Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  Titus 2:13

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10,000 talents of silver [$20,000,000.00], v. 9) through the increased service of the elders (those that have the charge of the business), who would thus enrich the Lord (bring it into the king's treasuries). The elders', Sept. 16, 1916, passing the resolution was our Lord's permissively in pantomime granting H.J.S.'s request; for that resolution in view of its ultimate purpose put the elders into H.J.S.'s control (the king took his ring … gave it unto Haman, v. 10). Thus seemingly the enemy of the Lord's people was given power to kill them in their rights as to ecclesiaism (the Jews' enemy). The resolution so passed was the Lord's permissively giving H.J.S. the benefits of the elders' increased fruitage, as well as the Church's controllership privileges (silver … people … do … seemeth good to thee, v. 11); for through the resolution H.J.S. not only designed to take away the Church's rights of self-government by lodging its government in the elders, but also to secure for himself control of the elders, and thus ultimately make himself the full controller of the British Church.

 

There were four formal meetings of the elders after that of Sept. 16, 1916, when the resolution was passed, and before that of Oct. 20, to get the resolution and a report into a shape acceptable to all the elders, that thus all the elders might sign it, which four meetings were held Sept. 20 and 29 and Oct. 6 and 13. However, they failed of accomplishing this purpose. The resolution, finally signed by but 11 out of the 18 elders, with its report and covering letter was sent to Bro. Russell probably on Oct. 23, 1916, the earliest possible time, since the letter was written and then mailed to the London Bethel Saturday, Oct. 21, and was thus not received there until Monday, Oct. 23. Thus it was dispatched to Bro. Russell some time during the week of Oct. 22-28, 1916, quite probably Oct. 23, a month and about a week after the resolution was passed, which implies that the request was made (v. 8) about the 6th of the 12th month (were the king's scribes

 

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called on the 13th day of the first month, v. 12). This correspondence having been sent to Bro. Russell, who as such was both the Lord's and the Church's representative, it was thus in him in reality sent to, the whole Church (written … Lieutenants … governors … rulers … every people). Since it claimed to set forth the pertinent Biblical teachings, it was written in the Lord's name (in the name of king Ahasuerus); and it was authorized by the elders' vote (sealed with the king's ring). These three writings—the resolution, the report and the covering letter—were posted to Bro. Russell, as our Lord's and the Church's representative (letters were sent by posts, v. 13), and in reality asked for the death of the Lord's people in so far as their rights to control their own matters by their free vote were concerned (destroy, kill and cause to perish, all Jews), and the destruction of Bro. Russell's controllership in the British Church; for in this way would the aim of H.J.S. go into effect, if it should succeed. This would be accomplished the day the resolution would go into effect (one day … 13th … Adar [11 months after the first month of v. 12]), and would make their rights a spoil to all supporters of its going into effect (the spoil of them for a prey). The sending of this correspondence to Bro. Russell as the Lord's and the Church's representative was a publication of it to all Truth people (writing … was published unto all people, v. 14), and was an exhortation (for a commandment) to them to support the fatal work (ready against that day). Fast trams and steamers hastened the correspondence to America (posts … hastened by the king's commandment, v. 15); and by the conspirators at the London Bethel and Tabernacle it was regarded as effective (decree was given in Shushan the palace). The Lord Jesus and H.J.S. (king and Haman) continued to appropriate the prerogatives of their offices (sat down to drink). But the Lord's people in Britain who knew were in perplexity (perplexed).

 

Apprised beforehand (Mordecai perceived all that was

 

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done, Esther 4: 1) of the coming of this correspondence by J. Hemery, Bro. Russell decided toward the end of September to send J. to Britain on account of the situation there; and about 10 P.M., Oct. 21, at Dallas, Texas, he gave J. to understand that he wanted him to do something connected with the recalcitrant managers, of whom he spoke in, disapproval and anger as setting aside his arrangements and introducing their own instead. He did not give details as to what he desired him to do, declaring that he would give him these at Brooklyn between Nov. 6 and 11, when J. was to be there before he sailed for Europe. Bro. Russell did not live to see this correspondence, which he desired to see before giving J. details as to how he wished him to handle the situation. But it was given to J. by A.I. Ritchie, late in the afternoon of Nov. 8; and that night and the most of the next day he made a careful study of it, and saw through its iniquity. At this juncture and onward J. alone, and that as the second member of the Laodicean Messenger, functioned as the antitype of Mordecai. As such he began and continued for several months in great grief (cried with a loud and a bitter cry), which did violence to his graces of habitual faith, peace and joy (rent his clothes), and was for a while symbolically clothed with and in mourning (sackcloth with ashes). With much distress he mingled with the Bethel family (went into the midst of the city). When with them he concealed from the Bethelites (came even before the king's gate, v. 2) as such the reason for his distress, feeling that it would be inappropriate to show grief there (none … the king's gate clothed with sackcloth).

