Tuesday, February 2, 2016

From "New Workers" - Rough, uncorrected draft.

Alfred C. Malone

            Alfred Malone, a physician from Palestine, Indiana, though aged, was preaching the message at least by 1885. He wrote to Russell explaining that he had preached a series of sermons at Paris, Illinois, and sending a synopsis of their contents which Russell published in the September 1885, Zion’s Watch Tower.
            Malone was born in Indiana March 20, 1819, and was sixty-six years old in 1885. A brief biography of Malone says he went to school in Owensville, Indiana, but was “mainly self-educated.” He was a clerk early in life, then a school teacher.[1] In 1846, he graduated from Ohio Medical College in Cincinnati and practiced as an Eclectic physician. He moved to Palestine in 1850, opening a general store and a drugstore as an adjunct to his medical practice.[2] Shortly after graduation, he wrote to the editor of The Botanico-Medical Recorder, addressing a controversy in medical education. His article is slightly biographical, and we take from it this fragment: “Before I commenced the study of medicine, but coetaneous with the idea, I commenced pouring over my Latin Grammar, and Lexicon so that I might, at least, have a smattering of Latin ... . This idea was so preponderant, that I studied so intensely, and after night by the dim light of a taper, that I have almost studied out my left eye.”[3] His biographer said, “In politics, Mr. Malone is neutral; he has not voted since he helped elect Abraham Lincoln.” He was twice married, his first wife dying in 1861.[4] Malone was a prolific writer, contributing articles to the Cincinnati, Ohio, Gazette, and “three other political papers.” He contributed articles to various medical journals.
            We do not know what his religious affiliation was in the 1840s. But we know something of his religious views, and they tend toward Literalism. He expressed them in response to another physician’s suggestion that doctors maintain a certain mysticism about medicine. Malone rejected this, and compared it to the state of Christianity:

As in the political, so in the religious world, mystery is the watch-word. Let us keep the people in ignorance. Thus it was that the “man of sin – the son of perdition – who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped,” usurped the throne of the King Eternal; and, thus it is, that the leaders of the belligerent parties of the day, in some measure, now keep up the divisions which have been made by the same potent enemy of man – mystery. They teach the people that the word is a mystery; that it must be spiritualized; and that, until this is done, the common people cannot understand it – that they are called and qualified to explain it: but each sectarian establishment explains it differently, hence, so much division. Mystery is mighty you see, ... to subserve party purposes, and unduly exalt a certain class at the expense of the Bible. ...

This is all taught to be religion, and the religion of the Bible. But we know it all to be a farce, and why? Because it has been stripped of its mysteries by God-loving, God-honoring, and God-serving ministers, so that we see all its native deformities. “Technicalities” indeed! They only serve to create a stupid admiration for those who use them. The glorious gospel of the ever-blessed God was noted for its introduction among the poor, and its perfect adaptation to their understanding and condition. “To the poor, the gospel is preached” was one of the Messiah's confirmatory evidences of his mission. The divine philanthropy of the King Eternal encircled in the arms of his benevolence the whole human race, by adapting his gospel to the capacity and condition of the needy as well as the affluent, the illiterate as well as the learned, the rud& as well as the 'polite.

As in the religious, so shall it be in the medical world. Every thing should be plain, and adapted to the capacities and understandings of all as far as practicable. The same arguments that will apply to the abolition of mystery and “technicalities” in the religious world, will apply with equal, if not greater force in the medical world.[5]

