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SUPPLEMENT TO ZION’S WATCH TOWER, AND „HERALD OF CHRIST’S PRESENCE”
PITTSBURGH, PA., JULY 1, 1879
To the readers of the „HERALD OF THE MORNING”
DEAR FRIENDS: My connection with the „Herald” having been terminated rather suddenly, and under circumstances which must seem rather remarkable and peculiar to you, I feel it to be a duty both to you and to myself to offer an explanation of the manner of withdrawal and my reasons for so doing. Quite a number who were personally acquainted with me thought there must be more of the story to tell, and I have received a number of letters asking an explanation. To these inquiries and to many unexpressed of similar character, let me offer the following statement:
I have been a Bible student since I first had my attention called to the second coming of our Lord, by Jonas Wendel, a Second Advent Preacher, about 1869, who was then preaching the burning of the world as being due in 1873. But though he first awakened my interest on the subject, I was not a convert, either to the time he suggested nor to the events he predicted. I, in company with others in Pittsburgh, organized and maintained a bible class for the searching of the Scriptures, meeting every Sunday.
We reasoned that, if Christ’s coming were to end probation, and bring irrevocable ruin upon ninety nine in a hundred of mankind; then it could scarcely be considered desirable, neither could we pray with proper spirit, „Come, Lord Jesus, Come quickly!” We had rather request–much as we should „love his appearing”–that he remain away and our sufferings and trials continue so that „if by any means we might save some.” Not only so, but great masses of scripture referring to the Millennial glory and teaching that „All nations which thou hast made shall come and worship before thee,” &c., &c., would be left unfulfilled if at His coming there should be a wreck of matter and a crush of world.
We first saw Millennial glory–then the glorious work which is offered us as His Bride; that we are by faith the „seed of Abraham;” and as such, heirs of the promises, &c., in whom „all the families of the earth shall be blest.” (`Gal. 3:1-29`.) This most certainly points to a probation in the future after He has come.
Thus, speedily, steadily and surely God led us to recognize the second coming of our Lord as being not the sunset of all hope to mankind, but the „rising of the Sun of Righteousness with healing in his wings.”
The Lord gave us many helps in the study of His word, among whom stood prominently, our dearly beloved and aged brother, George Storrs, who, both by word and pen, gave us much assistance; but we ever sought not to be followers of men, however good or wise, but „Followers of God, as dear children.” Thus growing in grace and knowledge for seven years, the year 1876 found us.
Up to this time we persistently ignored time and looked with pity upon Mr. Thurman’s and Mr. Wendel’s ideas. (The latter was preaching the same time as Bro. Barbour; viz: The burning of the world in 1873.) We regarded those ideas as unworthy of consideration, for though we believed the event „nigh even at the doors,” yet we recognized the fact that the church will be withdrawn–translated–before there would be any open manifestation to the world, or, in other words, the two stages of Christ’s second advent, viz: coming for his saints, and coming with all his saints.
About this time I received a copy of the „Herald of the Morning,” Bro. B. was its publisher; I read with interest how he and others had been looking for (to use his own expression) „a bonfire”; how scriptural arguments pointed to the autumn of 1874 as the time it was due; how that as the disappointment connected therewith began to abate, he and others had re-examined the scriptural proofs that appeared to teach that the end of the world was due at the time supposed; how clear and firm all those proofs still seemed; etc.; how that then, they began to examine what was due to take place at the end, and found that instead of a bonfire, scripture taught that „The harvest is the end of the world” (or age), and that though the age ended, the earth remained and a new age unfolded in which „All the families of the earth shall be blest.”
When I read the account I was deeply interested, and as I read on I saw that, if the arguments were true they proved that we had entered and were then in the harvest or end; and if in the harvest, Jesus was due to be here present. This was all reasonable enough for it was much what we had been expecting, and it linked time to our expectation in a harmonious and beautiful manner. My thought now was: Are there sufficient proofs of our being in the time of harvest? If so, this brother and I were in perfect harmony. The paper came in the morning, and I had read it and written to brother B. before noon. I examined more of the time proofs, and though not yet settled with reference to them, made arrangements with brothers B. and Paton to come to Philadelphia, where I was engaged at the time (1876), and hold some meetings, giving evidences, etc., of time, to which I listened with interest, and of the truth of which I felt convinced.
