Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
power beyond these limitations and (2) their seeking to spread the impression that they have less power than the Directors of the W.T.B.&T.S. charter, while actually giving themselves, and arranging to exercise, more powers than the latter have. In the Aug. "Bulletin," p. 4, col. 1, they say that the Group advocated forming a membership corporation in which no one except the shareholders could control, "just as Brother Russell had organized the W.T.B.&T.S. on the same basis, with the understanding that the controllership would be in the hands of the shareholders, particularly after his death," and that R.H. Hirsh, R.G. Jolly and ourself immediately announced our opposition to such a plan. Nothing in "Harvest Siftings" is more misleading than the presentation of matters throughout the entire first column of page 4 of the August "Bulletin." Never was there any objection raised by the Group to the seven brothers controlling the work given them to do by the Fort Pitt Convention, though in evil surmising they repeatedly accused us of seeking to control the Committee and its work. Never did they or anyone else in the Committee advocate that the work be controlled by all the shareholders, an impossible thing; never did R.H. Hirsh, R.G. Jolly and ourself oppose such a proposition (because it was never presented; but speaking for ourself, we are frank to say that had it been presented we would have opposed it, as contrary to that Servant's arrangements). And never did that Servant arrange for the shareholders to control the Society's work after his death, is in Light After Darkness, p. 22, col. 2, next from last paragraph, some of the Group, quoting from his booklet, A Conspiracy Exposed, prove that the Directors were to exercise his controllership of the business and affairs of the Society after his death. The evident purpose of the Group throughout the column in question, to represent themselves as the defenders, and the other three
brothers as the despoilers of the liberty of the Church, is totally false to the facts of the case. The reverse is the case, as the friends are more and more learning. The article on the Object of an Organization, in the August "Bulletin," pp. 6 and 7, which we reviewed above, and the charter of their Institute, which we now are reviewing, ought to satisfy any reasonable person that it is the P.B.I. that plotted to subvert the liberty of the Church; and that because R.H. Hirsh, R.G. Jolly and ourself unalterably opposed them therein, they plotted and secured the overthrow of the Fort Pitt Convention Committee, in order to rid themselves of the three opposing members, first by a "political campaign," and then by pulling the wool over the eyes of the unwary sheep on the matter. But by the time this controversy is over the whole Church will know this to be the truth of the case. The politics of the P.B.I. reduplicates that of J.F.R. of the year before, and proves, sad to say, the propagandists of the P.B.I. to be like him in character He who treats the prospective Bride of Jesus as politicians do the public is in a most dangerous sin, personally offending Him.
(i) Their charter has put away the office of President and Vice-President, as provided in that Servant's charter, and has substituted a Chairman and a Vice-Chairman. Of course, a Chairman and a Vice-Chairman have less power than a President and a Vice President; and accordingly the other five members of the Board have more power than they would have, if they had a President and Vice-President with the proper powers of the corresponding Society officers. Two of the powers that the Society President has they have withheld from their Chairman, both of which powers would be advantageous for the work, if had by the Chairman: (1) countersigning the certificates of membership, (2) appointing a director to a vacant directorship until the next annual election, if the Board fails to elect one within thirty days after the vacancy
occurs. By depriving their Chairman of the former power they open the door to abuses on the part of an untrustworthy Secretary; and by depriving him of the second power they increase their own power.
(j) Whereas that Servant's charter makes one person both Secretary and Treasurer, the P.B.I. charter makes two persons fill these offices. It is in many ways advantageous for the one person to fill both these offices, provided that he is competent, and no other should be elected. Perhaps the exposures of I.F. Hoskins' incompetency may have caused the P.B.I. to remove him from the Treasureship. Of course, we do not expect them to acknowledge this any more than F.H. McGee would acknowledge in his Brief Review that to R.H. Hirsh and ourself he severely censured H.C. Rockwell and I.F. Hoskins for publicly attacking us, and that by name, before the Asbury Park Convention. Rather by using ambiguous terms, he gave the impression that he approved their course in that part of the Brief Review where he answered our charge that the majority of the Old Committee, himself and R.H. Hirsh, R.G. Jolly and ourself, disapproved of the course of H.C. Rockwell and I.F. Hoskins in foisting the committee troubles on the convention; and by representing us as charging that the New Committee was in disharmony, and then denied the charge!
