Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
never received nor spent any money; neither did it receive nor issue a check. Will the P.B.I. kindly inform us what was its marvelous, world-wide and Jehovah blessed work during that Servant's life? The I. B. S. A. corporation was nothing more or less than "a dummy corporation" with "dummy directors," and had absolutely nothing to do, apart from holding for Bro. Russell the Tabernacle property, while he controlled it and the property held in its name.
NOTE 4: That Servant was told by J.F.R. that the W. T. B. & T. S. could not own property, nor do its business in New York State [this information, it has since been learned, is incorrect]; therefore he organized the P. P. A., whose charter expressly stipulated that as one of its officers it should have "a President who shall be elected by the Board of Directors at the first meeting thereof and shall hold office for life, and whose duties it shall be to preside at the meetings of the corporation, or of the Board of Directors; and have the general supervision and control and management of the business and affairs of said corporation." This clause proves that that Servant alone was meant to have the powers described therein; for of him alone could it be said that he was elected by the Board of Directors at their first meeting. This clause also proves that the P. P. A. was "a dummy corporation" with "dummy directors." Will the P.B.I. kindly tell us what was the world-wide, etc., work that the P. P. A. did?
NOTE 5: The United States Investment Company was a corporation absolutely controlled by that Servant, and in its work was entirely secular; i.e., it was in business to earn money, and did no religious work whatever; and was not an instrument for the Harvest Work any more than any other corporation or business controlled and owned by any others of the Lord's faithful people. As a consecrated child of God he gave the Tract Fund almost all of its profits, hiding them in
the Annual Report among lump sums listed as donated "from other sources"; and this proves that he contributed to the work of the money that by it he earned, just as other consecrated brethren contributed of their earnings. Will the P.B.I. please tell us what its world-wide, etc., work was? Why did they not also mention others of his business companies and corporations organized under his control to earn money for himself and the Lord's cause? It would have been as much and as little to the point.
NOTE 6: That our readers may learn from that Servant what the powers and functions of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society really were, we refer them to Vol. VI, Chap. II, where will be found lengthy excerpts from a booklet that he published in 1894 entitled, "A Conspiracy Exposed" (pages 55-62). Consequently, according to this quotation and the facts mentioned in the paragraph that follows it, the Society was not during his life an instrumentality whereby the harvest work was done.
NOTE 7: That Servant used all these corporations as a means of hiding himself. The Lord's people cooperating with him, his work, not these corporations' works, were "singularly blessed of the Lord, and accomplished a marvelous work over the whole earth"; for if there ever were "dummy corporations" these were such; and if there ever were "dummy directors," those of these corporations were truly such during his life.
We now quote the next paragraph from the article under review: "The latter organization (W. T. B. & T. S.) was an especial instrumentality through which the great work was carried on during the life time of our Pastor (1), and as planned by him was to be the continued agency after his death (2). This evident purpose was interfered with by those who set aside Bro. Russell's arrangements and plans and substituted others (3). The result of these perturbations has
meant a general sifting, demonstrating those who are sincerely loyal to the Lord's arrangements as expressed through the Pastor, and those who profess to be and are not (4)."
NOTE 1: This statement we consider thoroughly false to the facts of the case. For that Servant's and our understanding of this subject we refer our readers to Vol. VI, Chap. II.
NOTE 2: It was not "to be the continued agency after his death." Rather after his death for the first time it became independent, with its directors coming "to the front."
NOTE 3: We agree that, as to controllership of the work and as to many of his arrangements, his purposes were set aside by the Society leaders; but the full truth requires us to add that had certain members of the P.B.I. and one of their most influential supporters, all four of whom were then Directors of the W. T. B. & T. S., steadfastly refused in any way to permit J.F.R. to get the authority that they knew he sought, and that they either voted or permitted without protest to be voted to him; and had they steadfastly refused to permit him to keep his usurped power, exercised for months without their protesting to him, these subversions and substitutions would not have occurred. We may have more to say about this at another time.
