CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL, known the world over
as Pastor Russell, author, lecturer and minister of the Gospel, was born at Pittsburgh,
Pa., February 16, 1852; died October 31, 1916. He was the son of Joseph L. and Eliza
Birney Russell, both of Scotch-Irish lineage. He was educated in the common schools and
under private tutors. Author of OBJECT
AND MANNER OF OUR LORDS RETURN, FOOD FOR THINKING CHRISTIANS,
TABERNACLE SHADOWS, THE DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES, THE TIME IS AT HAND, THY
KINGDOM COME, THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON,
THE ATONEMENT BEWTEEN GOD AND MAN, THE NEW CREATION, WHAT SAY THE SCRIPTURES ABOUT HELL,
WHAT SAY THE
SCRIPTURES ABOUT SPIRITISM, OLD THEOLOGY TRACTS,
THE PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION, et cetera, et cetera.
He was married in 1879 to Maria Frances Ackley. No
children blessed this union. Seventeen years later they disagreed about the management of
his journal and a separation followed.
Reared under the influence of Christian parents, at
an early age he became interested in theology, uniting himself with the Congregational
church, and became active in local mission work. The doctrine of eternal torment of all
mankind except the few elect became so abhorrent to him that at the age of seventeen he
was a skeptic. He said, A God that would use his power to create human beings whom
He foreknew and predestinated should be eternally tormented, could be neither wise, just
nor loving; his standard would be lower than that of many men. He continued to
in the existence of God, but was not willing to
accept the commonly understood teachings as Gods revelation of himself to man. He
turned his attention to the investigation of heathen religions, only to find all of these
Naturally of a reverential mind, desiring to worship
and serve the true God, he reasoned, All the creeds of Christendom claim to be
founded on the Bible, and these are conflicting. Is it possible that the Bible has been
misrepresented? It may not teach the terrible doctrine of eternal torment. Turning
again to the Bible he determined to make a careful, systematic study of it without
reference to creeds of men. As a result the remainder of his life was wholly devoted to
teaching the Bible, writing and publishing religious books and papers, lecturing and
proclaiming the message of Messiahs kingdom. He was the greatest religious teacher
since St. Paul, and did more than any other man of modern times to establish the faith of
the people in the Scriptures.
He was not the founder of a new religion, and never
made such claim. He revived the great truths taught by Jesus and the Apostles, and turned
the light of the twentieth century upon these. He made no claim of a special revelation
from God, but held that it was Gods due time for the Bible to be understood; and
that, being fully consecrated to the Lord and to his service, he was permitted to
understand it. Because he devoted himself to the development of the fruits and graces of
the Holy Spirit, the promise of the Lord was fulfilled in him: For if these things
be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the
knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.2 Peter 1:5-8.
He clearly taught and proved his teachings by the
citation of Scriptural authoritythat man does not possess an immortal soul, that he
is a soul and is mortal; that the wages of sin is deathnot eternal torment; that
death came upon man as the just penalty for the violation of Gods Law; that death
means the destruction of man; that God, in his goodness, has provided the great
ransom-price whereby man may be delivered from the bondage of sin and death; that
Gods beloved Son, Jesus, became a man and grew to manhoods estate, was put to
death as a man and raised again from the dead a spiritbeing, possessing the divine nature;
that by his death and resurrection Christ Jesus provided and produced the ransom-price for
mans deliverance and restoration; that Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted
death for every man; that every man in Gods due time must, therefore, have a fair
trial for life, and to this end there shall be a resurrection of all the dead; that Jesus
Christ ascended into heaven and must come the second time; that the period of time
elapsing between the first and the second coming of the Lord is devoted to the election of
the members of the body of Christ, taken from amongst men; that the requirements for
election to that exalted position are, full faith in the shed blood of Jesus as the
ransom-price, a full consecration to do the Fathers will, and a faithful continuance
in obedience to the Fathers will even unto death; that all who thus are consecrated
and begotten of the Holy Spirit and are overcomers shall have part in the chief
resurrection, and be exalted to positions in the heavenly kingdom of God and participate
with Christ Jesus in his millennial reign for the blessing of all the families of the
earth; that during the thousand-year reign of Christ all of the dead shall be awakened,
and given a fair and impartial trial for life or death; that under said reign the wilfully
shall be everlastingly destroyed, while those
obedient to the righteous rule of Christ shall be fully restored to human perfection of
body, mind and character; that during this Millennial reign the earth shall be brought to
a state of Edenic Paradise and made fit as a place habitable for perfect man; that man,
fully restored to perfection, will inhabit the beautiful earth in all the ages to come.
