Saturday, July 20, 2013

How John Paton told it...

A transcription of a four page supplement issued with The World’s Hope for February 15, 1890. (Volume 8, number 4).


FROM the year 1875 to 1879 my time was given to proclaiming in several states the principles of Bible truth as later developed in DAY DAWN. In the autumn of 1879, Bro. A.D. Jones, then of Pittsburg, urged me to write the substance of my lectures and have them published in book form, He said, “We need such a book, to give people who hear these lectures the evidence in permanent form, as well as to reach many who have not the opportunity of hearing; and I am convinced that you are the one to write it. Have you not thought of writing such a book?”
I confessed that I had thought of it, having realized the need of it in my work, and having often been moved in spirit to write these things, but had never ventured even to speak of it, because, for certain reasons, it seemed impracticable.
“Are the reasons of a financial nature?” he asked.
I admitted that such was the case; that being dependent on the fruit of my labor for the support of myself and family, I had no means to invest in publishing.
“Well,” he said, “I am willing to publish such a book, paying all the expenses, if you will write it.”
It seemed to be of the Lord, and after further deliberation, I decided to make the effort. I left off traveling, except to fill my regular Sunday appointments, and devoted myself five days in each week to writing for the book, and in about seven weeks, DAY DAWN was ready for the press. Then followed the care of proof-reading, while it was being printed.
The book was completed and ready for circulation about the month of May, 1880. This was the first edition of which 4,000 copies were printed. It was arranged that I should have all the books I could sell, and that we would give them to the Lord’s poor – those unable to pay. I disposed of five hundred copies, but always found it easier to give, than to sell. The book was freely advertised in Zion’s Watch Tower, for which I was then a constant writer, but for some reason my Post Office address was not given, so that orders for the book did not come to me as a result of that advertising.
The first edition was mainly all disposed of in less than two years. My publisher came to Almont in August 1881, and said that we should soon need another edition, and offered to publish it on the same terms as before. To this I consented, as I was still unable to publish it myself. He suggested that I should revise the book, making such changes as seemed best to myself. Since sending out the first edition, by a careful examination of the Word, my mind had undergone a change as to the nature of Christ’s sacrifice, and the Atonement. I did not deny the Ransom, as some have positively affirmed, but only denied the correctness of their, and my own former theory of the matter. I now saw that the idea of Substitution, or that Christ died instead of mankind, was unscriptural and untrue, as we all die. The unity of Christ, as the Second Man, with the whole race, I saw to be the Apostolic idea, so that all died and rose in him. So this fundamental and vital union with Christ, as the basis of a practical and experimental at-one-ment with, or reconciliation to God, took the place of substitution in DAY DAWN, when revised. Out of this Scriptural idea that Christ is the “Head of every man,” and that all were reconciled to God in him, grew the idea that every man would, indeed must, in due time, be personally and practically reconciled to God through him. These two ideas, related to each other as cause and effect, and clearly sustained by many Scriptures, constitute the chief, if not the only, difference between the first and second editions of DAY DAWN. Those who understand the position taken, can see that so far from ignoring or belittling Christ as the Redeemer of men, it emphasizes his work as the Life-Giver, so that, “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
About the time of the revision of DAY DAWN, my articles, on account of the change above noted, were excluded from the columns of Z.W.T., its Editor regarding the doctrine as a dangerous and “damnable heresy,” and those who accepted this change as unpardonable sinners, and therefore doomed to annihilation at death. I personally endeavored to disabuse the brother’s mind of such a great misconception of the idea; but it seemed of no avail.
About the same time, for some other reason, my publisher had also been shut out from the pages of Z.W.T., and the publication of Zion’s Day Star had commenced. Its Editor requested me to write for his paper. This I did for a few issues, but to my great surprise, an article on the “Atonement,” was rejected and returned. What counsels led him to such a conclusion, I did not know. But I could feel that a crisis had come. It was not pleasant to be misunderstood, and thus treated by brethren, but having the assurance that I was right, none of these things moved me, and I quietly awaited the issue.

Soon my publisher sent me word that he wanted to see me in reference to the republication of DAY DAWN, and suggested that we meet at Dansville, N.Y. As this matter of republication had been arranged at the time of his visit to Almont, before the re-writing of the book, which was now done, I thought I knew what this proposed visit meant. We met at Dansville in the early winter, in the presence of two others, and after canvassing the situation for about twenty-four hours, I was informed that he could not conscientiously publish the revised edition.
This was a heavy blow; but dark as it then seemed, I have had great reason many times since then to thank the Lord for that decision. I returned home feeling somewhat sad, but not overwhelmed. I said to my wife, “It seems that the Lord does not want me to have the book republished, and if so, I do not want to have it done.” Here the matter rested for several weeks, nothing being said about it by me. Being in Detroit, preaching, I called on a brother who was somewhat interested in my work, and in the course of our visit he said,
“Brother Paton, I understand that you are going to have DAY DAWN republished.”
“No,” I answered, “that has been given up.”
“What does that mean?” he asked, looking up with marked surprise.
I answered, “My publisher has refused to do it.”
“On what ground?”
“On account of my change of view on the Atonement.”
“Then publish it yourself.”
“That,” I replied, “is easier said than done.”
“But why not do it yourself?” he persisted.
The answer was candid: “The want of means.”
Think of my surprise when he replied, “Go ahead and publish it in your own name; I will furnish the means.”
Thinking this might be an impulse of his kind heart, expressed without due consideration, and without knowledge of the amount of money required, and that he might regret it, I said, “You surely do not realize what you are offering; you have no idea how much it would cost.” To which he earnestly replied,
“I do not care how much it costs.”
Still thinking he might be surprised at the amount, I told him it would require a direct outlay of not far from $800.00.
His reply was, “Is that all? Go ahead and do it and I will run all risk of getting it back.”
This seemed another Providential opening, and I acted accordingly. The book was published forthwith. I may say, the brother never seemed to regret his offer. He supplied me with the money as fast as it was needed, but, as two others, learning of the facts, wanted to carry part of the burden, he was only required to furnish half the amount named. He would not even take a note of hand, and refused to take any interest at the final settlement. One of the other two furnished about $300.00, and afterward said, “I do not want you to pay any of it back to me, but let it go to furnish the poor free, and to help support your family as the books are sold.”
This edition was only 3,000, and yet it has taken much longer to dispose of it than the other. This has been partly due to the want of a means of advertising the book among those who knew me, and who were interested in such matters; and, no doubt, in part to the confessed effort on the part of the editor of Z.W.T. to hide the revised edition by publishing a false statement that DAY DAWN was out of print, and by the promise of a similar book, with a similar name; - which promise after several years of waiting was fulfilled. It is not the first time that a strong-willed and earnest man has done evil that a supposed good might come of it, or “verily thought he was doing God’s service,” when persecuting those preaching or holding advanced truth. And God overrules even the wrath of man for good. I rejoice in the assurance that the book with a similar name, Millennial Dawn, as well as Z.W.T., is doing much good, reaching many we could not reach, and leading them to the knowledge of the same general plan as that advanced in DAY DAWN, and causing many to go in advance of their teacher, even to accept the larger hope as proclaimed by DAY DAWN and THE WORLD’S HOPE. I have many evidences of this.
I would not mention these unpleasant points only that they seem so intimately connected with this “Experience,” and show some of the difficulties over which the Lord has brought us.
After the publication of the revised edition of DAY DAWN, in the summer of 1882, many friends urged me to publish a periodical, as a means of spreading the gospel as I understand it. This too was a silent ambition or earnest desire of my own heart, but I waited for the moving of the waters. I wanted to be led by the Lord in the matter, and I have long believed that the Lord in such things often moves through his people. I waited to hear through them in whom I had confidence, what he would have me do in the matter, assured that if he would have me publish a paper, he would through them furnish the means.
Finally one brother said, “Brother Paton, I think you must publish a paper. These things are too good to be kept all to ourselves. And now I make you this offer. If you will go ahead and publish a paper, sending out samples to as many as possible, I will furnish means, if necessary, to the extent of $1,000.00 for the first year.”
Knowing that his heart was in the offer, and that he had the means at his command, I accepted the suggestion as of the Lord, and began at once to make the arrangements needed. But another trial of faith awaited me: for just when the first payment was needed, the brother was laid upon a bed of sickness, and for about four months was unable to do any business, or even to talk about these things.
Again I said to my wife, “It seems as if these plans are to be frustrated.” She answered, “Well, if the Lord wants the paper, he will furnish the mean: and if otherwise, better stop now, than after you have gone further.” To this I agreed, and rested the matter there.
But it was not allowed to rest long. In about two weeks, a letter came from a brother, unknown personally to me, who lived in Illinois, asking me to visit his place and give a course of lectures. Soon after we met, he said,
“Do you know why I sent for you? It was not only to hear you; there is another matter that controlled me. We want a paper, and I think you are the man to publish it. Have you ever thought of such a thing?”
I said I had thought of it, but that it did not seem practicable. And he said, “Why?”
I was cautious in my reply, being anxious to know what the Lord had been doing with him. He was persistent:
“Is the difficulty a financial one? Would you publish a paper if you had the means?”
I finally admitted that I would. He then said:
“I think we must have such a paper as you would publish, and I think there are others who will help; but if it would start you in the work, I have $500.00 for you at once.”
I then told him what had been done, and how the work had been suspended. He had been moved in the matter just in time to help out of the difficulty. From that event, THE WORLD’S HOPE began to be published, and I have never doubted that I was doing the Lord’s will in the matter.
The sick brother recovered, and though it was not necessary for him to give as much as he had offered, yet for years he gave liberally, to support this cause, and to send the good tidings free to the poor. His heart is still in the work, but by a peculiar turn of affairs, he has not, for the past year, been able to give as before. This was another trial of faith; but still the means have been supplied from other sources, and the poor are still being fed.
The HOPE has now been published over seven years. For three years it was a monthly, and the printing was done away from home. Then it was thought best to make a semi-monthly, and to print it at home. The means were supplied to buy type, printing press, paper-cutter and other furniture for the office. And the editor and his family, (with some other help) have learned the printer’s trade, so far as this work requires.
There have been many little incidents of interest, that have been encouraging to faith. Some may seek to account for these things as accidental; but it has become easier to see the hand of the Lord in them. Some of these have been recorded. I will now record another.
The last thing of special importance with which the printing-office was furnished, was the paper-cutter. I had learned that a new one, such as I needed, would cost $80.00. But I found a second-hand one, that could be bought for $55.00. Soon after, a brother said, “Isn’t there something else you need in your office?”
I did not wish to tell him about it, as he had already done so much, so I said, “I think we are pretty well supplied.” But he was not satisfied, and said, “I cannot help thinking there is something else you need, and I want you to tell me, that I may help you.”
I then told him, but that I wanted to obtain the means in some other way. He handed me $37.00, and said I must take it, and I would perhaps get the balance somewhere else. I was a little surprised at the peculiar amount. I would not have thought of it had it been $35.00 or $40.00. On coming home, I received a letter from a brother five hundred miles from the other, and who knew nothing of the facts, and the letter contained a present of $48.00, - just enough, with the other, to make the $55.00 needed.
So many such things have occurred in our experience, that when doubts and fears arise, as they sometimes do, the Saviour’s words seem appropriate, “O, thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”
These things are no evidence of infallibility either of doctrine or life. But the Lord uses and blesses imperfect agencies, to lead others into light. One earnest sister said, “I am puzzled to know why the Lord can so bless such a heretic as you are.” Would he so bless one who had committed an unpardonable sin?
For some time the idea has been suggested that another edition of DAY DAWN is needed, as nearly all are gone, and orders for them continue to come. This impression has been growing stronger, and yet just how it will be done, does not appear. The thought, as before, has been, if the work should be done, the Lord in some way will supply the means. Within a few days, the brother in Illinois, who was specially used for starting the HOPE, and who for years has been largely taken up with another branch of work, so that we have had but little correspondence, has again come to the front, to learn as to the need of the work, and proposes to aid in getting out a new edition of DAY DAWN, and also suggests a plan (given below) by which all who desire it, may help toward a larger circulation of the paper and books. And I have just received from a friend in North Carolina, ten dollars to help toward the new edition of DAY DAWN. It will not require as much immediate outlay for another edition as the last, because much of the work can be done at home. The sum of $500.00 will do about as much now, as $800.00 did then.
This, then, is our present attitude. It has been decided to begin at once; preparations having already been partly made; and to proceed with the work as rapidly as the Lord gives ability. We desire and expect his blessing on the effort, and we crave the sympathy, prayers and co-operation of all who believe we have the truth, and who desire a share in the work of making known the “good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people.” We do not dictate as to what any one shall do, or how they shall work, but hope each one will say, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” And may he direct us all to his glory, and the blessing of many.
This experience is given by request, and as an illustration of some of the Lord’s ways. Believing that “Thus far the Lord has led me on,” I would thank him, and still go on with courage.
WE will endeavor to describe the plan of work which has been suggested by the brother before mentioned. Its object is to advertise and circulate THE WORLD’S HOPE, DAY DAWN and MOSES AND CHRIST, and to secure to each reader of the HOPE a copy of each book. We have decided to try it, as it seems right, and thinking it more blessed to try to do a good work and fail, than not to try at all.
The plan is to appoint each reader of the HOPE, who desires to co-operate with us in this work, an agent for the sale of the book, MOSES AND CHRIST, urging that each one who has not a copy already, will obtain one. Each agent thus appointed may do the work without even leaving home. To this end, let each one send us a two-cent postage stamp, and we will forward him a package of twenty envelopes and the same number of printed copies of a circular letter, to be signed by the agent and mailed to twenty persons of his own choice. The letter will advertise our works, and invite each one receiving it to send for a copy of MOSES AND CHRIST. If all the twenty respond, the agent will receive as his reward, a cloth-bound copy of DAY DAWN, and credit of a year’s subscription to THE WORLD’S HOPE. Thus each reader will possess both books. If all do not respond, the agent will be supplied with more letters, if he wishes, till twenty do respond; but a credit of nine cents will be given to the agent for each sale he secures, though all the twenty do not respond.
The package of letters sent out will all be numbered, and, in our account book, the number of the package will be marked beside the name of the agent to whom it is sent. Then if each agent will send us a list of the names and post offices to whom he sends the letters, and if each one receiving such a letter, and sending for a book, will return the circular letter to us, we can then give each agent the proper credit.
Each one sending for the book, MOSES AND CHRIST, may also send for a package of letters, and by acting as agent, obtain the reward of DAY DAWN and WORLD’S HOPE, like the others.”
By co-operating with us in this plan, many who have expressed a desire to do something in this cause, but knew not how, will have a good opportunity. Let this statement of the plan be carefully studied, and then let those interested, and who are willing to make the needed effort, send the two-cent stamp for the package of letters.
The prices of the books, postage paid, are as follows: MOSES AND CHRIST, in paper cover, 30 cents; cloth-bound, 50 cents; DAY DAWN, in paper cover, 50 cents; cloth-bound, 75 cents. THE WORLD’S HOPE is $1.00 a year.
ADDRESS: J.H. PATON, Almont, Mich.   (Feb. 15, 1890.)
“Whatever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.” – Eccle. ix. 10.



Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

"the confessed effort on the part of the editor of Z.W.T. to hide the revised edition by publishing a false statement that DAY DAWN was out of print, and by the promise of a similar book, with a similar name"

This is, of course, a blatant lie. In an early issue of World's Hope, Paton said the first edtion was exhausted. Out of print. Russell merely repeated what Paton said. Paton did not like the result.

Paton lied regularly over large and small issues. Sometimes there is no clear reason for it.

I've found that you have to weigh everything he says. He was not a trustworthy man.

Benjamin Barton said...

"I disposed of five hundred copies, but always found it easier to give, than to sell."
That would happen to most books

"The book was freely advertised in Zion’s Watch Tower, for which I was then a constant writer, but for some reason my Post Office address was not given, so that orders for the book did not come to me as a result of that advertising"
If Paton had all the books than it is logical that Russell would pass orders on as he did want the book written and would not advertise it if he did not want it out. And as the World's Hope gave the address as J.H.Paton, Almont, Mich. It would not be as difficult to find the address as it is today.

"During the two years after the book was first published the study of the word led the author to change his mind as to the nature and extend of the Atonement and Salvation" (The World's Hope, October 1883 Vol. 2 No 1 P 8,9)
So this suggests Paton started changing his mind directly after writing the book so why would he even want it sold? And he said he had to give away a lot.

Benjamin Barton said...

When I say "he had to give it away a lot" it is of course a exaggeration as I do not know how many where sold.

As to the address not being given it was published in the Watchtower of June 1880 together with that of the Publisher A. D Jones

jerome said...

Paton of course was not expecting eagle-eyed researchers to match his comments against his own statements in past issues of his own journal as well as ZWT.

Ton Hollander said...

Interesting as always

roberto said...

Thanks Jerome for this trascription.

CrimsonRoseDesigns said...

I know this is an older post, but just now got around to reading it... One spot stuck out as odd to me...

"He handed me $37.00 ….. letter contained a present of $48.00, - just enough, with the other, to make the $55.00 needed."

Is it just me or does 37+48=85 not $55 so his comment insinuating it was "the lords work" to give him the "just enough" is off by $20

jerome said...

Hi CrimsonRoseDesigns

I guess the error is mine, not John Paton's. I checked out the "original" that I transcribed, and although the spacing suggests the latter figure could be 48 - the 4 really has to be 1. So 37 + 18 = 55.

Apologies, but well spotted!