NOTE 4: It is true that the first and second phases of the present sifting did demonstrate that some were and some were not true to the Lord's arrangements given through that Servant; but it took a third phase of the sifting to demonstrate that some of those who seemed in its first and second phases to be loyal to the Lord's arrangements given in that Servant's charter and will, were in reality not true to them, as is demonstrated unanswerably by the fact that they and their followers have adopted for the P.B.I. a charter that changes, i.e., revolutionizes, some of that Servant's
charter and will arrangements in by far more and worse ways than the Society leaders changed these. This course of the P.B.I. Board will make all nonpartisan and sober-minded brethren doubt their sincerity and honesty, when in one breath, as in the paragraph that we are examining, they extol that Servant's arrangements as the Lord's arrangements, and at the same time advocate and set into operation a charter deviating in many particulars from the one of which they have all affirmed a Divine origin and obligatoriness. Is this not revolutionism and worse yet, considering that they have done this in the teeth of protests and warnings?
We now quote the third paragraph of the article under examination: "It would seem that the time has now come, in the Divine providence, for the work to be taken up, as far as possible, where it was left at the time of the passing under the veil of Bro. Russell, and be carried on to whatever end or conclusion may please the Lord, until the last member of the Body of Christ has been glorified" (1).
NOTE 1: To understand this paragraph let us refresh our minds with the fact that our beloved Pastor's last published statement on the subject was to the effect that he expected Jordan's first smiting in the future; but this does not prove, contrary to former statements, that he had not led the work of the first smiting of Jordan, any more than his then thinking the giving of the penny was yet future proves that he had not already given it, which penny, we all agree, he did give some considerable time before he died. We pointed out above how four members of the Editorial Committee, using H.C. Rockwell as their mouthpiece, appeared July 18, 1918, before the Pastoral Bible Institute Committee and, among other things, insisted on holding up issuing the first number of "The Bible Standard" until it could appear with a statement of the Committee's policies that, among other things, should
call for "the first smiting of the Jordan after the war." At that time F.H. McGee, in and out of the Committee meeting, also said that I.L. Margeson held up "The Standard." Three of these four editors are now on the P.B.I. Board; and all of them are on its Editorial Committee. Several hundred brethren who were at the Asbury Park Convention will recall that H.C. Rockwell explained that to take up the work where Bro. Russell at death left it meant a future first smiting of the Jordan, and that "after the war," and they sought very hard without proper discussion to force this program through the Convention. The P.B.I.'s insistence on a public ministry is in line with this thought. Their denial that the first smiting of the Jordan and the separation of antitypical Elijah and Elisha have occurred implies their belief in a future first smiting of Jordan. Lawyer, not Brother, McGee makes the following comment on this matter in his "Brief Review," page 1, col. 2, par. 2, written after he and his associates learned that the brethren at Asbury Park, as well as many not there, would not endorse their program of a future first smiting of Jordan: "The Committee, and we think the [Asbury Park] Convention, had no idea of inaugurating a plan to conduct a first smiting of Jordan."
Certainly on Monday the Convention, after hearing our Sunday's exposures of Committee conditions and our Scriptural discussion on whether the Little Flock should form a corporation to carry out its work, did not favor "inaugurating a plan to conduct a first smiting of Jordan"; for on Monday, after they had more time to think over the matters, they voted down almost unanimously everything that smacked of a first smiting of the Jordan, including every feature of the P.B.I.'s program not yet voted on, holding some of these matters over for further consideration. The night before, just after the above-mentioned discussion, sixty-seven voted against and fifty-eight for the
proposition that it is unscriptural for the Little Flock to organize a corporation as the medium through which its work should be done, while fully 125 abstained from voting at all; yet despite this the August Bulletin clearly gives the impression that a majority of the conventioners favored, but longsufferingly deferred to the minority's unreadiness, the forming of a corporation to carry out the Committee's work, which H.C. Rockwell, supported by I.F. Hoskins and others, there announced was among other things "a smiting of Jordan after the war." In the above-quoted statement we regret to be compelled to say that our F.H. McGee speaks as a special pleader, hiding, misstating and evading issues and facts against his clients, as we also regret to have to say that the August Bulletin and Lawyer McGee's published defenses, because of the same kind of methods and deceptions, are at least as misleading as "Lawyer Rutherford's Harvest Siftings." We desire to state candidly to the whole Church that this course of the P.B.I. forces us against our desires to doubt the candor of various of its members on their policy of a first smiting of Jordan; therefore we suggest that those not favoring such a work will do well to abstain from all co-operation with the P.B.I.'s work; but that those heartily approving of its ways and policies will heartily co-operate with it in its work, and that those in doubt of its ways and policies will do well to settle their doubts before acting.
