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CHAPTER FIVEIn Toronto
IN DUE SEASON, I ARRIVED IN TORONTO AND ALTHOUGH I did not know it at the time, strange and unusual happenings were to come my way. Nothing very unusual had happened so far in my life. It had been anything but a happy life. Whatever the inner workings of father's mind were and are, I shall never know, nor am I particularly interested. He married his own wife, raised his own children, and until they became of legal age, I suppose he had a right to do whatever he wanted with them. I just have never been able to link up that sort of father with the Infinite Spirit which is God. It may go with Jesus Christ, but it does not go with God That God exists, and there is an answer to the staggering human problems which face us today, I have no doubt. I never have had any doubt on that score, and from what I have seen of the workings of the Spirit which is God over the past thirteen years, I am pretty well convinced that we are closer to the answer than we have ever been. I trust I live long enough to see the whole world at peace. It can be at peace whenever it wants to.
The only thing that can bring permanent peace is the experience of God. By that I mean this - when this world knows who and what God really is, these tendencies, all conceived in ignorance of God, cannot exist. If Hitler actually knew God and needed more territory as he claims, it would not take thirty minutes for him to have what additional territory he needs. The nation which has more territory than it needs would give him what he wanted at once. If Hitler knew God, he would not ask for more than he needs. This same principle would work throughout all nations if God were known. The trouble is that God is not known.
I am reminded here of the journey of Paul, the old promoter, along the Athenian road. He, seeing a sign by the side of the road "To the unknown God," and undoubtedly being interested in the promotion of a new system of religion, called on the people of Athens and said to them, "Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are too superstitious. For as I passed by, I beheld a sign with these words 'To the unknown God.' Him, therefore, whom ye ignorantly worship, the same declare I unto you."
I find myself in a similar position. I, too, knowing some thing of the superstition and idolatry of present day religions, and knowing that the "god" these religions worship does not exist, am trying, and very earnestly, to bring to these good people of this and other lands the truths of God as that Great Spirit actually exists. I know the truth. It came through periods of great tribulation. It was not easy to learn. It seared the soul - for it is not an easy thing to inform millions of people that the God they are supposed to be worshipping, even though they admit him to be an "unknown god," does not actually exist. The assurance of the success of the "Psychiana" Movement lies in the fact that the whole world is questioning what the churches of every denomination attempt to teach about God. That makes my task considerably easier.
The facts might as well be faced. They will have to be faced sooner or later anyway. So why not face them now? Of two things we are sure. The first is - God, and by that I mean the Great Creative Spirit which is responsible for this creation, really exists. The second thing, I am sure of this, - that Spirit which is God can be found, known, and through its operations, complete peace, happiness, health, and life eternal can be found. It is obvious, however, that nothing offered to this world today by any system of theology, bears the slightest indication that such a condition of perfect peace, etc., will ever be manifested on this earth through the teachings of any system of religion, as those teachings exist today.
There have been "gods" and "systems of religion" on this earth for 20,000 years - and we do not yet know God. We are closer to finding God than we have ever been, and God can be found. God will be found; but he will never be found through any system of theology which teaches god crucified on a cross. I am fully convinced of that. I shall not give my reasons for this statement here, as I have al ready given them in my book Gleams Over the Horizon, and I do not want to repeat. Suffice it to say that in "Gleams", every existing religion on this earth today is shown for what it actually is. I told you what that is at the beginning of this book.
I often wonder as I sit here in my study day after day and watch men and women all over the world swamping me with letters asking for information about God. I often wonder if the world ever was as close to knowing the truth as it is today. I don't believe it ever was. I do not believe that the religious world in any stage of its history, until now, ever had the faintest conception of the true God, and certainly it has had no conception of the Power which the True Spirit brings with it. That there have been many honest attempts to find and know God is admitted; but the fatal mistake these religions have made lies in the fact that unless God operates and manifests according to their conception of God, they are not interested.
