A couple of questions for Reslight2,
1) You wrote,
"Since Russell, who was never speaking on behalf an authoritarian religious organization such the Jehovah's Witnesses, and who disclaimed [b]eing a prophet..."
Q1, Do you have a reference where Russell disclaimed being a prophet?
2) You wrote,
We begin with the announcement of his change of view in 1904:
We now expect that the anarchistic culmination of the great time of trouble which will precede the Millennial blessings will be after October, 1914 A.D.–very speedily thereafter, in our opinion –”in one hour,” “suddenly.” — Universal Anarchy: Just Before or After October, 1914 A.D.? ZWT, July 1, 1904, page 197, Reprints 3389, http://www.agsconsulting.com/htdbnon/htdb0350.htm
Q2, Even if Russell correctly changed his understanding that 1914 would be the start of trouble rather than the end of it, we are almost 100 years beyond his prediction that the Millennial blessings would happen 'speedily, in one hour, suddenly, thereafter.' Since nothing happened soon after 1914, why wouldn't he still be a false prophet, teaching his wrong understandings as truth?
3) Regarding the expected return of Christ in 1874, (No Q here, but a comment)
The Watch Tower Society (which did not come into existence until 1881) in the days of Russell never made any prediction at all concerning Christ's "Second Coming". Nor did Russell himself ever make any prediction at all concerning Christ's Second Coming. In 1876, about two years after 1874, Russell accepted Barbour's conclusion that Christ had already returned in 1874, and Russell held to that belief until he died in 1916.
You sound as though Russell himself was not a proponent, nor did he preach about, 1874 being the date of Christ's return, that it was all Barbour's fault and that Russell himself was neutral regarding that date.
The quote below shows that Bro. Keith, one of Russell's "contributors," was "used by the Lord" to give an answer as to why 1873/1874/1875 failed to see Christ's return. Parousia was discovered, and the return was understood by Russell and his followers, from that point on, to have happened invisibly. He considered it "new light" that 1874 was the time that Christ returned invisibly, which "caused all of the former “light” to shine with tenfold brightness."
The point here is that Russell was very much behind the 1874 date for Christ's return.
(W Feb, 1881 p188 par 2 of Reprints)
Looking back to 1871, we see that many of our company were what are known as Second Adventists, and the light they held briefly stated, was that there would be a second advent of Jesus -- that he would come to bless and immortalize the saints, to judge the world and to burn up the world and all the wicked. This, they claimed would occur in 1873, because the 6,000 years from the creation of Adam were complete then.
But prophecies were found which pointed positively to 1874 as the time when Jesus was due to be present, and the resurrection of Daniel was also due as proved by the ending of the jubilee cycles and the 1335 days of Dan. xii.
Carefully they [Second Adventists] examined the chronology but it seemed faultless and positively declared that the 6,000 years ended in 1873... Was an error found? No…the “1335 days” of Daniel could not possibly be prolonged beyond the fall of ‘74 or the spring 1875 and these periods were both past.
(Continuing with par 5)
Just at this time Bro. Keith, (one of our contributors) was used of the Lord to throw another beam of light on the subject which brought order out of confusion and caused all of the former “light” to shine with tenfold brightness. Brother K. had been reading carefully Matthew xxiv chapter, using the “Emphatic Diaglott,”…37th and 39th verses… “For as the days of Noah thus will be the presence of the son of man….thus will be the presence of the Son of Man.”
His surprise was, at finding that the Greek word parousia which signifies presence, had in our common version been improperly rendered coming, but the new rendering showed that it was not the act of coming that resembled the days of Noah, but that as in Noah‘s days…it would be at the time of Jesus’ presence at the second advent.