 

Everyone of the Lord's people everywhere, on hearing of this conspiracy, permitted by the Lord (whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, v. 3), was plunged into keen distress (great mourning … fasting, and weeping, and wailing … in sackcloth and ashes). J.'s distress increased with the sense of responsibility of handling the situation executively given him by his

 

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commission. Knowing from Ps. 91: 6; Ezek. 9: 2, 5-10 (the sixth slaughter man) and several brethren's description of the situation in various European countries, just lately given him, that he was to face a sifting in Europe, J. was so weighed down that he could not make a connected speech of comfort and farewell to the Bethel family at the breakfast table just before leaving for Europe. All that he could do was to utter a few disconnected sentences at intervals. A.I. Ritchie, G.W. Seibert and A.H. MacMillan (maids and chamberlains, v. 4) told something of the situation to J.F.R. and W.E.V., who with A.I. Ritchie were the Executive Committee, and thus representatives of the Church, which thus heard of it in them (Esther's … her). This greatly grieved them individually and in their capacity of representing the Church (queen exceedingly grieved). Noting J.'s grief, they sought to comfort him and remove his grief (sent raiment to clothe Mordecai, and to take away his sackcloth from him); but their words failed of their purpose (he received it not). Before this correspondence arrived Sr. G.W. Seibert had gotten a letter from J. Hemery, revealing the situation to her and asking her to speak with Bro. Russell over it; but the letter reached her too late for her to speak to him about it, i.e., it reached her after he had left Bethel, Oct. 16, for the last time. But she told it to A.I. Ritchie and A.H. MacMillan. This, among other things, prompted A.I. Ritchie, who had not read it yet, to put the correspondence, as a forearming of him for his British trip, into J.'s hands for study, after which he was to report on it to the Executive Committee. Then he told his fellow committee members of it, and they sent him to J. to ask him details (Then called Esther for Hatach [verity] … to know what it was, and why it was, v. 5). The night of Nov. 9 he explained to, and discussed with, the Executive Committee the situation; and, knowing that J. could not handle the situation, if he went merely as a pilgrim,

 

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which would have made him subject to the managers, the Executive Committee told J, that they were making valid the powers that the letter of appointment, given him to obtain passports, fictitiously offered him, and decided to give him bonafide credentials actually conferring the powers that the letter of appointment had fictitiously offered, which credentials were dictated the afternoon of Nov. 10 and signed and sealed the morning of the 11th, just as J. was leaving for the steamer on which he sailed to England. Thus A.I. Ritchie's putting the correspondence into J.'s hands (Hatach went forth to Mordecai unto the street of the city, v. 6) was an asking of him to report on it to the members of the Executive Committee (before the king's gate), who as such acted therein as the representatives of the Church, antitypical Esther.

 

As indicated above, J. made the report, first to A.I. Ritchie (vs. 7, 8), and then through him to the rest of the Executive Committee. It was, first of the Executive Committee, the night of Nov. 9, after they had told him to handle the British situation with pertinent powers, and then of the Bethel family, at the breakfast table, Nov. 11, that J. asked for their special prayers for the Lord's grace to help him bear his burden and to prosper his endeavors on behalf of the endangered brethren (that she should go in unto the king, to make supplication … request before him for her people). A.I. Ritchie, as above stated, told what J. had told him to the other members of the Executive Committee (Hatach … told Esther the words of Mordecai, v. 9). At first timid, these two again sent A.I. Ritchie to J. with a message (Esther … Hatach … Mordecai, v. 10) to let him know that they were afraid to offer such a prayer, having misgivings of its displeasing the Lord, as asking amiss (whosoever … shall come … not called … death … except … may live, v. 11), and as thinking that the Lord had not showed them favor for a long period (not been called … thirty days). It was the fear of a sifting, of whose coming

