Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
He had, therefore, to vindicate himself against these charges as to his office (chamber) being misused. After reasserting his authority as special representative (Malchiah [Jehovah's king], v. 31), against opposing acts of J. Hemery, J., amid refining experiences (goldsmith's son) had to vindicate the powers of the auxiliary pilgrims (Nethinim [given]) and the right of the lawyers (merchants) to act as to his powers of attorney and to protest against J. Hemery's rifling from his portfolio the registry of the brethren variously qualified as to service (gate Miphkad [registry]). This course brought about a marked turn in J.'s British work (corner). The finishing touches on the powers of the British Church J. and E. Housden made, by refining experiences (goldsmiths; literally, refiners, v. 32) and by the assistance of the lawyers (merchants) that J. had to defend his suit to maintain the controllership of the W.T.B.&T. Society against the scheme in favor of the independence and superiority of the I.B.S.A. as a British corporation. So were the powers (walls) of that Church repaired.
But it must not be supposed that the work of removing the debris that the revolutionists against Bro. Russell's arrangements for conducting the British work had accumulated from the ruins that they had made of his arrangements, and that the work of re-erecting his arrangements as to the work and workers were done under peaceable conditions. On the contrary, every step of J. and his supporters in accomplishing these two works was met with stubborn and cunning resistance. W. Crawford (Sanballat; 4: 1), perceiving what was aimed at in the work (builded), was very angry and ridiculed J. and his supporters, who steadily increased in numbers until at least 95% of the British brethren (the Jews) were in sympathy with it. At first he was certain that the work could not succeed (v. 2). His right-hand man, H.J. Shearn (Tobiah, v. 3), a thorough clericalist (Ammonite), supported him in his ridiculing the work as weak and
unstable (v. 3). J. and his supporters were not long in seeing their attitude and course, and their resistance to their revolutionisms, not words, were a prayer to the Lord that these be defeated in their works, and that they be manifested as of the Great Company (v. 4). These being more or less willful in their conduct, the works of J. and his supporters were at the same time to God a prayer that the sins of these be treated as such, i.e., be not forgiven, for they were angering God by their course (v. 5).
So the work continued until about half finished (half, v. 6); for the British brethren were zealous in the work (a mind to work). At this stage of the work W. Crawford (Sanballat, v. 7), H.J. Shearn (Tobiah), the traitors (Arabians), the clericalists (Ammonites) and the sectarians (Ashdodites) became very angry. They all entered into a conspiracy (conspired, v. 8) to oppose and hinder the reformatory work going on in the British Church (against Jerusalem). J. and his supporters prayed over this situation (prayer, v. 9), and stood on their guard against them continually (day and night). Some became discouraged (strength … decayed, v. 10) because of the many evil practices that had been put in the place of the good (much rubbish … not able to build). The enemies of the reformers and their reforms conspired to overthrow them by a sudden and unexpected attack, refute (slay, v. 11) them and stop the reforms (work to cease).
Repeatedly (ten times, v. 12) brethren who had been more or less in sympathy with them (dwelt by them), oncoming over to the Lord's side (came), declared that no matter in what way J.'s supporters turned, these adversaries would attack them (literally, from all places where ye turn they are against you). This moved J. to arm with Scriptural, reasonable and factual arguments and citations from that Servant's writings and sayings (swords, spears and bows, v. 13) the brethren in the more responsible (higher places) and less responsible places (lower places) in the various churches (after their families), that thus they might
be able to repel the threatened attacks. All his supporters, regardless of whether they were of the Bethel family (nobles, v. 14), the elders and deacons (rulers) or unofficial brethren (the rest), J. encouraged both in set addresses and private talks not to fear these rebels, but to remember the almighty and allwise God as their Shield and great Reward, and in such a faith to fight for one another and for those strong (sons) and weak ones (daughters) whom they had brought into the Truth, their privileges as companions of God's people (wives) and the ecclesias (houses). This course of J. on becoming known to the rebels, as an evidence that their conspiracy was known, and that God had frustrated their plan, discouraged them (enemies heard … God had brought to nought, v. 15), and from fighting them the faithful turned again to reconstructing work on the symbolic wall. Repeatedly such things occurred in the London Bethel and Tabernacle and other places.
