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

CHAPTER I

LIBNIISM.

 

A SHEARNO-CRAWFORD CONSPIRACY. THE COVERING LETTER, REPORT AND RESOLUTION OF ELEVEN TABERNACLE ELDERS. THE CONSPIRACY BECOMES PUBLIC. EXPERIENCES IN, AND FINDINGS ON, THE LONDON BETHEL AFFAIRS. MANAGERIAL OFFENSES. A DECEITFUL LETTER. RELATIONS OF THE MERARITES AND THE GERSHONITES. THE BIBLICAL SETTING OF THE GERSHONITES.

 

THE LEADING of Azazel's Goat from the door of the Tabernacle to the Gate of the Court had its beginning in Britain in the work of the World's High Priest toward H.J. Shearn and his partisan supporters; for the sixth sifting, whose slaughter weapon is Revolutionism, was started by him and Wm. Crawford. This cannot be properly understood without an understanding of their revolutionism, both in the London Tabernacle and in the London Bethel affairs. For along time we refrained from giving the general Church an account of their revolutionisms, because we did not see that it was the Lord's due time to set forth these matters in so public a manner. However, we have lately [written in June, 1920] received many indications from the Lord that it is His due time that it be set forth; and, accordingly, it is done here, not as a matter of wreaking vengeance because of a personal grudge, which we do not have, but for the necessary enlightenment of the Church; so that the Faithful, especially in Britain, may be enabled better to take their stand on Shearno-Crawfordism, which we understand is the theory and practice of the bad section of the Libnite (free, wilful) branch of the Gershonite Levites. The P.B.I. having, in the year 1920, endorsed them, the American and other brethren should be guarded against them, especially since Wm. Crawford is writing tracts repudiating some of our Pastor's teachings. In this chapter we shall set forth their revolutionism

 

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both with respect to the Tabernacle and the Bethel; and shall show that their wrong-doings as to the Tabernacle, leading up to the trouble in Britain following our arrival there, began in the summer of 1915. Their specific activities during that time may be summarized as follows: the agitation connected with their effort to change "that Servant's" Tabernacle arrangements was originated, and then engineered, by Wm. Crawford and H.J. Shearn, the former supplying the ideas, and the latter setting into activity the executive processes. It was an effort made by two of our Pastor's representatives, who knew that he opposed their views, and who, as his representatives, should have sought to conserve his powers: (1) to intimidate him into giving up his controllership in Tabernacle affairs by the thinly-veiled threat that things would go radically wrong unless he surrendered such control; (2) to withhold such control from the Ecclesia, if surrendered by "that Servant"; (3) to lodge it with the elders (Presbyterianism); (4) to decrease J. Hemery's influence and activities in the Ecclesia, despite the voted resolution of its overwhelming majority to the contrary; (5) to divide the Ecclesia into small, uninfluential groups, especially if their clericalistic plan failed of success; (6) to gain for themselves the ascendency over the other elders, and thus control all. Hereafter we will refer to the three managers by their initials.

 

Their efforts to gain controllership over the general British work through controlling the London Bethel were of several years' standing, and had success so far as J.H. was concerned, whom by their votes and intimidations they had shorn of the priority of influence among the managers arranged for by "that Servant." In this sphere of their activity they ignored many of "that Servant's" arrangements for the direction of the general work, J.H. co-operating with them, whenever it was to his interests so to do; others they set aside; others they modified; they introduced some of their

 

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own without his knowledge or consent, and retained some of them despite his written disapproval. Their wrong activities as to the London Tabernacle and Bethel were parts of a conspiracy having two branches: (1) presbyterianizing the entire British Church under their controllership; and (2) securing freedom from the controllership of the W.T.B.&T.S. for the British work, and gaining it for themselves. To secure these ends they resorted to intrigue, deception, collusion with various parties opposed to some of "that Servant's" policies, hypocrisy, "dishonest and secret diplomacy," depriving opposers of, or limiting them in, and rewarding supporters with opportunities of service, all the time posing as "that Servant's" representatives and supporters. Small wonder that the Lord so arranged matters that H.J.S., W.C. and their partisan supporters were the first agents of the sixth sifting, and the first section of Azazel's Goat to be led to the gate of the Court, and to be delivered to the fit man.