 

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J. had warned J.F.R. and W.E.V., that made these the first to have such fear. Hence their attitude suggested that A.I. Ritchie speak further with J., which was done, Sr. G.W. Seibert also joining in so doing (they told to Mordecai Esther's words, v. 12). Thereupon J. said that the sifting would test all, that its success would symbolically kill as to their power of voting even the faithful who were close to the Lord (Think not … thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews, v. 13), that if the most shielded would not do their part (holdest thy peace, v. 14), they and theirs would lose their privileges as to ecclesiaism (thou and thy father's house shah be destroyed), and that the Lord would raise up others to do the work of enlarging and rescuing His people (enlargement and deliverance … from another place). He raised the question as to whether the Executive Committee and the Board, whom it represented, yea, all of them being representatives of the Church, were not given their present position as representatives of the Church for the very purpose of praying and laboring for this deliverance (art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?). J. and the three members of the Executive Committee during their discussion of the situation the night of Nov. 9 were the main actors in the antitypes of vs. 6-14.

 

Several times during the day of Nov. 9 J. met the three members of the Executive Committee individually and all of them individually asked him, in addition to pilgrim work, to investigate the business and affairs of the Society, call for the reports from the Society's managers at the branch offices visited and make reports on the secular and religious aspects of the work. No express mention was during the day made as to J.'s having powers of attorney. That night (God's time, Nov. 10), after J. had made his report on the above-mentioned correspondence to the Executive Committee, after they saw that with mere pilgrim investigating and reporting powers he could not handle the situation at

 

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the London Bethel and Tabernacle, since these would still leave him a subordinate of the three British managers, and after the Committee told him to handle it, he asked each one of them separately, but in one another's presence, whether they intended that he should use all the powers that the letter of appointment fictitiously offered him, and each one of the three answered, yes. No mention was made of any exceptions in the powers. None of them was mentioned specifically. They were, therefore, all included in both the questions and the answers. J. knew that that night all were meant, especially that on his exercising powers of attorney, because only with such powers could he handle the Tabernacle conditions, and it was these that they expressly commissioned him to handle. J.F.R.'s self-serving claim, made after 3½ months of his hearty cooperation with J.'s exercising such powers, that his powers were fictitious, have been sufficiently refuted in Vol. VI, Chapter I.

 

The Committee ordered J.F.R. to prepare pertinent credentials, which were dictated by J.F.R. the afternoon of Nov. 10 in J.'s presence and signed and sealed the morning of Nov. 11. Please note that the acts involved in the giving of these powers, from the out start of the acts of giving them, during the daytime of Nov. 9, until the completion of their giving in the acts of signing and sealing the credentials that stated the conferring of them, stretched over a period of three days, Nov. 9-11. These are the three days of antitypical fasting on the part of all concerned at the headquarters (all … in Shushan, v. 16)—the seven Board members, who acted as representatives of the Church, the Committee itself, the manager and assistant manager, all as representatives of the Board and the Church (Esther, v. 15) and J. It was a symbolic fast for them, inasmuch as the Board and the Executive Committee as their agent denied themselves the use of such of their powers as they conferred on J.; it was a symbolic fast for J., because the acceptance of the pertinent

 

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commission involved much self-denial for him; and it was a symbolic fast for A.H. MacMillan, as manager, R.J. Martin, as assistant manager, and the brother in charge of the pilgrim department, all of whom surrendered some of their prerogatives to J. for his mission (fast ye … I also and my maidens will fast). After giving up such prerogatives on the part of antitypical Esther and J. and those cooperating with him in his involved sacrifice (Jews … in Shushan), the involved brethren, one and all: as representatives of antitypical Esther, were in spirit prepared to appear before the Lord in intercession on behalf of the endangered brethren (so will I go in unto the king). This would be done regardless of failure or of success in the attempt (if I perish, I perish). Thus all concerned, including, among others, J. (Mordecai … did, v. 17), accepted the proposed self-denials according to the suggestion of the Executive Committee, as representatives of the Church (Esther) and the Board, which, as representatives of the Church, acted therein through its agent, the Executive Committee.

