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When Mr. Dowie arrived in America and began making converts to the doctrine of divine healing, or to gather those about him who already believed it,* he inspired them all with the idea of the necessity of bearing witness to this faith. When his people were organized apart from the churches he made provision for extending belief in his teachings and for drawing from the churches any who might be in sympathy with what was taught in Zion. He arranged to have his evangelists and teachers with the Zion literature, go to almost every large center of population and preach his three-fold or "full" gospel of salvation, healing, and holy living.

Not many have come into Zion as first hand converts, but the vast majority have come from the different religious bodies already in existence.

Many of the officers of Zion have come from the denominations. Overseer Speicher was a Baptist minister and physician, Overseer Excell a Seventh Day Adventist, Overseer Piper a Baptist business man, Overseer Braisefield a Presbyterian minister, Overseer Voliva a Disciple minister, Overseer Mason a Baptist missionary, Elder Cossum a Baptist missionary in China, Elder Gay a Baptist minister in Alabama, the Founder of the Gay Lectureship at the Southern Baptist Seminary. And so it goes through almost the entire list.

Every one whom I have personally known in Zion was a Christian before becoming a member there. I have read a


* Chapter on Point of Contact shows how the ground was prepared for him.




few testimonies in the Leaves of Healing of those who were not, but were converted from deep sin by representatives of Zion.

A former member of Zion says, "The majority of those in Zion have been members of the denominations." *

It has clearly been the policy of Mr. Dowie to "evangelize" the existing churches and to draw from them his followers. This is done in various ways. The use of the printed sheet has been one of the most effective. Testimony after testimony is given by Zion people that it was through the Leaves of Healing that they were first led to a knowledge of Zion's teaching, and brought to embrace the "full" gospel. **

Members of Zion are all anxious to distribute tracts and to put their literature into the hands of anyone who will give it a reading. They are of the class, and their beliefs are such, that this form of propagandism is natural to them. This instinctive willingness has been reinforced by Mr. Dowie, who has urged all members to pay the price of subscriptions for the Leaves and other publications, for someone outside of Zion, almost always a Christian in one of the churches who


* OVERSEER BRAISEFIELD - "Now one more question I desire to ask."It is proper in our testifying and witnessing to give due honor to him who is not yet present. God has honored the ministry of the First Apostle.

"It will be interesting to know how many of you were saved through his personal ministry, through hearing his voice, when he proclaimed the Gospel in this and other lands, through the written Word as it has gone forth in the pages of Leaves of Healing, and through the ministry of those whom he has trained as officers in Zion. Such persons may stand. [A large number in the audience rose.]

"How many were Christians before they heard of Zion? {About three - fourths of the audience rose.]

"That is a very suggestive sight.

"Deacon Sloan suggests that you were backsliders." - L. of H., Jan. 7, 1905.


** Testimonials quoted; also L. of H. almost any copy.




might thus be reached and brought into their fellowship. * On the closing pages of L. of H., September 10, 1904, this suggestion occurs in bold type. "We are expecting to see a hearty endorsement of the teachings in this issue, expressed by every reader sending in one or more subscriptions, or at least a remittance for one copy to be sent to some one in need." This particular issue contains a full report of the conferences organizing the C. C. A. C. in Zion, an explanation and historical sketch of Zion.

Someone kindly sent me the Leaves for a year paying the subscription price, when they learned that I was interested in Zion, and large numbers of tracts have also been sent to me by those interested in spreading Zion views.

Mr. Dowie has had a double purpose in printing the testimonies of the different ones who have been healed and helped by Zion. It adds to the general momentum of the movement, furnishing materials of the best sort for promoting his ends; but it also leads the person whose experience is thus printed, to have a special interest in the matter of propagating Zion truth. Almost invariably upon writing to, or becoming acquainted with, a member of Zion whose testimony has been printed, they have sent me a marked copy of that particular paper. Every wise Sunday school superintendent understands this principle practically, and enlists the interest of the children by some method of making them more or less prominent in the work. This has been one of his practical ways of "grouping" his people around the idea of divine healing, himself the


* The following report shows something of the extent of this kind of work.

Zion literature sent out from a free distribution fund provided by Zion's guests and the friends of Zion: Report for three weeks ending October 29, 1904: 30,200 rolls to business men in the United States; 4,400 rolls to Germany; 3,723 rolls to the hotels of the world; 999 rolls to the peerage of Europe; 200 rolls to businessmen in England; 1,125 ro1ls to miscellaneous countries; number of rolls for three weeks, 40,647; number of rolls reported to October 29, 1904, 3,450,612.




agent of the healing. What a fascination the story of oneself has when one sees it in print! Most honest men will confess it, and there is a very strong desire to have as many as possible see and read. And so the story of Zion's healings are spread.

These people also bear their testimony verbally and lose no opportunity to urge others to faith in a complete gospel like their own. The burden of their message is, “the churches do not teach a full gospel; they stop with salvation, which we believe and teach with all our strength, but we teach healing and holy living also as a part of the gospel.” *

In thus teaching their three-fold gospel they often put a disproportionate emphasis upon healing, but this has been their way of calling attention to the fact that the churches give it practically no place in their thinking and teaching. They emphasize holy living also far more than the churches do; at least under this form of speech and from their legalistic standpoint. They have enforced the doctrine too in their discipline, and in the earlier days of Zion one element of strength was the noble desire of many of the people to part company with their sins and visible vices. Zion and Zion city have been fully exploited as places of clean living, in which the absence of saloons, brothels, theatres, card parties, dancing, etc., makes possible a life free from much of the worldly temptations with which one is ordinarily surrounded. This has made it an attractive place for the extremists of the


* In the L. of H., December, 1905. p. 1, the words in Mk.16:17, 18 are partially quoted: "These signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; ... they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover." The comment is made, "The denominational churches have ceased to claim either of these glorious promises of Christ.” Nothing is said about the clauses not quoted which lie between these two; "They shall speak with tongues, they shall take up serpents; and if they shall drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them," for even Zion has not been able to claim much success along these lines. It should be remarked that both these verses occur in a passage about whose authenticity there is almost universal doubt among scholars.