(k) Whereas that Servant's charter arranged for the Directors to hold office for life, subject to dismissal by two-thirds votes of the shareholders, the P.B.I.'s charter arranges for their election annually. On this point please see Vol. VI, Chap. I. By this change the P.B.I. show their character kinship to J.F.R., the champion Revolutionist among God's people, and their insincerity in waging a world-wide fight against him for his revolutionism, on the ground that he was violating the Divine arrangements in the charter and will by his course in this very particular. It is our
opinion that only blind and prejudiced partisans and undiscerning innocents can believe them sincere, after what they have done in altering the charter under the circumstances.
(l) Whereas that Servant's charter made it possible at any time to remove incompetent or unfaithful Directors by two-thirds of the voting shares, the P.B.I.'s charter omits this provision. Thereby it effects two evils: (1) it takes a useful power away from the voting members and (2) it secures to the Directors more power and protection, which they may be expected in self-interest to abuse, if "past events cast their shadows before."
(m) As they have decreased the powers of their Chairman so have they increased the powers of their Secretary as such, making him alone the actor in signing certificates of membership, which power can easily be misused by an intriguing Secretary.
(n) Whereas that Servant's charter gives the shareholders the power to elect the officers of the corporation, the P.B.I.'s charter takes away this power from its members, and by lodging this power with the Directors gives them a power that that Servant's charter does not give the W.T.B.&T.S. Directors. This is another case of grasping for power on the part of the P.B.I. This particular change is to the disadvantage of the other members of the corporation, because it makes the officers dependent on the Board, and not on the voting members. This fact will lead men of the spirit of the P.B.I. Board to stand by the Board as against the other members of the corporation in a clash of interests, as they would know that the opposite course would cost them their official heads, and like years ago would likely result in a "political campaign," causing them to lose their place on the Board altogether. As that Servant arranged matters, "playing politics" would have been quite restrictable; the brethren in general would have been
spared much agitation; and faithful Directors would have become more and more efficient by years of experience, undisturbed by keeping one eye on the next annual election; while incompetent or unfaithful Directors could at any time on proof of incompetency or unfaithfulness be dismissed by two-thirds of the voting shares. On the other hand, by the Board's by-laws and vigilance, as that Servant arranged matters, the Directors could prevent ambitious officers elected by the corporation's members, gaining unauthorized powers, etc.
We could point out other evils in the omissions, additions and material changes of the P.B.I.'s charter, but the fourteen given above, being the most important and flagrant, are enough to prove our proposition that the P.B.I. are in truth revolutionists against that Servant's arrangements, charter and will; and that this particular form of revolutionism, in view of their published claims on the Divine origin and obligatoriness of that Servant's charter, makes them forfeit our belief in their sincerity, and our support of their leadership.
We feel that in addition to their violation of the will by their charter depriving a Sister's Committee (if they elect one at all) of the amount of power that that Servant's will arranged that it should have, we ought to mention that in announcing in the Feb. 1, 1919, P.B.I. Herald that the first article, "Perilous Times at Hand," was written by that Servant, they violated that injunction of his will that forbade indicating his authorship of any future publication of his writings with those of the editors. The Present Truth, beginning with No. 3, has generally in each issue published an article from that Servant's pen; and while that provision of his will applies to those papers only that are issued by controlling corporations, and therefore does not apply to an individually controlled paper
like The Present Truth, yet we respect the spirit of his will by not indicating his articles as such.