Right at the core of every major system of religion on the earth today, except one, is the impossible theory that because God is so big and powerful - ignorant man cannot find and know God. Therefore, it was necessary to clothe God with human aspects, put him in a human body, kill him on a cross, raise him from the dead, and send him back to "'heaven" from whence no word has come from that day to this. It should be unnecessary to say that all such conceptions of God are utterly false. Tracing them down, you find they are all originations of the religious institutions which foster them. They have no standing historically. The historical world never heard of these "gods." I include the Christian '"god.'' So then, as we approach the time when the True Spirit of God is to be known on the earth, shall we not take hope? Shall we not look up, for certainly "the day of our redemption draweth nigh."
I have stated once in this book that I would rather this autobiography had not been written - and for this reason, it may detract some from the Power of the Great Spirit which is God. There may be millions who will try to make a "god" out of the writer. So to prevent that, I'm going to tell the truth about the writer, and when I have told it, I don't believe there will be much danger of anyone's looking to me as being a "superman." Tenney and others say, "He has an inspired vision?" That is true, but the vision which inspires me and the Power which lies in that vision, may also inspire you. When that day comes, this world will know God. I do not say that this will happen all at once. After I have demonstrated who and what God is, and after the religious systems know that I know whereof I speak - my work will be done. I shall be very happy then to fade away and let far brainier men than I am carry on the work of manifesting the power of God to the world.
All I was sent to do is to point the way. I stand as a sign-post along the highway of life. When too many along that highway get lost, someone will see my sign and, following it, will reach the haven he seeks. Then, it will not be long until the glad news goes forth that the way of God has really been found. Try and bear in mind these things as you read on. Try and understand the motive which is behind this book. I'm no author - I cannot write and no one knows that better than I know it. I don't believe I have ever written anything yet which could pass as a "polished" work. I don't want "polish." I want to bring to men and women the consciousness of the Power of the Great Spirit, God, and this I shall do. Let the academicians have the polish. Let them seek glory of men. I shall content myself with thinking of God. In the knowledge that I did faithfully what I believed the true thing to do, I shall rest.
I arrived in Toronto with about thirty dollars in my pocket, and I located a combination rooming-house and restaurant on Adelaide Street. It was called "The Red Star" and the price was $3.50 a week for board and room. The room must have cost much more than the board. Had I been naming that restaurant, I believe I should have called it "Hash Center" or something which had "hash?' in it, for certainly they put lots of "hash" in their boarders. Sydney had secured a job on a farm, this time in Napanee, just a few miles from the Gould Ranch in Deseronto.
To be in a large city was a new experience for me. Belleville, I imagine, had a population of about 7,500, while Toronto now has more than half a million. It is much larger than it was then. After trying in vain to get a job, and with my money about gone, I was rather "down in the mouth." At about that time, the rich Cobalt mining strike was in progress, and I happened to hear a fellow called Dick Sutherland who boarded with us make the statement that he was leaving his job in the drug-store and going into the Cobalt district in the morning. Making his acquaintance, I asked him if anyone else had taken his job. He replied that so far as he knew, the job was still open. In fact, he went out to the drug store in Parkdale and got the job for me.
I had some wonderful times in that drug store which was situated on the corner of Wright and Sorauren Avenues. I even remember the telephone number although that is a long time ago. It was "Parkdale 1183." The owner of the store was William Wright, a wonderful fellow. His father was an inspector of police, and his mother was as fine a lady as I have met. Bill was superintendent of a Methodist Sunday School in Parkdale. He had no more religion than a jack-rabbit, but he was superintendent of the Sunday School, nevertheless. It was a small store, and Bill was a real fellow. The store is not operating as a drug store now. I saw Bill Wright working as a telegraph operator in Toronto just a few years ago.
I boarded with a Mrs. Gordon a short block from the store on Wright Avenue. Mrs. Gordon had two sons and one daughter, Ethel. Mickey, the elder of the two sons, went to the dogs through liquor, while the other boy whose name was Percy, made a big success with the National Cash Register Co. Ethel was a very lovely girl. She fell violently in love with me, and for a while I thought my days of single bliss were over. Women, however, did not interest me. Although I had not found the full answer to the God-proposition, I knew that sooner or later I should, and until that time, I did not care to become involved with any girl.
