Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 1936

F. W. Smith's Statement Regarding The R. H. Boll Agreement

The following reproduction is a photostatic copy of F. W. Smith's withdrawal of his acceptance of one of R. H. Boll's explanations about his agreement with the Gospel Advocate. Brother Boll made an agreement with the Gospel Advocate not to teach his theories. He afterwards repudiated the agreement, and denied that he had made one. Brother Smith charged him with falsifying. Brother Boll later admitted that he had made an agreement but sought refuge behind Webster's definitions of what "agreement" meant. He made some explanations and offered some apologies. Naturally of a forgiving disposition Brother Smith took a charitable view of it and withdrew his charge that Brother Boll had "falsified". But immediately upon his doing so, it appears that Brother Boll's attitude in other and later letters convinced Brother Smith that his "explanations" and "apologies" were not according to the facts and he cancelled his withdrawal of the charge against Brother Boll and returned it to its original status.

Below is the cancellation statement made to E. A. Elam on the margin of the Elam manuscript in p. W. Smith's own handwriting. This document has distinct significance in the case for the reason that Boll and his followers have clung to the story that all of the Advocate editors, except M C. Kurfees, withdrew their charges against him and are circulating the Elam letters as proof, with the final facts of the case withheld. This photostatic copy, with the A. B. Lipscomb letter on another page, is definite and final on that point of the "Boll Agreement". It is given here simply in interest of facts and in defense of the integrity of a great man, F. W. Smith who though "being dead yet speaketh".

There was an agreement in the former sense; for without dictation from men, and as free under God and because my judgement approved, I was of the same mind with the other brethren that it was best not to press the doctrines in question. But there was no agreement in the second sense of Webster's definition.

The later statement which I made in 1919 in order to define and explain the term "agreement" I meant to be in perfect harmony with the former statements (which were made in 1915) and represents and embraces the facts as I understood them at the time the first statements were made.

On October 16th, 1925, Brother Boll further writes:

I hope you may be able to make it clear to my brethren who may seem disposed to question the motive of the statement I made in October, 1919, defining the term "agreement" that that statement was in no sense an attempt to exonerate myself of any charge, or to alter my previous statement by putting a new construction on the language.

In reply to this Brother Smith says;

Brother Boll, on December 9, 1915, referred to his first statement of November 4, 1915, as above quoted, said, "On this and no other understanding or agreement did I resume ray (sic) work on the Advocate."

This statement was a"denial" of the private agreement Brother Boll had made with the Gospel Advocate to cease teaching certain doctrines, thus placing the Advocate in the attitude of misrepresenting the facts in the case and in consequence of which he was charged with falsifying.

But since Brother Boll now disclaims that he "intended" his statement of November 9, 1915. as above quoted, to be a "denial" of the private agreement had with the Advocate, which agreement he admitted in his last statement of October 2, 1919, as above quoted; but that he "intended" his statement of November 9, 1915, to mean or embody what was expressed in his last statement of October 2, 1919, the charge made against Brother Boll of falsifying is withdrawn.

It must be distinctly understood, however, that the acceptance of Brother Boll's explanation as to what he meant by his statement of November 9, 1915, and the withdrawal of the charge made against him of wilfully falsifying, are not to be considered in any sense an endorsement of the doctrines in question.