Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
IV. Disloyalty to the Ecclesia, by seeking to get control over it, and by seeking to set aside its almost unanimously voted wishes against having a "wider pulpit platform." V. Disloyalty to that Servant by designating his arrangements as unscriptural, by seeking to take away his controllership of Tabernacle arrangements, including his appointment of speakers, and by seeking, contrary to his known policy, to divide the Tabernacle congregation into a number of small and uninfluential churches. VI. Disloyalty to the Truth, by seeking to practice clericalism, by countenancing text-bookism and by encouraging and co-operating with the advocates of these. VII. Conscious disloyalty to their office, by asking Bro. Thackway to introduce a resolution which H.J.S. said was against his office functions; by objecting through fear of the consequences to their names appearing in the communication to Bro. Russell as mover and seconder of the resolution; by seeking to muzzle the elders from communicating individually to our Pastor on their activities as to the resolution; by severely rebuking J.H. for informing our Pastor of their doings; by reading the garbled section of Bro. Russell's letter, whereby the elders were deceived into believing that our Pastor favored their objects; and by objecting to Bro. Russell's being informed as to how his letter of Oct. 22, 1915, came to be shown the elders. Every one of these particulars coming under the general heads above given were proven by witnesses on whom we called from among the congregation as we proceeded. When we finished, W.C. made a short reply, and two weeks later, in our absence, made a long reply. The congregation unanimously voted us confidence, thanks and appreciation for our labors on its behalf; and in spite of every pressure to the contrary from "the channel," has maintained its stand that the two were unworthy of being elders. J. F. R.'s Investigative Committee was unanimous
in its decision that they were unworthy of eldership in the Tabernacle congregation. We believe that this decision is the Lord's mind on the subject.
Against the mass of facts that we marshaled against them they took refuge in the usual plea of wrongdoers against their exposers: "He was too severe on us." After over 21 years' removal from the events connected with the Tabernacle trouble we are of the opinion that, while we did deal severely with them on Jan. 28, 1917, there was full justification for our severity in the gross and wilful sins of which they were guilty. Had we to do it over again, we would, in view of the evil use that they have made of our severity, proceed more mildly than we did, not that they deserved it, nor that we did wrong in being so severe as their conduct drove us to be, but not to give them an occasion to deceive guileless people into believing that they were martyrs at our hands; for the Scriptures most severely arraign them, and justify us in the entire transaction. Do the Levites condemn us? Well, we can bear this; for without fail in due time the Lord will bring forth our righteousness as the light and our judgment as the noonday. Until then faith, hope, love and obedience can wait; and when that time comes the Priests and the Levites will rejoice together, recognizing that our work as to the Tabernacle affair was that of co-operating under our Head with some of the Under-priests in leading a section of Azazel's Goat to the Gate of the Court and to the fit man, and that it was a means in God's hand finally to lead to the cleansing of many (Num. 8:7).
We will now briefly set forth our experiences connected with, and our findings in, the London Bethel matter. At our second meeting with the managers, Nov. 23, we saw the unconcealed and ill-tempered efforts of H.J.S. and W.C. to discredit J.H. in our estimation. This was continued privately at our 9 P. M. dinners as well as in the managers' meeting of
Nov. 25, though for the most part in that meeting the two managers were on the defensive, in view of our detailed questioning on Tabernacle conditions. Whereas before hearing our decision adverse to their Tabernacle plans, they sought hard to win us to their program, treating us in every way as having powers of attorney in "the business and affairs of the Society"; after hearing our decision they began a whispering campaign against us; especially did W.C. do this, among others with his father-in-law, F. G. Guard, Sr., a prominent British brother. They pointedly defied us on arranging the program for the Manchester Convention. In this J.H. co-operated, though he pled ignorance of their intentions on the subject, a plea which we accepted. We will give a brief description of the controversy on the program. H.J.S. late in November showed us the program which he had arranged for the Manchester Convention, Dec. 30 -Jan. 1. It was a program very different from those that our Pastor arranged, both here and in Britain. First, the Society's representatives occupied on the program less time by far than elders of various Classes. The only British pilgrim of the Society apart from the managers was left off the program entirely. Nor was H.J.S. on the program. In other words, additional to elders as leaders of the Convention Testimony Meetings, thirteen talks on the program were given to local elders, and three, including the chairman's address, were given to the Society's representatives. We suggested that less addresses be given to local elders and more to the Society's representatives. Second, the Convention baptismal service was to take place the evening before the Convention began, depriving the candidates of the inspiration of the Convention uplift prior to their symbolizing. Third, there was no place on the program for Harvesters' Day. We suggested that in these particulars the program be altered in harmony
with our Pastor's arrangements. These we were told were not suitable for Britain, though, on our request to see programs of conventions held while our Pastor was in Britain, we were shown a number that were just as we suggested Convention programs should be. We even wrote to them emphasizing the necessity of making the changes that we suggested. Later the managers held a meeting in which, according to a letter that H.J.S. wrote us Dec. 11, and that we received Dec. 14, apart from putting himself and ourself on the program, they declined to follow our suggestions. At once we saw that the managers were defying us, and were asserting their authority as superior to ours. Thus they challenged us to battle.