I remember one Sunday evening when I was lying on the davenport resting, Ethel came and knelt down beside me "Frank, I love you more than anyone I have ever met. Let's go away to Niagara Falls and get married," she said. Assuring her that if I had wanted to marry her, I did not have the funds, she countered by telling me that she could get five hundred dollars from her mother who, she said, was all in favor of the marriage. It looked somewhat like a put-up job, but Ethel was a fine girl. To make matters easier on them all, and to save myself embarrassment, I moved from Bill Wright's drug store and secured a position with a John Whiting about one mile from Bill Wright. I also moved into a new boarding house. This one was not really a boarding house although three people did board and room there. I suppose you would call them "paying guests" as Mrs. Welch, who owned the house, had no license to operate either as a rooming house or restaurant manager.
The Welchs' were fine people, too - a bit too religious to suit me, but good wholesome folks, nevertheless. Effie was the youngest daughter, and Clarabelle was the elder of the two. It was in the Welch home that I met Valborg Martine Zollner, a talented pianist and a pupil of the famed W. O. Forsyth. Val suffered from epileptic seizures and passed away in one of them. Josef Hofmann called at the house to see Val ever so often. She was a talented girl, and it is too bad death took her away. Mr. Welch worked for a Jewish firm of jewelers making rings. On the side, he made rings in his own home at night. Nothing of importance happened while I was working for Mr. Whiting. My evenings were spent around the Cowan Avenue fire-hall, playing checkers with "the boys." The Captain of the fire-hall was named Brennan, and Charley Dunn was the Lieutenant. Dunn is now Captain of the Dundas Street fire-hall. I remember especially two Irishmen who were firemen at that time, Ike Clough and Tom Conolly. Both could drink a lot of liquor and both liked to sit around the stove on the cold winter evenings and argue which could drink the most.
For reasons which I will not mention here, as Whiting is still alive, I decided to leave his valuable employ. Another position opened up, this time at 142 King Street, West, and the proprietor, J. G. Templeton, was a nephew of the Robert Templeton whom I worked for in Belleville. Mr. Templeton was called as a U. S. Government witness against me in the 1936 Federal trial, but he turned out to be a star witness for me. As a matter of fact, he visited my home in Moscow, and we enjoyed many hours together talking about old times. The Federal agents tried to talk him out of coming to my home during the trial, but all Templeton did was to argue with them that he knew me far better than they did and he told them very plainly that they were making a mistake in trying to put me behind the bars. They had other ideas, though.
An interesting side-light on that trial might be noted here. While I was in Belleville, I had my barber work done by Herb Wrightmyer who, at that time, ran a barber-shop there. Imagine my surprise when at the trial in Moscow, whom should I see there as a representative of the Canadian Secret Service but my friend, Herb Wrightmyer. I invited him to the house also, but he refused to come. What he was doing in Moscow during that trial and what interest the Canadian Government had in the trial, I have never been able to find out. In view of the fact that the trial took on international importance, I shall allude to it in detail later in the book. A lot of hullabaloo was created by that trial. One would have thought that the greatest criminal on the face of the earth, Public Enemy Number One, was being tried instead of a harmless chap whose only crime consisted of heading a religious Movement which had the audacity to tell organized religion that its story of God was not true. Had the "Psychiana" Movement never come into existence, there would have been no criminal trial and no deportation proceedings. But then, the world might never have heard of me, either. So as always in the Realm of the Great Spirit - God - all things worked out for the best. I would not recall those cruel days if I could.
Mr. Templeton's store was on the corner of what then were the two main streets in Toronto, King and York. Now, however, the center of the city is miles away. In those days it was the hub of Toronto, and Templeton's Pharmacy, being on one of those corners, was the "hub" of the city of Toronto, figuratively speaking. Mr. Templeton's specialty was T.R.C.'s, which means Templeton's Rheumatic Capsules. I don't think the capsules were any good, and even to this day, Mr. Templeton and I josh through the mails about those capsules. In any event, they sold, or rather we sold them for one dollar a box. Templeton was, and still is, a good Presbyterian. He lives in Streetsville a few miles from Toronto and used to commute from home to store. When in Toronto, he slept on a little cot in the back of the drug store. Next door was the then famed Roumegous Restaurant. Not many remember that. On the opposite corner was the old Rossin house, and on the other corners were the Imperial, the Palmer, and the King Edward - four hotels, and Templeton and I in the middle of them. Every letter Mr. Templeton writes to me, and I receive several a year, he winds up by "razzing" me about what he calls "that damnable doctrine of yours." He tells me that he is "saved and sanctified" and always has been. Perhaps he is. I am not in a position to dispute him. I have my own ideas on that subject and they do not jibe with J. G.'s ideas. However, we have been personal friends too long to quarrel over his "salvation and sanctification." I just want to tell what happened in that drug store while I worked there. It must be remembered that I am writing about things which happened thirty-five years ago. Conditions have changed considerably now. What was perfectly legal then is highly illegal now.