“unwordly” type, and that this has been an element of strength no one can doubt. *

A prominent official in Zion told me, after having expressed his grave fears about the outcome of certain tendencies in Zion, "These people are a godly people - they have a passion for righteousness." Considerably later he writes as follows: "As to the kind of people who live in this city, I would say they are a righteous people. They have borne with Christian patience much tyranny and injustice. Their patience and loyalty, I believe, have never been equalled. ... They are far better in my judgment, than those who have ruled over them. In a word there is no discount on this people." The high moral tone of the teaching of Zion, in spite of a certain amount of legalistic self-righteousness, and the suppression of spontaneity, with all the injury to character which that entails, has been of very great help in the spread of Zion's influence among many well-meaning and sincere people in the churches. It has helped the propaganda to be able to cite the evils tolerated in the churches, and then call attention to an organization and city where these are not tolerated.

To the credit of Mr. Dowie, be it said, that he has insisted upon clean living at all times and in his teaching has often made healing depend upon repentance, which really means a forsaking of sinful habits and practices, and restitution. He has also required tithing as a condition of God's continued blessing, and upon people ready to be convinced by specious Scripture argument, this has wonderfully strengthened his hold, incidentally increasing his income.

This leads to an examination of the general method of attack upon the churches by which the susceptible members have been brought to forsake their former allegiance and unite with Zion.

First: All possible has been done to show that the teaching of the churches is insufficient and partial, warped and


* Cf. James' Varieties of Religious Experience, Chapter, "Saintliness.  




misleading,  and their practices in many instances unscriptural or sinful.

Second: It has been attempted to show that the Zion movement is a part of the Scriptural program of “the restoration of all things," and that Zion and its teaching are a restored primitive organization of the church, its officers and its message. Zion is the most effective agent of the Kingdom of God and the full gospel, the preaching and practicing of which bring answer to the prayer, "Thy Kingdom come."

This of course is not a formal program which Mr. Dowie has devised and which his officers have agreed upon; but is an analysis of the actual way the Zion movement, from before the time of its formal organization in 1896, has related itself to the churches. In his interview at Havana, Cuba, Mr. Dowie says, * "As I went on in life, I saw that the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ, was being misconceived, and that the churches were imagining that the people could be blessed and elevated by wearisome services and wearisome repetitions of prayers, ** or elevated to God by taking women that sang for the Devil on Saturday night and having them sing for God on Sunday. ... It did not seem to me that the churches were separate enough from the world, and also it didn't seem to me as if they were in close enough touch with God to be of any help to the world. ...  Now I saw that the church did not get in touch with them (the needy people) and sympathize with them in their toil and do something to improve their condition. And I used to think over what could be done. They gave me what was considered a very fine ecclesiastical position after I returned from Scotland to Australia. ... But I was very uncomfortable in it and gave up my church. ... The world was getting more wicked, and the people were getting


* L. of H. March 4, 1905, previously cited.


** I myself sat for four hours in the Tabernacle at Zion city listening to the harangue of Mr. Dowie upon a multitude of subjects, chiefly "secretism," then left for very weariness, a friend of mine remaining another hour until the service closed.




more drunken and dissipated, and the working classes were getting farther away from God. What was to be done and what were they (the churches) doing? I must get to the people! So I threw off my gown and descended from my pulpit, and, having a few thousand dollars, I rented a big theatre in Sydney, and spoke to immense numbers of people. ... And at last after I went on for many years in my work of salvation, healing and cleansing through faith in Jesus, I found that the only way was to organize my spiritual children into a Catholic church."

The attack began, at least in this country, upon the ministry who were at first friendly toward Mr. Dowie and who in some cases invited him to speak in their churches. * They soon began to lose faith in him however, as pretentious and unbalanced as an exegete, and a fanatic upon the question of divine healing. As early as January, 1889, we find Mr. Dowie at variance with the pastors of California. On January 27, 1899, in the First Baptist church of Oakland, California, Mr. Dowie makes reply to what he terms an attack upon him by the Rev. Dr. E. C. Chapman and the Oakland pastor's union. Mr. Dowie has published this reply, in which it is clearly seen that the issue upon which he joined with the ministers and churches was divine healing. ** At the beginning of this reply Mr. Dowie says: "We will take the whole matter to Him in prayer that we may be in such a beautiful spirit of communion and expectancy, that we shall realize his presence here today. ... Let us expect to get an answer - a direct answer to a direct prayer. ... Pray with me and for me and for the multitudes of God's dear children who are sitting in the darkness of disease and sickness, and in the shadow of death; who are groaning on beds of pain, and who know not that Christ's seamless dress is by their beds of pain."


* Mr. Dowie has never seemed to appreciate at all the fact that the churches gave him the use of their buildings, in many cases receiving abuse and misrepresentations instead of gratitude.


** Pamphlet "Divine Healing Vindicated."




His prayer opens his controversy, * for by implication these "do not know," because their pastors have never told them. A reply, section by section, to the paper of Dr. Chapman, follows the prayer.

We can only gather what the paper contained, which was read before the pastor's union in criticism of Mr. Dowie, by the quotations from it that Mr. Dowie makes. He calls it the Pastor's Manifesto. The first section really defines divine healing as Mr. Dowie holds it and is as follows: "The distinguishing features of what is known as the doctrine of divine healing may be briefly stated: First, that all bodily ailment is the work of the Devil. The second definition is that Christ came to destroy the works of the Devil. Therefore it is the privilege of all who believe in him to enjoy perfect and perpetual bodily health."