Remembering what our Pastor, Oct. 21, at Dallas, Tex., had told us about responsible British brethren refusing to follow his directions as to the British work, and remembering the wrongs that we were day by day learning, we decided, after most careful and prayerful consideration of their action, that we must not allow such a defiant course to stand; otherwise our mission in Britain, so far as the Bethel and Tabernacle matters were concerned, would end in total failure; for we saw that, if we should weaken on this point, we would be weaker to resist them on their next point, while they thereby would be made stronger to resist us. Hence we decided to act energetically, which we did to their surprise; for as H.J. S told our secretary, they thought us a weakling. Our decision, confirmed by the principles of the Word and a number of Providences, was reached Dec. 19, and on Dec. 20 in a managers' meeting, after the pertinent part of H.J.S.'s letter was read to them, we told them that by their action they had set aside our credential-powers, and hence we insisted on their reversing their decision, and printing the program exactly as we had suggested. To H.J.S.'s reply that the matter would have to be discussed first, we answered to the effect
that not one word of discussion would be permitted, that it was for them to carry out the suggestion of the Society's Special Representative, who had full charge of its "business and affairs in every country to which he was sent," and not to discuss whether it should be done or not. Then W. C., contrary to many an act of his before we announced our opposition to their Tabernacle plans, pretending ignorance, said he did not understand that we had such authority. When we reminded them of our credentials and some of their acts in harmony therewith, he said he did not remember such powers to be mentioned in the credentials. These were then again read to the managers. Then telling them that our suggestions must be carried out we left the room. They discussed matters a while; then H.J.S. and W.C. came to us, seeking to change our mind, which they could not succeed in doing. We took the program out of H.J.S.'s hands, and gave it to J.H. to carry out as we suggested; for we feared that H.J.S. would not change it as we desired. This experience with the managers made us miss the afternoon meeting at Oxford, as the dear ones there will doubtless remember that we failed to come in time.
Saturday evening, Dec. 22, we had another meeting with the managers, at which W.C. being defiant, but H.J.S. making a half apology and promising to follow our suggestions in the future, as a token of our forgiveness we asked him to attend to the program, which we then revised, making it as much like our Pastor's program as the circumstances of a Convention just 8 days ahead would permit. A letter was to be dispatched by H.J.S. immediately to Manchester to secure the place for the baptismal service for the changed time. This letter for some reason that we could not certainly learn, but that we fear was due to H.J.S.'s and W.C.'s manipulations, failed to reach Manchester until the day before the Convention, Dec.
29, too late to secure the baptismal place for the changed service; for technicalities relating to the renting of such places prevented changes on such short notice. W.C. by a whispering campaign sought to injure us with certain prominent British brethren for our action as to the program, of course following the usual Levitical propensity of misrepresenting the facts; and he succeeded with certain of these, as several of them later on told us.
Another matter that affected us against these brothers was their attempt through our secretary, F. G. Guard, Jr., a brother-in-law of W. C., to divert us from our duty and unduly to influence us in their favor. After it became known to them that he was to travel with us as a helper, H.J.S. asked him to seek to influence us favorably to themselves as against J: H.! They also sought through him the afternoon of Dec. 22 to change our mind on the Convention program. As their mouthpiece he sought earnestly but unsuccessfully to induce us to accept their view of the program, and to keep our hands off Bethel and Tabernacle matters, warning us that, if we did not confine our efforts to the pilgrim work, they by a secret campaign would undermine our influence. Among other things he said with reference to the program: "Brother, surely you would not foist an American institution on British brethren." We replied, "We are neither British nor American; we are Spiritual Israelites, and this is an arrangement of Spiritual Israelites." F. G. Guard, Jr., was a thorough example of the double-mindedness of the Great Company. For awhile after he had been with them he would side with them; then after our explanations he would take our side against them. This double-mindedness continued until he ceased being our secretary, when partly under family influence he went over entirely to their side. Next to J.H. he gave us more information on the Bethel wrong-doings of the two than any one else;
while Bro. Seeck, the Secretary of the Ecclesia, gave us the most information on Tabernacle matters. Indeed, the latter gave us a well arranged documentary history of the Tabernacle trouble that has been of invaluable help to us in tracing the work of the two during their several years of activity against our beloved Pastor's Tabernacle arrangements.
