Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
had to be accepted by the churches and individuals on pain of anathema. And such so-called ecumenical councils were held to be infallible in their decrees. The unity of the Church was supposed to lodge in the bishops who, assembled in an ecumenical council, spoke infallibly in successorship of the Apostles as God's direct mouthpiece and as for the universal Church. Thus was the apostolic independence of the local ecclesias destroyed, and in the place of the original spiritual unity of the general Church, based on the one spirit, hope, mission, Lord, faith, baptism and God, there was substituted an external union, based on an episcopate of alleged apostolic succession.
(33) So far we have traced the apostacy in church government unto its development into an episcopate in supposed apostolic succession over the elders; into an elderate and episcopate as a priesthood ruling over the churches, consisting of counterfeit antitypical Levites and Israelites; into the subordination of the local churches to an external organization in which the churches were parts; and into the bishops in councils assembled, dogmatizing and legislating for district, provincial, pluro-provincial and world-wide churches. But this is not all. A further part of the misdevelopment under study was the rise of diocesan bishops. This came about in a rather natural way, supposedly necessitated by a proper subjection of daughter churches to their mother churches. At first somewhat like nominal-church pastors of our day each of the supposed apostolic bishops had charge of but one church, which, in a large city, usually had one meeting place for the main services and subordinate meeting places for the less important services. E.g., Cyprian, as bishop of Carthage, had but one central church for the whole congregation, where it met for the main services; but for less important services there were chapels in various parts of the city, wherein his presbyters by his and the congregation's appointment led
various meetings, just as we have various meetings in our larger churches. Thus the Philadelphia Church has three prayer meetings in various sections of the city, as it also has various study meetings in different parts of the city. But Sundays all assemble in a central meeting place. From this we see that before the diocesan bishop appeared, the bishop was somewhat like the pastor of a city church, with or without branch churches, who had several assistant pastors under him.
(34) But the diocesan bishop was a step further on in the apostacy from that which brought in the ecclesial bishop. It arose as follows: The brethren of a city church would evangelize the surrounding country, including towns, villages, etc. In the churches thus formed the presbyters of the city church under the direction and appointment of the city bishop would minister as elders, and by and by as each of these new churches would become larger, one of the ministering presbyters from the city church would be chosen by the new church as a sort of an assistant bishop (chore-piscopos, country bishop), subordinate to the city bishop. Thus in time these assistant bishoprics would increase and an ecclesiastical district would develop, all of whose assistant bishops were under the direction of the city bishop. All these churches under the city bishop would thus come to constitute a diocese, and the bishop over these churches was thus a diocesan bishop. Following 325 A. D. the country bishops lost their position as such and became the pastors (priests) of the churches where they ministered under the rulership of the diocesan bishop.
(35) The next stage of the apostasy in organization was the creation of metropolitans, the bishops of the provincial capital cities who claimed and exercised authority over the diocesan bishops. Such metropolitans came into existence sometime before, but were not called such until at the Nicean Council, 325 A. D. To them was granted the right to call and preside over
provincial synods and to appoint and to ordain the bishops of their provinces. Thus each metropolitan had as his sphere of authority an entire province and was over all diocesan bishops of that province, e.g., the metropolitan of Alexandria was over all the diocesan bishops of Egypt, who functioned under him.
(36) Late in the reign of Constantine the Great, the Roman Empire was divided into four prefectures, and later another was formed of Palestine and Arabia. The metropolitans of the five capitals of these prefectures were given the title of patriarch (chief father, formerly the title of any bishop). At first there were but three of these, the bishops of Rome, Antioch and Alexandria, as residence places of Apostles (apostolic seats). These were given these titles at the Council of Nice in 325, before Constantine formed the four prefectures. The Roman bishop refusing to have a title in common with others, declined the title and appropriated as exclusively his the title, pope (papa, father), which formerly was the title of every bishop. In 381 A. D., at the ecumenical Council of Constantinople, the bishop of Constantinople (because, as the new capital of the Roman Empire, it was called New Rome) was added as the fourth of these patriarchs, taking second rank among them, immediately following the bishop of Rome in rank. Just after the Council of Ephesus, 431 A. D., the bishop of Jerusalem as having an apostolic seat, was added as the fifth of these patriarchs. The Saracen conquests destroyed the patriarchate at Jerusalem in 637 A. D., that of Antioch in 638 A. D. and that at Alexandria in 640 A. D. The patriarch was over all the metropolitans and bishops of the respective prefecture in his part of the Roman Empire, exercising supreme authority there, and at the head of his patriarchal synod decided all the affairs of the churches of the pertinent prefecture. Some of the metropolitans however, e.g., those of Salamis, Milan, Aquileia and Ravenna were independent of the patriarchs.
