Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
good cheer, until from uncertainty certainty as to action could be reached (vs. 5, 6); but when J. protested against this procrastination the group urged him to wait, to which he reluctantly consented (v. 7). New York finally being decided upon as headquarters for the work, as against Philadelphia, where J, was offered a fine house to be used as headquarters, J. again brought up the matter of proceeding to the work of publishing the magazine, but, on the arrest of the Society leaders, fear seized hold on the group; and they insisted that it was dangerous under the conditions to go ahead. Long discussions made more time-consuming delays set in, lasting from early in May until after the middle of June (v. 8).
Finally, weary of such procrastinations, in the absence of the worst procrastinator, I.I. Margeson, J. proposed, June 22, 1918 a series of motions, including the election of R.H. Hirsh as managing editor, with a fixed salary, to devote all his time to his duties as such, and the decision to go ahead with preparing, printing and circulating the first issue of the magazine. Again, the procrastinators, especially I.I. Margeson, set into operation dilatory operations, including the latter's holding up unduly the MSS. of the first issue (v. 9). But J. strongly refused to consent to further procrastination, at which R.H. Hirsh went ahead, putting the first issue of the magazine through the press. The group later blamed J. for the procrastination; but this Scripture disproves their point and blames it therefore. By this time they were at the point where the question arose as to applying for second-class rates at the P. O. for the magazine. The committee and the views on the magazine and pilgrim service now ready for operation were in unison with J. (v. 10). As the time for publishing the magazine was approaching R.H. Hirsh and R.G. Jolly, particularly the former, suggested to J. that the authorization of second-class postal rates for the magazine be asked for as a continued privilege (v. 11). J., mindful that R.H. Hirsh was still under arrest with the
Society leaders, advised delay on this point, until he could be released from arrest, on which J, advised him to appear before the authorities at Washington, and, presenting proof that he was no longer on the Watch Tower editorial committee when the offending article appeared, to seek to secure the quashing of his indictment. Thereafter he could apply for the pertinent authorization; hence J. counseled to take the paper without authorization of second-class rates to the Fort Pitt Committee or to the Asbury Park Convention for issuing (vs. 12, 13). The wrangling in the last Fort Pitt Committee meeting, July 18, on forming a corporation prevented any other matters coming up; hence the circulation of The Bible Standard was postponed until the convention (v. 14). The whispering campaign conducted by I.F. Hoskins, I.I. Margeson, H.C. Rockwell and R.E. Streeter had so permeated the bulk of the conventioners that, apart from F.H. McGee, the group and their partisans gave J., his two supporters and the Fort Pitt Committee as such the cold shoulder, despite their prominence there (v. 15).
The only exception to this unkind treatment and aloofness among the group as a leader was F.H. McGee, who, in harmony with the committee's [unrescinded] decision of June 22, in a sympathetic and helpful way greeted and joined R.H. Hirsh, R.G. Jolly and J. in distributing The Bible Standard's first and only edition, after the conventioners' night session, July 26 (vs. 16, 17): on being informed by J. that the three were engaged in carrying out the Fort Pitt Convention's instructions to forward the magazine, but were not kindly regarded therefore (v. 18). J. assured him that their pertinent views were fully provided with sufficient power by that convention, as were also he and his helpers by the committee's involved resolution for the work on hand (v. 19). Thereupon F.H. McGee gave them a friendly response, agreed to vindicate their course, and urged them not to remain in unprotected publicity (v. 20). Thus he welcomed them and their purpose; and together they participated in the
work of distributing and commending The Bible Standard, which they did with clean conduct the night of July 26, at the Asbury Park Convention (v. 21). At this authorized deed, in which the four had joyous fellowship, I.F. Hoskins, I.I. Margeson and H.C. Rockwell were beside themselves with rage, severely denouncing the four brothers, especially J., that night, as though they had done an unauthorized and evil thing, while their pertinent course was contrary to the instructions of the Fort Pitt Convention and motion of its committee. They demanded of F.H. McGee that he deliver up J. to their defiling him with what were slanderous misrepresentations (v. 22). He remonstrated with them against so gross a wrong, even offering to yield to them his power as a committee member and the whole committee for their defiling these, but required of them that they abstain from slandering J. (vs. 23, 24). Especially did F.H. McGee so remonstrate after H.C. Rockwell attacked J. without mentioning his name, though his meaning was clearly understood by the conventioners, in his sermon at the July 27 morning session. After this denunciation F.H. McGee expressed sympathy with J. thereon.
