STANDFASTISM EXAMINED. ELIJAH VOICEISM EXAMINED. CONCLUDING REMARKS ON MERARIISM.
ALL OF US recall how the Society leaders repudiated their stand on liberty bonds and non-combative service, after their arrest. The publication of their reversal of front in several Towers during the Spring of 1918 provoked resentment among not a few brethren the world over, especially in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. Out of this opposition was born a movement which its adherents called the Standfast Movement, in allusion to their determination to stand fast on the war principles that our dear Pastor announced in Z '15, 259-261. This movement at a Convention held in Portland, Ore., Dec. 1, 1918, adopted a platform of principles and appointed a Committee of seven brothers, who had not been "Secondarily Prophets," to manage what they considered the work of the General Church. This Committee met and organized, Dec. 7, 1918, and among other things arranged for a series of conventions in the larger cities of America. They believed their separation from the Society was the separation of antitypical Elijah and Elisha. They have had on their lecture staff a number of Pilgrims: Bros. Heard, Palmer, Hadley and Wisdom. The last two later left them. They have as Pilgrims several brothers who had not been "Secondarily Prophets." All of these brothers they called Comforters. They met with a considerable degree of success, organizing from Society adherents in a number of places Classes opposed to the Society's war-compromises. At first the leading spirits of the Movement were Bros. Heard and Wisdom. Now  Bro. Heard alone seems to be its leading spirit. Bro.
Wisdom withdrew from the Standfasts, and offered his service to the Olsonites. Failing with them he came to us. We helped him as best we could to an understanding of the Epiphany message. After quite a few interviews he claimed to be in hearty sympathy with the Epiphany Truth. Nevertheless, for good reasons we could not see our way clear to recommend him for Pilgrim service among Epiphany saints; therefore suggested, when he asked us what he should do respecting service, that he work among the Standfast friends. We have heard that he tried to get in with the P. B. I. He has since returned to the Society [later he again left it and joined the P. B. I. He has since died]. We have several letters from him that would furnish rather interesting reading by way of contrast with his letter in the August Tower. We fear "loaves and fishes" rather than principle appealed to him.
The Standfast Movement has a number of good features. Their stand against the cowardly compromises of the Society leaders is to their credit. It is also to their credit that they refuse to follow the Society's devious policies and teachings introduced since Passover, 1918. They would have done better in our judgment had they refused to endorse the Society's new policies from the election of 1917, especially since June 20, 1917. Their failure to see the gross disloyalty of the "Present Management" to the Will, Charter and Arrangements that the Lord gave through "that Servant" seems to imply that they do not have their spiritual perceptions well developed. However, we are glad that they have not gone the full length of the Society's wrong teachings and practices. In an examination of Standfastism it is proper to draw attention to the fact that they set forth as their most prominent article of faith their claim to "stand fast" by "that Servant's" teachings. We are glad to note this desire of theirs. We wish they would carry it out
more thoroughly than they do; for some of them seem to have sadly failed in understanding and in imbibing the spirit of his teachings; for they are even more sectarian and "doting about questions and strifes of words" than the partisan adherents of the Society. They certainly have not followed "that Servant," but Vol. VII, when they teach that the Harvest began in 1878, and ended in 1918 (Z '16, 264, par. 5; Z '16, 263, par. 8; Foreword, Studies, Vol. III, p. ii). Our Pastor gave no other date than 1874 for the beginning of the Harvest, nor did he suggest any other definite date than 1914 for its end. We think their failures properly to apply our dear Pastor's teachings are due not so much to the desire to violate them as to the inability and inexperience of their leaders, both on their Committee of Seven and on their Pilgrim staff. However, the history of Standfastism abounds in such failures.