We herewith quote the fourth paragraph: "In order to do this the forming of a business corporation under the laws of New York State is proposed (1). This simple business corporation is to enable the different congregations (2) to co-operate along general lines (2), and be the means of preserving unity and harmony of thought and purpose (3). Without some such arrangement no concerted action on the part of the Lord's people would be possible (4). Each Ecclesia, acting locally, would develop into a faction (5), and its
efforts would necessarily have local limitations (6). In place of having one body (2), with the classes constituting the different members (2), and all working unitedly in the accomplishment of a broad and general work over the world (2), there would be innumerable bodies more or less in confusion and opposition to one another (7) with little or no work accomplished.
NOTE 1: Under the conviction that that Servant, through the charter of the W. T. B. & T. S. and his will, had given the Divine arrangements along whose lines the work of the Little Flock was to operate after his death, the Editor of The Present Truth at the Fort Pitt Convention introduced, and then made several speeches in favor of, a motion to form and operate a corporation in word-for-word conformity with the will and charter of that Servant excepting, of course, the name and address of the corporation. He advocated as title the name I. B. S. A. and as address Philadelphia, Pa., where good headquarters were offered for an Association formed strictly on such lines. This motion was made the evening of Jan. 5, 1918. On account of several prominent brothers objecting to a Society and others to insufficient time for discussion, the motion was finally tabled until the next day for further discussion, when it was voted down. The Convention Secretary, who did not for weeks prepare his minutes, forgot, as he later on stated, to record this motion. Not a few others present at that Convention recall the facts above given on this motion. And the fact that the Convention, which gave the Committee its authorization, forbade the formation of a corporation was repeatedly used by us in the Committee as a reason forbidding its forming a corporation. It was not until Mar. 31, 1918, that we became convinced (from Num. 7: 1-8) that the Priests were not to use a corporation or any other organization apart from their Divinely given organism as a medium through which they were to do their work. Therefore, when in
the Committee meeting, April 29, F.H. McGee, supported by three of his colleagues, in that and in all following Fort Pitt Convention Committee meetings (i.e., May 11, June 8, 22 and July 18), sought persistently against the consciences of R.H. Hirsh, R.G. Jolly and ourself to carry through the Committee his program for a corporation, the provisions of which he never made known to the Committee, we at once began to oppose his plan. In the process of our discussions we gave four reasons against it: (1) It was contrary to the expressed decision of those who constituted the Committee. (2) Many brethren would not favor and support an organization beyond a committee such as we were. (3) Without an organization we could do the work that we were commissioned to do; i.e., publish a periodical and conduct a pilgrim service, ourself advocating strongly that we limit our efforts to the exercise of these, the powers that were given us. (4) Such an organization for the Little Flock was contrary to the Scriptural organization of the Church. Therefore we herein publish to the whole Church that "the forming of a business corporation" was not proposed nor supported by R.H. Hirsh, R.G. Jolly and ourself; but was persistently proposed by F.H. McGee, and warmly supported by I.F. Hoskins, I.L. Margeson and J.D. Wright against the persistent opposition of the first three named brothers, whose consciences forbade their approving it for the Little Flock.