Mr. Dowie says, "We accept it. We believe it is the privilege of all who live in Christ, that Christ shall live in them; that the Holy Spirit shall quicken our mortal flesh." He then quotes Romans 8:11: "If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies through His Spirit that dwelleth in you," and says, "The Holy Spirit of God is the Spirit of life and health, and if he dwells in our mortal bodies disease will not."

Much of similar import follows in which it seems Mr. Dowie carried his audience with him by reference to Scripture texts at opportune times, and by one of the boldest forms of suggestion, blunt assertion.


* Mr. Dowie began with consummate skill to group his fellow believers into a "struggle group" long before the formal organization of the C. C. C. in Zion. The fact that they have been compelled to fight for a hearing for their favorite doctrine, and have been compelled to unite for defense has had no small part to play in the full loyalty and sacrificing zeal of his followers. (Cf. Article, Conformity and Heresy; A Study in Social Psychology. Geo. H. Vincent, Methodist Review, January, February, 1906.)




The point of the reply with which we are especially dealing comes when Mr. Dowie says, "God raised up Luther and many great reformers, and then the Word of God went abroad, and the church of God has been rising ever since. The doctrine of salvation by the Grace of God through faith in Jesus came back; and now the doctrine of divine healing by Grace through faith in Jesus has come back again."

Audience.        "Praise the Lord." *

Mr. Dowie.      "The Lord give us power to help in bringing back in its fulless to the church to-day the 'old-time religion,' that tells us Jesus Christ is a present healer."

Audience.        "Amen.”

Mr. Dowie.      “ ...  The fact that our Lord himself preached the sermon to the false shepherds in John 10, who had just excommunicated the man born blind to whom He had restored sight shows that it might be no straining of the passage if we applied it literally to those shepherds of today who arrogantly threaten to expel their people and demand that their office-bearers in the church shall resign, because they confess Christ as a present healer. It is a fact beyond all question that the words of Ezekiel 34:4 are applicable to many who persecute their people for seeking the Lord as their healer, and to those of them who hinder the sick from coming to the divine healing streams which are once more flowing through the earth: 'The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken ...  but with force and rigor have ye ruled over them.'

     "It was our Lord's works of healing which especially 'moved with indignation' the shepherds of his day, and it seems as if it were the same to-day; for we are assailed with incredible bitterness by some of our fellow shepherds for daring to teach that there is balm in Gilead, and that Christ is still the physician of his people. ... Oh that our brethren in the ministry of our Lord would cease to oppose the Gospel of divine healing, and see that they are only fighting against God."


* Report printed by Mr. Dowie, "Divine Healing: Vindicated."




From this position of rebuking the ministers who had attacked his belief and methods in 1889, Mr. Dowie advances to the position a few years later where he regards all the churches as apostasies and denounces them as perverters of the Gospel. Holding that healing is coordinate with salvation in the plan of redemption, he insists that those who believe the full Gospel must not remain in the churches, but come into his organization.

In his pamphlet, “Zion’s Protest Aginst Swine's Flesh," page 14, he reports the following dialogue with his audience:

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to-day and forever. If He is the same is He not the same Savior?"

Audience.        "Yes."

"The same healer?"

Audience.        "Yes."

"Have they (the Heathen) not a right to expect the missionaries to preach an unchangeable deliverer?"

Audience.        "Yes."

"I do not blame a Heathen for rejecting Christianity if you offer him only half the Gospel. I do not believe that God will hold the Heathen accountable when you have a missionary there telling him an infernal lie: that the Christ who lived long ago is not the same healer still. I do not believe God will hold him responsible; because the Heathen have sense enough to know that the book in every page of it teaches divine healing; that the whole of the Old Testament has it from Exodus where God gives the Covenant 'I am the Lord that healeth thee,' right through to Revelation, where the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. You cannot find a single hour inside of these thousands of years in which God was not the healer, in which He was not revealed as the healer. Your missionary boards send out your infernal lies, and your medicine chest, and your surgical knives, and tell the Heathen Christ is not the same. Shame on you.




Audience.        “Amen."

"Nothing else can save China or any land, but the same old-time religion."

Mr. Dowie was shrewd enough as a leader of people to see that many of those who held to a belief in divine healing were dissatisfied with the churches in which they held their membership, and that for the most part the churches were intolerant of those who made this supreme, or one of the most important articles of their faith. He knew how easy it was to fan this dissatisfaction into a flame and to lead these people to believe the churches "apostate," whose ministers not only would not teach the doctrine, but tried to suppress the testimony of those in the churches who did.

Mr. Dowie says,* "It is impossible to see so long as your sins and your iniquities stand between you and God. You can see nothing unless perhaps it be the Methodist Church, the Baptist Church, the Presbyterian Church, the Congregational Church, the Lutheran Church, or some other denomination. But you cannot see Jesus until you have repented of your sins, and your eyes are opened to see Christ. You are blind. No church can save you. You must see and know. ... I do not know of a single member of the C. C. C. in Zion who either uses alcohol or nicotine poisons, eats swine's flesh,  goes to the theatre, or is in affiliation with the world in its iniquities; ... It is simply impossible for a true Christian to do these things. A man may call himself a Christian, but if he defiles his body he is being destroyed. He is defiling the temple of God. A defiler of the temple of God may call himself a Christian, but he has no right to expect that anyone shall believe it; for he stinks like the Devil." (Laughter.) ...

"Is the home of a man who calls himself a Christian and never prays with wife or children a Christian home? The man who says Christ is all, and yet raises no voice of praise


* Pamphlet, "Principles, Practices and Purposes of the C.C. C. in Zion," p. 6 ff.




in his home, reads no Word of God, sends his sons and his daughters out of a prayerless home into a Godless world. He is not a Christian. He is a liar. He is a sham. He is a cheat. He is a coward. If such there be in Zion, they had better repent very quickly before we hear of them, or we will put them out. (Laughter.) They must be Methodists or Presbyterians or something of that kind; for the C. C. C. in Zion practices its religion first in its home." *

Scarcely an address of Mr. Dowie's of his later ministry was free from some tirade against the denominations as harborers of all sorts of Devils and hypocrites, with an appeal or blunt command to "come out from among them."