They endorse everything that the Society did up to March 27, 1918, when they claim that the Lord cast off the Society as His Channel for giving the meat and ruling the Lord's work. Until March 27, 1918, they held, according to the new doctrine hatched out since our Pastor's death, that not he, but the Corporation, the W. T. B. & T. S., was the Lord's channel (D. 613; Z '96, 47). Thus they endorse the great wrongs that "that evil servant" committed against the Lord (saying, "My Lord delayeth"); against the Brethren ("shall smite his fellowservants"); and against the Truth ("eat and drink with the drunken"): Bro. Heard wrote such an endorsement, which was published in the Tower; and at the Shareholders' meeting, Jan. 5, 1918, he returned our friendly, brotherly greeting with a frown and an averting of his face. They endorse the delusions of Vol. VII, the Society's policies and Present-Management tests up to March 27, 1918. Therefore their affinity with the partisan Society adherents in these most important respects
proves the partisan Standfasts to belong to the same general group of Levites as the partisan Society adherents - the antitypical Merarites - the latter being the Mahlite and the former being the Mushite branch of the antitypical Merarites, as we understand matters.
Another peculiar teaching of theirs is that the only things that saints have to do since March 27, 1918, is to "stand fast" by what they had learned and done up to that time; to encourage one another to do the same; and to wait until the time of their change takes place. They give that date for the closing of the door to the begettal; theirs they think is now to "stand fast"; hence their name. This view of things makes them deny that there is any more meat in due season coming from the Storehouse, or that there is any special mission for the Church at this time. Consequently they are blind to the Epiphany, and its special light and work. With such a view of things, of course they are to be expected to oppose the Epiphany Truth and Work; and this they do. In letters written by various of their pilgrim brothers and Committee members - now in our possession - they refer to us as a "snake" that "poisons" those who will read The Present Truth. They warn their hearers more against this magazine than against any other published among Truth people, because they say it seems to hold so closely to our Pastor's writings that it is almost impossible to see the difference, and yet undermines his teachings! They dismissed one of their pilgrims, Bro. Campbell, because he would not promise to stop reading The Present Truth. For holding with our Pastor and The Present Truth to the thought that the Harvest began in 1874, they caused him to be disfellowshipped without opportunity for defense, first by the Seattle Church, and then later, under the direct oversight of Bro. Heard, from the Minneapolis Church, refusing him and a number of others, whom they disfellowshipped at the same time, an opportunity to be heard.
Indeed, under the direction of the chairman of the meeting at the latter place, a muscular member of the Class attempted forcibly to eject Bro. Campbell from the room, some of the Standfasts crying out, "Get a policeman!" It seems that calling on policemen to eject orderly persons from places that the Levites in revolutionism wish to monopolize is quite frequent among Levites. It will be recalled that this was attempted against the four Directors; that R. J. Martin several times asked J. F. R., July 27, 1917, in Bethel dining room whether he should not call a policeman to eject us; that within an hour later A. H. MacMillan threatened to have us bruised and jailed, if we did not leave Bethel by night; and one of the Amram leaders here in Philadelphia advised the head of the house, where we were about to lead a Prayer meeting, to call a policeman and by him put us out of the house and into the hands of "a fit-man." Yet they pose as martyrs suffering for righteousness!
A marked unscriptural procedure in Standfastism is placing the work of the General Church into the charge of those who have not been "Secondarily Prophets." The Lord is a God of order. He has arranged to give the spiritual work in local ecclesias to local Elders, and the spiritual work of the General Church to General Elders, the Secondarily Prophets. He has nowhere authorized a Committee to have charge of the work of the General Church, much less a Committee consisting of those who are not Secondarily Prophets, though He has arranged for a Board of Seven to administer certain phases of the general work of the Great Company. The Standfast Committee has surely made a fearful mess of things, largely due, we in charity presume, to immaturity, inexperience and inability to manage General Church problems. Another unscriptural feature of Standfastism is its General Conventions' assuming the power to legislate for the General Church. When their General
Conventions pass motions these are treated, according to the Convention Report that they published last winter, setting forth some of their troubles, as legislation for the Church, and whoever does not agree is disfellowshipped. The history of Standfastism is full of cruel disfellowshipment proceedings, which are instituted on trivial charges. On flimsy evidence disfellowshipment is decreed, and is enforced by refusal of even the common amenities of life, such as an ordinary greeting, or a friendly look, or handshake. Along this line they are copying the Society policies - "avoid them." "The instruments of cruelty are in their habitation." Another unscriptural procedure of Standfastism is the use of Matt. 18:15-18 by Conventions. Matt. 18:15-18 applies to individuals within an ecclesia and to individual ecclesias, but not to sins that affect the entire Church. The Old Catholic error that what applies to an individual ecclesia applies to the General Church has crept in among Truth people, and is manifest in the actions of both branches of the antitypical Gershonites and both branches of the antitypical Merarites.