Br. B. and I talked over various methods of promulgating these truths and finally decided to travel and preach them wherever men and women would hear, and to thus spend (D.V.) the remainder of the harvest, which we then supposed was three and a half years, and would close in 1878. While I was arranging my affairs, brother B. returned to Rochester to prepare for publication of the „Three Worlds.” (We found during the Philadelphia meetings that such a book was necessary to furnish hearers with chapter and verse for what was claimed), and to close up the „Herald” as it could not be properly attended to while traveling, and the suggestion was made that if any new evidences or truths were developed, a paper could at any time be published and issued from any point. In the meantime, to do justice to subscribers and give them reading matter for the remainder of their year, brother B. had parts of the „Three Worlds” book, then on the press, arranged with a heading, „Herald of the Morning Quarterly,” which were left with a sister in Rochester to be mailed as they became due.
We, Bros. Barbour, Paton and myself, traveled, lectured, etc., for some months, when it seemed advisable to us all that a paper should go continuously to those who were hearing, thus keeping alive and watering seed sown. This seemed good to us all, and while brother Paton and I continued lecturing, brother B. went to Rochester and fitted up our office, type, etc., for which I furnished the money. The old type, &c., had been sold before we started out, although I know nothing of how much was obtained for it, nor what was done with the money. The paper thus started was essentially another paper but took the same name because we could think of none better or more expressive. That it was a new paper, or had at least undergone a change of management, was witnessed monthly by the heading of its fourth page where it expressly states that it is „Published by C. T. Russell and N. H. Barbour.” Since the paper’s change of form, July 1878, this has been omitted. Possibly Bro. B. forgot it, or possibly he thought that the page being small this could be advantageously left out. What amount of money I invested in the paper I do not know. Of such things I never keep account. I remember sending Br. B. money several times; one of which was when we were leaving a camp meeting at Alton Bay, N.H.; I gave him $100 which he lost from his vest pocket as he afterwards wrote me, when, I presume I sent him another $100. I made neither mental nor written note of any money sent–I simply sent whatever money was called for and seemed to me to be needed, aggregating altogether perhaps $300 or $400 dollars. The $660 referred to by Bro. B. in the May Herald I never gave to the Herald. The paper has never been self-supporting, and particularly not at first, when we sent many thousands of copies to persons who had been readers of the paper of old when it did not advocate the glorious „Restitution of all things” as it now does, as well as to those who sent their names as two months subscribers free. At its outstart considerable money was necessary; the receipts were slow and uncertain, so, to avoid the necessity of continually sending, or of the Herald’s being in any way hindered from lack of money, I placed on deposit at Rochester the above sum which before, I had deposited in a Pittsburgh bank. I deposited the money in our joint names so that should occasion require, Bro. B. could draw and use it, but I repeat, I never gave that $660 to either Bro. B. or the Herald. It, as well as all I have, is the Lord’s, and was intended to be used wherever and whenever it was needed, either by the Herald, any of the preaching brethren, or by myself. The greater part of it has been used for all these. When I was traveling, it was equally convenient for me at Rochester or at Pittsburgh.
Besides these cash items, the „Herald” had a regular income from the sale of the „Three Worlds,” a book familiar to most of you. We published 3500 of them–prices twenty five, fifty cents and one dollar, according to binding. These were all disposed of, some by each of us while traveling, the proceeds helping to defray traveling and other expenses, and a part were sold from the office–orders being filled from all parts of the country. It would be moderate to estimate that about one-fourth of the edition was thus disposed of from the office to the direct benefit of the Herald, which at an average of thirty cents each, would be over $260, besides a smaller amount–the proceeds from the sale of the hymn book, and more recently from the sale of the tract, „The Object and Manner of Our Lord’s Return,” the latter probably not so inconsiderable as some ordered by the dozen for distribution.
