Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
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interfere with his plans, July 12, 1917.
(18) The ousting of the four Directors was fully decided upon and attempted, July 17, 1917.
(19) The reaffirmation of the ousting was definitely made in a Board meeting, July 18, 1917.
(20) Part of Bro. Johnson's basis of mediation was rejected July 18, 1917.
(21) Many of the Bethel family, influenced by a "political" campaign, coldly received Bro. Johnson on his return from Cromwell, July 25-26, 1917.
(22)Bro. Johnson was fiercely and cunningly attacked by J.F.R. in the
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(18) Several members of the Editorial and Pastoral Bible Institute Committees fully decided that R.H. Hirsh, R.G. Jolly and P. S. L. Johnson must be ousted, and a new Committee (whom for the most part they named) be elected; the plan for withholding the paper was a part of the attempt to put this into execution, July 17, 1918.
(19) The reaffirmation of the ousting was definitely made in the meeting of the Committee, July 18, 1918.
(20) Part of Bro. Johnson's basis of mediation of Committee's troubles; i.e., by dissolving the Editorial Committee, was rejected, July 18, 1918.
(21) Many of the conventioners, influenced by a "political" campaign, coldly received Bro. Johnson, July 25-26, 1918.
(22) Bro. Johnson was fiercely and cunningly attacked by H.C. Rockwell
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morning meeting of the People's Pulpit Association, July 27, 1917.
(23) The ousted Board members and Bro. Johnson were ordered out of Bethel, i.e., out of official relation to the Society, by order of J.F.R.'s Executive Committee, July 27, 1917.
(24) Trickery and coercion were used, especially against Bro. Johnson, to put and keep him out of Bethel, July 27, 1917.
(25) Bro. Johnson was made the target of hooting by J.F.R.'s supporters, July 27, 1917.
(26) Bro. Johnson was actually, and the four ousted Board members were virtually, put out of Bethel, July 27, 1917.
(27) J.F.R., in effect, appointed an unauthorized Editorial Committee when he and others arranged to send out his "Harvest Siftings" as Society literature unsanctioned by "The Tower" Editorial Committee, and unknown to a majority of its members, July 28, 1917.
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in the morning meeting of the convention, July 27, 1918.
(23) R.H. Hirsh, R.G. Jolly and P. S. L. Johnson were ordered out of the Committee by the Group's supporters, July 27, 1918.
(24) Trickery and coercion were used, especially against Bro. Johnson, to put and keep him out of the Committee, July 27, 1918.
(25) Bro. Johnson was made the target of hooting by supporters of the Group, July 27, 1918.
(26) R.H. Hirsh, R.G. Jolly and P. S. L. Johnson were put out of the Committee, July 27, 1918.
(27) The Group appointed an unauthorized Editorial Committee, when they and others elected such a Committee without authorization of the Convention, July 28, 1918.
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(28) The publication of J.F.R.'s "Harvest Siftings," an attempt to boycott the Board's majority and Bro. Johnson was sent first of all to the Boston elders and deacons, July 29, 1917.
(29) J.F.R., directly and through W. E. Van Amburgh, at the Boston Convention, claimed that the four Directors and Bro. Johnson were misrepresenting him, Aug. 5, 1917.
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(28) The making of the untrue propaganda in opposition to the three Committee members solid-ified into the decision of the Group and others to boycott at least two of them, which boycott has been in force since the Convention, July 29, 1918.
(29) The new Committee passed a resolution which was the next day sent to the Philadelphia Church intimating that R.G. Jolly and P. S. L. Johnson were misrepresenting them, Aug, 5, 1918.
There are additional to those given under Division XII, many more year parallels under the preceding divisions.
On Aug. 4 the Philadelphia Church requested the P.B.I. Committee to arrange for a General Convention at Philadelphia for Sept. 8-10. On Aug. 13 I.F. Hoskins, Secretary of the Committee, wrote that the Committee unanimously disfavored granting their request. As shown above, their reasons parallel those given by J.F.R. for declining the request of the Philadelphia Church last year for a special meeting of the Shareholders to regulate the situation. They feared to face an investigation, not only in the Convention of Sept. 8-10, but also at the one of Dec. 20-22. An influential brother
later asked I.F. Hoskins why the P.B.I. Committee declined to face the investigations at those two Conventions. For himself, he replied: "Every time I have a debate with Bro. Johnson he makes me look like thirty cents."