The rebels, who had largely had their own way in devastating the Lord's ways in the British Church before J. came, put up a stubborn fight to maintain their ground; but after he came on the scene by God's grace the matters changed, and the good work of setting aside evil and revolutionary arrangements and of restoring the Lord's arrangements went successfully on, though through severe and sharp verbal and voting battles. Frustrated and defeated in every fight were these enemies. Thereafter all the faithful returned to their reform work. After several of such fights the work of the brethren closely associated with J. (my servants, v. 16) was divided: some stood armed and fought with offensive (spears; bows) and defensive arguments (shields; habergeons); others did construction work (wrought). The leaders generally supported their brethren in this work (rulers … house of Judah). And as for the rest of J.'s supporters, they, too, had to share in the reformation with their strength divided between constructive (one of his hands wrought, v. 17) and combative work (the other held
a weapon). This is true of those who did the more responsible reform work (they which builded) and of those who did the less responsible reform work, those who supported the former (they that bare burdens), and of those who helped the latter (those that laded).
The more responsible workers (builders, v. 18) were prepared with arguments (sword) to fight any attacker, and in such an attitude of mind they worked in the good cause (so builded). Throughout all this fight and work always there came to J. warnings of any threatening danger or of any attack made at any point (sounded the trumpet was by me). J. told the Bethel family (nobles, v. 19), the elders and deacons (rulers) and the non-official brethren (the rest), because of the fact that due to the greatness of the work they had to be scattered (large … separated … far), that wherever (what place, v. 20) the alarm of an attack was sounded (sound of the trumpet) there go and defend the cause by argument and vote (resort). He always encouraged them with the assurance that the Lord was on their side (God shall fight for us). Under such tension and nerve-racking conditions (so, v. 21) did the work of reformation go on in the British Church. Continually (morning … stars) were appeals made to that Servant's writings, in justification of a restoration of his arrangements, which the revolutionists had set aside and did not wish restored. J. likewise advised, as a defense against secret attacks (in the night, v. 22), that the brethren hold themselves within the Lord's arrangements for the British Church (within Jerusalem). The real powers, walls, of the Church will thus be a defense against secret attack (night … guard) and a sphere of work openly (day). The faithful colaborers (I … brethren … servants … guard) did not cease exercising their good heart qualities that pertained to their work (clothes), so intent were they in the Lord's work; but they did cleanse them from filthiness of the flesh and spirit (every one … for washing). Surely, the reform of the British Church was a strenuous piece of
work, as hard as J. had ever done; but the end was not yet as to this work.
We now come to the study of Neh. 5. This chapter types the spiritual oppressions that certain leaders, especially the Bethelites, W. Crawford and H.J. Shearn, and certain of the leading signatory 11 elders (nobles, v. 7), inflicted upon their subordinate brethren. Against these oppressors the oppressed brethren (people, v. 1) and their churches (wives) cried out. First to cry out were those who were injured by text-bookism, the study of the Bible as a text-book, instead of as a book of texts (we, our sons and our daughters, v. 2). Their receiving spiritual food by text-bookism injured them; and these injuries cried out against their oppressors. Others cried out against the oppressions of clericalism; for the clericalists took away their rights (mortgaged our lands, vineyards and houses, v. 3), as remuneration for the benefits (buy corn) that their services were alleged to give the oppressed. Still others had to surrender their rights to their privileges of service (borrowed money for the king's tribute, v. 4) to the oppressors, e.g., W. Crawford, having charge of the colporteur work, either refused colporteur territory to those who would not support his tactics, or gave them such inferior territory as made it almost impossible for them to support themselves by their sales; and H.J. Shearn, who had charge of the pilgrim and auxiliary pilgrim work, advanced in special service such as became his partisans, and demoted those who would not so do. Again, these two oppressed those elders who opposed their clericalistic schemes and favored those who favored them. It was against these oppressions that the involved conditions and those suffering under them cried out, claiming that their rights were equal to their oppressors' rights (our flesh … as flesh of, v. 5), and that those whom they won for the Lord were equal to those whom their oppressors gained for themselves (our children as their children). Despite this, they and theirs were oppressed and made servile to their oppressors (bondage our
sons … daughters … unto bondage). What grieved the oppressed brethren most was their inability to deliver these, and that because their rights were in others' possession (other men have our … vineyards). Repeatedly during J.'s administration of affairs such complaints were brought to his attention.