(37) Onward from the Council of Chalcedon, 451 A. D., the patriarch of Constantinople (New Rome) was constantly in controversy with the bishop of (old) Rome for equality. But the principles as to primacy already then accepted, Old Rome's greater prestige, the pope's distance from the intrigues at the Court of the Emperor in New Rome, the decline of the Empire dating from shortly after the beginning of New Rome, the West's refusal to recognize the Contantinopolitan patriarch's claim, the fact that Constantinople was actually not an apostolic seat, the prestige of Rome as being looked upon as having the Church where Sts. Paul and Peter had lived, worked, suffered and were buried, Rome's being considered as having been the see of St. Peter, reputedly the chief of the Apostles, with the Roman bishop as his successor, the favor of the emperors of the West, whose needs made the powerful pope very influential with them, his almost unfailing so-called orthodoxy contrasted with the frequent heresies of his rival, the wanderings of the nations, the sufferings entailed on the West as their consequences, which were relieved greatly by the pope's practical ability, the unity and comparative tranquility of the Western Church contrasted with the distracting controversies and divisions in the Eastern Church, the controversialists frequently requesting the mediating activity of the pope, the eventual triumph of the parties favored by the pope in these controversies, the circumstances of the times, the popes always holding the fruits of their victories and conditions as pawns in the game that was being played, and the strict hierarchial party finding the pope an unfailing rallying point as seated in St. Peter's chair—are reasons that combined to defeat the ambition of the Constantinopolitan patriarch and to favor that of the pope, who therefore early in the sixth century was legally recognized as "the head of all the holy churches of God."
(38) Toward this headship step by step the pope
had advanced in ecclesiastical power for several centuries until late in the fifth and early in the sixth century he was everywhere by the State acknowledged as head of the Church. In 539 A. D. he could begin to exercise, first faintly and gradually more markedly, civil power along with supreme ecclesiastic power. In 799 A. D. he had so much political power that he could begin the counterfeit Millennial reign. Both phases of his power increasing, in Gregory VII (1073-1085) he could claim supremacy in State as well as in Church, in Innocent III (1198-1216) could actualize supremacy in State throughout Christendom, and in Pius IX (1870) could dictate through a so-called ecumenical council his absolute authority in Church and his infallibility when speaking officially as universal teacher of the Church. Thus the apostacy on organization reached its supreme climax, but it has also suffered a most humiliating eclipse in civil power, and through the reformation, first by individuals and then by sects, experienced a real limitation, as far as universality is concerned, in religious power.
(39) Throughout this whole exhibition of power-grasping and lording it over God's heritage, there runs an irony of retribution that is a partial punishment for the wrongs committed. The power-grasping and lording elders were punished by getting a bishop to lord it over them. The power-grasping and lording bishops were scourged by receiving the metropolitans or archbishops to tyrannize over them. These power-grasping and lording metropolitans had to accept the patriarchs, and later the cardinals, who were first constituted as such by Pope Nicholas II in 1059, to trample upon them. These power-grasping and lording patriarchs and the cardinals had to bow down to the exactions of the popes, who in turn, as the head of the Antichrist, have especially since 1295 (when real civil opposition set in), 1309 (when real religious opposition set in by individuals) and 1522 (when it set in by
sects) suffered one humiliation and loss after another, until in 1870 they lost the last shred of temporal power, which we do not expect them to get again on a large scale, the spoliation of their religious powers increasing almost apace throughout the world. In nature every pest has its pest. The dissatisfied frogs indeed got their king, but he proved to be a stork! Israel dissatisfied with Jehovah as King received an increasingly oppressive Saul as King. The stewardship doctrine of the Congregational Church is a protest against every phase of the power-grasping and lording tactics of elders, bishops, metropolitans, patriarchs, cardinals and popes, and hence is a spiritual punishment to all of them. It is necessary to see the fearful misdevelopment, briefly sketched above, against the doctrine of an ecclesia's right, under the Lord, of ruling in its own midst and of remaining independent of other persons, ecclesias and ecclesiastical bodies and leaders, if we are properly to appreciate the Truth, and the consequent significance of the movement inaugurated by Bro. Robert Browne and sectarianized by the crown-lost leaders of the Congregational Church— antitypical Gamaliel; for the Browne movement was a complete return to apostolic teaching and practice on an ecclesia's democracy in its autonomy and in its independence from outsiders.
