Was Russell innocent from blame of creature worship reguarding himself?

by frankiespeakin 38 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Kenneson


    There was no editorial committee of the W.T.listed (if it existed) while Russell was alive. They are first mentioned in the Dec. 1, 1916 W.T. They were W.E. Van Amburgh, J.F. Rutherford, H.C. Rockwell, F.H. Robison and R.H. Hirsh. So, yes, Rutherford is indeed included.

  • Kenneson

    P.S. Included, but not alone.

  • frankiespeakin

    Here's the 1906 WT where Russell is defending himself and then posts letters from his supporters, I think this sheds some light on his ego-centricity also sounds a lot like the WT spin doctors today:

    page 149::


    ZION'S WATCH TOWER'S Editor realizes that his friends far and near have been caused intense pain through the publication of malicious falsehoods respecting him. Few of the papers which published the falsehoods were interested to publish the refutations of the same. Thus we have confirmed the old adage that "A lie will travel around the world before the truth gets its boots on." Under the present reign of "the prince of this world" error, falsehood, slander, can be easily circulated--need but to be whispered to travel far and near, aided by willing tongues and pens. Truth and Justice, on the contrary, appeal less to the majority of the fallen race, and at the present time are at a discount and disadvantage. The time is coming when He who is the Truth as well as the Way and the Life, will reign, and all these influences pertinent to the curse will be changed. "Behold I make all things new." The Lord's people differ one from another as did the disciples of old. To any who, like the Apostle Thomas, need further evidences as a basis for continued faith, we say in the Master's words, Stretch hither thy hand: write to us. We will not be offended. Be not faithless, but believing. To the uncharitable, ever willing to believe evil and doubt the pure and good, no answer would be satisfactory. To the majority of the pure in heart, and especially to those who are acquainted with the Editor personally or through his writings, it will probably be all sufficient to state in general terms that the news-paper reports above referred to are unjust slanders which wholly misrepresent him. He assures you now in these few words that, born of Christian parents in relationship to the Lord, he confirmed that relationship by an individual faith and consecration at the age of 15 years: that since then he has endeavored to live in all good conscience toward God and his fellow men, without exception. His teachings are recognized by those familiar with them as belonging to the very highest plane of Christian ethics; and he hereby assures you all that in all his relationships of life he has diligently sought to live as nearly up to these high Christian ideals as possible, trusting in the merit of the Redeemer for the covering and forgiveness of blemishes which he realizes, as well as of others of which he is ignorant, but which the Lord might see. He believes that not a soul in the world can point to a single act of cruelty or unkindness or injustice or lovelessness on his part toward any of the human family, nor even toward any of the brute creation. His consecration vows to the Lord doubtless did guide his course of conduct somewhat differently from what it otherwise would have been, and in consequence the worldly have misunderstood, misinterpreted him, even as they did the Lord and various of his faithful followers throughout the age. The Editor's foes have uniformly been those whose ambitions have led them step by step in their opposition. He blames them only partially for the evil they from time to time have sought to do to him and indirectly to the cause he serves and to some extent represents. His conviction is that the Great Adversary and his "wicked spirits in high places" are the real adversaries of the harvest work, who seek to use as many as they can gain control of through envy, or pride, through ambition or vainglory. Our Master forewarned us saying, "It must needs be that offenses come." The Apostle endorsed the same sentiment when he said, "There must needs be divisions amongst you that the approved may be made manifest." Again, it seems not unreasonable to suppose that the Lord permits reproaches to come upon his cause today, as he did in times past, for the purpose of making the Truth unpopular, to the intent that only those who love the Truth above all else and who are fully consecrated to its service should be willing to bear the reproaches which the Adversary would be permitted to bring against the Lord's cause and those who stand prominently connected with it. To all such we say, Be of good courage, God hath not cast off his people and never will. The trials and difficulties of the journey will all be understood fully, completely, when we reach the end of the way. Our Father planned it all--the narrow and rugged way by which the Master and his "little flock" of faithful followers shall finally reach the heavenly goal. Then, perfect through sufferings, copies of God's dear Son, they shall share with him in the glorious work of dispensing the blessing of life to all the families of the earth. So high a calling by so gracious a God is worthy of our love and loyalty even unto death. Faithful is he who has called us, who assures us that he will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able and has promised us that "all things shall work together for good to them that love God--the called ones according to his purpose." The Editor sorrows especially because he is the unwilling agent of suffering to so many of the Lord's dear flock, whereas it has usually been his privilege and endeavor to bestow comfort and to scatter blessings on every hand to the extent of his ability. "If one member suffers all the members suffer with it."

    Here is one of many sympahty letter he had printed in his support from the friends that shows him to be concidered the FWS. So while he may not have admitted to being the FDS he sure didn't correct anyones wrong view and in effect accepted it.