We ought to say that, contrary to the P.B.I. Herald announcement, that Servant did not write that article in 1910, nor as a forecast of events particularly coming after 1910, as the "Herald" affirms, for the article in question was published in the Sept., 1891, "Tower" word for word as it is published in the Dec. 15, 1910, "Tower" and quoted in the Feb. 1, 1919, "Herald," except in the last two papers a clause of four lines occurring in the 1891 "Tower" is omitted. Its publication in 1891 at the opening of the call, and just before the sifting of the sixth hour (Matt. 20: 5; 1 Cor. 10: 8-11), was providentially directed to warn God's children against the Second-death sifters of that hour (1891-1894), of the ninth hour (1901-1904) and of the eleventh hour (1908-1911); and its publication at the ending of the eleventh-hour sifting was providentially intended to warn against the last of the Second-death sifters and the future Great Company sifters (2 Tim. 3: 8). Jannes means "he deceives," and represents the Parousia Second-death sifters who spoke, and taught, as Satan's mouthpiece, anti-ransom and anti-sin-offering, etc., doctrines against our Lord teaching the Parousia Truth through His people, just as Jannes at Pharaoh's command withstood Moses speaking through Aaron. Jambres means "he revolts." Jambres represents the Epiphany sifters who mislead as revolutionists the Great Company, speaking and acting against God's teachings and arrangements given through that Servant, and thus acting as Satan's mouthpiece to withstand Christ speaking through His people the Parousia and Epiphany Truth, and defending that Servant's arrangements for controlling corporations. While the type represents Jannes and Jambres acting on the same occasion, we are not to understand this, as we are not to understand the like cases of Nadab and Abihu, to mean that in the antitype
the two classes would work together in time. The antitypical Jannes does his anti-ransom and anti-sin-offering, etc., speaking first; and then the antitypical Jambres does his revolutionistic speaking and acting later, i.e., during and since 1917, as in the cases of the antitypical Nadab and Abihu. The article, "Perilous Times at Hand," strikes the Society and the Institute leaders squarely in the eyes, and makes them see imaginary "wandering stars." A clearer description of their wrong-doings is difficult to imagine than St. Paul gives in 2 Tim. 3: 1-8 and that Servant gives in "Perilous Times at Hand," and in Z 1899, pages 99-104. Of course, we are perfectly aware of the fact that they published it against us, just as the Second death sifters applied to that Servant passages that described them. We know that they meant to point us out by the article, because Dr. S. N. Wiley, one of the "Herald" editors, told the Philadelphia Church, Nov. 17, 1918, when he tried to read this article to the Church, that it applied to us, asking the brethren to read it as against us.
We ought to announce to the general Church that for gross defiance of various of its resolutions the Philadelphia Church, by a vote of 92 to 9, dismissed Dr. S. N. Wiley and two other like-acting elders from its elderate, and not because of what they misrepresent in the general letter that they are widely circulating, as a part of the underhanded, whispering and misleading campaign of the P.B.I. against us. Instead of an underhanded campaign why do they not "be manly," as their year's motto says, and come out openly against us in the "Herald"? Let them publish truth, not their misrepresentations and evil surmises about our official conduct, if they know any to our disparagement.
Hitherto we have described the revolutionism of the P.B.I. clericalists against that Servant's charter and will arrangements for conducting the general work. Additionally they have been active in attempting to
usurp and in actually usurping the rights of various local congregations and causing divisions in many churches. It was the attempt to grasp for power and to lord it over God's heritage in the London Tabernacle on the part of H.J. Shearn and W. Crawford (who deceived nine other elders into believing that that Servant wanted the Tabernacle arrangements changed, and thus secured their support) that precipitated the trouble in England. J.F.R. manipulated through the Brooklyn and New York Ecclesias (before, but in anticipation of his election to the Presidency of the Society) resolutions that he drafted and that gave him more power therein than that Servant had. The whole Church knows something of his divisional work to get the support of the various Churches for himself as the Society. We are now witnessing a similar course on the part of the P.B.I. We will give an account of its interfering with the affairs of the Philadelphia Church as an illustration of some of its activities elsewhere. We want to suggest to the Churches everywhere to stand fast in the liberty that the Lord gives each Church and not to become entangled in the web of the P.B.I.'s weaving.