When the P.B.I. refused to call a General Convention for Sept. 8-10, 1918, at Philadelphia, one was called by the writer. Immediately after the issue of this call a discussion before the Philadelphia Ecclesia, participated in by six members of the Old Committee, three on each side, took place Aug. 25. The Philadelphia Church was not by the discussion favorably impressed with the merits of the Group's contention; rather, the unfavorable impression made on most of its delegates at the Asbury Park Convention by the course of the Group was extended to almost the entire Philadelphia Church. Further, the New Committee enwrapped itself within the folds of the mantle of its claimed power to be alone "authorized" to call General Conventions among us. After the manner of the Romish and Anglican Church, the Committee refused either to take part in, or to recognize the validity of the Philadelphia Convention. We had impartially arranged the speaking program as follows: two from each side of the controversy, and two neutrals. Four of these six declined to serve at an "unauthorized" Convention. The Committee used its influence to boycott the Convention, which was not largely attended, though more largely than the September "Bulletin" states. Had the Committee attended they would have been treated at least as well as the Golden Rule requires. The announced program was carried out; i.e., mornings devoted to discourses, and afternoons, with one exception, and evenings, with one exception, to the business of investigating the Church conditions generally and the Committee conditions particularly, and of seeking a remedy for certain evils uncovered by the investigation.
We greatly regret that the Committee's course prevented its viewpoint from being fully given. The Lord's blessing rested, however, richly upon the Convention. At its last session, the great bulk of the brethren, fully convinced of the necessity of a remedy, passed as its understanding of what it believed was the Lord's will as to a remedy the following resolution (we omit its preamble and its first two clauses): "In view of many apparent evils at work throughout the Church in general, we appoint the following three brothers as an investigating committee: Bro. McGee, with Bro. Hirsh as alternate; Bro. Johnson, with Bro. Hoskins as alternate; and Bro. Newman, with Bro. Hollister, as alternate; it being understood that if any decline, their respective alternate shall have the privilege of serving in their stead, and in case any alternate shall decline to accept appointment, another shall be elected by the remainder of the Investigation Committee to fill such vacancy. The services of this Committee shall be freely offered to any ecclesia desiring the same, the general purpose being to give such assistance as shall seem necessary to help set aside evils that are wide-spread among us, as well as in the old and the new general Committees, in order that the purity of the Sanctuary and the unity of God's people be preserved."
It was sought impartially to represent every interest in the controversy. Therefore, Bro. McGee was taken for the Committee's side, Bro. Newman from the neutrals and ourself from the other side. Confidence in Bro. McGee's honesty and interest in Zion's welfare, and not in any sense the thought of putting him into an inconsistent position, was responsible for his selection as a member of the Investigating and Curative Committee. Bro. Hirsh was selected as his alternate, not to put Bro. McGee into an inconsistent position, nor to unbalance, but to balance the Committee, the thought being that the fact that he
was Bro. McGee's alternate would all the more influence the latter to accept, in order to prevent "upsetting the balance of the Committee." Bro. McGee, to our great disappointment, declined to serve; so did the two neutrals. Bro. Hirsh and the writer constituted the Committee, a third member was not elected because of the desire to have one who was both neutral in deed and at the same time influential enough to carry weight with the Church. Such an one could not be found.
The unresponsive and boycotting attitude of the P.B.I. Committee, the unfavorable impression that its three speaking representatives made in the discussion of Aug. 25, 1918, with the three ousted Committee members on the minds of the large majority of the Church, the detailed exposures of Committee conditions made through the investigation during the Convention, and the agitated changes of Committee policy from that announced in the Committee's letter of March 1, 1918, moved the Philadelphia Church to withdraw its support from, and its invitation to, the P.B.I. Committee to send it speakers, and to ask for the return of such a proportion of its total donations as existed between the Committee's expenses and total receipts up to but not including the Asbury Park Convention, the special donation for this Convention made by a certain brother not counting as a part of such total receipts. The P.B.I. Committee by its chairman and secretary, for untenable reasons, declined to make such a return. It similarly refused to refund other proportionate donations, some of them, like that of the Philadelphia Church, being quite substantial. The Philadelphia Church stood apart from the P.B.I. Committee since Sept. 17, 1918.
