be understood in their true light, not only by yourself, but by others who have heard these rumors, and by whomsoever else you may wish to acquaint with the contents of this letter.
We desire to state first, that we are not in bondage, nor oppressed, nor caused to say or do anything in any matter which is contrary to our wills. We are in the office from choice, as the part of the Lord's work in which, in our opinion, we can serve most fully and most to the Lord's praise. We are at liberty to exercise all our functions as members of the body of Christ, and we do so, not only with your consent, but with your approval and encouragement. In fact, far from exhibiting a desire to suppress any of us, we have found you always desirous of enlarging our field of usefulness as much as possible; and we would say further that you have our esteem and love as a servant of the Lord, and as one in whom his likeness is largely developed.
But in several other respects we are in bondage. We were first the servants of Sin, "sold under Sin," receiving the daily wages-pain, sorrow, discontent, disease-of that inexorable master; and we found ourselves "under his thumb," fearing the death which we realized would finally be inflicted upon us.
But, thanks be to God, we escaped before he had fully wrought out his evil purposes. We learned that we had been "bought with a price, even the precious blood of Christ;" and with you we fled to this new Master, to yield our members servants of righteousness, as we had formerly yielded them to the service of our old master, Sin. And did we count ourselves free? out of bondage? Free from Sin, yes; but not absolutely free. We had merely transferred our allegiance. We had now become the bond-servants or slaves of Christ, of righteousness, of truth. We were bound by our covenant of consciences; by the dictates of our consciences; by our judgments; by God's command, through the Apostle, that all we do, to the smallest item, should be to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31); and consequently we were obliged to bear the fruit of the spirit; for we recognized as binding upon us our Master's words: "In this is my Father glorified-that ye bear much fruit."
We found that our new Master was not selfish in demanding this; for the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, fidelity, meekness, self-control, all of which redound to our own benefit; and we realized that He could not be selfish in demanding this exhibition of un selfishness from us, especially as this is his own disposition. -Philip. 2:5.
We were also bound in other ways, and more and more so as we studied the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, and saw how one after another of the desires and liberties of the flesh must be restrained, bound, in order that we might the more closely walk up to the requirements of that law. We found limitations, prohibitions, counsels, warnings, applicable to every walk in life; and we found some of them very crucial tests, dividing even "between the soul (the human instincts) and the spirit (the intents of the new mind)." "Let every man please (not himself, but) his neighbor unto edification; for even Christ pleased not himself." "Judge not, that ye be not judged;" but "judge this, rather, that no man put a stumbling-block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way." "Lie not against the truth." "Lie not one to another." "Put off the former conversation, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind." "Let not the sun go down upon your wrath." "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth." "Grieve not the holy spirit." "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and evil-speaking be put away from you, with all malice; and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." "Let no man deceive you with vain words." "Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." "Walk circumspectly." "Redeem the time." "Submit yourselves one to another." "Put on the whole armor of God." "Beware of dogs and evil workers." "Continue [HGL138] in prayer, and watch with thanksgiving." "Walk in wisdom toward them that are without." "See that none render evil for evil." "Avenge not yourselves." "Abstain from all appearance of evil." "Be not weary in well doing." "The love of money is the root of all evil." "Preach the word, be instant in season and out of season." "Avoid foolish questions." "Speak evil of no man." "In honor prefer one another."
Yes, the more we study the law of the spirit of life, the more we find that it means death to self; so that we would "endure grief, suffering wrongfully," humiliation, pain, death itself, rather than displease our present Master, or allow the old autocrat, Sin, to gain the least ascendancy over us. Yea, we count all things as loss and dross, if we may but remain in Christ.
In yet another way are we in bondage. We found that our new Master did not consult us as to what position in his household we would like to occupy: he arbitrarily appointed us our places, and we were thankful, oh, so thankful, to be used at all, that we were not very particular. We were glad to be used in any capacity. We found that "God hath set the members in the body as it hath pleased him." Realizing this, we are content. He knows best how to use us; he has used us in the past and we trust him to use us more effectively in the future.
But we are bound-bound to the body; and, being bound, we are endeavoring to supply that strength and stability, that grace, which will tend to the increase of the spirit of love, and to the effectual service of the entire body. -Eph. 4:15, 16.
We are bound in still another way: "We can do nothing against the truth." The unenlightened world, the entire nominal church, some who once loved us, principalities and powers, seen and unseen, Satan with all his hosts, are arrayed against the truth, to destroy it if possible, to drag in the dust its most earnest advocates; but we, we can do nothing against the truth. The very thought is pain. Rather let all the anathemas pronounced by Papacy against heretics be upon us. We can do nothing, we will do nothing against the truth. "Let God be true, though it prove every man a liar."
These, dear Bro. Russell, are the sentiments of our hearts toward the Lord and his work, and we believe them to be also the sentiments of your own heart. We want to assure you of our oneness of purpose with you in the forwarding of the work, over which we believe the Lord has made you overseer, and in which, by his grace, we are glad to be accounted "helps." (Can it be that the Apostle referred to us when he used that peculiar term?) This is a trying hour to you; and perhaps you feel a little as the Lord did, when some walked no more with him- "And will ye, too, go away?" So we want to sustain you by our love and sympathy and co-operation, as well as by our prayers, and to give you every reason to believe that we are your friends, as well as friends of the truth.
We know not what to say concerning those who malign your character; but we fear for them the retribution of those who spoke evil of another to whom the Lord had given a special charge. -Num. 16:1-35.
This A M we received a "circular letter," which I take the liberty to enclose to you, believing you ought (if you do not) to know its contents. Truly it has been a sad day to us, more like a house of mourning. Mrs. G is almost prostrated over it, but thank the good Lord, we have not read the Tower for over twelve years in vain. By God's grace, we can see the sophistry and detect the wolf beneath the covering of wool. Mr. Rogers is greatly mistaken in supposing that none who read the Dawn without the preached word can come into the Truth; for, thank the dear Lord, sister G and myself were led into the light by it. Sisters Erlenmeyer and Clark were the first we met and talked with, and that is less than three years ago; and they will doubtless testify to our having considerable light. I have humbly done what I could to circulate Dawns and Tracts.
But, dear brother and sister, I will not weary you; only be assured that you are always remembered in our prayers; and may the dear Lord be ever present with you in this your especial time of need. We shall ever trust in Christ, our ransom price, and strive to be led by the "spirit of truth."
Dear Sister Russell: -In writing you a few days ago I expressed great surprise at the course Bro. Rogers had taken. Judge my further surprise when yesterday I received a circular containing the letters of four brethren. Of course you know to what I refer. What can this mean?
It takes no keen discernment to discover that they were not written in the spirit of meekness and love, the Christ spirit. The venom with which they seem to be permeated must certainly neutralize their effect. One of the writers in his anxiety to make out a case, by making public that which he had better wrapped in a mantle of charity and consigned to forgetfulness, has, in my estimation, violated his Christian honor. I honestly believe that I express the sentiment of the whole true church when I say that we still esteem our Brother Russell very highly in love for his work's sake, and sincerely believe that he will be able to clear himself of each and every charge, and come forth from this fiery trial [HGL139] unscathed as he has done from former ones. He never to my knowledge claimed infallibility or wished to assume either office or title of "pope." Nor can I see how any member of the church possessed of intelligence and sanctified common sense can accuse him of this.
I have written, dear sister, to express to you my continued love and confidence, also my sympathy in this trial. 'Tis doubtless a well-laid scheme of the adversary to shake your faith. Recall your own words in your last letter to me: "We are in the shaking time when all that can be shaken will be, and only that which cannot be shaken will remain," and, holding fast your confidence, go on, looking unto Jesus. Please express my Christian love and sympathy to Bro. Russell, and tell him to fear none of these things which he shall suffer.
Dear Brother Gilruth: -Yours of 6th inst. came duly. I am grieved that the Rogers, Zech, Bryan, Adamson manifesto must now arise to stumble some, though, since the Lord permits it, I am not dazed by it; nor do I let it worry me. . . . . At the meeting that continued until 4 o'clock, A M, to which Zech refers, I presided as chairman. When first going into the work Zech had no money, but later was left some by German relatives. He was anxious to invest it and finally conceived the idea of establishing a printing plant and doing Bro. Russell's work. Bro. Russell discouraged the idea, though, through regard for Zech and to aid him, he finally consented to give him the work, advising against the scheme; and Zech knows this, though stating to the contrary. Zech insisted on Bro. Russell treating him in all things on the principle of "love," as he put it, i. e., that he do everything he could for him and pay the highest price for all work done, while he, Zech, act wholly on the principle of avarice-get all you can-with Bro. Russell.
I do not think that Zech saw the point on this plainly, his financial interests and lack of business ability keeping the fear that he might lose money constantly in the foreground. His money has proven a snare to him. I have been all over this ground with both parties, and am sure Brother Russell has done Zech no injury.
