Monday, February 4, 2013

More on Horace Randle


 

Horace A. Randle is mentioned in the Proclaimers book (page 418) and his story has been well told on the two history blogs. A medical missionary in China, he resigned after reading Millennial Dawn, and came back home to England. He published an eight page tract on Future Probation in 1901 from London. The census returns for London in 1901 describe him as “Medical Missionary and Preacher, Millennial Dawn Christian.” He was then living with his wife Ellen, and son Arnold.

In 1907 he started a short-lived magazine entitled Good News of the Coming Age published in Salford. At least one issue is in the British Library, but only a small portion can be copied, and then only by someone physically visiting the library.

In the 1911 census, Horace was in Salford at his sister’s home, along with his mother and two brothers. His wife and son Arnold were still living in London. References to Millennial Dawn had disappeared; he was now just described as Medical Missionary retired.

He appears to have left association with ZWT over the New Covenant issue (see Proclaimers page 630) and by 1914 was circulating material critical of both CTR’s revised views on the New Covenant, and also his high profile in the media of the day.

As a result, the St Paul Enterprise – a newspaper mainly published for Bible Students – in its issue for September 25, 1914, printed a response from an Alex Evans of the Olive Branch Ecclesia in Louisiana.

This response was viewed as sufficiently important to be reprinted in a special issue of the St Paul Enterprise in November 1914, where Evans is described as “one of our colored brethren.” This suggests that Randle’s criticism was quite widely circulated at the time in the Bible Student community.

Randle’s subsequent activities are not known, but he died in the Salford area in the latter part of 1926 aged 71.

Below is a transcript taken from the first publication of Alex Evans’ rebuttal.

 

Alex. Evans replies to Mr. Horace A. Randle

 

A Member of an Ecclesia at Olive Branch, Louisiana, in defense of Pastor Russell, Submits this Open Letter.
 
 
Olive Branch, La., Sept. 3d, 1914.
 

Editor St. Paul Enterprise:
 
 
I have read an open letter to Pastor Russell by Horace A. Randle, in which he makes several charges. I wish to make the following reply:
 

The letter is written in an apparently Christian Spirit. But herein lies its Evil Subtility, for we remember the Betrayal kiss by Judas which had the outward appearance of an act of Love, but proved to be the farthest thing from Love.
 

Randle claims that Pastor Russell and the Bible Students’ movement has changed in recent years; to this I quote the following Scripture: "The path of the Just is as a shining light that shineth more and more, unto the perfect day." (Prov. 4:18.) "Walk as children of the light." (Eph. 5:8.) "If we walk (not ‘sit’) in the light." (1John 1:7.)
 

Some claim that the one whom the Lord would use as "That Servant," at His second advent (Matt. 24:46; Luke 12:42) would need be infallible, perfect, and make no mistakes. But there have been only two perfect men on earth, Adam and Jesus. I have heard people say that both of them made mistakes: That Adam made a mistake in thinking that it would be better to transgress and die with Eve than to live alone after her death. And that Jesus made a mistake in going to a certain fig tree for figs and found nothing but leaves. Whether this be so or not, I can’t see why anyone should blame Pastor Russell for making and correcting a few little errors during the long period of the last forty years. Rather we should say, He has done well.
 
 
Randle says that, the pastor errs in saying that the Goat of Lev. 16:15 is a type of the church, and that it signifies that the church is a joint sacrifice with Jesus in the world’s great sin offering.
 

If the Lord’s Goat, and its process of offering did not typify the church and its suffering with Jesus, I ask, What then did it typify? All Bible Students ought to be able to agree that Jesus was an exact corresponding price for Adam, and that justice calls for nothing more. Yet we can see how it could "permit" more to be put on the measure. We remember how Jesus spoke of giving measures. He said: "Pressed down, shaken together, and "running over." (See Luke 6:38.) What if the church is found to be making the measure overflow? And what shall we do with the following Scripture if the church is not a joint sacrifice with Jesus?
 
 
"Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach." (Heb. 13:13.)
 

"We are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones." (Eph. 5:33.)
 

"Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His body’s sake, "which is the church:’" ( Col. 1:24.) (There was a portion left behind for the church to fill up according to this Scripture.) Again we read, "Both he that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are one." (not two.) (Heb 2:11.)
 
 
"I pray for them, I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me." (John 17:9.)
 

"A people for his name." (Acts 15:14.) (What people?)
 

"To whom God would make known what is the riches of the Glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you (the church) the Hope of Glory." (Col. 1:27.)
 

"If ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise." (Gal. 3:29.)
 

"If children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ, if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may also be Glorified Together." (Rom. 8:17.) (The joint heirship depends upon the joint sufferingship, in the type the Goat suffered with the Bullock.)
 

"If we suffer with Him, (as did the Goat with the Bullock) we shall also reign with Him." (2 Tim. 2:12.)
 