Of course, these conditions and complaints greatly displeased J. (very angry, v. 6); and he gave much thought to remedy the condition and to relieve the oppressed (consulted, v. 7). First he remonstrated with (rebuked) the two guilty Bethelites (nobles) and the guilty elders (rulers), in an effort to bring them to a reformation of these abuses, charging them with the sin of oppressing their needy brethren (ye exact usury). Failing to secure their reformation by private efforts, he brought the matters out before the British Church, especially before the London Tabernacle ecclesia (set a great assembly against them). The proofs that J. offered "the great assembly," combined with the knowledge that the oppressed and others had on the conditions, turned the great bulk against the oppressors. J. contrasted their course with that of the faithful, who, to win their brethren sold (sold, v. 8) into the bondage of error in the nominal church and in the world (unto the heathen), labored hard (redeemed) with the course of the oppressors, who became spiritual oppressors of such (sell your brethren). He asked if it was right that they tried to put them under oppression to the faithful (be sold unto us).
So strongly were these matters put by J. before the "great assembly" that the oppressors were dumb with silence (held … peace), being unable to give reply to the many proofs of their wrong-doing (nothing to answer). This led him to read them a severe lecture (I said, v. 9), showing the disharmony of their course with good principles (not good). He pointed out that the spirit of consecration (fear of our God) should have moved them to act in such a way as to ward off the reproach that the nominal church and the world would heap upon them, if their course became known to
them, while their course, if known to them, was one that would surely bring such reproach. Among other times, a part of the "great assembly" was held Jan. 28 and Feb. 18, 1917, in the London Tabernacle. It was attended, not only by almost every member of the London Tabernacle ecclesia, but by hundreds of brethren from other ecclesias. And it was this part of the "great assembly" that at the end of the meeting of Feb. 18, 1917, unanimously voted J. confidence, thanks and appreciation for his service against the oppressors and for the oppressed of the Church in Britain.
In this battle (for it was undoubtedly a battle royal in defense of the rights of God's people against their despoilers) J. next contrasted his and his supporters' unselfish course with the selfish course of the oppressors (I, my brethren and my servants, v. 10), saying that for their services and positions they might have gotten some advantage (money and corn), which, however, they refused to accept. Then he entreated them (I pray you) to cease from their oppressions (leave off this usury). He entreated (I pray, v. 11) them to restore at once (this day) the despoiled rights (lands … houses), also to make restitution for the injury wrought, as much as possible (1/100, a fraction of 10, which is the full measure of the ability of natures lower than the Divine, an evidence that the oppressors were crown-losers, which J. more than once hinted, and in some cases expressedly affirmed), of their brotherly powers (money), spiritual food (corn), doctrinal attainments (wine), and spiritual attainments (oil). During the part of the "great assembly" in session Feb. 18, 1917, the oppressors, except W. Crawford and H.J. Shearn, were brought to an open confession of their wrong-doing and to a promise of full reformation (said … restore, v. 12) in the way of restoring the rights, etc., taken from the oppressed, and to require nothing from the oppressed due to their oppressors, but to sacrifice for them (require nothing). Thus they met J.'s demands for reformation (do as thou sayest). E.g., one after another the
six wronging elders confessed before the part of the great assembly there and then in session their wrongs, asked forgiveness and promised to be subject to the ecclesia, and not to practice clericalism or text-bookism or in any other way oppress their brethren, rather to yield them more than due, i.e., sacrifice their rights for them (require nothing). J. called on the main leaders (priests [in Neh., Ezra and the historical, not genealogical, parts of 1 and 2 Kings and Chro., the priests do not represent crown-retainers, but the main leaders, regardless of whether they were crown-retainers or losers]) to witness their solemn promise, which in the antitype was more a solemn promise than an oath (took an oath … do … promise).
Then J., stressing before the, congregation the thought of his powers of attorney (lap, i.e., the garments [official powers] covering the lap, v. 13), told all that so, by the exercise of these powers, may God shake out of his ecclesia and office, (God shake … house … labor) every one who would not perform his pledged word. The whole assembly assented to this (said, Amen). They praised God for this ending of the situation (praised). J.'s having been attacked before the ecclesia by H.J. Shearn as a stranger in their midst, to whom no heed should be given, prompted him to have his credentials read to it by the ecclesia's secretary; and it was this that caused him to do and say the things antitypical of the things said and done by Nehemiah in v. 13. Moreover, it caused him to tell the friends of his spirit and works on their behalf. He showed that while the managers (former governors, v. 15) had been supported by the British Church (chargeable), received their support and salaries from British contributions, such was not the case with J. and his secretary, etc. (not I). For during the time (twelve years, v. 14) they served the British Church they took nothing for it (bread of the governor). Yea, some of the managers' assistants at times tyrannized over the people (servants … people).