Above we quoted a letter that I.F. Hoskins wrote to a sister of the Philadelphia Church. A just and capable Secretary would have followed that Servant's arrangements and defended instead of blaming the accused pilgrim. At the same time he wrote a similar letter to another sister whose husband announced some of its (to us) disparaging contents in a Berean meeting. Surely he should have waited for the Church through its Secretary to enter a complaint, if one were to be entered, before he acted. Unfortunately for himself and themselves, he had certain partisan friends in this Church, who, as spies, misinformed him on various matters, and thereby made trouble not only for the Evil Servant Sermon, but also over the Passover date of 1918. In the Spring of 1918
F.H. McGee and I.L. Margeson visited Philadelphia and learned that Dr. S. N. Wiley disfavored us; and the latter professed not to have understood at the time (though he admitted to have understood later), what the drift of their remarks against us was. In April H.C. Rockwell visited Philadelphia, and on three points so preached as to impress a number of the Philadelphia friends, some of whom knew nothing of the Committee's differences, that he was warning the Church against us. Later to the Committee he disclaimed such intentions. In June, I.F. Hoskins came to Philadelphia preaching, as elsewhere, and that in our hearing, against those who he said were giving "fanciful interpretations and wild speculations." Privately he named us among them, but he also before the Committee disclaimed meaning us, though later admitting that he did mean us. A little later he by busybodying interfered directly with an appointment that we as an elder of the Philadelphia Church had to preach to that Church, July 7. The Group's stand and propaganda in this Church had made some of its supporters, especially three elders, evident and growing opponents of us, and encouraged them as such. Repeatedly we cautioned (I.F. Hoskins in particular) against this course, but apparently to no effect. One of his sister-favorites here knew before the convention what we did not know; i.e., that there was to be a rehearsal of the Committee's troubles at Asbury Park, and therefore sought to induce others to go to the convention and support her side, i.e., the Group.
All this time we were silent on the trouble. Though we knew for several months of their "political campaign" against us, it was not until the Asbury Park Convention, after the Group made their "political campaign" against R.H. Hirsh, R.G. Jolly and ourself more open by public attacks, even mentioning our names, that we spoke of the situation and that in defense of ourself against the Group's attacks. A
week afterward we told a few of the evils in the Committee for the information of those of the Philadelphia congregation who had not been at Asbury Park, but who meantime heard of the Committee's differences. One of the P.B.I.'s talebearers in the Philadelphia Church quickly misinformed its Secretary as to what we said and at a P.B.I. meeting a resolution based on this misinformation was passed and sent to the Philadelphia Church, accompanied by the Secretary's request, approved by the P.B.I., that he be given an opportunity to disprove some alleged misrepresentations that R.G. Jolly and ourself were said to be spreading against the P.B.I. in the Church. The request was granted for Aug. 25. Aug. 18 the Church decided that we should answer him, having as long a time for our answers as he had for his statements, and that then any member of the Ecclesia might ask either of the two speakers two questions, the brother being asked the questions answering first, the other answering afterward. This fair arrangement the P.B.I. sharply resented; yet five of them, with supporting elders from several Churches, were present Aug. 25 to prove to the Philadelphia Church that R.G. Jolly and ourself were misrepresenters of the P.B.I. But alas for them! The facts were all against them. Repeatedly I.F. Hoskins was proven to be the misrepresenter and everyone of our statements then discussed was proven true, in several cases even by his own supporters. The P.B.I. members, in addition to I.F. Hoskins, wanted the privilege of making speeches, and even of making motions! They complained when they were not at once given the first, and throughout were denied the second liberty. Then they tried through one of their partisan Philadelphia elders to have the motion to invite us to call the Mizpah Convention rescinded, but this attempt also came to grief. The P.B.I. members in both sessions of the debate were given the same privilege as the Philadelphia
Church members, i.e., to ask two questions, but not to vote or make motions as they desired. The reason why they were, apart from I.F. Hoskins, refused the privilege of making speeches in the first session of the debate on Aug. 25 was because, at their request I.F. Hoskins was their mouthpiece, while we were the mouthpiece of the other side; and it was not thought fair to let one side have more speakers than the other. Alas! that brethren trying to fasten themselves upon the Church of God as a doctrinal clearing house should so conduct themselves, officially, and at the same time attempt to violate well-established order by insisting upon making motions in a Church where they were for the day merely guests. In the second session, after one address each by I.F. Hoskins and ourself, F.H. McGee and I.L. Margeson for the P.B.I., and R.H. Hirsh and R.G. Jolly for the other side, made fifteen-minute addresses. Then I.F. Hoskins and ourself closed the discussion. We believe that the P.B.I., making as complete a failure of their case before the Philadelphia Church on that occasion as J.F.R. did on a similar occasion a year before, like him learned to avoid debates with the so-called "opposition"; for they have ever since acted out the "avoid them" policy; e.g., they would have nothing to do with the Mizpah or the Hebron Conventions, which were called especially to discuss the P. B.I., nor with other meetings for the same purpose, as a letter quoted below proves.