NOTE 2: In the quotation given from "A Conspiracy Exposed," it was stated by that Servant that the Society was organized "to provide a channel or fund through which those [individuals—not congregations!] who wish can employ their money talent, whether small or great, to better advantage for the spread of the Truth than if each interested one [person—not congregation!] acted and published independently of the others." Bro. Russell understood the
Biblical organization of the Church too well to attempt to bring the Church, as the P.B.I. says, into an organization of "one body with the classes constituting the different members," "to co-operate along general lines," "and all working unitedly in the accomplishment of a broad and general work over the world!" Bro. Russell—not the P.B.I. as we see—believed in letting the Church remain organized just as the Lord originally formed it, without adding, after the manner of the Papacy, human organizational elements of any kind. But not so the P.B.I. for the paragraph under discussion, in its parts that we have marked (2), by a contrasted statement, a most emphatic way of putting it, proves that instead of holding to the Church as consisting of individual members, under Christ the Head, they are making a Church "having one body, with the classes constituting the different members, and all working unitedly in the accomplishment of a broad and general work over the world." Here we find a Church organized differently from the Body of Christ; and therefore it is a "Church which is" not "His Body," a counterfeit of "the Church which is His Body," thus an anti-Christ, instead of a Christ, body of which we should beware!
NOTE 3: This paragraph and subsequent sections of the article, while not expressly using the term, the Head, clearly by its seven-claimed missions and powers shows what is the head of this new Church, "which is" not "His Body"; i.e., the P.B.I. the controlling, executive and managerial head, being its Board of Directors, and its teaching head being its Committee of Editors! For it is the function of Christ, our one Lord, to be God's "means of preserving unity and harmony of thought and purpose." He gives and preserves to the Church its one faith and baptism (Eph. 4: 5). He alone is "to act as a kind of a clearing house of whatever doctrinal matters may be in circulation, or may be proposed for circulation, among the Lord's
people." He alone is "to act as a medium through which the Church collectively may execute business arrangements essential to the accomplishment of any enterprise" given her by the Lord to do. Most of the functions that the P.B.I. sets forth as theirs in the seven reasons for their corporation belong exclusively to our Lord, the Head, in His relation to the Church, His Body. Therefore the P.B.I. in its Board of Directors and in its Editorial Committee is a counterfeit of Christ, the Head of the "Church, which is His Body." Here, then, we have a counterfeit head and body—a complete anti-Christ. Here we find a transubstantiation. Their Church has been (counterfeitedly) transubstantiated and their P.B.I. Board of Directors and Committee of Editors have been (counterfeitedly) transubstantiated. Let the whole Church recognize this little Papacy, this little Babylon, this Little Antichrist! Surely a strong delusion has seized upon them! And this accounts for their "fanciful interpretations and wild speculations" on the organization of the Church. Loath as we are to speak of these things, dear brethren, are they not all true and should not attention be directed to them? Truly, "He catcheth the wise in his own craftiness!"
NOTE 4: The history of the Harvests of the Jewish and Gospel Ages is a complete refutation of this claim, so gratuitously assumed and so boldly made. Without using a corporation, as a "means of preserving unity and harmony in thought and purpose," "to act as a kind of clearing house of whatever doctrinal matters may be in circulation, or may be proposed for circulation among the Lord's people," and "to act as a medium through which the Church collectively may execute business arrangements essential to the accomplishment of any enterprise of great or lesser magnitude," etc., the Lord himself by the oversight of one individual, that Servant, through the power of the Truth, attracted individuals and individual congregations—
which he never commissioned to engage collectively in the harvest work—and through their individual, and not collective, co-operation brought the reaping features of the Harvest to a completion.