 

The letters of the three British managers and other British brethren in the Towers from 1914 to 1916, describing the handicaps and sufferings of our beloved British brethren, most deeply wrought on our sympathy, appreciation and desire to sacrifice in their interests. These qualities moved us to speak to the Lord on our having an opportunity of serving and comforting them. Twice before—in 1908 and in 1913—our dear Pastor had arranged for our taking the European trip; but Providence in each case hindered it. The Lord was pleased to indicate in the summer of 1916 that we suggest to our dear Pastor that, if he contemplated sending an American pilgrim to Britain, and that if he thought it to be the Lord's will for us to be that pilgrim, we should be glad to go; but that if he thought it not to be the Lord's will, we should be glad not to go. In this spirit of loving trust we left the matter in the Lord's hands, assured that He would

 

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indicate His will through His Steward. The night of Aug. 26, 1916, at Nashville, Tenn., we mentioned the matter to our Pastor. Though he had previously told Bro. MacMillan of his intention of sending us to Europe, he first informed us of his decision at Dayton, O., Oct. 7, 1916.

 

As previously told, we arrived at Liverpool, England, Nov. 19, where at the wharf we were met by J.H. and others; and after a service at Liverpool, in which we discoursed on our Pastor's last days, with J.H. we left the same evening for London, where we arrived about 10 P. M., and were met by six members of the Bethel family, including H.J.S. Once on the way to London J.H. started to tell us of the trouble at London; but before he could utter much over a half-dozen words, divining his purpose we interrupted him with the remark, "Not a word about that." Nothing more was attempted on that line during the rest of the journey; so that we could honestly answer "No," to the question, which we felt sure we would be asked, and which, true enough, we were asked, "Did Bro. Hemery at Liverpool or on the way to London tell you of the difficulties between the managers?" In Harvest Siftings he said we spoke very much of things in general, and much of ourself in particular while in Britain. This is true. And the Lord evidently used this activity of ours to win our way into disarming the suspicions of those with whom we had especially to deal in a way that a silent or taciturn person could never have done. Our very frankness and sociability gained for us information that, humanly-speaking, never would have become ours, had we acted otherwise. If we talked much we listened and watched more, gaining much needed information for our work as investigator, executive and pilgrim.

 

W.C. being absent on a pilgrim trip until Nov. 21, we had no formal meeting with the managers until

 

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the afternoon of that date. Nor did we let them know anything of our special powers, nor of our special intentions as to the British Tabernacle and Bethel before our first formal meeting with them. However, we kept our eyes and ears open, and gained much information on conditions at Bethel, and the atmosphere toward our Pastor, his arrangements and the Society. We saw that quite a different spirit prevailed among some, especially H.J.S. and his family, from what we were accustomed to see among brethren: The censorship having delayed the arrival of the Executive Committee's letter to the managers on our visit, at our first meeting with them we showed them our copy of it; then we showed them our letter of appointment; and then our credentials. They thus at once recognized that we came as a special commissioner of the Society with full powers "in the business and affairs of the Society." We then laid before them our suggestions on advertising our public meetings. J.H. was given by the Executive Committee the work of arranging for our pilgrim services. The announcement of this fact visibly and unfavorably affected H.J.S., who had charge of the Pilgrim department. Our suggestions on our pilgrim activities were accepted, and we then encouraged the three brothers to join heartily with us in giving an impetus to the waning work, and the discouraged hearts of the British brethren. There was almost nothing being done in the Pilgrim, Colporteur and Volunteer work, when we arrived in Britain. The Photo-Drama was not being exhibited; the Pastoral work, of course, had not yet started; and the newspaper work was dwindling. Almost everything was at a standstill; and the Lord put it into our heart to seek to arouse the British brethren to new life and zeal; and to set into vigorous operation the various branches of the work; and by God's grace this was accomplished in a large measure in spite of many hindrances, until J.F.R.,

 

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with his habitual capacity to blunder, and J.H., with his smooth tongue to deceive, busybodies, whereby confusion came on all hands.