A gross misapplication of the Scriptures was manifest in the so-called Westward Movement. On account of the fact that the bulk of Standfasts live in the Pacific Northwest, and on account of the impracticability of sending pilgrims to the East, efforts were made to induce all Standfasts that could afford it to move to the West Coast. But matters did not rest there. Their leaders concluded that the Very Elect - the Standfasts - were to be taken to glory last Passover ; but to make it certain that one was of this select company, he had to go West, where as a group the Lord would take all of them in a company away at the Passover. Of course, the Scriptures had to be tortured to appear to teach such a thought. We can well imagine the distress of those believers in this delusion who did not have the means to make
the trip, and of those believers in this delusion, e.g., sisters, whose families did not believe in Standfastism. This did not deter the leaders one whit. They kept up the delusion until Passover found their dupes, not ascending to Glory, but stuck fast in the bogs of disappointment, and stung hard with the arrows of false teachers. It seems almost unbelievable that Truth people - students of the sober-minded writings of our Pastor - could either have concocted or have fallen prey to so patent a delusion. It seems to us that a thorough self-examination and purging out of "old leaven" is the thing most needed by such as have misled and have been misled by so transparent a delusion.
The siftings of Standfastism are characteristic of the movement. So poorly arranged are its work and its relations that it is adapted to all sorts of notions being foisted upon its followers with sifting results. The relations of their Committee and pilgrims to one another and to the Church show this. Their relation to the Society has made them open to siftings from that quarter, and the Society's Conventions of last year in the Pacific Northwest were especially designed to capture members from them. Their Comforter service, i.e., Pilgrim service, is so arranged as naturally to lead to siftings; and the extraordinary amount of money that they put into the "Comforter" service has proven most discomforting to Standfasts, resulting in its becoming a feature of their sifting of last Fall. Their permitting questions like perfunctory membership in Labor Unions, helping, through the Red Cross, to relieve war-suffering, forced applications of what they imagine to be worshiping the beast and its image, cleansing of their members and cleansing of the sanctuary, and especially the delusion of the Westward movement, are an index of the character of their leadership and of their movement, all of which have led to siftings. Standfastism, as a consequence, seems to be turning into Fallinglooseism,
Fallingoutism and Fallingdownism. As the Scriptures predict of it and the Society, their adherents will largely disintegrate, in part furnishing adherents for other Levitical movements among Truth people, and in part freeing the Priests among them. We are sure that there have been, and are yet, not a few Priests in this movement, evidenced by the fact that they left the Society on a question of principle, gladly suffering reproach for their stand against disloyal compromises. Its errors of teaching and practice, however, as well as its endorsing the gross revolutionism of the Society leaders, up to Passover, 1918, their policies and their Finished Mystery, convince us that the movement as such is a Levitical one, and that partisan Standfasts are the Mushite [deserted] branch of the antitypical Merarites.