This Church invited the Investigating and Curative Committee to help it to recognize and to set aside in its midst any of the above-mentioned wrongs that may therein be existing. This work, delayed in part
by the quarantine due to the influenza, was completed, and the report on it was soon thereafter made. There was very good evidence that this investigation has led to more earnest searching for, and purging out of leaven, and that it will result in a better keeping of the feast (1 Cor. 5: 7, 8). The object of this Committee was not to foist itself on any church; for it respects the right of each church to control under our Head in its own midst, entirely apart from dictation of any and all outsiders, whether these be individuals or committees or Boards or "present managements," etc. Nor was its object to investigate matters of doctrine and interpretation, which seem to be the province of a self-constituted doctrinal clearing house, for which we do not stand. It was simply to serve such churches only as desire and ask its service in helping them to search for the leaven which is quite wide-spread among us, and by loving counsel and entreaty encourage all to purge it out for a better Passover keeping. It did not pronounce judgment. This Committee was ready for such service, which it was glad to render to any church desiring and requesting it.
A P.B.I. Convention was held at Providence, NOV. 8-10. We were pleased to hear that the dear conventioners had a peaceful time and greatly enjoyed themselves. The more of blessings the Lord's people enjoy the happier the writer is. Nov. 15 a special delivery letter came to him that, apart from the discussion of the business matters treated of in the letter, mentioned some news items of the Providence Convention, to the effect that (1) the Convention authorized an organization, (2) authorized a periodical, and (3) appointed a Committee to seek to secure the support of the Philadelphia Church. This last item especially interested us. It gladdened us to see something of a conciliatory attitude on this matter. It moved us to decide to bring up the
matter before the Philadelphia Church and to write the first number of The Present Truth, on which that selfsame morning we began to work. To make the situation plain, let us say that the Philadelphia Church did not withdraw its support from the P.B.I. Committee for all time, but only until such time as it would set itself straight in the eyes of the Philadelphia Church. And if there were such a disposition on its part, it would have found that Church more than ready to go more than half way to help it so to do. Having this confidence in this Ecclesia, in addition to the labor involved in preparing the first number of The Present Truth as a means of helping to clear up the doctrinal aspects of the situation, we prepared and presented a pertinent resolution to the Philadelphia Ecclesia which was almost unanimously passed at a well attended meeting Dec. 1. We were invited by this church to call a Convention for Dec. 20-22, 1918 at Philadelphia, but in spite of cordial invitations to the P.B.I. Committee to participate and encourage their adherents to do likewise and the sending of a special messenger to this Committee, it refused to participate and it encouraged its followers to boycott it. Pertinent to the case we wrote an article, In Defense Of Peace Among God's People, for the second number of The Present Truth (Dec. 24, 1918) which we herewith reproduce.
In the first number of The Present Truth, in the article, The Last Related Acts of Elijah and Elisha (reproduced in Vol. III, Chap. II), evidence was given that the Little Flock and the Great Company are separated, and that the mantle of power to be God's mouthpiece to Nominal Spiritual Israel is now in the hands of the antitypical Elisha, the Great Company. Much that belongs to this mantle centers in certain powers that the Great Company has through its control by its representatives over the affairs and business of the W. T. B. & T. Society,
the I. B. S. A. and the Peoples Pulpit Association. Further in that number, in the article, Withdrawal of Priestly Fellowship, we called attention to the fact that two of the divisions of the Levites, who for the Epiphany type the Great Company, were the Merarites and the Gershonites (Num. 3: 17, 20, 33). The ardent supporters of the Society and of "Rutherfordism in the Society" antitype the Mahlite Merarites. If this is true, it seems that three of the antitypes of the four chariots or wagons (which type organizations: Berean Comments on Ex. 14: 9; Isaiah 31: 1) given to the Merarite Levites (Num. 7: 8) are in the hands of the antitypical Mahlites; i.e., the Society and the two Associations named above. The Standfasts have the fourth. It would be Scriptural to conclude that the antitypical Gershonites would have the two organizations, otherwise they would be without symbolic chariots at all to assist them in their work. The Pastoral Bible Institute is one of these symbolic chariots, and the British Bible Students Committee is the other; we suggest this as a reasonable assumption because of many past happenings viewed from the standpoint of certain Scriptural teachings.