We asked J.H. to draw up a list of the Bethel offenses committed by the two. This he did and presented them in a managers' meeting the evening of Jan. 8, 1917. Most of those against himself H.J. S admitted. To most of those against himself W.C. gave very evasive replies, which under our questioning became apparent as sophistries. H.J.S. for his part promised that he would not do such things in the future. W.C. would promise nothing. His attitude, however, was less defiant than at the managers' meeting the evening of Dec. 22. The charges that J.H. brought against them impressed us deeply. We learned after the meeting that H.J.S.'s answers before the Ecclesia to Bro. Thackway's resolutions, offered Jan. 7 to the Ecclesia, publicly divulged the trouble; and thus their offenses, their secret whisperings for weeks and his public statement began to create an acute condition outside of Bethel. This prompted us to awaken the two early Jan. 9—early because we had to leave early on a pilgrim trip—and to tell them frankly that their influence would be destroyed, if their course became clearly known to the British Church. We assured them that we would help them out of their predicament, if they would promise betterment. When the evening before W.C. asked us to withdraw our advice that he do not allow his name to be voted on as elder, claiming that as an elder he could better secure exemption from military service, we, in view of his offenses and impenitence, refused to agree, telling him that his course was one that doubtless required some such corrective experience. The morning
of Jan. 9 he renewed the request. H.J.S. asked also to be permitted to stand as a candidate for elder, both offering, without our suggesting it, to abstain from occupying the pulpit, if elected. Reminding them of their grave offenses against the Ecclesia, we yet promised that we would reconsider the matter. This we did with the result that we offered to accept their proposition, if they would privately to us as the Society's representative acknowledge and apologize for their wrong-doings in Tabernacle and Bethel matters, and promise betterment for the future. As to this W.C. wrote us to the following effect: that while he did not see any wrong-doing on his part in the matters charged against him, nevertheless, since we, as the Society's representative, required an apology from him, he was sorry for the whole affair. His letter, clothed in the most evasive language, was an insult instead of an apology. This caused us to drop him as hopeless, Jan. 14, 1917—delivered him to the fit man.
H.J.S. wrote a long letter Jan. 11, which will be quoted in part later on, defending himself as righteous altogether, in a false argument based on false premises, among other things, telling us that on the following Monday, Jan. 15, he would send to Brooklyn a copy of his letter of Jan. 11, with his "formal resignation." This letter prompted us to give him up as a hopeless case, Jan. 14, as we have already shown.
We herewith submit a list of their wrong-doings in Bethel matters, together with their offenses against us as the Society's representative, remarking that J.H. and F. G. Guard, Jr., gave us decidedly the most of the information thereon. Some of the charges are in J.H.'s own language. All three managers will remember that he brought and read them as charges against the two in the managers' meeting the evening of Jan. 8. In his handwriting he gave us a copy of them, which we yet have.
The following are W.C.'s managerial offenses:
1. "He paid all household accounts contrary to the regulations that call for two managers to sign the cheques and put them into the hands of Sr. Hemery for payment."
2. ”He pays little attention to instruction of the regulations that no money be paid except by the voucher system."
3. "Without authority from Brooklyn or vote of other managers, he appointed his wife housekeeper."
4. He opened privately addressed mail of others.
5. He had a key which he knew opened J.H.'s roller top desk: J.H. missed things therefrom.
6. Created an unfavorable atmosphere at Bethel.
7. Taught the Ecclesias, contrary to the Scriptures and Bro. Russell, that the Church is actually, not reckonedly, purchased, i.e., that there is not now an imputation of Jesus' merit, but an outright purchase.
The following are H.J.S.'s managerial offenses
1. "Kept I. B. S. A. things as a private matter."
(1) Correspondence unsubmitted to other managers.
(2) Association books kept in his private safe.
2. "Gradually all things pertaining to Classes and meetings came under his care, including Class difficulties."
3. "Assumed the right of making all arrangements for Conventions."
4. "Kept back from J.H. some doctrinal matters, e.g., question box."
5. "Chose and rejected work at will, without authority," e.g., 1. Military matters;
2. Colporteur work.
6. Foisted the boarding of his whole family upon the Society, contrary to Bro. Russell's arrangements.
7. With his family helped make an oppressive atmosphere at Bethel.
The following are their combined offenses:
1. They disregarded Bro. Russell's desire that J.H. have priority of influence.
A. Bro. Russell desired J.H. to have priority of influence, as can be seen from his offices:
(1) Secretary of the Society in Britain. (2) Vice-president of I.B.S.A. (3) Chairman of the managers. (4) Bro. Russell's private Secretary. (5) Assistant Pastor. (6) His signature necessary on all cheques. (7) Commended above others in Bro. Russell's letter to Congregation.