Bryan is a very peculiar man, and always has been-by heredity, I judge, assisted by training. He must needs have the care of every conscience subject to his observation, demanding that all conform to his views of right and wrong. To an insane degree he constantly exhibited the determination during the last of his connection with the office, to make Bro. Russell acknowledge to him that he was a wrong-doer, and especially in doing contrary to Bryan's judgment. His insinuations and intimations regarding the boiler cleaning compound are, I am sure, more the result of prejudice than fact; though this particular thing was not canvassed when I was in Allegheny. Similar and even worse charges were, and found groundless.
My knowledge of the weaknesses, prejudice, poor judgment, lack of discernment, etc., of Zech and Bryan, with the information I have proving the most of these charges groundless, leads me to give but little if any weight to their criticism.
Rogers has stumbled over having a special mission to convert everybody to his methods. No one can or will object to his living according to it; and he might be blessed in some ways by so doing. Surely you and I prefer to earn our own bread, that we may be chargeable to none, and have to give to him who is in necessity; -not who supinely puts himself in a dependent condition.
I have had a long correspondence with Adamson regarding his tract, and refused to contribute toward the expense of printing, not knowing what it would teach. He abused me roundly for this and severely criticized my free-will offering to the Tract Fund, indicating a perverse spirit. However, we can and I do leave the quartet in God's hands. He knows their weaknesses and how much perverseness is mixed up in their courses.
We know that God's plan will be fully accomplished in due time and that any and all who resist the truth, even as Jannes and Jambres did Moses, will gain a full recompense of reward (2 Tim. 3:8, 9) and in no way prevent the full setting up of the Kingdom. Then, too, we know that wicked servants are sent into outer darkness by the Master, and he is managing the harvest work. We can abide in him, and have our weakness turned into strength. Yours in service, W E Page.
Dear Brother Russell: -I want you to understand how we regard the trouble. Your friends will court an investigation. Better wait until A, B, R and Z have something more definite than their very gauzy manifesto to offer. Do not, please do not, make the same mistake of haste and anger which characterizes their villainous letter. Sorry you did not mention the Adamson matter when you were here with us, on your return from your visit to him, as only a few days after I sent a small subscription for his tracts.
Careful study of the manifesto shows that it covers considerable time, during which the four signers were in intimate communication with you. Suddenly they change, and with haste and irritation describe troubles already examined and decided against them; and they wantonly villify one whom within the present month they loudly proclaimed as their trusted leader and friend.
Our only information is gleaned from the bare, cold, unsympathetic black and white of the printed page, -evidently hastily written, under the stress of strong excitement, couched in language vague and ambiguous, hinting at things to us unknown but presumably dreadful, and all better calculated to whet the appetite of a scandal-monger than to enlighten the saint.
Referring to the circular alphabetically, we note that it extends from A to Z'Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning to the end: and, indeed to cover the entire ground. If the desire to bring Bro. Russell to the varying standards of excellence in the minds of the four writers has been unwarranted by the facts, none should [HGL140] more regret it than themselves. Such however being the case, we appear to have four popes instead of only one.
Bro. Adamson's tract begins- "Introductory. This outline of God's plan in the ages is designed to be an introduction to the volumes of the Millennial Dawn." He says, "Concerning parables heard, while the author of Dawn is not responsible here, we believe it is in harmony with Millennial Dawn teaching." From this the reader might fairly infer at least that the "author of DAWN" does not disagree. While the truth is the very reverse, this tract is now being shamelessly foisted upon the public. More than this, Brother Adamson endeavors to throw the responsibility on the author of Dawn by failing to note any other possible author, and by announcing himself under the title of "Distributor."
MILLENNIAL DAWN, when read in the order in which it is written, the order intended by its author, is as plain as the alphabet, and no more needs an introduction, or explanation than do our A B C's. To write an alleged introduction, supposedly on behalf, but without the request, of the author of the book, is to insinuate obscurity and incapacity in the author, and is to him a gratuitous insult. To insist on publishing such an introduction regardless of the author's repeated protests, would even in civil courts, subject such publisher to heavy penalties. How much more, then, should such conduct be reprobated by those who will judge, not only the world, but angels.
Several of Bro. Bryan's charges have already to my knowledge been tried impartially in a manner and by a tribunal of his own Scriptural choosing; but he forgets that their findings in each instance supported you, Brother Russell, and were unfavorable to himself. That he should now drag forth these once disposed of matters, without honestly advising his readers of the fact, seems to argue a decidedly drowsy condition of his once so vigilant conscience.
Brother Rogers is plainly guilty of a shameful waste of printers' ink, blank paper, and his readers' time, in requiring two full pages closely packed, on which to confess that while a duly accredited agent, under the instructions and at the expense of the Tower Tract Society, he disobeyed orders, violated his agreement, and returned to England expecting to persuade you that he knew more about your purpose and plans than you did yourself.
Bro. Zech in his attempt to describe a family difficulty, said to have occurred as long ago as Christmas, '92 has failed; hence we have only his word that there was an "insult." If there really were one, it has doubtless long since been forgiven. The demand for a public apology was not called for according to its own showing; and in publishing the names of its signers he has probably no more consulted their wishes than those of the other parties concerned.
Dear Brother Russell: -My heart has been exceeding sad for the last two weeks. Because I would not condemn you unheard, I have been abused and likened to an idol worshiper, been told to repent and be converted and it has even been hinted to me that I am not consecrated. This dreadful thing (the defamatory circular) came on us in Columbus like a flash of lightening from a clear sky. Bro. Adamson never hinted to me that there was the least inharmony between yourself and him when he asked me to subscribe for his tracts.
"I cannot judge Bro. Russell from the standpoint of your four witnesses. He has three witnesses in his favor now, -Food For Thinking Christians, Millennial Dawn and Zion's Watch Tower, besides brethren yet to hear from. If Bro. Russell has erred, the Lord will judge him for it. I cannot condemn him unheard."
I hope dear brother, that you may be able to refute the slander of your enemies. I cannot believe that the Father would reveal his plans and truths to one so wicked as your enemies would make you out to be. I feel that the Lord will be with you. "For God is not unrighteous to forget your labor of love, which ye have showed toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints and do minister."
"Bro. Zech wrote me that Bro. Russell had tasked me with changing an order from Sister McOmber from 100 Ingersoll tracts to 'my' tracts; accusing me of scratching out the 'Ingersoll' and putting 'my' above it. I suppose you sent the letter to Bro. Russell as an evidence of my rascality."
[Reply: The only letter of the kind referred to by Bro. A, that I know of, was one sent to him by Bro. Sherman. In it Bro. S enclosed $5.00 for one hundred Ingersoll tracts. Bro. A crossed off the words "Ingersoll tracts" and wrote above "your new tract." Bro. A sent that altered letter to a friend, from whom he desired a like amount, and in due time it came to me. I do not believe, however, that it was done fraudulently; nor that it was a misapplication of funds. I merely say that he should first have assured himself, beyond all question, as to Bro. Sherman's real intention: knowing that so intelligent a penman is not likely to misstate himself; especially, too, as Bro. A was a Director in the Tract Society.]
Dear Brother Russell: -It is with heaviness of heart that we write you these few lines. Without taking sides on the merits of the case as the trouble now stands, and as viewed from the circular letter of Bros. Zech, Rogers, Bryan and Adamson, we must protest against their course of procedure against you as unworthy of brethren. We extend to you and Sister Russell our sympathy. Your labor in the cause of present truth deserves better treatment than these men would mete out to you. [HGL141] If you have done wrong, may the dear Lord help you to see your error; and I believe in such event you would cheerfully acknowledge it. Your brother and sister in Christ, F J & Alice E Bourquin.
Myself and wife have made it a subject of prayer, as we did when we first read DAWN, and we feel that we cannot wait one mail longer without writing and apprising you of our disapproval of your course, which we believe is very unscriptural and involving terrible consequences to yourselves, the body of Christ at large, many private individuals, and many who may now be just receiving the lights. It seems to us that Satan could not, with all his cunning, conceded ingenuity and ability, have concocted a scheme by which he could have injured more the cause of present truth than thus to deceive you and inspire you to do this thing as you have.
Should all you claim be true, which I do not admit to believe, then you still have not done as the Lord has instructed his followers to do. We have not conferred with flesh and blood-we passed that point long ago; but we have conferred with our Heavenly Father, and we take our stand on what we believe to be the right and truth and do not desire to injure the least one of those who believe in Christ. Others may do as they see right in the matter, but for our part we need not wait to see what step others may take or what they may say: we are willing to assume the responsibility thrust upon us by your very unwise, unkind and wicked letter. The course you have taken is certainly not the result of any inspiration received in communion with the Father in your private closet: no, dear erring brother, it must come from another source. The course pursued would kill the brother if guilty of all you claim, instead of reclaiming him.
