Having identified (an interestingly erroneous word in itself) the date (by Pyramidology and cherry-picking scriptures) of THE END, C.T.Russell
either had to allow the evidence to refute him (intellectual honesty) or he had to resort to reframing and recontextualizing.
What must THAT have been like?
Sort of like misplacing your car keys and saying to yourself: "I know they're right here in this room but I just can't see them."
A reader of Second Adventist writings named B.W. Keith wrote a letter which proved useful. This man "noticed" when reading the Emphatic Diaglott that the word coming could also be translated as presence.
Russell seized upon this and decided the car keys really were in the room but were actually invisible.
Next year the Watchtower Society will be forced by world events (i.e. NO Armageddon yet) to confront a FULL CENTURY of Christ's presence
with NOTHING to show for it!
The "splainin'" that Lucy will have to do should prove to be entertaining, to say the least.
William Miller (1782-1849), preached that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ would occur some time between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844.
Miller was invited to preach his "proofs" to churches in many locations. Many heard and became convinced.
Miller’s followers may have numbered as many as 100,000.
Churches split everywhere over who believed and who refused to be taken in.
Those who pinned their hopes on Miller's arguments did whatever necessary to prepare for the event--an event which never took place. What followed has been termed THE GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT.
When Christ failed to materialize within the appointed time, Miller set a new date, October 22, 1844. When this new date failed he apologized and admitted he was wrong.
Many honest and disappointed souls hung their heads in shame and returned to their old churches. But, about a third did not. They dug in. They tried to "fix" the problem.
Joseph Bates, James White and in particular Ellen Harmon White, chose to believe there was nothing wrong with Miller’s date calculations and started to teach that Christ had indeed returned in 1844
This return was not to Earth but to His heavenly Sanctuary. (fulfilling Daniel chapter 8 verse 14), and thus started a day of preparation. The actual Second Coming, the Parousia, was imminent. (Smylie 1988)
The merit of such an argument was that it provided a flimsy scriptural dodge, an excuse, which gave them temporary plausible deniability until they could repair the damage to their chronology.
Another Millerite, Nelson H. Barbour, came to believe that the correct date for Christ’s Second Coming was 1873, not 1844.
He started to spread this message, in particular through his 1870 pamphlet called Evidences for the Coming of the Lord in 1873: or the Midnight Cry, and his monthly The Midnight Cry from 1873. In the meantime, 1873 had become 1874, but that did not prevent another disappointment.
The loosey-goosey nature of these dates should have embarrassed further speculation. It didn't.
One of Barbour’s readers, B. W. Keith, came up with a solution.
Having obtained a new translation of the New Testament, Benjamin Wilson’s The Emphatic Diaglott, Keith noticed a marginal alternative translation of Parousia, the Greek word normally translated ‘coming,’ namely ‘presence.’
None of these men were skilled in Biblical Greek, but the idea took hold that what had started in 1874 was indeed Christ’s invisible presence. (Jonsson 1983)
This year, Barbour said, started a millennial morning, and the periodical The Midnight Cry became The Herald of the Morning.
Barbour failed to convince many of his original readers, but he did manage to convert one young man. This man was Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916).