From the time the above was written [August, 1920], apart from an article that appeared in P '24, 70, 71, on certain Elijah Voice matters, reproduced further on in this chapter, and apart from passing references to the Standfasts and the Elijah Voiceists, we have written nothing on the Mushites in any of their groups. Therefore, now (April, 1938) we will for completeness' sake add a few particulars on the Standfasts, the No-Committeeites and Elijah Voiceists. Division after division since 1920, has occurred among the Standfasts, whose Standfastism deteriorated into stand-idle-ism, so far as serving the Truth is concerned; but in the Fall of 1923 a movement arose among them, fathered by C. E. Heard and I. C. Edwards, that in the course of less than two years degenerated into communism. About 300 Standfast brethren took part in this movement, which has received much publicity under the name, The Sooke Affair. We will here quote from a letter a brief description of this movement by one who took part in it until it developed into communism, and who then withdrew from it:
"The Sooke movement originated in the Fall of 1923, in Victoria, B. C. At that time it was working on a cooperative business basis, each receiving a varying wage, suitable to the needs of his family, even though two worked on the same kind of a job. The majority lived in their own rented homes, while others lived in the 'Scott Block,' as their apartment building was called, renting rooms and eating their meals in the dining hall. The lower rooms were all used for business; and one was reserved for a meeting place. When business began to slacken they decided to move farther out, on a tract of land where they could raise vegetables, etc. Here the move to Sooke, B.C., began early in the Fall of 1924. It was during this move that trouble sprang up between the leaders; and C.E. Heard withdrew, going back to Vancouver, B.C. This tract of land, located on Sooke Harbor, 22 miles from Victoria, was bought by a very wealthy sister. They rented a stock farm with cattle and a large vegetable farm, ran a fish fertilizer factory, built a temple, laundry, hospital, barber shop, dentist room - in fact everything that was needful for a colony to exist on. The land was laid out in lots, those who had means bought choice lots at $100 each, and put up their own tents. Another portion of the land was assigned to those without means, and tents were put up for them in rows, which were not so private. Dissension began immediately, for those who had money or incomes bought good foods to eat in their tents, while those without means had to exist on what they received in the dining hall. This brought the idea of communism, which was then preached; and all were supposed to turn in their money or incomes at the office, run by I.C. Edwards. When he learned that some were holding back he preached a powerful sermon about Achan hiding the silver in his tent, and frightened them so that they even brought the children's banks and emptied them. Many got their eyes
open and withdrew; others would have left, but were penniless. When I.C. Edwards realized this he decided to move farther, bought two boats from the government and moved to Renfrew, about another 22 miles farther away [from Victoria]. Here the remainder of them began to see through his scheme and voted him out, accusing him of spiritual pride, etc. They were simply starved out in this place, having no funds and no way to earn them, so they disbanded and went to new homes. I want to say also that many of these dear brethren would never have gone into this, had they known it would end in communism. Their thought was to be together and work cooperatively. Not one penny of our money was put into this movement and we lived privately in our home at all times, about a mile from their camp, as did a few others."
That brethren who were supposed to have studied what D 473-481 has to say on brethren living more or less together in a cooperative society and in communism could have joined in such a movement certainly does not bespeak alertness on their part. This great blunder hurt Standfastism at least as much as their Westward movement; and the movement continued to disintegrate until now, as forecast in 1920 (this forecast is given above), it is reduced to a few small classes and scattered individuals, the class of C.E. Heard, at Vancouver, being the largest of these. The rise of the No-committeeites in the end of 1919 and beginning of 1920 took away another goodly group and several pilgrims from the original Standfasts, who at first numbered between 2,000 and 3,000 brethren. These objected to the lording, squandering, sectarian and inefficient ways of the Standfasts' Committee of Seven. Both groups insisted that to stand fast meant to cease from all service, and gave free reign to their speculative imaginations in much typing, whereby they went wildly astray. Their inactivity,
with their speculations, reduced them to distressing spiritual poverty. The rise of the Elijah Voice Society in 1923 produced a movement that took away from the other two groups many of their more zealous members. The remaining Standfasts seem to correspond to the Mahlite [sickly] Mushite Merarites. The No-committeeite Standfasts, who were the first to break away from the Mahlite Mushites, in 1919 and 1920, seem to correspond to the Ederite [flock] Mushite Merarites. These soon fell out more or less with one another and are nearly spiritually dead by reason of their do-nothingism. The Elijah Voice Societyites seem to correspond to the Jeremothite [heights] Mushite Merarites. As the Standfasts in their separation considered themselves antitypical Elijah, the Societyites antitypical Elisha and the separation to be that of antitypical Elijah and Elisha, so the No-committeeites thought the same of themselves, of the parent Standfasts and of their separation. The same view, in turn, was held of themselves, of the other Standfasts and of their separation by the Elijah Voiceists after their separation from the other Standfasts. As the most active of the three groups of the Mushites we will give a brief description of them:
A Bro. Hardeson became the starter of the Elijah Voice Society movement. Like some other Standfasts of the two previously existing Standfast groups, he became greatly dissatisfied with the do-nothingism of both groups. Like other Standfasts, he believed that the Society up to Passover, 1918, was the channel; and like them, he also made an idol of Vol. VII, in practice, if not in theory, putting it ahead of the Six Volumes of The Studies. He came to believe that the Little Flock was to be "re-gathered," and hence initiated a movement to "regather" it. This movement became that of the Elijah Voiceists. Additionally, they thought that they must smite Babylon and thus supposedly continue to fulfill Ps. 119:5-9, which
fulfillment was supposedly interrupted by the 1918, 1919 persecution of the Society. Of course, Vol. VII was to be the main means of "smiting Babylon." They also used some tracts, public lectures and private conversations to accomplish this work. They sent their smiting tracts to various civil and military authorities, as well as to non-official Babylonians. As to their work among the Truth people, it was conditioned by their view of regathering the Little Flock. They fully believed in and worked long for the idea that the entire Little Flock, antitypical Elijah, would be gathered to them, as the effect of the "regathering" work. Therefore they appealed by the printed page, especially by their periodical (The Elijah Voice Monthly) and by correspondence, to distant brethren of all Truth groups. Of course, locally they tried to regather from the various classes, by word of mouth, as well as by the printed page. They expected to gain at least the 300 antitypical Gideonites, who they thought would number at least 300, if not more, but they failed to gain even 300. Perhaps their ill success led them to embark on the policy of smiting all Truth people who would not accept their views; for just such a smiting course they undertook and carried out for years. Perhaps, as in our case, of which more anon, much of such smiting was misrepresentation. They used a thoroughly sectarian system of membership, for which cards of admission were required. Their efforts, both toward the public and the brethren, proved fruitless. Their idea of glorification in the flesh proved a delusion. Their reliance on the dates, 1918, 1920, 1921, 1925, and the pertinently expected events that Vol. VII, The Tower and pilgrims gave, up to Passover, 1918, especially for the deliverance of the Church and Great Company and the Ancient Worthies' return, proved great disappointments. Despite these mistakes, demonstrated as such by their failure to come to pass, they continued to hold to the
channelship of the Society and the obligatoriness of its teachings and works up to Passover, 1918. Delusion after delusion was foisted upon them by their amateurish editors' crude speculations. Their 1925 delusion brought in 1926 disillusionment and freedom to some of them from their bondage to Vol. VII and the Society channelship up to Passover, 1918. Their fanaticism is seen in their claiming that to contribute to the Red Cross, to buy Liberty Bonds and to salute the flag were parts of the mark of the beast. This latter thing wrought much evil in their families, due to their children's insisting on saluting the flag, as required by law. The less than 300 Elijah Voiceists were by these things decreased by defection, and now , like the other two branches of the Mushite Merarites, their beliefs and works "scatter them in Israel."
[The following review was written in March and published in the April, 1924, Present Truth.] A copy of the Dec.  and Jan.  issues of the Elijah Voice Monthly was sent us, presumably by its publishers. It contains, beside a supplement, etc., puerile and lengthy discussions of Society and Standfast conditions, a lengthy review of the P.B.I. views, especially as these teach contrary to Studies, Vol. VII on Revelation, and a short attack on us, which is full of misrepresentations and evidences of gross carelessness, ignorance and poor reasoning on the part of its editors. They endorse, as against the four directors and us, Harvest Siftings, despite its transparent deceitfulness with about 325 falsehoods defiling its pages, and with most of its letters worked up for the occasion, e.g., the letters from British writers against our return to Britain, etc.; all but one - an undated one - bearing practically the same date prove that they were gotten by characteristically "packed" Rutherfordian tactics. They fault us for not accepting Vol. VII, which even its publishers acknowledge contains
several hundred errors, as they in various Towers suggested that many corrections, and which we know contains many hundreds more. Without offering the slightest proof for their charge, they accuse us of teaching on the Elijah and Gideon types contrary to our Pastor's views. To date none of the opponents of our views on these subjects have been able to answer them from the Scriptures, reason and facts, nor to show disharmony between them and our Pastor's matured views. So their saying that our views on these subjects are contrary to those of our Pastor is a groundless and false assertion. They charge us of being very imaginative in our Amramism Revealed article when we point out, in eight divisions of revolutionary Truth people in three general groups, the antitypes of the eight divisions of the Levites in their three general groups. These divisions will increase to 60 by the time the antitype is full, corresponding to the 60 Levite groups, an antitype of one of which 60 Levite groups the Elijah Voice Society is. Their accusation, that we are imaginative, as against the facts proving our application, is no proof of their charge. Then they fault us because in an article entitled Amramism Revealed we devote a small amount of space to a general view of the Levite groups and divisions and the bulk of the article to the discussion of what the title of the article calls for, but what they falsely call an effort to prove that Bro. Hirsh was not a secondarily prophet - this false charge being made in the face of the article's teaching that he was a secondarily prophet, but was acting out of harmony with the proprieties of his office. These editorial amateurs seem not to know that while related matter may be used as an introduction to an article, the article as a whole should discuss its subject.