 

As soon as H.J.S. and W.C. learned of our powers they made extraordinary efforts, including on the former's part our entertainment every night for over a week with a 9 o'clock dinner, to win our favor toward them, and to turn us against J.H. Their course resulted in the opposite of their purpose. They began to speak against him to us, which made us sympathize with him, because we saw their unbrotherly course toward him. They had for years intimidated him, until he had become almost a zero among the managers. This course of theirs made us at first unopen to some of their charges against him that later we found in good part to be true. Accustomed to treat our fellow-pilgrims with great respect and deference, we were hurt at their conduct toward him; and thus by their actions were turned more and more into believing them to be systematic evil-doers. This, of course, made us look with increasing disfavor upon their plans, as also the character of their plans worked this effect on us.

 

In Vol. IV., Chap. III, we described how the correspondence on the Tabernacle arrangements was by H.J.S. and J.H., on Nov. 23, put into our hands. At our second meeting with the managers (Nov. 23) we recognized that our task in the Tabernacle was not to be an easy one; for we could see the set purpose of H.J.S. and W.C. to carry through their manifold designs, if possible. Armed with the correspondence of both sides, after the meeting of Nov. 23, we went to our room; and kneeling in prayer, we told the Lord that of ourself, we, a stranger in a strange land, were unequal to the task before us; that if He would give us the necessary wisdom and strength, we would faithfully seek to be an eye, mouth and hand for Him in the British work. We have every confidence that

 

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the Lord answered that prayer. A series of most remarkable providences surrounded us during our stay in Britain, until after we had under our Lord, and in co-operation with other priests, delivered the British Libnite Gershonite and Mahlite Merarite sections of Azazel's Goat to the fit man, when every door to further usefulness began to close, and shortly was completely closed; then the only thing for us to do was to return to America. We are very confident that in Britain we accomplished the good pleasure of our Lord. Our Levitical brethren would not, of course, agree with this; and they have succeeded in bewildering a considerable section of the British Priests on the subject, our mistake on the Steward giving a measure of color to their claims. But our record is on High; and we feel confident that in due time God will bring forth our righteousness as the light, and our judgment as the noonday. Until then we can, amid Levitical misrepresentations, quietly wait on the Lord; nor will we wait in vain!

 

In order to clarify the Tabernacle situation we should explain the unique position of our Pastor to that Ecclesia. In others than the Ecclesias connected with the various headquarters he had no further powers in local affairs than that of an advisor; but at the Brooklyn and London Tabernacles, at the New York Temple, etc., not only from financial considerations, but more especially because the Lord so willed it, he controlled their general arrangements. The reason that the Lord willed this is that He desired His special eye, mouth and hand free from the control of everybody except Himself, that thus unhampered he might fulfill his duties as that Servant. For him to have been subject to the particular Ecclesias of which he was a member would contain dangerous probabilities, which, becoming actual, would have resulted in injury to the general work, and would have seriously interfered with His office functions as that Servant.

 

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Therefore the Lord, who was the Head of those Churches, arranged to control their affairs through His personal representative, that Servant. Hence in such Ecclesias the latter did not conduct matters exactly as Vol. VI shows should be done in all other Churches.

 

H.J.S. and W.C. led a movement to change the Divinely ordained arrangements for the London Tabernacle, especially in so far as they concerned our Pastor's controllership therein; and by their course greatly sinned against the Lord, whose Headship in that Church they in unholy ambition sought to set aside in the peculiar form in which He was pleased through "that Servant" to exercise it. This in brief is the heart of their offenses as to the Tabernacle. But connected with their general plan was a number of details bearing plain evidence of Satanic activity. It was the partial knowledge of their purpose that caused our Pastor, Oct. 21, 1916, at Dallas to warn us against certain responsible British brethren, and to promise us details after both of us would meet in Brooklyn, Nov. 6, 1916. His delaying telling us these details was doubtless due to his wishing first to read the Tabernacle correspondence from London, which he expected there.