    ::page 150::

    DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:-- I have never taken much of your time, but am going to intrude just a little now. I do this to assure you of my personal love, and continued faith and trust in your honor, integrity and purity of life and conduct as a man, and besides this I have the fullest confidence in you as that servant whom the Lord has so highly honored as to place him as steward over the truths now due the "household of faith." Not in the least has my faith been shaken by the events lately transpiring. You may rest assured that we who know you best will but the more besiege the "throne of the heavenly grace" that you may be granted an unusual supply of help and strength, so that even this severe trial may but increase the work of preparing you and all the Church for the Kingdom honors and glory. While we know we cannot enter into the secret recesses of the heart with you, we do want you to know that your sufferings are in a sense ours, and we want you to know that we share them joyfully. With kindest regards and Christian love, your brother in Christ, J. T. J.,-- Virginia.
  • frankiespeakin

    Heres the WT (7/15/1906)on Maria Russel and her claim the CT was the FWS:

    EXTRACT FROM AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CHURCH BY MRS. RUSSELL, Published in ZION'S WATCH TOWER, June 1894, relating to this same conspiracy: "Mr. Adamson also told that my husband forbids people to marry, and as a proof of this related how he once sent Mr. Bryan a three days' journey into the country at an expense of twelve dollars, in order to prevent a wedding. I answered that this statement is as untrue as the others; that Mr. Russell never forbade any one to marry, and that not a living being could truthfully say that he or she had been forbidden; but that I knew that when his opinion was specially asked he gave the Apostle Paul's advice, and as nearly as possible in his words, citing them. (`1 Cor. 7:25-35`.) And when I had given a truthful explanation of his proof, above referred to, all saw that it was to my husband's credit that he spared neither trouble nor expense in order to let a sister in Christ know something of what he knew of the character of the man she was about to marry; that, thus informed, she might the better judge for herself whether or not he would make a desirable husband. Mr. Bryan, who took that letter, and who brought it back undelivered, because too late to be of service to the sister, knows the truth of the matter, while conniving with Mr. A. at its misrepresentation of my husband's character and teachings. Anything to down Mr. Russell's influence,--seems to be their motto. "In the same connection, Mr. Adamson is telling that Mr. Russell wrote to him shortly after he was married, telling him that he should make his will so as to give what money he had to the Tract Fund, and to be sure not to let Mrs. A. see that letter. They affirmed this story in my presence, and said they had the letter in hand. I denied it emphatically, well knowing my husband's disposition to the contrary. I asked them to read the letter aloud to us all, but they refused to do so, and this clearly showed to all present that the statement was not worthy of credence. Only since my return home have I learned the truth on the subject, as follows: "Shortly after Mr. A.'s marriage, Mrs. A., it seems, declared that she 'was not going to race over the country after him, like a mad dog.' In writing to Mr. Russell on the subject, Mr. A. said in substance, 'What money I have was all consecrated to the Lord before I married; and in the event of my death I do not intend that any of it shall go to Mrs. Adamson or her folks: it shall go to the Tract Fund.' "In his reply to that letter, my husband urged that Mrs. Adamson be not ignored ; that as a wife she had a just claim upon him; that on general principles any woman he would call his 'wife' deserved consideration as such, even if out of harmony on religious subjects, as Mrs. A. then was, according to his representation. But he advised that if Mr. A. decided to will any portion of his effects to the Tract Fund, it would be wise, under the circumstances he described, and to the interest of his domestic happiness, not to inform Mrs. A. respecting it. That is probably the letter they had in hand, and were afraid to read lest their misrepresentations should be made manifest. Thus do falsehoods force the truth to view.--`Matt. 10:26`. "As illustrating the depth of wickedness to which these men would stoop, under the influence of envy and ambition. I told the Church how Mr. Adamson had written to Brother Wright (and we know not to how many others), citing `1 Cor. 5:1-6` without comment, as applicable to my husband. Mr. Adamson could not deny the fact, under the evidence, but protested that he had not intended any reflection upon Mr. Russell's moral character. Some of the brethren present remarked that such a charge would have no weight with anyone who knew Mr. Russell or who had ever looked into his face. In telling what inference he did wish to give by the citation named, Mr. Adamson replied that he meant to say that Mr. Russell is a "railer." But since railers are not mentioned at all in the citation, but five verses further down in the chapter, I showed that this is only one of the many cunning methods of misrepresentation resorted to by these wicked men-- because they do not know any real crimes to lay to his charge. I mention these items here, because no doubt they have been similarly misstated orally or by letter to others; and to show that the same spirit that prompted the misrepresentations of their first attack still controls them, and that reconciliation with such people, under such conditions, would neither be possible nor desirable, nor right, nor scriptural."