In Num. 7: 2-8 the Divine approval is given to the use of the typical chariots by the Merarite and Gershonite Levites. Accordingly, the inference seems fair that the Lord will approve of the antitypical six chariots, organizations, that the Great Company and the co-operating Youthful Worthies will use for the furtherance of the work that they are Divinely commissioned to do in connection with the antitypical Sanctuary. Hence, as long as these antitypical Levites limit their activities to the work that belongs to them, every faithful antitypical Priest will not only put no hindrance in their way, but will encourage them, pray for them, and in some respects lend them some assistance in their work. But such Priests, of course, would have to resist any effort of theirs to busybody in the
work of the antitypical Priests, or, to pervert the work of the antitypical Levites. If the antitypical Levites seek to teach the Priests, and to induce them to help attempt to sacrifice on the altar, they would be busybodying, as in the type, and this would bring upon them the opposition of the Priests. (Num. 18: 2, 3; Lev. 10: 1). Hence, they are not to attempt to help lead forth the Scapegoat to the Gate of the Court, i.e., to expose and resist the evil deeds of one another as against that altar, as this is busybodying in the work of the World's High Priest. Nor are they to seek to discover "new light" and spread it before the Church, as this would be attempting to go into the Holy, from which they have been excluded, and would result in their offering strange fire, as the Society, P.B.I. and other leaders have done in Vol. VII, "The Tower," The Herald Of The Kingdom, the Penny Parable tract, etc. Let the antitypical Levites perform Levitical work in connection with their "Chariot" services, but not hinder these Priests in their exclusive work connected with the altar. If the antitypical Levites do this, the antitypical Priests will have to resist them, and in this resistance their great Head will give them all the necessary help to drive them away from such busybodying. This will be necessarily our attitude toward the Great Company and the Youthful Worthies, if they do such busybodying. Let us hope that they will finally cease from so doing.
Let us rather hope that they will confine their ministry (1) to one another according to the Truth that they have received and will yet receive from the Priests, and (2) to the nominal people of God to whom they have been made God's mouthpiece through their possession of the antitypical mantle and with reference to whom they will get some new light from the Priests. Toward these two classes they will have an honorable and Divinely approved service, as they do it in harmony with faith, righteousness and the
Truth; and this service will tax their time, talents and strength; for it has fallen to their lot to do these things at a time when great obstacles obstruct their performance of them. It will be the endeavor of The Present Truth to help them with the Lord's truths and to encourage them with the Lord's promises, as they serve faithfully in these two respects. We would be glad, if these were the only things necessary for us to do toward the antitypical Levites. It is largely in their hands to make these our only works toward them.
Despite the shabby treatment that we have received from the Society leaders, our understanding of matters as above given has kept us in the love of God toward them. Daily do we pray for them; deeply do we sympathize with them; and gladly would we help them. In the future the Lord will open avenues for such help, and we assure the dear brethren that, as He does, we will cheerfully render it. We have long since learned how to forgive. But in this chapter we desire to offer some assistful suggestions to the dear brethren associated with the Pastoral Bible Institute. We believe that their organization is a chariot of the antitypical Gershonite Levites. We would not urge anyone to abstain from becoming a member or supporter of that Institution. We believe that each should do in this matter as he believes he will be best able to glorify the Lord. For our part we believe we can best glorify God by remaining apart from that and all other organizations, except the Body of Christ. We would, therefore, after making clear our understanding of matters as the Scriptures seem to us to set them forth, tell and encourage each to do in this matter what he thinks will best honor the Lord. The Lord lead each on to the choice best for Him!