Their talebearers and supporters were on hand at these conventions, as well as before each of them in congregational meetings, to serve the P.B.I. against the almost unanimous votes of the Philadelphia Church, seeking to block every motion and then, when passed, to make inoperative every resolution calculated to bring about an adjustment of matters. The same is true of their conduct during the four sessions of the Investigating and Curative Committee's activity in the
Philadelphia Church; and in all this they were acting in the interests of, and in co-operation with the P.B.I. Of course, the Philadelphia Church knew that these three elders with their supporters were working for the P.B.I. as against the congregation, whose elders they were. All these things were longsufferingly borne by all the rest of the elders and Church, until the Church in almost its entirety felt that these elders forfeited the trust that the Church gave them; and therefore it declared their office vacant, Jan. 5, 1919. Now they claim that they should have had a trial. Their course was so violative of repeated motions to the contrary after they were passed that their misconduct, recognized as such by almost the whole Church, made the Church feel that they were unfit to be elders any longer in its midst. The Church gave them the same kind of a trial before it dismissed them as it did before it elected them; a watching of their conduct as it saw it, and an acting in harmony with what it observed; nor can they justly claim any other kind of a trial for dismissal from eldership. Next, in co-operation with "headquarters," they formed another Church, holding a meeting for this purpose a week after they ceased to be elders.
Now some of their supporters are spreading the false report that they were put out of the Philadelphia Church; and they are seeking to work mainly on those who did not attend the meetings very regularly with this and other misrepresentations to induce them to leave the Church and join them. They, numbering about twenty, now claim that they are the original Philadelphia Church! And they then addressed the Church of 150 members from which they withdrew as separating from THEM! We wish them the Lord's blessing. We trust that they and their brethren will win all the other Great Company members of their kind that there may yet be in this city, inside and outside the Philadelphia Church, and get as great a
blessing as they can receive in their separation; for we feel that the Lord has separated them from His faithful people in the Philadelphia Church. They and the P.B.I., whom they claimed to represent, and whose spirit they have, sought in the Philadelphia Church to do with us what the P.B.I. sought to do with us before the general Church, ruin us in our reputation and usefulness. But here they failed. They will succeed eventually with their brethren of the Great Company only. They frankly acknowledge in their circular letter that they want to be under the seven brothers of the P.B.I. Board members. They may have this little pope's over lordship! The Philadelphia Church wants none of it, and none of any other lordship except that of Jesus our Lord. Throughout this conflict these divisionists acted as the acknowledged supporters and representatives of the P.B.I., from whom they received aid and comfort.
The P.B.I. sent a special delivery letter to the Philadelphia Church, Dec. 28, a week after the Hebron Convention, in response to three resolutions for a discussion of differences at that Convention, giving its idea of how peace could be made. The letter, we regret to say, is as patronizing, impudent, arrogant, insincere and misleading as a papal bull. It is as follows:
DEAR BRETHREN: At a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Pastoral Bible Institute, held Dec. 28, the two resolutions recently passed by the Philadelphia Church were considered, inviting the members of this Institution to attend the meetings [they would not call it a Convention!] held in Philadelphia, Dec. 20-22—one of the objects being to engage in a conference with that Church, looking in the direction of establishing harmonious relations between that body of people and the Pastoral Bible Institute. We would briefly explain that prior to this meeting of the Board of Directors, the resolutions could not be acted upon by the Secretary alone, nor even by certain other individual members of the Board of Directors active, without
a conference at a properly convened meeting; and there was not sufficient time and opportunity for such meeting between the time the resolutions were received and the date of the Philadelphia meeting. [They had from December 10th to December 20th, when the Convention met; sufficient time for real peace lovers.] The Pastoral Bible Institute desires to state that it sincerely appreciates the attitude of the Philadelphia Church in recognizing that there are serious difficulties in its midst, and that it realizes that the present situation in which that Church finds itself, practically separated from the Church at large [?], is an exceedingly unhappy one. We appreciate sincerely the fact, too, that the Philadelphia Church is anxiously looking for some remedy for the present unfortunate situation, and that the Pastoral Bible Institute is appealed to for assistance in this connection. We assure the friends of the Philadelphia