For our part, we do not own one "pope;" if we did, we think we would prefer Bro. Russell to either of the four writing the circular letters; neither do we want two, three or four popes, and we confess that the said letters do smack of popery. You ask too much entirely, after failing to do as our Lord directed (Matt. 18:15-17.) You with three others set yourselves up as judges, witnesses and jury, and I might also add, without drawing too much on the imagination, as executioners. Now I wish to say to you that I know enough of the law of the world to know that this is very unlawful. No accused is to be adjudged guilty on ex parte testimony; even an accused criminal is to be presumed innocent until proven guilty by witnesses put under the testing fire of cross examination, all in the presence of the "accused," a phrase you use repeatedly.
Bro. Zech, this letter is unworthy of you; and if my finances were as at one time, I would hasten to you, and talk to you face to face, for I would ten thousand times rather say this to you than to write it. I do not wish to evade responsibility when the cause of truth and the Master is at stake and in peril by false brethren, deceived and ignorant, as I believe, but false nevertheless, through the wiles of Satan.
Before I was a Christian I would never have betrayed such a secret, obtained as guest in a family, under any circumstances; if not from pure motives, I would have feared to be despised and distrusted by those to whom I should have revealed my perfidy and infidelity.
Why did you not wait until after to-day (the Anniversary of Christ's death) before sending out your miserable stuff? This seems to be the time, though, for Satan to manifest himself, and it does look to me that this time he has taken four men who might have made good "shoemakers" and made Judges and lawyers of them, and they have "butchered" the job for everybody. I cannot express my indignation in words, at such audacity and assumption of power. After carefully rereading the letter I am convinced the writers are incompetent to try such a case, even if asked to do so by the congregation. The personal grievances are too prominent. Having confidence that our Lord is able to overrule the machination of the powers of darkness and make the wrath and wickedness of men to praise him and serve His good purpose, I am striving to be a faithful servant of the Lord. F J Bourquin.
Dear Brother and Sister Russell: -This last month has been, in my experience, a very sad one. The printed circular, coming from parties from whom we expected better things, has troubled me and made me very sad.
But after some mature reflection, and when I discovered from whom it emanated, I was not so surprised; for I have long ago seen that there was a Korah in the camp, who was soon joined by Dathan and Abiram. As they were the ringleaders in the rebellion against Moses and Aaron, so likewise those you have made confidants and entrusted with your private affairs, -who have sat at your table, as one of your family and been made partakers together of spiritual as well as natural things, little thinking you were nourishing a viper of the most poisonous nature, as it were in your bosom.
The three Spring Meetings previous to the Chicago Convention, notwithstanding the great good I received while there, were somewhat marred with what I saw and heard by three of the same parties now prominent in this disruption; and I was many times tempted to give you a hint on the subject, but I quieted my conscience by attributing it to their weakness. These are the three stones that in my dream I saw hurled at you while you were ministering to us the Word of Life, that caused blood to flow from your temples. Do you remember my mentioning it to you about three years ago? Oh! it makes me sad indeed. Anything from the outside world I can endure-as David expresses it "Had it been an avowed enemy, I could have borne it."
Oh, may this dark hour of trial draw us closer, and closer, under the sheltering arms of our Heavenly Father! May God bless you with the riches of his grace, and the fulness of His spirit, is the earnest prayer of your brother in Christ, John W Mason.
Our Christian experiences differ; no two exactly the same, because our temperaments and talents differ as well as our surroundings. But we may rely upon it that no real son of God is exempted from the needed trials of patience, faith and love. No matter how strong the character, or how seemingly impregnable to the ordinary besetments, we may rely upon it that such have as great trials and crosses as others-perhaps greater; perhaps such as would prostrate weaker ones, whom the Lord will therefore in love and mercy not suffer to be tempted above that they are able to bear. -1 Cor. 10:13.
Even our blessed Lord Jesus, though perfect, had to pass through an experience to test and prove his complete submission to the Father's will. Looking at our Lord's testing, we cannot doubt that his strong character was measurably unmoved by the sarcastic, bitter words and threats of the Scribes and Pharisees, and that likewise he speedily and firmly settled Satan's temptations negatively. None of these things, which would have been the greatest temptations to others, seemed to move or even to greatly annoy him. He answered coolly and often ironically the attacks of open enemies, and was comparatively unmoved by them; but it was when those who dipped in the dish with him lifted up the heel against him (Psa. 41:9; Matt. 26:23) and left him, that his heart was troubled; -wounded by professed friends. The only discouraged expression recorded, relative to his work, was toward the close of his ministry when the test became more and more severe, and "many went back and walked no more in his company," saying of his doctrines, "This is a hard saying; who can hear it?" His unreproachful but sorrowful words, then expressed to the twelve specially staunch disciples, were full of pathos and disappointed grief: "Will ye also go away?" The prompt response of Peter- "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of lasting life" - must certainly have come as a comforting balm to that noble, loving heart, whose only impulse was to do good and to bless others.
And yet as he approached the close of his ministry, the time came that he must still further suffer wounds from those he most loved. No wonder that, catching a clear view of how his sacrifice was to be completed, how all his bosom disciples would forsake and disown him, and how one of them would betray him with a kiss, he was sorrowful, troubled in spirit, and testified, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me." And though Peter courageously said, "Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee" - and so said they all-Jesus saw that all would be scattered, forsaking him in his most trying hour, and that courageous Peter would be so terribly sifted of Satan and prove so weak that he would even swear that he had never known him. Truly these trials from "brethren," some of whom were only weak, and one false at heart, must have been among the sorest of our Lord's experiences, during his period of trial. Yet none of these things moved him or for a moment influenced him to choose another course. He cheerfully followed the narrow path and left it for God, in his own time, to bring forth his righteousness as the light of noonday. (Psa. 37:6). He was obedient to God, and faithful to the truth, and it was thus that he suffered, not only at the hands of evil men, but also from the misunderstandings of his closest friends, who did not clearly grasp the situation, nor see how needful it was that he should first be Redeemer before he could become Restorer and King.
We never hear from him a complaint about the way the world rejected his message, spoke evil of him and maltreated him as the leading exponent of the unpopular doctrine of the cross of Christ, which was opposed both by the stumbling blinded Jews and by the worldly-wise believers in the philosophies of the Gentiles. Indeed, instead of being downcast or discouraged at his past experiences, or in the prospect of bonds and imprisonments awaiting him in the future, he boldly and cheerfully declared, "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself." -Acts 20:19-24
But, like the Lord Jesus, Paul had his severest trials from "false brethren"; who, instead of being faithful yoke-fellows and co-workers, as good soldiers of the cross, became puffed up, heady, and anxious to be leaders. These, being unwilling or unable to see the truth as fully and clearly as did Paul, because of their wrong condition of heart, and being envious of his success and the results of his zeal and labor, followed after him in the various cities where he had labored, and by misrepresentation of his character as well as of his teachings, sought to lower him in the esteem of the household of faith, and thus to open the way for various sophistical theories which would reflect honor upon them as teachers of what they claimed were advanced truths, though actually subverting the real truth in the minds of many.
The only annoyance ever manifested by the Apostle Paul, in any of his letters, was upon this subject of his misrepresentation by false brethren. Referring to these false apostles by name, that they might be known and recognized as such (See 1 Tim. 1:19, 20; 2 Tim. 4:10, 14-17; 2 Cor. 11:2-23), he clearly exposed their unholy motives of pride, ambition and envy, which scrupled not to make havoc of the Church and of the truth.
Especially did he point out that, in their attempt to be leaders, they had manufactured a different gospel, built upon a different foundation than the only true foundation-the death of Christ as man's ransom-price.
He warns them against those teachers, not to keep himself uppermost in their hearts, but to put them on their guard, lest receiving the new teachers, they should be injured by the false teachings they presented, and lest in rejecting him and losing confidence in him as an honest and true man and teacher they should discard his teachings, which were the truth. Hence his reference to himself was not in self-defence and self-laudation, but in defence of the truth and an endeavor to have them see that his character [HGL143] and career as a true teacher comported well with the true message he bore to them.
And he fearlessly pointed out that men might claim to present the same Jesus, the same spirit and the same gospel, and yet be false teachers and deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And, he says, marvel not at such a thing as that men should be great workers in the name of Christ from ambitious motives: "No marvel, for Satan himself fashioneth himself into an angel of light. It is no great thing, therefore, if his ministers also transform themselves as ministers of righteousness."
Paul's letter to the Galatians was written evidently to counteract the misrepresentations of false brethren. (Gal. 1:6; 3:1.) To re-establish confidence in the gospel message he had delivered, it was needful that he should rehearse to them something of his history. In doing so it was necessary to refer again to the false brethren (Gal. 2:4), who claimed to be of the same body and who yet, in opposition to the truth, brought again upon God's children the bondage of errors already escaped from.
HARVEST GATHERING AND SIFTINGS A BRIEF SKETCH OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF PRESENT TRUTH
Many are the inquiries relative to the truths presented in Millennial Dawn and Zion's Watch Tower, as to whence they came and how they developed to their present symmetrical and beautiful proportions-Were they the results of visions? Did God in any supernatural way grant the solution of these hitherto mysteries of his plan? Are the writers more than ordinary beings? Do they claim any supernatural wisdom or power? or how comes this revelation of God's truth?
