In January 1953 Mr. H. [Horace C.] Stanley who was the Manager of the Stow Hill Bible and Tract Depot gave a most remarkable address at Merton Park. He read John 1: 18; 1 Cor. 8: 6; 1 Tim. 6: 13 and Rev. 21: 3 as instructing us as to our knowledge, our relationships, our approach to God and as to God Himself. In the course of the address he said:—
The Spirit and the Son are each God In Their Persons, each equal with the Father. I think of the Son in His Deity (as far as I can think of Him); Deity is the same in Him as in the other Persons, and there is no diminution or partitioning of Deity whatever. Deity is as great in the Son as in the Father, Son and Spirit. Let us get away from the idea that one fears is in some minds, that the Father, the Son and the Spirit are each a third part of the Deity. It is bad doctrine. The Father and the Son are not each a part of the Deity. Deity is the same in the Father as in the Three, likewise in the Spirit as in the Three, for the Being is there, whether I think of the Father, the Son or the Spirit. Scripture teaches, “God is One”.
He went on to stress that our approach to and worship of God is in the known relationship of Father.
The compiler heard of the address two days afterwards from a sister who was present and said it was an outstanding address given with great power. Subsequently Mr. Stanley had so many demands for copies of it that in May or June 1953 he had a number printed to meet the desire which he commenced to send to enquirers. Almost immediately, however, he was called upon by those promulgating or supporting the new teaching, to desist from issuing it as it was no doubt realised that it was a Scriptural challenge to what was being currently taught. To avoid trouble he acceded to this request; but this did not save him from the fate of all who were not afraid to question current teaching.
Early in 1954 Mr. James Taylor Jr. [allegedley] influenced certain brothers in Mr. Stanley's local meeting at Teddington to take up with him certain corrections to notes of Mr. James Taylor Sr.'s ministry and other similar amendments for which he was responsible and which had been made by him in carrying out his duties as manager of the Stow Hill Bible and Tract Depot. In particular the omission of the reference to speaking to the Spirit in Mr. Taylor's ministry in New York in 1942 and certain alterations in other ministry of his in respect to the epistle to the Ephesians, were brought up. These had been dealt with by Mr. Taylor Sr. with Mr. Stanley and the issue between them cleared many years ago; but Mr. Taylor Jr. had the whole matter brought up again declaring that it had not been settled.
To support his case he produced copies of some letters which had passed between his father and Mr. Stanley, but others which would have proved that these issues had been settled as between Mr. Taylor Sr. and Mr. Stanley and that the former was on normal relations of confidence with Mr. Stanley before he died were omitted.*
In the course of these proceedings Mr. James Taylor Jr. sent a long cable to Mr. Stanley on 20th February 1954 telling him what he should do in regard to these past matters which included “condemning error in your Merton Park address”. The whole issue was brought to an assembly meeting in March 1954 and Mr. Stanley took low ground in respect of the charges against him which included – it is understood though no record is available – the repudiation of his Merton Park address and his so-called “sin” was remitted.
This, however, did not end the matter. On September 21st 1954 the Trustees of the Stow Hill Depot invited a number of representative brethren from all parts of the British Isles to a meeting at Park Street, London, a private and confidential report of which was subsequently issued under the names of the Trustees of the Depot [unavailable]. One of the principal purposes of the meeting was stated to be for the Trustees to acknowledge the wrong that had been done at the Depot in the past in making certain alterations to manuscripts of Mr. Taylor's ministry without his knowledge. Although it was admitted that these had been gone into in 1942 it was stated that some of them had subsequently assumed special importance owing to their relating to “the truth as to the Spirit”. The Trustees went on to claim that had the remarks by Mr. Taylor on the subject of singing to the Holy Spirit not been deleted or altered, “the saints generally would have been aware earlier of the way the truth was taking form in Mr. Taylor's mind, and it is probable that exercise would have taken place then with the saints generally that would have facilitated the earlier bringing forward of the truth in ministry and made it easier for Mr. Taylor in 1947 and since, to develop the truth as to addressing the Holy Spirit”.
The compiler finds it difficult to understand how the excision from the 1942 notes of the references as to singing to the Holy Spirit could be blamed for the brethren not taking up this teaching, seeing that when it came up in 1947, the brethren took it on immediately it was ministered long before any notes were printed and issued.
Following this meeting the whole issue as to Mr. Stanley's “sin” was, early in 1955, raised again, notwithstanding his forgiveness in 1954 and accusation after accusation made against him with the result that at an assembly meeting at Twickenham on 7th June 1955 he was withdrawn from. In addition he was dismissed from his post as manager of the Stow Hill Bible and Tract Depot. Subsequently a number of local brothers who felt keenly the unjust and cruel treatment which Mr. Stanley had received were also withdrawn from or themselves withdrew. A full account of the whole matter was set out subsequently in a letter dated 3rd December 1956 from Mr. R. A. Ball to Mr. J. Taylor Jr., which the latter ignored. Mr. Stanley was a broken man after all he had passed through and suffered from extreme ill-health until the Lord took him on March 23rd 1969. He was never allowed back in fellowship and the compiler understands that it was said that he had committed the “sin unto death”.