 

It has above been shown that the three days of the antitypical fasting were Nov. 9, 10, 11, 1916. But the facts of the fulfilment prove that the third day was enlarged from the 24-hour days of Nov. 9 and 10 to a day lasting from Nov. 11 to about Dec. 10 (on the third day, 5: 1). This, on its face, seems strange; yet the facts of the fulfilment, as will be presented, demonstrate this to be true. As we saw, from the case of Bro. Russell and that of the Executive Committee in their executive capacities, that representatives of the Church are in Esther 2: 22 (Bro. Russell) and 4: 4, 5, 8-17 (the Executive Committee) set forth as antitypical Esther, so as soon as J. accepted executive authority (Esther put on her royal apparel) for his European work according to his credentials given him Nov. 11, he in such executive capacity acted representatively for the Church, i.e., in the pertinent events the Church acted in him and thus in this capacity he stood at

 

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times as the antitype of Esther. This is the case in Esther 5 and 6. It might here be remarked that Esther's putting on her royal apparel on the third day proves that on Nov. 11 J.'s credentials were bonafide, and were so recognized by him; and Esther's maids assisting her to dress, represent the individual members of the Executive Committee treating his powers as bonafide Nov. 11, 1916. So empowered, J. entered into closer contact with the Lord Jesus than hitherto (stood in the inner court) as to His Church (of the king's house), directly in matters pertaining to the Church (over against the king's house). Our Lord was then administering the affairs of His Kingdom in Divine authority (sat … throne in the royal house) in a public manner (gate of the house). This scene started Nov. 11, immediately on J.'s leaving the Tabernacle, as soon as W.E.V. as secretary signed and sealed the credentials, A.I. Ritchie having signed them as vice-president, just before J. left Bethel to go to the Tabernacle for the secretary to sign and seal them. From that time onward until J. arrived at the London Bethel the night of Nov. 19, 1916, J. was in constant meditation and prayer over the situation created by the elders' resolution, etc. (stood). This activity of J., as the Church's representative, was noted by our Lord (king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, v. 2), and as such he was favorably regarded by the Lord (obtained favor in his sight). Accordingly, the Lord graciously extended His right to rule, which was in His power, toward J. as the Church's representative (king held out to Esther … sceptre … hand). J. as such, recognizing the Lord's favor, approached closer to the Lord in faith in, and submission toward our Lord's right and power to rule (Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre). By the Word, as applicable to the situation, the Lord raised in J.'s mind, as the Church's representative, the questions as to what his concern and petition were (said … What wilt thou? [literally, What to thee?

 

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i.e., What is giving you concern?] … what is thy request? [literally, what do you seek for yourself?], v. 3). Through the Word the Lord Jesus assured J. as the Church's representative that for the Church as the Lord's joint-heir he might have her share as the Lord's partner in the Lord's bounty at request (given … half of the kingdom). As the Church's representative J. requested that our Lord and H.J.S. might during the enlarged third day partake together in a discussion of the principles applicable to the case as these would be presented by J. as the Church's representative (let the king and Haman come this day unto the banquet [literally, the drinking] that I have prepared for him, v. 4). By His providences connected with the correspondence coming into J.'s hands, as shown in Vol. IV, Chap. III, 184-189, particularly by its coming into J.'s hands in London, our Lord brought it about that He ordered H.J.S. to attend this symbolic feast of wine, which was a literal discussion of the principles underlying the matters treated of in the correspondence (Cause Haman … do as Esther hath said: v. 5). H.J.S. put his side of the correspondence into J.'s hands, to secure from him as the Society's special representative the sanctioning of his plan to introduce a presbyterian order of church government, a plan to secure for the elders "the control of all its [the ecclesia's] services and activities," as against the congregational order of church government, while J. Hemery put his side of the correspondence into J.'s hands as the Society's special representative, to secure from him the defeat of H.J.S.'s plan, both doing this on Nov. 23.

 

Beginning Nov. 23, this discussion between our Lord, acting through J. as His mouth, and H.J.S. continued until into the night of Nov. 28 (29, God's time). During these seven days which were still a part of the third symbolic day, the discussion went on, usually at H.J.S.'s and J.'s 9 P.M. dinners, but also in the managers' meeting of Nov. 25 (king and Haman … banquet). As J. spoke to H.J.S.