Seeing that God has such a wonderful Plan for the
blessing of mankind, Pastor Russell gave all of his power and energy to making known these
great truths to the world. He never took a vacation; he worked until the day of his death.
Like other Christians he was looking for the second
coming of Christ. Between 1872-6 he discovered that the Scriptures clearly teach that the
Lord would not return in a body of flesh, but would return as a spirit being, invisible to
human eyes, and that his second presence was due in the autumn of 1874. This led to the
publishing of a booklet entitled, The
Object and Manner of Our Lords Return, which had a phenomenal circulation.
Many students of the Bible throughout the United States and Canada responded to the
information derived from that book, and his correspondence became voluminous.
Realizing the necessity of keeping the truth before
the minds of those who had begun to investigate, in 1879 he began the publication of THE WATCH TOWER AND HERALD OF CHRISTS PRESENCE, and was
its sole Editor to the time of his death.
This journal is issued semi-monthly; it never
publishes advertisements, but is devoted exclusively to religious topics. Among the
English speaking people in the United States, Canada and Great Britain, its semi-monthly
circulation is 45,000 copies. It is also published in Armenian, Dano
Norwegian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian,
Italian, Lithuanian, Polish, Roumanian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish and Ukrainian, reaching a
large number of subscribers in America and Europe.
He was President of the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT
SOCIETY from its organization in 1884 until his death. He was also President of the
PEOPLES PULPIT ASSOCIATION, organized in 1909, and the INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS
ASSOCIATION, incorporated in London, in 1913, both of the latter corporations being
adjuncts to the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY. Through these religious corporations,
as well as by word of mouth, he promulgated the Gospel of Messiahs kingdom. He was
the author of the following publications, issued between the years 1881 and 1914,
each having phenomenal circulation, as given below:
Food For Thinking Christians 1,450,000
Tabernacle Shadows 1,000,000
Divine Plan of the Ages 5,532,500
The Time is at Hand 1,878,500
Thy Kingdom Come 1,792,500
Battle of Armageddon 714,000
The Atonement 663,500
The New Creation 646,500
What Say the Scriptures About Hell? 3,000,000
He was also the author of WHAT SAY THE SCRIPTURES
ABOUT SPIRITISM, OLD THEOLOGY TRACTS, et cetera, et cetera. He was the author of the
PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION, which had been exhibited prior to his death to more than nine
million persons. He wrote and published the SCENARIO of the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION, which
has had a very wide circulation. His publications were translated into thirty-five
different languages. At the same time he was Pastor
of more than 1,200 congregations of Bible Students, in different parts of the world. These
he visited and taught as often as possible.
He organized and conducted a Lecture Bureau which
constantly employed seventy Bible lecturers, who traveled and delivered lectures on the
Scriptures. He organized and managed an auxiliary lecture bureau of seven hundred men who
gave a portion of their time to lecturing on Bible teachings. Each year he wrote
practically all of the copy for the BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY, the annual distribution of
which amounted to approximately fifty million copies.
His weekly sermons were handled by a newspaper
syndicate. More than 2,000 newspapers, with a combined circulation of fifteen million
readers, at one time published his discourses. All told, more than 4,000 newspapers
published these sermons.
The Continent, a publication whose editor
often opposed Pastor Russell, once published the following significant statement
His writings are said to have greater newspaper
circulation every week than those of any other living man; a greater, doubtless, than the
combined circulation of the writings of all the priests and preachers in North America;
greater even than the work of Arthur Brisbane, Norman Hapgood, George Horace Lorimer, Dr.
Frank Crane, Frederick Haskins, and a dozen other of the best known editors and syndicate
writers put together.