I could cite many more Scriptures showing that the church (His church) takes a part with Jesus in the world’s great sin offering. Not that justice required it, but that wisdom and love arranged it so. It is not an obligation, but a great privilege, the greatest ever offered.
 
 
There are two more standpoints from which we can view nearly everything, and so it is with the subject under discussion. From one standpoint, we can view it as being all done by Jesus, because all the merit resides in Him, and from another viewpoint we see each member of His church presenting themselves to be joint sacrificers with Jesus filling in a place as though the sin offering would not have been complete without them. But from either view point it remains materially the same.
 

Jesus wears the title of priest at the present time and the apostle says every priest must have something to offer (Heb. 8:3) and the intimation is that when He ceases to have anything to offer, then His priestly office will end. Now I ask, what does Jesus have now to offer, remembering that He has long since offered Himself once for all time? Still he has something to offer, and what else could it be but His church, His mystical body in the flesh? Rom. 12:1 comes in right here. We present ourselves to Him, and He presents us to the Father. The High Priest in the type supervised all the sacrificing and the same is being done in the antitype. It is all so beautiful and clear to many Bible Students, including the writer.
 
 
The relation or connection that Christ and His church bear one another, has been the mystery unsolvable for many centuries to not only the world, but also to the nominal church.
 
 
But now in the light of the foregoing we can understand Heb. 5:3. As the church was to become part of Himself, (His wife, Rev. 19:7) in the sense of becoming a member of the great Messianic body of which He was the head, it can thus be said the he made an offering for himself, although he had no personal sin. (Heb. 7:25.)
 

Concerning the "new covenant," I will say, If it has gone into operation as Mr. Randle and others say, I would like them to tell us why it is that the Jews don’t know anything about it? According to the Scriptures it is to be made with them. (See Jer. 31:31, and Heb. 8:10.) And where is the "new heart" and general knowledge that is to result from it? I know that these questions are unanswerable, except from the viewpoint that both Jesus and His church are the world’s great testator; and before the Testament can go into effect, the death of the Testator must take place. As the church, which is a part of the great Testator, has not finished dying. The "new covenant" has not gone into effect yet; for where a Testament is, there must also be the Death of the Testator, says the apostle. (Heb. 9:16.) Though we are now serving, and being made able ministers of the "new covenant," in the sense of preparing ourselves for it.
 

Randle complains about the Pastor’s name appearing in a certain Tower more times than the name of Jesus. There is no virtue in mentioning a name, nor a lack of virtue by not mentioning it. Bible Students will remember that Jesus said that many will say to Him in that day, Lord, Lord, (calling his name double) have we not prophesied in Thy name, and in Thy name done wonders, cast out devils, etc.? And he will answer them saying, I have never recognized you; depart from me ye workers of iniquity. (Matt. 7:23.)
 

Again He asked: Why call ye me Lord, Lord, (so many times) and do not the thing which I say? (Luke 6:46.) Upon the testimony of these Scriptures we can rest assured that nothing is to be gained by calling the Lord’s name so many times. And as to Pastor Russell’s name appearing in the Jan. 1, 1912, Tower a good many times, that is the special Tower setting forth the beginning and development of present Truth, and the Harvest Work as was called for by newspaper editors who were contracting to publish the sermons; because they knew that the world wants to know about the personality of a man, where he came from, etc.; and had Pastor Russell not granted their innocent request, He would not have been acting wisely, because editors would have refused to publish a man’s sermons who had refused to make Himself known, and the Tower contained such, together with newspaper clipping; that all its readers might know how the work we love so much was progressing. The pastor objected to his picture going at the head of his sermons but the editors protested that it must be and he granted it only to keep from hindering the cause he loved so well as to sacrifice his thousands of dollars and himself for.
 

The Pastor made clear his unselfish motive in the start when he sacrificed his prosperous business and himself for the good of others and he maintains this same motive even unto this day. And the facts, when all of them are known about this noble man, will prove that a prophet sent of God has been in our midst, and he will go down in history as one of the greatest of men.
 
 
I am glad that I had the privilege of reading that open letter for it has caused me to research my Bible and Pastor Russell’s writings in the Tabernacle Shadows and to thus review the cloud of Scripture witnesses in the Pastor’s doctrinal favor. And I would suggest to all those who have not read the "Tabernacle Shadows" and "The Divine Plan of the Ages," by Pastor Russell, to do so on the first opportunity and begin to enjoy the feast of fat things therein revealed. They can be obtained from the W. T. B. & T. Society, 17 Hicks St., Brooklyn, N. Y., at a nominal cost or free to those who need.
 
 
"I live for those who love me,
And awaits my coming too;
And the good that I can do."
For the cause that lacks assistance,
For the future in the distance,
For the Heaven that smiles above me,
For the wrong that needs resistance,
For those who know me true;
 
 
Yours in the defense of the Lord’s Truth, and His special servant,
 

ALEX. EVANS.
 
 

(end of transcript)

9 comments:

roberto said...

Very interisting Jerome.

One thing surprise me. The existence of several unofficial Bible Student magazines and newspapers (for example: Good News of the Coming Age, St Paul Enterprise) and tracts. I think the congregationalist government was a reason.

I hope to read an article about those unofficial magazines, newspapers, and tracts.

jerome said...

Back in those days various ones published material separate from the Watch Tower Society. I have no idea whether Horace Randle’s magazine supported CTR’s ministry or criticised it by this time, because I have not seen it, but the St Paul Enterprise is a key research tool. Generally four pages but large broadsheet size, it contained news and letters and sermons. It was edited by William Abbott of St Paul, Minn., and after his death his wife continued it.

Some parts have been transcribed on the internet. For example, there were special issues defending CTR – the article about Horace Randle’s “open letter” was reprinted in those. There was also a special funeral edition for CTR, which provides a lot more detail – for example, that Maria Russell was in the funeral party walking behind the coffin to the gravesite. (So she will be one of the heavily veiled women in the famous photograph).

The St Paul Enterprise also published booklets. For example, in 1914 Horace Hollister’s Cryptology of the Kingdom was published by them. In 1919 the paper’s name was changed to The New Era Enterprise, and in 1922 they published The School of the Prophets, written by J C Lardent (from Britain) and C E Stewart (then editor of the paper in St Paul). There is a vague reference to this “unofficial” booklet in Proclaimers page 247.

Even through to the early 1930s, various ecclesias (later companies) published their own materials to supplement the official Bulletin.

roberto said...

In the years 1915-1917, the AISB (the italian IBSA) published four booklets:

1) 1915 - Il Trionfo della Bibbia (The Triumph of the Bible)
2) 1915 - Giustizia (Justice)
3) 1916 - Il vero Principe della Pace, il Re dei re e Signore dei signori (The true Prince of peace, King of the kings, and Lord of the lords)
4) - 1917 - Dando ascolto alle dottrine dei demoni (Listening to demonic doctrines).

Do you know if in America or elsewhere the Watchtower or associated people published the same booklets?

Eventually I can provide the covers of those booklets.

ruallom 129

jerome said...

I did have a look through lists of booklets and tracts (which were often small booklets) for this era, but couldn't find any titles that matched up with those you give. That doesn't mean they aren't there - perhaps someone else can find them!

It would help if more key information could be given. How many pages do they have? Are there any illustrations? Are there any chapter or subject headings? These might help identify them.

Are you absolutely sure of the dates? Once you get past 1917 all sorts of things were published and circulated that may not be official publications of the IBSA or Italian equivalent.

roberto said...

The dates are printed on the booklets.

I've already sent the first booklet to Rachael, ask her. I'll send the booklets to you in the next ten days.

I will write more details the next week

jerome said...

I've had a look at the one booklet, dated Gennaio 1916 (January 1916) but cannot link it up with English language publications. It is obviously IBSA based, the pictures on the cover, and the "confession of faith" is an expanded version of "To us the scriptures clearly teach" found in every Watch Tower magazine of the time. Also the location of Pinerolo ties in with the 1982 Yearbook history. However, there were reportedly only a handful of adherents there at this time, and there were Waldensian connections not present in the original IBSA publications. So it seems to be a local publication, with an interesting history to discover.

I have a big disadvantage. Your English is a lot better than my Italian.

roberto said...

At page 20 of the booklet, the first title reads:
“Christ, that is made up of 144.000 members having Jesus as head will be the mediator, during the Millennium between God and the mankind”.
Then the following scriptures without comments: Revelation 20:6 Revelation 15:4 and Revelation 21:3,4

The 144.000 part of Christ was a Watchtower teaching? Or I can consider the statement a bit “heretical”? Maybe a forced developing of the doctrine that I can read in the article “The Publishing Ministry”, Watch Tower History 2, Sunday, November 25, 2012, (footnote 17, 18, 19, 20) about Russell’s Christology?

jerome said...

That would appear to be an official WT teaching at this time.

From around 1907 the WT began emphasising the view that the 144,000 shared with Christ as Mediator of the New Covenant, and that this would be during the Millennium.

For example, from the 1907 WT (reprints page 3965) (quote)
As Jacob had trying experiences in the interim, so his posterity have had and will have until the blessing of the Lord under the New Covenant shall come to them at the hands of the Great Mediator of the New Covenant, the glorified Christ Jesus AND THE CHURCH, WHICH IS HIS BODY – SPIRITUAL ISRAEL. (end quote - Capitals mine).

This became part of the New Covenant controversy that led to a breakaway movement led by Ernest and Rose Ball Henninges in Australia in 1909. (see Proclaimers book and Yearbook history of Australia for brief details).

roberto said...

Jerome, thank you a lot!!