No, dear friends, we claim nothing of superiority, nor supernatural power, dignity or authority; nor do we aspire to exalt ourselves in the estimation of our brethren of the household of faith, except in the sense that the Master urged it, saying, "Let him who would be great among you be your servant." (Matt. 20:27.) And our position among men of the world and of the nominal church is certainly far from exalted, being everywhere spoken against. We are fully contented, however, to wait for exaltation until the Lord's due time. (1 Pet. 5:6.) In the apostle's words we therefore answer, "Why look ye upon us, as though by our own power we had done these things? We also are men of like passions with yourselves-of like infirmities and frailties, earnestly striving, by overcoming many besetments, dis-couragements, etc., to press along the line toward the mark of the prize of our high calling, and claiming only, as faithful students of the Word of God, to be index fingers, as we have previously expressed it, to help you to trace for yourselves, on the sacred page, the wonderful plan of God-no less wonderful to us, we assure you, than to you, dearly beloved sharers of our faith and joy."
No, the truths we present, as God's mouthpieces, were not revealed in visions or dreams, nor by God's audible voice, nor all at once, but gradually, especially since 1870, and particularly since 1880, a period of above twenty years. And this present clear unfolding of truth is not due to any human ingenuity or acuteness of perception, but to the simple fact that God's due time has come; and if we did not speak, and no other agent could be found, the very stones would cry out.
We give the following history, not only because we have been urged to give a review of God's leadings in the path of light, but specially because we believe it to be needful that the truth be modestly told, that misapprehensions and prejudicial mis-statements may be disarmed, and that our readers may see how hitherto the Lord hath helped and guided us. In so far as the names and views of others, who have parted company with us, may be associated with this history, we shall endeavor to bring forward only such points as are necessary to an understanding of our position and of the Lord's leadings. Nor can we name all the little points of divine favor in which faith was tested, prayers were answered, etc., remembering that our Master and the early church left no such example of boasting faith, but rather admonished otherwise, saying, "Hast thou faith, have it to thyself." Some of the most precious experiences of faith and prayer are those which are too sacred for public display.
We will not go back to tell how the light began to break through the clouds of prejudice and superstition which enveloped the world under Papacy's rule in the dark ages. The reformation movement, or rather movements, from then until now, have each done their share in bringing light out of darkness. But we will here confine ourselves to the consideration of the harvest truths set forth in Millennial Dawn and Zion's Watch Tower.
We begin the narrative at the year 1868, when the editor, having been a consecrated child of God for some years, and a member of the Congregational Church and of the Y M C A, began to be shaken in faith regarding many long accepted doctrines. Brought up a Presbyterian, and indoctrinated from the Catechism, and being naturally of an inquiring mind, I fell a ready prey to the logic of infidelity as soon as I began to think for myself. But that which at first threatened to be the utter shipwreck of faith in God and the Bible, was, under God's providence, overruled for good, and merely wrecked my confidence in human creeds and systems of misinterpretation of the Bible.
Gradually I was led to see that though each of the creeds contained some elements of truth, they were on the whole, misleading and contradictory of God's Word. Among other theories, I stumbled upon Adventism. Seemingly by accident, one evening I dropped into a dusty, dingy hall, where I had heard religious services were held, to see if the handful who met there had anything more sensible to offer than the creeds of the great churches. There, for the first time, I heard something of the views of Second Adventists, the preacher being Mr. Jonas Wendell, long since deceased. Thus, I confess indebtedness to Adventists as well as to other denominations.
Though his Scripture-exposition was not entirely clear, and though it was very far from what we now rejoice in, it was sufficient, under God, to re-establish my wavering faith in the divine inspiration of the Bible, and to show that the records of the apostles and prophets are indissolubly linked. What I heard sent me to my Bible to study with more zeal and care than ever before, and I shall ever thank [HGL144] the Lord for that leading; for though Adventism helped me to no single truth, it did help me greatly in the unlearning of errors, and thus prepared me for the truth.
I soon began to see that we were living somewhere near the close of the Gospel Age, and near the time when the Lord had declared that the wise, watching ones of his children should come to a clear knowledge of his plan. At this time, myself and a few other truth-seekers in Pittsburgh and Allegheny formed a class for Bible study, and from 1870 to 1875 was a time of constant growth in grace and knowledge and love of God and his Word. We came to see something of the love of God, how it had made provision for all mankind, how all must be awakened from the tomb in order that God's loving plan might be testified to them, and how all who exercise faith in Christ's redemptive work and render obedience in harmony with the knowledge of God's will they will then receive, might then (through Christ's merit) be brought back into full harmony with God, and be granted everlasting life. This we saw to be the Restitution work foretold in Acts 3:21. But though seeing that the Church was called to joint-heirship with the Lord in the Millennial Kingdom, up to that time we had failed to see clearly the great distinction between the reward of the Church now on trial and the reward of the faithful of the world after its trial, at the close of the Millennial age-that the reward of the former is to be the glory of the spiritual, divine nature, while that of the latter is to be the glory of restitution-restoration to the perfection of human nature once enjoyed in Eden by their progenitor and head, Adam.
However, we were then merely getting the general outlines of God's plan, and unlearning many long-cherished errors, the time for a clear discernment of the minutiae having not yet fully come. And here I should and do gratefully mention assistance rendered by Brothers Geo. Stetson and Geo. Storrs, the latter the editor of The Bible Examiner, both now deceased. The study of the Word of God with these dear brethren led, step by step, into greener pastures and brighter hopes for the world, though it was not until 1872, when I gained a clear view of our Lord's work as our ransom price, that I found the strength and foundation of all hope of restitution to lie in that doctrine. Up to that time, when I read the testimony that all in their graves shall come forth, etc., I yet doubted the full provision-whether it should be understood to include idiots or infants who had died without reaching any degree of understanding, beings to whom the present life and its experiences would seem to be of little or no advantage. But when, in 1872, I came to examine the subject of restitution from the standpoint of the ransom price given by our Lord Jesus for Adam, and consequently for all lost in Adam, it settled the matter of restitution completely, and gave me the fullest assurance that ALL must come forth from their graves and be brought to a clear knowledge of the truth and to a full opportunity to gain everlasting life in Christ.
Thus passed the years 1869-1872. The years following, to 1876, were years of continued growth in grace and knowledge on the part of the handful of Bible students with whom I met in Allegheny. We progressed from our first crude and indefinite ideas of restitution to clearer understanding of the details; but God's due time for the clear light had not yet come.
During this time, too, we came to recognize the difference between our Lord as "the man who gave himself," and as the Lord who would come again, a spirit being. We saw that spirit-beings can be present, and yet invisible to men, just as we still hold and have set forth in Millennial Dawn Vol. II, Chap. V And we felt greatly grieved at the error of Second Adventists who were expecting Christ in the flesh, and teaching that the world and all in it except Second Adventists would be burned up in 1873 or 1874, whose time-settings and disappointments and crude ideas generally of the object and manner of his coming brought more or less reproach upon us and upon all who longed for and proclaimed his coming Kingdom.
These wrong views so generally held of both the object and manner of the Lord's return led me to write a pamphlet- "The Object and Manner of The Lord's Return," of which some 50,000 copies were published.
It was about January 1876, that my attention was specially drawn to the subject of prophetic time, as it relates to these doctrines and hopes. It came about in this way; I received a paper called The Herald of the Morning, sent by its editor, Mr. N H Barbour. When I opened it I at once identified it with Adventism from the picture on its Cover, and examined it with some curiosity to see what time they would next set for the burning of the world. But judge of my surprise and gratification, when I learned from its contents that the editor was beginning to get his eyes open on the subjects that for some years had so greatly rejoiced our hearts here in Allegheny-that the object of our Lord's return is not to destroy, but to bless all the families of the earth, and that his coming would be thief-like, and not in flesh, but as a spirit-being, invisible to men; and that the gathering of his Church and the separation of the "wheat" from the "tares" would progress in the end of this age without the world's being aware of it.
I rejoiced to find others coming to the same advanced position, but was astonished to find the statement very cautiously set forth, that the editor believed the prophecies to indicate that the Lord was already present in the world (unseen and invisible), and that the harvest work of gathering the wheat was already due, -and that this view was warranted by the time-prophecies which but a few months before he supposed had failed.
Here was a new thought: Could it be that the time prophecies which I had so long despised, because of their misuse by Adventists, were really meant to indicate when the Lord would be invisibly present to set up his Kingdom-a thing which I clearly saw could be known in no other way? It seemed, to say the least, a reasonable, a very reasonable thing, to expect that the Lord would inform his people on the subject-especially as he had promised that the faithful should not be left in darkness with the world, and that though the day of the Lord would come upon all others as a thief in the night (stealthily, unawares), it should not be so to the watching, earnest saints. -1 Thess. 5:4.