These efforts to defile J. with their false slanders were continued at an I.F. Hoskins' specially called meeting of elders and deacons, to which practically the whole convention came. So greatly aroused was this assembly, most of whose attendants had been made the objects of the group's whispering campaign against J. and the Fort Pitt Committee as made useless by J., that cries on all sides were raised to dissolve the committee as useless and effectless. Never before at a convention of Truth people was such misconduct manifested as was that manifested by I.F. Hoskins and his partisan supporters; for it was he who started at that meeting the denunciation of J. and the committee and by the worked-up partisanship of his supporters his denunciations were taken up, repeated and amplified. An incessant demand was made for the dissolution of the committee. It was objected that the Fort Pitt
Convention having appointed the committee, it alone could dissolve it. Thereupon the demand was made that the members of the Fort Pitt Committee present vote to dissolve it, and J. was the last one of them to consent thereto. Many a falsehood was told to justify the dissolution, e.g., Dr. Robbins, of Hampton, Va., who was not at the Fort Pitt Convention meeting that appointed the committee, told the meeting that all remembered that the convention appointed the committee until the next convention, when it was to be replaced by another committee, no such thing having been even hinted at, let alone decided upon there. The poor committee was abused, defiled, slandered, until it was worn out and shortly ceased to be. To this day J. regrets that, though unwilling, he yielded to the pressure to surrender that committee to the symbolic rapists; for that is exactly what I.F. Hoskins, I.I. Margeson, H.C. Rockwell and their partisans on that occasion were. And God's view of their conduct can be seen from His typing it by the vilest episode narrated in the entire Old Testament (vs. 25, 26)!
When J., the next morning, at the service at which he was scheduled to speak, proceeded to fulfill his word uttered July 18, when after the committee's last meeting I.I. Margeson said that the committee trouble would be brought up at the convention, to the effect that if it would be brought up there, he would make a full exposure of the evils of the group, the poor committee lay dead, its last effort having been to make an entrance to a place of refuge(v. 27). By his exposures that morning he sought to arouse it to life and its prescribed service, but no response came; therefore J. took upon his theory of the situation the memory of the committee's history and with that departed to his sphere of service (v. 28).
Awaking early Monday morning, July 29, the last day of the convention, J.'s thoughts turned, undoubtedly by the Lord's working, to Judg. 19, and he saw in general outline the rape of the Fort Pitt Committee pictured in the rape of the Levite's concubine. This aroused his opposition to the
group and its supporters to a still higher degree; and, accordingly, he led the opposition to the group's program offered at the convention's business meeting that morning; and every one of its recommendations was voted down, and that almost unanimously. Leaving the convention, he determined to write up the only thing left of the Fort Pitt Committee, the memory of what it had been and experienced, i.e., its history; and he did this in Another Harvest Siftings Reviewed, under twelve heads exposing the evils of the group, and sent this paper broadcast among the brethren (v. 29). Under each of these twelve heads many particulars of wrong-doings on the part of the group, 150 in all, placed in a deadly parallel over against 150 wrong-doings of Rutherfordism, were set forth; and wherever that paper went it produced a profound revulsion among wide-awake and non-partisan brethren who believed in standing for truth and righteousness against the gross wrongs of the group, particularly of I.F. Hoskins and I.I. Margeson. Such wide-awake and non-partisan brethren declared that the evil deeds, especially of these two, were the guiltiest ever heard of among the Lord's people since their coming out of the present evil world into the Truth and its Spirit.