(40) About 1589 Barrows and Greenfield appeared in England and began to sectarianize the movement begun by Bro. Browne. They introduced a perversion, which made their teaching a cross between real Congregationalism and Presbyterianism—the ecclesia could do whatever it pleased subject to the veto of the elders—and thus betrayed their power—grasping tendencies and their fitness for crown-losing. Their view was advocated a little later by Johnson and Ainsworth and by that Robinson who was pastor of the church many of whose members constituted the pilgrims who landed at Plymouth, Mass., 1620. In America the same view
was advanced in New England Congregationalism for a century by Goodwin, Cotton, Hooker, Davenport, the Mathers, etc. But this leaven of Presbyterianism was cast out by John Wise of Ipswich, Mass. (1652-1725) and Nathaniel Emmons of Franklin, Mass. (1745-1840), who with irresistible logic Scripturally vindicated the pure congregational principle as we have given it above. Henry Martyn Dexter, of Boston (1821-1890), may be cited as one of the ablest and leading later Congregationalist advocates of congregationalism as taught by Browne. These are the chief ones of the crown-lost leaders of the Congregational Church, all of whom are typed by Gamaliel, the son of Pedahzur, whose offerings in antitypical charger, bowl and spoon we will now briefly explain, remarking that within the last 75 years they have vitiated some of their principles, e.g., forming the congregations into a loose-fitting denominational organization with denominational officers and creed.
(41) In offering his charger antitypical Gamaliel had to show how the doctrine of an ecclesia's democracy in its autonomy and in its independence from all outside persons, ecclesias and ecclesiastical organizations, under Christ, corrects misconduct and bad qualities. It certainly rebukes and corrects power-grasping; for it cuts off its exercise whenever it operates in an elder of an ecclesia. It rebukes and corrects the misconduct of bishops who lord it over ecclesias and their servants. It rebukes and corrects the misconduct of a metropolitan who lords it over bishops, elders and ecclesias. It rebukes and corrects it whenever a patriarch or cardinal lords it over metropolitans, bishops, elders and ecclesias; and it rebukes and corrects the pope in his lording it over civil and religious officials, non-officials and organizations. The pride and ambition of power-graspers find in it a standing rebuke and correction. It steadfastly protests against and corrects the sins of clerical usurpation, rulership, tyranny,
superstition, self-exaltation, oppression and error, to which clericalism always leads. It rebukes and corrects the indifference to real spiritual things and interests that clericalism always produces in its practicers. It protests against and corrects the people's spoliation, degradation, ignorance, weakness, formalism, worldliness, servility and sufferings that clericalism always produces. It restrains and corrects the would-be position-seekers and power-graspers in an ecclesia, by keeping them out of office in an ecclesia and by demoting a church officer who clericalistically seeks "to run the church." It reproves and corrects all scheming to control the business, elections and disciplinary administration of the church on the part of any of its members, official or unofficial. It corrects the unbrotherliness of those who seek to overthrow, circumvent, limit or evade the ecclesia's democracy in its autonomy and independence. The covetousness of those who seek place, privilege and power in the Church it rebukes and corrects. The contentiousness and ruthlessness of party spirit in an ecclesia it denounces and corrects. The vanity of an office-and-popularity lover it rebukes and corrects. The insubordination of offenders against ecclesiaism to the Lord Jesus as absolute Monarch of an ecclesia it certainly corrects. Any unelderly or undeaconly conduct on the part of its officials as such it corrects. A lazy elder, a negligent deacon and an indifferent non-official member of the ecclesia it rebukes and corrects. In disciplinary administration it corrects for purposes of repentance, and in cases of impenitence it corrects by disfellowshipment. Thus the doctrine of the ecclesia's democracy in autonomy and independence under Christ corrects all opposing acts and qualities; and times innumerable in dealing with this doctrine antitypical Gamaliel has administered these and other pertinent corrections. Thus he offered his charger.