There was no Harrison Act then either in Canada or in the United States and "dope" could be bought freely by anyone who cared to sell it, provided it was sold under a State Pharmacy license. Agnews Catarrh Cure was on the market in those days, and the "hop-heads" would buy it by the dozen packages. We used to buy it by the gross. It was loaded with cocaine. Toronto was full of "hop-heads," and Templeton's Pharmacy did business with most of them. One of my jobs was to package up at night morphine and cocaine in little while papers to be sold for different prices. We even put out two-grain packages to sell at ten cents. We had others for a quarter, fifty cents, and what have you. These packages of "morph" and "coc" were on the prescription counter in seidlitz-powder boxes. We did not advertise the fact that we were selling "dope," but we did sell it to those "in the know."
In those days cocaine and morphine cost about $2.00 an ounce. There are 480 grains in an ounce. We charged five cents a grain. You figure out the profit.
There was an old Irish college professor called DeCourcey He had been a very brilliant man and was a graduate of some large college in Belfast, Ireland. "Dopey," we called him, and the name fitted him. If ever there was a human derelict, "Dopey" was it. He used to wash bottles for us, and in pay he would be given "dope." I refused to give him any. On the evenings on which I would be weighing it out into little packages, "Dopey" would be there watching me. Just let me spill a fraction of a grain on the floor, and down would go "Dopey" on his hands and knees, licking it off that dirty floor. I don't know where "Dopey" is now - probably dead. I was in Toronto not long ago, and Templeton and I wondered what had become of him. It seems that Borax intensifies the anaesthesia of cocaine. I did not know that then, for I was not a graduate pharmacist as I am now. Every so often I would see "Dopey" go into the lump Borax drawer and take a piece as big as a pill and stick it into his mouth. One day I asked him what he was eating Borax for. "Oh, just to intensify the anaesthesia," replied "Dopey." "Dopey's" pastime was to dissect rats in the basement.
Mr. Templeton was then, and I understand is now, an elder in the Presbyterian church. He told me recently that he was "saved and sanctified and always had been." I'm wondering though, whether "Dopey," when we all stand before the "great white throne," won't prove to be just as much "saved and sanctified" as my friend, Templeton. He knew better. "Dopey" was in the clutches of the most terrible demon known on this earth today. The Japs are feeding cocaine and morphine to the Chinese by the barrel, trying to bring their downfall in that manner. This is just a passing thought, however. Mr. Templeton cannot be selling "dope" today, and as it was perfectly legal then, no legal condemnation can be his. Nevertheless - I wonder.
Thoughts of God were still uppermost in my mind then, yet here was an elder of a Presbyterian church, helping already lost souls a little further into the hell they already were experiencing. Cocaine cost $2.50. The net profit was $21.50 on each ounce.
I shall here give you a copy of the last letter received from Mr. Templeton last Christmas, together with my reply. "Raz-Mah" is the new name of Templeton's Rheumatic cure. Hence the reference to "Raz-Mah-Taz" in my letter.
Toronto, Canada, Dec. 12, 1939.It was about this time that I made up my mind to make one final effort to see if I could not find out something about the Power of the Great Spirit - God - through the church. I realized that it probably would be a hopeless task, for my dealings with those who professed religion had been disastrous. First - my father. Second - the Reverend Wallace, Third - the Reverend Elliott. Fourth - The Salvation Army cadet. Fifth - J. G. Templeton. There were many others. I mention only these five. Yet I instinctively knew that God must be a living Reality, and my mind was made up to find God or die in the attempt. There is running through my mind now a passage from one of the many bibles of the different religions, and it runs something like this: "Though he slay me, yet will I trust him." It's foolish, of course, to trust one who would slay you, but I was that much in earnest to find just what the Truth of God was, and is.