Pastor Russell adhered closely to the teachings of
the Scriptures. He believed and taught that we are living in the time of the second
presence of our Lord, and that his presence dates from 1874; that since that time we have
been living in the time of the endthe end of
the age, during which the Lord has been
conducting his great harvest work; that, in harmony with the Lords own statement,
this harvest work is separating true Christians designated as wheat, from
merely professing Christians, designated as tares, and gathering the true
saints into the kingdom of the Lord. It is here interesting to note that Jesus said,
Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord hath made ruler over his
household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord, when
He cometh, shall find so doing! Verily I say unto you that He shall make him ruler over
all his goods. Thousands of the readers of Pastor Russells writings believe
that he filled the office of that faithful and wise servant, and that his
great work was giving to the Household of Faith meat in due season. His modesty and
humility precluded him from openly claiming this title, but he admitted as much in private
conversation. For a more detailed account of his work, reference is made to THE WATCH
TOWER of June 1st, 1916.
In 1910 Pastor Russell visited Palestine and Russia.
He there orally delivered lectures to thousands of orthodox Jews on the regathering of
Jews to Palestine. In 1911 he was one of a committee of seven who made a journey around
the world and especially examined into the conditions of missionary work in Japan, China,
Korea and India. On the same occasion he again visited the Jews in Palestine and Galatia,
explaining to them that the prophecies teach that the Jews at an early date will again be
established in Palestine. On his return to America he was given a great ovation at the New
York City Hippodrome by thousands of Jews, his discourse on this occasion being published
by Hebrew papers both in America and in Europe.
During the 42 years of Pastor Russells
Christian work he never directly or indirectly solicited money.
No collection was ever taken at any meeting addressed
by him or by any of his associates. He had faith that the Lord would supply sufficient
money to carry on his work; that the work was the Lords, and not mans. The
fact that voluntary contributions
were liberally made by many persons throughout the
world proved that his conclusions were correct.
He devoted his private fortune entirely to the cause
to which he gave his life. He received the nominal sum of $11.00 per month for his
personal expenses. He died, leaving no estate whatsoever.
Thus closed the career of a most remarkable man. He
was loved most by those who knew him best.
Pastor Russells Will and
Having at various times during past years donated to
the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY all of my personal possessions except a small
personal bank account of approximately two hundred dollars, in the Exchange National Bank
of Pittsburgh, which will properly be paid over to my wife if she survives me, I have
merely love and Christian good wishes to leave to all of the dear members of the Bible
House Familyand all other dear colaborers in the harvest workyea, for all of
the household of faith in every place who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus as their
However, in view of the fact that in donating the
journal, ZIONS WATCH TOWER, the OLD THEOLOGY QUARTERLY and the copyrights of the
MILLENNIAL DAWN SCRIPTURE STUDIES Books and various other booklets, hymn-books, etc., to
the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY, I did so with the explicit understanding that I
should have full control of all the interests of these publications during my life time,
that after my decease they should be conducted
according to my wishes. I now herewith set forth the said wishesmy will respecting
the sameas follows:
AN EDITORIAL COMMITTEE OF FIVE
I direct that the entire editorial charge of
ZIONS WATCH TOWER shall be in the hands of a committee of five brethren, whom I
exhort to great carefulness and fidelity to the truth. All articles appearing in the
columns of ZIONS WATCH TOWER shall have the unqualified approval of at least three
of the committee of five, and I urge that if any matter approved by three be known or
supposed to be contrary to the views of one or both of the other members of the committee,
such articles shall be held over for thought, prayer and discussion for three months
before being publishedthat so far as possible the unity of the faith and the bonds
of peace may be maintained in the Editorial management of the journal.
The names of the Editorial Committee (with such
changes as may from time to time occur) shall all be published in each number of the
journalbut it shall not in any manner be indicated by whom the various articles
appearing in the journal are written. It will be sufficient that the fact be recognized
that the articles are approved by the majority of the committee.
As the Society is already pledged to me that it will
publish no other periodicals, it shall also be required that the Editorial Committee shall
write for or be connected with no other publications in any manner or degree. My object in
these requirements is to safeguard the committee and the journal from any spirit of
ambition or pride or headship, and that the truth may be recognized and appreciated for
its own worth, and that the Lord may more particularly be recognized as the head of the
church and the fountain of truth.