 

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he found himself in a wholly different attitude of mind from that in which he was while listening to H.J.S. During the former times he found himself to be affable and trustful toward H.J.S., but as soon as he ceased speaking, and H.J.S. began and continued to speak, he became very suspicious of him, watching his every word, intonation, facial expression and gestures. In the former attitude he was acting as Jesus' mouth; in the latter attitude he was acting as the representative of the Church. Thus in these conversations and discussions our Lord was present and spoke to H.J.S. by J. as His mouth, and the Church was present, but silent in J. as its representative. Before coming to understand the antitype of this scene J. often wondered how he could pass so quickly from one into the other of these two mental attitudes toward the same person; yea, more than once he chided himself that he could have been so affable and trustful toward H.J.S. one second and the next second become so deeply distrustful and suspicious of him. Only after he came to see the double uses that the Lord was making of him in the antitype of "the drinking" scene could he see that there was no hypocrisy in his course. H.J. S, is by heredity very crafty. He has what physiognomists call a fox-face. J. noted this at his first look at his face on meeting him at the London station where he and several other Bethelites came to meet and greet him on his arrival at London from America. While the New Creature can overcome such an inherited handicap, H.J.S. was in his double-mindedness living in this quality. J., who naturally is trustful and unsuspicious, never could have check-mated this man in his craftiness at every turn, as he did, had not the Lord taken him in his craftiness through J.

 

Again, and that during this first symbolic wine-banquet (at the banquet of wine, v. 6), the lord Jesus raised the question in the mind of J., as the Church's representative (king said unto Esther), as to what her petition and request were, assuring her of a favorable response to

 

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both (What …? … granted … what …? … performed). J. as the Church's representative did not yet know what to ask, for the conditions had not yet sufficiently clarified before his mind as the Church's representative as to just what should be requested. Accordingly, he as such asked (my petition and my request, v. 7) for a delay and a further discussion of the subject (king and Haman come to the banquet, v. 8), promising at the second discussion to tell her petition and request, as the king asked (I will do tomorrow as the king hath said). During the first discussion the Lord Jesus, speaking through J., gave not the slightest hint to H.J.S. as to His decision on the subject, nor was J. as the Church's representative able to do this, on account of his uncertainty, as just indicated. As a result, H.J.S. by Nov. 29, after on Nov. 28 at J.'s request he acted as his chairman at J.'s two Croydon meetings, was very happy in the thought that all was well with him, and that his plan would succeed (Then went Haman forth … with a glad heart, v. 9). He felt sure of having the Lord's and the Church's [in J.] favor, despite J.'s disapproving Nov., 28, H.J.S.'s convention program, and charged him to revise it as J. indicated; but on Dec. 2, before leaving Bethel for his Forest Gate appointment, J. as the Society's special representative (in the king's gate) told H.J.S. that he could not yield sanction to his plan, as it was presbyterianism and clericalism, and as the Truth view of church government was ecclesiaism, i.e., the congregational form of church government. Thus in this chief matter J. refused to submit to H.J.S.'s arrangements, which H.J.S. noted (Haman saw Mordecai … stood not up, nor moved for him). Despite H.J.S.'s reasons for his plan, J. would not in the least submit to him therein. Thereupon he ceased arguing, but J. plainly perceived that he was both disappointed and displeased (full of indignation against Mordecai). Despite his disappointment and displeasure, he forcibly controlled himself externally

 

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(refrained [literally, forced] himself, v. 10). Returning to his habitual state of heart and mind (came home), he assembled his friends and his special helpers (friends, and Zeresh [golden] his wife).

 