NOTE 5: This statement may or may not be true, the circumstances and characters of the classes and those dealing with them having much to do in the matter. We know from experience two sets of characters that can be depended upon under certain conditions to make some in a local class develop a faction. Let a class stand for Bro. Russell's ideals as against unholy grasping for power and lording it over God's heritage, as alas, the leaders of the W. T. B. & T. S. and the P.B.I. have been doing, and these will start their partisan campaigners to work on their supporters, who, responding to advice from "headquarters," will, if in the majority, drive or freeze out the faithful, or if in a minority, will make a division, all the time patting themselves on the back as suffering for righteousness and charging others as division makers, while their claims and conduct show them to be under the Adversary's influence.
NOTE 6: Apart from individual congregations sending out missionaries and contributing to the support of the work of the servants of the general Church, and apart from a general deacon—not teaching—work, which the Church collectively may do (2 Cor. 8: 16-24)—hat each Church in "its efforts would necessarily have local limitations"—is exactly the will of the Lord respecting each Church. As at present controlled, the W. T. B. & T. S. and the P.B.I. are responsible for advocating and setting into practice an opposite, an anti-Christ, view, of a local Church's scope of activity.
NOTE 7: There will, of course, be but one "Church, which is His Body," no matter how many individual congregations there may be; and there will be as many counterfeits of "the Church, which is His
Body," as there are corporation and other heads who are able to deceive a following into believing that it is "the Church, which is His Body." Apart from what we have said in Note 5, we might add that in a sifting time such as has been, and bids fair for some time yet to be upon us, confusion and opposition are inevitable; for the Lord wants the fire to burn until all the wood, hay and stubble are burned, and the gold, silver and precious stones preserved in the fire (1 Cor. 3: 11-15). Instead of a corporation preventing, it will increase the confusion, as corporations have hitherto done. The main points calling for emphasis, as taught in the paragraph on which we are commenting, are that the P.B.I. advocates (1) that the "collective" classes are the one Body, (2) that the individual classes (not, therefore, the faithful individuals) are the members of the one Body (their Church, not the Lord's), and (3) that certain functions that belong to Jesus alone the P.B.I. claims for itself and thus makes itself a head instead of Jesus. These three propositions are Papistical in the extreme. The following comparison will make this apparent. The P.B.I. Board and Editorial Committee correspond with the Pope in his two functions as controller and teacher; their collective classes, their Church, correspond with the entire Roman Catholic Church; the individual classes, with the Roman Catholic Nation Churches; their pilgrims, with the Cardinals; their leading local elders, with the national primates; the other elders, with the Bishops; the deacons, with the lower Clergy; the non-official class members, with the laity; while the advocates of the Scriptural conception of "the Church, which is His Body," and of that Servant's arrangements in his charter and will, as Divinely authorized and inviolable for controlling corporations among the Lord's people, correspond to the heretics, whose leaders correspond to the arch-heretics. This transubstantiation of the collective ecclesias (which at most might represent, symbolize, the
entire true Church, as the local members of the true Church are locally represented, symbolized, by, each local Ecclesia), corresponds with the papal doctrine of the (counterfeit) transubstantiation of the symbols of Christ's Body into His real Body.
As though such teachings were not bad enough, the article under examination must specify seven reasons or purposes for the P.B.I.'s organization. That such purposes as these should be announced by the P.B.I. is not surprising, when one considers that they were not satisfied with the very limited powers given them by the Fort Pitt Convention; but sought to get and repeatedly claimed to have all the powers of the W.T.B. & T.S.'s Board. (Feb. 23, 1918, I.F. Hoskins even claimed for the Committee all of that Servant's powers, a claim that he later withdrew, we believe.) But that the publication of such purposes should have provoked so little and feeble dissent from so many who claim to be Bible Students, and to have the teachings and Spirit of the Lord as these shine out of that Servant's writings, is truly astounding.
FIRST PURPOSE: We will quote and comment on each of these seven purposes in turn. "The specified reasons for this organization are: (1) To act as a kind of a clearing house of whatever doctrinal matters may be in circulation or may be proposed for circulation among the Lord's people."