Copies of my Sunday discourses published in the daily
newspapers covering a period of several years have been preserved and may be used as
editorial matter for The WATCH TOWER or not, as the committee may think best, but my name
shall not be attached nor any indication whatever given respecting the authorship.
Those named below as members of the Editorial
Committee (subject to their acceptance) are supposed by me to be thoroughly loyal to the
doctrines of the Scriptures especially so to the doctrine of the ransomthat
there is no acceptance with God and no salvation to eternal life except through faith in
Christ and obedience to his word and its spirit. If any of the designated ones shall at
any time find themselves out of harmony with this provision they will be violating their
consciences and hence committing sin if they continue to remain members of this Editorial
Committee knowing that so to do would be contrary to the spirit and intention of
The Editorial Committee is self-perpetuating, in that
should one of these members die or resign, it will be the duty of the remainder to elect
his successor, that the journal may never have an issue without a full Editorial Committee
of five. I enjoin upon the committee named great caution in respect to the election of
others to their numberthat purity of life, clearness in the truth, zeal for God,
love for the brethren and faithfulness to the Redeemer shall be prominent characteristics
of the one elected. In addition to the five named for the committee I have named five
others from whom I prefer that selection should be made for any vacancies in the Editorial
Committee, before going outside for a general selectionunless in the interim,
between the making of this Will and the time of my death, something should occur which
would seem to indicate these as less desirable or others more desirable for filling the
mentioned. The names of the Editorial Committee are
· WILLIAM E. PAGE
· WILLIAM E. VAN AMBURGH
· HENRY CLAY ROCKWELL
· W. BRENNEISEN
· H. ROBISON
The names of the five whom I suggest as possibly
amongst the most suitable from which to fill vacancies in the Editorial Committee are as
follows: A. E. Burgess, Robert Hirsh, Isaac Hoskins, Geo. H. Fisher (Scranton), J. F.
Rutherford, Dr. John Edgar.
The following announcement shall appear in each issue
of THE WATCH TOWER, followed by the names of the Editorial Committee:
ZIONS WATCH TOWER EDITORIAL COMMITTEE
This journal is published under the supervision of an
Editorial Committee, at least three of whom must have read and have approved as TRUTH each
and every article appearing in these columns. The names of the Committee now serving are:
(names to follow.)
As for compensation, I think it wise to maintain the
Societys course of the past in respect to salariesthat none be paid; that
merely reasonable expenses be allowed to those who serve the Society or its work in any
manner. In harmony with the course of the Society, I suggest that the provision for the
Editorial Committee, or the three that shall be actively engaged, shall consist of not
more than a provision for their food and shelter and ten dollars per month, with such a
moderate allowance for wife or children or others dependent upon them for support as the
Societys Board of Directors shall consider proper, just, reasonable that no
provision be made for the laying up of money.
I desire that the OLD THEOLOGY QUARTERLY continue to
appear as at present, so far as the opportunities for distribution and the laws of the
land will permit, and that its issues shall consist of reprints from the old issues of THE
WATCH TOWER or extracts from my discourses, but that no name shall appear in connection
with the matter unless the same is required by law.
It is my wish that the same rules apply to the
German, the French, the Italian, the Danish and the Swedish or any other foreign
publications controlled or supported by the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY.
I will that a copy of this paper be sent to each one
whose name has appeared above as of the Editorial Committee or the list from whom others
of that committee may be chosen to fill vacancies and also to each member of the Board of
Directors of the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY. This shall be done immediately on my
death being reported, so that within a week, if possible, the persons named as of the
Editorial Committee may be heard from, their communications being addressed to the Vice-
President of the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETYwhoever may be holding that
office at that time. The answers of those appointed shall be to the point, indicating
their acceptance or rejection of the provisions and terms specified. A reasonable time
shall be allowed for any one mentioned who may be absent from the city or from the
country. Meantime the remainder of the committee of at least three shall proceed to act in
their capacity as editors. It shall be the duty of the officers of the Society to provide
the necessary arrangements for these members of the Editorial Committee and to assist them
in their duties in every possible manner, in compliance with the engagements made with me
bearing on this matter.