But The Present Truth does feel deeply on some matters that it desires earnestly and lovingly to bring to the attention of the Pastoral Bible Institute and of all who become identified with it. Will the dear
brethren suffer us to set some thoughts before them for their consideration and responsiveness? The Lord, in harmony we believe with the expressed convictions of all the members of the Institute, in the charter of the W. T. B. & T. Society and will of our dear Pastor, gave the Divine arrangements for a controlling corporation that was to do the work that He intended should be done by a controlling corporation as a service of the sanctuary. It not being the Lord's intention that the other two corporations, the I. B. S. A. and the P. P. A. should control, the Lord was not so specific in setting forth arrangements with respect to them in that Servant's will. These facts move us to conclude that the charter of the W. T. B. & T. S. is the Divine sample for all other controlling corporations formed among the Lord's people; and that, therefore, the Pastoral Bible Institute will not please the Lord, if they make any alterations from the charter of the W. T. B. & T. S. other than in its name, in the draft of their own charter. We therefore earnestly bring this matter to the attention of this Institute and of all its supporters with the suggestion that they exercise all diligence to carry out this suggestion to the letter. The objections that Bro. F.H. McGee urged against adopting the W. T. B. & T. S. charter word for word except its name, we believe, are untenable for two reasons: First, there can be no mistake in following the Divine arrangements; seeming difficulties will yield to proper care in exercising the powers that the charter gives its Shareholders and Directors. Second, the dangers that he suggests are all provided against in the charter; e.g., the President elected by the shareholders usurping authority over the Board. This can be obviated by the facts: First, that the charter does not give the President any powers additional to the other Directors, except three, i.e., to preside at meetings, to appoint a Director, until the next annual election, in case
the Directors fail to fill a vacancy on the Board within thirty days, and to countersign the shareholders' certificates. Second, the Directors, controlling the bylaws, can make one providing for the appointment of an executive committee from which, if desirable, they could exclude the President or make him excludable as they think best. Again, his assumption that an injurious Director could be kept on the Board, whether the shareholders wished it or not, unless the Directors are annually elected, is unfounded; for the charter provides that any Director can be removed at any time by two-thirds vote of the shareholders, while an annual election of Directors is liable to introduce into the Institute and among its members "politics" of which we see too much in evidence, and which can by a "whispering campaign" or otherwise make it easy for ambitious and power-grasping Directors to rid themselves of efficient and unselfish Directors who oppose their course. Years of experience will add to the efficiency of Directors, who should not be made liable to such frequent changes, nor worried by the possibilities connected with annual elections. We believe that as that Servant arranged the charter in this respect he was wiser than are J.F.R. and F.H. McGee, who now agrees on advocating the same change that was the avenue of so great trouble last year in the Society; and the main reason that we believe that he was wiser than they in this matter is, because the Lord gave the charter through him, and certainly is not speaking through them to the brethren on this subject. We all, including F.H. McGee, thought so last year. Why the change? Was J.F.R. wrong, and were we right last year [written Dec., 1918]? And this year is he right and we—what? This change is not of the Lord!
Again, we counsel that F.H. McGee's suggested change as to who should be members of the corporation; i.e., the subscribers to "The Herald," and not
voting shareholders, be not adopted. That Servant's shareholder-plan, which was the Lord's, is better; for it properly gives voting power, not in the Church, but in a business corporation, according to financial service rendered, while F.H. McGee's proposed change will prevent persons who do not want membership in the corporation from subscribing for the paper, and can bring many undesirable and unfit persons into membership in the Institute, while that Servant's arrangements makes the former evil impossible and the latter improbable. Let the Divine arrangements be followed; they are better than J.F.R.'s and F.H. McGee's. We fear that unhappy results will attend these and any other changes, as they did in the case of the Society leaders; while we believe the Divine blessing will rest upon a hearty compliance with the Lord's arrangements as to the charter.
We suggest, further, that as soon as possible there be a Board of judgment constituted, as indicated in that Servant's will in the same way, of the same number, and for the same purpose. Let worthy and suitable sisters be chosen by the Institute Committee to whom and to their successors there shall be assigned perpetually the same proportion of voting shares to the Institution's total number of voting shares, as that Servant's voting shares at the time of his death were to the total number of voting shares in the Society, the number of the Sisters' shares to increase in the same proportion, until no longer those in their hands be less than the total number of those belonging to that Servant at his death.
Another matter that we think desirable to bring to the attention of the Institute and its members: The desirability of so constituting the Committee, if possible, as to consist of brothers who were pilgrims during that Servant's life, and who live near to one another if possible, in one city, so as to be available for easy and economical consultation. While earlier
in the Harvest brothers who were not pilgrims were put on the Board of Directors, this policy was later dropped; and since 1909 pilgrims only were on the directorate, and of these such only as lived at headquarters. This being the condition at the time that the Society became vitalized, at that Servant's death, it seems to be a hint as to what the Lord's will is in this matter. It was J.F.R. who changed this policy. The change of policy smacks too much of "politics." The policy now seems to be, whenever possible, to have brothers on the Committee who belong to large churches, or churches that are desired to be kept in line with the Committee. We think this is a mistake and has resulted, in part, in four of the seven Committee members being brothers whom the Lord did not honor with the office of "secondarily prophets." Such persons have not the experience with general Church problems to warrant their rightly solving them; thus they do not seem to have the qualification for directing a general work. Novices should not be given such responsible positions.