(42) So, too, has antitypical Gamaliel refuted all arguments against the doctrine that under Christ the
ecclesia is a democracy which exercises its autonomy, and which enjoys its independence from all outside persons, ecclesias and ecclesiastical organizations and leaders,—i.e., offered his antitypical bowl. To the objection that an ecclesia cannot be safely entrusted with such powers, he has answered that under Christ's Headship it can, and under that Headship always eventually works out good results, better according to the Lord's plan than can be otherwise obtained. To the objection that ecclesiaism's exercise deprives it of the service of abler, more experienced and efficient men, available under a presbyterian, episcopal, patriarchal or papal church government, he has replied that the ecclesia can dispense with them as long as it is engaged in its Divinely given work, and that such church governments have always more or less led the churches away from their Divinely assigned task, and therefore are well gotten rid of. To the objection that such church polities are conducive to order and effectiveness, antitypical Gamaliel has answered that the order and effectiveness to which they are conducive are of the devil, the world and the flesh, and undermine the Divinely charged order and effectiveness. To the objection of the Presbyterians that, not congregational democracy in autonomy and independence are the Scriptural ideal, but a church-elected aristocracy consisting of elders, local and synodal, is the Scriptural ideal of church government, he has answered that the Scriptures teach that the apostolic ecclesias elected all their servants, transacted their business, exercised their discipline, expelled the impenitent, received them again on repentance, and managed their evangelistic work, and that therefore there was not an elderate aristocracy in charge of the churches, but that there was therein under Christ a democracy acting in autonomy and independence; and as for synodal elders, he answered that apostolic churches were alike ignorant of them and of the combination of churches implied in
synods and synodal elders. To the Presbyterian argument that their claimed aristocracy is Scripturally called by such names as imply an aristocracy [proistamenoi, presiding ones, i.e., chairmen at business meetings, mistranslated by the word rule in A. V., Rom. 12: 8; 1 Thes. 5: 12; hegoumenoi, leaders, misrendered rulers in the A. V., Heb. 13: 7, 17, 24; presbyteroi, elders, Acts 20: 17, episcopoi, overseers, Acts 20: 28; poimainein, to shepherdize, i.e., God's sheep, Acts 20: 28, 29; 1 Pet. 5: 2], he replied that such officers are perfectly consistent with an ecclesia's democracy, exercising autonomy and independence so long as they remain what God designs them to be—servants of, and do not become lords over, God's heritage (1 Pet. 5: 1-3).