Another Christmas is about upon us and I am minded to write you. I will always remember my delightful visit- at your home and your most entertaining wife. You have every reason to be proud of her and you must have great enjoyment out of your children.
I have six grandchildren and they keep me going, I can assure you.
This war will not affect you but with many it is most disastrous and causing a lot of suffering. You people think you can keep out of it - perhaps so.
I saw our friend Timothy Haggerty, the other day. He is aging fast.
R. T. in Belleville is getting very feeble. I write him once a year and am doing it today.
I wish you and your good wife and family a Joyous Christmas with all the good things that go with it.
J. G. TEMPLETON.
December I8, I939.
Mr. J. G. Templeton,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
My Dear Friend:
When I left the house this morning, I said to Mrs. Robinson, "It's about time Mr. Templeton was writing. I wonder if he is ill." And when I get to the office, here is the old, familiar "Raz-mah-taz" envelope Iying on my desk.
However, in spite of the very low regard and esteem I have for the proprietor of this "Raz-mah-taz" business, I am happy indeed that you remembered me at this Christmas time. I can understand how your six grandchildren worry you considerably at Christmas time, because, being a Scotchman and a good Presbyterian, I imagine considerable mental suffering will be your lot until this painful ordeal of giving Christmas presents away is ended for another year. I think the cheapest way out of it is just to send them a Christmas card and state on this card that it covers Christmas day up to the year I950 so that you can use one card for ten Christmases.
Poor old Tim Haggerty. I am surprised that he is still alive, but I understand he is a Scotchman, too, and you know how those boys hang on to everything, even life itself. I am very much surprised that Robert Templeton is still alive, because he was ready for the bone pile when I was working for him forty years ago. But this Scotch trait will predominate, and I expect you will live to be at least one hundred and fifty.
All joking aside, though, I was very happy indeed to think that you had remembered me, because after all, the sweetest things in life are the memories of days gone by. The sad part of it is that they cannot be recalled.
We received international publicity over the radio, in the press, and through the news photo services, on account of the wire I received from the Premier of Finland asking the spiritual assistance of this Movement, and of course, I will immediately fly into action, and am causing to be inserted in the newspapers of the United States, appropriate copy.
If all religions could knock out every creed and dogma they ever heard of and every creed and dogma they contain, and could work from the single hypothesis of the present existence of the Spirit of God, there wouldn't be any war. But with Presbyterianism and all the rest of these rotten "isms," there can be no peace.
However, James, life is an evolution, and man will continue to progress until all creeds and dogmas are banished, and man lives in perfect peace with his neighbors, in perfect consciousness of the Presence of God.
I wish you a long, happy life, and you will always stand out in my memory as one of the nicest scoundrels I have ever met, and at the same time, one of the finest characters. Don't make your letters too far apart, because I like them.
Kindest personal regards,
FRANK B. ROBINSON.
One Sunday night, I wandered into a church. The roof did not fall in. It was a little church out in North Toronto and it was a Baptist church. The pastor's name was Brown. The singing from the outside attracted me. It was good music, and I like good music, so I went in. There was a large choir in Toronto those days called the Alexander Choir. It was evangelistic in its nature, and this choir would split into different groups and visit the different churches in Toronto every Sunday night. On this particular Sunday evening, the sermon did not appeal to me. The singing did, and when the "altar-call" was given, there was I, once more believing what this Baptist denomination told me. I should have known better, perhaps, after what I had seen. But I was in earnest - in deadly earnest. I wanted God more than anything else in the world. If, by going to the "altar" every night in the week for ten years, I could find God, I would have done just that.
This experience was not quite as picturesque as the "salvation" experience in the Army in Belleville. There was no "hallelujah - this brother has found the Lord." It was much quieter than that. Mr. Brown, a very fine chap he turned out to be, grasped me by the hand and asked me where I was working. He did not recommend the Salvation Army, nor did he ask me how much money I could give to the support of the church. This chap honestly meant and believed what he preached. I think most Protestant ministers of that day did. I'm quite sure very few of them do today. Recent ministerial polls showed that more than sixty-seven per cent of those ministers polled do not believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ. They are becoming intelligent. But what are they doing in the ministry? Why do they not be honest for a change and stop preaching what they admit they do not believe?