To these he declared his honorable abundance of official powers (glory of his riches, v. 11), his many influential like-minded elder supporters (multitude of his children) and the promotions that the Lord had given him (promoted him) and how the Lord had advanced him to the chief position among His leaders and servants (advanced him above the princes and servants of the king). Then he boasted that the Church in J. had not honored anyone else to come with the Lord to a discussion of the matters of the Tabernacle (the queen let no man come in with the king unto the banquet … but myself, v. 12). He also boasted that further discussions on the subject would be had by the Lord and him alone, at the invitation of the Church acting in J. representatively (tomorrow am I invited unto her also with the king). Then he told them that he got no real benefit from these things as long as he saw J. as the Society's special representative in a prominent position in the Lord's service (all this availeth me nothing … I see Mordecai … at the king's gate, v. 13). Thereupon his special helpers (Zeresh his wife, v. 14) and trusted supporters (friends) advised him to collect pertinent facts on J.'s alleged evil deeds. (let a gallows be made), deeds surely proving him to be an unclean Great Company member (50 cubits high [50 is a multiple of 10, the number of natures lower than the Divine nature, and 5, as a fraction of 10, implies an unclean member of a nature lower than the Divine nature, i.e., here an unclean Great Company member]), and before the second period of discussion would begin (tomorrow [literally, in the morning]) secure from the Lord permission that J. be publicly set forth as an evil-doer (Mordecai may be hanged thereon [literally, that they hang Mordecai thereon]). J.'s alleged evil deeds so far

 

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committed were his disapproving of H.J.S.'s Manchester Convention program, his revising it in harmony with Bro. Russell's arrangements and his refusing to bend in submission to H.J.S.'s presbyterianizing plan. The advice given H.J.S. struck him as just the thing to do. So with these three materials he began to construct his gallows and added to them from time to time other acts of J. that disapproved of his revolutionism, summing them up in the long self-justifying letter that was in large part quoted in Vol. VII, Chap. I (caused the gallows to be made). They assured him that after getting the permission to prove J. guilty of wrong-doing, he could merrily join the king in feasting (king unto the banquet).

 

Next Esther 6 will engage our attention. Our Lord's ceaseless activities (could not the king sleep [literally, the king's sleep fled], v. 1) enter into every nook and corner of His office functions, and one of these is keeping in memory the various events of His reign (book of records … read before the king). At this time, i.e., between Dec. 3 and 11 (that night). He recalled J.'s warning as to E.W. Brenneisen's autocratic, and G.B. Raymond's severe treatment of the brethren as an attempt against our Lord (Mordecai had told of … keepers of the door … to lay hand on the king, v. 2). No reward (honor and dignity, v. 3) had been given J. for this act (done to Mordecai). Doubtless it was the spirit-being angels who dealt with our Lord in the matters of vs. 1-4, typed by those who read to the king, of whom the king asked the questions of vs. 3, 4, and who, as the servants of vs. 3, 4, answered the king's questions. It will be recalled that it was on Dec. 2 that J. announced to H. J S. his disapproval of his plan to presbyterianize the Church. Thereafter came the latter's boasting, his charge against J. and the conspiracy with some of his main and subordinate supporters to have J. proven to be an evil-doer. The first part of the symbolic gallows that H.J.S. erected was his position taken in his letter of Dec. 11

 

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to J., declining to revise the Manchester Convention program as J. had asked. This refusal was in effect: (1) a denial of J.'s executive authority and (2) a charge against J. of usurpation of authority; for if he had not had the pertinent authority, it would have been a usurpation on his part to require the managers to revise that program as J. had asked. The writing, sending and journey of this letter, Dec. 11-14, therefore, was a going to our Lord with a charge of usurpation against J. and a request openly to prove his charge. It was during these three days that H.J.S. waited for the Lord, to see Him on his plan to have J. proven an evildoer (court of the king's house, to speak … hang Mordecai on the gallows, v. 4).

 

J. received this letter Dec. 14, and most carefully and prayerfully considered it until the morning of Dec. 19, when he saw clearly that he must, if he would maintain his duty as executive, insist on the program's being revised as he had asked. While J. was, Dec. 14-19, considering and praying over this letter, the scene of vs. 4-9 was antityped, and that in pantomime, of course. The situation created by H.J.S.'s course as to the Manchester Convention program was this: H.J.S. thereby made a bid to secure the chief executive authority in the British field as against that of J. His course therein was a going to our Lord with the request that meant an attempted proof of J.'s unfitness for that authority. When that letter reached J., and he began to meditate and pray over it, our Lord stepped upon the scene to decide as between the two on this question. His first step was to inquire as to who was in waiting to ask a petition of Him (Who is in the court?). The angels (king's servants) declared that H.J.S. was so waiting; for he was longing to get from the Lord the power to set J. aside, not only as a public evil-doer, but also as one unfit to have executive charge of the British general work. Thus the situation was an open one, which H.J.S. desired would result in his getting chief executive authority in the work