NOTE: Such a "doctrinal clearing house" is a "medium" by which religious instruction is censored. That which is approved by this "medium" is announced as "safe" and "true" and sanctioned for circulation by the P.B.I.'s "imprimatur," the name of the seal that the officials of "the doctrinal clearing house" of the Papacy impress on literature that they consider "safe" and "true" for circulation among Papists, who dutifully and trustfully may henceforth read it. That which is partially approved would be expurgated of features objectionable to the P.B.I. and
listed as such, even as is provided for in the kindred "Index expurgatorius" in the Catholic Church, and the faithful may read such books only after expurgated; and that which is inexpurgable is condemned entirely, as in the Catholic Church it is put on the kindred "Index Librorum Prohibitorum," the Index of Prohibited Books, which only theologians, and that only after special permission, may read. This is what the expression, "a doctrinal clearing house," suggests. Such an arrangement was before the war well adapted to Russia, Turkey and Spain, but among Truth people it could come from such only as are caught in a frenzy of delusion (2 Thes. 2: 9-12, Diaglott). Its principle was well adapted to the Dark Ages, which it helped to produce. What the Scriptures inculcate as an opposite principle can be seen from 1 Thes. 5: 20, 21; 1 John 4: 1; 2 Tim. 2: 15; Rom. 14: 5; etc. What that Servant thought of it as a principle can be seen in "Studies" B, 319-322, and D, 64-66; and his avoidance of it in practice shines out by the way he directed (under the Lord) the harvest work.
In proof that the P.B.I. by their doctrinal clearing house, means what we have said we will adduce five facts:
(1) At Asbury Park, H.C. Rockwell, with the approval of I.F. Hoskins, etc., gave as a reason for a corporation having a Board of seven Directors and a Committee of five Editors, that it would provide twelve brothers capable to act as a commission to examine proposed new Scriptural interpretations to safeguard the Church from error.
(2) The majority of the P.B.I. Board and Editorial Committee favored a resolution forbidding giving forth new thoughts on types, symbols and prophecies, particularly on Elijah and Elisha, J.F.R. as "that evil servant," the Penny and the Slaughter Weapons, unless by sanction of the Committee. While two of these later voted to rescind this motion, in issuing
the article here reviewed, they show that they rechanged their minds. On this point we quote a letter written, largely through the influence of a sister, to another sister, who could not at the time see eye to eye on two minor points with our discourse on "That Evil Servant." I.F. Hoskins wrote this letter two days before the resolution above referred to was passed:
"MY DEAR SISTER:—Your letter just received, and it grieves me very much to learn what took place in Philadelphia last Sunday. Yours is the second report [no more] of this character, and I must say, dear Sister, that my patience with Brother Johnson is just about exhausted. I have heard him make those same silly, foolish and unwise statements repeatedly, and the brethren have often reproved him for it, and he has repeatedly promised [?] that he would desist and stop talking along those lines. Now, my dear Sister, I am so glad you wrote as you did; you have been going up like everything in my mind, [!] and this letter from you just helps all the more, too! Now no blarney about this either. [!] You sure do know how to say things nice. Now listen, the situation is going to be remedied. I think I can safely promise you that there will not be a repetition of last Sunday's experience. It grieves me unspeakably to know that those dear, blessed people there had to be subjected to that kind of thing. [!] [With but one negative vote a month later a vote of approval by this large Church was passed on that discourse, the two sisters who wrote against it to the Committee telling the Church that they believed it to be meat in due season. And seven months later, after months of the P.B.I.'s partisan activities in this Church, only eight, and they intense partisans of theirs, voted their disapproval of this discourse, while the vast majority of the Church voted its approval.] But now another thing, the Philadelphia Church are more responsible for this experience than you might think. They voted for Brother Johnson [terrible thing
for any Church to do without permission of the P.B.I.] to come and ignored the Committee here altogether. Why did they not deal with the Committee in the matter, if they wanted a Brother to come to Philadelphia? [!] Of course, I realize that it was done perhaps rather hastily, without really thinking. [!] Now, my dear Sister, if there is anything that I can help out, I will be only too glad to do it. Will go to Philadelphia next Sunday, if I could be of any service. Be sure and let me know, won't you, if there is any way in which I might offset the effect of what was done last Sunday. [!] So glad your faith is not shaken. [!] I am very confident that you and Brother are 'true blue'; yes, I fully understand your attitude on Brother Johnson and you are just right. I expect to see Brother Johnson next Saturday. Very much love to yourself and Brother. Num. 6: 24-26.