(43) To the Episcopalian argument that such ecclesia's democracy, autonomy and independence is wrong because opposed to the doctrine of apostolic succession of bishops, antitypical Gamaliel replied: (1) the Apostles in binding the Divine doctrines and practices of the Gospel Age on the churches and loosing them from all others, exercised no lordship over them, but sanctioned without any interference whatever their electing their own officers, transacting their own business, administering their own discipline, expelling impenitent persons, receiving again the repentant and sending out their own missionaries; (2) historically the bishops cannot trace their succession back to the Apostles; (3) the doctrine of the apostolic succession is an error, not only not having the slightest basis in the Scriptures, but being expressly condemned therein (Rev. 2: 2; 21: 14); and (4) Cyprian in 251 was the first one to set forth the doctrine of the apostolic succession of bishops. To their claim that the bishop as the ruler of both the presbyters, and of the ecclesia, is the real head of the ecclesia, under the Lord, antitypical Gamaliel answered that the names, bishop (episcopos) and elder (presbyteros), are used interchangeably in
the Bible (Acts 20: 17, compare with verse 28; Tit. 1: 5, compare with verses 6-9, where he gives the qualifications for these elders, and uses of them the name bishop, for whose appointment Titus was to arrange, according to verse 5; 1 Tim. 3: 1-7, in giving the qualities of a bishop, says nothing further of elders, the following verses proceeding immediately to give the qualities of deacons; Phil. 1: 1, where St. Paul addresses the saints of the Church with the bishops [plural] and deacons, not mentioning the word elders, since they are identical with bishops in St. Paul's opinion; 1 Pet. 5: 2, 3, where St. Peter exhorts the elders to act as bishops [episkopountes], "take the oversight" being the A. V., an Episcopal translation). To the claims of metropolitans or archbishops, cardinals and patriarchs for their respective powers, antitypical Gamaliel answered: (1) that the Bible does not contain the slightest hint of such officials in the organization of the apostolic church; (2) that their claims fall to the ground with those of the bishops; and (3) that they are greater usurpers, power-graspers and lords over God's heritage than even the bishops. To the claims of the pope they gave the same answers as antitypical Eliasaph (the crown-lost leaders of the Episcopal Church; see Chap. V). Thus antitypical Gamaliel triumphantly refuted every objection to the Scriptural doctrine that under Christ's headship the ecclesia is a democracy, enjoying autonomy and independence from all outside persons, ecclesias and ecclesiastical organizations or leaders. So did he offer his bowl.
(44) Finally, antitypical Gamaliel offered his spoon, i.e., instructions in righteousness. In doing this he showed that the doctrine that under Christ's headship the ecclesia is a democracy enjoying its own autonomy and its independence from all outside persons, ecclesias and ecclesiastical organizations or leaders, is conducive to righteousness; and he used this doctrine to
incite to righteousness. He showed that this doctrine was conducive to righteousness toward God; for it recognized and realizes God's arrangement for church government. He likewise showed that this doctrine helped on righteousness, because it recognizes and submits to Christ's leadership in all things unto the Church as His Body. Therefore he used this doctrine to induce the brethren into such recognition and acceptance of God's order for church government and into such recognition and submission of the brethren to Christ as their Head in all things in the Body. He also used this doctrine to inculcate proper recognition on the part of the brethren of one another as members of a priesthood having equal rights before God and toward one another in the ecclesia, such only enjoying special privileges as are by God through the ecclesia's vote designated thereto. He used this doctrine to inculcate to the elders the wholesome lesson that they were servants of, and not lords over, the ecclesia. Thereby he deepened their humility. He used this doctrine to sharpen each ecclesia-member's sense of responsibility in co-operating intelligently as an eye of the Lord and conscientiously as a hand of the Lord in the ecclesia's affairs, whether this be in electing officers, transacting business, administering discipline, withdrawing fellowship from those excommunicated for cause, accepting in forgiveness the repentant, or in sending out evangelists. He used this to increase brotherly love and care for one another as members of the same Body. He used it to indicate meekness, longsuffering and patience in view of differences of opinion as to what is the Lord's will. He used it to increase the brethren's love for and defense of the liberty wherewith Christ makes His priesthood free; as he also used it to increase their love to sacrifice in the interests of the Body, and to help all to recognize the unity of, diversity in, and mutuality of, the Body of Christ. He used it to stir up faith in the Lord's overrulership in all things in the ecclesia's affairs, and to incite to love and obedience
to law and order in the church. He used it to wean the brethren away from worldly arrangements for doing church work and to separate the brethren more and more unto that holiness without which no man shall see the Lord. He used it to incite each church to become "a burning and shining light" in its own community and abroad in evangelistic zeal. And proportionately the Congregational Church has been in the forefront in evangelistic endeavors at home and abroad. He used this doctrine to arouse elders and the ecclesia to mutual love, sympathy, fellowship and help in their mutual relations. Fruitful indeed was this symbolic spoon in its instructions in righteousness. This spoon truly was full of sweet incense—the graces of the Spirit.