 

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in general and in the Manchester Convention in particular. The Lord, ready to honor J. in an exemplary way at this time, caused the situation to suggest to H.J.S.'s mind the question, What honors should he have whom it is the delight of the Lord to honor? (What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honor? v. 6). As this question came providentially to H.J.S.'s mind repeatedly, as these circumstances continued to suggest it, H.J.S. held the thought, as desirable (thought in his heart), that he had been the one chiefly using executive authority in Britain, and that, therefore, he was undoubtedly the one whom it was the Lord's delight to honor especially (whom … honor more than to myself?). His heart's and his act as to the convention program, not likely his mouth, answered this question (answered the king, v. 7). The answer was: that the Lord's authority (royal apparel, v. 8) which He exercised in the British Church, the teaching (horse) as to that authority (the king rideth) and the evidence of that authority (crown) be put into the power of one of the chief leaders of the British Church (delivered to the hand … king's most noble princes, v. 9), and that His servants (they) may impart as the Lord's agents these powers executively (array the man) and publicly support him upon this teaching (bring him on horseback … street of the city) and proclaim that so the Lord will continue to do to the one whom He delights to honor (done … whom the king delighteth to honor). H.J.S.'s striving to control the Manchester Convention program and his reasonings and desires thereon meant that all this be done to him.

 

In every encounter that J. had with H.J.S. the latter created such situations as put him firmly into a trap; and here we have a marked example of this. The Lord turned the tables about from what H.J.S. had expected, and required of him that he be the one to minister these very honors to J. at the Lord's command (haste, and take the apparel and the horse … do so to Mordecai … let

 

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nothing fail, v. 10). It happened in this way: The principles of the Word requiring J, to accept H.J.S.'s challenge of his executive authority in the British Church, by his course of attempted disregard of J.'s revisions of the convention program, declared in his letter of Dec. 11, J., as shown above, at the Lord's direction, forced him to revise the program as he had asked and then gave it to him to carry out as revised. In Chap. III the facts connected with this program matter were given in considerable detail, so they will not be repeated here. It will here suffice to say that J., in a managers' meeting called by him, Dec. 20, unchangeably insisted on the program's being revised as he had charged. Then, as a reprimand to H.J.S., he took the revision of the program and its carrying out from him, and gave these to J. Hemery to do; but when, on the night of Dec. 22, H.J.S. made an half-apology for his course, as a sign of forgiveness J. gave it to him to carry out, and required of all three managers that they cooperate in J.'s solution of the situation. In this matter the Lord acted through J. as His eye, hand and mouth. Thus the three managers were required to accept J. as the Lord's authorized executive (that they may array the man withal); and H.J.S. had to go before him publicly, before and during the convention, proclaiming by act the teaching (horse) that the Lord was pleased to give J. His delegated executive authority (royal apparel), with the sign of their validity (crown) in his credentials, read on the occasion to the managers. Thus was fulfilled v. 11 in detail. But, as we may conclude from Haman's course as described in v. 12 that he did it with ill grace, so H.J.S. performed his part with ill grace and a murmuring heart. It hurt him to see J. given by the managers and the conventioners the attention that was a result of the proclamation.

 

After the convention, where J. was received and treated with the respect that the Society's (Lord's) special representative should have, and that in view of the antitypical

 

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proclamation of him as such representative, J. went about his pilgrim work as, before (Mordecai came again to the king's gate, v. 12), until he came again to Bethel, Jan. 8, 1917. But H.J.S. left the convention for his position, office (hasted to his house), much crestfallen, deeply hurt and full of sadness (mourning), wearing the emblems of defeat, a defeated and an ashamed spirit (having his head covered). Burning with chagrin, shame and resentment, he told his chief supporters (Zeresh his wife, v. 13) and his subordinate supporters (all his friends) all the pertinent events, and that with untruthful details. His counselors (wise men) and his main supporters (Zeresh his wife) recognized in these events the Lord's providence as indicating the eventual defeat of H.J.S. in his encounters with J. (Mordecai … before whom thou hast begun to fall … not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him). H.J.S. arrived in London Jan. 2 from the Manchester Convention, and the scene of his telling his supporters of his recent experiences and their making the unfavorable forecast occurred some time between Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 2, and Saturday night, Jan. 6; for he received word during that time that he was wanted at the business meeting of the London Tabernacle to be held Sunday afternoon, Jan. 7 (while … talking with him … chamberlains … bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared, v. 14).