Ecclesia that our attitude can be none other than that of an earnest desire to do all in our power to establish harmony between that Church and the Church at large. Kindly permit us to say, however, as bearing upon the subject, that so far as the Pastoral Bible Institute is concerned, there exists no unbrotherly feeling, no inharmony, no grievances toward the Philadelphia Church; nor has our Institute ever taken any action or passed any resolutions disfellowshiping the Philadelphia Church in any sense or even looking in the direction of any disturbed conditions. The whole difficulty is within the borders of that Congregation. Practically all the other Ecclesias are laboring together harmoniously with the Pastoral Bible Institute. Will the Philadelphia Church therefore permit us to touch on the heart of the difficulty, viz.: that for the past six months a majority of that Congregation seem to have endorsed the forced grievances, charges and resolutions which originated with the three brethren formerly members of this Committee, against the Pastoral Bible Institute. These grievances, charges and resolutions have caused the Philadelphia Church to sever its connections with the Pastoral Bible Institute, as well as with the Church at large. [?] So long as these three brethren are encouraged and upheld by the Philadelphia Church in this policy of propagating their grievances, and spreading contention and strife, the Pastoral Bible Institute believes
that nothing could be accomplished by a conference with that Church. This fact has already been demonstrated at the conference held there August 25th, when members of our Institute endeavored to enlighten that Congregation with regard to the real status of affairs, but were not permitted to do so [?], largely due to failure on the part of the Philadelphia Church to understand how to properly and effectively bring out the truth on the subjects discussed [?], whereby a great deal of matter was stated to be facts which was impossible to correct, and reply to, and thus enlighten the friends. [?] Finally, we ask the Philadelphia Church to permit us to suggest what we believe to be the only remedy, viz.: an emphatic renouncement and repudiation on the part of the Philadelphia Church of these aforesaid grievances, charges and resolutions which have caused the separation. This procedure on the part of that Congregation will solve the entire problem, and there will then exist full harmony between the Philadelphia Ecclesia and our Institute, and, in fact, with the Church at large. Until this important step is taken by that Congregation there can be no grounds for harmony, and we consider further discussion unprofitable, because until then, there is no common basis for a harmonious understanding. In the meantime, the Pastoral Bible Institute stands ready and willing to assist and minister to any of the Lord's people in Philadelphia as may be desired. [To gratify which they encouraged a division.] Assuring you of our hearty good wishes and prayers that the spirit of the Lord may guide and direct to bring about the desired end, we are
Your brethren and servants in Christ,
[Signed] PASTORAL BIBLE INSTITUTE.
The impression that this letter made on the Church, which knew the conditions very thoroughly, can better be imagined than described. The first thought of the Church was to ignore if as unworthy of further consideration; then it was thought that for the sake of principle and as a matter of record to answer the main points only of the letter. The answer, made in the form of a resolution that one of the Philadelphia
Elders was commissioned to draft and was adopted by a vote of 89 to 7, is as follows:
Whereas, The Board of the P.B.I. (after deliberating Dec. 28 on two resolutions from the Philadelphia Church and one from the Hebron Convention, inviting the P.B.I. to attend said Convention to set itself right before the entire Church as well as the Philadelphia Church, and to seek ways and means to heal the breach in the Church at large) in a properly called meeting ordered on the same date to be sent to the Philadelphia Church a letter in which the positions assumed by the P.B.I. seem to be partly out of harmony with, and partly inapplicable to, the facts of the situation; and
Whereas, The Philadelphia Church feels that, both as a matter of principle, and as a matter of record, it is necessary for it to express in the form of certain statements the main grounds and features of its dissent from the main positions of the said letter; be it herewith
Resolved, That the said Church expresses its said dissent in the following statements:
1. The Hebron Convention and the Philadelphia Church did not invite, nor does the Philadelphia Church desire the P.B.I. to assist it in adjusting any of its internal affairs, which it believes itself, by the Lord's Spirit, Word and Providence in Christ, able to solve without uninvited assistance or interference from outside persons or bodies; but the said Convention and Church by the said three resolutions did invite the P.B.I. to attend the Hebron Convention to set itself right before the entire Church, and especially the Philadelphia Church, as an indispensable step preparatory to its negotiating with the P.B.I. for the said Ecclesia's co-operation, which it understood the P.B.I. 's Providence Convention appointed a Committee to secure.