The moneys so received were all clear gain to the „Herald,” as the cost of publication was paid by myself; Bro. B. doing the composition of the „Three Worlds” and hymn books. Whatever I gave to or invested in the „Herald,” was not to Bro. B. but to the Lord, and I much regret that circumstances seem to demand this recital, but we are commanded, „Let not your good be evil spoken of.” Bro. Barbour has put into the Herald his time and ability, and has drawn out of it his living. It was his own fault if during the last two years he did more than his strength justified, or if he did not live comfortably. It was not from lack of money. I know he lives frugally, and so do all who realize that all things are God’s, and that they are simply His stewards. I am willing to admit that in investing his time and ability he put in that which was of greater value than the money I invested. Still, I think that our brother would claim that the time invested was not given to me, but to the Lord, and the pay he expects is not merely the living of the present time, but that his is „The promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”
In consideration of the above, I confess I did not, and do not, feel that in supposing the Herald to be partly mine, I was „immodest.”
But there are other points of our brother’s reply to my proposition that seem to require restating to be fully understood. First, however, read below an exact copy of the letter which I wrote to Bro. B., and to which the article referred to in the May „Herald” is the sole reply I have received.
PITTSBURGH, PA., MAY 3, 1879
Dear Brother N. H. Barbour:–Your postal card and letter came duly to hand, and I hope my delay in answering will not be attributed to lack of interest. The fact is that with moving of house and store, spring purchasing of goods (for which I went East), and the work which our Father seems to have put into my hands for the present, viz.: ministering to His children the bread of life each Sunday, as well as baptism and prayer meetings &c., &c., I have been kept so busy as to seldom get above six or six and a half hours sleep per night. With this explanation, let me reply to your letter.
First: It was not possible for me to attend the proposed meeting at R., and I presume, though invited warmly, you scarcely expected me, knowing my pressure of time, &c.
Second: I cannot understand how our bank account has so suddenly decreased. I expected that we still had $100 to $125 in bank. If I recollect aright the balance in bank when I was in R. was $163. Am I right? In your reply, please let me know how our account stands, viz: How much was to our credit in bank Jan. 1, ’79, how much has been received in cash since, and how much in bank and on hand now, also, what largest items of expense have been, &c.
While I still feel that you are a brother in Christ, and still love you as such, while there are many pleasant memories of the past to refresh my heart, yet my brother, there has arisen a difference of view between us as to the teaching of our Father’s word (see note 1.) and while giving you credit for all sincerity and honesty in your views,
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which I claim for myself in the opposite view, yet I must be guided by my own understanding of our Father’s word, and consequently think you to be in error. Now I do not think that every difference of opinion need necessarily break fellowship and communion, yet in this case the points of variance seem to me to be so fundamental and important that the full fellowship and sympathy such as should exist among publishers and editors of a paper or magazine, no longer obtains between you and me, and because this is the case, I feel that our relationship should cease.
I believe that we are both children of God, and anxious to know and teach the truth. Our Father’s promise is that all truth seekers shall be guided into it therefore permit me to express the hope that we shall yet see in harmony and understand in unison, the Word. May whichever of us has truth be strengthened and established in it, and the one in error be led to discern the error. Now how shall we dissolve? Will Bro. Withington or some other brother buy out my interest for you, or take my place himself, or do you wish to resign your connection with the Herald. (See note 2.) In that case I shall continue it (D.V.) As you are the senior, I give you the opportunity to mention the terms of purchase or sale, I know not whether you feel disposed to purchase or not. In case you and friends wish to purchase, I expect to start another paper. I do not know that, as I feel at present it would be an auxiliary, as I had at first intended, but neither should it be understood to be an opposition paper, it should be an independent one. I should be the more studious of this, because I should fear that if the friends–the readers–knew of our difference, &c., the truths which we both aim to honor and advance, might be reflected upon unfavorably in consequence. Please let me know your answer and proposition as soon as possible, within a week certainly.