I made quite a friend of Brown. I made many friends as a result of that Sunday evening. Many things happened be cause of it. The hymn which brought me to my feet is still one of my favorite hymns. I play it on my pipe-organ frequently. Here is the hymn:
In loving kindness Jesus came, my soul in mercy to reclaim;The hymn really means nothing to me, and it meant nothing then, for I was not in the slightest degree interested in Jesus Christ. I wanted to know God. The story of Jesus Christ as far as I was concerned may have been all right. But it was God - the great Living Spirit - God, I wanted to know. I had heard that Jesus had been put to death two thousand years ago and had never been heard from since - so how could that help me? I wanted the Living Spirit which is God, and I did not want to wait until I was dead to find that Great Spirit.
And from the depths of sin and shame, redeemed, he lifted me:
From sinking sand he lifted me, with tender hand he lifted me;
From shades of night, to plains of light, Oh praise his name,
He lifted me.
It was not long after this experience until a Miss West of Parkdale came down to the Templeton store to give me an invitation to join the Alexander Choir. I have a voice like a crow. She did not know that. She soon found it out. Anyway, I joined this Alexander Choir. Its leader, as I recall the name, was Melvin Fuller, or something like that. A dentist called George Palmer, who had been with Torrey and Alexander some years before, was the leader when I joined, but after a few weeks he was replaced by Melvin Fuller. On Saturday nights we would meet in a down-town church parlor and practice for the following Sunday. Everything I had, I gave to that choir. I meant business. I never was sold on the philosophy it taught, but I did like the singing, and I liked the evangelistic meetings, especially when we went out of town. I imagine there were more than one thousand voices in that choir. We gave concerts of a religious nature in the Massey Hall, the largest auditorium in Toronto at that time.
Someone must have sensed the deep spirituality in my nature, for it was not long until I was given spiritual charge of that choir. By that I mean that I was given charge of the devotional end. I would have to lead the devotions, do the praying, and in general, act as "spiritual advisor." I did this to the best of my ability. Then, before I knew it, I was being asked to preach here and there, and whenever it was advertised that Frank B. Robinson was to speak, you could be sure the crowds would be turned away. About the only thing there was in my preaching was earnestness. I have been accused in the past twelve years of almost everything, but I have never yet met a man who questioned my earnestness if he knew me at all.
I had little education. Certain it is I had no training in platform work, and equally certain was it that there was little knowledge of the bible. The only book I knew anything about was a Gospel of John. I wore that book to a skeleton of its former self, trying to find God through it; but I never found God that way. Anyway the crowds came, and it was not long until Robinson had the reputation of being "another Spurgeon." Calls from outside towns came in, and I filled those calls. I enjoyed it. Of course, I was not satisfied at all. I knew that I did not know anything about the Great Spirit God. My sermons kept as far away from Jesus Christ as I could keep them. l knew nothing about Jesus, and was not particularly interested in him. So I preached the Power of the Spirit of God. That is all I preach now. That is all I know, and that is the reason for the staggering growth and success of the "Psychiana" Movement.
One day Mr. Templeton handed me a letter when I came to work. It bore the emblem of Doctor Elmore Harris, a millionaire farm instrument dealer, and a member of the celebrated firm of Massey-Harris, here in the United States. Hastily opening the letter, I found it contained an invitation to call and see Doctor Harris in his home whenever convenient. Mystified, I called up the doctor and asked him what he wanted to see me about. He explained that he was interested in me and thought it might be a good idea if I were to meet him. The next week, I did so. Doctor Harris lived in a beautiful home, surely suitable for a millionaire, and I felt rather like a fish out of water as I sat there in his huge parlor, my cap hanging over one knee. After a few moments, Doctor Harris came in, and in the very friendliest manner, he said to me, "Frank, I'm very glad you came. I've been hearing about you, and the Lord has put it on my heart to put you through the Baptist ministry. I believe you will draw this world closer to the cross."
