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When the Christian Catholic Church in Zion was organized, February 22, 1896, Dr. Dowie told his followers that it would eventually be ruled by twelve apostles. The Bible, he said, demanded it. He himself, he declared, could not be an apostle.

"I say that frankly," he had protested, "because I know next to nothing about the last two gifts [gift of tongues and interpretation of tongues].

"Now do not make any mistake.

"I am not an apostle, because an apostle must possess and be possessed by all the gifts of the Holy Spirit."

Eight years and seven months later, on September 25, the same John Alexander Dowie stood in Shiloh Tabernacle and proclaimed himself First Apostle of the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church in Zion throughout the World and strongly intimated that he was also High Priest of the restored regime of ancient theocracy.

He had led up to this by sermons and Scripture readings and expositions all summer, and yet many of his hearers were shocked and offended when he appeared before them in a gorgeous silken robe of many colors, elaborately embroidered, with a mush­room-shaped satin miter, emblazoned with gold.

In making his declaration of apostleship he said:



"Clothed by God with Apostolic and Prophetic Authority, I now have a right to speak as the In­structor of the Nations.

"In the Name of the Coming King, I command Peace!"

In administering the sacrament of the Lord's Sup­per he wore a robe of pure white silk with a miter of the same material.

He gave his apostolic command that thenceforth he should be called and addressed, not General Over­seer, but First Apostle. His apostolic signature to all ecclesiastical documents was not, as formerly, John Alexander Dowie, General Overseer of the Christian Catholic Church in Zion Throughout the World, but simply:



First Apostle


Thus did he repudiate at last the name Dowie, which he claimed did not belong to him.

Shortly after his apostolic declaration, Dr. Dowie, taking with him his wife, Colonel Erdman, Deacon Peter Z. Richardus, Nancy Harrow as correspondent to "Leaves of Healing," and Deacon Harold Winans as photographer and shorthand reporter, went to Mexico to look for land for his long-talked-of Zion Plantations. The party was gone for several weeks, traveled over many thousand acres in Tamaulipas on horseback and in covered wagons, and was received in state by President Porfirio Diaz.

Upon his return, the First Apostle talked of buying



millions of acres, published autographed photo­graphs of his “great and good friend" President Por­firio Diaz, organized Zion Paradise Plantations, with Deacon Richardus as general manager, and began to sell stock.

Nearly all Zion leaders, Herbert found, agreed with him that the Paradise Plantations project was at least ill-timed, if no worse. It would cost millions before it could begin to show a profit, even under good management-and there was no hope of good management as long as the First Apostle was sole legal owner. Practically no capital was in sight for the project, and Zion City was short of ready cash. Even more disturbing to some was the whispered fear that Dr. Dowie planned to go into Mexico in hope that he could practice polygamy in his colony with­out interference from the Government.

Secretly, slyly, in whispers and innuendos, spec­ulation about Dr. Dowie's polygamous idea and plans began to seep into Zion City's gossip. Nothing was said about the system publicly, but first one and then another reported remarks the First Apostle had made privately. One evening Nan Harrow, Edith Brelin, Jesse Stoneham, Mr. and Mrs. Steelhaver, Elsie Favor­ill, and Herbert were his guests at dinner. His wife and son were at their summer home in Michigan. The First Apostle had been gently bantering Herbert about his continued bachelorhood.

“Why," he said, “you are showing hopeless lack of wisdom. Solomon, said to be the wisest of men, had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines ­and you haven't even one wife!"



“Yes,” replied Herbert, “and look at what it got him.”

A laugh around the table at this.

"God would not punish a man for having more than one wife, Herbert."

“Perhaps not, but even if God didn't, he'd get enough punishment from the women if he tried to live with two of 'em at once."

An even heartier laugh followed this sally. The First Apostle was nettled.

“That was a very ungracious remark, young man," he snapped. “If one wife is a good thing, and God says ‘Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing and obtaineth favor of the Lord,' then perhaps two wives are twice as good."