    The excitement connected with the conspiracy against me above referred to temporarily hindered the sprouting of the bad seed of so-called "woman's rights" and ambition, and temporarily Mrs. Russell became very enthusiastic in my support. It was she who first called attention to `Matt. 24:45-47`, applying it to me in a meeting at Allegheny and subsequently in another meeting with the New York Church. I demurred that I had not thought of the passage thus, and declined to make any personal application of it, although I could not deny the force of the argument that it pointed out "that servant," and "fellow servants" and "the household," apparently clearly and designedly distinguishing between these terms. Some little objection was aroused by her interpretation and I urged great moderation in the making of any personal application, suggesting that the WATCH TOWER rather than its editor might be considered "that servant." As an evidence of Mrs. Russell's position on the question I give a copy of a letter she wrote in defense of her statement of the matter before the New York Church, as follows:-- ALLEGHENY, Pa., Dec. 31, 1895. Mr. Geo. D. Woolsey, Dear Brother in Christ:--Husband has shown me your kind letter of Dec. 18, the spirit of which was much appreciated by both of us. I am glad to note your frankly stated opinion as to the interpretation of `Matt. 24:45-51`, and I have carefully examined the arguments and Scriptures you have set forth. Thinking you will be glad to know how I view the Scriptures you mention, I will proceed to tell you. I fully agree with the interpretation of `Isaiah 52:7`, presented in the TOWER of Oct., 1881, which you endorse, the one in that case being the Christ, Head and body, of which the living members constitute "the feet." I also agree that `Rev. 16:15` refers to any one of the Church who complies with the conditions. The entire statement gives evidence to this effect. It could not be understood otherwise. I also agree that in the parables of the talents and pounds, as in all parables, the thing said is not the thing meant, and that each one here mentioned, as in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, represents a class. But when we come to `Matt. 24:45-51` it appears to me to be a totally different case. Here are brought to our attention--"that servant," "his fellow servants" and "the household." Now, if the Lord wished to indicate a chief servant of the Truth, and fellow servants assisting in serving the meat in due season to the household of faith, he could not have chosen more precise language to convey such a thought. And, on the contrary, to ignore such an order and reasonableness in the account, to my mind throws the entire narrative into confusion, making the "servants" (plural) and "that servant" interchangeable terms. If we should handle all Scriptures thus loosely, it seems to me we could either prove or disprove anything according to our preconceived ideas. It does not seem to me reasonable, nor a justifiable interpretation of our Lord's testimony, to say that the entire household fed itself, and that the Lord gave the meat in season to all together without using any of the number as his agents or servants in the distribution. And if it be conceded that there is a difference between "the household" and "the servants" who minister the meat in due season to the household, then it cannot be denied that our Lord's words also point out one of those servants as specially intrusted with the meat in season and used in dispensing it to the fellow servants and the household in general. I notice that you do not analyze the text as I do. If you see any way for making these three expressions, viz., "that servant," "his fellow servants" and "the household," all mean the same thing without making nonsense out of the entire statement, I hope you will favor me by pointing out how it can be done. It seems to me, further, that the interpretation which I suggest is the one, and the only one, which corresponds to the fulfilment. We agree in the belief that the Lord is now present, that he assumed his office of King in 1878, and that since that time his household has been richly fed with meat in due season. It seems to me that in dispensing the food to the household the Lord has not given it personally to each member, but from among them he has chosen and used a number of servants, and that all of these servants have been supplied with the meat in due season through
    one particular servant-- "that servant." So, both from the construction of the Lord's language, and from the facts before us which constitute their fulfilment at the time indicated, viz., in these days of his presence, I can, so far, reach no other conclusions than those I have stated. However, my object in writing is not to urge my convictions upon you. I merely state them for your consideration, believing you will be interested in examining them, and that you will agree with me that whatever God has expressed in his Word is worthy of our most careful consideration, and is for our instruction and profiting. With the greetings of the season, in which Bro. Russell joins, Your Sister in Christ, MARIA F. RUSSELL.
    Letter from Mr. Joseph L. Russell (now deceased), father of the Editor, relating to the same trouble:-- My Dear Son:--It is with love and sympathy in my heart that I write you at this time, after having read the full account of your trials and troubles amongst those whom you accepted as brethren in Christ. It does seem almost incredible that those people could be guilty of such mean and despicable conduct toward you, from whom they had received so many marks of kindness. But, my dear son, these are some of the trials we all may expect--especially those engaged in the "harvest" work. I am proud of the noble defense you make in vindication of your conduct, and especially in the cause of the Truth we all love so dearly. I feel confident that you will come out of this trial brighter and more appreciated in your character and works than you ever were before. The good Lord, who has been testing your works, will promote you to still higher honors in his Kingdom. I pray that he may bless you always and sustain you in every good word and work; and to him we will ascribe all the praise forever. Amen. But while confident that the outcome will be a final victory for the Truth, it is very trying for one who has labored late and early for the last twenty years for the cause of Truth, to have his supposed friends turn against him and brand him as a liar and a hypocrite. Oh! it is terrible! I often think of you and your many trials, which you seem to meet very courageously. But with an approving conscience a man can stand considerable, especially if the Lord is on his side to help and strengthen. Please extend to your dear wife my hearty congratulations on her noble defense of her husband and the cause of Truth during this trying ordeal. With love and congratulations from us all, I remain, your loving father. JOSEPH L. RUSSELL."

    * * *

    As matters began to settle down, the "woman's rights" ideas and personal ambition began again to come to the top, and I perceived that Mrs. Russell's active campaign in my defense, and the very cordial reception given her by the dear friends at that time throughout a journey (which she volunteered at that time to take, for the express purpose of defending and vindicating me amongst those friends who had been disturbed by the slanders circulated by those involved in the conspiracy), had done her injury by increasing her self-appreciation. Instead of considering the kind expressions of the friends as applying to her as a representative of the WATCH TOWER, a representative of the truths it promulgates, and a representative of her husband, as well as for her personal worth, the lady appeared to credit all the demonstrations to the latter--as acknowledgments of her personal abilities. Gradually she seemed to reach the conclusion that nothing was just proper for the WATCH TOWER columns e xcept what she had written, and I was continually harassed with suggestions of alterations of my writings. I was pained to note this growing disposition, so foreign to the humble mind which characterized her for the first thirteen happy years. Gradually her interpretation of "that servant" worked upon her mind. First she suggested that as in the human body there are two eyes, two ears, two hands, two feet, etc., this might properly enough represent the twain one--she and I as necessarily one in marriage and in spirit and in the Lord. But the ambition did not stop here--(it is a plant of thrifty growth). Within a year Mrs. Russell had concluded that the latter part of the statement (viz., `Matt. 24:48-51`) was not merely a warning, but that it would have actual fulfilment--that it meant that her husband would fulfil this description, and that she in consequence would take his place as "that servant" in dispensing meat in due season. This was in 1896. In harmony with this thought she concluded that her individuality was not sufficiently prominent in the WATCH TOWER announcements that she was the Associate Editor. She requested that her name thereafter appear with each article that she wrote. I told her that this would imply the erasure of her name as Associate Editor. She assented, saying that that did not amount to much anyway, as nobody knew her articles. She also at this time notified me that her articles must appear just as she would write them, without corrections or emendations on my part. To all these requests I agreed, telling her, however, that I was afraid the WATCH TOWER readers would consider that I was demeaning my wife in dropping her as Associate Editor, placing her instead as a mere correspondent. Furthermore, I suggested that if I could make no editorial corrections to her articles it would imply that some of them would not appear in the WATCH TOWER, because where many corrections would be necessary it would be easier to write the article myself. Those possessing back numbers of the WATCH TOWER upon examination will find that Mrs. Russell's name as Associate Editor first disappeared from the 2nd page of the TOWER in the issue of Nov. 1st, 1896. Fearing that this might be understood as some indignity to my wife I referred to the matter in the Dec. 15th issue, page 301, the "Tract Society's Annual Report," in these words: "The withdrawal of our 'associate editor' has been noted by some, so we explain now to all that this was granted at her own urgent request. She prefers to appear as a correspondent over her own signature, MRS. M. F. RUSSELL."