 

After reaching London, and reviewing carefully the correspondence on the Tabernacle, Nov. 23-25, we drew up eight questions on which we based many others, and thoroughly questioned the three managers for about three hours on the afternoon of Nov. 25. As a result of this examination the conspiracy of H.J.S. and W.C. stood out so plainly as treachery to our Pastor that in sheer shame they hung their heads, and then, disowning their child, they threw the blame for the whole matter on the other nine signatory elders. Of course we knew this was untrue; but tactfully took the occasion to administer a verbal beating to the two erring managers over the backs of

 

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the other nine elders. Apart from disapproving the wishes of the other nine elders (?!) we refrained from giving a decision that day, believing that we had better await further developments. Within a week, however, we told the two managers that their plan was pure Presbyterianism; and that standing for the congregational order of Church government, we could not give it our approval. At first we refrained from pointing out the worst features of their course, hoping to bring them to repentance by easier methods. We herewith submit the eight questions that were the basic ones of those that we asked them Nov. 25: (1) What is your individual position in the matter of the Society's relation to the Tabernacle congregation? (2) What is meant in the resolution by the expression "Tabernacle arrangements"? (3) When and how did this discussion of "Tabernacle arrangements" among the elders originate? (4) Exactly what is desired to be done, and, through the thing done, achieved, by those who have passed the resolution? (5) Are all 11 elders who voted for the resolution a unit as to what they want, or do some desire more than others? (6) Have you any tangible ground in an action of the congregation that it desires the changes desired by the 11 elders who passed the resolution? (7) What is your individual position as to the desirability of the changes sought by the majority of the elders? (8) What would be the effect of the changes on the relations of the Society and the Church?

 

We continued our investigation of the agitation culminating in the sending of the correspondence to Brooklyn, fact after fact coming to light, until we had an accurate knowledge of the entire movement. We learned from many sources, especially from the minutes and notes of the Secretary of the Ecclesia, and from Bros. Hemery, Thackway, Cronk, Guard, Jr., and others, the background out of which the entire movement arose, as well as the various ramifications

 

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through which it passed, and found it to be sinister indeed! There was some dissatisfaction among some of the elders, especially H.J.S. and W. C., that they had very little opportunity to discourse before the Tabernacle congregation, our Pastor guarding the pulpit against amateurs, because he did not wish to give the impression to the British public that immature speakers were the recognized public exponents of the Truth. Hence J.H. in our Pastor's absence almost always filled the pulpit. To allay this discontent the latter, Aug. 12, 1915, sent a letter to each manager distributing the services as follows: J.H. to speak twice a month, and each of the other Managers once a month, with an occasional opportunity for other qualified elders to speak. But the two did not edify the congregation so well as did J.H., hence not a few remained away when they spoke. For this H.J.S. and W.C. blamed J.H.! The two then began quietly to inoculate the other elders with the thought that they—the other elders—ought to have more opportunity to speak to the Ecclesia; and thus they set themselves forth as the champions of a freer pulpit. This elicited a favorable response from a number of elders who thought that they ought to have had more opportunities to appear before the Church. The two continued to set forth the claim that the Tabernacle arrangements were not Scriptural, and that, if they were, the elders would be on more of an equality—as though God organized His Church with all elders having equal talents, spirit and opportunities! Matters continued to go on in this way, until the time was thought ripe to discuss the Ecclesia's arrangements in an elders' meeting, H.J.S. and W.C. claiming that, the Ecclesia having very lately assumed its current expenses, the elders and deacons should control its affairs. Accordingly, the evening of Oct. 22, 1915, and an elders' meeting, were considered the proper time and place to consider the matter, as the

 

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following quotation from a letter of H.J.S. shows: "At an elders' meeting held on Oct. 22, 1915, the question was discussed, in view of the Church now paying its own expenses, as to whether the limitations now upon the Elders and Deacons should be withdrawn—leaving the congregation free to place the control of its services and activities in their hands!" Real, clericalistic logic—that which infers that, because the Ecclesia pays its own expenses, its board of elders and deacons should control all its services and activities!