Yours faithfully in Christ, ISSAC F. HOSKINS."
And this letter was written respecting a fellow Committee member, and that, one whose account of the matter had not yet been heard. (!) According to this letter "the doctrinal clearing house" and "medium for providing pilgrims" would rebuke Churches for asking pilgrims to serve them without consulting the P.B.I.
(3) Under the subtle manipulation of I.F. Hoskins and H.C. Rockwell, as well as others, a certain elder who was then about two years in the Truth, and another elder who was then four and one-half years in the Truth, last spring felt themselves qualified to present each a resolution to a certain Board of Elders and one of them to the Church, intended to put a padlock on the mouths of R.G. Jolly and ourself, as far as the use of that Church's pulpit was concerned. Fortunately that Church as a whole had a sounder mind than the two above-mentioned committee members and a number of its elders.
(4) The Boston elders (who have a P.B.I. Board and Editorial Committee member among them, who
have the Committee's spirit, and who are among its staunch supporters) and deacons through their representative officially warned the Boston Church against The Present Truth.
(5) Various members of the P.B.I. Board and Editorial Committee, and of their pilgrim staff, by letters, some of which are in our possession, and by discourses, have warned individuals and Churches against us as a false teacher. This charge we deny, and ask them to prove it. [Subsequent teachings show that the accusers have themselves departed from the Truth, while the accused has maintained it.] To carry out their "doctrinal clearing house" proposition would keep a large staff of eavesdroppers and heresy baiters very busy, with like helpers scattered all over the world, even as the Papacy has found it necessary, in order to operate her kindred institution. In harmony with that Servant's will the Editorial Committee should censor what appears in The Herald Of The Kingdom. And every other servant of God should most conscientiously censor his own teachings, endeavoring to speak as the oracles of God, according to the proportion of faith (1 Pet. 4: 11; Rom. 12: 6). And each of us individually should (Jude 3) seek to keep the Church free from error. But, alas, that such good activities are not meant by the "doctrinal clearing house" that the P.B.I. desires is evident from the five above-mentioned facts. That Servant never stood for such a "doctrinal clearing house." The kind of "a doctrinal clearing house" that the P.B.I. arrogates to itself the right to establish is an exclusive function of our Lord! And his ways of making it work are in harmony and in connection with a proper testing of the Lord's people; i.e., through their coming individually in contact with and weighing error, overcome it through the Truth, which He gives the faithful, as the above passages prove; while the P.B.I.'s "doctrinal clearing house" proposition would treat God's saints
as babes and hot-house plants, exalt a hierarchy, develop priestcraft and heresy-hunting and heresy-baiting, form an inquisition, institute an Index Librorum Prohibitorum and Index Librorum Expurgatorum, enthrone a little Antichrist, palm off error, suppress the Truth, serve the Devil, hamper God's faithful servants, rob the Church of seasonal Truth, create for humans a debasing and impossible task, and set aside one of Jesus' exclusive functions. However, if any insist on having this "doctrinal clearing house," they may have it; for like likes like!
We now will quote and comment on the P.B.I.'s second reason for forming a corporation: "(2) To form a reliable (1) and responsible (2) depository of all funds contributed and required for the advancement of the work."
