Repost from the other thread to put this all together:
I have to admit that I did not realize there were significant differences between the 1917 edition and the 1918 edition. Then I read a statement made in a speech by Wm. F. Hudgins in 1918 where he gave his reasons for accepting the Finished Mystery:
There is no more reason why we should reject the Seventh Volume because of some statements there about the ending of the war in October, 1917, which did not come true, than there is that we should throw Volume Two away because we weren't all glorified in October, 1914.
I thought to myself: where did the Finished Mystery predict the end of the war in October of 1917? The reason I did not remember this was because I am more familiar with the 1918 edition. So, in searching the 1917 PDF I came across the statements.
Page 367 of the PDF or page 268 of the book (1917 ed.) states:
But is due to make its appearance with the close of the war, some time about October 1st, 1917.
Pages 350-351 of the PDF or page 256 of the book (1917 ed.) state:
The three days of terrible darkness over the land represent the three years of the great war, and indicate its close shortly after the publication of this final witness to the Church.
The book was released in July of 1917 and was predicting an end to the war in just 3 months after its release!!
The 1918 edition changes these statements. Interestingly, for the second one it changes the 3 days to 3 1/2 days, so the war could stretch until the Spring of 1918!! So, when the "three days" or "three years" went past October 1st, 1917, they changed the text to read 3 1/2 days and stretched the war to 3 1/2 years. So page 256 of the 1918 edition reads:
The 3 1/2 days of terrible darkness over the land represent the 3 1/2 years of the great war, that indicate its close shortly after the publication of this final witness to the Church.
So, instead of admitting they were wrong about the war ending about October 1, 1917, they tweaked with the data and stretched the prediction a few more months!
These passages are hardly recognizable at all in the 1926 edition (though the 1926 edition changes the 3 1/2 days back to 3 but does not connect it with the end of the war.) Page 256 of the 1926 edition reads:
The 3 days of terrible darkness over the land of Egypt represent the 3 years of mental obscurity respecting the cause (influence of the demons) of the World War ending with the publication of this book in 1917.
A scan of the 1926 edition on this passage can be found here:
I'm not good at imbedding scans onto these pages. Perhaps someone could imbed a scan of page 256 from the 1918 edition to show the stretch from "3 years" to "3 1/2 years"?
The 1917, 1918 and 1926 texts of the Finished Mystery are linked on Jwfacts webpage of older Watchtower publications: