"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of truth." — (Psalm 60:4)
"Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them." — (Isaiah 13:2)
Devoted To The Defense Of The Church Against All Errors And Innovations
Vol.IX No.I Pg.18-21
July 1946

The Davidson Letters

(Printed as received, without correction of errors)

Dear Leon:

I saw Bro. H. Leo just before he became ill and talked with him at home half a day. He agreed to help me, in every possible way, in what I set before him. I sincerely feel the Boll statement would have been fully acceptable to him and he thought we could settle the issue.

I expect to have notes made of this, and tie it in with my introductory remarks to show his interest, and to verify my statement that he had agreed to help.

* * * *

Nashville, Tenn. Jan. 30, 1946

Dear Bro. Davidson:

Your two letters have been received. I have been in bed for four weeks and am still in bed; I will have to remain in bed for some weeks yet. I am dictating this letter while in bed.

I appreciate your writing me and the thoughts that you suggest. May the Lord abundantly bless you in your efforts to restore peace in the brotherhood.

Yours fraternally,
(Signed) H. Leo Boles

* * * *

CHICAGO March 21, 1946

Mr. Leon McQuiddy

Nashville, Tenn.

Dear Leon:

I was surely grieved at Morford's death, as I am sure you were. Was so sorry that I had to leave before the end came. From a worldly point of view, he was one of the very finest men I ever knew, and about the most likeable; but my deepest grief concerning him is that he died absolutely without any spark of hope. Personally, I had tried my utmost to interest him in his soul's salvation, but I could never get any where at all with him along such lines.

Since my return here, I have been away constantly, on one trip after another, but I hope now to have a breathing spell of a few days so I can devote some time and thought to the Boll matter.

Concerning your suggestion of submitting this to Bro. Hardeman, after much thought, I have decided that I will not do so. I feel that, with his great prestige and influence in our Brotherhood, he could have settled this un-Godly issue long, long ago, had he wished to do so. But, apparently, the thing was of no consequence to him and, as far as I can learn, he made absolutely no effort of any kind to stop all the terrific amount of discord which has developed in our midst therefrom. So, since he has manifested no interest in the past, I do not feel that he should be consulted now, as to whether or no the issue shall be settled.

In other words, I do not feel the settlement should be made to hinge upon Hardeman's say-so concerning it. If he feels it should be settled now, well and good; but if not, I certainly am not going to cease my efforts toward affecting a true Christian settlement. In the past, I sincerely feel there has been absolutely too much Dictation on the part of a few influential preachers, as to what our membership shall do. Personally, I have long felt that there was something very nearly approaching unto a religious hierarchy in our Brotherhood. All such I propose to by-pass, in my efforts in this matter, and I want to bring the decision as to what shall now be done, not to a tribunal of a few powerful preachers, but to the great rank and file of the membership of our Brotherhood. Certainly the preachers have done nothing about this un-Godly mess, except to make it worse and worse; now I want to go to all the church leaders, and also to all the balance of the membership.

Unto all these I shall appear, as unto fair-minded and just men, to stop making the matter of difference of opinion, or interpretation, or conclusion (or whatever term you might wish to use) in matters of unfulfilled prophesies, a test of fellowship; neither should we brand as "unsound" those who may happen to differ in their positions on such. I further shall appeal unto all the host of preachers, who have told me, in confidence that they sincerely feel no "lines" would be drawn over such matters, but who say they are afraid to come out and take such position openly.

I shall appeal to all such not to come out, without fear, and take a stand on this like true Christian men, and not like a bunch of cravens.

Leon, in days long gone by, when I tried to influence you toward more consecrated life, and you were not, at that time, interested therein, you said to me "The trouble with me is that I see and come into contact with too many preachers." Though I regretted what you said, yet, I realized that there were, indeed, many preachers who make a matter of "politics" of their religion, or who are swayed largely by what they feel to be their own selfish interests; or who are jealous of others. (However, in passing, I never felt that excused you; our relations to Christ are a personal matter. Though all the world be false to him, or fail him, yet we can still, personally, stand and walk with Him. May He help you and me to do just that, regardless of what many others may do. More and more, as the days rush so swiftly by, do I realize my utmost need for Him; You, too, my life-long friend need Him more now,

than ever before in your life. In the ache of your heart over the terrible illness of her whom you have loved so dearly and long, you do need Him, more than ever before in your whole life. I would beg you that you and I both love Him, as we have never before done, and that we really and truly live for Him, in all those words might mean.)