B. Their contention for equality and crowding him out of some of his rights prove this charge.
2. "Came into office to carry out programs of their own."
3. "Persistently refused to give J.H. supervision of mails," which Bro. Russell charged should be done.
4. Attempted financial control.
(1) Secured power with J.H.'s consent, against our Pastor's arrangements, to make cheques valid for I. B. S. A. money without J.H.'s signature.
(2) Began to make the I.B.S.A. banking account large instead of nominal, contrary to our Pastor's instructions, which limited the deposits to the value of the shares issued, i.e., £23, £1 for each of the 23 shares issued.
(3) Sought to make the I.B.S.A. independent of the W.T.B.&T.S., through the "scheme," which we exposed and published in Harvest Siftings Reviewed.
5. Worked in collusion against J.H.
6. Disregarded Bro. Johnson in his official capacity.
(1) Set aside the amendments he made to the Manchester Convention program.
(2) Privately and publicly disparaged him.
(3) W.C. sought to entrap him into accusing W.C. of opening one of Bro. Johnson's letters.
(4) Disregarded his advice to refrain from standing for election as elders.
(5) Disregarded his advice to acknowledge wrong-doing against Bro. Russell and the Tabernacle Congregation as to the Resolution and Bethel matters.
(6) Attempted to use the first and second steps of Matt. 18: 15 -18 against Bro. Johnson for an official act against their wrong-doing, even arranging for the witnesses of the second, before taking the first step.
(7) W.C. sought to discipline a Bethel Sister for giving Bro. Johnson information as to a letter of his that she said she saw unopened, after it came to the office, but that W.C. said came to the office opened by the string that bound the package of letters containing it, the torn edges of the letter indicating that it was opened, not by a string, but by hand.
(8) Kept up an espionage system on Bro. Johnson and those who were helping him.
(9) Falsified to and against him.
(10) In general were oppositional to him.
In a long letter dictated Jan. 11, 1917, in answer to ours of Jan. 9, to the effect that we would withdraw our advice against his standing for election as elder, if he would apologize as above set forth, H.J.S. attempted to prove himself a faithful representative of "that Servant," endeavoring to carry out his desire (?) to be relieved of non-financial Tabernacle responsibilities, and by inference blaming us as the troublemaker. H.J.S. tried in that letter to twist our Pastor's correspondence, through which he suggested various ways of relieving the Tract Fund of expenses, into meaning that our Pastor desired to be relieved of his non-financial obligations to the Tabernacle Congregation. A few familiar facts will show all how grossly
H.J.S. in his letter distorted the entire situation. All of us recall how greatly the financial support of the Tract Fund decreased during 1915 and 1916, necessitating in the former year the borrowing of $100,000.00. To keep the work going our dear Pastor had to curtail expenses right and left. Among other ways of saving, instead of the Tract Fund being longer responsible for the finances of the London Tabernacle, he asked, June 10, 1915, the Tabernacle Congregation to assume all current expenses, and the interest of the $20,000 mortgage on the Tabernacle, for which he had been bearing responsibility. This fact and that of giving H.J.S. and W.C. each opportunity to preach in the Tabernacle once a month—despite his having J.H. occupy the pulpit twice a month, and having him act as his pastoral representative in the Ecclesia; despite his advising other strenuous economies; and despite his not mentioning such a purpose—H.J.S. distorted into being a part of a new policy whereby our Pastor was, supposedly, seeking to surrender all his Tabernacle responsibilities. All of H.J.S.'s agitational acts leading up to the resolution movement prove that he had no such thought of our Pastor's purpose about certain changes that the latter made as to Tabernacle speakers and finance, until some time between Sept. 1 and 16, 1916, when he used it as so much propaganda. Surely, if our Pastor did not wish to maintain his control of Tabernacle arrangements, he would have mentioned it; and surely there would have been no occasion for H.J.S. and W.C. to conspire for over a year to create such sentiment as was calculated to win support for their scheme and to intimidate our Pastor into surrendering to their wishes, all the time being fearful that he would learn of their acts! H.J.S.'s letter, like Harvest Siftings, is an illustration of how Levites will distort the plainest facts to gain their selfish ends and justify their patent wrongs. The letter consists of five typewritten pages, each one 11x8 inches, single spaced,
and, of course, our limited space prohibits our publishing it entire. However, we will with bracketed comments give entire that part of the letter that seeks to prove that in his activity against our Pastor's Tabernacle arrangements, he was seeking to carry out our Pastor's supposed wish to be relieved of all controllership in Tabernacle matters! This part of the letter follows in its entirety:
"I must now endeavor to show you what were the factors which, consciously or subconsciously, controlled my action.