I recalled certain arguments used by my friend Jonas Wendell and other Adventists to prove that 1873 would witness the burning of the world, etc. -the chronology of the world showing that the six thousand years from Adam [HGL145] ended with the beginning of 1873-and other arguments drawn from the Scriptures and supposed to coincide. Could it be that these time arguments, which I had passed by as unworthy of attention, really contained an important truth which they had misapplied?
Anxious to learn, from any quarter, whatever God had to teach, I at once wrote to Mr. Barbour, informing him of my harmony on other points and desiring to know particularly why, and upon what Scriptural evidences, he held that Christ's presence and the harvesting of the Gospel age dated from the Autumn of 1874. The Answer'showed that my surmise had been correct, vis: that the time arguments, chronology, etc., were the same as used by Second Adventists in 1873, and explained how Mr. Barbour and Mr. J H Paton, of Michigan, a co-worker with him, had been regular Second Adventists up to that time; and that when the date 1874 had passed without the world being burned, and without their seeing Christ in the flesh, they were for a time dumb-founded. They had examined the time-prophecies that had seemingly passed unfulfilled, and had been unable to find any flaw, and had begun to wonder whether the time was right and their expectations wrong, -whether the views of restitution and blessing to the world, which others were teaching, might not be the things to look for. It seems that not long after their 1874 disappointment, a reader of the Herald of the Morning, who had a copy of the Diaglott, noticed something in it which he thought peculiar, -that in Matt. 24:27, 37, 39, the word which in our common version is rendered coming is translated presence. This was the clue; and, following it, they had been led through prophetic time toward proper views regarding the object and manner of the Lord's return. I, on the contrary, was led first to proper views of the object and manner of our Lord's return and then to the examination of the time for these things, indicated in God's Word. Thus God leads his children often from different starting points of truth; but where the heart is earnest and trustful, the result must be to draw all such together.
But there were no books or other publications setting forth the time-prophecies as then understood, so I paid Mr. Barbour's expenses to come to see me at Philadelphia (where I had business engagements during the summer of 1876), to show me fully and Scripturally, if he could, that the prophecies indicated 1874 as the date at which the Lord's presence and "the harvest" began. He came, and the evidences satisfied me. Being a person of positive convictions and fully consecrated to the Lord, I at once saw that the special times in which we live have an important bearing upon our duty and work as Christ's disciples; that, being in the time of harvest, the harvest-work should be done; and that present truth was the sickle by which the Lord would have us do a gathering and reaping work everywhere among his children.
I inquired of Mr. Barbour as to what was being done by him and by the Herald. He replied that nothing was being done; that the readers of the Herald, being disappointed Adventists, had nearly all lost interest and stopped their subscriptions; and that thus, with money exhausted, the Herald might be said to be practically suspended. I told him that instead of feeling discouraged and giving up the work since his newly found light on restitution (for when we first met, he had much to learn from me on the fullness of restitution based upon the sufficiency of the ransom given for all, as I had much to learn from him concerning time ), he should rather feel that now he had some good tidings to preach, such as he never had before, and that his zeal should be correspondingly increased. At the same time, the knowledge of the fact that we were already in the harvest period gave to me an impetus to spread the truth such as I never had before. I therefore at once resolved upon a vigorous campaign for the truth.
I determined to curtail my business cares and give my time as well as means to the great harvest work. Accordingly, I sent Mr. Barbour back to his home, with money and instructions to prepare in concise book-form the good tidings so far as then understood, including the time features, while I closed out my Philadelphia business preparatory to engaging in the work, as I afterward did, traveling and preaching.
The little book of 196 pages thus prepared was entitled The Three Worlds; and while it was not the first book to teach a measure of restitution, nor the first to treat upon time-prophecy, it was, we believe, the first to combine the idea of restitution with time-prophecy. From the sale of this book and from my purse, our traveling expenses, etc., were met. After a time I conceived the idea of adding another harvest laborer and sent for Mr. Paton, who promptly responded and whose traveling expenses were met in the same manner.
But noticing how quickly people seemed to forget what they had heard, it soon became evident that while the meetings were useful in awakening interest, a monthly journal was needed to hold that interest and develop it. It therefore seemed to be the Lord's will that one of our number should settle somewhere and begin again the regular issuing of the Herald of the Morning. I suggested that Mr. Barbour do this, as he had experience as a type-setter and could therefore do it most economically, while Mr. Paton and I would continue to travel and contribute to its columns as we should find opportunity. To the objection that the type was now sold, and that the few subscriptions which would come in would not, for a long time, make the journal self-sustaining, I replied that I would supply the money for purchasing type, etc., and leave a few hundred dollars in bank subject to Mr. Barbour's check, and that he should manage it as economically as possible, while Mr. Paton and I continued to travel. This, which seemed to be the Lord's will in the matter, was done.
It was after this, while on a tour of the New England states, that I met Mr. A P Adams, then a young Methodist minister, who became deeply interested and accepted the message heartily during the week that I preached to his congregation. Subsequently, I introduced him to little gatherings of interested ones in neighboring towns, and assisted otherwise, as I could, rejoicing in another one who, with study, would soon be a co-laborer in the harvest field. About this time, too, I was much encouraged by the accession of Mr. A D Jones, then a clerk in my employ in Pittsburgh-a young man of activity and promise, who soon developed into an active and appreciated co-laborer in the harvest work, and is remembered by some of our readers. Mr. Jones ran well for a time, [HGL146] but ambition or something eventually worked utter shipwreck of his faith, and left us a painful illustration of the wisdom of the Apostle's words: "My brethren, be not many of you teachers, knowing that we shall have the severer judgment"-Jas. 3:1. - Diaglott.
SIFTING THE WHEAT
"Satan hath desired to have you, that he might sift you as wheat." -Luke 22:31.
Thus far all had run smoothly and onward: we had been greatly blessed with truth, but not specially tested in our love and fidelity to it. But with the Summer of 1878, the parallel in time to the Lord's crucifixion and his utterance of the above quoted words, the sifting began, which has continued ever since, and which must, sooner or later, test every one who receives the light of present truth. "Marvel not, therefore, concerning the fiery trial which shall try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you;" for this "fire shall try every man's work, of what sort it is" - whether he has built his faith flimsily of wood, hay and stubble, instead of with the valuable stones of God's revealed truth, or whether he has built it upon the shifting sands of human theory-evolution, etc., - or upon the solid rock, the ransom, the only sure foundation, which God has provided. They who build upon the rock shall be safe personally, even though they may have built up an illogical faith which the "fire" and shaking of this day of trial shall overthrow and utterly consume; but they who build upon any other foundation, whether they use good or bad materials, are sure of complete wreck. -Luke 6:47-49; 1 Cor. 3:11-15.
The object of this trial and sifting evidently is to select all whose heart-desires are unselfish, who are fully and unreservedly consecrated to the Lord, who are so anxious to have the Lord's will done, and whose confidence in his wisdom, his way and his Word is so great, that they refuse to be led away from the Lord's Word, either by the sophistries of others, or by plans and ideas of their own. These, in the sifting time, will be strengthened and shall increase their joy in the Lord and their knowledge of his plans, even while their faith is being tested by the falling into error of thousands on every hand. -Psa. 91:7.
The sifting began thus: Regarding Paul's statement (1 Cor. 15:51, 52), "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed-in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye," etc., we still held the idea which Adventists, and indeed all Christians hold, that at some time the living saints would be suddenly and miraculously caught away bodily, thenceforth to be forever with the Lord. And, now, our acquaintance with time-prophecy led us to expect this translation of the saints at the point of time in this age parallel to the Lord's resurrection; for many of the parallelisms between the Jewish and Christian dispensations were already seen by us, and formed one of the features of the little book above referred to- The Three Worlds.
We did not then see, as we now do, *that that date (1878) marked the time for the beginning of the establishment of the Kingdom of God, by the glorification of all who already slept in Christ, and that the "change" which Paul mentions (1 Cor. 15:51) is to occur in the moment of dying, to all the class described, from that date onward through the harvest period, until all the living members ("the feet") of the body of Christ shall have been changed to glorious spirit beings. But when at that date nothing occurred which we could see, a reexamination of the matter showed me that our mistake lay in expecting to see all the living saints changed at once, and without dying-an erroneous view shared in by the whole nominal church, and one which we had not yet observed or discarded. Our present clear view as the result of the examination thus started. I soon saw that in the Apostle's words, "We shall not all sleep," the word sleep was not synonymous with die, though generally so understood; that, on the contrary, the expression sleep, here used, represents unconsciousness; and that the Apostle wished us to understand that from a certain time in the Lord's presence, his saints, though they would all die like other men (Psa. 82:6, 7), would not remain for any time unconscious, but in the moment of dying would be changed and would receive the spirit body promised. Throughout this Gospel age, dying has been followed by unconsciousness, "sleep." This continued true of all saints who "fell asleep in Jesus" up to the time when he took the office of King (Rev. 11:17), which we have shown* was in 1878.
*See Millennial Dawn, Vol. III, chapter 7. *Millennial Dawn, Vol. II, pages 218, 219.