"Let me put it simply and plainly. The purpose of the Christian Catholic Church in Zion is to smash every other church in existence. (Hisses from various parts of the building. Applause from members and friends of Zion.) **

When the Lord Jesus Christ established His Church, he established a church which was intended to smash every church then in existence. The geese and the serpents were not thinking when they hissed. Perhaps they had been drinking. Perhaps they had been stinking with tobacco, and they thought it a nice thing to be able to hiss. I am glad you are here. You have caught it this time, you serpents. (Hisses renewed. Applause from members and friends renewed.) ***

The Christian Church was established to destroy the Jewish Church and every form of heathen worship. It was established to destroy every kind of apostasy. It was established to destroy evil. The Christian Church was established to destroy hypocrites in every form. (Several scores of people arose and left the building at this point.)


* The "out-and-out" thoroughgoing insistence upon a religion that can be seen, that shows itself openly, has always appealed to the class of people Zion has reached.


** This address was delivered in Philadelphia, when many of those present were not his followers.


*** Notice how opposition seems to embolden and unite Mr. Dowie's followers.




I am very glad to find that I have made a most moving speech. (Applause. Hisses.) I can tell when there has been good work done. The Devil brings in his ambulance and carries off the wounded. I have no doubt that they will find sympathy in the various churches of the city. I will say the truth no matter what happens. I have a message. I am in a place where I am commanded of my God and of conscience to speak, and if anyone does not like it, they can go away. I am at liberty to speak, and speak I will. So far as I can see, the churches of to-day have gone into the way of Baal. Their members, their elders, and their bishops have been bowing at the altar of Baal, the Sun-God, in the Masonic lodge. Yet not all have sinned thus. There are multitudes of good people within these churches. There are multitudes of godly ministers within these churches. There are multitudes who have not bowed the knee to Baal within these churches. They are deceived by their leaders. They are misdirected by their leaders. *

God's will is the destruction of every organization which does not extend the Kingdom of God. I call your attention to the statistics of the denominations, to their own self-confessed failure, and point out to you that the time has come when the Kingdom of God is not being extended by their agency. ... The things which can be shaken must be taken away. The things to remain are the things which cannot be shaken. Zion has arisen; a Kingdom which cannot be shaken; the Kingdom of God.

Oh God, let that consuming fire destroy evil and establish


* (Personal letter to me.) -"I joined Zion because it was the only way and place you could get the three fold Gospel teached. There are thousands of people to-day that would like to go and hear Dowie preach, but he is continually raking the worldly churches, and consequently you would rather be in darkness than to step in the light and get some of the true teaching.”

From Leaves of Healing: - "There is nothing in the denominations to-day that has such a holding influence upon the people as the beautiful truths of Zion, and that keeps them true and faithful."




good!  May that fire which burnt nineteen centuries ago in the destruction of the apostate Jewish Church, destroy every form of apostasy to-day and bring in the reign of God and righteousness."

At the close of this address, Mr. Dowie gives what he terms the CALL.  "On what side do you desire to stand? Are you so tied to men and systems that you will be blind to God and His eternal purposes? Are you determined to stand for God, and to live according to conscience? Are you determined to do right, no matter what the results may be? Are you determined to live as nearly in accordance with the commands of Jesus Christ as you can? All who desire to live for God in this way, stand and tell him so. All who desire to live for God, with all your minds, and souls, and strength, stand and pray." (Hundreds arose.) *



"My God and Father, in Jesus' name I come to Thee. Take me as I am. Make me what I ought to be, in spirit, in soul, in body. Give me Thy Holy Spirit. Enable me to trust Thee; to do right to any whom I may have wronged; to repent, to restore, to confess, to do right in Thy sight. Give me Thy Holy Spirit that I may be brave to follow Jesus without the gate as well as within the gate, to bear His cross, to endure His shame, to triumph with Him. Give me Thy Holy Spirit, that I may be pure in spirit and in soul and body, for Jesus' sake." (All repeat the prayer, clause by clause, after the General Overseer.)

"Did you mean that?"

Voices             "Yes."

General Overseer - "Will you live it?"

Voices              "Yes."

General Overseer - "Then you belong to Zion. Get in quickly. You do not belong outside; for outside that life is not lived."


* Notice the truly "revival" method of handling an audience. Cf. Davenport, "Primitive Traits," Chapter, Conversion by Suggestion.




Here is an advertisement of the Leaves of Healing which is very significant and indicates the amount of energy that Zion has expended in the destructive work of encouraging disaffection among members of the churches, united with a forceful presentation of reasons for coming to Zion.





The Zion people have also fully denounced the existing churches as evidenced by the following statement:




But you cannot say these things in exactly the same words I use.

If they say to you, "Do you believe the horrible things Dr. Dowie says?" you answer, "Yes."

If they say, "Then you are just as bad as he is," you can reply, "You read what he says," and give them a copy ot Leaves of Healing.

It will soak into their minds and hearts, and they will think about it.

Thousands of you were Methodist, Baptist, Episcopalian, or some other kind of stinkpots, but you were made to see that I was right.

That is what I think God means by linking Long-suffering with Gentleness - Gentleness associated with Power.

You must remember that all have not the same gift.

Some of you try to use my forcible language without having back of it the kind spirit and the Gentleness.

I do not know how to speak of it myself, because it might appear like egotism. - L. of H., Vol. 15, No. 16, p. 502.