NOTE 1: Though we have been charged with insinuating that the P.B.I.'s Treasurer embezzled some of its funds, we desire to say that we have never done this; on the contrary, we do not believe that any member of the P.B.I. would be guilty of embezzling money; yet we are sad to have to say that its partial use of funds (which it solicited for furthering such forms of service as the bulk of the non-adherents of the Society thought to be the Lord's will to be established among them for their and not the public's help—see Committee's letter of Mar. 1, 1918, page 3, col. 1, par. 2 and page 4, par. 3), for different forms of service from what the bulk of the responses indicated, i.e., pilgrim service and a periodical—proves it not to be a reliable depository of funds. Almost no one asked for other forms of service than these. Therefore the Committee, according to its own letter, was limited to these two forms of service
for the saints alone.
It is well known that certain members of the old Committee agitated for a corporation with powers greater than the P.B.I. then had, for a public service and for a "smiting of the Jordan after the war." These
and other facts moved the Philadelphia Church to ask for the return of a certain proportion of its donations. As a Church it had contributed $540.45 for the furthering of the above-mentioned forms of service to the saints in response to the Committee's appeal for support of the service generally desired. The Committee's appeal for help is found in its letter of March 1, 1918, page 3, col. 2, pars. 2, 3, and is implied in question 4: "If you favor some general service, do you desire to co-operate to further the same?" in the question blank at the bottom of page 3, col. 1, and page 4, col. 2. This Church requested the return of its proportion of unexpended money on hand up to but not including the Asbury Park Convention. The P.B.I.'s report (Aug. 3, 1918) indicates receipts as $3,820.89; expenses as $1,711.81 and balance as $2,109.08. Adding to the balance the convention expenses, i.e., $416.59, we have a total of $2,555.67, and subtracting the $416.59 from the total receipts (for this sum was specifically donated for the convention expenses), and we have $3,404.30. As $540.45 are to $3,404.30, so its proportion of the money unexpended before the convention is to $2,555.67; i.e., $402.75. This sum the Philadelphia Church asked and still asks the Committee to return, because the Committee agitated just before and at the Asbury Park Convention, and in the article under review, using its money for purposes not specified by the bulk of the responses to its March 1, 1918, letter, i.e., for public work. A recent "Herald" shows that they are engaging in public work. The Committee (Oct. 23, 1918) refused to make this refund, claiming (1) that it did not change its purposes [it certainly did by the formation of a corporation with greatly changed powers and objects and in the sense of adding to them, as the article under review clearly proves]; (2) that it had not solicited any donation from that Church [its letter, containing the solicitation, was sent by it to practically every member of that
Church, which responded to the solicitation collectively as a Church]; (3) that the Committee had placed in its treasury such gifts only as were absolutely unconditional [its letter of request for support conditioned it to use the money for such purposes only as were indicated by the bulk of the responses received, hence the gifts were not unconditional]; (4) that it was following Pastor Russell's example in refusing to refund donations [apart from the specially conditional donations made to the Tract Fund, he a number of times returned money to those who, losing sympathy with him and his work, requested such return of contributions].
Others for the same reasons, have requested a return of the same proportion of their donations. For example, a sister in Philadelphia sent $300.00 individually to the Committee in response to its letter. They refused to grant her request; a sister in Illinois did the same thing, with the same result. For aught we know there may be other similar cases. These facts move us to say that, since the Committee solicited and received at its solicitation money for certain specified objects, and now insists on using this money for other objects with which some of the donors are not in harmony, and refuses their requests to return a just portion of their contributions, it cannot honestly be said that the P. B. I. is a reliable depository for money entrusted to it for expenditure on specified work. Human laws, whose help, however; the Philadelphia Church would not invoke, forbid a course like the P.B.I.'s. We are sure the Divine Law does the same. From the bottom of our heart we deplore the attitude of the P.B.I. and call upon it in the Lord's Name to change on this and many other matters its course, as discrediting the Lord, injuring the Church and casting doubts on its own integrity.
NOTE 2: A depository without economy and order in administration of money cannot be called responsible.