Not only did the King at that date "awaken in his likeness" all the members of his body, the Church, who slept, but for the same reason (the time for establishing his Kingdom having come) it is no longer necessary that the "feet" or last remaining members should go into "sleep" or unconsciousness. On the contrary, each now, as he finishes his course, faithful unto death, will at once receive the crown of life, and, being changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, cannot be said to sleep, or to be unconscious at all. Here-1878- Rev. 14:13, is applicable, "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth."
But while I was thus helped to clearer views and brighter hopes, and while I diligently endeavored to help others, the Spring of 1878 proved far from a blessing to Mr. Barbour and to many under his influence. Rejecting the plain, simple solution presented above, Mr. B seemed to feel that he must of necessity get up something new to divert attention from the failure of the living saints to be caught away.
But, alas! how dangerous it is for any man to feel too much responsibility and to attempt to force new light. To our painful surprise, Mr. Barbour soon after wrote an article for the Herald denying the doctrine of the atonement-denying that the death of Christ was the ransom-price of Adam and his race, saying that Christ's death was no more a settlement of the penalty of man's sins than would the sticking of a pin through the body of a fly and causing it suffering and death be considered by an earthly parent as a just settlement for misdemeanor in his child. I was astonished, supposing that Mr. B had a clearer understanding of the work of Christ as our sin-offering, our willing Redeemer who gladly, co-operating in the divine plan, gave himself as the ransom or corresponding price to meet the penalty upon Adam, that Adam and all his posterity [HGL147] might in due time go free from sin and death. A totally different thing indeed was the willing, intelligent, loving offering of our Redeemer, according to the plan devised and revealed by infinite wisdom, from the miserable caricature of it offered in the above illustration. I had either given Mr. B credit for clearer views than he ever had, or else he was deliberately taking off and casting away the wedding garment of Christ's righteousness. The latter was the only conclusion left; for he afterward stated that he had previously recognized Christ's death as man's ransom- price.
Immediately I wrote an article for the Herald in contradiction of the error, showing the necessity "that one die for all"- "the just for the unjust;" that Christ fulfilled all this as it had been written; and that consequently God could be just and forgive and release the sinner from the very penalty he had justly imposed. (Rom. 3:26) I also wrote to Mr. Paton, calling his attention to the fundamental character of the doctrine assailed, and pointing out how the time and circumstances all corresponded with the parable of the one who took off the wedding garment when just about to partake of the wedding feast. (Matt. 22:11-14.) He replied that he had not seen it in so strong a light before, that Mr. Barbour had a strong, dogmatic way of putting things which had for the time overbalanced him. I urged that, seeing now the importance of the doctrine, he also write an article for the Herald, which, in no uncertain tone, would give his witness also for the precious blood of Christ. This he did. These articles appeared in the issues of the Herald from July to December, 1878.
It now became clear to me that the Lord would no longer have me assist financially, or to be in any way identified with, anything which cast any influence in opposition to the fundamental principle of our holy Christian religion; and I therefore, after a most careful though unavailing effort to reclaim the erring, withdrew entirely from the Herald of the Morning and from further fellowship with Mr. B But a mere withdrawal I felt was not sufficient to show my continued loyalty to our Lord and Redeemer, whose cause had thus been violently assailed by one in position to lead the sheep astray-and in that position, too, very largely by my individual assistance and encouragement when I believed him to be, in all sincerity, true to the Lord. I therefore understood it to be the Lord's will that I should start another journal in which the standard of the cross should be lifted high, the doctrine of the ransom defended, and the good tidings of great joy proclaimed as extensively as possible.
Acting upon the leading of the Lord, I gave up traveling, and in July, 1879, the first number of Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence made its appearance. From the first, it has been a special advocate of the ransom, and by the grace of God we hope it will ever be.
For a time we had a most painful experience: the readers of the TOWER and of the Herald were the same; and from the time the former started and the supply of funds from this quarter for the Herald ceased, Mr. B not only drew from the bank the money deposited by me and treated all he had in his possession as his own, but poured upon the Editor of the Tower the vilest of personal abuse in order to prevent the Tower and the doctrine of the ransom from having due influence upon the readers. This of course caused a division, as such thing always do. The personal abuse, being regarded by some as true, had its intended effect of biasing the judgments of many on the subject of the ransom; and many turned from us.
But the Lord continued his favor, which I esteem of more value than the favor of the whole world. It was at this time that Mr. Adams espoused the views of Mr. Barbour and likewise forsook the doctrine of the ransom. And, true to our interpretation of the parable of the wedding garment as given at the time, Mr. Barbour and Mr. Adams having cast off the wedding garment of Christ's righteousness, went out of the light into the outer darkness of the world on the subjects once so clearly seen-namely, the time and manner of the Lord's presence; and since then, for twelve years, they have been expecting Christ, Spring or Fall, down to the Spring of 1892, which was their latest disappointment, so far as we have heard.
During the ordeal, or we might truly call it battle, for the cross of Christ, we had the earnest co-operation of Mr. Paton, who, up to the summer of 1881, was an appreciated co-laborer and defender of the doctrine of coming blessings through Christ, based upon the ransom for all given at Calvary. The book, The Three Worlds, having been for some time out of print, it seemed as if either another edition of that, or else a new book covering the same features, should be gotten out. Mr. Paton agreed to get it ready for the press, and Mr. Jones offered to pay all the expenses incident to its printing and binding and to give Mr. Paton as many copies of the book as he could sell, as remuneration for his time spent in preparing the matter, *provided I would agree to advertise it liberally and gratuitously in the TOWER-well knowing that there would be a demand for it if I should recommend it, and that his outlay would be sure to return with profit. (For those books did not sell at such low prices as we charge for MILLENNIAL DAWN) I not only agreed to this, but contributed to Mr. Paton's personal expenses in connection with the publishing, as well as paid part of the printer's bill at his solicitation.
In the end, I alone was at any financial loss in connection with that book, called Day Dawn, the writer and publisher both being gainers financially, while I did all the introducing by repeated advertisements. We need to give these particulars, because of certain one-sided and only partial statements of facts and misrepresentations, which have recently been published and circulated in tract form by Mr. Paton, who is also now an advocate of that "other gospel" of which the cross of Christ is not the center, and which denies that he "bought us with his own precious blood." Mr. P has since published another book, which, though called by the same name as the one we introduced, being on another and a false foundation, I cannot and do not recommend, but which I esteem misleading sophistry, tending to undermine the whole structure of the Christian system, yet retaining a sufficiency of the truths which we once held in common to make it palatable and dangerous to all not rooted and grounded upon the ransom rock.
The false foundation which it presents is the old heathen doctrine of evolution revamped, which not only denies the fall of man, but as a consequence, all necessity for a redeemer. It claims, on the contrary that not by redemption and restitution to a lost estate, but by progressive evolution or [HGL148] development, man has risen and is still to rise from the lower condition in which he was created until, by his own good works, he ultimately reaches the divine nature. It claims that our blessed Lord was himself a degraded and imperfect man, whose work on earth was to crucify a carnal nature, which, it claims, he possessed, and to thus show all men how to crucify their carnal or sinful propensities.
*For this reason Mr. Jones' address, was, properly, the only one mentioned in our advertisement of it.
*Millennial Dawn, Vol. 1, page 162.
And here we remark that the darkness and degradation which came upon the whole world in its fallen, cast-off condition, and which was only intensified by Papacy's priestcraft during the dark ages, when contrasted with the light of intelligence, which God is now letting in upon the world, have gradually led men to esteem present intelligence as merely a part of a process of evolution. This view, as we have shown, *though quite incorrect, is nevertheless the occasion of the predicted great falling away from the faith of the Bible during the harvest period. (Psa. 91:7.) And a few Christian people seem to be well enough grounded in the truth to be able to withstand this trial of the evil day, in which many will fall while only the few will stand. For this cause we use great plainness of speech.
The little history of the way in which Mr. Paton came to turn from us and from the ransom, to oppose that which he once clearly saw and advocated, is important, as it became the occasion of another sifting or testing of the Watch Tower readers, by that time a much larger number (because Mr. Paton had been a respected brother and co-workers with us, and because as a traveling representative of the TOWER and its doctrines, his expenses being met in part by TOWER subscriptions and renewals, as well as by money from me, he was personally known to a larger number of the readers than was the editor of the Tower). It came about thus: -
In the year 1881, Mr. Barbour, still publishing the Herald, and still endeavoring to overthrow the doctrine of the ransom, finding that on a preaching tour I had used a diagram of the Tabernacle to illustrate how Christ's sacrifice was typified in the sacrifices of typical Israel, wrote an article on the Atonement, in which he undertook to show that the sacrifices of the Day of Atonement typified almost anything else than what they do typify. I could readily see through the fallacy of his presentation, which made of the bullock a type of one thing in one verse and another thing in each other verse in which it was mentioned, and so too with the goat. But I well knew that people in general are not close reasoners, and that, with the cares of life upon them, they are too apt to accept a seeming interpretation, without a critical examination of the words of Scripture and their context.