A chill, sickening silence!

Herbert looked anxiously at Edith, hoping to see disgust and alarm, or both, on her face. But she clearly thought that her adored leader had been jok­mg.

The First Apostle glared about at bowed heads and expressionless faces, quickly recovered himself, and changed the subject.

But such incidents were echoed in whispers all over the city.

The Mexican scheme was met, therefore, with little more substantial than an angry buzzing under cover.

When Herbert felt that he could endure suspense about Edith no longer, he suddenly decided to go to Elder Brownlee's and call on her, despite the First Apostle's orders.

Mrs. Brownlee answered his ring at her door. If



she was surprised to see Deacon Renbrush and at his request for Deaconess Brelin, she did not show it. On the contrary, she was frankly delighted and per­formed her hospitable duties with a flutter of pleas­ure. Herbert sat in the pleasant golden-oak, red­-plush, body-Brussels living-room and waited. As the long minutes passed he was glad. No girl takes unusual pains with her toilet to meet a man to whom she is indifferent. At last he heard her step, the door opened, and she came swiftly toward him. Springing to his feet, he almost gasped, "Ye gods, how lovely she is!"

In her deep blue eyes glowed violet lights, set there by emotion. Her rose-petal skin was flushed and radiant. An Empire gown of delicate blue silk and ivory lace was glorified by her figure and car­nage.

As she came she extended her hand with that elo­quent gesture of delight he remembered so well, then gripped his with a warm pressure and response to his grasp that set him tingling.


There was overflowing joyousness in her voice that reawakened hope and happiness.

"Herbert! How splendid of you! I'd begun to fear you'd forgotten your old friends."

"You've been so busy, Edith, since that day you were snatched right out of my sight at Marseilles, that I've been afraid to take up your time."

"Well," she laughed, "I'm so glad to see you I won't tell you what I think of that excuse. Sit down and tell me what you think about everything."



She indicated a big red-plush rocker and took the end of a divan near-by.

"Oh, I don't try to think about everything, Edith. All I can do is to think about you."

"About me?"

A flush spread over her face. She looked bewildered and a little afraid.

"Yes, ma'am, I've just thought so much about you, I've got all tangled in my notions, which, as you know, is mighty bad for anyone blessed with so few notions. So I said to myself, 'I'll just go and see the lady, busy's she is, and get my lowly mind set to rights, if she's willing.' "

Edith laughed.

"I don't know at all what you're talking about, but maybe you do. Go ahead and let's see if I can make sense of it."

"Well, I'm taking a most unwarranted liberty, Edith, and you can shut me up whenever you feel the shutting will do either or both of us good. I have no excuse to offer except that I am mighty fond of you and that I might-just might-be a little help to you."

"If talking in riddles is taking liberties, Herbert, you're most impertinent; but I can't see that shutting you up will do either or both of us any good-at least as far as you've gone."

"What I want to know is as much as you care to tell me about this career your mother says the First Apostle is having you prepare for."

Edith grew a little pale-seemed to withdraw from him.



"Isn't that a matter between the First Apostle and me, Herbert?" she asked, coldly.

"There," he said, contritely, "I was afraid I'd put my fool foot in it. But now I've started, I might's well go ahead and be hanged for a sheep's a lamb. Edith, I've been mighty close to Doctor Dowie for nearly six years and-"

"Can't we talk about something else, Herbert? I'd rather not discuss my-my plans now."

"Well, I promised to shut up when you asked it, and I'll keep my word, if you'll just let me say that, in all friendliness to you and to the First Apostle, I'm most terribly worried. And I'm going to ask two favors of you: First, I would be the happiest and most thankful man this side of the International Date Line if you'd let me call on you once or twice in a while-you to say when-and I promise not to ask any more impudent questions; second, that if ever you want any help of any kind about anything, you'll call on me."