They called on all to study these things, to come to a decision thereon, and then to express their minds thereon as to what should be done about it (v. 30). All of the wide-awake and non-partisan brethren assembled in spirit in the condition of watching and prayer (Judg. 20: 1). These were the bulk of God's people among "the Opposition," leaders and led, armed with Scripture, reason and facts, some of them gathering in the Mizpeh Convention at Philadelphia, Sept. 8-10 (v. 2), news of which and of the general assemblying in spirit reached the P.B.I. partisans, and all asking for details on this subject (v. 3). In the convention's investigative meetings, in private conferences and by mail J. answered these requests, giving the general outlines of the group's and their partisans' attempt to cut J. off, their raping the Fort Pitt Committee unto dissolution, his preparing and circulating
Another Harvest Siftings Reviewed, in which, divided into twelve parts, the evils done in, as to and to that committee were set forth, charged the group, especially the two above-mentioned members of it and their partisan supporters, with committing wickedness and folly among the Lord's people, and asked all the wide-awake and non-partisan people of the Lord as such to discuss and to give pertinent counsel (vs. 4-7).
Such brethren everywhere determined not to let this matter go by default, but to follow it up unto a complete putting away of the evil done by the group and their partisans, especially at the Asbury Park Convention, arranging for some of the brethren out of the smaller and larger ecclesias and out of the general Church to give supplies of argument to the rest to use against the wrongdoers (vs. 8-10). And in this spirit they were united against the group and their partisans, particularly as to Asbury Park Convention matters (v. 11). These brethren sent out messages to all the P.B.I. supporters, asking for an accounting of the things done among them and to deliver up to discharge from office the group, the new P.B.I. Committee and its editorial committee and to set aside its partisan supporters. But these refused to comply (vs. 12, 13). On the contrary, they gathered themselves together to support their evil leaders, especially as to what was done at the Asbury Park Convention (v. 14). At the outstart of the conflict there were decidedly more among "the Opposition" against than for the P.B.I. leaders and partisans as to the Asbury Park doings, the ablest argument warriors among whom were, of course, their two new committees and their pilgrim and elder partisans (vs. 15-17). The wide-awake and non-partisan brethren sought counsel of the Lord, especially at the Mizpeh Convention, particularly as to who should lead in the attack; and the principles of the Word indicated the leaders as an investigative and curative committee, which should place itself at the disposal of any ecclesia that would invite them to investigate evil conditions in its midst and to suggest curative
counsel (v. 18). To secure representatives from each side and from neutrals, one from each of these three groups was selected, with alternates, in case any of the three could or would not serve. The election of this committee was the start of the campaign against the course of the group and their partisans, including their effort to form a corporation (vs. 19, 20).
The P.B.I. responded, by its representative, F.H. McGee, declining to serve on the committee, by its influencing the neutrals, in both the first nominee and his alternate, to ignore the matter altogether, by a literary, pilgrim and correspondence campaign, grossly misrepresenting J.'s course, whitewashing the group's evils, terrorizing minorities in ecclesias who disapproved of the P.B.I., and grossly misrepresenting the purposes of the investigative and curative committee, as an inquisition, and by false teachings as to corporations in the Lord's work. This resulted in their winning away from the wide-awake and non-partisan group large numbers (v. 21). Noting the course of this struggle, though not yet having a magazine through which to wage the battle, J. renewed the matter of arousing the wide-awake and non-partisans to battle, and in this R.H. Hirsh and R.G. Jolly loyally joined, and thus aroused the pertinent brethren to encourage one another to renew the attack, and that along the same lines as before (v. 22), first in sorrowful prayer and then in asking counsel of the Lord's Word, which again encouraged them to renew the conflict (v. 23), which resulted, as in the former phase of the fight, in the P.B.I.'s winning over to their side some more, but not so many as in the former struggle. It was during this stage of the conflict that the P.B.I. held its Providence Convention, Nov. 8-10, 1918, and persuaded it to sanction its committee to organize the P.B.I. as a corporation, which was done (vs. 24, 25). The second repulse sent the wide-awake and non-partisan brethren to earnest self-examination, prayer, self-denial and sacrifice; and in this attitude they earnestly sought the Lord's will in connection with the Truth as due (v. 26), which our
Lord as the Giver of strong Truth utterances was giving; and the response was that victory would come, and that through a new publication, The Present Truth, in which the Biblical phases of the points at issue should be thoroughly set forth, and that a call should be issued for a convention at Philadelphia to seek a reconciliation on the matters of dispute, after both sides had presented their case. An inaccurate report coming from the Providence Convention, of whose inaccuracy J. did not learn until after the first issue of The Present Truth appeared, gave rise to the hope of a reconciliation and occasioned the decision to publish what proved to be the first issue of The Present Truth (vs. 27, 28).