But what they evidently set forth as the choice morsel of their charges is the claim that we publish articles and booklets of our Pastor without expressly
stating in those publications that they are his writings, but claiming them as our own writings; for they charge us with palming off his writings as of our own authorship; and they say, among other things, of our course on this point the following: "In plain English such practice is called plagiarism - literary thievery, fraud." This is rather strong. But it proves that these editors, in denouncing us for carrying out our Pastor's desires that his name as author be not printed as such in his books and booklets, are advocating a revolutionistic course for us to follow - a sure proof of their being Levites. Do they not know that our Pastor expressly in his will forbade the Tower editors from indicating his authorship of any of his writings that they might publish? While this provision of the will applies to the Tower editors primarily, it is binding on the publications of all other Societies and Associations in charge of Truth people's work. Therefore, the Elijah Voice Society editors' disregard of this provision of the will, which binds them before the Lord as a Divine arrangement for their publication—that of a Society - proves them to be revolutionists, and therefore Levites. We do not believe that the will applies to an independent publication like The Present Truth, published and edited by an individual like ourself; but, as we have stated in The Present Truth, we follow its spirit on this point in not disclosing his authorship of his articles in The Truth, both because we believe it is in harmony with our Pastor's desire in connection with all using his writings, and because we do not wish to give the Levites what might even seemingly be an example of revolution. When we first decided to publish The Truth regularly, we stated (P '19, 104, col. 2, par. 1) that in each issue we hoped to publish an article from our Pastor. And later we told the brethren in print that in deference to the pertinent provision of our Pastor's will, we abstain from indicating the authorship of such articles of his as
appear in The Present Truth. These facts are known to our readers and prove that we are not palming off ourself as the writer of such articles in The Truth. If for lack of space we fail to issue an article of his, we make up for it in a later number by printing two.
These editors also fault us as claiming authorship of the Hell and Spiritism booklets by publishing (not our Pastor's name as their author, but) ours as their Editor and Publisher, quoting in large capitals in proof of their claim the following words from the title pages of these booklets: "Edited and published by Pastor Paul S.L. Johnson, V.D.M." It seems almost unbelievable that editors of a magazine could be so ignorant of English as not to know that the editor and publisher of a book or booklet are not its author! Intelligent people know that an editor of a book or booklet is not its author; that his work as editor implies that he is not the author of the book or booklet in question, but that he takes another's book or booklet and prepares it by additions, notes, indices, preface, etc., for the press; while a publisher of a book or booklet sees it financially, etc., through the press and prepares it for distribution. Thus the words that they quote to prove that we take to ourself the honor of authorship of the Hell and Spiritism booklets, that they cite as a proof of "Self Aggrandizement Illustrated" - the heading that they put in large capitals over the section where they state and discuss this charge - and that they cite to prove that we have violated principles of truth and righteousness, disprove their contention, prove their ignorance of one of the meanings of the word editor, and prove them guilty of violating truth and righteousness by making such a false charge, which their evident eagerness to set us forth as an official wrong-doer and their ignorance on one of the meanings of the word editor probably occasioned them to make.
