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The claim is made that the early conference resulted in only a provisional organization,  and that the organization of the church as it came to exist, with John Alexander already declared Apostle, the others to be selected, * was clearly intended to be the ultimate outcome of the steps taken in 1896.

In a personal letter, Leaves of Healing of September 10, 1904, which is by its position in the paper, evidently apologetic, and designed to make “straight the path" for the First Apostle, Mr. Dowie himself says, "These reports ** will give careful readers a clear view of the evolution of the Christian Catholic Church in Zion, in one city, of less than five hundred members, to a world-wide church, numbering scores of thousands of members. ... They also trace the Divine evolution, by the Holy Spirit, of their leader from a Christian teacher and the prophet of the Restoration into a divinely-commissioned Apostle. ... As the teacher of the Christian Catholic Church in Zion ... I continued to develop practically these principles in my ministry, and God used me to prepare the church for the declaration of June 2, 1901. I there stood forth before an immense audience in the Chicago Auditorium and declared that God had sent me as John


* On December 18, 1905, when Mr. Dowie, because of failing health, abdicated his place of supreme power in Zion and gave the temporal matters into the care of a triumvirate, Overseer Speicher, Judge V. V. Barnes, and Deacon Granger, he also saw the necessity of indicating who the other apostles would be and so declared that those whom he should select would be raised to that dignity the following summer, 1906.


** Reports of conferences of ordained officers on the subject of the restoration of the Apostolic office to the church.




the Baptist had been sent, in the 'Spirit and power of Elijah.' ... I have prepared the church for the declaration, which, God permitting, I shall make on Lord's day afternoon, September 18th, in Shiloh Tabernacle, Zion City, as the divinely-commissioned First Apostle of the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church in Zion."

One who holds office in Zion said to me "this isn't unexpected; this declaration that Dr. Dowie is the First Apostle; the well-informed in Zion have known it all along;" and Mr. Dowie's own words are "I have prepared the church for the declaration." Mr. Dowie had it planned; the well-informed knew; the people had to be prepared. We cannot escape the conviction that Mr. Dowie had foresight and shrewdness of an extraordinary sort. The majority of his followers at the organization of the Christian Catholic Church little dreamed such would be the outcome, and the mass of those who have been made followers since, came into his church scarcely giving it a thought. But they have been “prepared.”  Boldness in conception and patience in execution are immediately seen to be among Mr. Dowie's characteristics. He is not simply the child of accident, although this he was when he discovered the success of his divine healing schemes in this country. He is a man of power, for it required great skill to take advantage of this discovery, and turn it to such good account in the founding and furthering of his enterprises. He clearly proves in this his ability, and his followers can justly claim that their leader is a great man. A cartoon in this same copy of the Leaves of Healing, September 10, 1904, indicated that Mr. Dowie had the conception of the present organization of Zion when he addressed the conference in Chicago, January 22, 1896, before the temporary organization had been formed. In the cartoon is a large stone building representing a power house, with the words “Apostolic Organization” over the arched doorway, and a flag flying above the roof with the words "Apostolic Power House." Scaffoldings in front are labeled, "Temporary organization Christian Catholic




Church in Zion." A wooden building of smaller dimensions at one side flies the flag "Temporary organization, Prophetic Ministry." In one corner is given a quotation from Mr. Dowie's speech of January 22, 1896: "I affirm that the church cannot be Christian, and cannot be Catholic, unless it is Apostolic. The Apostolic office must be declared as belonging to the church ... and it shall be declared to be a perpetual office. It is our duty to declare that the church of God shall eventually, and as speedily as possible, be so organized. We have nothing to do with consequences. God will call His apostles in His own time and way by the Holy Spirit." *

Mr. Dowie may have become "intoxicated with notoriety" and this intoxication may in part account for his bold assumptions, but that forethought, practical sagacity, and cleverness of execution and administration are seen in this carefully planned and administered movement none can deny. He had great ability and manifest power to bring things to pass with a large measure of success. His executive and administrative ability could easily exist apart from any question of sincerity or duplicity, but there must be sufficient motive for his persistence and patient working out of his plans. In the preaching of divine healing it is clear from the apologetic cited ** that he


* In this same cartoon at one side Mr. Dowie is standing by a work bench marked "Restoration Work Bench" with carpenter's tools to represent "The Master Builder." He is unrolling what represents his specifications which read: "So then ye are no more strangers and sojourners, but ye are fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ himself being the chief cornerstone," Eph. 2: 19, 20. The cartoon is really clever and, just as does every advertisement or publication that goes forth from Zion, It lauds Mr. Dowie and furnishes suggestion to establish in the minds of Zion's people the importance, wisdom and power of their leader. The cartoonist in Zion, Deacon Champe, who illustrates Mr. Dowie's addresses or some special announcement, has excellent ability and Mr. Dowie with keen insight has made use of the "wisdom of the children of the world" in attracting the attention of outsiders to his Zion.