Instead of J.'s and his cooperators' seeking self-advantage (bought land, v. 16), they worked faithfully to erect the powers (work … wall … work) of the British Church. Added to this was the hard work that he did as a pilgrim among the various ecclesias in parlor meetings for all the brethren and Berean lessons for the elders particularly (table 150 Jews and rulers, v. 17). Again, added to this was the heavy work of his lectures to the public (heathen). These discourses treated of the sacrifice of Jesus (ox, v. 18) and the Church (sheep), and also treated of all other classes connected with God's plan (fowls). Moreover, the public discourses covered many simpler lines of thought (all sorts of wine; literally, all wines abundantly) connected with restitution (once in ten days; literally, for ten days, the Millennium). Despite this, J. did not accept the advantages that his position would have given him (required … governor), because of the oppressions (bondage) that the clericalists and power-graspers brought on the brethren (bondage … people). J.'s hard work was a prayer that the Lord would remember him for good for it (Thank … God, for good … done … people, v. 19).
Neh. 6 will now engage our study. When W. Crawford (Sanballat, v. 1), H.J. Shearn (Tobiah), F.G. Guard, Sr. (Geshem) and the other confirmed opponents recognized that the powers of the British Church were restored under J.'s supervision (I had builded), and that no part of these powers was in disrepair (no breach), even before the brethren who were the symbolic doors had been put into their separate positions (not set up the doors), e.g., before the two new managers were appointed and J. Hemery was made chief manager, the Tabernacle elders were elected, counselors were inaugurated, Second Death sifters were aroused to their work, etc., W. Crawford and F.G. Guard, Sr., sent J. word (sent unto me, v. 2), asking for a conference with cliques of elders (villages) where the first had influence (Ono [his strength]). J. saw through their scheme as intended to injure him (thought … mischief). J. excused
himself as being too busy with a large constructive work to accept their invitation (great work … cannot), saying that neither he nor they could justify a cessation of the work for such a parley (why … cease). This occurred four times (v. 4).
A fifth time it was attempted, and that by W. Crawford through H.J. Shearn's letter of Jan. 12 (open letter, v. 5). Among many other things, this letter claimed in part expressly, in part impliedly, that even outsiders (heathen, v. 6) and F.G. Guard, Sr. (Gashmu, another form of Geshem) were saying that J. (thou) and his supporters (the Jews) were planning rebellion (rebel) against the Lord's arrangements, that this was the reason for J.'s reinstituting certain arrangements (buildest the walls), hoping to control of his own will (mayest be their king) the British work. Moreover, the letter implied that J. had appointed able speaking brethren (prophets, v. 7) in the British Church (Jerusalem) to set him forth as the perpetual controller of the work there (a king in Judah). Then came the letter's threat to report the matter to the Lord (reported to the king) through a copy of this letter being sent to the Board at Brooklyn, with H.J. Shearn's "formal resignation," which two things were not done, the threat being intended to frighten J. into holding a conference with them (take counsel). J. denied the accusations (no such things done, v. 8), telling them that they were fictions of their imagination (feignest … heart). All their efforts were intended to make J. and his colaborers afraid (afraid, v. 9) and thus get them to leave off the reform work (saying … hands … work … not done). This led J. to pray God to strengthen him (strengthen).