(45) It is surely a matter of gratification that this doctrine has overflown the banks of Congregationalism and has made fruitful the lands of some other denominations, like the Baptists, Unitario-Universalists, Christians, Adventists and many Lutheran bodies. It is not at all surprising that our Lord schooled in the Congregational Church as a boy him who became that Servant; as it is also gratifying to see how consistently he introduced among the Truth people this truth, both theoretically and practically. Since his death, among others, the P. B. I., and more especially the Society, have disastrously militated against this doctrinal truth. The Society's ecclesias are service-director and elderridden, these in turn are pilgrim-ridden, and these finally are Rutherford-ridden. Thus their democracy, autonomy and independence are very much compromised, and the channel doctrine, with its little pope as head, has largely destroyed ecclesiaism in the Society churches throughout the world.
(46) Among many Truth people, therefore, clericalism is one of the burning questions. It is almost everywhere rampant. In Little Babylon we have a little presbyterial system of church government—the rule of elders. In its work-director we have its ecclesial
bishop. In its auxiliary pilgrims we have the little diocesan bishops. In its boards we meet the little patriarchs. In the heads of the various foreign headquarters we have the little metropolitans. In the Society pilgrims we have the little cardinals, and in the Society's president we have the little pope. Trampled under the feet of these clericalists the democracy that in Bro. Russell's day exercised the autonomy and independence of the ecclesias, varyingly in the four organizational Levite subdivisions, is being destroyed. Some of the brethren have been aroused to appropriate action in this matter; some are very timidly resisting; and some have learned to wear slaves' chains, ground down, oppressed, spoiled of their rights and liberties, and enslaved under a priestcraft more subtle, yet no less real, than that which flourishes in the papal, patriarchal, metropolitan, episcopal and presbyterian sects of Christendom. How long will those who enjoyed the liberty of Christ in our Pastor's days tolerate this? Yet a few years and it will end forever; for the Epiphany movement in part is a protest against clericalism among the brethren as a form of revolutionism, and it will prevail to the utter overthrow of such clericalism in due time.
(47) And to you, dear Epiphany-enlightened brethren, we would address a suitable exhortation: "Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again in the yoke of bondage." Dear fellow-elders, we exhort you to fulfill the admonitions of 1 Pet. 5: 1-3. All others we exhort to love, support, encourage and co-operate with your elders and deacons as long as they act as your servants in and under Christ, but if they should forget that theirs is an office of 'service, and should act as though it were one of lordship, first admonish and resist and finally dismiss them as elders or deacons, if they do not mend their ways. You may, where such conduct is persisted in, in good faith, be sure that they are clericalists, and thus are being manifested as
Levites, whose riddance will bless you, and give them needed experiences for their cleansing. We further exhort all the elders and all the others to brotherly love, longsuffering, forbearance, meekness, mutual care, mutual appreciation, mutual helpfulness in the ecclesias, and loyalty in the study, spread and practice of the Word, always looking for the will of the Head, and obeying it faithfully. Then all will be well with elders and all others. Let us work and pray wholeheartedly to this end.
(48) Hitherto in the study of Num. 7 we have given, type and antitype, our understanding of vs. 1-59, and now we desire to study, type and antitype, the offering of Abidan, the son of Gideoni, the prince of Benjamin, typically set forth in Num. 7: 60-65. In this study we treat of the offering of the prince over the last tribe on the tabernacle's west side—Benjamin (Num. 2: 18, 22). We have in Chap. I given some thoughts explanatory of the antitypical Benjamites. We are to remember that they are the fanatical sects. By the expression fanatical in this connection we mean the quality that grounds belief and action, not only on Scripture, but on extra-Biblical impressions, feelings, dreams, visions, "burdens," etc., with the consequence that it prompts its subjects to do more or less unsound things. E.g., some Quakers have by their impressions been made to feel that the Lord laid upon them the "burden" (a deeply felt responsibility) to go stark naked through the streets of populous cities denouncing woes upon their inhabitants for sin, which unsound thing they, therefore, did. Joseph Smith's susceptibility to the impression that he got the book of Mormon from buried golden plates to which he was directed by a vision, and that he translated the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures into English without knowing these languages, are examples of fanatical qualities leading antitypical Benjamites to perform unsound things. Hence occultism plays more or less a part in prompting them to beliefs and actions.