"28, April, 1915. A letter from Bro. Russell dated April 28, 1915, and addressed to this Office, made very clear and emphatic the necessity for retrenchment; in the last clause he states—'Curtail all expenses accordingly. If this means the stopping the printing of B. S. Ms. entirely, do so.'
"22, May, 1915. A further letter to the managers in Bro. Russell's handwriting and dated May 22, 1915, ends up as follows:— 'Surely avoid debt, if it necessitates closing down every department. Use judgment.'
"10, June, 1915. In a letter dated June 10, 1915, and signed by Bro. Russell himself, he says:—'The fixed charges of interest on mortgage and light and heat and janitoring [of the Tabernacle] should be computed and laid before the Congregation. Congregational work and the Society's work should be kept separate and apart. The Congregation should be able now, without any solicitation or effort, to pay more than the interest and running expenses, and for the Sunday evening teas, etc. This would leave the Society the care of the Bethel and its expenses, which should be cut down to the lowest reasonable figure.' Surely, this means that Bro. Russell desired the Society to be relieved of the responsibility of the Tabernacle. The foregoing impressed me with the view that Bro. Russell thought it wise for the Society's affairs in Great Britain to be so ordered and conducted as to enable a
closing down to be effected quite readily at any time, and this thought was endorsed by Bro. Russell's action in reference to the lease on these premises, which he tried hard to be relieved of at this same time. [He desired only relief from financial responsibility to avoid debt, as the tenor of all letters so far quoted, in the light of decreasing gifts to the Tract Fund, proves.]
"12, Aug., 1915. Towards the end of Aug. the three managers received a letter (a copy sent to each) dated Aug. 12, 1915, and signed by Bro. Russell, in which he said, among other things:—'I have reason to believe that by now Bro. Hemery would find efficient assistance in Bros. Shearn and Crawford for the preaching services at the Tabernacle. I would not wish the pulpit there ever to be occupied except in a very decorous manner and by some one reasonably qualified in the use of the English language and of some natural ability. For the time being, I would like still to continue Bro. Hemery as my representative in that pulpit and to know that he would be occupying it one-half the time, leaving the other half to Bros. Shearn and Crawford, or occasionally some other Brother from the Congregation upon whose qualifications you three Brethren managers would unitedly agree.' And later on Bro. Russell says:—'I think, dear Brethren, that the right time has come for us to set our house in order.' [Not one word in the quotations refers to his desiring to be relieved from controlling the Tabernacle arrangements. The reverse is proven in the first of these two quotations; for therein he arranged for its appointments.]
"20, Aug., 1915. On Aug. 20, 1915, a letter was sent from the managers in which we stated: 'The Tabernacle Congregation very heartily fell in with the suggestion that it should take responsibility for the finances incurred in the regular running. Enclosed is a copy of the resolutions passed by the Congregation on the suggestion of the elders. [True, but this does not
imply that he wished to be relieved from controlling the Ecclesia's arrangements. It shows, on the contrary, that the Ecclesia came to the relief of the depleted Tract Fund by "doing its bit."]'
"22, Oct., 1915. The next word upon the matter was from Bro. Russell in a letter dated Oct. 22, 1915, and reads as follows:—'In respect to the Tabernacle arrangements being turned over to the Congregation, we reply that if they are ready to take up all the obligations of the Society connected with the Tabernacle [this included its assuming the mortgage, which it has not assumed], including interest payments, etc., we will be very happy indeed to turn over the entire management of the Tabernacle to the Congregation. Kindly advise us if you believe this to be the thought. Until such time [italics ours], of course, the Society [himself] will continue the management of the Tabernacle according to its [his] judgment.' Here, again, Bro. Russell made known his wish for the Society to be relieved of the Tabernacle responsibilities. This important information was never made known to the Congregation, or in any way acted upon, but it showed to me that Bro. Russell contemplated a different policy for the Tabernacle, and was ready for it so soon as the Congregation was ready. [The last quotation proves a number of things: (1) That someone, whose identity we were never able to establish, suggested to our Pastor that the Congregation have charge of its arrangements, since it was paying its current expenses. How like H.J.S.'s and W.C.'s contentions on the same subject this contention is. (2) Our Pastor offered the Ecclesia that privilege, if it would shoulder all the financial obligations that the Society (himself) had assumed for it. This, of course, included the mortgage, and perhaps the past payments on the building, and the past interest on the mortgage, none of which the Ecclesia had yet assumed; (3) that our Pastor instructed the three managers to find out
whether the Ecclesia wished to assume such obligations, which it had not dreamed of doing; (4) that if the Ecclesia was not willing to assume these, the Society (himself) would continue to manage the Tabernacle as hitherto. H.J.S. complains that this offer was never made known to the Ecclesia. If not, he was as much responsible for it as anyone. Deep down in his heart he knew that such an offer would have caused consternation to the Ecclesia, for two reasons: (1) It wished our Pastor to continue to control its arrangements; (2) it could not well have assumed such heavy financial obligations. On his having been told that the Ecclesia wanted to assume all its financial obligations and thereafter take control of its arrangements, financial stress prompted our Pastor to make the offer in order to obtain relief from the stress, if such was the Ecclesia's thought. The first sentence of the quotation on which we are commenting is that part of one of our Pastor's letters which H.J.S. and W.C. read to the elders Sept. 16, 1916, and by which they deceived the other elders into believing that our Pastor wished to rid himself of controllership of the Tabernacle arrangements. The rest of the quotation, which gives the reverse impression from the one that they wished to convey to the elders, they concealed from the other elders, on the plea that the rest of the letter was private! It was while we were addressing the Ecclesia, Jan. 21, 1917, on the course of the two, that we discovered and then exposed this trick, to the complete rout of the two managers. This foiled their plot.]
