"consecrating the children to God" in 1922

by chasson 3 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • chasson

    A curious practice i have never known in a convention: (Wt 1922/07/15 p. 213)

    "On Sunday morning Brother Rutherford conducted a question meeting, following which there was a consecration of children. A great many children were on this occasion publicly presented by their parents to the Lord. it was an impressive and interesting service. At this service the speaker said in part:

    There is nothing dearer on earth than a child. The Lord showed his great love for children, and it is reasonable that his followers would be likewise much interested in the little ones. A person who does not love a child seems to he quite out of the usual. There is something lacking in that person womewhere, particularly if he claims to be a Christian. If we love chidren generally with stronger reasoning should we loce the children, of the connsecrated. The apostle Paul speaks of this special relationship to the Lord because of the consecration of their parents. We should take a special interest in such children.

    The King is now present, and his kingdom is beginning. Many of the children now living will never die. What a wonderful prospect before them! And about this, they should be informed, if properly instructed and started on the right course they may readily pass over the highway of holiness. The responsiblity of properly teaching children cannot be overstated. The privilege of starting a child aright is a blessed one. "Train up a child in the way he should go; and . . . he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22: 6) There never was an important time to train children in the right way as now.

    Some of the brethen from time to time have criticized their brethen for bringing children into the world, and from these words of criticism some have been much discouraged. We believe that this is not the proper course. While the’ chief purpose of each consecrated one is to glorify the Lord and to make his own calling and election sure, yet the bearing of children by the consecrated is not an improper thing."

    Few lines after it is stated:

    "Those expecting to be of the church class do not expect to be long with their children in the flesh. Happy, then, is the thought that they can start the child aright rhere. The most reasonable thing, then, is to consecrate the child to the Lord."

    So it seems that the consecration of the children was a kind of protection of childs would let be alone on earth, while their parents would soon go to heaven. It was a criticism of the Russell's teaching and practice. Russell had no sexual relationship with Maria, and was not concerned by children. (I am interested in reference in his teaching where he had clearly stated that making children is a waste of time.)

  • Atlantis


    Thank you for sharing this article. You also have a pm!


  • pirata

    Awesome find. Thanks!

  • cabasilas

    "Those expecting to be of the church class do not expect to be long with their children in the flesh. Happy, then, is the thought that they can start the child aright rhere. The most reasonable thing, then, is to consecrate the child to the Lord."

    Great find!

    This is similar to the way they felt before 1914. Read: "A Father's Letter to His Son" from the Sept. 1, 1908 Watchtower (pp. 263-264):


    The letter is written by an anonymous Bible Student father to his infant son. The letter is to be opened by this son on his 10 th birthday in the year 1916:

    TO MY DEARLY BELOVED SON:--It has been on my heart for a considerable time to write you a letter, to be opened on your tenth birthday, __________, 1916, to endeavor to express something of the feeling of love and tenderness I have towards you, and to point out, for your eternal joy, and for your safety, certain principles, which I hope you will receive into a good and honest heart. At last a favorable opportunity has come, and as my last message to you I beg you to give earnest heed to all that this letter contains.

    [He explains why Mom and Dad are gone:]

    I know that when this letter is read your papa and mamma will have passed from earthly scenes forever, and the great time of trouble, "such as never was since there was a nation," will no longer be a matter of prophecy, but of history.

    [Mom and Dad will have been “changed from earthly to heavenly conditions”:]

    The time when the suffering shall be finished is now very near, hence it follows that, if we have proved sufficiently faithful to the Lord, the time is near at hand when we shall share with him the glory that is to follow. This means that very soon it will be true of us, as it is true of the Lord, that we shall be changed from earthly to heavenly conditions, and the world will see us no more, forever.

    [This Father is concerned for his son’s future on this earth after the “time of trouble”:]

    I come now to the special object of this letter. The Scriptures indicate that in the year 1915, the year before this letter is read, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Isaiah, Daniel, and all the holy prophets and patriarchs from Abel to John the Baptist, will have been raised from the dead and will be in charge of the earthly phase of the Lord's Kingdom, with headquarters at Jerusalem. The Lord's Word also seems to indicate that this truth, and the fact that there has been a change of dispensation, may possibly not be generally believed until the year 1918. I am writing this to you so that you will not be one of those who will be mistaken on this point, but will understand that, by the time this letter is read, the squaring and straightening of earth's affairs will be in progress from Jerusalem, at the hands of the Ancient Worthies.

    [This Father also hopes his son may qualify to be later reunited with his Mom and Dad in “the heavenly courts”:]

    In addition to this I wish to hold out to you a hope which I feel justified in mentioning. There are some Scriptures which show that, after the close of the Millennial Age, the Ancient Worthies may possibly be given heavenly honors and stations, and there is some reason to believe that, as the child of consecrated parents, you may possibly be counted in with the Ancient Worthies if you make at once a full consecration of your heart to the Lord. If I understand the matter rightly, you occupy a different relation to our heavenly Father than other children, up until the time when you reach years of accountability, and I am hoping that you will take advantage of this special relationship to place yourself as close to the Lord and his work as it is possible for you to do….

    Should it be the Father's will that you be permitted to be counted in with the Ancient Worthies, be assured, dear son, that a loving father and mother will greet you in the heavenly courts with joy untold, but in any event, you may be sure we shall always watch your course with fondest affection, doing all we can to aid you in carrying out your good resolutions, and hoping in the end to see you attain to perfect everlasting life, under the happy conditions to be obtained in the golden ages to come, after the last enemy has been destroyed. With tenderest love,Your devoted father,


    So, when the 1914 hopes and the new emphasis on 1925 started the Bible Students transferred such anxieties about their young children to 1925. They felt they would be going to heaven and leaving their children behind so they would do such consecrations so that their children would stay devoted to God.

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