But, getting back to the matter of preachers, and their weaknesses and failings; I sincerely blame the present torn-asunder condition in our Brotherhood, on the weakness of our preachers; to their desire for "preeminence," which they have hoped to attain by posing as deliverers of the church, to save it from the menace of premillenialism, which is just about to destroy it!" Therein, with my whole heart, I believe they have been wrong!

Further, in all the spirit of love for you. which I have held since the days of our childhood, I would tell you that I sincerely feel that The Gospel Advocate has been wrong in steering and spreading, through writings within its pages, this discord in the hearts of brethren, I think that our religious papers, like our preachers, have been guilty of playing politics in this matter.

Yes, I feel that the Gospel Advocate, too, has wanted to be on the popular side. As proof of that, I would recite the following to you. Throughout all the years, there have been exceedingly numerous articles published in the Advocate, all of which, that I ever read, have tended to increase the feelings which have existed toward those who hold different conclusions in matters of prophesy, and to justify the present "marking" and "drawing of lines."

While I have never accepted, myself, any of the premillenial teachings, yet I have always regarded, and treated, Bro. Boll and others who agree with him, as brethren.

Well, several months ago, since there had appeared in the advocate, again, articles which would tend to widen this breach, I wrote to Bro. Goodpasture and asked him if he would publish an article on this subject which I would like to write. Now, there had been, for years, articles galore, written by numerous writers, all of which had been published in the Advocate; but they all represented one point of view, which happened to be the popular one. Bro. Good-pasture knew that, if I should write an article on this subject, instead of justifying the present ungodly conditions, I would condemn them, and instead of arguing for them, I would argue against them. So, though he had accepted for publication numerous articles from other brethren, yet he refused to publish one which I might write. Leon, I say to you that anyone would have a hard time to convince me that the reason for such refusal was not that he feared. I might write something which might be unpopular! What do you think? ! ! !

Personally, I feel it is high time our religious papers quit following the Catholic way of only letting their readers hear what they want to hear! Where there are differences of opinion, or different views on various matters, I think every member of our great Brotherhood is entitled to have before him every point of view, so that he may decide for himself thereabout! In all such matters I sincerely believe in individual freedom.

I repeat that I feel there has long been, in our Brotherhood, something very close kin to a religious hierarchy, if not actually such! I am absolutely against all such!

Leon, I want the Advocate to publish the Boll statement, together with my introductory remarks; I sincerely feel that your readers are entitled to read it! I think you should publish it, as a news item of universal interest, so that your readers may have a chance to decide for themselves as to the merits of the things presented.

Further, since this whole un-Godly mess started in the Advocate Office, I think that you owe it to the One who died for you, to do all that the Advocate can now do to end it, and to make every possible effort toward restoring the peace which certainly should exist among all sincere followers of Him! In bygone days, the Advocate led the way unto discord among brethren (one of the things we are told the Lord hates), and division in His beloved Body. Now, I truly feel the Advocate should lead the way back to the paths of true love among brethren, and tender-hearted tolerance and forbearance and unity.

I know, well, that you put Bro. Goodpasture absolutely in charge of the Advocate. (That I feel he has done an exceedingly fine job there, I have told you before, on several occasions.) I have always tried to "put myself in the other fellow's shoes", so I can understand why, as a matter of general principle, he might be unwilling to publish something which he had not read before agreeing unto its publication. Also, he does not happen to know me as well as you do, so I can understand and appreciate why he might hesitate to agree to publish something from me, without first reading it; so I am certainly not "falling out" with him therefor.

But can't you tell him through how many years my life has been an "open book" unto you, and what you have read thereupon, and that you do not feel he would be "sticking his neck out" in agreeing beforehand to publish anything I might send out over my signature? And you also might tell him that I recognize, fully, the utmost importance of the introductory remarks, so I have asked several of the straightest thinkers and best balanced men in our Brotherhood (none of them on the premillenial side), to assist me in suggestions of wisdom, and in "censor" of what I might write. I assure you that what will go into this introduction will have behind it a big lot of careful thinking, from all points of view, together with much earnest prayer that that which may be issued shall in all ways be pleasing unto Him, and be in accord with His leadings. Believe me, my only desire in this matter is to serve Him to the very best of my abilities, and that this terrible blot and blemish upon His church may be removed!