            So much of this is Literalist belief that we suspect he had already been exposed to it. There is a confusing bit of Disciples history that associates the Malones with that church in the 1850s. In 1858 he and a few others withdrew (a Disciples history says ‘reorganized’) and formed a separate congregation. We suspect that the division was on doctrinal grounds, but we cannot prove that. Malone connected with One Faith believers as associated with The Restitution. Writing that he was “known as a gentleman and a scholar,” his biographer noted that Malone contributed to Prophetic Watchman, (Howard, Illinois), The Gospel Banner, (Geneva, Illinois), The Herald of the Coming Kingdom, (Chicago), and The Restitution, (Plymouth, Indiana). These are all Age-to-Come and One Faith journals. He wrote to books as well, Bible Religion and The Age to Come. W. H. Perrin, the biographer noted above, described Malone’s books as works of merit. We failed to locate Bible Religion and cannot comment on it. But we think The Age to Come is a thoughtful and well-written book.
            As its title suggests, it presents Age-to-Come belief. Malone’s opening words were: “That the Bible teaches the grand and glorious doctrine of ‘the age to come,’ embracing ten periods of a hundred years each, otherwise called ‘the age of ages,’ I think is fully revealed in that Book, and will be thoroughly shown as we proceed in the investigation.” As cogent as much of Malone’s book is, it is significantly at odds with Storrs and Russell beliefs about the nature and scope of salvation. Malone rejected Fair Chance doctrine.[6] Malone’s Age to Come is an effective statement of where the Allegheny Bible Study Group was in 1870 or so. To adopt Russellite views, he had to travel similar paths. Not many One Faith believers were able to do that, but Malone gives a clue to the impulse that took him to Watch Tower belief. We find it in his book: “Catering to a theory, is not conversion to Christ. An entire acceptance of the Divine Word, a child-like study of its teachings, and an implicit obedience to its commands, not a hunting out of what is pleasing and peculiar in some points only, is the only safe path.”[7]
            We do not know when he finally accepted Watch Tower doctrine, but he was preaching it by 1885. He wrote to Russell, sending a précis of lectures he had given in Paris, Illinois, “hoping that it will not be uninteresting to yourself and the readers of the tower.[8] Finding the detailed content of a Watch Tower worker’s message is a rare event.
Malone reasoned from Scripture that God is the Savior of all men from the Adamic sin and death. He is first the savior of “very few, a ‘little flock.’ Then he saves a “great crowd.” Salvation is “builded upon God’s philanthropy and the eternal fitness of things.” The work of the present age is to bring the Little Flock to salvation because it is “destined to be kings and priests with Christ.” The Little flock assists in bringing the many to salvation. However, God is “not now the Saviour, in fact, of all men, nor indeed of any as generally taught – a Saviour from famines, pestilences, earthquakes, cyclones, etc., etc. But he will be ‘the Saviour of all’ from the effects of the Adamic sin and  death.”
            “Adam and Eve wrecked themselves and the race in the loss of innocence, in the loss of God's image, and in a gain of sin and death,” he said. Animal creation was affected because perfect human dominion faded. When perfect, Adam and Eve “only fell a little short of the angels of God.” Using concepts anyone familiar with current Watchtower doctrine will recognize, he amplified his view of paradise:

And all intelligences were put under contribution to administer to their necessities and happiness. His sight was flooded with glory; his taste was satisfied with richest viands, and his ears were thrilled with grandest melodies, his lungs were filled and bathed in the life-inspiring atmosphere, and his blood was made to leap and dance with a perfect manhood – God's inexpressible gifts for the perpetuation of a glorified manhood.

And this perfect state of manhood might have been continued forever, as the means to this end were placed within their reach. But with the entrance of sin, Eden was lost, lordship was lost, innocence was lost, happiness and a glorified humanity were lost, and pain and woe and misery were gained! ...

Through the disobedience of one man the world was flooded with sin and woe and death; and these could never have been lifted had not another perfect and obedient Man Redeemed-Ransomed the race.