Truly your brother in Christ,
C. T. RUSSELL.
Note 1. The doctrine of Substitution, or Atonement.
Note 2. When I first mentioned another paper to brother B. January last, he suggested that I take editorial charge of the Herald, which I then declined; I did not know but that he might still be of the same mind.
The answer which I received through the May No. of the Herald is known to you all perhaps. In reply to it I wrote brother B. as follows:
101 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, May 22nd, 1879 Brother N. H. Barbour:–I was much disappointed at your reply in last Herald (May No.) to my letter of the 3rd. inst. I did not expect that its proposition would be made public–as intimated in the last clause–and I certainly did not expect that it would be stated in so partial and one sided a manner. To my mind it was unjust. And now I leave the Herald with you. I withdraw entirely from it, taking nothing from you; or it, or anyone, save christian charity, which we owe one another. This is exactly the amount expected when I wrote to you the former letter. Please announce in next No. of the Herald the dissolution and withdraw my name. Yet still believe me, the Herald’s friend, and yours.
CHARLES T. RUSSELL.
I have other reasons than those stated in my letter to Bro. B. which I might as well mention here, as „other management” has been suggested. One feature of the Herald’s management which gave me much annoyance, and of which I wrote to Bro. several times, was the careless handling of names of subscribers, by which many were lost, and the failure to keep any proper account of when money was paid, or when a subscription expired. He simply marked P opposite the name, and when he thought from the color of the ink that the subscription was about expired, he stopped sending. Time after time I have been asked personally and by mail, „Why don’t I get my paper?”
Another objection is that in some cases there has been too much management. Articles sent by Bro. P. and myself, were not to my mind respectfully treated. If I had a right to the paper and I think I had and I wished Bro. P. to have, while Bro. B. had an equal right to write an opposing article, he had no right to cut up and interpolate ours. Nor was an appended answer proper when the writer was an „Associate Editor” and had a right to present his views over his own name. Further, while writing against Substitution, Bro. B. was seemingly anxious to publish letters from subscribers, which mentioned his view commendingly. Among others was one from Rev. W. V. Feltwell, of Philadelphia, a personal acquaintance of mine. In this extract Bro. F. is made to endorse the new views strongly.
I was much surprised, and seeing the brother in March, I inquired; why? He informed me that the article referred to had not stated him correctly–that he had written to Bro. B. to have it corrected, and said he, „Didn’t you see the correction in the March Herald?” No, I answered. Then he got me his copy. There it was–Bro. B. regrets at any error, &c., and a quotation from Bro. F’s. last letter: „I am now and always have been a believer in the vicarious atonement of Christ.” This seemed all right and I know that it was possible for any one to make a mistake, when merely making an extract from another’s letter, and I was rejoiced to think that the correction was so freely made.
But judge of my surprise and sorrow when upon attempting to show it to Bro. P. a few days after, I found that in my March No. a notice of Bro. Rice’s paper „The Last Trump;” occupied its place–How was it in yours? We could not understand it, it seemed like double dealing–too much management for a Herald of the Millennial Morning. Alas!, I said to myself; is this the fruit of the new views of the atonement?
To Summarize:–In money direct and through publications, I presume that I furnished the Herald with about, as nearly as I can approximate six or seven hundred dollars, in addition to its type &c. Bro. B. put in all he had–his time &c. He drew out what he has since lived on, and by this new arrangement has drawn the „Herald” as well.
In the light of the above it may not be amiss to offer a few criticisms of the May article. How does it appear now, about those thousands of gratuitous papers? Did Bro. B. do all the giving? [I take no credit to myself in the matter, I did what was my greatest pleasure.]