Another feature of his aggressive propagandism has been a positive setting forth and inculcating of his "restoration" ideas. * This has been the easier because the way was open to create disaffection and to lead to a belief in the apostasy of the existing churches on the part of those who were already believers in faith healing. One reason for the measure of success in having his "restoration" program and ideas accepted has been the prevalence in the churches of what may be termed "restoration" notions. To go back considerable, we find that in the early days of Mormonism **  this belief in the restoration of a primitive gospel was prevalent to a great extent. Nearly all Adventists and believers in the premillennial second coming of Christ have held to "a great falling away from the gospel and an age of the restoration of all things." A Mormon, Newell Knight, says: "By reading and searching the Bible, I found that there would be a great falling away from the gospel, as preached and established by Jesus; that in the last days God would set His hand to restore that which was lost." *** Western New York, where Mormonism arose, was "thoroughly impregnated with restorationist views, in fact the Irvingites sent a deputation to Smith to express sympathy because of his assertion of the perpetuity of miracles in the church." §


* The restoration or restitution of all things is a form of thought connected with extremists in interpreting prophecy. Many have a program arranged of what has been predicted in Scripture. This form of interpretation is familiar to all readers of such books as Millennial Dawn, etc. The term restoration is also used for restitution, meaning a making right of wrongs. Cf. Chapter on Doctrine.


** Riley - Founder of Mormonism, p. 245 ft.


*** Riley op. cit. 258-288, This refers to a belief in the restoral of the gifts to the church, especially that of healing, and is cast in the apocalyptic thought forms.


§ Divine healing rests upon the idea of continuance of miracles of course. Mr. Dowie has again and again tried to show that the hymnology of the church - the psalm paraphrases, gospel hymns, Christian poetry in general, is full of divine healing. He is no innovator here he claims. Cf. Chains of Good and Evil, p. 8 ff.




The continuance of such teaching which insists on the permanence of all the "gifts" of apostolic days and regards a restoring of them as necessary when lost, has been the result of distribution of tracts and literature by various individuals and sects, and at least one large denomination. *

The Disciples of Christ arose out of a feeling of the need of restoring the name Christian as the only name for the church of Christ, and certain apostolic practices, such as the weekly observance of the Lord's Supper. The Mormons took pains to refute the claims of Alexander Campbell to have restored primitive Christianity. **


* Minor sects have always been characterized by a religious primitiveness. It could not be otherwise, as they withdraw themselves from the contaminating influences of society at large. They adopt as a rule the idea of the decrease of faith in the world to well nigh the vanishing point as a preliminary to the return of Christ and the personal founding of His kingdom, or like Zion, they go through a period of rapid increase by assimilating to themselves those of "like precious faith," and are daring enough to predict that they will sweep the world. Somewhere though in the midst of this wonderful process Christ is expected to return to give the full assistance of His actual presence.

"Quakers, Primitive Baptists, Restorationists, and Later-Day Saints (the name Later-Day is significant) all hope for the return of prophetic gifts." Riley op. cit. p. 236.

I have myself had a slight acquaintance with the anti-Polygamous Mormons, a small sect in protest against the Mormon hierarchy. They send out "Apostles" to conduct evangelistic meetings. They thoroughly canvassed our little city, (Evansville, Wis.) held tent meetings and preached doctrines similar to those of the Six Principle Baptists. Their idea of repentance and restitution was endorsed by some Zion people. I heard as densely ignorant a discussion by one of their ministers, as any of the many negro speeches I have heard. "Restoration of Gifts" was his theme, and he spent considerable time "expositing" Mk. 16:17, 18, and Heb. 6:1, 2.


** Riley (op. cit. p. 390 footnote) quotes from J. F. McDowell, "Disciple-ism, or the claims of Alexander Campbell to a Restored Christianity Examined," 1901, p. 12. "We have therefore weighed this church in the balance of God's Word and found it wanting, rendering the following count of indictments against it:

1. They have no apostles.  2. No prophets.  3. No seventies.  4. No priests.  5. No bishops.  6. No teachers.  7. Signs of gifts of Mk. 16:17, 18, do not follow them.  8. They do not lay on hands after baptism, for the gift of the Holy Spirit.  9. They do not call the elders for the sick, as directed in James 5:14, 15.  10. They do not teach the resurrection of the dead as taught in the Bible.  11. They do not teach the Bible doctrine of Eternal Judgement 12. They claim to teach baptism for the remission of sins, but contradict themselves by taking people into their fellowship who have not been so baptized, without rebaptism.  13. They do not lay on hands for the blessing of little children. 14. They teach that the church existed for the first time on the Day of Pentecost. 15. They believe and teach that the gospel was never taught in fact until the Day of Pentecost, 16. They do not teach the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

We will now let the reader decide how far Mr. Campbell and his successors have been successful in restoring primitive, original Christianity. The Bible does teach the probability and possibility of a restoration of the gospel and kingdom of God in the latter days as forshadowed in Matt. 24:14; Mal. 3:1-3; Rev. 14:6, 7; and that after the restoration had occurred some would depart from the faith as note I Tim. 4:1. The words "the faith," evidently have reference to the entire gospel scheme, as implied by Paul in Eph. 4:5."




There can be no doubt that the Disciples have agitated the idea of the restoration of primitive Christianity without laying so much stress on the form or forms to be restored.

In an age of multiplicity of sects and denominations this idea of restoring a united primitive Christianity has had great weight with multitudes in all the churches. Mr. Dowie found a fertile field of discontent with existing conditions and real yearning for unity in Christendom on the basis of the New Testament, at the close of the 19th century in America. The pity is that those who feel thus have allowed the names of sects and variety of forms of worship to obscure the sense of the underlying unity of true Christians which is growing to be a reality more and more. *

So on the tide of dissatisfaction with an insufficient gospel preaching which ignored or opposed divine healing, and a


* The recent conference for Religious Federation and co-operation held in New York beginning Nov. 15, 1905, represented more than seventeen million church members, twenty-six different denominations, all hoping and working for the fundamental unity of Christian service. It is significant that the "restored" churches held aloof from that Federation.




continuance of miraculous gifts, and a literalism which expected their recovery, or affirmed their presence with true Christians, in an age of religious transition, *  Mr. Dowie rose to the position of "Restorer" and absolute head of the primitive C. C. A. C. in Zion.

We have already noticed in a previous chapter some of the steps by which he came to assume this function of "Restorer" and this office of Apostle, and in this chapter have noticed how he went about creating dissatisfaction with the existing churches. We now look a little more closely at his method of restoring.

Mr. Dowie says: ** "Divine healing is not a novelty. I am introducing no innovation. In the church of the Living God any other kind of healing except divine healing is an innovation. God made no provision for any other kind of healing than directly by himself.  Doctors, drugs, and surgeons are spoken of in the Old Testament in the terms of contempt, such as these: 'Ye are all physicians of no value.' 'In vain shalt thou use many medicines.' Such passages as these are not the only references in the Old Testament to doctors and drugs; but all through the teaching is maintained that God is the healer of His people *** If you were to open your Bible to the middle verses, you would find them to be the 2nd and 3rd verses of the 103rd Psalm, and read thus:

'Bless Jehovah, 0 my soul,

 And forget not all His benefits:

 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities;

 Who healeth all thy diseases.'


* Any of the religious literature or religious journals would indicate this to be a transition period. Traditionalism is being scrutinized and many old beliefs are passing.  Cf. Coe, "Religion of a Mature Mind;" for example.


** Address, Shiloh Tabernacle.


*** Mr. Dowie says more against doctors and drugs in five minutes than the Bible does all the way through. This has wonderfully helped to "gang" his people.




Those are the middle verses of the Bible. It is the central truth of the Bible that God forgives our sins and heals our sicknesses when we do His will.”

As it was with his restoring of divine healing it has been with other peculiar beliefs of Zion. * He has tried to show their Scriptural origin and authority, doing so by the clever indirect suggestion of the orator when in public address and the consummate skill of an organizer and promoter at all times.

Mr. Dowie has been a preacher of great power with certain people. ** He has made most effective use of the living voice and while many of his services have been grotesque in the extreme, *** when compared with conventional standards, he has had an intuitive sense of how to manage his audiences. One of his followers would make us believe he is the greatest or equal to the greatest of preachers who have ever proclaimed Christianity. § To reproduce his thought briefly, he contends that Savonarola owed much of his success in drawing his vast audiences to the beautiful house of worship of the Roman church, and to his splendid eloquence. Bossuet had the additional advantage that he was the darling of the court and that it was the fashion to hear him. Whitefield and Wesley were orators of wonderful attractiveness, whose mere speech and action would have drawn crowds, no matter what had been the subject of their discourses. Again they found a special opportunity in that they voiced a dissension in England against the existing conditions of the religious world; thousands who had not the gift of public speaking had long been thinking the things that these men preached and therefore flocked to hear them; glad and happy to hear at last, that said in public, which had for a long time been in secret a burden upon their own hearts. Robertson, Spurgeon, Brooks,


* See Chapter, Doctrines.


** See Chapter, People of Zion.


*** See discussion under Worship in Introduction.


§ H. B. Walmsley, reported in Zion Banner, Oct. 2, 1903.




and Beecher had the advantage of preaching in an established  house of worship with a strong church organization to support them. They were all free also from the competition of Sunday newspapers, one of the most potent agencies for emptying the churches.

Dr. Swing, Chicago's greatest preacher before Dr. Dowie, was a poet, with a voice of music and a personality which would have made one stay to listen even had the matter been no more interesting than Homer's catalogue of the ships. But he made his sermons an artistic and intellectual marvel. The arts, sciences, literature, history, being laid under contribution with the insight of a poet.

Now remembering these advantages, notice John Alexander Dowie's work as a preacher. "He came to Chicago a few years ago, from the other side of the world - unheralded, unknown, backed by no Synod, supported by no hierarchy to bid the faithful hearken to him. If he possessed any gifts as an orator he despises them and of set purpose studiously avoids employing them, deeming it not fitting that his Master's messages to the world should be tricked out in any adventitious aids to make them more acceptable. He found a suitable room for his meetings, went into it with a Bible in his hand and began to preach. Suppose when John Alexander Dowie began to preach in Chicago, that most wicked city, he had told the reporters that he intended to continue his preaching until he was drawing into the largest hall in the city every Sunday over 5000 people who come solely to hear God's word as he declared it from the Bible, what a laugh that would have raised, and what a display of cheap wit there would have been over the pretensions of an enthusiast. The thing would have been madness beyond belief - impossible. And yet in a few short years he has done this thing. As his hearers increased in number he took a larger and larger place, until he capped the climax of his mighty success by holding his Sunday afternoon meetings in the Auditorium. This Chicago claims - and justly - to be one of the world's greatest halls. This vast




room he filled continuously every Sunday with audiences of 5000 and over. And when he left there it was to continue his preaching at Zion City to even larger congregations in a larger auditorium. His work stands alone; is unique, and puts him in the first place among humanity's preachers after the Apostles.”

This is doubtless a sincere valuation of Mr. Dowie as a preacher and there is point in the fact that a man of some intelligence could be so impressed, even though we were certain it intentionally sought to flatter, and could give good reasons for the crowds Mr. Dowie has drawn to him along the lines suggested in this discussion, namely, his unusual character and method, his sensationalism, his point of contact in the currency of belief in divine healing and the kind of people he leads. The fact remains that the people did go to hear Mr. Dowie and his platform power, and ability to gather people to himself, has been no small element of his success. Mr. Dowie has been the soul and inspiration of his propaganda, whatever other elements may have co-operated to assist him. This we must not ignore in getting at an understanding of the growth of Zion.

It is true that his audiences have been of a peculiar and unusual kind, in regard to which a prominent psychologist and educator, himself an excellent speaker, says: “It seems to me if I had seen the very same crowd gathered at a concert or an auction I should have noticed signs indicative of a peculiar type of mind. This type is hard to describe without coming directly to the fact that needs to be proved, namely, suggestibility. ... It lacks brightness and spontaneity. If I were myself obliged to talk to such a crowd I should feel that I should have to carry a load of lead,"

It is also true that his peculiar teaching believed by many, a novelty to others, together with the unusualness of his claims, have had no small part in securing attendance at services and enlistments in the organization. In addition, the sensational and often disgraceful methods of calling out




a crowd, as in New York, have given him a certain sort of renown as a preacher. But after all this has been said the living voice of Mr. Dowie had been a mighty force in the propagandism of Zion. He may not have eloquence or be a pleasing speaker, but his power to batter down antagonism and establish his point was irresistible when one was a believer in his premises. "Wasn't he gifted with magnetism? Didn't he cast a spell over his audiences? Didn't he hypnotize his hearers?" These and similar questions have been asked by way of suggesting what appears to be an explanation of his preaching power. But to answer yes, would not be to solve Mr. Dowie. Upon me personally he has never had any magnetic or any other sort of power. When in his audience at different times, by an effort of will I have placed myself at his disposal as far as possible.  Before long a feeling of revulsion would dissipate all sympathetic relations with his discourse. Yet many, certainly all of his followers, appeared to enjoy hearing him, and have been loud in his praises as a proclaimer of the truth. One thing about him that seems to be the real basis of his influence in a public service, and which again and again impressed itself upon me, was the tremendous energy of the man. Vitality, expended most prodigally in a public service, especially the larger meetings, gave him his grip. He was constantly in action. Absolute tirelessness seemed to characterize his evangelism when handling a big audience; he pleaded, commanded, satirized, denounced, commended, threatened; he dramatized, he impersonated and with blunt, overbearing assertion, forced his point, at least with those in any way susceptible. For long hours he would have the center of the platform, and unwearied himself, he would wear out by sheer strength, any not borne along on the tide of his argumentation or emotion. *

He also furnished impulse for his people. "Zion doesn't endeavor, Zion does" came to be a driving thought with his


* This opinion is reinforced by that of many friends and acquaintances of mine who have heard him.




people, not because be said it, but because he embodied it, and it transformed them one and all into active, forth-going propagandists. Zion thus in the sphere of its point of contact became well nigh irresistible. Mr. Dowie was, in addition, an organizer of ability and exhaustlessness. He visioned the possibilities and then placed his forces so as to realize them.

At the beginning of the organization of the church he arranged for the different officers of administration and religious work. As the church grew the organization was adapted, and workers trained, to meet the growing needs. In Chicago considerable religious work was done by the Zion people in twos. Mr. Dowie says, speaking of his organization known as the Zion Restoration Host: *

"They are picked members of the church whom we first organized in twos and then made tens, and then made them seventies, and thoroughly trained them. We have eight to ten thousand of them in all parts of the world and they are under special vow to God and to myself as Elijah the Restorer." **

This host was organized as late as September 1, 1902, but as seventies, tens and twos, had been doing effective work long before that time, in systematically spreading Zion views, and carrying forward the propaganda of the organization. Mr. Dowie says "Every one of my people is, as a worker, worth ten in the other churches. *** I will give you an illustration: These three thousand of Zion Restoration Host were trained very carefully for the 1903 visitation. I had a map of New York made as large as the wall of this room and I hung it at Shiloh tabernacle at Zion City, and marked upon it all the


* Havana interview, L. of H., March 4, 1905.


** See Introduction for Zion Restoration Vow.


*** Sectarianism in its early stages is always able to "gang" its people better and get greater loyalty and enthusiasm than later. It is a sort of struggle for life itself. Add to this the newness and glow of it all and we have the explanation of Mr. Dowie's statement.




railroads and streets, and car lines of the city of New York, including Brooklyn. Then we trained our people in seventies. They had covered Chicago eight times in one year, visiting almost every house in it eight times. So we trained them by calling upon a captain of a ten and asking him how he would reach and work a certain district. Then he would explain how he would reach the district from our headquarters at Madison Square Garden, and how he would distribute his workers over the territory to be worked and how he would gather them together again. If I asked him, or her, what they would do if one were missing, they would reply that they would not leave the district until that one was found. The consequence was that in fourteen days, these three thousand, and perhaps a thousand more that joined us in New York, visited every house, business place, every ship and every section of New York, and delivered 4,200,000 little printed messages, with the kind words given by Christ 'Peace be to this house.'


ZION CITY, Illinois; October 1st. 1903.

To the People of New York:-

In the Name of the Christ, the King of Kings, I greet you with His Message - PEACE BE TO THIS HOUSE, and send you these words:

As Elijah the Restorer, accompanied by a Legion of Three Thousand Messengers of Zion Restoration Host, I have arranged for a Visitation of your City from Lord's Day, October 18, to November 1st, in Madison Square Garden, and on November 3, 5, 6 and 8 in Carnegie Hall.

Beneath the Banner of the Christian Catholic Church in Zion, and the Stars and Stripes, I shall proclaim-

(1) The Everlasting Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

(2) Repentance, Restitution, Salvation; Healing and Holy Living.

(3) Baptism by Tri-une Immersion.

(4) Obedience, the Eleven Commandments and the Law of  Love.

(5) Christian Union and Co-operation in Church, Home, Business and State.

(6) The Downfall of all forms of Apostacy, Secrecy and Tyranny.

(7) The Restoration of all things - (Acts 3:19-26).

All who come will be heartily welcome.

Faithfully your friend and God's servant,





This is a sample of the way Mr. Dowie has pushed Zion's evangelistic work. I was present in Zion City at an afternoon service when he was giving general instructions for the visitation, and marveled at the grasp of detail that he had, and the apparent reach of his information.

The dividing of Chicago into parishes and the thoroughness with which the city has been canvassed also witness to his organizing skill and give a partial explanation as to why Chicago, from the beginning of his work there, has yielded him so many followers.

There is the general assembly held at Central Zion Tabernacle, Michigan Avenue and 16th Street, Sundays at three p. m., which all the Chicago members attend more or less regularly. It is a means of preserving the esprit de corp of the Zion movement in Chicago. There were eight parishes in Chicago (December, 1905) dividing the city; Central, West, Northwest, North German, Northeast, South, and West German, in charge of an elder with services morning and evening of Sunday, and a midweek service. A divine healing meeting for teaching and healing is held in nearly all the parishes by regular appointment. The elders in charge of a parish serve a longer or shorter term as the work may demand, but a system of pastoral changes has been followed for the most part. * Each parish is thoroughly organized and is in close touch with the central authority at Zion City, where an ecclesiastical secretary keeps all important affairs recorded, and comes to know the details of each parish from the elder in charge. All these records and information have been immediately accessible to Mr. Dowie who could know in a moment the standing of every parish, could see the progress made by the elder in charge, the wealth represented, and any item which would be of use in keeping his hand upon affairs. He has been generous enough with the church moneys to provide fairly competent men for these parishes, and it has been they


* Mr. Dowie has always kept in the leading place in Zion affections so far as he could.




who have borne the burden of the work of spreading Zion views in the great city of Chicago.

The organization of one of these parishes as explained to me by the elder in charge is as follows: It covers approximately sixteen square miles and is divided into sixteen sections, each section being subdivided into sixteen districts with a deaconess in charge. These deaconesses do what is known as "seventy work" - going two and two to look out prospective members, to visit the sick, and to distribute or sell literature. They fill in reports for the elder who visits wherever especially needed. They get applications for membership signed, to be examined and passed upon by the elder and sent to headquarters.

The elder in charge has the full right of discipline and the entire organization is back of him. He "brings people to repentance," which means substantially that the people are compelled to live in accord with the Zion strict legalistic code of ethics based on the Bible. The elder sees that the tithes are collected and sent to headquarters, and his salary and expenses of the parish, are checked back to him. This is substantially the idea of organization wherever a Zion branch exists. Through the tithes and offerings of the people which during 1905 amounted to about $1000 a day, * the expenses of keeping the machinery of organization running is met.

The spread of Zion teaching in other parts of the world, apart from Mr. Dowie's personal work, has been as we have said, by means of Leaves of Healing and the individual member. But special evangelists have also been used and missions have been conducted in various places. In some places by one series of services people have been won in sufficient numbers to be formed into a branch. As opportunity offered and necessity arose, buildings were rented for the establishing of stations, or at least for the holding of missions. When


* This has been denied and affirmed by Zion people. The amount is too large for an average through the year, but has been reached on some days.




of sufficient importance as a branch of Zion, an elder was sent to take charge, organize and extend the influence of Zion, or as they are pleased to say, the Kingdom of God. For example the work at Hammond, Ind., or Bluffton, 0., or Cincinnati, 0., or London, Eng., or Johannesburg, South Africa, or Melbourne, Australia. In whatever place people who sympathized with Zion made themselves known, some way was devised to make them a distributing center of Zion teaching. In any case they were made a member of the parent church at Zion City and a further unit of propagandism. As a matter of fact these evangelists have met with a varying reception and success according to the temper of the community to which they have gone, but persecution has seldom daunted them. They are usually capable of meeting any opposition of an argumentative sort by tightly clinched Bible arguments with which they are so perfectly familiar as to make their opponents seem unlearned in the Scriptures, when one attempts public refutation. This all of course upon a literal authoritative basis of Scripture interpretation as we have before noticed.

A Zion evangelist gave me a sample of the argumentation he had used to overcome prejudice and unbelief with respect to the doctrine of divine healing. Its plausibility would overcome some and at least start trains of reflection which would bother many.

1 " The objection is raised 'all are not healed.'  I answer,  ' Neither are all saved.' "

2 "Greatest cases of sickness are rarely healed." Answer, "Greatest sinners, for example, are seldom saved."

3 "You pray for people who do not meet the conditions." Answer, "I do the same for people who do not meet the conditions of salvation - I can not know - that is their fault."

4 "Is it God's will to heal all?" Answer, "Is it God's will to save all?"

5 "Some become sick again." Answer, "Some become sinners again."




6 "Some die while you are praying for them." Answer, "Some are lost while we are praying for them."

7 " Some never get faith for healing." Answer, "Some never get faith for salvation."

8 "Some renounce their faith in divine healing." Answer, "Some renounce their faith in salvation."

9 "How do I know who is right?" Answer, "Same for salvation - what do the Scriptures say?"

10 People make the same excuse not to be healed as they do not to get saved.

11 The Kingdom of God has come for Body same as for Spirit. 1. Thess. 5:24.

12 "It takes such wonderful faith to be healed." Answer, "Same for salvation."

13 Men are lost by sin also made sick by sin. Same cure - the atonement of Christ.

14 " Many healed but die." Answer, "Many saved but die."

15 "God sends doctors to heal." Answer, "Then He sends moral doctors to save, no need of Christ. Absurdity, blasphemy."

And so it runs. A forceful speaker well equipped with a few Scripture verses arranged in an orderly way and really believing in the doctrines himself wouldn't have great trouble in convincing some, especially where the point of contact which we have discussed was possible at all.

Some of the men chosen by Mr. Dowie to conduct these branches and do the evangelistic work have been men of considerable ability and devotion to the cause they represent. Overseer Voliva in Australia had very good success in furthering Zion's interests in that distant land, and was instrumental in sending a large number to Zion City. It remains to be seen how competent he is to administer the affairs of a revolting Zion.

Others also have had good success, and with the far away vision of a beautiful, clean and Godly city to conjure with, and




a firm belief in Mr. Dowie and the triumph of Zion to furnish inspiration, have spread their teaching far and wide, and gathered recruits from many places.



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