    Prior to this time my Sunday topics constituted a considerable portion of the matter for the WATCH TOWER. Mrs. Russell took notes of my Sunday afternoon discourses and later on wrote these out as TOWER articles. This was, of course, a great saving of my time, and permitted me to attend to other parts of the work, and justified my denominating her "Associate Editor" of the paper. She notified me that I must not expect such assistance further, that whatever she wrote would be for publication over her own name. Apparently her thought was to impede the work, and to force me to call upon her for larger and still larger contributions to the columns of the paper--contributions which she had already stipulated must be taken just as she wrote them, without the alteration of a word. Had this program

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    carried out as she evidently intended it would have made her virtually the Editor of ZION'S WATCH TOWER, and would have opened its columns to matter to which I could not assent. Furthermore, I saw that this would be fostering in my wife an ambition which sooner or later would work to her very serious injury and perhaps to the entire cause of "Present Truth." After making the matter a subject of prayer I adopted the method of dictating my articles direct to a stenographer, and enlarged the size of the WATCH TOWER from a 12-page to a 16-page journal. The trend of events led me to see that in at least one instance in the past, yielding to Mrs. Russell's importunity, I had failed in my duty in allowing an article written by her, with which I did not agree, to appear in the WATCH TOWER, thinking that it would do no harm and at the same time gratify her wishes. In the WATCH TOWER issue for Feby. 1st, 1897, page 38, I corrected the error in the "Question and Answer Column," item "Concerning the Epistle of James." I quote from my answer as follows:--"The article to which you refer last, as being in conflict with our general presentations, was not an editorial article; nevertheless the Editor does not claim that his negligence in the matter is a sufficient excuse. It is a part of his duty to be critical, and to exclude whatever his judgment does not approve; and he now promises that by the Lord's grace he will hereafter be still more careful of his stewardship, to the end that ZION'S WATCH TOWER may ever speak as 'an oracle of God.'" Despite this distressing situation of antagonism on the part of my wife the work continued to progress. Mrs. Russell's next move was to so harass me as to make it almost impossible for me to proceed with the work. I appointed a desk drawer in which I requested that she place any articles she had to offer me. From this I made selections. That I might have no choice in the selection of her articles, in Feby. '97 she removed all of those articles except two. Neither of those two being acceptable, no articles of hers appeared in the February 15th and March 1st issues. Mrs. Russell was indignant at this, but I explained the situation. It was at this time that she took ill of a troublesome disease and required much of my attention, which was cheerfully given at the expense of every other consideration, and with the hope that what I believed was a discipline from the Lord might work out for her profit. I thought, too, that my kind and incessant attentions would touch her heart and restore it to its former tender and loving condition. I was mistaken, however. Just as soon as she recovered health she called a Committee along the lines of `Matt. 18:15-17`, specially with the object of having the brethren instruct me that she had an equal right with myself in the WATCH TOWER columns, and that I was doing her wrong in not according her the liberties she desired. The Committee consisted of Bro. W. E. Page, of Milwaukee, Wis., and Bro. M. M. Tuttle, of Pittsburgh, Pa. Mrs. Russell, with them as her Committee, met me in my study. The entire matter was a great surprise to me, for I had kept my troubles secret even from those nearest to me in the home. I assured Mrs. Russell and the brethren that I was very glad matters had taken this turn, and that my hope was that it would solve some of my difficulties, because I had no doubt as to what their advice would be. Not to center the difficulty exclusively upon the WATCH TOWER question, Mrs. Russell had two other charges against me which were read first. One was that a will I had drawn for my father at his request, and which expressed his wishes fully, was not acceptable to my wife and her sister. I explained to the brethren the kind of a will I had drawn, and they told Mrs. Russell that it was such a will as most people would consider excellent. She disagreed with them. I explained further that I had advised my father to destroy the will and to make one that would suit his wife's ideas, that his declining years might be as peaceful as possible. The brethren were surprised that they should be asked to discuss a will no longer in existence and the character of which was considered excellent. Mrs. Russell's second charge was that I had not treated her with sufficient consideration at a certain meeting in the Bible House Chapel. I explained the affair to all: that the lesson for the Bible study that evening was in Jude, respecting the Second Death, "twice dead plucked up by the roots;" that Mrs. Russell had been granted more time by far than any other person in the meeting to express her views respecting the text, but that she took offense because I intimated that she was taking more than her share of the time. I confessed that at heart I was solicitous lest she should succeed in making clear her views on the subject, which I considered unscriptural, and to which I feared she would be wedded more than ever after expressing her opinion; but that I had no unkind intent respecting the matter. I told them how Mrs. Russell had appeared ill-humored after the meeting, and I had inquired the trouble and found that she felt offended, and that I then assured her that I had no unkind intention in the matter, and that I was sorry if I had offended her, and that if she would prefer to have it so I would make the same expression to the Class on the following Sunday night. I explained that she finally forgave whatever there was wrong in the matter that night; but that she had brought it up four times subsequently, and I said, "Now, brethren, this is the sixth time that Mrs. Russell has brought this matter up, having forgiven it five times: I now ask her in your presence, the sixth time, to forgive whatever she considered wrong in respect to that matter." The brethren looked at Mrs. Russell in amazement, and she again said that she forgave the matter. Then came the real question for which they had been called, one of them a journey of nearly 1,200 miles. When the brethren caught the idea of the real object of their visit they were astonished, and told Mrs. Russell kindly, but very plainly, that neither they nor any other persons in the world had a right to interfere with Bro. Russell's management of the WATCH TOWER: that it was his stewardship only, and that he alone was accountable to the Lord for its management. Further, they suggested that they considered Mrs. Russell had the grandest of all opportunities in the world as my associate and co-laborer in the harvest work; they told her that personally they could think of no higher honor, and advised her to take this same view, that evidently was at one time her own view of the situation. Mrs. Russell was chagrined, broke down and wept, and left the room. Subsequently she was prevailed upon to see that since the Committee had come at her request it was her duty to treat them with greater respect