Then too from the account above given, which many of the brethren here can corroborate, does it indeed look as though „our dear young brother Russell came into these views, and a small interest in the paper so recently?” Is it true that „this young man came into the views advocated by the Herald, no longer ago than Nov. 1876?” Again, is it true that Bro. B. „advocated all the advanced truths and all the prophetic arguments?” And did the „young brother learn all these beautiful truths by hearing repeated courses of lectures by Bro. B.?” Let us see what are these beautiful advanced truths? Is it the time of Christ’s coming? No, there is no beauty in time, it is only a thing of dread, unless the glorious object of His coming is recognized. Bro. B. can scarcely be considered the one, who brought this most glorious and most beautiful truth to our attention, for, while he believed a bonfire to be the end of the world, and that probation ended with it, Bros. Geo. Storrs, Henry Dunn and others were preaching and writing of „the times of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy Prophets.” [`Acts 3:21`,] and that „In the ages to come, God would show the exceeding riches of his grace.” (`Eph. 2:7`.) Again, of what value would it be to know the time if we know nothing of the manner of Christ’s coming? But while Bro. B. was looking for and preaching outward demonstrations, others saw and taught the two stages of the second advent, viz: Coming unobservedly for His bride and his appearing, when „we also shall appear with Him in glory.” Lest some should suppose these statements unwarranted by facts, let me here give extracts from writings on the subject by Rev. Jos. Seiss. „The Last Times” a work published by him in 1856, says of: „THE DAY OF THE LORD” (PP. 150-151.)
„There shall be upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity, the sea and the waves thereof roaring, great popular and revolutionary disturbances; men’s hearts failing them for fear and for looking after those things that are coming on the earth for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” These words describe scenes of the judgement, which are to be witnessed before the visible manifestations of Christ, scenes which will glide in upon the world without the least suspicion on the part of men generally, that they are the beginning of the great judgement. Yes, „every eye shall see him” but not necessarily at the same time, and only when he shall come „with all his saints with him,” and all his saints cannot be with him until after the pious dead are raised and the pious living be translated. The day of judgement shall come „as a thief in the night.” He will be here, gathering and removing His elect before the world shall have become aware of it. Referring to THE RESTORATION OF THE JEWS (PP. 206-209.)
„The Jews shall return to their ancient home. Jehovah Elohim shall come down again more glorious than when of old, he dwelt in cloud and flame in the Holy of Holies, even Jesus in His own glorified humanity and they shall say: „Lo, this is our God! we have waited for him and he will save us. We will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” Jerusalem’s light shall then have come, and the glory of the Lord have risen upon her and she shall arise and shine. But Jerusalem below, radiant in all its untold glory shall be but a type and earthly picture of the higher and sublimer Jerusalem that is above.–[The Church.] Concerning the OFFICE OF THE GLORIFIED CHURCH. (PP. 221.)
„Much of the great plan of redemption yet remains unfulfilled and this Church of the first born is exalted to its high place, not only for its own glory and the Savior’s praise, but as another great link in the chain of agencies, and administrations by which the entire world is to be restored to the high sphere for which it was destined. When this elect Church shall have been completed and its members come to be Priests and Kings with Christ in the glorious Messianic kingdom, the same general calling which they now fill will continue.
These sublime princedoms of the eternal empire are a part of God’s great plan to let forth His love, wisdom and blessing upon earth’s generations. Blessed shall it then be for the world, when once the saints shall be installed with their promised dominion and set with Christ upon His throne. And again, concerning SPIRITUAL BODIES. (PP. 220.)
„That the glorified saints will to some extent mingle with those who live in the body and at times unveil their radiance to them, I think there is reason to believe. If they are to govern, direct and minister to those in the flesh, it is natural to suppose they will also be visible at least occasionally.
Angels in the performance of similar offices have often been manifested to living men, and why should it not be so with Christ’s servants in the wonderful administrations of his glorious kingdom. Glorified or spiritual bodies are perhaps in their nature insensible to our earthly senses. Christ after His resurrection, was not visible, except at certain times when he manifested himself. The angels are invisible and yet we have many instances in which they were revealed to the view of mortals.