I thought the matter all over. I examined the chapter (Lev. 16), but while seeing the inconsistency and error of Mr. Barbour's interpretation, I could only confess that I did not understand it and could not give a connected interpretation which would fit all the details so plainly stated, and all of which must have a particular meaning. What could I do? Those reading the Herald as well as the TOWER would probably be misled if not helped out of the difficulty; and to merely say that the Herald's interpretation was inconsistent with itself, and therefore a misinterpretation, would be misunderstood. Many would surely think that I opposed that view from a spirit of rivalry; for there are always people with whom everything resolves itself into personality, rivalry and party spirit, and such cannot understand others who take a higher and nobler view and who think always and only of the truth, regardless of persons.
I went to the Lord with this as with every trial, told him just how it seemed to me, how anxious I felt for the dear sheep, who, having their appetites sharpened by some truth, were by their very hunger exposed to Satan's deceptions. I told him that I realized that he was the Shepherd, and not I, but that I knew also that he would be pleased at my interest in the sheep and my desire to be his mouthpiece to declare the truth, the way and the life to them; that I felt deeply impressed that if the time had come for the permission of a false view to deceive the unworthy, it must also be his due time to have the truth on the same subject made clear, that the worthy ones might be enabled to stand, and not fall from the truth. Believing that the due time had come for the correct understanding of the meaning of the Jewish sacrifices, which all Christians see were typical of "better sacrifices," and that the Lord would grant the insight as soon as I got into the attitude of heart best fitted to receive the light, I prayed with confidence that if the Lord's due time had come, and if he were willing to use me as his instrument to declare the message to his dear family, that I might be enabled to rid my heart and mind of any prejudice that might stand in the way and be led of his spirit into the proper understanding.
Believing that the prayer would be answered affirmatively, I went into my study next morning prepared to study and write. The forenoon I spent in scrutinizing the text and every other Scripture, likely to shed light upon it, especially the epistle to the Hebrews, and in looking to the Lord for wisdom and guidance; but no solution of the difficult passage came. The afternoon and evening were similarly spent, and all of the next day. Everything else was neglected, and I wondered why the Lord kept me so long; but on the third day near noon the whole matter came to me as clear as the noon-day sun-so clear and convincing and so harmonious with the whole tenor of Scripture, that I could not question its correctness; and no one has ever yet been able to find a flaw in it. (This has been published in several editions in pamphlet form under the title, "The Tabernacle Shadows Of The Better Sacrifices," and can still be had by addressing the Watch Tower office.)
Then I knew why the Lord had led me to it so slowly and cautiously. I needed a special preparation of heart for the full appreciation of all it contained, and I was all the more assured that it was not of my own wisdom; for if of my own why would it not have come at once? I found that the understanding of that subject was bound to have a wide influence upon all our hopes and views of all truths-not in that it overturned old truths or contradicted them, but, on the contrary, in that it set them all in order and harmony and straightened out little knots and twists. For instance, the doctrine of justification by Faith had always been more or less confused in my mind, as it is in every mind, with the doctrine of sanctification which calls for self-sacrifice [HGL149] and works. This was all made clear and plain at once; for the types showed that we all, as sinners, needed first of all Christ's ransom sacrifice, that we appropriate its merits (justification-forgiveness) to ourselves by faith, and that thus we are justified (reckoned free from sin) when we by faith accept of Christ's sacrifice on our behalf. The type showed, too, that it is only after being thus cleansed in God's sight (by our acceptance of Christ's finished work as our ransom-sacrifice) that God is willing to accept us as joint sacrifices with Christ, and that if faithful to the end, following in his footsteps, we should be granted the favor of joint-heirship with him.
Here I first saw that the great privilege of becoming joint-heirs with Christ and partakers with him of the divine nature was confined exclusively to those who would share with him in self-sacrifice in the service of the truth. And here, too, I saw for the first time that the Lord was the first of these sacrifices, the Sin-Offering; consequently, that none of God's servants, the prophets, who lived and died before Christ, were priests after his order, nor sharers in sacrifice with him, even though some of them were stoned, others sawn asunder and others slain with the sword, for the cause of God; that though they would get a good and great reward, they would belong to a separate class and order from those called to sacrifice and joint-heirship with Christ on and since Pentecost. Here, too, I first saw that the acceptable day of the Lord signifies this Gospel Age-the time during which he will accept the sacrifice of any who come unto God through Christ, the great Sin-Offering; that when this acceptable day ends, the reward of joint-heirship and change to the divine nature ends; and that when this great day of sacrifice, the Gospel age (the real day of Atonement), has closed, when all the members of the body of Christ have participated with him in the sacrifice of their rights as justified men, and been glorified, then the blessing will begin to come to the world-the Millennial blessings purchased for men by their Redeemer, according to the grace of God.
This first brought us to a clear recognition of the distinction of natures-of what constitutes human nature, what constitutes angelic nature and what constitutes divine nature, as shown in Millennial Dawn, Vol. I, Chapter X. And whereas we formerly used the word Restitution in a general way to mean some sort of blessed change, now, under a clearer light, we began to see that the great work of restitution could only mean what the word implies-a restoration of that which was lost (Matt. 18:11)-a restoration to the original condition from which man once fell. Then I saw that God's plan, when carried out, would not bring all his creatures to the one level of the divine nature, but that he purposed to have an order of creatures called Angels, who, though perfect, would always be of a different order, or nature, from the divine nature, and he likewise purposed to have a race of beings of the human nature, of whom Adam was a sample or pattern and whose future earthly home, Paradise, Eden was a sample or pattern. I also saw that God purposed that Christ and his joint-sacrificers and joint-heirs are to be God's instruments for blessing the fallen race and restoring them to the condition of perfection enjoyed by Adam in Eden-a condition which God said was "very good," and an image of himself. And these joint-heirs with Christ, I saw, were to be highly exalted to a nature higher than restored and perfect manhood, higher, too, than the angelic nature-even to be partakers of the divine nature. When all these things so unexpectedly shone out so brightly and clearly, I did not wonder that the Lord gave me several days of waiting and preparation for the blessing, and to him I rendered praise and thanks. All my faintness of heart and fear of the bad effect of the wrong view fled before this evidence of the Lord's leading in the pathway that "shines more and more unto the perfect day." I saw at once that these new developments would probably prove a stumbling block to some, as well as a great blessing to others who were ready for it. Instead, therefore, of publishing it in the next TOWER, I determined to first present the matter privately to the more prominent brethren; -remembering Paul's course in a similar matter- Gal. 2:2.
Accordingly I sent invitations and the money necessary for traveling expenses to four of the more prominent brethren, requesting a conference. Mr. Paton from Michigan was one of the four, and the only one who rejected the fresh rays of light. Nor could he find any fault with the exegesis, though urged, as all were to state anything which might seem inconsistent, or to quote any passages of Scripture thought to be in conflict. But there were none; and every question only demonstrated more fully the strength of the position. I therefore urged that what was beyond the criticism of those most familiar with the plan of God must be the truth, and ought to be confessed and taught at any cost, and especially when it arranged and ordered all the other features of truth so beautifully. I pointed out, too, how necessary it was to a logical holding of the ransom, to see just what this showed; viz. :the distinctions of nature-that our Lord left a higher nature, and took a lower nature, when he was made flesh, and that the object in that change of nature was, that he might, as a man, a perfect man, give himself a ransom for the first perfect man, Adam, and thus redeem Adam, and all lost in him. I also showed how, as a reward for this great work, he was given the divine nature in his resurrection-a nature still higher than the glorious one he had left, when he became a man. But either Mr. Paton's mental vision or heart was weak; for he never took the step; and before long he, too, forsook the doctrine of the ransom. Yet he still used the word "ransom," while denying the idea conveyed by the word; nor can he give the word any other definition, or otherwise dispute the correctness of the meaning which we attach to it-which may be found in any English dictionary and is true to the significance of the Greek word which it translates.
Notwithstanding our best endeavors to save him he drifted farther and farther away, until I was obliged to refuse his articles for the Tower for the same reason that obliged me to refuse to longer spend the Lord's money entrusted to me to assist Mr. Barbour to spread the same pernicious theory.
It was about this time that Mr. Jones informed me that the copies of the book Day Dawn which I had purchased last were all that were left; and, announcing it so that no more orders for it might come to the TOWER office, I took occasion to promise MILLENNIAL DAWN, which [HGL150] should present the Plan of the Ages in the clearer more orderly manner made possible by the new light shed upon every feature of it by the lessons from the Tabernacle. About this time Mr. Paton concluded that he would publish another book under the name Day Dawn, revised to harmonize with his changed views, which ignored the ransom, ignored justification and the need of either, and taught all men will be everlastingly saved-not in any sense as the result of any sacrifice for their sin by Christ, but as the result of each one's crucifying sin in himself-the law under which the poor Jew tried to commend themselves to God, but which justified none. Many and severe were the calumnies heaped upon me, because I exposed this change, told that the original was out of print and that the new book was on a different foundation from the one I commended.