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    and to give some heed at least to their counsel. She returned to the study and there stated herself in substance that she could not agree with their decision, that she still had her own views, but that in deference to their advice she would endeavor to look at matters from their standpoint. I then asked her in their presence if she would shake hands. She hesitated, but finally gave me her hand. I then said, "Now, will you kiss me, dear, as a token of the degree of change of mind which you have indicated?" Again she hesitated, but finally did kiss me and otherwise manifested a renewal of affection in the presence of her Committee. It was hoped that this would be the end of the matter. The crisis had been reached at about the Memorial season, but seemingly through wise counsel the storm had passed without breaking in any public manner.


    Following this conference Mrs. Russell's articles again appeared in the WATCH TOWER of March 15th, 1897, indicating my own good faith in the adjustment of the difficulties, and earnest desire to make use of my wife's co-operation as fully as possible. Some of Mrs. Russell's relatives were evidently "evil counsellors," and the fruit quickly began to manifest itself. At Mrs. Russell's request I appointed a weekly meeting of "The Sisters of the Allegheny Church," with herself as its leader, little thinking that this was to be a new method of attack upon me and the interests of the work which I represented. A systematic endeavor was now made to work up a spirit of opposition to me amongst the Sisters of the Church. For months thereafter I could see that an evil influence was at work, but could see no honorable way of correcting it, so secretly was everything done. In the meantime I had some very trying experiences with my greatly changed wife. I could see that herself and relatives were working up some kind of a figurative "bomb" intended for my destruction. My confidence was in the Lord, however, and I said nothing to others until, on August 30th, I learned definitely that there was a movement on foot amongst Mrs. Russell's party which was to culminate in some kind of explosion on Sept. 12th. I acted promptly, but quietly, so that on Saturday night, Sept. 4th, about 50 brethren gathered in the Bible House Chapel, none of them knowing in advance that a meeting was to be held. I explained the situation to all and found that some of them had more knowledge of the business than I possessed. As the matter had passed from an individual affair to a Church affair, I suggested that it would be the duty of the elders of the Church to act, and that I was too closely identified with the matter to take any active part in the investigation. Upon the unanimous expression of all present it was decided that the proper procedure would be that a private meeting of the consecrated believers of the Church should be announced for the next evening, Sunday, Sept. 5th, at which the two sisters who had been circulating slanderous and false statements (presumably received from Mrs. Russell) should be charged with slander and false witness and asked to clear themselves by substantiating their statements if they could. One of these sisters had stated that they had the women of the congregation already committed, and were wanting now to get a few men into the matter, so that it would not appear so completely a woman's affair. Her tale was that Bro. Russell was treating Sister Russell shamefully. The other indicted sister had made similar charges. Without going into particulars they had given the strongest kind of inferences, and the Church eldership determined that it was time that such slanders should cease, or that if they continued all of the congregation should know that they were wholly without foundation or justification. At the evening Church meeting Bro. M. M. Tuttle presided, and the board of Church elders served as jury. The accused sisters were asked specifically whether or not they had said such things. At first they were disposed to deny the matter entirely, but witnesses to whom they had talked were present and, called upon, gave their testimony. Neither could offer any explanation or defense --neither had any foundation whatever for the charges. This is the meeting from which Mrs. Russell and her sisters were excluded--because they had ignored the Church, declared they were not of it, and did not attend its meetings for several months prior to this meeting. It was a strictly private meeting of the consecrated believers of the Church, and hence they had no right to be present. They were excluded because it was recognized by the elders of the Church that had they been present they would have created a scene, and would have hindered the investigation for which the meeting was called. The two sisters who at that meeting were shown to have been guilty of false witness and slander as charged were, at my request, not condemned; the board of elders holding the matter over pending a possible later apology to the Church for their wrong course. I took this opportunity to briefly explain to the congregation present a little of the trouble that surrounded me, as an explanation of the slanders which I knew had been circulated. I took particular care to shield my wife as much as possible, laying the principal blame on one of her sisters, whose evil influence I could note at almost every turn of my affairs. Following this I sought to separate my wife from her evil counsellors in hope of recovering her. I sent those false friends letters, warning them not to come to see my wife, etc., and gave my wife the following letter which she put into the court record of the case:

    ALLEGHENY, September 6, 1897. My Dear Wife:--I send you a copy each of three letters just sent as legal notices. [Accompanying were notices to Mr. J. L. Russell, Mrs. J. L. Russell and Mrs. L. J. Raynor, "not to receive, harbor or entertain my wife under your roof under any pretext whatsoever."] I wish you, my dear, to know that these steps now being taken are in your interest as well as in the interest of the Lord's cause. I desire to shield you from what I believe has been a very pernicious influence upon you for some time past. I do this in the hope that under favorable influences, and by divine blessing, you may free your heart of the slime of misrepresentation which others have poured over it, and that thus relieved you may realize your first love for me, and that no one on earth so really loves you, or so genuinely desires your advancement in all the graces of the spirit of Christ and in the service of our dear Redeemer. Come back to me, my dear! I promise that I will do all in my power to make you as happy as you ever were,

    ::R3813 : page 219::

    and as much more so as lies in my power. Think, my dear, that God has already favored you with a position as my queen and associate and helper that, in some respects at least, is second to that of no lady in the world. And do, my dear, remember that ambition is one of the foes of the people of God, that has snared more of the bright ones than perhaps any other. Consider, I pray you, in time, ere it be too late to retrace your steps, whether or not your present condition of heart may not be a seduction of the great adversary. Is not the situation sufficiently critical to make you go very cautiously and prayerfully? Stop, I entreat you, and join me in humble heart to seek afresh to know the will of our Lord and Master. Remember how Satan fell and how our Lord proved himself worthy of his high exaltation, and remember the Apostle's words: "Humble yourselves, therefore, brethren, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time." Remember Miriam, and Korah, and remember the various conspirators, and how they all have not only left Brother Russell, but also the Lord and the Truth. Remember that the present matter is as humiliating for me as for you, because if a wife is the glory of her husband, so any reflection, even against her, is to his injury and shame. Remember, also, that I will be anxious to lift up your head and influence in every proper manner, and will not glory over you as a foe, but as one who has recovered a lost and highly-prized treasure. And now, my dear wife, all that I could wish for as respects my earthly life is that I may serve the Lord, his cause and his people, amongst whom no one can hold so near and dear a place as you have held and may again hold if you will. And next to my effort to serve and please the Lord shall be my effort to serve and please you as my wife, if you will permit it and co-operate to that end. Finally, not in anger, nor in any other spirit than that of love, and as my final move in your favor, and to help pull you out of the fire of the present trial, I give this legal and formal notice, which I shall be only too

    ::R3814 : page 219::

    glad to rescind absolutely. Done in love, and as a despairing effort to separate you from evil influences, and with a hope for speedy reconciliation and annulment of this limitation, at Allegheny, Pa., this 6th of September, 1897. C. T. RUSSELL.


    As a result, the entire conspiracy dissolved like a pricked bubble. The Sisters of the congregation and others realized how sadly they had been deceived in the name of the Lord and in the name of righteousness. Mrs. Russell was completely overwhelmed with the defeat of her scheme. I hoped the crisis had been reached and that the tide might turn in her favor, in my favor, and in the favor of the Truth. I pointed out to my wife the error of her course carefully, kindly, gently. I told her how wrong it was for her to plot to do me injury, and pointed out that if, as she thought, the Lord wished that she should supplant me as the Editor of the WATCH TOWER and general overseer in this harvest work, he was abundantly able to carry out his purposes and needed no evil assistance from her. I suggested that he could easily permit me to be mangled or killed in an accident; that he could smite me with paralysis or other disease; or by the merest touch of the brain he could disorder my mind; and that thus he could cause everything connected with his work to drop into her hands, for, as I assured her, my confidence in her had been so great that in my will everything had been left to her care and supervision. (This is so no longer. I have already transferred everything I possess except my personal clothing to the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY.) Mrs. Russell afterward denied that she had authorized any of the slanders or that any were uttered; but I pointed out that the slanderers had confessed; and that if she were truly on my side, instead of being angry with the fact of their exposure she would have manifested righteous indignation for their false accusations. But still my hope was the recovering of my wife to her former condition, and accordingly I forbade her relatives to visit her, hoping that she would be benefited thereby. I invited to the home a Sister Jones, her friend, a woman of great kindness and large experience, whose influence I knew would be favorable. I opened to Mrs. Russell's mind a door of hope by suggesting that if I could come to accept her declaration that she had no sympathy with the slanders I would know well how to bring order out of the confusion and restore her to the love and fellowship of the dear friends. She demurred that since the exposure of Sunday night, Sept. 5th, it would be impossible to heal the breach. I told her that it was only necessary for her to convince me, and that I could do the rest; but that whatever we would do should be done before Sunday, so that if harmony were effected we could at the following Sunday meeting make an announcement of the fact to the dear friends of the Church, which would set their hearts at rest. On Friday night I drew up a paper representing the re-established harmony, wording it as favorably as possible for Mrs. Russell and her misguided friends. On Saturday morning she and Mrs. Jones, her friend, were quite enthusiastic over the paper. We got several copies typewritten and Mrs. Russell and I signed the paper, and she and Sister Jones went out and got the other signatures. Mrs. Russell's two sisters and one of the two persons who on the previous Sunday night had been convicted of slander and false witness signed it with us, and on Sunday afternoon I requested the consecrated ones to remain for a special service, and to them I read the said letter, asking them that as many as desired to do so would signify their participation in the spirit of the letter by a rising vote. The dear friends were overjoyed and arose as one person, praising God for his mercy in thus bringing order out of confusion. Here is