J. had traveling with him in the pilgrim work, as a private secretary, F.G. Guard, Jr., who was recommended to him as such by all three managers. A few weeks after they had been traveling together H.J. Shearn's and W. Crawford's irregularities moved him to ask his secretary, who had been a member of the London Bethel, some questions
regarding their conduct of their office as managers, pilgrims and elders. Thereupon he gave J. much needed information, which was derogatory to them. Among other things, he told J. that, when it was decided that he should be J.'s traveling companion, H.J. Shearn had asked him to influence J. in his and W. Crawford's favor and against J. Hemery. J. learned by a number of experiences that while with them he sided with them, and while with him he sided with him against them. The episode of vs. 10-13 is an example of his siding with them against J. J. was returning from a short trip on which F.G. Guard, Jr. did not accompany him and was met by him at one of the London R. R. stations, and accompanied by him to Bethel. On the way to Bethel he began to use his sphere of service (house, v. 10), as one to whom God was listening (Shemaiah [heard by Jehovah]), whom God promoted (Delaiah [drawn up by Jehovah]) to his position, and who had been done good by God (Mehetabeel [done good to by God]) in his position, though a crown-loser (shut up). He urged J. to confine (shut the doors) his British activities to pilgrim work with him (us … house of God … temple), insisting that the two false managers would otherwise destroy him as an executive, (slay), by secret and hidden methods (night). J. insisted that, commissioned with executive matters (man as I, v. 11), it was not for him to flee (flee) from his duty, and that no faithful one so commissioned would limit himself to pilgrim work in the Church (in the temple), to shield himself from the effects of secret intrigues. Hence he refused to follow the suggestion; for he saw (perceived, v. 12) that the advice suggested unfaithfulness to duty (God had not) and was against J. and proceeded from, and was made as a hireling of, the two mismanagers (Tobiah and Sanballat), who had enlisted his service to frighten J. into wrong-doing (afraid … sin, v. 13), and thus fault him, since they could not point out wrongs in his work (evil report … reproach me).
J.'s pertinent attitude was a prayer (My God, v. 14) that
God might look (think) upon the two mismanagers according to their pertinent plots and acts (works), also upon the elder daughter (Noadiah [met by Jehovah]) of H.J. Shearn, who agitated (prophetess), as well as other prominent speakers (prophets) who sought to intimidate J. (put me in fear). It was amid (so, v. 15) such conflicts, agitations, plots, efforts at intimidation and labors that the powers of the British Church were restored (wall was finished; in 52 days). As J. studied over his and his colaborers' reformatory efforts in each of their branches, he learned that it was exactly 52 days after a general feature of it began until it was finished. He traced this in quite a number of particulars and will here present some of them, to clarify the thought of the antitypical wall's being finished in 52 days, placing the beginnings and endings of these general procedures in parallel columns.
Nov. 19 (at Liverpool) J. first faintly rebukes J. Hemery at the outstart of his attempting to tell J. of the trouble at Bethel, J. immediately sensing this attempt and the possibility of being accused, if he would listen, of having been thus prejudiced in J. Hemery's favor against the
Jan. 9 (evening of 8) J. pointedly rebukes J Hemery in a meeting of the managers for his weakness in allowing the two managers to reduce him from his place of priority among them to being the others' inferior and subordinate.
Nov. 20 (evening of 19) J. makes his first winsome effort favorably to impress H.J. Shearn and thus to win him, to the end that he might exert an influence for good in the work.
Jan. 10 (evening of 9) J. makes his last personal winsome effort by a pertinent letter favorably to influence H.J. Shearn for the good of the British work.
Nov. 21 J. gets his first unfavorable impression of the two mismanagers, received at his first meeting with the three managers, where they sought to belittle J. Hemery before J.
Jan. 11 A firm unfavorable impression of the two mismanagers is made on J. by W. Crawford's self-justifying and false letter of Jan. 10, written because of the discussion in the managers' meeting of Jan. 9 (evening of 8).
Nov. 22 (evening of 21) J. decides on his first answer to W. Crawford on the elders' resolution (his knowledge of which J. conceals from him).
Jan. 12 J. decides on his final answer given to W. Crawford on the elders' resolution (which for a while J. conceals from him).
Nov. 23 The two mismanagers' ill-natured digs at J. Hemery in the second managers' meeting, to belittle him in J.'s eyes, arouse J. 's sympathy in his favor.
Jan. 13 The two mismanagers' continued belittling and abasing of J. Hemery moves J. to write the latter that he would restore him as chief of the managers.
Nov. 24 (evening of 23) J.'s reading of the elders' resolution gives him his first opposition to it in Britain.
Jan. 14 (evening of 13) The elders' resolution meets J.'s unalterable and persistent opposition.
Nov. 25 J. refuses H.J. Shearn's slight compromise on the elders' resolution.
Jan. 15 J. refuses the resolution's going before the ecclesia, regardless of any compromise
Nov. 27 H.J. Shearn's threat of resignation arouses the first thought in J.'s mind on his dismissal.
Jan. 17 J. decides to recommend to the Board H.J. Shearn's dismissal.
Nov. 29 J. makes an effort to bring H.J. Shearn into line with ecclesiaism.
Jan. 19 In a letter to J Hemery, J. leaves a final opening for H.J. Shearn to submit to ecclesiaism.