 

The ball thus started rolling, it was, Oct. 29, 1915, at a joint elders' and deacons' meeting given another push, when through a "packed" deacon "a suggestion was made that the affairs of the Church should be entirely in the hands of the Elders and Deacons, SINCE THE CONGREGATION WAS BEARING THE FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY." Some more Levite Logic! We quote further:

 

"On Sunday, Nov. 28, 1915, at a Church meeting (not annual business meeting) the feeling was expressed [by some other "packed" brothers!] that some change of policy might be desirable in respect to the appointment of the speakers for the Tabernacle Sunday services. It was moved:—'that in view of the congregation now paying the Tabernacle expenses [what a fine hobby to ride to self-exaltation was the thought that—in view of the congregation now paying the Tabernacle expenses, etc.!'] the Church suggests [the sequel shows whether the Church or certain elders filled with unholy ambition did the suggesting] that the services of the elders be extended to the filling of Sunday Tabernacle appointments."' Our Pastor did not wish the Truth to be given a black eye before critical London by the sample Truth-Church of Britain having its pulpit filled by incompetent speakers. Hence he arranged differently from what his two misrepresentatives tried to put into

 

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vogue by their revolutionism. To the credit of the congregation, which believed in its keeping faith with our Pastor as it had agreed, the Shearno-Crawford motion was lost by an almost unanimous vote, which proved that they, not the Ecclesia, desired the change. Our quotations are from H.J.S.'s letter of Jan. 11, 1917.

 

Baffled by the Ecclesia's stand, they next thought of dividing up the large congregation into a number of small ones, as this arrangement was more in harmony with their purposes, and could be given an appearance of great concern for the brethren living quite a distance from the Tabernacle. Our Pastor wanted as a sample British Church a large Ecclesia at Britain's and the World's metropolis, because, the British public being always favorably impressed by numbers, our public work would thereby be advantaged. This advantage was no concern to the two conspirators; for rule or ruin seemed to be their policy; or as Milton puts the sentiment into Satan's mouth: "Better to rule in hell than serve in heaven!" Accordingly, they manipulated matters so that at elders' meetings held Dec. 3, 1915, Jan. 7, 1916, Feb. 4, 1916, and Feb. 11, 1916, lengthy discussions occurred, first on a resolution offered by H.J.S., and then on others springing out of it, advocating two such separate churches. During these discussions text-bookism was advocated and in part sanctioned. H.J.S. and W.C. giving their influence to the side of text-bookism, against our Pastor's and the Ecclesia's known policies. Ultimately the text—bookistic phase of the matter led to a deadlock among the elders, as to what should be done with scheduling the meetings of the two separated ecclesias; but the final aim and result of policies of the two was the creation of two text-bookistic ecclesias as separate and distinct from the London Tabernacle. By this course they decreased as per their plan the influence of our Pastor and J.H. It is

 

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illuminating to note that in all their moves they were favored loyally by four elders who were quite out of harmony with our Pastor's policies in the Tabernacle and the Berean Studies. This is quite apparent from the action of these four, who not only favored, with the two, the above—mentioned separated ecclesias, but who in an elders' meeting, May 5, 1916, tried to set aside Berean Lessons and a resolution favoring their continuance. Thus we see that a sectarian, text-bookistic and clericalistic revolutionism characterizes their theories, acts and fruits.