    To the Allegheny Church, Bible House. Dear Brethren and Sisters:--It is with praise to God and with thankfulness of heart that we unite in a joint note to you all. Since last Sunday we have sought earnestly through prayer divine aid in respect to some matters which grieved us all, and have obtained help in time of need. Investigation revealed the fact that our troubles arose largely through the too free use of the tongue and the neglect of the Scriptural rule of `Matt. 18:15`. Many things had grown out of all semblance to their originals; and many of the originals upon close investigation

    ::R3814 : page 220::

    proved to be mere fears which had no foundation in fact. We are happy to tell you that all misstatements and misapprehensions are mutually rescinded and forgiven, and supposed grievances are all forever blotted out, while mutual love fills all our hearts for our Lord and for all his Church. Although the trial has been a severe one, we trust that its present happy outcome may prove to be everlasting; and that some lessons have been learned by us all respecting the need of charity, and the close following of the Scripture rules laid down in `Matt. 18:15` by our Master. We hope (D.V.) to meet with you next Sunday; and are all resolved by the grace of God to more zealously strive to act and speak kindly to one and all, especially to God's children; and if we know nothing favorable to tell of one another we will abstain from such personalities altogether. (Original was signed by) CHARLES T. RUSSELL, MARIA F. RUSSELL, LENA GUIBERT, EMMA H. RUSSELL, LAURA J. RAYNOR.

    On the following day, Sept. 13, 1897, a copy of that letter was sent to friends from nearby towns who had been present at the meeting of September 4th, with the following one:
  • Kenneson


    I've never done a cut and paste, so maybe you can help. The Dec. 1, 1916 issue is worth the while to read. It is very revealing as to how people felt about Russell. For example, in the funeral orations, the one entitled "Pastor Russell's Relation to the Pilgrims by Paul S. Johnson--Columbus, calls him "the special channel for the giving the 'meat in due season,' as well as for arranging and directing the work of the Household of God." Check out the Evening Oration by J.F. Rutherford and paste the pertinent part. Towards the end of the issue there are numerous letters from different Ecclesias expressing their condolences, sentiments in losing their Beloved Paster and there continued support of Brooklyn and the Watch Tower Society. Find the one that is entitled "Hearty Desire to Continue Support." The Albany, N.Y. Ecclesia calls him "that Servant." Then scroll down to "Need to Weep for Ourselves" by the Prince Rupert Church--B.C., Can. It calls Russell "...beloved Pastor, 'that Servant..." Another entitled "Greatest Bible Scholar of Our Day" calls Russell "...the channel through which God is speaking to His Church and the world..."

    Rutherford definitely was not the only one that believed Russell to be that Servant dispensing "meat in due season." It was generally acknowledge and believed by the rank and file Bible Students.

  • frankiespeakin

    My post above reveals the sad plight of Maria locked up in her house with no one to visit her but the ones her husband agreed to let talk to her. I think reading the above article reveals what a sicko this guy was.


    Just use your mouse to highlight the section you want to copy then why still highlighted press Control and the letter C. Next go to the place you want to paste it and click on where you want it then press Control and V at the same time. That is how you cut and paste.

  • IT Support
    IT Support

    In answer to a question from some Watch Tower readers, Russell wrote in 1906:

    ?The truths I present, as God?s mouthpiece? [are] due to the simple fact that God?s due time has come; and if I did not speak, an no other agent could be found, the very stones would cry out.? (Watch Tower 1906 7/15 220)

    Believing himself to be ?God?s mouthpiece? and his agent for revelation of truth, it seems fairly obvious he considered he was inspired by God. A few years later he again said:

    ?If [someone] merely read the Scripture Studies ? and had not read a page of the Bible, he would be in the light.? (Watch Tower 1910 9/15)

    He was either extremely naive in believing these types of statements would not encourage the brethren to worship him personally (or, at least, to raise him on to a pedestal), or else he was being extremely devious and calculating.



  • Justin

    The following is taken from Studies in the Scriptures, Volume IV, The Battle of Armageddon, Study XII, "Our Lord's Great Prophecy," written by Charles T. Russell. It can be found at http://www.agsconsulting.com/htdbnon/htdb0118.htm .

    Dispensing of Food to the Household
    --Matt. 24:45-51

    ; Luke 12:42-46--

    "Who then is the faithful and prudent servant, whom his Master has placed over his household to give them food in due season? Happy that servant whom his Master, on coming, shall find thus employed! Indeed I say to you that he will appoint him over all his stores of provisions." Matt. 24:45-51; Luke 12:42-46

    The intimation here seems to be, that at the particular time indicated by the prophecy--namely, during the Lord's presence, and at the time of the gathering of the elect--our Lord, the great Servant of his people, will make choice of one channel for dispensing the meat in due season, though other channels or "fellow-servants" will be used in bringing the food to the "household." But the servant is merely a steward, and liable to be removed at any moment, should he fail to fully and duly acknowledge in every particular, the Master--the great Servant of God and his people--"the Messenger of the Covenant"--Christ.

    Faithfulness on the part of said steward (both to the "Master" and to "his fellow-servants" and "the household") will be rewarded by his continuance as steward; so long as he serves faithfully, he may continue, and may serve the household of faith with things new and old--meat in due season--to the end; bringing forth all the precious things of divine provision. But if unfaithful he will be deposed entirely and put into outer darkness, while presumably another would take the place, subject to the same conditions.