Dec. 1 J. begins a letter and his first report to the Brooklyn Executive Committee in slight disapproval of the two mismanagers and suggests to E. Housden to return to Bethel.
Jan. 21 J. writes and sends his last report to the Brooklyn Executive Committee, recommending the dismissal of the two mismanagers, and prevails on E. Housden to return to Bethel.
Dec. 5 J. mails the fore-goingmentioned letter and report.
Jan. 25 J. mails the fore going-mentioned letter and report.
Dec. 14 The mismanagers' course of defiance on the convention program makes J. consider the question of their dismissal as managers.
Feb. 3 J. definitely decides to dismiss, and then actually does dismiss the two mismanagers from their office as managers.
Dec. 18 J. first thinks of a successor to H.J. Shearn.
Feb. 7 J. offers to A. Kirkwood of Glasgow H.J. Shearn's place as manager.
Dec. 20 J. pointedly opposes them to their faces as to their course on the program for the Manchester Convention. J. proposes to J. Hemery that he take from H.J. Shearn's charge the Manchester program.
Feb. 9 J. pointedly to their faces opposes them for remaining at Bethel after he had ordered them to leave Bethel. J proposes to J. Hemery that A. Kirkwood take H.J. Shearn's place as manager.
Dec. 24 J. gives the Tabernacle congregation suggestions as to the beginnings of the election.
Feb. 13 J. gives suggestions to the seven loyal elders as to the finals of the ecclesia's election.
Dec. 25 J. makes a loving effort to win H.J. Shearn away from W. Crawford's influence.
Feb. 14 J. makes a final loving effort to win H.J. Shearn away from W. Crawford's influence.
Dec. 28 J. begins a letter of charges against the mismanagers to the Brooklyn Executive Committee.
Feb. 17 J. begins to write severe charges against the discharged managers to the Tabernacle ecclesia.
Dec. 29 J. reaches the formal charges against the two mismanagers in his letter to the Executive Committee.
Feb. 18 J. brings final charges against the discharged mismanagers to the Tabernacle ecclesia.
Jan. 8 J. begins to prepare the first list of charges against the two mismanagers on their Bethel offenses.
Feb. 28 J. begins to prepare the final list of charges against the two mismanagers for Bethel offenses.
Jan. 9 J. writes out some more charges against the two mismanagers on their Bethel offenses, and brings a charge against J. Hemery on his subserviency to the other two mismanagers.
Mar. 1 J. begins to write out the final draft of charges against the two mismanagers on their Bethel offenses and brings a charge against J. Hemery on lording after he learned of J.'s recall.
Jan. 21 J. brings several charges on Bethel offenses against J. Hemery, in a letter to the Brooklyn Executive Committee, and succeeds in securing E. Housden's consent to be W. Crawford's successor.
Mar. 13 J. sends charges against J.. Hemery for Bethel offenses to the Board through A. I. Ritchie, and through him also announces to it E. Housden's appointment as W. Crawford's successor at the London Bethel.
The above facts are given merely as samples to show how it took 52 days to remove some of the symbolic rubbish and also to do some of the work of reconstructing the powers of the British Church, in so far as concerns some things of, and some things, connected with the symbolic fountain gate—the managers, and the symbolic fish gate—the elders. But the same thing is true of the things of, and connected with all the other symbolic gates and of the whole symbolic wall. J. was not aware of this remarkable thing until some time late in Feb. or early in Mar., 1917, in other words, until almost every part of the symbolic wall was completed. The effect of the work as a completed thing on the enemies of this reform work and on their unconsecrated sympathizers was thoroughly disconcerting; for they could not but recognize the providence of God as advancing it (v. 16). During those times there was a vigorous correspondence going on between H.J. Shearn and certain prominent British brethren who were not in sympathy with this reform work, while this work was going on (v. 17). For not a few of those who were not so loyal to the work as Bro. Russell directed it, who were partisanly committed to H.J. Shearn (many sworn unto him; v. 18) because of his alliance (son-in-law) with G. MacKenzie of Glasgow, one of J.'s extra-London counselors (Shechaniah [neighbor of Jehovah]), who was not so loyal (neighbor, not so close as an approved son) to the Lord as he should have been, but sometimes went into a path (Arah, path) that deviated from the right way. It was
G. MacKenzie who, hearing of H.J. Shearn's dismissal by J., took a dislike
to J., misrepresenting him to the Glasgow Church and to J.F.R., as his letter in Harvest Siftings, p. 9, shows.