2. The Philadelphia Ecclesia denies that there are serious difficulties in its midst; but believes that the difficulties that do exist there have been largely caused by the P.B.I.'s past course, and its influence over a small minority of the Philadelphia Church, which small minority is as partisan to the P.B.I. as ardent Society supporters are to "the Channel."
3. The Philadelphia Church denies that the underlying
assumption of the P.B.I.'s position in its said letter, i.e., that it speaks and acts for "the Church at large"—is true; denies that it is out of harmony with "the Church at large"; denies that it is by any means the only Church dissatisfied with the course of the P.B.I. and denies that the P.B.I. would be a proper body to heal a breach of peace between the Philadelphia Church and "the Church at large," if such a breach existed; but said Church does recognize that it is out of harmony with the P.B.I. and its staunch supporters, which disharmony the said Church on its part stands ready, and has sought, to end, in harmony with that "wisdom that cometh from above" (Jas. 3: 17).
4. Neither the Philadelphia Church collectively, nor its members individually, have withdrawn either priestly or brotherly fellowship from the P.B.I. and its supporters, a thing which it and they hope may not be necessary; rather pending the P.B.I. clearing itself from the grave charges against it, for which, to put it mildly, there seem to be weighty grounds, the Philadelphia Church has withheld and still withholds its support, asked and still asks the return of a certain proportion of its donations, and declined and still declines to receive pilgrim appointments from the P.B.I.
5. While open to conviction to a contrary view, under demonstration from Scripture, Reason and the History of the case, the Philadelphia Church up to the present has not seen that the three former Committee members, who are Elders in its midst, have personal feelings in the matters at controversy between them and the P.B.I.; nor that they have presented to said Church any "FORCED grievances, charges and resolutions"; but that, so far as said Church is able to judge from the Scripture, Reason and the History of the case, these three former Committee brothers seem to have real grounds for charging four members of the Fort Pitt Convention Committee and all the members of the Asbury Park Convention Committee with what seems to be wrong-doings, some of which seem to be of a serious character. Without expressing any positive judgment on the matters at controversy, the Philadelphia Church feels that it ought to say that, if the P.B.I. has Scripture, Reason and History to disprove these seemingly well grounded charges; instead of seemingly avoiding
a frank and public discussion of these matters that affect the whole Church in general and the Philadelphia Church in particular, the P.B.I. as brothers who should "seek peace and ensue it," ought gladly to give welcome to, and not seemingly seek avoidance of, such a discussion, which seeming avoidance, recalls to mind J.F.R.'s similar course of last year (objected to by all the members of the P.B.I.), and which seeming avoidance, if persisted in by the P.B.I. will as firmly make the same impression as his course of last year made upon the mind of the Philadelphia Church. But if at any time the P.B.I. recedes from its present attitude on the said discussion, the Philadelphia Church will be ready to co-operate, as indicated by its two previous resolutions and by the additional resolution of the Hebron Convention of December 21st, all three of which resolutions were caused to be brought to the attention of the P.B.I.
