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It was a fresh, smiling morning in May. A lake breeze had swept away smoke, dust, and stock­yards fumes. Tender new leaves on Michigan Avenue trees fluttered bravely in the sunshine. Smart carriage horses pranced and tossed their heads. Nurse­maids with beribboned perambulators sauntered on the walks. Herbert lifted his head, expanded his chest, filled his lungs, laughed, "Golly, how good life is!" A few minutes later he was whistling "Whistling Rufus" in his Chicago office as he checked over his clerk's reports.

The telephone on his desk rang.

"Deacon Renbrush?"


"This is Faith Heilborn. Could you come to the third floor right away? There's been an accident."

"I'll be right up."

Faith Heilborn was one of Dr. Dowie's cooks. With a waitress she kept the family apartments in Zion Home. During the week Esther and Gladstone Dowie lived there while they attended the University of Chicago, and Dr. and Mrs. Dowie sometimes spent a night or a few days with them.

On the third floor Herbert found Faith ghastly, stony-eyed, her hands wrapped in fresh bandages. "Why, Faith," he said, "what's happened? How did you hurt your hands?"




"Never mind my hands, Deacon, it's Miss Esther! She's been frightfully burned, and I don't know what to do."

"Have you 'phoned the General Overseer and Mrs. Dowie?"

"No, Deacon. It's too terrible! I wouldn't know what to say. I-I thought maybe you'd do it."

Herbert started for the telephone.

"Tell me what happened," he commanded.

"She was curling her hair and had an alcohol lamp. It catched her nightgown afire someway. She screamed an' I heard her, but the poor dear's door was locked and I couldn't get in. She had to unlock it herself, all blazin' as she was. I tore off what was left of it, but I'm terrible 'fraid it was too late."

"Is she conscious?"

"Oh, yes, Deacon, and the sweetest angel you ever saw-and her suffering like she is."

"Who's with her?"

"Elder Porter. He done all he could. He used to be a medical doctor, you know."

By this time they had reached the telephone. Her­bert had no time to think out a way of softening the blow he must deal. He heard the father's voice and called upon his courage to begin.

"General Overseer," he said, "I am speaking from your apartment on the third floor. Your daughter was seriously burned this morning while curling her hair. Doctor Porter has done what he could for her and is with her now, but I think you and Mrs. Dowie should come to her as quickly as pos­sible."



"O God! help, in Jesus's Name!" Herbert heard the gasp of prayer. "How did it happen?"

"Miss Heilborn tells me her alcohol lamp set her night-dress afire."

"Ah, God, I have fought the Devil in alcohol all my life, and now he strikes down my own dearest and most beloved. Is she conscious?"

"I believe she is."

"Go to her at once and tell her to hold on to God, that Father is praying for her and that Father and Mother will come as quickly as steam and horses can carry them. Oh, Herbert, my son, pray for me! Good-by.”

Faith took Herbert to the room where the girl lay. Dr. Porter, big, blond, suave, smiling, sat by the bed talking to her but she seemed not to listen. Her great eyes were brilliant with agony and with effort for control lest she scream or groan.

"Did you talk to Father, Deacon Renbrush?" Amazingly, her voice was strong, clear, natural. Herbert saw, with relief, that neither her face nor her hair had been marred.

"Yes, Miss Dowie. He asked me to tell you to hold on to God, that he was praying for you, and that he and your mother would come as fast as steam and horses could bring them."

"Thank you, Deacon. How long do you think it will take them?"

"There's a train down from Waukegan at seven forty-five. They ought to be able to make it. That gets in here at eight forty. They ought to be here about nine. That's only about an hour and a half."



"Only?" she smiled again. "Seems like an eternity and a half. But there's no good fussing about it. And now would you mind trying to get hold of Gladstone down at the university? He'll be in his study until nine."

Father, mother, and brother arrived about the same time, accompanied by Captain Erdman.

Herbert walked into a reception-room and stood looking out the window. Dr. Porter came in, smiling, as usual. "All is well, now," he said. "God will hear the prayer of His last and greatest prophet, Elijah the Restorer."

"Tell me, Doctor," said Herbert, "humanly speak­ing, is there enough skin surface unharmed for her to recover?"