Another thought: While that Servant suggested, and that on a secondary list, for Tower editorship but one who was not a pilgrim; i.e., one among eleven and that one exceptionally able in the Truth and an auxiliary pilgrim, The Herald's Editorial Committee has two on its staff who were neither regular nor auxiliary pilgrims under that Servant, neither of whom is of exceptional clearness in the Truth. Here, again, "politics" seems to have crept in. We therefore suggest that the Committee seek a reconciliation with Menta Sturgeon, to the end that he, with his known ability, might be made available for membership on the Pastoral Bible Institute and Herald editorial committees. Perhaps A. I. Ritchie and W. Hollister may be induced to serve on one or both committees. Though not favoring an organization, they could as logically serve on the Editorial Committee as they now do serve on the
pilgrim staff of the Pastoral Bible Institute. It would be to the advantage of the work, we believe, in every way to have the members of both of these committees, especially the Institute's Committee, living in Greater New York. Local rivalries should not exist among the Lord's people. We feel that we can offer these suggestions without the suspicion of selfish motives, inasmuch as our convictions, to mention nothing else, would prevent our considering for ourself any of these positions, even if we were desired, which, of course, is not the case.
Of course, we do not mean to say that under no circumstances should others than pilgrims that the Lord appointed through that Servant ever serve on the Institute's Committee and its Editorial Committee. In some exceptional cases it may be well to have one of these, if specially qualified, on one or the other of these Committees. We have above simply indicated the ideal that it seems to us, should be striven for. That an exception to this rule is permissible is apparent from the fact that that Servant suggested on a secondary list such an one among eleven brothers for The Tower Editorial Committee. The Institute Committee, in part, has stretched this exception into the rule as respects membership in itself, and almost into the rule as respects membership on its Editorial Committee. It is against these conditions that we have made bold to offer the above suggestions.
Another suggestion, conducive to good order and peace, we opine, is: that the entire direction of the policies and the work be in the hands of the seven members of the Pastoral Bible Institute's Committee with the Editorial Committee as such restricted entirely to the work of choosing subjects for, and selecting and writing articles to appear in The Herald, otherwise having no power in its policy and work. Of course, those editors who are on the Institute's Committee would as such, but not as editors, have to do
with the direction of the policy and work of the Institute and The Herald. One of the reasons for the eruption in the Committee last summer [that of 1918] was due to the attempts of several editors to dictate the policy of the paper to the Institute's Committee, even conspiring to break up the old Committee; in part, because three of its members opposed such dictation and busybodying. One of these editors, acting by appointment of three other editors as their mouthpiece, even declared that the first issue, ordered by the Institute, to appear before the Asbury Park Convention, must not appear without an article stating that it was the policy of the Institute to smite Jordan after the war. Another thing that they advocated through him was that there must appear in the first issue of "The Bible Standard" a "good hopes" appeal and for these reasons insisted on delaying publication despite the Institute's contrary decision. This, together with the question of forming a corporation, brought the old Committee to a deadlock. Such busybodying is wrong and is a usurpation of the privileges and prerogatives of the Institute's Committee, whose office it is to initiate and to declare, in harmony with its empowerment, the policies of the Institute, and to see that they are carried out. We respectfully suggest that the editors as such be restricted to editorial, and be kept from interfering with the controlling, executive and managerial work of the Institute. While under present circumstances the following suggestions in harmony with those given above could probably not now be carried out, because of lack of available brothers, yet we feel that it would be very well, if the proper brothers are or become available, to have membership on the Institute Committee bar one from membership on the Editorial Committee and vice versa.
Another deviation from that Servant's arrangements, we have noticed, and that at conventions: Brothers who were not pilgrims are given leading
parts, discourses, and chairmanships of conventions. This is in harmony with the course of the British managers (in that Servant's absence), but not with his course: He almost never gave one, not on the pilgrim staff, a discourse or a chairmanship at a Convention. In certain rare cases this was done for exceptionally able and spiritual brothers only. Here, again, "politics" seems to be working. Less discourses, and the almost exclusive use of pilgrims for them, will be better for the conventioners, and for the large majority of those, who were not pilgrims in Bro. Russell's day, but who are now with such frequency given discourses to deliver and chairmanships to fill at conventions.