(49) In considering antitypical Benjamin and Manasseh, let us not forget our explanation of the difference between the antitype of Jacob begetting his sons (Gen. 29: 31—30: 25; 35: 16-18) and the enumeration of the descendants of these sons as tribes antitypically, in Num. 1, 2 and 26, as seen in Chap. I. Accordingly, we see that Jacob is used (however in an adoptative sense as the begetter of Ephraim and Manasseh) to type the begetting of the movements that were perverted into the Lutheran, Congregational and fanatical churches from the standpoint of the tabernacle picture; though from the standpoint of Gen. 29: 31—30: 25, by the begettal of Levi and Benjamin, he typed the beginning of the Lutheran and Great Company movements respectively. While the Congregational movement and Church are in the Jacob picture included in antitypical Judah, the fanatical persons are apparently included in all of the movements and churches as individuals in the Jacob type, but are in the tabernacle picture as a class antitypical Benjamin. Noteworthy also is the fact that the changes in the picture affect only the three on the antitypical West side of the Tabernacle—Justice—the change from antitypical Levi to Ephraim in these two antitypes being necessitated by Levi's being chosen to type the antitypical Priests and Levites. For the other nine tribes the Jacob and tabernacle pictures are identical from the standpoint of the nine typical and antitypical tribes and their begetter. The change in respect to the three on the Justice side of the antitypical Tabernacle is perhaps suggestive of the change from justice to love in God's dealings during the Gospel Age, due to the ransom sacrifice of our Lord satisfying justice.
(50) The prince of Benjamin (v. 60) was Abidan, the son of Gideoni. Abidan means my father (Abi) is judge (Dan); and Gideoni means my mighty warrior. Gideon, as we have already learned means mighty warrior; and the suffix i means my. The meaning of the name Abidan fits the crown-lost leaders of the
fanatical sects, because they have stood for justice in an all-sided application of that quality Godward and manward, and thus have insisted on God—their Father—being justly the Judge of all. Certainly the moral courage that they showed in standing for righteousness Godward and manward has caused them to be considered by the fanatical sects as their mighty warrior—Gideoni, my mighty warrior.
(51) The stewardship truth of this antitypical tribe is this: True religion consists of love to God with all the heart, mind, soul and strength, and to others as to self. In other words, with them religion is a purely personal and individual thing along the lines of justice—duty love as distinct from disinterested love. Their emphasis on the personal and the individual, however, has been so excessive as to make them susceptible to confounding their individual peculiarities and personal idiosyncrasies with the Divine inspiration. This is very plainly manifest, especially in the Quakers—the mother sect of the fanatical sects. It is, of course, proper in the religious life to emphasize the personal and individual element, but to do so to the extreme of losing the consciousness of the need of restraint due to the Fatherhood of God speaking in the Bible and the brotherhood in the Body of Christ is bound to produce fanaticism; whereas the wholesome restraint on the individual and the personal element required by dependence on God's will as revealed in the Scriptures and the circumscription of one's own personal peculiarities in the interests of, and for association with the other Body members, gives us a balanced character, which delivers from the fanaticism produced by a religiousness not so subordinated and co-ordinated. This is the real sore spot in all the fanatical sects; and among the Quakers and others of this antitypical tribe it leads to the exaltation of their personal views, feelings, impressions, visions, dreams, etc., above the written Word, and to a consequent despising of the Scriptures in favor of these subjective states, which
they call "the inner light," "the Christ" or "the Spirit" in their hearts, and contrary to which they will not allow the Bible to be interpreted, alleging that the same Spirit that dictated the Scriptures speaks in their own hearts and does not, they claim, contradict itself. Hence they more or less subordinate the Scriptures to their "inner light," their "Spirit within," their "Christ in the heart," which are often nothing except their own fanatical feelings.