 

To this symbolic drinking our Lord and H.J.S. came (king and Haman came to banquet with Esther, 7: 1). While Pastor Russell's passing beyond the vail had somewhat altered the externals of H.J.S.'s conspiracy, its heart remained, i.e., presbyterianizing the British Church. And the banquet of the second symbolic day finds its antitype in how this matter was discussed and acted upon from Jan. 7 to Jan. 28, 1917, inclusive. J.'s previous investigations and experience as to the London Bethel and Tabernacle matters convinced him that a fell attempt had been begun

 

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to presbyterianize the British Church. Therefore when on Dec. 24, 1916, as the Society's special representative, he addressed the Tabernacle congregation, he stressed ecclesiaism as the proper form of church government, as against presbyterianism, exhorting the brethren as a church to hold in their own hands the controllership of all the church's activities and business, and not to delegate this control to the board of elders or to anyone else. J. did not then expose the conspiracy, of which the ecclesia was not yet aware, but the points that he made were by both sets of elders, the 11 who shared in the conspiracy and the 7 who opposed it, recognized as opposed in principle to the conspiracy's resolution. The contents of this address moved H.C. Thackway, who was one of the seven non-signatory elders, to prepare a set of resolutions calculated to destroy before the church the presbyterianizing of its form of government. He desired to confer with J, on these resolutions, but the latter declined to discuss them, because he had put himself under the same restriction as that under which he had put the entire Bethel family after his address of Dec. 24, i.e., in no way to seek to influence the ecclesia's election, apart from each Bethelite's vote. In other words, so far as the Bethel family was concerned, it was to do no campaigning or electioneering, in order that the ecclesia might be left entirely to its own free volition to conduct its election along congregational lines, without any Bethelites' influencing it one way or another. Therefore J. told H.C. Thackway to use his own free judgment on anything that he desired to present or leave unpresented to the ecclesia at its business meeting on Jan. 7. Had H.J. Shearn kept the above-mentioned charge given the Bethelites, his course in the matter, so far as J, was concerned, would not have been brought before the ecclesia. But during the discussion of the aforesaid resolutions, in which there was made a slight exposure of the conspiracy, H.J.S. began to defend himself before the ecclesia, without,

 

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however, divulging his part in the conspiracy. This moved J. to warn him, the night of Jan. 8, that if his pertinent course became known his influence would be destroyed in the British Church. Thereupon J. cautioned him against any further attempt at self-justification and at influencing the election.

 

The aforesaid resolutions were passed on Jan. 7, and on Jan. 14 the nomination of elders and deacons occurred, and the election was set for Jan. 21. H.J.S.'s course of Jan. 7, in disregard of J.'s restriction on Bethelites' attempting to influence the election apart from their individual votes, made J. fear, after he had received on Jan. 13 H.J.S.'s long letter, reproduced in part in Vol. VII, Chap. I, that he would attempt it again. Therefore he wrote to J. Hemery, asking him, in case H.J.S. would attempt it, to, tell the church, as J.'s. mouthpiece, of the details of the conspiracy and of J.'s disapproval of it. On Jan. 21, before the election, H.J.S. again before the church sought to justify himself. Thereupon, as charged by J., J. Hemery told a little—too little to clarify matters—of the course of H.J.S. (and W. Crawford) as to the conspiracy, and announced to the church that J. as the Society's commissioner disapproved of this conspiracy. This led to a motion to postpone voting onH.J.S. (and W. Crawford) for eldership until J. had been heard from; and J. was by resolution requested to be at the business meeting of the ecclesia on Jan. 28, and as the Society's commissioner to give his view of the matter. Accordingly, J. addressed the ecclesia on the situation, and while addressing it he learned, through a series of questions, that H.J.S., by quoting an incomplete part of a statement from a letter of Bro. Russell, had deceived 9 of the 11 signatory elders into believing that our Pastor desired to be relieved of his pastoral control of the activities and business of the London Tabernacle, whereas the next sentence, which H.J.S. withheld from the elders, showed that unless the ecclesia would relieve the Society of all its