This was something new. Never had I even faintly suspected that this great man had ever heard of me. I knew he was president of McMaster Baptist University, and I knew he was a powerful influence in the Bible Training School, but how he had ever heard of a little chap like me, I did not know. I asked Doctor Harris how that was. "Frank," he replied, "Many have come to me and told me of your power on the platform and your deep and spiritual nature. I have attended the last three sermons you preached. I consider you the most powerful platform man the Baptist denomination has in it." When I reminded Doctor Harris that I was not a member of any denomination, he replied, "Oh, yes, you are. I have the authority to ordain you as a Baptist minister - Stand up a moment, please." I was then and there ordained as a Baptist minister by Doctor Harris. What good it has done me, I do not know, nor do I know why Doctor Harris was so insistent about having me in the Baptist denomination. Perhaps he had an insight into the fact that 'ere this life was over, a work of stupendous import for God would be done. Whatever the reason, certainly the pressure was put on me by Doctor Harris.
All this was happening a bit too fast for my slow mind to grasp. When I left Templeton's, I was an unknown drug-clerk and now, an hour later, I was a full-fledged Baptist minister. That was something. Not that I felt any different, for l did not. I do not believe I even felt honored by this ordination. It meant just exactly nothing to me. In fact, I felt the cart was before the horse. I knew nothing about God. I had the very definite impression that I was to be used by God to bring to this world the greatest spiritual awakening it has ever experienced; but I also knew that the mere making a preacher out of me did not equip me spiritually for the work I knew would be mine to do sooner or later.
I never jump before I know where I'm going to light if I do jump. I thanked Doctor Harris for his ordination and inquired a bit further into his future designs on me. He informed me that "the Lord has blessed me with material abundance and has put it on my heart to give some of that abundance to you." What he wanted me to do was to leave Templeton's and go to the Bible Training School, there to equip myself for the Baptist ministry. Normally that would have been a very nice thing to do, and later I did it. "If you tell me in advance every month what your expenses of living etc., will be, I will mail you a check sufficiently large to cover those expenses," said Doctor Harris. He promised, in addition to that, to see that all my expenses at the Bible Training School were taken care of. He pressed me for a decision that night.
I told him that such a step as that would have to be carefully thought over, and made another appointment with him one week from that night. In the meantime, I did a lot of thinking. Here was an opportunity of a lifetime. A millionaire, with all his money, wanted to help me. But that didn't mean so very much to me, for under this plan, as I visualized it, I could probably become a well-known Baptist preacher and that was all. Something seemed to hold me back from making a decision. The more I thought this proposition over, the more I disliked it. The idea of entering the Baptist or any other ministry did not appeal to me at that time.
What experience with God had I which qualified me to tell others the priceless truths of the Realm of the Great Spirit - God. What did I know about God? I knew that some day I should lead a religious movement of importance, but had that day come yet? Was this the time? I had known many Baptist preachers, to my sorrow, and if all ahead of me was what they had, I did not want any of it. The future - the idea of livelihood did not enter into my meditations on this amazing offer of Doctor Elmore Harris. I wanted to do the right thing, but I certainly was skeptical of anything that looked like a Baptist preacher.
I thought of my father - how much of the Spirit of God was in him? How much of the Spirit of the Infinite God was in him the night in Elton's cellar when he was putting the bung in a barrel of beer and squirting the beer all over the cellar? How much of the Spirit of God did he have when he threw me to the ground, shouting at me, "You cursed hound - would to God you had never been born"? How much of the Spirit of God was in that father the day I unexpectedly interrupted him on my way home from school by dropping into the Martha Hurley home? How much of the Spirit of God was in him when, to get rid of me, he forced me into the British Navy? You answer these questions.
Then the Reverend Muxworthy, a friend of my father. that pipe-smoking, beer-guzzling girl-raping Baptist preacher - how much of the Spirit of God was in him while he attended those famous "fraternals"? How much of the Spirit of God was in him the night they had to help him to bed in our home because of his complete intoxication? How much of the Spirit of God was in the Reverend Wallace when, that Sunday morning, he turned away from his door two friendless, penniless, hungry children because he was, on a Sunday morning, "too busy" to help them? How much of the Spirit of God was in the Reverend O. C. Elliott when he advised me to "go join the Salvation Army?" And how much of the Spirit of God was in that female Army officer when she said to me in Doctor Dolan's house, "The Dolan's are away - let's lie on the floor?"