 

Still they continued their efforts to change that Servant's arrangements. Toward midsummer of 1916, H.J.S. approached Bro. Thackway, one of the leading elders of the Ecclesia, on his plan to have a freer pulpit. Bro. Thackway expressed substantial agreement with H.J.S. This fact H.J.S. tried to utilize for his plan. Phoning about midsummer to Bro. Thackway that he wanted to discuss with him a plan whereby he hoped to secure the former's exemption from the draft, Bro. Thackway agreed to the consultation, as he desired the exemption. But the exemption matter seemed to be a decoy; for little was said on exemption, except at the end of the conference Bro. Thackway was informed it could probably not be gotten; and much was said on changing Tabernacle arrangements, so as to give other elders than the managers frequent access to the pulpit. Bro. Thackway being sympathetic, H.J.S. asked him whether he would introduce a resolution to the effect that the elders discuss the desirability of changing them, remarking that he did not want to introduce the resolution because of his official relations to that Servant! Bro. Thackway consented; whereupon H.J.S. drew forth from his desk a typewritten resolution treating of the matter. This motion was presented by Bro. Thackway at an elders' meeting Sept. 1, 1916. Criticisms of our Pastor's arrangements then followed,

 

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especially by four elders as to the restricted pulpit, one central meeting place for Sundays, the assistant pastorate, and our Pastor's concern for the public. Then W.C. presented a "muzzling" motion, which he originated, and got the Advisory Committee, of which he was chairman, to recommend, to the effect that none of the elders should individually inform Bro. Russell of the elders' deliberations. It was finally decided to hold another meeting Sept. 16 for further discussion. Bro. Thackway again opened the discussion covering the above four points anew. Then H.J.S. began to reel off by the yard supposed arguments against the arrangements of him whose representative he was. Some of his claims were that the arrangements complained of were "unscriptural," injurious to both Ecclesia and elders, clericalistic as to J.H., degrading as to the other elders, insufficient as to the needs of the brethren, etc., etc., etc. As is manifest in this case, it is remarkable how many sophistries a clericalist can invent to gain his ends! Following H.J.S.'s long speech, the thought was expressed that our Pastor would not agree; but he said he had a letter from him (dated Oct. 22, 1915) that showed that he would agree. Getting the letter he read a little of it, which made all present conclude that our Pastor would agree. But failing to read the next sentence, which, with what had been read, proved that unless the congregation would assume all of the Society's Tabernacle obligations, e.g., the debt on the building, etc., he would not agree, H.J.S. deliberately deceived the elders, as we proved to the Ecclesia at the time that we found out the trick that he played on his brother elders. Later the resolution to embody the matter in a letter to Bro. Russell was offered by H.J.S. and seconded by W. C.; and the Secretary was instructed to meet with them and work up the matter with them, they doing the work, and he writing a brief letter. They requested of the Secretary

 

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that their names as mover and seconder be withheld from our Pastor, saying that they "did not know how Bro. Russell might take it." They likewise asked him to conceal how the section of his letter was read to the elders; but at a later elders' meeting, Oct. 20, H.J.S.'s course of writing into the letter to Bro. Russell the statement that J.H. first brought that letter to the elder's attention was challenged and changed.

 

Sept. 20, 1916, another elders' meeting was held to work on the letter, report and resolution that were proposed to be sent to our Pastor. Some of the elders began to see through the scheme. Several had written to our Pastor since the last meeting, telling of the movement and its purposes. W.C. proposed and H.J.S. seconded a motion that each elder be asked to tell whether he had written Bro. Russell. J.H. refused to put the motion. On his declaring that he wrote him Sept. 17, H.J.S. and W.C. were beside themselves with rage, the former bursting out with: "All confidence between us is lost!" and threatening to resign. Sept. 29 and Oct. 6 other meetings occurred to revise the proposed correspondence, and other elders began to get their eyes open. Between Oct. 6 and 13 Bro. Thackway, recognizing that H.J.S. was using him as a catspaw, withdrew from the whole matter, so informing each elder by letter. Oct. 13 the final draft of the correspondence was signed by 11 of the 18 elders. Oct. 14 (Saturday) H.J.S. wrote a letter to the other seven asking them to sign. Monday, Oct. 16, this letter reached them, and all refused, making a deadlock. Oct. 20 another meeting was held, but no converts either way were made. Bro. Seeck, the Secretary, wrote his accompanying letter Saturday, Oct. 21; but despite the intention of H.J.S. and W.C. to send it Oct. 21, according to the Secretary's notes the correspondence was not mailed until the following week, perhaps Monday, Oct. 23. Thus the correspondence left the London Bethel about 8 days

 

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before our Pastor's death; and the British censorship delayed its arrival at Brooklyn until after his burial.