"I'm afraid not, Deacon. Besides, I think she in­haled the flame. If she did, only God's miracle can save her. But God has wrought mightier miracles than that in answer to the General Overseer's prayer."

Just then Captain Erdman came in, his eyes stream­ing.

"I tell you men, there's the bravest, grandest woman I ever saw. She's got more grit than even the General Overseer himself. God help me, I'm a boohooing coward beside her!"         -

Captain Erdman wept unashamed.

"Go and pray, Herbert," begged Captain Erdman. "You can do no good here. I don't know how it will come out, but God is good."

Herbert went to his office-worked with absorp­tion all afternoon, through the dinner hour, and into the evening. A few minutes after nine his telephone



rang. He ignored it, banging at his machine. It rang again. Still he ignored it. Nancy, who had been work­ing on a form letter, came in, took the receiver, and answered. Herbert's typewriter ceased its clacking. Nancy listened, drooping. Slowly, as in a nightmare, she put back the receiver, stood frozen motionless a moment, then turning to face him said, "It's all over."

Early next morning- Thursday-he went to his office and continued his work. At ten o'clock Captain Erdman telephoned that the General Overseer wished to see him. He found his leader, with Mrs. Dowie, in the drawing-room of their apartment, seated side by side on a divan. The room was darkened, but he could see their plight. They were not bowed with grief, they were not weeping-they were broken. They ap­peared to him as those who have received a mortal wound and believe themselves only bruised.

Seeing that warrior, that man who had fought hand to hand with Death for so many thousands and won, that man who had faced mobs, and plots, and shipwreck, and prison with joyous courage, now so pale, so inert, so ravaged, tore at Herbert's sympathies until pain became intolerable. The face was lifted to him, the haggard eyes, their fires all drowned, be­sought his. All awkwardness and self-consciousness gone, Herbert took the poor man's hand in both of his, pressing it affectionately, while tears ran down his cheeks.

"God help and comfort you, General Overseer- and you, Mrs. Dowie," he said.

"She was so brave, so beautiful, so sweet through it all, Herbert," murmured the bereaved man. "But



now she is gone and we must take up our burdens and carry on the work God has called us to do until He sets us free."

On that Friday the sun shone from a springtime sky of crystal blue, graced with cloud-tufts of purest white. A gentle breeze swept landward from the lake. Grasses and trees swayed lightly.

When the special train from Chicago arrived it was met at the station by all Zion City-Zion Guard stood at attention with dipped colors, Zion City Band playing softly "Lead, Kindly Light"; Zion White­-Robed Choir and Zion officers of the church were drawn up in marching order. Behind them stood thou­sands of men, women, and children. Nearly all were weeping.

The long procession marched to the little ceme­tery. Herbert had purchased a lot in the northeast corner. Choir, officers, pall-bearers, and the bereaved family passed through an open gate, while multitudes stood outside. The choir sang "Abide with Me," Dr. Dowie himself read a familiar passage from St. John, beginning "I am the Resurrection and the Life," and then from First Corinthians, beginning "But now is Christ risen from the dead." After the singing of "Nearer, My God, to Thee," the General Overseer began to speak. First telling briefly of the accident, he said:

"I had forbidden the use of an alcohol lamp in Zion Home. I have fought alcohol all my life. I have never compromised with it in any way-never trusted it. It is wholly of the Devil. So I would not permit it to be used, even in a lamp, in my home. But my



darling daughter disobeyed, and for that one step from the straight road of obedience God permitted the Devil to strike her down. But, while he burned and killed her body, he could not touch her beautiful spirit. When I reached her on Wednesday morning she had already confessed her sin to God and had the witness of the Holy Spirit that she had been for­given.

"When at two o'clock Wednesday afternoon I told her that God was not hearing prayer, and that a suc­cession of miracles would have to be wrought, which God was not, apparently, going to work, she said, ‘What does that mean, Papa?'

"I said, "It means that you are to go from us, daugh­ter, within a few hours.'

"She never wavered.

"I gave her some messages that had come from some whom she knew so well, and one was, "Peace I leave with you.'

"’Darling,' I said, "listen: "My peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."’ "She turned right around and said, "Papa, I am not afraid. You cannot suppose I am.'

"I said, 'No, dear, there is not a drop of coward's blood in either of us; we know in Whom we have trusted.'

