Here's something a Presbyterian pastor wrote that links William Miller, CT Russell, and Camping. I might have got it from this board too, can't remember. But thanks if that was you! I'm passing around on fb and reddit anything that links the JWs with Camping. Spread the embarassment!
Let us see what is said there about Charles Taze Russell:
Another group that tried to hold to the 1844 date was led by Jonas Swendahl and was known as the Second Adventists. They believed that 1844 marked not the date of Jesus' return, but of the beginning of the last generation. Swendahl taught that Jesus would therefore return in 1874.
One of Swendahl's followers was a former Presbyterian named Charles Taze Russell. When 1874 came and went, he concluded 30 years was not long enough for a generation. So he added 70 years to 1844 and concluded that Jesus would return in 1914. This and other differences led him to split from the Second Adventists and launch Zion's Watchtower and Herald of Christ's Presence. His followers became known as the International Bible Students, and they went about the country with the message, "Millions now living will never die!" Followers were to leave their churches and fellowship together. All churches were considered apostate, but God had provided a new channel for their instruction, Zion's Watchtower Tract Society.
What began as the International Bible Students has become the Jehovah's Witnesses. The date of 1914 was changed to 1925, 1941, and 1975. What began as calling Christians out of their churches to prepare for Christ's return has become an anti-Christian cult. I believe we are seeing something similar attempted today.
At first I could figure who was being referred to as Jonas Swendahl. None of the encyclopedias mention such a person. But then I thought that maybe the person meant if Jonas Wendell. If so, Russell never became a follower of Jonas Wendell. He was influenced by Wendell to examine the Bible, but Russell never did accept Wendell's explanation regarding the world being burned up. Russell met with a Bible Study group who came to some conclusions that were very different from that of Wendell's.
Russell's own words:
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!” ( Revelation 22:20 ) 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.” ( 2 Timothy 4:8 ; 1 Corinthians 9:22 ) 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. — Psalm 22:27 ; 67:2 ; 72:11 ; 86:9 ; Isaiah 2:2 ; 25:7 .
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.” (Galatians 3) 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.” — Malachi 4:2
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.” ( Ephesians 5:1 ) Thus growing in grace and knowledge for seven years, the year 1876 found us. — 2 Peter 3:18 .
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. — Mark 13:29 .
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.” — Matthew 13:39 ; Genesis 12:3 .
Thus, it was not until 1876 that Russell accepted, not Jonas Wendell's views, but that of Barbour and his associates. Before 1876 Russell did not believe anything concerning either 1873 or 1874. However, I do not know of anyone who was claiming that Christ would return in 1874. Barbour certainly did not think such. If Wendell ever preached such an idea, Russell certainly never "followed" Wendell in preaching such an idea. Russell, in the year 1876, about two years after 1874, accepted that Christ had returned in 1874, and he continued to believe that until his death in 1916. Russell never said one word about the return of Christ in 1914.
Russell considered Wendell his friend, but Russell was never a "follower" of Wendell's views. Wendell died in 1873, the very year that he expected Christ to return and the planet earth was to be burned, eternally destroying millions of earth's inhabitants. So what are we to make the statement on the website:
When 1874 came and went, he concluded 30 years was not long enough for a generation. So he added 70 years to 1844 and concluded that Jesus would return in 1914.
It is not clear if "he" in "he concluded" means Jonas Wendell, or if means Charles Taze Russell. As "he" is used in a later sentence, it seems to be applying it to Russell. Either way the statement if false. Wendell was not even alive in 1874, and in the year 1874 Russell did not hold to any belief concerning 1874 at all. Russell never accepted the date 1874 until after it had passed, about two years later. As yet, however, I have not found any writings of anyone that was associated with the Second Adventists groups nor with the Bible Students movement that -- before 1914 -- had believed that Christ was to return in 1914. I know Russell never taught such an idea; why would he? He believed that Christ had returned in 1874.
Barbour did present several lines of scriptural evidence that 1914 would be the end of the times of the Gentiles, but he never said anything about Christ returning in 1914. Russell's accepted those scriptural lines of evidence in the 1876, but he also never mentioned anything about Christ returning in 1914.
Although Russell, being a non-sectarian, did have association with some of the Second Adventists, he never joined any of the Second Adventist churches. He certainly never accepted the prevailing view amongst Second Adventists that the planet earth was going to destroyed, and that all who died then outside of Christ would be eternally lost. Indeed, the main reason that Russell split with Barbour was over the atoning sacrifice of Jesus.
It was Rutherford, not Russell, who introduced the slogan, Millions Now Living Will Never Die. This was in connection with his idea that in 1925 would see the ancient worthies raised back to the earth in that year, and that foretold blessings would begin in that year. In doing this, Russell set aside much of Russell's teachings and reapplied the Jubilee cycles to have them come out in 1925. The majority of the Bible Students did not accept this new teaching, although many of them did not officially break off association with Rutherford at that time. However, once it became fully apparent that Rutherford was creating a sectarian religious organization with a gospel that, in effect, denied the ransom for all (the central doctrine of the Bible Students), the vast majority of the Bible Students refused to accept the authority of Rutherford's new organization.
Russell believed that man's self-appointed orthodoxy was apostate, and he viewed all sectarianism and denominationalism to be of Babylon. Such sectarianism and denominationalism was indeed not approved Jesus or the apostles, and such is apostate, a form of falling away.
In his sermon on "St. Peter's Keys", Russell stated:
I hold, and few, if any, will dispute it, that the one catholic or universal or general Church of Christ is the one mentioned in the Bible — “the Church of the First-borns, written in Heaven.” If this be admitted, my next proposition is that the Lord in Heaven records as members of His true Church all the saintly — whether Roman Catholics, Anglican Catholics, Greek Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, etc. — and none others.
Have we not here the one Church, the Catholic Church, the universal, the only Church which the Bible recognizes?
While Russell did indeed recognize that there had been an apostasy resulting in sectarian denominationlism, at the same time he believed that God's people could be found amongst these various denominations. However, he did not believe that their being a member of this or that denomination was what saves them. He stated in his sermon on "But One Church of the Living God":
Only those in all denominations who have conformed to the conditions required of Christian discipleship, the saintly ones, constitute the True Church — “The Church of the First-born, whose names are written in heaven.” — Matthew 7:21 ; Hebrews 12:23 .
Russell did believe that the denominational "churches" would be destroyed; God is definitely not going allow such divisive sectarianism to continue into that age to come. Satan will be abyssed, and there will be no more deceptions amonst the nations during the world's coming judgment day. (Revelation 20:3) Russell did not, however, believe that this destruction of sectarianism meant that the members of those churches would be eternally destroyed. He believed that such destruction would free true Christians in those denominations from such sectarianism, so that they could see themselves as belonging only to God through Jesus. He believed that most in the denominations, however, are tares, false Christians. He also believed that the destruction of such sectarianism, after they would have their false identity as Christians figuratively burned up, would eventually lead them to accept Christ in truth. Once Satan is abyssed, there will be no more deceptions upon the nations, including those tares who are presently deceived and who claim to be Christian, but who are at heart Christian.
See what I have written on sectarianism:
It was Rutherford, not Russell, who introduced the "sole channel" of communication dogma.
I may come back to this later...