They fail to mention that on the title page of
Life-Death-Hereafter (which they say is in parts separately reproduced in the Hell and Spiritism booklets, etc.) we expressly call the book, "A collection of writings of able Bible Scholars, etc.," thus showing that we were publishing a compilation of writings and disclaiming authorship. All our readers know that we announced (P '20, 108, par. 2; 133, 134 [Our Public Work]) the book and booklets as being largely composed of our Pastor's writings, when we stated that they were passing through the press. And when last July (months before the article under review was published) we were preparing to issue our revised and enlarged edition of Life-Death-Hereafter, we republished a statement to the same effect (P '23, 104, par. 2). Thus instead of our claiming expressly or impliedly the honor of authorship of that book and those booklets, we did the very reverse. If one should say, "Why not publish our Pastor's name as author?" we reply that he, for Divinely pleasing reasons, did not desire his name to appear as author, in the form in which he published the writings in question, and we honor his wish by carrying it out. Moreover we have made such additions as would forbid our ascribing authorship of all the contents to him. Five of the chapters of the book appeared in B.S.M.'s whose various editors, of course, never claimed by the fact of their editorship of the B. S. M.'s to be the writers of the five articles in question. The charge of the editors of the Elijah Voice Monthly, that we are guilty of "self aggrandizement," "literary thievery, fraud," is therefore absolutely without foundation in fact, and proves them to be public misrepresenters, and also violators of truth and righteousness. The entire tenor of their criticisms shows an utter lack of sober effort to refute our teachings, and a conspicuous presence of eagerness to set us forth in our office work as an evil-doer.
How about their charge that we sell the booklets at
a fancy price (23c), thereby making merchandise of the Truth? We submit the following facts: (1) These booklets were printed in 1920 when prices were at their peak; (2) the Hell booklet was priced at 19c, not 23c; (3) these prices - 19c for the Hell and 23c for the Spiritism booklet - were placed upon them to enable colporteurs to make their expenses; (4) at first they were offered to these and to sharpshooters at 10c and 12c each, in dozen lots, postage prepaid; (5) a little later we offered them to these at 8c and 10c each in dozen lots, postage prepaid; (6) the latter figures are slightly below cost; (7) apart from the colporteurs and sharpshooters, they have been by us sold directly to our readers at 10c and 12c each, postage prepaid, and directly to the public at 12c and 15c, postage prepaid, as can be seen from the Herald's standing announcements. These are no fancy prices. We have done the reverse of making merchandise of the Truth; for 98% of our sales have been to colporteurs and sharpshooters at just about or just below cost rates - those mentioned above. Might not such deceitful attacks as those under review suggest that their authors make merchandise of men's souls? They also charge us with changing "the truth originally given in the seven volumes" "to suit" our "own ideas," "extend the harvest period," etc. These charges are as false as the others that they make, in so far as they apply to the six volumes and in so far as they refer to those of our Pastor's teachings given in Vol. VII. Our readers know these charges are false, and for them there is need of no further discussion. Not we, but they have extended the reaping period, i.e., from 1914 to 1918. In conclusion, we remark that the brethren who are guilty of such gross misrepresentations as the above - and that in defense of the revolutionisms that they endorse - are in an unclean (Levitical) condition. We pray for them such experiences in the fit man's and Azazel's hands as
may, if it be the Lord's will, eventuate in their cleansing and fitting for their real service as Levites, which the article under review is sufficient to prove them to be.
With the above we bring our discussion of Merariism to a close. The reader will note that, unlike the first five volumes of the Epiphany Studies, which deal with constructive Truth, this volume is polemical, and hence is destructive in its nature. While constructive studies are more pleasant and profitable, and destructive ones by contrast seem rather arid and not so helpful, yet the efforts to introduce wrong teachings and arrangements among God's people to their injury makes it imperative for the faithful Truth servant to use the destructive work of controversy to shield the sheep and lambs from ravening wolves. God's cause requires that, as the builders of Jerusalem's walls had each to have his sword in one hand and his building tool in the other, in readiness to build or to fight, as the occasion required (Neh. 4:17, 18), the Lord's servants are to stand ready to use the Word to build up the brethren or to fight the enemy who seeks to disrupt the Lord's Word, work and people. This is our defense of the polemical - destructive - character of this book; but the attentive reader will note that the fighting is done with the Word of God as the Sword of the Spirit; and in the course of the polemics of this book many a gem of advancing Truth is presented, as well as an abundance of formerly due Truth. May God use this book to shield His people, to repel the adversary's efforts to supplant the Truth and its arrangements by error and its arrangements, and to deliver any of His people who have been made the captives of revolutionistic errors or arrangements or both, and bring them back to the Truth of His Word from which they have been made to stray by unclean Merariism.