"She said, "Oh, God has forgiven me.'

"Then she cried, "Whether living or dying, I am the Lord's; and if I should pass through those deep waters, they shall not overflow me. I know they shall not: "For Thou art with me.'"


“Then we talked together. We had a very sweet talk.

“It was so beautiful to find her body free from pain, until the blood began to rise and choke her breath.

“She said, ‘Father, will it be long?'

“I said, ‘Not long, dear.'

“’Lord, take me,' she said; and we prayed it at last, because we could not bear to see her suffer any more.

“’Then I sang, ‘Lead, Kindly Light.' Then we re­peated the Shepherd Psalm: ‘The Lord is my Shep­herd-' She said it so strongly-‘I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside still waters.'

“I could hear her say-‘Beside still waters,' and it seemed to us as if the waters were getting very still.

“The still waters were there. She was beginning to see the green pastures. ‘Yea, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil.'

“And that was all we could hear. She closed her lips. And she was sleeping. I would let none weep.

“I sang to her the song I have sung so many times to those who were sleeping in Jesus, and when I had finished it she departed without a sigh, without a tremor.

“And now I stand here and I have no daughter on earth. I had only one. You must all be my daughters, daughters of Zion.

“As Mama has said, ‘Oh, John, we will have to live closer to God and do more for the other daughters-­the daughters who have to live on.'

“You were my daughters long ago.


"Dear children, be good, be good, and let nothing come to keep you from perfect devotion to God and the obedience to those who have the rule over you. Will you pledge me this?"

Weeping, the multitude gave him their pledge.

Then the courage that had buoyed up the broken man could bear no more. As the flower-laden casket was slowly lowered he sat upon the bank of fresh earth at its side, head sunk upon his breast, hands clasped between his knees, and wept aloud. Not a word was spoken, but all the bright spring air was filled with the sobbing of those thousands of people, men and women, standing bent and wavering like reeds in a storm.






One evening, later in the summer, Herbert was a guest at dinner in Shiloh House. Since Esther Dowie's tragic death he was more frequently than ever a member of the General Over­seer's family circle.

The General Overseer had spent the day in his Chicago office in Zion Home and had returned in a state of elation.

“I must pledge you all to secrecy," he said, his eyes alight, his mustache twitching, “because all concerned agreed that it was to be a strictly private and per­sonal matter. But there occurred to-day a most sig­nificant and far-reaching incident in the onward march of Zion.

“I was at work in my office when Murray came in and announced that Bishop Warnett was on the tele­phone and wished to speak with me. As you know, he is Bishop of the Methodist Church for the Chicago district. I immediately spoke to him and he was very respectful and cordial.

“’Doctor,' he said, ‘I have long wished to see you and talk with you, but we are both busy men. Now, however, Dr. Henry R. Stanbridge, who is editor of the New York “Christian World," our leading denom­inational periodical, is here in my study. He also wishes to see you. Would you kindly consent to see us 




privately if we were to come to your office at once?'

"Well, that was a facer! These two men have fought me for years and I have fought them back in the Name of the Lord. I had great respect for them as fighters and they had good reason to respect me. But I would not turn the vilest sinner from my door if he came seeking Light, so I arranged to see them.

"They came and began the interview by suggest­ing that we pledge ourselves not to make public any­thing that transpired. I agreed.

"Of course, I am not at liberty to tell you of our conversation, but I do not need to tell you that, after an hour and a half, they left with a greatly· different feeling toward Zion and her leader than when they came. What the results will be I cannot say. I now have two great and powerful friends in the very front rank of Methodism. Who can tell what may follow?"

"Who, indeed?"

Herbert was to remember that question and marvel at the sweeping deluge of effects flowing from a trivial tea-cupful of cause.


A young writer named Upjohn won the General Overseer's confidence and got a long interview with him. When the article appeared in "Eugene's" it was most flattering. Dr. Dowie was delighted. He saw a new attitude of friendliness on the part of his old enemy, the press. He had often said, "When that un­speakable brood of vipers, the newspapers, begin to praise me, I shall know that I have gone to the Devil."

But now that he had tasted praise, he began to




court it. He sent for young Upjohn, complimented him, and suggested that the young man write a more ambitious article and submit it to the "Century Magazine.”