The doctrinal parts of the first issue of The Present Truth, Dec. 9, 1918, with their implication for both sides, proved to "set liers in wait round about Gibeah" (v. 29). Accordingly, the third phase of the battle developed (v. 30). While in discussing matters connected with the conventions there seemed to be a leaving of the former position of J. and his supporters, through which a few of the latter were "wounded" on the positive and negative features of the conflict (v. 31), and the P.B.I. supporters thought that they would again win the victory, the seeming withdrawal was to draw them away from their position (v. 32), so that the doctrinal parts of the paper might destroy their entire position. Hence on the surface the main strategy of the fight seemed to be on the question of the P.B.I. leaders as crown-lost leaders in relation to attending the Hebron (friendship) Convention, Dec. 20-22, on which feature the bulk of the wide-awake and non-partisan brethren were fighting; but in reality the main and deciding feature of the conflict was in the presentation of the doctrinal features of the first number of that magazine (v. 33). This phase of the fight worked very sorely against the P.B.I. position before, at and after the Asbury Park Convention in relation to it (v. 34). And in the twofold phase of the battle on its doctrinal lines, the first carried on in No. 1 and the second in No. 2 of The Present Truth, an utter overthrow of the P.B.I. position was effected (v. 35).
The strategy unfolded in the first issue was, when too late, recognized by the P.B.I. as defeating them; for the side standing for truth and righteousness by seeming to flee from their position, in arranging for the kind of a convention that the Hebron Convention was announced to be, gave the doctrinal features the opportunity to effect their devastating work on antitypical Gibeah (vs. 36, 37). The understanding between the two parts of the antitypical attackers was that when the destructive effect of the doctrinal features of the battle would be noted (v. 38), the convention fighter section, which before had retreated and let the P.B.I. seem to be victorious in wounding some of their opponents (v. 39) would, when the P.B.I. saw the evidence of the destruction of their whole doctrinal standpoint (v. 40), turn in attack upon the P.B.I. The latter were nonplussed on the question of taking part as fighters; for they saw that whether they attended or not, they would be smitten (v. 41); hence they were nonplussed into inactivity.
Therefore they gave up the entire fight in a most ignominious rout, by ignoring the convention altogether, and by promising to write a letter to the Philadelphia Ecclesia, a letter full of hypocrisy, which was published with the reply of the Church in Present Truth, No. 3, In all their ecclesias defeat met them on their stand (v. 42). The supporters of truth and righteousness surrounded them on every side, chasing them from one position after another, easily crushing them and driving them away from their entire position (v. 43). Thus the doctrinal and convention phase of the fight won away from the P.B.I. position quite a number (v. 44). The rest fled for refuge to their human corporation, which Christ's merit allows Gershonite as well as Merarite Levites to have. But No. 2 attacked them here on two phases, as to their corrupting the organization of the Church and as to a corporation controlling priestly work, and in both phases convinced many of their supporters of the error of their way (v. 45). Thus, apart from the P.B.I. board and editors and grossly partisan supporters, the faith
of all their former sympathizers was shaken in them as to the group's and their partisans' course before, during and after the Asbury Park Convention (v. 46). But the P.B.I. board, editors and rank partisans fled for refuge for a while to the P.B.I. as a corporation, which after this defeat they formed (v. 47). After this the lovers of truth and righteousness turned on the P.B.I. individuals and refuted with Biblical, reasonable and factual points their defiled New Creatures and humanity and thus also refuted their ecclesias (v. 48). The subsequent battles waged in Nos. 3, 4, 5 are the ones typed in v. 48, and the result was certainly an overwhelming defeat of the P.B.I. everywhere, i.e., in its board, editors, partisans, ecclesias and individuals.