And in that new world in which the glorified saints are to be enthroned and commissioned as the ministers of Christ to execute his orders and administer his government over the nations, we may reasonably expect that they will often appear and converse with those who live in the flesh, and that intercourse between them and those in the body, will be as real familiar and blessed as that which Adam enjoyed with heavenly beings in Paradise.”
At the time the above was written Bro. Barbour was entirely uninterested in these matters, a gold miner in Australia, and even since his return to the United States, and his interest in the second coming of Christ, his preaching and teaching has, until quite recently, opposed rather than favored these doctrines.
From whence came all these beautiful and advanced truths to young Bro. Russell and others of the flock? Surely not from Bro. Barbour, nor, we may add, from any man. These precious truths are given freely to all in Christ by the Lord, the Holy Spirit being our teacher and the only one, for „The anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you, but as the same anointing teacheth you all things, and is truth.” (`1 John 2:27`.) Truth and knowledge are the food upon which God’s children feed, and He himself has made perfect arrangements for their supply, as it is written, „Light is sown for the righteous.” (`Ps. 97:11`.)
He supplies the light to the „Pathway of the just that shines more and more unto the perfect day,” and as the Master promised so we have had „The spirit of truth to guide us into all truth, and He has shown us things to come.” (`John 16:13`.)
But while the spirit guides, human instrumentality is often employed by the spirit. Men are only the „earthen vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us.” (`2 Cor. 4:7`.) The vessel is nothing, the treasure has the value. All God’s children are to some extent vessels, some with greater capacity than others. O that we might all be very humble as treasure bearers.
„Broken and emptied vessels,
For the Master’s use made meet.
Rather be nothing, nothing–
To Him let their voices be raised,
He is the fountain of blessing,
He only is most to be praised.”
Truth when due, is due to the household, and it is of little consequence either to the Spirit, who has it to communicate, or the Church for whom it is intended, whether it come by one vessel or another. If Luther had refused to carry the message given him for the Church, some one else would have carried it. And what he brought was not his, it was the Church’s, and each member of the Church was as much the owner as Luther.
The Lord’s way seems to be to give truth through various channels „–Here a little and there a little.” Possibly, the reason is, lest the vessel should „be puffed up above measure,” and that the Church should know that its Head is the „Fount of every blessing.”
But is there nothing which Bro. B. has brought us as the Spirit’s vessel? Oh yes, while he did not bring the glorious and beautiful advanced truths, nor yet the „prophetic arguments.” [The chronology, showing scripturally that the 6000 years from Adam ended in 1873, was I believe, first dug from the Bible, arranged and printed by Rev. Bowen of England, and is there known as „Bowen’s chronology.” Most of the Prophetic arguments which we now use, were used long ago by Second Adventists–misapplied–and their harmony not being seen, they were thrown aside.] Bro. B. was permitted to so arrange, (gradually) and harmonize these various Prophetic teachings of time, that now, they give those of us who see them, great joy. He has caused these Precious Gems (God given) to sparkle and shine because of their harmonious arrangement, and the light which he brought us (God given) on the time of the realization of „The exceeding great and precious promises of God.” For this harmony of time we thank God. For his labor in bringing it to us we sincerely and heartily thank Bro. Barbour, and pray that as a vessel the Lord may use him still further to the edification of the body of Christ.
This has been to me a painful recital, and it will be the same to every reader of the „Herald” who is truly interested in what has been taught through it for the last two years, but I believe it is absolutely demanded as an explanation of the article in the May „Herald.” I have finished. My wish is to dismiss the matter entirely from my attention, and I now expect never to refer to the subject again under any circumstance.
I have published this as a „Supplement,” because first I wanted it to go to none but „Herald” readers, and secondly, I would not want the pages of „Zion’s Watch Tower” sullied by a recital so derogatory in some respects to the character of a member of the body.
I have been extremely careful in preparing this article that no part of it should be over stated. First: Because I do not wish to misrepresent, and Secondly: Because I have every reason to expect that some sort of an answer will be attempted, and desiring never again to mention the subject, I want to make such statements as cannot be contradicted.
C. T. RUSSELL
— July, 1879 —