I am so exceedingly busy now with my work for the furniture factories whom I serve that I probably will not be able to complete the introductory remarks until just time for publications, which I hope may be in June. With sincere regards,

(Signed) Norman

* * * *

CHICAGO April 1, 1946 Mr. Leon McQuiddy

Nashville, Tenn.

Dear Leon:

As burdened as I know your heart is, I certainly hate to worry, or bother you, about anything. But if you can do so, I would much appreciate a reply to my letter of March 21.

I am planning to leave here next week, on a trip to be gone a number of weeks, and have much to do before I can get away. So I would like to know your decision as soon as possible, so that I may plan accordingly.

I surely do hope that you wont turn me down. Certainly there could be no possible objection to your publishing the things contemplated, as a "news item." Of course Bro. Goodpasture would have the privilege, and right, of making any kind of comments he might wish, in his editorial expressions of views thereabout.

Please dont turn me down!

I think you know me well enough to know
that I absolutely seek no leadership, "preem‑
inence", nor anything else, except to please
my Lord. I know He is displeased over the
present discord and bitter feelings in our Broth‑
erhood, so I know that my efforts toward real
unity and Christian love are pleasing unto Him.
With Sincere Regards,
(signed) Norman.

* * * *

April 23, 1946 Mr. Leon B. McQuiddy

Nashville, Tennessee

Dear Leon:

Was sorry that I missed seeing you recently, on my way South. Would have stayed over another day, but had reservations made ahead, so could not do so.

My heart truly bleeds for you in the great trial through which you are passing. Having had several close relatives who have died with cancer, I know just what it means.

I had quite a talk with Brother Goodpasture, and am sure that he does not want to see the Boll matter settled on the basis of the statement made. It is rather strange to me, the difference between his attitude and that of Bro. H. Leo, when I spent half a day with him at his home, discussing this whole matter. He said, very definitely, that he thought the thing could be settled on the basis of that which is included in the statement, and he pledged himself to render me every possible assistance toward this end. He positively did not, in his expressions to me, express one single word which might indicate that he felt the settlement should be made, only if Boll will agree to quit teaching his views. To the contrary, he made it very clear that he felt it would not be necessary for either side to compromise their convictions in any way.

As I told Bro. Goodpasture, I just do not think he wants to see this terrible situation settled, unless he is able therein to win a victory over Boll; I further told him I felt he had "made capital" of it for so long that he was just not willing to now drop the matter. He does not think there is any possibility of settlement except on his terms—but he may get an exceedingly great surprise: I really think he will. Fortunately, settlement of this matter is not at all dependent upon the Gospel Advocate. Bro. Goodpasture has long sought to be on the popular side: but he may find now, that he is taking the losing one. I have truly been amazed at some of the reactions I have received.

You told me that, regardless of the Advocate, you would write me a letter stating that you had never felt this thing should be a test of fellowship; and that you had never heard any preacher of any standing in our Brotherhood who had said he thought one should be disfellowshipped simply because he might believe the pre-millenial theories. I would very much appreciate it if you will send me the promised letter, addressed to me at the above Florida address. And please don't forget that you said you would really like to see this thing settled,and that you would be glad to help me thereunto. That, too, was a promise to me, which I certainly do not feel you should break.

Leon, you know this whole thing is an ungodly mess! You know there never should have been any trouble over it! Others who have fought Mr. Boll, in the past, have admitted to me that therein they made a mistake, and have pledged themselves to aid in the accomplishment of a Christian settlement now.

I know, exceedingly well, that this thing has never been a matter of religious convictions with you! So you can certainly tender me the promised help, without in any way sacrificing any convictions. I just appeal to your sense of fair dealing, to take the stand which I know in your heart you feel is right.

