Not to derail the topic but Russell, like most people, tried to have too many things both ways.
You can find quotes from him trying to be humble and no one special and you can find quotes from him claiming to be the Faithful and Discreet Slave.
I do not defend Brother Russell in everything he said; however, I do not know of anytime that Russell ever made a claim of being the faithful and wise servant. He did repeat the claims of others, but he seemed reluctant to state anything definite in application of the "faithful and wise servant."
See my own studies:
Parable of the Four Servants
The Faithful and Wise Servant and Other Servants
You can find quotes from him saying the Bible is the most important book and you can find quotes from him saying that Studies in the Scriptures could put someone "in the light" even if that one never saw a Bible.
Brother Russell stated many times the former and only once the latter. From the perspective under which he stated the latter, both statements were true. Nevertheless, Russell's latter statement should not be taken out of context and placed in the context of JWs' later claims, or even under the manner of speaking that is often presented by most denominational leaders.
However, if anyone depends only on Russell's Studies for light due to be understood, he will be in relative darkness regarding things that can be understood better today; this does not mean that they do not belong to Christ, as all who belong to Christ are in varying degrees of understanding. I believe that most -- if not all -- Christians living today will not understand the full truth until they have been exalted in heaven as joint-heirs with Jesus or until after Satan has been abyssed when Jesus will lead them to the waters of life. -- Revelation 7:15-17.
Is Reading of "Scripture Studies" Bible Study?
Russell's Quotes Concerning the Bible
Russell on "Only Authority"
You can find quotes from him trying not to be dogmatic about his date scheme and you can find quotes from him saying that the dates he prophesied are God's dates, not man's.
What Russell actually stated: "They are, we believe, God's dates, not ours." Russell, using an editoral "we" -- stated his "belief" -- his "opinion" -- that they are God's dates, and he was firm in stating his belief; he was not being dogmatic. He was not saying that everyone had to accept what he believed, nor was he claiming that he knew for a fact that what he believed was beyond error. Indeed, in the context of those words, he stated, "But bear in mind that the end of 1914 is not the date for the beginning, but for the end of the time of trouble. We see no reason for changing from our opinion expressed in the View presented in the WATCH TOWER of Jan. 15, '92." (Watch Tower, July 15, 1894) Note that he used the words "opinion" and "view".
His statement here regarding 1914 being the date for the end of the time of trouble is stated because there were some of the Bible Students who were saying that they believed that the time of trouble was to begin -- not end -- in 1914. Russell had accepted Barbour's view that the time of trouble was to end in 1914, and for many years he did not seem to understand why some of the Bible Students were thinking otherwise. However, evidently after much discussion, in 1904 (ten years before 1914) Russell changed his "view" from that he had held to earlier, and which he expressed in 1894 in the article referenced, and came to accept that 1914 was to see the beginning -- not the end -- of the time of trouble. Thus, from 1904 up to 1914, Russell held to the view that the time of trouble was to begin in 1914, and he believed until he died in 1916 that the time of trouble did begin in 1914. However, to get the proper perspective of all of this, one has to take Russell out of the context of the organization concept of the JWs, or out of the context that many present him as being a prophet, and realize that he was did not regarding himself as the dictator of any such organization, and certainly not as a prophet.
There were several different viewpoints amongst the Bible Students when Russell was living, and Russell never considered himself as one to demand his view on all the Bible Students. Indeed, he many times presented differing viewpoints in the pages of the Watch Tower.
Nevertheless, I can also firmly say that I believe that they are God's dates; I do not mean that to be dogmatic. I admit that what I believe in this regard may be wrong, even though I firmly believe it to be correct; I can only say that God will reveal to all whatever is in error in His own due time.
Charles Taze Russell may have meant well; certainly he meant better than that opportunist, Rutherford. But what it comes down to is that they were both pretty much wrong about everything they preached.
I can definitely say that Russell certainly had much, much, much, more correct than he had wrong. I certainly believe that he had the basis of atonment correct, which he considered to be the central Biblical doctrine that glorifies God. I have proven this doctrine to be true to myself from the Bible. As related to this central doctrine to the glorification of the heavenly Father, the claims of man's self-proclaimed orthodoxy are wrong, such as the trinity, immortality of the human soul/spirit, eternal conscious suffering of the wicked, etc., all which end up in contradiction to the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, and which, in effect, end up making God appear to be unjust. For instance, if the trinity is true, then rather than condemning sin the flesh, Jesus actually justified sin in the flesh, proving that for Adam to have obeyed the Most High, Adam would have needed to have been the Most High.
See what I have written on the Atonement, Life Now and Hereafter, and Jesus and His God
Nothing Biblically significant happened in 1799, 1874, 1879, 1914, 1925, or any other time in the past several centuries.
I suppose this would depend on what one considers significant. Many claim that the birth of Jesus was not significant; many claim that Jesus' baptism was not significant; many claim that the Jesus' death was not significant; and so on. Indeed, even from the standpoint of most of Israel in the first century, those events held no significance. To this day, many claim that the resurrection and ascension of Jesus is not significant since they do not believe that those events actually happened.
For a few major points regarding the dates:
1799 - The 1260 years of Papal supremacy, which began 539 and prophetically came to an end in 1799. The "saints were delivered out of his hand" as Papacy's power to put them to death waned.
The temporal sovereignty of the Pope ended during the French Revolution when the French army captured Rome in 1798. The French had demanded that the pope relinquish his temporal sovereignty and withdraw all of his edicts against the revolution since 1791, but he refused. Because of this, the French had dethroned, exiled, and imprisoned him.
On the night of February 20, 1798, under constant guard of French dragoons Pius VI was first transferred to Sienna. Since he was still in the heart of Italy, the French decided to move him elsewhere. They transferred the pope to Florence, then on to Parma and Turin. The French finally moved the pope to the French fortress of Valence, in Dauphiny, on July 17, 1799. He died on July 25, 1799.
1874 - End of Daniel's prophecy of 1335 days; great jubilee began; Christ's parousia begins while the people are not aware, as foretold in Matthew 24:37-39 and Luke 17:26. Benjamin Disraeli, a non-practicing Jew, also known as Lord Beaconsfield, became prime minister of England in 1874, and was able to influence matters favorably for the Jewish people.
1878 - I assume 1879 is meant to be 1878, or assuming that 1879 started around October of 1878? Many, including myself, believe the time for the beginning of the raising of the sleeping saints had come in that year; Israel's "double" time of disfavor came to an end; the Berlin Congress of Nations met in 1878 and passed the "Berlin Treaty of 1878" which removed some of the barriers on the Israelites’ return to and stay in Palestine.
1914 - I believe that the lease to Gentile rulership came to end; the time of trouble began with the outbreak of World War, which parallels Israel's destruction from 69 to 73 (1914-1918); after the war ended in 1918, the Balfour Declaration of 1917 allowed Jews to return to Israel. I believe that in 1914, Jesus officially assumed his authority as King of the Jews and of all nations of the earth, which has led to trouble amongst all nations, and that trouble still exists. The nations are still blinded by Satan, and once Satan (as depicted in Revelation 20) has been abyssed, then the nations -- all the heathen -- of the earth will be enabled to gradually come into the light of Christ without the deceptions that are now prevalent upon the earth. -- Isaiah 2:2-4.
1925 - Irrelevant, as far as Russell and the Bible Students (including myself) are concerned.
I do not, however, say that one has to believe what I have accepted regarding any of the dates in order to belong to Christ, nor did Brother Russell ever make such a claim.