Edith, who looked white and miserable, sat twist­ing and rolling her handkerchief, eyes downcast, head bowed. He feared she was going to cry-and that would be more than he could bear. A great tenderness toward her :filled his heart and he cursed himself for a fool that he had not the wit to break down her reserve and open her eyes to the danger in which she stood. At last she raised her eyes to his and he could have fought tigers and rattlesnakes bare-handed when he saw the pain in them.

"I'm sure you mean to be a good friend, Herbert,



and I can't tell you how I appreciate it. You don't know what it means to me-now."

Her voice, so low he could scarcely hear, shook, choked, and failed. She was tearing her handkerchief to rags. For a long time she did not speak. He too was silent. Then, haltingly, she went on:

"Of course, I promise to call for you if I need you. You," she smiled wanly, "may find you've let your­self in for a big job. But, Herbert, please, please don't ask me to let you come here to see me. I-I can't- ­that is not often-not regularly. Oh," she said, des­perately, breathlessly, "there's so many reasons why I can't, I couldn't make you understand." She almost sobbed. "I couldn't even try to make you understand. But don't let that make any difference with you, Herbert. You just keep on being the same dear old friend you've always been. And don't worry about me any more. I'm-I'm all right."

Herbert looked at her pale cheeks, her eyes full of unshed tears, her trembling, painfully twisting hands.

"You're not happy, Edith," he said, tenderly.

Her eyes filled, a crystal tear stole out of each and rolled down her cheek. But she managed to smile.

"Oh, yes, I'm happy---only---only it hurts me so to refuse to let you call. But, then, I don't altogether refuse, either. Indeed, you must come sometimes. But only once in a great while, Herbert."

"Well, that's something, anyhow," he said heartily, "How long is a great while-a week? That seems like a terribly great while to me."



"Oh, no," she laughed. "If you're not going to be reasonable, I shan't let you come at all. Why, let's see, a great while is about-about," she looked at him half sadly, half mischievously-"about a year."

"Oh, my good gawsh!" he groaned. "Why, lady, that ain't no great while at all. It just stops being any while or time before you get to the end of it. I reckon it's most half of eternity. And don't talk about my being reasonable. Reasonable! And she says a year!"

Edith laughed with some of her old-time spirit­-music that did much to cheer poor Herbert.

"Well, then, perhaps we can make a compromise," she said. "Suppose you come on or near each holiday. Let's count up: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, and Columbus Day." She made a pretty display of pink finger tips. "Why, that's eight of 'em! How do you think I can get any studying done with you around here all the time?"

"I'll coach you," he promised; "but you've gone and left out Hallowe'en, Ground-Hog Day, Easter, Spring Election Day, April Fool's Day, Arbor Day, Flag Day, the First Apostle's Birthday, my birthday, your birthday, the anniversary of turning the first sod for Zion Temple, the Feast of Tabernacles-four­teen days-the anniversary of the swearing-in of Zion Restoration Host, Fall Election Day, and all the Saturday afternoon half-holidays. That adds about eighty-two days to your eight, making a stingy ninety. Why, there's two hundred and seventy-five perfectly good days just practically wasted! Why,



Edith, I'm shocked at you. What's that Doctor Dowie says so often, 'Waste not, want not'?"

"If you're not going to be reasonable, we won't talk about it," sniffed Edith, pretending hauteur, her eyes dancing.

“Well," he said, defensively, cc sprang it on me so quick I prob'ly left out some holidays, but we'll' remember 'em-and if necessary invent some new ones-as we go 'long. There really ought to be a lot more holidays anyhow, now I think of it. I never noticed before how pesky few there are."

"No-now this is final: you come and see me on the holidays I named-or the evening before-and then, when there's a month with no holiday, come some Saturday evening during that month. Call me up a few days before so that I can be sure to be here and be at leisure. Will that satisfy you?"

"I guess it will have to, since you say it's final," he answered glumly. Then he laughed.

"What a greedy, ungrateful cur I am! Here for untold centuries I've been almost willing to sell my soul for one little talk with you, and now I'm grouch­ing when you offer me twelve! But my ingratitude is just on the surface, Edith. Inside I'm so glad I guess I'd better not even begin to tell you about it."

"But, Herbert, I don't understand. If you wanted to talk with me, why didn't you come to see me?"

He looked at her blankly.

"Don't you know?" he asked in amazement.

"Well," she said, flushing, her eyes merry with mischief, urve made a few guesses, but they weren't very flattering to my vanity. I gave up, long ago, so




you'll have to tell me yourself-if you want me to know."

But Herbert did not respond to her gaiety.

"Didn't you know," he asked tensely, "that Doctor Dowie ordered me to keep away from you?"

"Oh, no!" she cried, "No, Herbert, he didn't!"

She had winced and whitened as if struck in the face. One loosely clenched fist was on her lips and her eyes begged him to deny what he had said.

He merely nodded.

Her head drooped, her hands lay limp and resigned in her lap. After a moment she slowly rose and walked to the window. Drawing aside the draperies, she stood staring blankly out into the darkness of Shiloh Boulevard. At last her voice came to him.

"When was this, Herbert?"

"The first night we were in Zurich."

She stood a moment longer gripping the draperies as if for support, then her figure stiffened and straightened, her head lifted, and with white, set face she turned to him.

"And you came to-night in defiance of his command?"

He had risen as she turned.


"You persuaded me to conspire with you to keep on with your disobedience?"

"Yes, Edith, if you'll let me."

"May I ask how you justify your conduct?"

"I don't justify it-I just do it."

"And you expect me to connive at your wicked­ness?"




He gave a short laugh.

"I really can't answer that, Edith, without going into things you've asked me not to. Suppose we leave it this way: He evidently didn't order you not to see me, so if I call on you I'm the only sinner-and I'm perfectly willing to take the consequences."

She looked at him queerly, then walked slowly to the window and back.

"Herbert," she said, seating herself and facing him, "I'm going to take you at your word. We'll go ahead as we've planned. You say you'll take the conse­quences. All right. One of the consequences is that you must believe nothing anybody says about me un­less I confirm it."

"That's easy, Edith."

"It may not be, but I'm going to trust you. My position is a little difficult and there are some things I don't understand. I miss Mother and I wish the First Apostle would let her come home. But he keeps her in Europe, traveling around, making confidential reports to him on certain things. Poor Mother, I'm afraid she doesn't know what it's about. She's getting very tired of it all, and homesick. She begs him to discharge her, but he says no one else could do the work. It's hard on both of us, because we've been inseparable from the time I was born."

"I miss your mother, too," he said. "She's got more good sense in her little finger than most women have in their heads. And she's got charm with it."





Early in January Leon Steelhaver was taken down with pneumonia. He seemed about to die, then rallied. But he did not recover. As the days passed, he began to grow weaker. Dr. and Mrs. Dowie had gone to Nassau for a vacation. In answer to Overseer Darling's cable asking prayer for Leon, the First Apostle replied, "Send Steelhaver to Nassau at once." But the poor fellow died on the steamer in Miami Harbor half an hour before it sailed.

Three days later they buried Leon in the little cemetery in Zion City.

Mrs. Steelhaver was not present. She had been prostrated, and Colonel Erdman had crossed from Nassau to Miami and taken her back with him to re­cuperate in Dr. Dowie's care. She returned to Zion City a month later, the First Apostle, his wife, and Colonel Erdman having gone to meet Deacon Rich­ardus and Harold Winans in Mexico. The widow had recovered her health but not her happiness. At her urgent request Nancy went to live with her.

The people of Zion were bewildered, unhappy. The winter had been hard. Nearly everyone was opposed to the Mexican project upon which their leader seemed bent. Money was scarce. Many were disaffected by the



apostolic declaration and robes. Sordid scandals made a disagreeable buzzing.

Deaconess Mindback of the "holiness" clique had been invited to leave the city for sinning with a local leader of that cult, who was also sent on his way. Worst of all, an alarming number of young people, taking advantage of the rule that everyone must spend all Sunday afternoon in Shiloh Taber­nacle, had made a practice of slipping out of the meeting and going, in couples, to their empty homes for illicit pleasures. Zion Guard rounded up a flock of them for discipline nearly every Monday morning. One girl, when finally brought to the General Over­seer, confessed to Sunday afternoon meetings in her home with thirty different boys and young men.

Reincarnation became popular. There were two or three earnest embodiments of the Apostle Peter, head of the Church. An illiterate deacon won a following as the Prophet Isaiah returned to earth.

A group who found themselves restored to God­like innocence met three times a week in their leader's home, on the southwest edge of the city, clothed only in Edenic righteousness.

Evangelist Woodsell had become engaged to Deaconess Clauster and announced that he was the reincarnation of St. Paul; she of the Virgin Mary, and would eventually give birth to the Messiah.

Dr. Dowie, coming home from Mexico late in May, began a campaign to get money. Sunday after Sunday he harangued his followers. On one occasion he spent an hour, at early morning meeting, telling about a Zion man in Iowa who had, like so many



others, disobeyed the apostolic command to sell his property and" bring the proceeds to Zion City. This wicked man's home had burned to the ground-he and his family had perished in it. Let all other disobedient Zion people take warning.

General letters to Zion people throughout the world were published in "Leaves of Healing," plead­ing for money, demanding it, threatening those who withheld it.

A special loan of half a million dollars was called for. A new issue of 7 per cent Zion Consolidated Annuities was offered. All this was based upon the oft-repeated statement that Zion's financial success had been so great, so unexpected, that funds were needed to take advantage of the rich opportunities which were pressed upon her.

There was a trickle of gifts, loans, and investments in response to these calls, but no opening of flood­gates.

Dr. Dowie spent August at Ben MacDhui, his sum­mer home in Michigan. It was announced that he had purchased the 144-acre estate adjoining his and that he planned to use it as a place of rest and re­cuperation for Zion workers who needed a vacation. For this reason it was to be called "Bethany." Im­mediately after he had taken possession, Edith Brelin and Deaconess Favorill were ordered there to spend several weeks. Herbert's heart sank when Elsie, meet­ing him in the dining-room of Elijah Hospice, told him they were going next day. He and the other members of "the cabinet" had looked at one another hopelessly when they heard of this new extravagance.



One night at dinner Nan told Herbert that Dea­coness Montague had resigned and asked him to go and see her.

"I think perhaps you can get her to stay," said Nan. "You know her leaving would upset a lot of other people. You understand," she continued, smil­ing a crooked smile, "I'm not sure in my own mind it's a good thing for anyone to stay, but I know you think so and I'm taking your judgment on it."

Tired as he was, Herbert tramped out to the house in Ezekiel Avenue where Mrs. Montague lived with her bachelor son. That good woman took him into her mid-Victorian parlor and bade him be comfort­able in the patent rocker. Simple and direct, as al­ways, she came at once to the point.

"Well, Deacon, I s'pose you've come to find out why I resigned after ten years in Zion?"

"What happened to change your mind so suddenly, Deaconess? You have seen God's work done in and through Zion all these years."

“It hasn't been sudden. Conditions have been going from bad to worse in Zion for several years. I d'know's I need to tell you that-you're an intelligent young man. You can see for yourself. But I kept hoping 'twas only temporary-that soon's we got better adjusted to living in Zion City our old-time spiritual zeal and feeling of nearness to God would come back.

"Well, you saw what happened in New York. Doctor Dowie just threw away his chance to do some good there by losing his temper. That nearly killed me, after all our hard work and our earnest prayers.




“A little while after he came back from around the world he sent for me and said he wanted me to do some private tutoring for him. Wanted me to take Alice Bentide, Ethel Fensterberg, Ina Josephson, Ophra Patterick, Jennie Jasselbach, and Gertrude Olson, teach 'em English, history, a smattering of science and some other studies, and how to dress, talk, and act like ladies. You know those girls. What strikes you about them?"

"Why, I don't know. They're all good sensible girls, I guess. I don't know 'em very welt"

"You don't need to know them well to see they're all alike in one respect."

"I see," said Herbert, after a little thought, "they all have rather buxom, striking figures."

"Yes, just that. I never thought of it until here just before he went to Ben MacDhui he sent for me and started to tell me a lot of the most outrageous stuff he wanted me to teach those girls. I won't even repeat what I heard of it-because he didn't get far before I stopped him and asked him if he realized whom he was talking to and what he was saying. Deaconess Harrow says you already know some of his ideas about such things. It was on the tip of my tongue to resign right then and there, but I wanted time to think and pray over it. My spiritual roots have gone down deep in Zion, Mr. Renbrush, and I'm getting too old to transplant easily. But the more I thought and the more I prayed, the more clearly God showed me that He is through with John Alex­ander Dowie and Zion."

Herbert sat silent, framing his reply.



"There are some of us," he said at last, "who have feared for a long time that Doctor Dowie is suffering from an insidious disease which slowly robs its vic­tims of their reason. What you tell me seems to indi­cate that there is ground for our fears. But, whether he is losing his mind or not, there is no question that he is no longer fit to be the head of Zion. A few years ago, to come to such a conclusion would have meant nothing more than to resign and get out. It's not so simple now. Zion City represents the lifetime savings of most of its inhabitants. You have your home here, Mrs. Montague, like thousands of others. Many are tied up here so that they can't go. Unfortunately, everything belongs, legally, to Doctor Dowie, and there's no provision in the machinery of the Church for deposing its leader and electing or appointing an­other. But the most able and influential men in Zion are working on the problem. If God wants Zion to en­dure, they will succeed."

"No, Deacon Renbrush," she said, "I know you mean well and I guess I admire your faith and courage, but even the Zion people can never go through what I see coming and regain their spiritual aggressiveness and creative power for the Kingdom of God. If any organization at all survives, it will be just one of the little, queer sects, slowly dying of its own narrowness and perversity. If what you say is true and Doctor Dowie is losing his reason, then he began to lose it before he claimed to be Elijah; all the folderol that's followed has been just the vain im­aginings of a disordered mind. Maybe he began to slip even before that and the whole idea of Zion City



is crazy. Looks like it now, doesn't it? Don't you see, once you admit he's been mentally unsound, you knock the foundations out from under all his teach­ings. You can't keep a people spiritually potent by telling 'em to unlearn most of what they've been taught to believe, fight, and die for."

"But the financial side, Deaconess!"

"Yes, I know. Maybe it's your duty to stay and see that through, if you can, but it isn't mine. I've had nothing to do with that, and I couldn't help if I stayed. I've got to get out to save my own soul."

Walking back to the hospice along dark streets, Herbert realized the nadir of his hopes. Why not follow Mrs. Montague's example and walk out? He felt that he was trying to save the water in a shattered pitcher by pinning a sheet of tissue paper around it. He saw himself free from these unbearable burdens­-free from the now hateful domination of Dr. Dowie -free from the taint of belonging to a "freak" or­ganization.

"I could sacrifice my holdings here to-morrow, and with even the little I had left open a real-estate office of my own in some growing city far away."

It was a temptation. The allure of it! If he decided now, this minute, to get out, the next minute he would be free. His mind, not his body, was in bond­age, and the key that would unlock all doors and all fetters was his own will. He had only to decide.

"Well, why not decide now to leave?"

"No, by gum, I'm no quitter! I certainly ought to be able to stand it if Overseer Darling and Deacon


Gaines can. We'll work out of it somehow-we've got to, that's all!"

Then the thought of Edith smote him. To-morrow she would cross the lake to "Bethany." Then what? Could he sit down in Zion City and twiddle his thumbs?