Should Bro. Goodpasture decide he might want to fight a settlement on the basis which Bro. H. Leo agreed to me, I tell you he had best be prepared for a real fight! And, in this, he will not be fighting preachers who are afraid of him, and whom he can ruin, if he wishes to do so. I think you have known me long enough, and well enough, to know that I am not afraid of anyone; also that there is no way I can be hurt in this matter. I have pledged unto the Lord that I will give this "the very best there is in me" — and I surely expect to keep this pledge. In this instance, I am sure you know you are dealing with one who has absolutely "no axe to grind." (This paragraph is written. because, in my conversations with him, I came to the conclusion that he had it in his mind to prevent this settlement, if he can.)

The entire attitude of Bro. Goodpasture is entirely different from that which you showed and expressed to me. I have no reason to feel that he has since converted you. So I am expecting from you the letter which you promised me. Please don't forget the Florida address, and I would appreciate your sending to me in the near future. In conclusion may I say that I do, truly, hate to bother you, or write anything which may upset or distress, in those dark hours through which you are now passing. May His blessings be upon you, and may His arms sustain you!

In deepest sympathy and most sincere regards,

(Signed) Norman.

* * * *

Hotel Pontiac, 89th and Collins,

Miami Beach, Fla..

May 6, 1946. Mr. Leon McQuiddy


Dear Leon:

I have your letter of the 1st. As I have said before, I have surely hated to disturb you in any way, during this time when you have had such a heavy load on your heart. Whenever you feel equal to it, I will be glad to hear from you.

There have been some further developments. in the matter on which I have been working, which may be of interest to you.

I told you of Clay Pullias' extreme and rabid. position, and that I feared I might have some opposition there. However, A. M. Burton has been down here for a couple of weeks. He and I have been fishing tonight, and and have had a number of long talks. He says that he certainly would like to see this issue settled; he is most highly pleased with what I have done so far, and the progress made, and says he feels there is an exceedingly good chance this old sore may be healed now.

Concerning Clay's attitude, he expressed considerable surprise, and said that was not his attitude at all. He further said that he felt sure the Board of D. L. C. would not "go along with" Clay, but that "Clay is working under the Board, and will have to do what he is told." He assured me in no uncertain terms that I am certainly not going to have any trouble of any kind, or opposition from this source. I am further hopeful of getting endorsement from the D. L. C. Board, of what I am after; Bro. Burton said he would be glad for me to write the Board, in detail, concerning the whole matter. He further said that a settlement of this would be perhaps the best thing which could be done in our Brotherhood.

In a long phone conversation with Bro. Showalter, he told me he would more than gladly publish my introductory remarks and the Boll statement: he said he thought the thing should never have been an issue; that it had always been a matter of personalities, and not of convictions; that numerous preachers had made capital for their own gain, thereof. He further said that Boll was not, by any means, the first to promulgate these views; he said that before the issue was started in the G. A. office, numerous outstanding preachers whom he mentioned by name, had all held this position; but that they were not disfellowshipped, nor was there any "marking" until the Advocate took the thing up.

I am planning to go to Austin, and work with Bro. Showalter and associates, before time for publication, which will not be until after Aug. 1, or maybe after Sept. 1. There are a considerable number of other very outstanding preachers in various parts of the country, whom I expect to see, too. So, after I get back from there, I shall be quite busy with some extensive travelling on this matter.

With again my deepest sympathies, and regards,

(Signed) Norman.

P. S. I told A. M. I feared Bro. Goodpasture meant to "fight" me in this matter. He replied, "I don't see how he can afford to!"

* * * *

Miami Beach, Fla. Apr. 30, 1946

Mr. Leon B. McQuiddy


Dear Leon:

In writing you the other day, I overlooked asking you a couple of questions which were on my mind.

You told me that Bro. M. C. Kurfees was the man who started all the Boll trouble; I am told that around 1925, there was a meeting at the Gospel Advocate office, in which you as well as Foy Wallace were present; and a complete agreement was agreed concerning the whole Boll matter; then Bro. Kurfees, who was not present, heard of the plan for unity and peace, and he then opposed the settlement so bitterly and violently, that the other brethren gave up, and gave in to him.

Please advise me whether or not this is correct.

Then I would also appreciate if you will tell me whether your father ever withdrew fellowship from Bro. Boll, or refused to fellowship him.

With sincere regards,
(Signed) Norman.