"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. [Italics ours.] The matter was deferred for consideration of the new board of elders. In the event of the question being
raised at the business meeting, it was decided to tell the Church that the elders had the position under consideration, and their decision would be sent Bro. Russell.
"The action you now take exception to was really the fulfilment of this obligation. [There was no obligation imposed on anybody by the fact that the elders at H.J.S.'s and W.C.'s instance discussed that question and deferred action thereon. Had these two brothers been true to their duty, they would have felt obliged to report to our Pastor that they, his representatives, were trying to betray him. Their obligation was the reverse of the course they took; while such a discussion on the part of the elders put them under no obligation. Even had the elders commissioned them to betray our Pastor, would such a commission have obligated them to carry out the commission? How shallow is his reasoning!]
"29, Oct., 1915. The next expression of desire on the part of any of the Congregation for a change in policy was expressed by one of the deacons at a joint elders' and deacons' meeting, held Oct. 29, 1915, when a suggestion was made that the affairs of the Church should be entirely in the hands of the elders and deacons [italics ours], since the Congregation was bearing the financial responsibility. The Chairman, Bro. Hemery, in reply, stated that an entire change of policy would be involved, and the Church had not asked for it at the time it took over the finances. Such a change would need more discussion and thought. The elders were already considering the proposition, and it would be further considered by the new board.'
"28, Nov., 1915. On Sunday, Nov. 28, 1915, at a church meeting (not annual business meeting), the feeling was expressed that some change of policy might be desirable in respect to the appointment of speakers for the Tabernacle Sunday services. It was moved:—'That in view of the Congregation now paying
the Tabernacle expenses the Church suggests that the services of the elders be extended to the filling of Sunday Tabernacle appointments.' [This was one of our Pastor's functions, as a quotation given above proves.]
"'The Chairman, Bro. Hemery, stated that to a limited extent the alteration was in operation. Bro. Russell, as Pastor, reserved to himself the appointment of the speakers at the Tabernacle services, but recently expressed that Bros. Shearn and Crawford should serve more frequently in this way, giving Bro. Hemery opportunity to serve provincial classes.' [This he also did increasingly.]
"This motion was lost by a considerable majority and the Chairman intimated that the feeling of the minority would be expressed to Bro. Russell. [J.H. denied that he ever made such a promise.]
"The result of the vote on this occasion would have been very different, in my estimation, had the expression of Bro. Russell's mind—as given in his letter of Oct. 22—been made known to the Congregation. [Different, we opine, in that its vote would have been about unanimous.]
"I have no knowledge of Bro. Russell's having been informed even of the feeling of the minority, and nothing which has transpired since would indicate that this was done. [We much doubt the statement as to our Pastor not having been told the sentiment of the minority.]
"March and April, 1916. The next thing of interest bearing upon this matter was the raising of the sum necessary to pay off the mortgage upon the Tabernacle by debenture bonds, which were fully subscribed for by the friends in Great Britain. This took place in March and April, 1916. [This was another step of our Pastor to relieve the depleted Tract Fund.]
"1, Sept., 1916. The feeling that the time had come for some alteration in the arrangements governing the
Tabernacle greatly increased during the year [in the hearts of a few ambitious elders and deacons, seemingly with almost no others], so much so that when the subject was approached at the elders' meeting, held on Friday, Sept. 1, 1916, it was unanimously agreed to hold a special elders' meeting on Saturday afternoon and evening, Sept. 16, to go fully into the question. [Above we showed how H.J.S. used Bro. Thackway as a catspaw to arouse the elders' interest.]
"16, Sept., 1916. At this meeting, Bro. Hemery suggested that, as the question of the office of Assistant Pastor was involved, he would willingly retire during part of the proceedings, but at the unanimous request of the elders he remained in the chair. A resolution submitted to the meeting was carried UNANIMOUSLY—the chairman not voting. It was suggested that a majority and minority report be drawn up for submission to Bro. Russell for the expression of his mind upon the matter. [This proves that the elders were not unanimous on changing matters.]
"21, Oct., 1916. A majority Report, including a Resolution proposed by myself and seconded by Bro. Crawford and signed by eleven out of eighteen elders, was sent to Bro. Russell, a copy of which you have seen.
"If you will kindly note carefully the various dates mentioned in the present communication, you will observe that—so far as is known to me—[?] the first suggestion of alteration in policy came from Bro. Russell himself in his letter dated Oct. 22, 1915. [This statement is out of harmony with the facts of the case; for before his letter was received, the elders, as H.J.S. above showed, discussed the question Oct. 22, 1915.] The obligations referred to in that letter could not be the financial obligations, as these were all [?] undertaken by the Congregation on Aug. 8, 1915, and Bro. Russell advised. [Above we showed that there were financial obligations, e.g., the mortgage, that the
Ecclesia had not assumed; and that undoubtedly our Pastor wished the Ecclesia to assume this so as to relieve the Society amid its heavy financial obligations, while contributions were decreasing.] Had I not been aware of the foregoing facts, I should not have acted as I did, but in the circumstances I feel I was entirely justified.
As we read this letter we saw at once through its sophistries: and H.J.S.'s attempt to palm himself off as a faithful representative seeking to carry out the supposed wishes of "that Servant"—to be freed from controllership of the Tabernacle arrangements—while actually betraying him, disgusted us. This made us give him up as unhelpable by us; for the hypocrisy of the letter was too transparent to have any other effect. From that time on we expected one evil thing after another from him, and our expectations were not unrealized.
The Bethel and Tabernacle offenses of the two and their persistent opposition to us in our loving efforts to right British matters, culminating in their attempt to apply Matt. 18: 15-18 to us for our official acts against them, as the Society's special representative, finally forced us to dismiss them as managers, as a necessary remedy for the British situation. The Church knows the rest: How J. F. R. busy-bodied, among other things, appointed, to judge on the facts as between them and us, an Investigation Commission, that justified us and condemned the two managers respecting both the Bethel and Tabernacle matters; how J. F. R. with characteristic arbitrariness and self-opinionatedess rejected his own Commissioner's findings; how he sided with the dismissed managers as against us; how he sought to reinstate them; how the Lord prevented his setting aside our solution of the British situation; and how J. F. R., as a smoke screen to hide his own usurpations, misrepresented the British situation in Harvest Siftings, to the whole Church. Does anyone
wonder how J. F. R., who knew the above-stated facts as to the wrong-doings of these two managers, could have taken sides with them as against us, whom, next to our Pastor, he once considered his best friend? The answer is simple: "Birds of a feather flock together." He was guilty of similar wrongs; therefore as their soul-mate he instinctively felt his heart kinship to them and his hostility to us, who opposed the usurpations of him and them alike. Hence, in the battle that we were waging for Truth and Righteousness against Revolutionists in their rebelling against the Lord's arrangements given through "that Servant" (Ps. 107:11), he instinctively felt that we must be crushed, if he would retain the fruits of his usurpations, and, of course, took the side of his like-minded and like-acting fellow-revolutionists! In this spirit he wrote Harvest Siftings, which, because of its gross wickedness, will be an eternal monument to his infamy; for it is one of the main features of that smiting referred to in Matt. 24: 48-51.
The bulk of the British Church, from its knowledge of the facts of the case, despite J. F. R.'s efforts at whitewashing the two managers, steadfastly rejected them as proper representatives of the Lord and of the Church. By them our solution of the British situation has been accepted, though the majority of them adhere to the Society. Does one wonder why our Pastor's solution of the trouble between A. H. MacMillan and J. F. R. on the one hand and H. C. Rockwell on the other hand; and our solution of the quarreling British managers' claims, have both resulted in the antitypical Mahlite Merarites in both America and Britain gaining control of the Society's affairs? We answer: God evidently designed the antitypical Mahlites to control three of the four Corporations, or Associations (symbolic wagons, Num. 7: 1-8), which were to fall to the lot of the antitypical Merarite Levites i.e., Elisha was to get Elijah's mantle. Hence, He used our Pastor to
solve the American situation, and us to solve the British situation in ways that providentially resulted in the achievement of His purpose, though neither our beloved Pastor nor ourself at the time understood the uses the Lord was making of each of us.