During this time I was busied by an immense work known to many of you-the issue and circulation of over 1, 400,000 copies of two pamphlets, entitled FOOD FOR THINKING CHRISTIANS and TABERNACLE TEACHINGS, whose united matter was about the same as that of Dawn, Vol. 1; and besides this I was flooded with thousands of joyous and joy-giving letters, from those who had received and were reading the pamphlets thus distributed, and asking questions and more reading matter. To add to our throng, financial complications came; and thus for four years I was hindered from fulfilling my promise of Millennial Dawn. Nor will our promise of the complete set be fulfilled for some time yet; for though three volumes are now out and a fourth on the way, I purpose several more, as the Lord shall give grace and strength, in connection with the other features of his work entrusted to my care. But during those four years we were struggling through an immense amount of labor and many draw-backs (all cheerfully undergone for the sake of the Lord and his saints), and each year we hoped afresh to be able to gather the hours necessary to complete the first volume of MILLENNIAL DAWN And the same great Adversary of the truth still hinders each volume-the fourth volume being now retarded by these latest agencies of Satan-the conspirators.
Some who have The Three Worlds or the old edition of Day Dawn would perhaps like to know my present opinion of them-whether I still think them profitable books to loan to truth-seekers. To this I reply, Certainly not; because the very immature views of God's truth therein presented fall far short of what we now see to be God's wonderful plan. Things which are now clear as noonday were then cloudy and mixed. The distinctions between the perfect human nature to which the obedient of the world will be restored during the Millennium, and the divine nature to which the little flock, the sacrificing elect of the Gospel age, are soon to be exalted, were then unnoticed. All now so clear was then blurred, mixed and indistinct. Neither had we then seen the steps or planes, shown upon the Chart of the Ages, Millennial Dawn, Vol. I, which have assisted so many to distinguish between justification and sanctification, and to determine their present standing and relationship to God.
And the time reckonings which those books present, lacking point and leaving the reader in doubt as to what the author is attempting to prove by them, tend only to confuse the mind and to give the impression that time prophecies are merely clues and serve no definite purpose or object. Hence, I Answer'most decidedly, I would not recommend nor use either of those books to-day. Once I was much less careful about what I circulated or commended, but I am learning every day to be more careful as to what sort of food I put before any of the Lord's hungry sheep. The Lord has taught me that it is a responsible matter to be a teacher, even to the extent of circulating a book or a paper. Even Food for Thinking Christians ( now also out of print), I no longer commend because it is less systematic and therefore less clear than later publications.
Another chapter in our experience needs to be told, as it marks another shaking and sifting. Mr. A D Jones proposed to start a paper on the same line as the WATCH TOWER, to republish some of the simpler features of God's plan and to be a sort of missionary and primary teacher. Knowing him to be clear on the subject of the ransom, I bade him God speed and introduced a sample copy of his paper, Zion's Day Star ( now for some years discontinued), to our nearly ten thousand readers-only, as it soon proved, to stumble some of them into rank infidelity and others into the rejection of the ransom; for though the Day Star for a few months steered a straight course and maintained the same position as the Tower with reference to the ransom, and for the same reason refused the no-ransom articles sent for its columns by Mr. Paton, yet within one year it had repudiated Christ's atoning sacrifice, and within another year it had gone boldly into infidelity and totally repudiated all the rest of the Bible as well as those portions which teach the fall in Adam and the ransom therefrom in Christ.
All this meant another strain, another sifting, another cutting loose of friends, who erroneously supposed that our criticisms of the false doctrines were prompted by a spirit of rivalry, and who did not so soon see whither his teachings were drifting, nor how great the importance of holding fast the first principles of the doctrines of Christ-how Christ died for our sins and rose again for our justification.
This brings the history down close enough perhaps to the present time; but we want to put you all on notice that the shaking and sifting process, so far from being over and past, is bound to progress more and more until all have been tried and tested thoroughly. It is not a question of who may fall, but of "Who shall be able to stand?" as the apostle puts it. And we have need again to remember the admonition, "Let him who thinketh he standeth (who feels very confident, as did Peter when he said 'Lord, though all deny thee, yet will not I') take heed lest he fall."
This doctrine of another way of salvation (and salvation for all, too) than by the cross of Christ, is not only the error which is, and has been since 1874, sifting all who come into the light of present truth, but it is the trial that is to come upon the whole of so-called Christendom to try them. (Rev. 3:10.) It is already spreading among all classes of Christian people, especially among ministers of all denominations. The number who believe that Christ's death paid our sin-penalty is daily getting smaller, and before very long [HGL151] there will be a regular stampede from the doctrine of man's fall in Adam and his ransom from that fall by "the man Christ Jesus." (1 Tim. 2:5, 6.) As the Psalmist prophetically pictured it, a thousand will fall to one who will stand. -Psa. 91:7.
The time has come for each one to declare himself boldly. He who is not for the cross and the ransom there effected is against it! He that gathereth not scattereth abroad! He who is silent on this subject, when it is being assailed by foes on every hand, whether it be the silence of fear, or of shame, or of indifference, is not worthy of the truth, and will surely be one to stumble quickly. He who from any cause sits idly by, while the banner of the cross is assailed, is not a soldier of the cross worthy of the name, and will not be reckoned among the over-comers who shall inherit all things. And God is permitting these very siftings, in order to sift out all who are not "over-comers," and to test and manifest the little flock, who, like Gideon's final army, will, though few, share the victory and honors of their Captain in glory.
Are you prepared for the issue, dear brethren and sisters? The armor of truth has been given you for some time past; have you put it on? have you made it your shield and buckler? your defense against all the wily arts of the evil one?
Do not be deceived by the agents he often makes use of. In this he will be as cunning as in his presentation of the deceptive misrepresentations of truth, making unwitting use of many a weaker brother, and to some extent of every stumbling and deceived one, to spread farther the infection of false doctrine. And while every child of God should take earnest heed, that he prove not an occasion of stumbling to any, we cannot doubt that every one, through some instrumentality, will be assailed.
Aptly indeed did the Prophet liken it to a pestilence. (Psa. 91:6.) A pestilence spreads because people are in a physical condition which renders them susceptible to disease. Physicians say that those whose systems are in good, healthy order are in little danger of any disease. So it is with a spiritual pestilence: it will flourish not only because all will be exposed to it who have not a clear intellectual appreciation of the doctrines of Christ, but from another cause also. Out of the heart are the issues of life, and most needful of all to be in right condition is the heart. How is your heart? is it proud, boastful, independent, self-conscious and self-willed? If so, take care; you will be very liable to this epidemic, no matter how far from it you may seem to be. Pray for
With such a heart you are safe. In meekness and lowliness, you will never think of redeeming yourself from the condemnation that you inherited through Adam, by sacrificing present sinful desires, but you will flee to the cross, where God himself opened the fountain for sin and uncleanness, present as well as past.
DOTH THIS OFFEND YOU
We presume that it will offend some, though it is not designed to offend any. It is written for the defense of the meek against the sophistries of error. "Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord (into the Kingdom offered)? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart (who is diligently fashioning his life after the principles of holiness); who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity (who cultivates no earthly ambitions or pride, but patiently waits for the glory to follow the course of present self-sacrifice), nor sworn deceitfully (ignoring or despising his covenant with God): He shall receive the blessing of the Lord (the Kingdom glory and joint-heirship with Christ), and righteousness (perfection-full deliverance from present infirmities, etc.) from the God of his salvation." (Psa. 24:3-5.) "Seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger (in this 'evil day' - this day of snares and pitfalls and flying arrows and destructive pestilences)." "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation" - that "your minds be not corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." Let all the meek fully awake to the trial of the hour; and while many are putting stumbling blocks in the way of the "feet" of the body of Christ, let each soldier of the cross be vigilant, not only to stand, but to assist others- bearing up the "feet." -Psa. 91:11, 12
A CONCLUDING WORD
It is proper here to state that in the article foregoing, A Conspiracy Exposed, we used the term "brother" with reference to the conspirators in deference to our readers. We have not recognized these men as "brethren" since we discovered their deeply laid and murderous plan for the assassination of my character. But we could not expect our readers to cut them off from fellowship until they too had seen the evidence of their terrible fall.
While ready and anxious to forgive and, so far as possible, forget their great sin if repented of, I have little hope that any of them will repent. If it were a blunder of the head, we might have hope; but it seems like a disease of the heart, which has been developing for years.
What can be expected from such men, actuated by such a spirit? Grapes cannot be gathered from thorn-bushes. The Voice of the Reaper may indeed "gather out of his Kingdom the things which offend and them that do iniquity;" but the Voice of the Good Shepherd will lead the true sheep, -a stranger they will not follow. "The Lord knoweth them that are his," and no man can pluck them out of his hand; -they "shall never fall." -John 10:28; 2 Tim. 2:17-21; 2 Pet. 1:5-11.