Charles Taze Russell

by thedog1 18 Replies latest jw friends

  • thedog1

    I think I read somewhere, here or maybe on another forum, that somebody claimed that C.T. Russell stood on the Brooklyn Bridge with some others, all in white robes, in 1878, waiting for the rapture. Any truth in that?

  • twice shy
    twice shy

    I read that as well. I think it's also on youtube in some knd of legal case where he or another GB member was being questioned

  • redvip2000

    It wasn't the Brooklyn Bridge. It was a bridge in Pittsburgh.

  • Londo111

    He was a follower of Second Adventist Barbour at the time. Likely, this may have been one of the reasons for the split.

  • objectivetruth

    After the Rapture did not come, did they stand a top the Empire State Building, contemplating another end?

  • Old Goat
    Old Goat

    From Schulz and de Vienne: A Separate Identity (for sale at

    A. H. Macmillan’s Claims

    A. H. Macmillan reported that “Pittsburgh newspapers” said Russell “was on the Sixth Street bridge dressed in a white robe on the night of the Memorial of Christ’s death, expecting to be taken to heaven.” We could not find the original of this newspaper report, though we do not doubt its existence. The fact of the report is interesting, but the conclusions many have drawn from it are distorted. The report, no matter who printed it, was long removed from the events of 1878. Macmillan’s association dates from 1900. The newspaper article could be no older than that and is probably dated later, perhaps after 1906. As Macmillan has it, Russell’s reaction was to laugh “heartily” and say:

    I was in bed that night between 10:30 and 11:00 P.M. However, some of the more radical ones might have been there, but I was not. Neither did I expect to be taken to heaven at that time, for I felt there was much work to be done preaching the Kingdom message to the peoples of the earth before the church would be taken away.

    One should dispose of the ascension-robe claim first. It was an old, often-repeated calumny. Though there isn’t a verifiable instance, everyone with clearly defined end-of-the age expectations was subject to it. It is especially out of place when applied to Russell. He expected a change to a spirit body, making any self-made ascension robe irrelevant. He understood the “white robes” of Revelation 6:11 to be symbolic, not literal. That he or any of the Pittsburgh believers dressed in robes is a newspaper reporter’s lie. The story delights Russell’s enemies who discount his denial, and others simply repeat it, believing it to be accurate because it saw print.

    If Macmillan reports Russell’s belief that “there was much work to be done” and that he didn’t “expect to be taken to heaven at that time” with any sort of accuracy, then we must presume his doubts to have arisen in the last weeks before April 1878. Any time prior to the spring of 1878, we find Russell and Barbour believing with equal fervor that translation impended. It is apparent that he believed and preached that translation was due. Taken as a whole, this seems a very unreliable report. But we come away from it noting two things: There was among the Pittsburgh brethren a “more radical” party; they were somewhat fragmented.

    We see Macmillan’s claim that Russell did not expect translation and that he saw a vast field of work ahead as wrong. Russell wrote that “since 1878 (and never before that) we have felt at liberty to call God’s children out of the nominal churches to a position … where they would be free to serve Him fully.” This clearly dates his vision of a vast work to after the disappointment.

    Their blog is here:

  • Finkelstein

    Says something doesn't about where the Watchtower Corporation got its start from. ....... A nutter who wanted to show

    to the public just how nuts he was, so he gave public talks and sold some books and magazines.

  • Finkelstein

    This is what happens when amateur bible theologians start imagining they've unlocked the secrets of the bible and

    want to tell the world of what they found.

    Unfortunately a small segment of the population actually believe them.

  • ctrwtf

    Yes your religion is founded on lunatic behavior.

  • Old Goat
    Old Goat

    I think it remarkable that those who've posted on this topic know so little about their former religion that they're willing to swallow this. (See history book comments above). Russell did and believed his share of "fruitcake" things. This isn't one of them. Are you so angry that you can leave reason at the door and believe something a newspaper man invented 100 years ago because he was bored and had no news.

    We detract from our real complaints by swallowing this stuff and then making unfounded, rude comments. If you have a case against the wtchtower (there is an endless list of things to complain about that actually are valid) make it.

    Comments like these don't help us. They frame us as the type of person the Watchtower says we are. Stop it.

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