But the antitypical Gershonites were to get two symbolic wagons, or chariots (Num. 7: 1-8). So we should expect to find these in evidence. Nor have our expectations been in vain; for in America the P.B.I. is the corporation of the antitypical Shimite Gershonites, and in Britain a Committee of seven growing out of, and acting in sympathy with, Shearno-Crawfordism, having the two as members, is the Association that corresponds to the wagon of the typical Libnite Gershonites. As Gershon was the eldest son of Levi, and as Libni was the elder son of Gershon, so in Shearno-Crawfordism the antitypical Libnite Gershonites as the first set of antitypical Levites were manifested. The spiritual kinship of the P.B.I. (two of whose directors, I. Hoskins and J.D. Wright, knew of the wrongs of Shearno-Crawfordism, as can be seen from the findings of the Board's majority, June 20, 1917, given in Vol. III, Chap. VII) and "The Bible Students' Committee" (the name of the Shearno-Crawfordistic Committee in Britain) can be recognized from the very hearty endorsement that the P.B.I. gave the British Committee in the Herald of July 15, 1919, 210. Its sending I. Hoskins and R. E. Streeter to Britain to give them pilgrim and perhaps other help is also to the point. The sympathy of H.J.S. and W.C. with the P.B.I. can be seen in the first and third letters in the Herald '19, 112. Notice how in his letter W.C., i.e., Wm. Crawford, approves getting back to "the Old Paths." As an evidence of his insincerity as to the "Old Paths," we need only mention the fact that at about the time of writing that letter he published a tract against our Pastor's view of the Church being under the cover of Jesus' imputed
merit, claiming that the Church is actually purchased—the heresy with which we charged him before the Board on our return from Britain. The initials H.J.S. at the end of the third letter on that same page stand for H.J. Shearn, ex-manager of the London in Bethel. We believe that the P.B.I. and the "Bible Students' Committee" are well mated in their mutual sympathy; for no other Corporation has so grossly sinned against "that Servant's" Charter arrangements as the P.B.I.; and the members of no other Committee have so grossly sinned or justified sins against "that Servant's" Bethel and Tabernacle arrangements as these two of the "Bible Students' Committee."
This Committee published a number of circulars, one in May, 1919, another in July, 1919, and a third in Aug., 1919, making as a Committee, an offer of service to Non-Society-Adherents in Britain, somewhat after the manner of the Fort Pitt Committee's open letter of Mar., 1918. In these circulars, instead of a confession of their gross sins and a promise of amendment, on the part of H.J.S. and W. C., they complain that the Golden Rule was generally violated in what the connection implies was the course of the bulk of the British brethren and ourself toward them. Then, in their circulars, with gross hypocrisy, they offer to serve the brethren in harmony with "that Servant's" arrangements, which their main leaders, H.J.S. and W.C., so grossly violated. This is an illustration of the hypocrisy of the Libnite Gershonites, in their seeking to "draw disciples after them," even as the P.B.I's similar offer, accompanied with their agitating for and their making a charter different from "that Servant's" charter, is an example of the hypocrisy of the P.B.I., the Shimite Gershonites. It is because of such hypocrisy, revolutionism and other gross wrong-doings on their part that as a mouthpiece of the Lord we invite all God's Priests to sever themselves from these two institutions as parts of Little Babylon.
The Bible Students' Committee is seeking to get together as many British brethren as they can, even as the P.B.I. is trying to get together as many brethren as they can the world over. Additionally, the Bible Students' Committee is flirting with the Society for a reunion, even as the Greek Catholic Church has been flirting with the Roman Catholic Church for a reunion. In both sets of Babylon, not principle, but expediency, is the moving factor for reunion. In fact, we expect a co-operation of all the Levites against the Epiphany-enlightened Priests and against The Present Truth. Such a co-operation of Levites will act in the same spirit as the Papacy and the Federation have worked and will work against the Faithful. We understand that in Aug., 1920, fruitless efforts were made to bring about a reunion in Britain. It did not materialize in any other way than in the way the Prophet tells us those will be united who are folded together as full dry thorns fitted for the fire.
The British and American Gershonites, as the firstborn of antitypical Levi, had the opportunity of becoming the chief antitypical Levites. But ambition to be somebodies and revolutionism as the grossest Levitical rebellion have hindered this, resulting in their becoming the lowest in honor and usefulness in service among the antitypical Levites, as was the case with the typical Gershonites.