Moreover, one of H.J. Shearn's character-sons, F.G. Guard, Jr. (Johanan [grace of Jehovah]), was allied (taken the daughter) in principles to J. Hemery (Meshullam [recompensed … Berechiah [blessed of Jehovah]). Just as he had asked F.G. Guard, Jr., J.'s secretary, to speak well of him and W. Crawford to J. and thus persuade him to favor them as against J. Hemery, so did he do to others of his partisans. As a result, not a few of such wrote and spoke to J. complimentarily of him (reported his good deeds, v. 19). Whatever J. said of him, and later on this was not complimentary, they reported to him (uttered my words). They would ask J. about him in order to get him to express his opinion, and before J. saw through their designs he sometimes told them things that he would have left unsaid, had he known their purposes in questioning him. Several of his letters (sent letters) were sent to J. to intimidate him, e.g., those that threatened to send his resignation to Brooklyn. J. feared not.
Next to engage our study is Neh. 7. After the proper arrangements (walls, v. 1), which were actually the powers of the British Church, for doing the Lord's work in each of the separate features of the symbolic wall, were made (built), then the symbolic gates were put in place, i.e., the various brethren who constituted the symbolic gates were put into their positions, e.g., J. Hemery, A. Kirkwood and E. Housden were put into their places as managers properly adjusted to their varying positions. So with the elders, counselors, colporteurs, etc. Likewise were appointed the deacons (porters), the speakers (singers) and the less prominent servants (Levites) of the Truth. Thereafter J. appointed J. Hemery the chief manager (Hanani [my grace, i.e., the object of J.'s special favor], even [not and] Hananiah [favor of Jehovah]. By these two names the same person is meant, not two, v. 2). This gave him the charge of the London Bethel (palace) and additionally put him, under the Lord,
over the general British Church work (charge over Jerusalem). This J. did because up to that time the former was faithful and sought to carry out his consecration above many, to the best of J.'s knowledge (faithful … above many).
J. charged (said, v. 3) that the brethren that were the antitypical gates should not do (not … opened) their various services until they could safely and profitably do them (until … hot), i.e., until they were properly commissioned and providentially indicated to serve, not to run ahead of the Lord, but to wait on His indications to serve, and that they should observe the same principles in ceasing from their work (stand by … shut). He likewise charged (said … appoint) that the brethren, each in his place (over against his house), be on guard against sin, error, selfishness, worldliness, sifters and siftlings, as intent on injuring the Church; and he also saw to it that elders (watchers) were appointed who would really watch out for the interests of the brethren (inhabitants of Jerusalem). The powers, walls, of the British Church were large, which extended also to conditions and numbers not yet existent, but were in prospect of coming into existence (city large … people few … houses not builded, v. 4). As in literal Jerusalem the people then dwelt in tents, so in British churches the organization was temporary.
Another activity designed to further the work in all directions engaged J.'s attention: the organizing of the brethren into groups (reckoned by genealogy, w. 5) for group service all along the line, so that by an increase of workers and their zeal the work might advance by leaps and bounds. Therefore he had various ones, especially J. Hemery, to furnish him lists of names of brethren, a registry, miphkad in Hebrew, arranged in pertinent groups according to their talents, spirit of consecration and providential situation, so that they might be put to the work for which these three things showed them best able to perform well. Accordingly, there were given him names of a number of brothers qualified for
pilgrims, another list of brothers qualified for auxiliary pilgrims, a third list of brothers qualified for extension workers, a fourth list of brothers qualified for colporteurs, a fifth list of brothers and sisters qualified for sharpshooters, a sixth list of brothers and sisters qualified for pastoral work, a seventh list of brothers qualified as volunteer captains (gather together … by genealogy). These lists were stolen out of J.'s portfolio by J. Hemery after the latter's manifestation as a Levite. If we had them, we could trace better the pertinent things in detail as they are presented typically in vs. 7-69. The typical genealogy Nehemiah says he found (found a register). It is recorded in Ezra 2: 1-67. There are some differences in some of the numbers and names in these two passages. They are to be reconciled as mistakes and omissions due to copyists. As God originally gave these two records of this genealogical registry they were, we may be sure, in perfect agreement. But the fallibility of copyists, the decay of MSS. and the fading of ink account for the differences of some numbers and names. In some places (e.g., Nahamani, v. 7 and Ezra 2: 2) names dropped out of Ezra. In a few cases (vs. 22, 36) the order is slightly changed from Ezra 2: 19, 34 and their contents. We will have more to say on this genealogy, when we come in the next chapter to discuss Ezra 2.