You see, all these things were very vivid in my memory. My life, to date, had been very hard. It had been pitiless. It had been merciless. Then I thought of my younger brother, Sydney - I remembered his terrible illness. I remembered the wire to the Baptist preacher man-of-God, my father - "Syd dangerously ill - not expected to live double pneumonia,' and I remember the heartless reply. No wonder I hesitated about going into the Baptist ministry. The week rolled round, and the time for my second appointment with Doctor Harris arrived. When I left Templeton's that night, my mind was made up to thank Doctor Harris very kindly for his offer of assistance and his interest in my future - but to refuse these offers.
That night Harris sent a rig down for me. On arriving at the house, I told him that I did not believe I chose to take up the ministry at that time. He argued with me and tried to convince me that the good I was doing by preaching now could be many times multiplied - "if you have the authority of the Baptist denomination behind you." That was it. If I had the authority of any denomination behind me today, I should be as useless as a flying-fish in the Sahara desert. As it is, I have made my own denomination and I control that. This work I am doing now could not be done under anyone or any denomination. It is bigger than all of them. I take orders from no bishop or moderator or pope. The only instructions I need I get direct from God, whose I am and whom I serve. It would be really funny some night to see me in some big Baptist church, giving the same sermons I give in the largest auditoriums in the country. I don't believe I'd be a Baptist very long.
This particular conference progressed far into the night. At about ten o'clock Doctor Harris rang for some beef sandwiches and some black tea. He invited me to stay all night but as I had to be at Templeton's early the next morning, I refused the offer. Perhaps some hop-head might be waiting there for some "morph" or some "coc," and if Mr. Templeton discovered that l had allowed any of his cherished "hop heads" to wait when the store should have been "open for business," I might have lost my job; for Elder Templeton was a very hard business man. I shall never forget his ringing up his broker, one Beatty, every morning after he came to work. "Buy one thousand Nip. Sell five hundred Cobalt," etc. "Nip" was the Nipissing mine which made lots of money for its shareholders.
When pressed for a definite reason why I should not take up the ministry, I came right out and told Doctor Harris that I did not believe either the Baptist denomination or any other denomination knew very much about God. The subject of Jesus Christ was brought up, and it did not take me very long to inform Doctor Harris that I never had considered Jesus Christ to be God, for the simple reason that God existed before there was any world, while Jesus Christ, if he ever existed at all, died two thousand years ago and had never been heard of since. I think this shocked Doctor Harris. It would shock any good Baptist. But it was the way I felt. Instead of this statement driving Doctor Harris away from me, it seemed to make him all the more insistent that I do as he wished me to and enter the Bible Training School. Said he, "I am more than ever convinced now that God Almighty has a work for you to do."
When pressed for an answer to the question of Jesus and his divinity, Doctor Harris replied that most certainly Jesus was God in human form. I disagreed. I still disagree as you will find out later. Later, however, I agreed to enter the Bible Training School if Doctor Harris would permit me to leave any time I cared to. This was agreed upon, so one day I entered the Bible Training School in Toronto, Canada, with all expenses paid by Doctor Elmore Harris I recall one statement the good doctor made to me in his efforts to have me go through the school. "Now here is the Mississippi River - you want to get to the other side. Here is a boat going to cross that river. Don't you see, you must get on the boat if you ever get across. Do you see that?" he asked me. I saw that. I was not so sure of the boat as I might have been.
When I informed Mr. Templeton that I was about to be come a preacher and enter the Bible Training School, Elder Templeton said to me, "Frank, you never appeared to me to be too much of a damned fool, but you're certainly making one out of yourself now." For a gentleman who told me that he was "saved and sanctified" that was a strange statement.
One would think that a "man of God" such as J. G. Templeton would be only too happy to see a man enter the ministry, but that was not the effect my announcement had on him, so a man by the name of Maxon took my place there the next week.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Remember, Mr. Templeton is a good friend of mine. He is still alive. What I am saying here is true. No doubt he will get fighting mad at what I have written, but if this autobiography is to be of real value, it must, first and last, be true. Before this book is ended, you will see just what picture I am attempting to draw, and just what bearing that picture has on the whole "Psychiana" Movement. Whenever a personal reference to a living person is made in this book, it will be made in the interests of truth and the general public.