            This salvation is universal, and "God will have" it, no matter who may oppose; for "He works all things after the counsels of his own will." Malone did not advocate Universal Salvation, and that’s not what he meant here. He meant that salvation was available to all, through the sacrifice of Christ who filled Adam’s place. He rejected Universalism. Instead he believed that, “As all sinned and died in or by Adam, so God being just, after the ransom was paid, the Redeemer controls all and may restore all to Adamic life and perfection; and then put them upon trial for themselves, not Adam for them; they will live for, or in, their own obedience; or die for their own sins.”
            God accomplishes this through the selection of “a little flock” who are made rulers in the Kingdom of God, administrators of divine blessings. Malone described them as a “race immortal rulers.” This “is an election by grace for kingship and priesthood in the kingdom. This salvation is only for "the little flock," for the Bride of Christ, for members of his Body; and here there can be only so many. Christ's Body is not to be a monstrosity, but perfect and complete.” This ‘truth’ has been “lost sight of” by the many. Instead:

Now it is popular, honorable, and leads to wealth and fame to belong to some so-called orthodox church, but in Paul's day, it meant the loss of caste, of riches and honor, and even life itself to be a member of the true Church. Pure Christianity is unchanged; now, as then, "they that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." And, if we are not partakers of this persecution, of this dishonor, we "are bastards and not sons." That is, many claim to be children of God, to belong to "the little flock," to the consecrating ones, whereas they only have "a name to live while they are dead" to this life of toil and labor and entire obedience to God!

            True members of the Little Flock must live as Christ lived, suffer the insults and persecution he suffered, and accept rejection for the sake of faith. Christ also saves a great crowd. The Little Flock exists for the blessing of the bulk of humanity, including those who fell short of grasping the “crown.” “These, though losing the crown, may be ‘saved in the day of Christ.’” Most of Christendom believed that the world is on trial now. This is not Scriptural. Malone said so:

The world is not now on trial, nor has it ever yet been. Adam was tried and failed, and all men in him. The new trial of the world cannot take place until the Head and Body of Christ are prepared to offer it. The Head of the Christ has been tried and triumphed. "The little flock" is now on trial, and when it shall have triumphed and been joined to the Head, then the trial of the world shall commence. When the King and Queen – the Christ and his Bride – shall have been married, then, and not until then, shall "the times of restitution" bear their perfected fruits. The "little flock" are not to be restored; they are to stand out as bright stars, and shine as the sun over a restored earth. The restored earth and its restored lord- mankind-will be indeed grand, but the "little flock," the Body of
Christ, his Bride with the Head is the grandest of all! far above angels as well as men.

The pure wife is the glory of a pure husband; the redeemed, glorified Bride is the glory of Christ, and Christ is the glory of God! Everything in its own proper place and time; but "God over all blessed forever”!

            Malone was an old man when he entered the Watch Tower ministry. In the spring of 1888 he met General Benjamin Harrison. A record of their meeting describes him as “an elderly physician of Palestine, Illinois.” Malone told Harrison, “I have wanted to meet you, as I am firmly convinced that you will be the nominee for the Presidency by the Republican National Convention ... and that you will be elected next November. I am an old man and do not expect to live to cast a vote in another Presidential election after this year, but it will be a source of great satisfaction during the remainder of my life to know that
I have met the next President of the United States and to have cast my last vote for him.” Alfred Malone died July 28, 1892. Benjamin Harrison served as President of the United States from 1889 to 1893.

[1]               The store that Alfred clerked for in Owensville was Hall & Warrick.
[2]               We read several of his medical journal articles. Only one of them contribute to this history, but, for the record, we found articles by him in the August 1872, Chicago Medical Times; the October 1856, American Medical Journal; the January 1861, Eclectic Medical Journal;
[3]               A. C. Malone: The Physician’s Character, The Botanico-Medical Recorder, October 23, 1847, pages 337-339.
[4]               W. H. Perrin: History of Crawford and Clark Counties, Illinois, Part III, Biographical Sketches, 1883.
[5]               A. C. Malone: The Physician’s Character, The Botanico-Medico Recorder, Pages 337-338.
[6]               see pages 48-50.
[7]               page 105.
[8]               A. C. Malone: Fruits of the Ransom, Zion’s Watch Tower, September 1885, page 4.

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