    To our understanding this would not imply that "that servant" or steward, used as a channel for the circulation of the "meat in due season," would be the originator of that meat, nor inspired, nor infallible. Quite to the contrary, we may be sure that whoever the Lord will so use, as a truth-distributing agent, will be very humble and unassuming, as well as very zealous for the Master's glory; so that he would not think of claiming authorship or ownership of the truth, but would merely dispense it zealously, as his Master's gift, to his Master's "servants" and "household." [D614]

    Any other spirit and course would surely work a change of steward. This is detailed by our Lord as follows:

    "But if that servant shall [become] wicked, and [losing faith] say in his heart, My Master delays his coming; and shall smite his fellow-servants, and eat and drink with the intemperate [of their false doctrines], the Master of that servant will be present in a day that he looketh not for, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him off [from being his servant] and will appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matt. 24:48-51

  • Farkel

    : RR said that nowhere in Russell's writings did he outright claim to be the FWS, and that if he did believe it "he never admitted to it publically or in his writings".

    Perhaps, but I will show from Russell's own writings that he felt there could be no other FWS than Russell himself.

    Starting in 1896 Russell repudiated the idea that the FWS was comprised of more than one person:

    "In our examination of this text we seem to have treated the term 'that servant' as though the Spirit had erred in saying 'that servant' when it meant servants, and we have applied it to all true servants of God."

    Note that Russell is clearing saying the scripture meant a single individual, not a group.

    "Since then we have been met from various quarters with objections to so general an application, and the suggestion that it would be wrong to allow modesty or any other consideration, good or bad, to warp our judgement in the exposition of the inspired Word: to which proposition we agree." - Watch Tower Reprints March 1, 1896, p. 1946.

    Russell is saying that the scripture should NOT have a general application which applies to a group of people, and that their judgements would be "warped" to think so.

    So now we know Russell taught "that servant" was a single individual.

    "There would be no violation of principle, however, in supposing that the Lord at the time indicated would specially use one member of his church as the channel or instrument through which he would send the appropriate messages, spiritual nourishment at that time; because in various times of the past the Lord has used individuals in such a mannger. " -Watch Tower Reprints March 1, 1896, p. 3356.

    "No, the truths I present, as God's mouthpiece, were not revealed in visions or dreams.....the simple fact that God's due time has come; and if I did not speak, and no other agent could be found, the very stones would cry out." - Watch Tower Reprints, July 15, 1906, p. 3821.

    1) Russell taught the FWS was ONE man.

    2) Russell taught he was "God's mouthpiece" for man.

    3) "God's mouthpiece" delivers spiritual food at the proper time.

    4) The FWS delivers spiritual food at the proper time, since it is over all of God's earthly belongings.

    Therefore, Russell clearly believed he was the FWS. Whether he specifically said so in print or not is irrelevant. No other conclusion can be drawn from the evidence I've presented.


  • Leolaia

    Here is an example of a letter published in the Watch Tower addressing Charles T. Russell as the FWS. This was published in the November 15, 1915 issue of the Watch Tower:


    Loving greetings in our dear Lord and Redeemer, to you and all of "like precious faith."--`Ephesians 3:14-21`.

    Beloved Brother, it has been our thought this year to send you some slight token of the great love we have for you, as God's appointed servant and channel for dispensing the "Meat in due season" to the Household of Faith. How grateful we are to you, under God, for blazing a track for us out of a maze of bad theology! Daily we bear you up before the Throne of Grace, praying that He who has so far worked out His will in you may complete His work in His Elect, that you, with us and all the dear ones who are earnestly pressing forward, may be presented faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.

    We ask you, dear Brother, kindly to accept the HEAVENLY MANNA sent herewith with our autographs, also the 2L. Money Order enclosed as a token of our loving esteem from those to whom the Truth has come at the village of Turangarere.

    Sister Black by asking Sister Kelly to read Vol. 1, was the means of presenting the Truth which Sister Kelly was privileged to pass on to Sisters Mitchell, Merritt, Clough and Mulvay; and Sister Clough was used to pass the Message on to Sister Brown, and Sister Mitchell to Sister Gage. All are fully consecrated and pressing forward for the Great Prize.

    Sister Black received the First Volume in a very strange way. Her little granddaughter was buying a book for a birthday present for her grandmother at a second-hand dealer's shop. The man advised her to take the book, as her grandmother would like it; and so this great blessing came to us.

    Another dear one, Sister Bessie Lambei, sent a subscription asking that she, too, might be included in the gift to the Pastor to whom, under God, we all owe so much. Sister Lambei is one of the Lord's isolated ones.

    We are hoping if it is the Lord's will to meet in Wellington for Convention on December 25th; but just now New Zealand trade is paralyzed by an industrial strike, which if not soon settled may hinder our meeting. But we all look forward soon now to be favored by being present at the Great Convention of the First-born ones (`Hebrews 12:22-24`) beyond the Veil. Then we hope to meet our Beloved Master; and among all the dear Elect, what joy it gives us to look forward to meeting the dear Pastor, who has been so abundantly used of God to bring blessings to us and all the dear "Feet" Members of the Body, which is the Church! Earnestly entreating God's blessing upon your labors of Love for Him and His,

    Your loving Sisters, by His Grace.
    North Island, New Zealand.

    [The Editor begs these dear Sisters in Christ to accept his thanks for their kind words of comfort, which he will always cherish as priceless in value; also for the copy of MANNA containing their autographs. As for the 2L., he is putting it into the "Comfort Fund," from which he sometimes has the privilege of doling out a few dollars for the aid of brethren falling into dire need. The Editor has no lack. The Society's allowance to him and all the office workers, of ten dollars monthly for clothing and incidentals, is more than sufficient for our comfort.]

    Here, rather than gently reminding the sisters of the need for humility and the possibility that he is not the FWS, he thanks them for their "kind words" and even tells them that he "will always cherish as priceless" what they said about him. Small wonder that the laity believed him to be the FWS if this is what Russell published in the Watch Tower without disputing.

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