Our offering these suggestions, it is to be hoped, will not be regarded as busybodying in the Pastoral Bible Institute's business, nor as faultfinding, nor as "sour grapes." These suggestions are made in the interests of peace, prosperity and good will among the Truth people, all of whom, may our Gracious Heavenly Father richly bless according to their heart's attitude and standing before Him and His glorious Plan toward them! As far as possible, in harmony with the Word, let us "seek peace and ensue it" (1 Pet. 3: 11; Rom. 12: 18; Jas. 3: 17, 18). This is written in defense of peace among the Lord's people. May the Lord fulfill among us His promise: "The Lord will bless His people with peace" (Ps. 29: 11).
In the Aug., 1918, Committee Bulletin (this word etymologically means a little papal bull), page six, under the title, "The Object of an Organization," an article is begun wherein the purposes which the Pastoral Bible Institute Committee had in mind, as calling for transforming the P.B.I. into a legal corporation, are given. The article states these purposes clearly; and as its subject matter concerns the whole Church, it would be very proper for us to examine it. In addition to the clear statements of this article, we have some explanatory utterances, acts, publications and
letters of the Committee, and of its most influential members and supporters. All of these will assist us to come to a better understanding of the objects of the P.B.I. Our object as Bible Students is, in the Spirit of the Lord, to measure these purposes with the Lord's Word, to end that we may be better able properly to judge of, and act toward the P.B.I. We deplore these conditions more than we can express, but feel that it is the duty of some one to stop to analyze them and lay them before the Church, that each may see and choose for himself. The Lord will to this end lend His assistance to the meek among His people (Ps. 25: 7-10). After the manner of a commentary, we will quote and examine the article in question, numbering the points in each paragraph on which we will comment and giving after the quotation of each paragraph our comments as notes, their numbers and those in the paragraphs corresponding. Had the P.B.I. accepted our friendly offer to seek harmony on this and other things at the Hebron (friendship) Convention, it would not be necessary to discuss them before the whole Church. We trust by God's grace to do this "with charity to all, with malice to none," confining our remarks, as in the past, to the official acts of the persons involved, which of right the general Church should know, without any reference whatever to their private conduct.
We herewith quote the first paragraph: "Recognizing the Divine principle of order, organization, exercised in all of the arrangements of our Heavenly Father (1), our greatly beloved Pastor endeavored to arrange the various lines of activity in the service of the Truth in the most efficient and systematic ways by forming a number of business organizations (2), such as the I. B. S. A. (3), the P. P. A. (4), the United States Investment Co. (5), and the W. T. B. & T. So. (6), all of which were singularly blessed of the Lord,
and accomplished a marvelous work over the whole earth (7).
NOTE 1: God organized the Little Flock for its work (Col. 1: 18; Eph. 1: 22, 23; 4: 3-13; Rom. 12: 3-8; 1 Cor. 12: 12-28; Vol. VI, Chap. II); but He did not have Jesus and the Apostles form a legal corporation under Roman laws for the furtherance of its work, and they were engaging upon the most important work in the history of the Gospel-Age—the establishment of the Church of Christ upon an enduring basis. But God did for the end of the Age arrange for six organizations for the Great Company and their cooperating Youthful Worthies to assist them in carrying out their mission (Num. 7: 1-8).
NOTE 2: Our Beloved Pastor, after the manner of a single owner of a business, arranged the work systematically, not by controllership through corporations, but by his own individual controllership apart from, and usually not in harmony with the charters of his three religio-business corporations, only one of which he formed to control certain work, and that only after his death.
NOTE 3: The following is the reason why he formed the I. B. S. A.: A number of years after he bought the London Tabernacle, whose deed he had made out in the name of the W. T. B. & T. S., he learned that all British real estate held in the name of unregistered foreign corporations was forfeitable to the Crown. Therefore he formed the I. B. S. A. as a holding corporation for the Tabernacle property. The three British managers under oath in the conscription litigation in 1916 and 1917 stated that the I. B. S. A. was a holding corporation only; that it was not in control of the British Truth work, and that it was not an agency of the work of that body of Christian people who the world over were called the I. B. S. A. During that Servant's life the I. B. S. A. corporation, apart from the fees of its twenty-three members (£23 in all),