 

A "covering letter" of the most deceitfully flattering kind, and a report, calculated to intimidate our Pastor by hints of a threatening disaster to the Ecclesia, unless the suggested program was accepted by him, were sent with the resolution, which we herewith give: "It is RESOLVED as follows: The elders consider it to be in the best interests of the Church meeting in the London Tabernacle that [1] the arrangements governing its affairs be organized on the lines laid down in Volume VI, which they accept as the Scriptural method [thus they told our Pastor that his arrangements were unscriptural], [2] and they desire to submit this suggestion to Bro. Russell for his opinion and advice before bringing the matter forward at the annual church meeting shortly to be held [thus they persisted in a course that they knew our Pastor would disapprove, and that the Church had almost unanimously disapproved, as shown above]. [3] At the same time the elders especially put on record their earnest desire that Bro. Russell continue as Pastor [yes, indeed, but shorn of his pastoral powers!], and [4] that the unique standing of the London Tabernacle in relation to the Society's work remain unchanged [an impossible thing, since the Ecclesia's unique relation to the Society's (his) work was due to his unique relation to it]. [5] Further that all the speakers at the preaching services be periodically selected by the board of elders [this meant that not the Ecclesia, but the elders, should determine who should speak to it! Clericalism!], [6] and that the names of the brethren selected be submitted to Bro. Russell, so that (in view of the responsibility of the service) they may hope to receive such pastoral advice as he might think appropriate to offer." [Henceforth our Pastor was to be reduced to an adviser, not controller, in Tabernacle affairs!]

 

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The resolution did not ask that J.H., our Pastor's and the Ecclesia's choice as assistant Pastor, be as such set aside; for that would have been dangerous to suggest. This was to be taken care of after "all of the speakers at the preaching services" were "periodically selected by the board of elders!" The covering letter, report and resolution of H.J.S. and W. C., next to Harvest Siftings, constitute the most hypocritical piece of literature that we have seen turned out by any Levitical leader during the time of the present Levite ascendancy.

 

Our secret opposition to their Tabernacle plans provoked their secret and later open opposition to us. Dec. 24 we addressed the Tabernacle congregation as the Society's special representative, suggesting that they elect and assign whom they wished as speakers, whom they should select only from the standpoint of Scriptural qualifications, just as they pleased, without any further advice from the members of the Bethel family, adding, however, that they should not give to the elders, but reserve to themselves, the power of selecting and appointing all elders to their respective services. However, we did not in any way reveal the activities of the 11 elders to the Ecclesia. We then strictly charged the managers and other Bethelites to abstain from efforts to influence the election in any manner, specifically cautioning them to refrain from speaking on the subject to any one in the congregation. This we did in order to give the Ecclesia the freest opportunity of expressing its preferences. We refrained from doing that from which we asked others to refrain. H.J.S.'s violation of this charge was the direct means of letting the Ecclesia know, what we had thoroughly concealed from it, only a few elders knowing of our stand, i.e., our opposition to the plan of the 11 signatory elders. Thus in spite of our efforts to keep the trouble secret, he brought it into

 

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the open by disregarding the charge of the Society's special representative.

 

Of the two erring managers, H.J.S. was by far the better-hearted and more reasonable. W.C. was, we believe, the most stubborn Levite with whom we have had to deal. Our loving efforts to bring them to repentance failed utterly in the case of the latter, but did in part succeed with the former, until W.C. got hold of him, when he changed for the worse. Christmas afternoon in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, H.J.S. and ourself took a walk. During this walk, which lasted several hours, we made perhaps the most loving effort of our life to rescue a brother from a wrong course. At the end of our conversation he acknowledged his wrong-doing, promising betterment, among other ways, by the expression: "You will see, dear brother, that I can eat humble pie." We embraced him in our joy of heart (Jas. 5:20), assuring him that we felt sure he would do the right thing. A few days later W.C. had changed him, and he contended that he had done no wrong. This prompted us to advise the former Dec. 31, and the latter Jan. 1, not to stand for election to eldership in a Church against whose liberties they had so greatly sinned. Both refused to stand aside, the former giving as his reason that he would thereby become liable to conscription, both offering not to serve, if permitted to stand for election. We consented to such an arrangement on condition that they would to us as the Society's representative privately acknowledge their wrongs, and promise to abstain from such wrongs in the future. Both refused to make such acknowledgments. Their refusal caused us to give them up as hopeless cases, i.e., deliver them to the fit man, Jan. 14, 1917, being the date of this act.