We will now take up Neh. 8 for study. In the small antitype this chapter refers in its first part (first day) to the Manchester Convention, which was held Dec. 30–Jan. 1. As we have seen, the water gate represents conventioners. There was a gathering of over 600 brethren at the Manchester Convention (people … into the street, v. 1). In the book of Nehemiah Ezra types J. as a pilgrim (priest) and teacher of the Word (scribe); and Nehemiah types J. as executive. Because of his being the visiting pilgrim and the executive J. was given the most prominent places on the program. In addition to his giving the public lecture, he was asked to deliver three discourses and to conduct a question meeting (spoke unto Ezra … bring … law). To this he responded
with a liberal amount of the Word (Ezra … brought the law, v. 2), and was given very good attention (all … hear, speaking on each day of the convention (first day). In this chapter the convention's three days correspond to the first day, while the second day (v. 13) corresponds to J.'s nonconvention pilgrim work from place to place. J.'s comparatively large number of convention services was in part due to J. Hemery's prevailing on him to take the former's place in the last address of the convention, on the plea that the British brethren had often heard him and desired to hear J. This much speaking antitypes Ezra's interpreting the law from morning to midday (read … midday, v. 3). J. was given the best of attention (ears … attentive unto … law).
Corresponding to the 14 men (Ezra … Meshullam, v. 4) were the 14 brothers expressly mentioned by name on the program, all of whom took part thereon (R. G. Burton, named on the last page, having been given an extra service thereon). The 13 cooperated with J. (Ezra stood … beside him stood Mattithiah … Meshullam) to make that convention a time of blessing according to the program (pulpit [literally, tower] of wood). Thus J. [the others also in their turn, though not detailedly, mentioned here as so doing] expounded the Word (opened the book, v. 5) to the eyes of the conventioners' understanding (sight … people); for he was set there to be their teacher (above [for] all); and his expositions of the Word (opened it) were given reverent attention (all … stood up). He sought to exalt God by describing before his auditors the majesty of God in His glorious character (blessed … God, v. 6), to which the conventioners responded in faith (all … answered, Amen, Amen), in concordant works (lifting … hands), with humility (bowed their heads) and consecrated and meek séance (worshipped … faces to the ground).
In addition to the 14 main services indicated as such on the program, there were 13 subordinate services, whose leaders (and the Levites, v. 7; literally, even the Levites) are mentioned typically in v. 7. A remark made previously
should be here repeated, that in Kings, Chro. (apart from the genealogies), Ezra and Neh., priests type prominent, and Levites subordinate leaders, a different viewpoint from that of the Pentateuch. These 13 services also contributed to the conventioners' (people) edification (caused … to understand [taught]), the conventioners occupying the place of learners (people … place). Thus the 14 main speakers and the 13 subordinate speakers expounded the Word (read … law … gave the sense … caused to understand, v. 8). On account of the war hardships and persecution of the brethren as conscientious objectors, many of the brethren at the convention were very sad as they listened to the Word (wept … heard … law, v. 9). This prompted J., as executive (Nehemiah … Tirshatha [governor]) and as pilgrim and teacher of the Word (Ezra, the priest, the scribe), and the 13 subordinate leaders (Levites that taught) to exhort the brethren to cease mourning (mourn not, nor weep), because the convention period (this day) was dedicated to the Lord, who exhorts His people to rejoice in tribulations and persecutions. J. exhorted (said, v. 10) the brethren to proceed in joy (Go your way), to appropriate (eat … drink) the loving (fat) things and the hopeful (sweet) things and to take of the convention's overflow and give it to the dear stayers-at-home, who had missed the feast (nothing is prepared), for these three convention days (day) are dedicated (holy) to the Lord; let not sorrow distress the heart (neither be ye sorry); the joy that God gives His people through His Spirit, Word and providence will strengthen the heart and mind (joy … your strength). Without in any way at the time understanding his relation to the type, J. used in one of his discourses for the brethren's encouragement the thoughts expressed in v. 10 and quoted the last clause verbally. The less prominent speakers (Levites, v. 11) made similar exhortations (stilled … saying). These exhortations wrought their intended effect on the conventioners, who put them into practice (went … eat … drink … send portions … mirth), and that because they appreciatively understood the good Word