(52) But they did have a goodly portion of a truth as their stewardship truth. Had they defined true religion as hearty duty love and disinterested love to God and others based on, springing from and conforming to the Bible's teachings, they would have given the full Truth on the subject. But the full Truth on this subject, as on all other subjects, is a harvest matter; hence they could not get it before; and the location of this antitypical tribe on the Justice side of the antitypical Tabernacle implies that their definition of true religion was quite good so far as it went, but that it needed supplementing by higher truths than they were able to attain. A partial truth, therefore, is what God gave the brother—George Fox—whom God used to start the movement that the crown-lost leaders of the fanatical sects perverted into these sects. The main crown-lost leaders of the various branches of the fanatical sects were William Penn, Samuel Fisher, Isaac Pennington (Quakers), Edward Irving (Irvingerites), Joseph Smith (Latter Day Saints), Alexander Dowie (Dowieites), Andrew Murray (Holiness), and A. B. Simpson (Christian and Missionary Alliance). In all of these brothers we find the faults and virtues of the fanatical sects. We will pass by the former and say of the latter that they were brothers of uprightness and principle and stood out nobly for a heart's religion in contrast with formalism and legalism, insisting on upright hearts Godward and manward. And their followers as a rule, like them, are good exemplars of piety toward God and brotherly love toward man,
which, as St. Peter's analysis shows (2 Pet. 1: 5-7), are the two elements of justice, duty love to God and man.
(53) This truth when announced by Fox was, indeed, meat in due season; for the conditions in Christendom certainly called for emphasis to be placed on heart's religion in contrast with the evils in the world and dogmatism, formalism, rationalism and legalism in the Church. Before describing the conditions in England where George Fox, who began his preaching in 1647, mainly ministered, we desire to give a brief view of the conditions on the Continent. The Thirty Years' War, forced on by the Catholics in an attempt to destroy Protestantism, broke out in 1618 and turned Germany, Austria and the Flanders into a desolation. So terrible were its results that Germany's population at its end was only one-fourth of what it was in its beginning. Religious hate, ruthless cruelty, broken promises and oaths, open treachery, soulless bargaining, calculating selfishness, gross impiety and merciless oppression marked the Catholic side; and Protestantism, driven to desperation, fought for existence as only those who are facing almost certain extinction can. Next to the World War the Thirty Years' War was perhaps the worst ever waged. And such a war brought in its train the fruits that war always brings forth in proportion to the evil spirit in which it is waged. Everywhere in society the evil effects of a lowered standard of religious, legal and moral life could be seen as a direct outcome of the war. Piety toward God and benevolence toward man gave way to open infidelity, blasphemy and irreligiousness in growing measure, while selfishness increased in its spread of man's unkindness to man. In Spain, Italy and Austria a dead Catholicism reigned alone. In France a more or less irreligious spirit spread rapidly in secularism and growing voluptuousness. In Germany and Scandinavia Lutheran orthodoxy reduced religion to the dogmatism of the head and the formalism of the lips.
In parts of Germany, Switzerland and Holland Calvinism did the same, and on all sides—Catholic and Protestant— apart from certain individuals the lack of real personal heart religion was very manifest.
(54) In England conditions bore the same general character. We recall that Queen Elizabeth established the Church of England on the principle of uniformity of worship, and not of belief, requiring on pain of fines and imprisonment the attendance at the State churches and forbidding assemblies—"conventicles"—of all dissidents. James I (1603-1625), who had the A. V. made, enforced these conditions; but his autocratic ideas of kingcraft by Divine right brought him into implacable conflict with Parliament; and he aroused much disgust in England by more or less disregarding Parliament and by ruling autocratically through selfish favorites. His son Charles I (1625-1649) showed himself as a yet worse tyrant, even dispensing with Parliament when it refused to sanction his absolutism, bringing on a revolution in England, arousing Scotland and Ireland to invade England in support of his army against that of Parliament, and perishing by beheading as a tyrant, traitor, murderer and enemy of his country. It was scarcely more than a year before this beheading that George Fox (1647) began to preach. The execution of Charles I was shortly followed by the English Commonwealth and Cromwell's Protectorate. Much excitement, strife and sectarianism with consequent misreligion marked this period and the one following, when Charles II (1660-1685), the son of Charles I, sat on the throne of England, and when wickedness in the form of infidelity, deism, atheism, prodigality, profligacy and dishonesty greatly increased, with constant clashes between the king and Parliament.
(55) In religion, matters were at a very bad turn. In the established church a dead formalism set in. In Scotland James I and Charles I in various ways sought to hinder the religious freedom of the Scotch people,