** Pages 30×33.




began it in all sincerity, and developed what he terms his gospel of "salvation, healing and holy living" from an honest conviction that he was restoring neglected truths of the Bible to their rightful place. The secret of much of his tenacity, endurance, persistence, fearlessness and success, is found in the fact that he began as he verily believed by hearing and heeding God's call in circumstances and in the Bible. Accepting the Bible as he evidently does as a code of authority, in a literal, legalistic way, (and he has plenty of company in this among better balanced interpreters) he has found materials upon which to build his system of “salvation, healing and holy living,” without any twist of conscience, however much his judgment might err in the interpretation of particular passages, and his philosophy be at fault. Entire moral consistency is possible to him even while holding and teaching the doctrines upon which he lays special emphasis. People of absolutely unquestioned moral consistency had been teaching "divine healing" and kindred ideas, "tobacco as a cause of disease," "sickness caused by sin and Satan," "poisonous effects of oysters and swine's flesh," long before Mr. Dowie began his career in this country. Nearly every one of the ideas of Mr. Dowie on these subjects are presented in the pamphlets published by Evangelist J. J. Scruby of Dayton, Ohio, and the same Biblical authority quoted in their support. Yet Mr. Scruby has no faith in the Christian Catholic Church in Zion movement of Mr. Dowie.

We are compelled to think therefore that in coming to the place where he felt it a duty to preach "divine healing" and its corollary "holy living," Mr. Dowie was at least sincere, and furthermore that in continuing the proclamation of these ideas after his success was assured, he does so from moral conviction. What mixture of other motives there may be to make him continue insisting upon these ideas can only be partially ascertained. These teachings are found to influence certain classes who thus further his general plan of building up an immense industrial movement. "Divine healing," which




arrests the attention, and "clean living," which enlists the interest of many in the churches who can furnish capital for his commercial enterprises, are preached with even greater emphasis, since they are seen to be effective.

So Mr. Dowie has created for himself a double moral consciousness, on the one hand conscientiously following the bidding of a legalistically interpreted code of authority, the Bible, and doing what a mistaken interpretation leads him to feel his duty, because an accidental incident brought it to his attention. On the other, intoxicated with success, and power, he has come to feel himself in an extraordinary way a channel of God's grace to the world; is morally insane enough to believe in his own greatness, and to use every means available, deception and hypocrisy included, to further his will, which he has confounded with that of God. He preaches his three-fold gospel of "salvation, healing and holy living" conscientiously, and not a small part of his power rests upon the ethical force of his teachings as well as upon the hope of healing his followers have. He genuinely believes in himself, indeed so firmly does he believe in himself that in his consciousness he has identified himself with Elijah, honestly believing that he is a re-incarnation of that personage. We call this self-deception for want of a better term, but whatever it is, it wonderfully reinforces his mental and moral nature to have a consciousness of this kind.

In regard to the title Elijah he says “The name is not a title; it is a reality. I firmly believe in common with tens of thousands of my followers that I have been sent by God in the 'Spirit and power of Elijah' as the third and last manifestation of that prophet.”

"The first manifestation was in Elijah (which means Jehovah is my God) twenty-eight centuries ago, when the worship of Baal was triumphant in Israel. This was Elijah the Destroyer.”

"The second manifestation was in the person of John the Baptist. Matthew 13:14. He was Elijah the Preparer.”




"The third manifestation of Elijah is in my person, of whom Christ spoke, after John the Baptist's death, when he admitted the correctness of the rabbinical contention 'Elijah must first come,' saying 'Elijah indeed cometh and shall restore all things.'  I am Elijah the Restorer."

One cannot listen to Mr. Dowie and doubt his sincerity of belief in himself and his work. If he has "hypnotized his followers," as his critics claim, he has doubly hypnotized himself. He has certainly come to believe that he is Elijah and has come to this conviction by the law of suggestion. Perhaps we can trace the steps leading to this particular conviction, which is more than a hallucination, for he has lived with it, at least since June, 1901. The Bible is his authority. Whatever he thinks it enjoins it is easy to accept as a duty. It taught "divine healing" as he thought. It gave the form of the primitive church organization, which called for apostles, prophets, and teachers. It spoke of a restorer of all things, and among these divine healing and primitive officers and powers were to be included. This restorer would be, according to Jesus, none other than Elijah. Mr. Dowie had already restored divine healing and a true conception of primitive organization, (as he thought) and was placing emphasis upon repentance and holy living, primitive doctrines. The thought may have come to Mr. Dowie, first, "I am he," that is Elijah the Restorer, suggested by these circumstances and apparent coincidences between his "restoring" and the work of the predicted "restorer." Or it may have come to some of his followers more susceptible to suggestion by circumstances. Among the "tens of thousands" of his people, of whom he speaks as believing "that I have been sent by God 'in the spirit and power of Elijah.'" there were some "well-informed ones" who had suggested to Mr. Dowie that he was indeed "that prophet." If the suggestion came first through his seeing the relation between what he was doing and what he interpreted the scriptures as teaching that the predicted Elijah would do, he gladly welcomed the further suggestion of those of his followers who




had also seen it, or if it was brought to his attention by his friends first, he could easily come to see that the scripture idea of a restorer as he held it coincided with his own character and work. A conceit and feeling of importance which appears in all of his published works would only too readily welcome, entertain and fully adopt the suggestion. Mr. Dowie is self-hypnotized or hypnotized by his following.

His love of power and notoriety and flattery, the existence of which need no proving, would furnish reinforcement to the suggestion. * Thus it becomes a conviction furnishing sufficient motive to lead to its public announcement irrespective of the attitude of hostile critics or the loss of a few followers.

It is because he was drunk with power and love of notoriety, rather than because of conscious hypocrisy, that he yielded to the suggestion or suggestions.

To an ability for business, and for religious leadership, by no means mediocre, as proven by the accumulation of a valuable property, **  and the absolute confidence of a growing religious constituency, is thus added all the inspiration of a consciousness that he is fulfilling God's will and doing the work of a great prophet. Imagine a missionary of more than ordinary ability, but with some mental or spiritual weakness, led to feel himself a reincarnation of the Apostle Paul. The glorious ideal of fearlessness, devotional loyalty to Christ, endurance, and achievement, found in Paul, would furnish that missionary with stimulus sufficient to dare any danger and undertake any project for evangelizing a world, which he deemed lost without his message. Add to this ability of the missionary an insatiable love of power, and thirst for notoriety, and a conceit for being considered odd and unusual, and you have the combination which made Mr. Dowie a man of influence - a megalomaniac of the more powerful sort.


* His family confess his love for praise and the readiness with which he has yielded to any who have flattered him.


** It might better be said ability as a promoter as his administrative ability in business has been shown to have been greatly over-estimated.




How did he come to add the title of Apostle to that of Overseer and Prophet? The answer to this does no more than illustrate the fact that Mr. Dowie is mentally consistent in carrying out his plans and views of Scripture teaching. The original authorities in the church he says were apostles, prophets, and teachers. It also illustrates the plausible nature of Scripture interpretation accepted in Zion. Apostles were needed to complete the organization of the Christian Catholic Church. Mr. Dowie, the reincarnation of Elijah and John the Baptist, (one and the same personality) already the General Overseer, will of course be one, the first and for a long time the only. The Ecclesiastical Secretary of Zion explained it to me as follows: "Christ said to the Jews, (speaking of John the Baptist), 'What went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.’ The Overseer who is John the Baptist or Elijah is a prophet and more than a prophet; if more than a prophet then an apostle, for that is the only officer in the church greater than a prophet. Hence, John the Baptist was an apostle."

To be an apostle then does not add anything definite to the consciousness of Mr. Dowie, who was living already in the conviction that he is Elijah or John the Baptist, the Restorer. It only adds one more supposed honor to a man who finds it his meat and drink to be honored and titled, and he requires his people to address him as "First Apostle" and to speak of him as such.

Mr. Dowie has developed the vice of the superlative and never loses an opportunity to speak of himself or his work in the most exalted terms. He does this methodically, and it goes a great way toward duly impressing his people with the idea that Zion is one of the most wonderful movements in all history. Before Mr. Dowie's overthrow, a man who inclined toward Zion said to me that Mr. Dowie must indeed be a man of God on account of the great success he was having. This statement was made after quoting some of the statistics Mr. Dowie had powerfully paraded in one of his papers. Without




discussing the fallacy of this reasoning, which a little look into history would reveal, we notice the fact that Mr. Dowie's shrewdness in duly impressing his people, and his vanity, are both displayed in his own account of his affairs, and have had great influence. Here are samples of his statements: *

"Our mail arriving in great piles, and representing every land beneath the sun, and every State in this Union, sometimes to the number of 2,000 letters a week, the wonderful and ever-increasing number of requests for prayer which come to us not only in these letters, but in telegrams and cablegrams, from all parts of the world, for there is not now a land beneath the sun with which we are not in constant touch, ...  thousands upon thousands gather from Sabbath to Sabbath in Chicago Auditorium and we increasingly find that through these meetings every part of the United States and distant lands are influenced." This last was spoken in 1896 when Mr. Dowie's following was not very large, and while he thus flatters his own vanity he is pumping enthusiasm into his people.

In a personal letter to his people, dated September 9th, 1904, he acknowledges that in the winter of 1896 he had only five hundred members in the Christian Catholic Church, hardly consistent with the statements of the foregoing paragraph. But he further says "I stand today amidst the glory of the harvest, surrounded by hundreds upon hundreds of educated experienced people and faithful officers of all ranks; surrounded by sweet singers in thousands; ... surrounded by tens and tens of thousands of saved and consecrated members of the Christian Catholic Church in Zion; and surrounded by more than eight thousand messengers of God in the splendid organization known as Zion Restoration Host. I stand with my hands upon the lever which controls many mighty powers, such as Zion Printing and Publishing House which I use for God and humanity. I stand in the midst of the City of Zion with its population of many thousands ...  and where


* L. of H., Vol. 15. No. 21, p .703.




thousands of Zion children and youth throng Zion schools and colleges. *

Mr. Dowie is hardly within the bounds of fact when he says "tens and tens of thousands;" and when he speaks of "thousands of children and youth in Zion City," the spirit of exaggeration is upon him.

He also took particular pains to call attention to the fact that thousands came to hear him in New York, while the preachers who were trying to instruct him how to preach were in the habit of addressing hundreds. In that city he clearly demonstrated during the 1903 visitation that he thirsted to have a multitude giving him attention, and no opportunity has been allowed to pass since then to refer to the multitudes who came to hear, but he fails to mention the sensational and disgraceful means employed to bring out a curiosity smitten crowd. **

In addresses given in Carnegie Hall, New York, November 6th; 1903, Mr. Dowie in one of his inflated moments said: "If I had been as long in New York as I have been in Chicago I would have settled the other day the question as to who should be mayor. 'How?' I will tell you. By securing thirty or forty thousand votes of godly persons all of whom would have voted for the best men, irrespective of party. ... That is called the balance of power; and I am a great man for considering the balance of power. If I had been working here for a number of years I would have had these thirty thousand men and that would have settled the question."

It is doubtful whether Mr. Dowie could ever have delivered to a party boss in the city of Chicago more than two thousand


* If there ever was a man who has made every individual of his following count somewhere it is Mr. Dowie. The organization has been over-officered and a vast proportion of its financial outlay has been to keep up fine appearances, such as, robed choir, guards, robed officers, enormous expense in photograph plates, etc.


** Consult the files of any of the New York papers, November, 1903, especially with regard to the disclosures about his own father.




votes. In this same speech he says: "I am very glad to know that over all the world Zion City is being admired. Today I was very much amused in reading an incident in a letter from Sydney, Australia. The Premier of West Australia, addressing his colleagues, as they were discussing the question of the new capitol for Australia, said: "Why don't you get down to business? I feel inclined to propose that you let the contract for building this capitol and selecting the site to Mr. Dowie. He will do it on time.’” 

These are sufficient to show when taken along with what anyone can see who attends a service conducted by Mr. Dowie, that conceit and braggadocio are deeply rooted in him, appearing under a modesty which affects to attribute all his achievements to God.



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