Now the antitype turns back from the events typed in v. 48 to events setting in immediately after the Hebron Convention, Dec. 20-22. At the time of the Mizpeh Convention, Sept. 8-10, the wide-awake and non-partisan brethren had there and elsewhere vowed to withdraw priestly fellowship and encouragement from anyone who supported the P.B.I. partisanly (Judg. 21: 1); but when the overthrow of them through Nos. 1, 2 had occurred, pity and sorrow for them filled the brethren who now stood out separate from others as Epiphany-enlightened brethren, because of the resultant condition of the P.B.I. as destitute of real supporters apart from the antitypical 600 (the number 600, being a multiple of six, the number of evil and imperfection, and of ten, the number of natures lower than the Divine, characterizes the remnants of the P.B.I. as defiled Great Company members of especially bad qualities); and this distressed the Epiphany brethren, who poured out their distress thereover before the Lord (v. 3). Already in Dec., 1918, the Epiphany brethren were developed as one company of saints and sacrificed to the Lord in service (v. 4). In view of letting the P.B.I. attract needed supporters they asked as to who had not among them participated sympathetically in the anti-P.B.I. movement in the Mizpeh Convention, since
their decision at the time of that Convention, requiring such to be cut off from priestly fellowship, precluded their encouraging any of their own from supporting the P.B.I. (v. 5). In view of the resultant great depletion of real sympathetic P.B.I. adherents the Epiphany brethren somewhat altered their pertinent course (v. 6), inquiring what they should do to relieve the desperate P.B.I. situation in harmony with their solemn decision not to encourage their own to support or join the P.B.I. (v. 7).
Their inquiry as to who had not joined in the anti-P.B.I. movement at the time of the Mizpeh Convention received the answer that some in the Philadelphia and other Epiphany-minded ecclesias had not only not done so, but that under Levite-manifesting experiences had proved themselves to be partisans of the P.B.I., and as such had fought every effort of these ecclesias in their struggle with the P.B.I. (vs. 8, 9). Accordingly, the abler Epiphany brethren were by the rest encouraged to refute these and all their defiled supporters and cut them off from fellowship, which was done, especially in the Philadelphia, Jersey City and Newark ecclesias, besides in others (vs. 10, 11). Among these were some consecrated ones who had not defiled themselves; and these were in the accompanying controversies allowed to be led into joining the P.B.I. siftlings, without the Epiphany friends attempting to interfere; rather they announced that any of these who were disposed to go to the P.B.I. with the disfellowshipped ones, of whom were 8 or 10 in the Philadelphia Church, might follow their free will in the matter without hindrance from the Epiphany brethren, who peacefully announced this in The Present Truth, No. 2 to the P.B.I. This resulted, by P.B.I. partisanship, in several members of the Philadelphia Church, who while not before being partisanly for the P.B.I. took no part against them, so doing, the same occurring in a number of other churches, and all this because the Epiphany brethren out of pity for the diminished P.B.I. hoped that they would increase as a Levite group (vs. 12-15).
But these did not suffice to give the P.B.I. sufficient support; so the leading brethren wondered how further to relieve the situation (v. 16); for they recognized that the Lord desired this group of Levites to survive as a separate movement of the Truth people (v. 17), and yet they had to keep their solemn decision to cut these off from priestly fellowship (v. 18). They recalled that there was left the privilege to each of the Lord's people to choose their course in the Christian life according to their proper or improper understanding, and that this right was exercised regularly among the so-called independent brethren (v. 19). Therefore, again in No. 2, the Epiphany leaders encouraged the P.B.I. to seek among such increases to give them adequate support as various of such could be proselyted to the P.B.I. (v. 21), assuring the latter that they would pacify such independent brethren who should complain at such proselyting, on the ground that they had not given such to the P.B.I., and thus had not violated their solemn decision (v. 22). The P.B.I., accordingly, to recoup their depleted supporters, did this proselyting work and energetically set to work to repair the ruins of their former adhering ecclesias and occupied them (v. 23). This period was one in which each one gravitated toward his place, some in the Little Flock, some into various divisions of the Great Company and some Youthful Worthies to the Little Flock and others of them to their congenial groups among the Levites (v. 24). This was at a time when no one brother was recognized by all the brethren as leader; hence each did as he pleased (v. 25).
Thus we have finished our study of Judges and we find that in the large antitype the star-members, despite little slips here and there, did the things acceptable to God, as His eye, hand and mouth, and that in the small antitype the same is true of J., while, on the other hand, the foes of the star-members in both pictures are shown to have served Satan, not God, and to have been disapproved of, and rejected by God. These facts ought to enable all Truth people how properly to appraise the actors in the antitypes.