6. The Philadelphia Church feels that it must express its dissent from the statements respecting matters of fact and respecting the criticism of the Philadelphia Church as contained in the P.B.I.'s letter of Dec. 28 on the discussion of Aug. 25, which was held in its presence, between the three former members of the Fort Pitt Convention Committee and three of the other four members of the said Committee, reminding the P.B.I. that it early in August charged by letter that Bros. Jolly and Johnson were misrepresenting the P.B.I. to the Philadelphia Church; that the P.B.I.'s Secretary with its approval requested of the Philadelphia Church an opportunity to correct the alleged misrepresentations, and to set forth the facts in their alleged true light; that as charges of the above-mentioned brothers as misrepresentors, the P.B.I. and its Secretary put themselves in the place of the accusers, and these brothers in the place of the accused, with the consequent propriety for the latter by their mouthpiece speaking last in answer; that the P.B.I.'s Secretary was sent a letter by the Philadelphia Church's Secretary, Aug. 20, to this effect; that the P.B.I. Secretary and two others of its members and not a few of its supporters replied to all of Bro. Johnson's addresses except his last, in which the latter confined himself exclusively to answering statements made in the addresses of
P.B.I. officials and supporters; that when Bros. Hoskins and Johnson answered questions propounded by their hearers, the former spoke last on at least as many questions as the latter, and used more time than the latter both in the addresses and in the answers to questions, and was not interrupted in his addresses to the consuming of his time so much as was the latter, that the collapse of the P.B.I.'s points and vindication of the other brother's points, so far as the issues in controversy were discussed Aug. 25, seemed to be as complete as the collapse of J.F.R.'s and his supporters' points and the vindication of the four ousted Directors' and their supporters' points were at a similar discussion held before the Philadelphia Church July 19, 1917; and that the seeming weakness of the P.B.I.'s cause, and the seeming strength of the former Committee members' cause has given the Philadelphia Church strong doubts as to the merits of the P.B.I.'s cause, which doubts the subsequent course of the P.B.I. to put it mildly, has by no means weakened.
7. The Philadelphia Church can see neither Wisdom, Justice nor Love in the remedy that the P.B.I. suggests in its letter of Dec. 28 for the present disturbed conditions. Rather, such a course as the P.B.I. suggests as a remedy would seem to misrepresent past and present, and to open the flood gates to future evils.
In conclusion, the Philadelphia Church must express its disapproval of, and regret at, the general positions of the P.B.I. 's letter of Dec. 28, with almost every sentence of which it finds itself in disagreement, its hope that wiser counsels than those contained in said letter may yet prevail, its readiness to co-operate in efforts for a peace preceded by a frank public discussion of the activities of the Fort Pitt and Asbury Park Conventions' Committees, with a righting of proven wrongs by whomsoever committed, and the assurance of its hearty good wishes and prayers that the Spirit of the Lord may guide and direct to bring about the Lord's good pleasure in this controversy.
THE PHILADELPHIA ECCLESIA.
Given at Philadelphia, Jan. 5, 1919.
Jan. 10, 1919, the P.B.I. acknowledged receipt of this resolution and accompanying letter, and promised to consider it; but to date no further communication
from it has been received by the Philadelphia Church. But H.C. Rockwell by P.B.I. appointment preached to the then organized P.B.I. Class here, that for months it had sought to separate from the Philadelphia Church. The fruit of its divisional labors has not proven large. We sincerely trust that they will get every antitypical Shimite Gershonite Levite member that may yet be in the Philadelphia Church, and that with their Mahlite brethren of the Society's Philadelphia Church get thousands of antitypical Gershonite and Merarite Levites from "Great Babylon." God bless them richly in this work! We believe that it is properly theirs. Therefore, with a sincere and loving heart we pray God's blessing upon it as such.
A third form that clericalism assumes is: Local elders individually and collectively grasping for power and lording it over God's heritage in local Ecclesias. The sifting above described worked along this line of revolutionism against the Lord's arrangements as interpreted by that Servant; e.g., in the chapters of Studies, Vol. VI, on Order and Discipline, etc. The Lord, through one of the last messages of that Servant, warned the Church against these Nicolaitanes, in Z 1916, p. 327, "The Hour of Temptation." We suggest that the brethren read that article as especially illuminating the course of the revolutionistic Nicolaitanes in the local Ecclesias. In our world-wide conflict with them, we had special battles with them in the London Tabernacle, Brooklyn Tabernacle and the Philadelphia Church. At the first meeting that we had with the Philadelphia elders we had to oppose the three elders' Nicolaitanism, which increased their opposition to us, already aroused in part by the P.B.I. We stand and have stood for Ecclesiaism, i.e., the right of the churches to control under Christ their own affairs, as against Clericalism. In defense of Ecclesiaism we are waging a world-wide battle as against Clericalism among the Truth people, nor will we cease from this