 

In the meantime Bro. Thackway became busy with a set of resolutions that were directly contradictory to the plan of H.J.S. He wanted our advice; but

 

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we refrained from speaking either way, because of our above-mentioned suggestion to the Bethel family. Had H.J.S. and W.C. apologized, we would have intervened in a way to prevent their exposure, but not prevent these resolutions from being voted on. Their refusal to apologize, and H.J.S.'s bringing out the trouble before the Church prompted J.H., who acted as our representative and at our suggestion, to state that if H.J.S. should defend his course, as to his clericalistic activity, he (J.H.) should express to the Ecclesia, Jan. 21, 1917, our disapproval, as the Society's commissioner, of the whole movement culminating in the above-quoted resolution; and he suggested that, if the Ecclesia desired it, we would as the Society's representative give our thought on the entire movement. The Ecclesia voted to hear us the following Sunday, Jan. 28. While addressing the Ecclesia we, through the answers given to a series of our questions, learned how, in reading part of a letter of our Pastor, through suppressing the sentences following, H.J.S. made the nine elders believe the letter to mean the opposite of what it did mean, thereby enlisting their support of his plan. The knowledge of this deliberate deception of his fellow elders, coming on the heels of that of many others of his wrong-doings in the Bethel and Tabernacle, of which we had but recently learned, filled us with righteous indignation. And we administered to him before the Ecclesia the severest rebuke that we have ever given a human being. This rebuke was in a sense premature, because, contrary to our impression that the full facts had been laid before the congregation the Sunday before, the Ecclesia knew but little of the facts of the case. The majority of them, however, had learned to know that more or less wrong had been done, especially by the two managers. About 30 to 40 were much dissatisfied at our rebuke of the two. Some

 

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of these wrote and cabled J. F. R. and aroused his opposition to us.

 

In H.J.S.'s answer to us, Jan. 28, he asked the Ecclesia to "disregard the statements of this stranger in their midst." This prompted us to have our letter of appointment and our credentials read to the Ecclesia that evening by the Secretary of the Church, that the Church might know what powers "this stranger in their midst" had. This deepened the unfavorable impression against H.J.S. and W. C.

 

Feb. 4 the Ecclesia passed an anti-textbookism resolution and required each of the signatory elders to promise submission to the arrangements of the Ecclesia. Thus before the Ecclesia the clericalistic movement was killed; and its two prime movers were not to be voted on as elders, until we should be heard again, and that on the facts of the case, which, contrary to our impression on. Jan. 28, had been but meagerly given to the Ecclesia. It was voted that we be invited to give the facts to the Ecclesia Feb. 18. Accordingly, we then appeared a second time before the Church on this subject. For three hours we spoke, first clearing away the dust that our opponents had thrown into the eyes of many; then accusing them of seven general wrongs, consisting of many particulars, against various ones concerned. They were the following: I. They engineered the whole clericalistic movement by inaugurating and then advocating it, making the rough draft of the letter, report and resolution, moving and seconding the resolution, seeking to secure the signature of all the elders, holding it for signature, and sending it to Brooklyn.  II. Disloyalty to their Fellow-elders, in that they deceived them into signing the resolution, and then gloated over it. III. Disloyalty to J.H. as Assistant Pastor by seeking to set him as such aside, and by seeking equality with him in the Ecclesia, both of these things being against the known wishes of that Servant and of the Ecclesia.