"Well, I shouldn't mind trying, Doctor," said Upjohn, "and I'm certainly very grateful to you, but it takes either a big name or a big hit to get into the ·Century.' "

"Well, you need not be troubled about that. No man and no movement are so interesting to people all over the world as Doctor Dowie and Zion. The newspapers themselves confess it. My every word, my every move are blazoned to the world in big head­lines and columns of reading matter-most of it lies, of course, although since Zion City has proved such a success they are becoming more friendly. The busi­ness world has a stake in Zion City and editors are beginning to feel pressure from their advertisers. Your story of Zion would be a big hit, as you call it. You need not want a big name, either. What I am about to say to you is in strictest confidence. Doctor Stan­bridge, editor of the New York ·Christian World' and one of the powers of Methodism, is a friend of mine and visited me in my office in Chicago a few weeks ago. He is under pledge to me not to publish anything about his visit, but if I were to give you a letter to him, releasing him from his agreement, you could doubtless persuade him to write an introduction to your article. Then you would have a big hit and a big name combined. An article on Doctor Dowie and Zion, with an introduction by Doctor Stanbridge, would be a sensation."



"Indeed it would, Doctor. I can't say how deeply obliged to you I would be for that letter to Doctor Stanbridge. Why, such a connection, with publica­tion in the 'Century Magazine,' would just about make me, as a writer."

Late in September Herbert took a copy of the Octo­ber "Century" to his chief. Dr. Dowie was at break­fast. When Herbert saw him, freshly tubbed, his bald scalp pink, his full cheeks rosy, his dark eyes so full of affection and kindliness, his huge white napkin tucked into his collar, his head and hair washed clean, as they were every morning; when he caught the faint but heady fragrance of that always immaculate body, memories of other breakfast-table interviews back through the years swept over him. Love, loyalty, and tenderness nearly unmanned him. He would have given his life if he could have withheld the blow he must now deliver.

"Ah, Herbert, my boy! Have you it there?"

"Yes, General Overseer."

"Have you read it?"

"Yes, General Overseer."

"Is it good?"

"I'm afraid not, General Overseer."

"You must be wrong! Give it me."

Miserably, Herbert found the place and handed it over.

As he read, the great man's rage became terrible. "The dirty dog! The unmitigated scoundrel! The wicked liar!"

Occasionally he read aloud a sentence or two, then shouted rage and vilification. Several times he threw




down the magazine, leaped to his feet, and stamped up and down the big dining-room, shouting and wav­ing his short arms.

Finally the angry preacher came to young Upjohn's article. This caused him more contempt than rage, although his face was still flaming and his voice husky.

"Poor little cur!" he said. "Snaps feebly at the hand that fed him. Hardly worth a kick in his mangy ribs!"

Flinging down the magazine, he upset his coffee, sprang to his feet, shouting for a maid, then suddenly turned on Herbert.

"Never ask me to see another reporter. You know now how vile and ungrateful they are. However, this poor boy's lies are weak and silly. He has been se­duced and befouled by that whited sepulcher Stan­bridge. But Stanbridge will not long escape. He can­not come to me with lying words of esteem and friendship masking his black heart, and then stab me in the back without paying an awful penalty. He cannot attack God's work in Zion and go unwhipped of divine justice. I will scourge him out of the re­spect of all decent people.

"See here what he says:

“'Reason must first be paralyzed, faith drugged, and this done, it would still seem too large and ab­normal a conception for open-mouthed credulity to believe that the Christ of the New Testament should choose the evolver and center of such a flamboyant mixture of flesh and spirit to be the Restorer and His special forerunner. If Dowie believes it, he is in the



moonlit borderland of insanity where large move­ments of limited duration have sometimes originated. If he believes it not, he is but another impostor.'

"I will show him, I will show the whole world my mental soundness and capacity. A paranoiac does not build a great and prosperous city in two years. No man on ‘the moonlit borderland of insanity' can con­ceive, plan, organize, and carry to a successful issue what I will accomplish by the time I am ready to at­tend to Doctor Henry R. Stanbridge."

Gone was the General Overseer's rage. He was striding now in triumph over his enemies. His great bald head was held high, his eyes were flashing with eagerness, he laughed in exultation. Once more he was the unconquerable warrior.