I have already donated to the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND
TRACT SOCIETY all my voting shares therein, putting the same in the hands of five
Trustees, as follows: Sr. E. Louise Hamilton, Sr. Almeta M. Nation Robison, Sr. J. G.
Herr, Sr. C. Tomlins, Sr. Alice G. James.
These Trustees shall serve for life. In event of
deaths or resignations successors shall be chosen by the WATCH TOWER SOCIETY Directors and
Editorial Committee and the remaining Trustees after prayer for divine guidance.
I now provide for the impeachment and dismissal from
the Editorial Committee of any member thereof found to be unworthy the position by reason
of either doctrinal or moral laches, as follows:
At least three of the Board must unite in bringing
the impeachment charges, and the Board of Judgment in the matter shall consist of the
WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETYS trustees and the five trustees controlling my
voting shares and the Editorial Committee, excepting the accused. Of these sixteen members
at least thirteen must favor the impeachment and dismissal in order to effect the same.
DIRECTIONS FOR FUNERAL
I desire to be buried in the plot of ground owned by
our Society, in the Rosemont United Cemetery, and all the details of arrangements
respecting the funeral service I leave in the care of my sister, Mrs. M. M. Land, and her
daughters, Alice and May, or such of them as may survive me, with the assistance and
advice and cooperation of the brethren, as they may request the same. Instead of an
ordinary funeral discourse, I request that they arrange to have a number of the brethren,
accustomed to public speaking, make a few remarks each, that the service be very simple
and inexpensive and that it be conducted in the Bible House Chapel or any other place that
may be considered equally appropriate.
MY LEGACY OF LOVE
To the dear Bethel family collectively
and individually I leave my best wishes, in hoping for them of the Lord his blessing,
which maketh rich and addeth no sorrow. The same I extend in a still broader sweep to all
the family of the Lord in every place especially to those rejoicing in the harvest
truth. I entreat you all that you continue to progress and to grow in grace, in knowledge,
and above all in love, the great fruit of the Spirit in its various diversified forms. I
exhort to meekness, not only with the world, but with one another; to patience with one
another and with all men, to gentleness with all, to brotherly kindness, to godliness, to
purity. I remind you that all these things are necessary for us, necessary that we may
attain the promised kingdom, and that the Apostle has assured us that if we do these
things we shall never fail, but that so an entrance shall be ministered unto
us abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
It is my wish that this my last Will and Testament be
published in the issue of THE WATCH TOWER following my death.
My hope for myself, as for all the dear Israel of
God, is that soon we shall meet to part no more, in the first resurrection, in the
Masters presence, where there is fulness of joy forevermore. We shall be satisfied
when we awake in his likeness
Changed from glory unto glory.
CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL.
PUBLISHED AND DECLARED IN THE PRESENCE OF THE
WITNESSES WHOSE NAMES ARE ATTACHED:
· MAE F. LAND
· ALMETA NATION
· LAURA M. WHITEHOUSE.
DONE AT ALLEGHENY, PA., JUNE TWENTY-NINE, NINETEEN
HUNDRED AND SEVEN.
Oration at Evening Service
BY J.F. RUTHERFORD
Charles Taze Russell was loyal to God, loyal to
Christ Jesus, loyal to the cause of Messiahs kingdom. He was loyal to the
coreyea, loyal even unto death. God has declared in his word that loving loyalty to
him is the price of greatest riches. Pastor Russell has received his great reward. It is a
wonderful thing to receive the approval of God, the great and mighty Creator of the
Universe, the all-wise, all-powerful and allloving One. In his Book, the Bible, God has
made favorable mention of certain men; and in every instance that favorable mention has
been because of their loving loyalty to him and his cause of righteousness. When
Gods record concerning the church is fully written, the people will find that
Charles Taze Russell not only has received favorable mention from God, but has been born
in Ziona member of the royal family of heaven. (Psalm 87:6) The Psalmist has assured
us that this is especially true of those who are faithful unto death. What a wonderful
privilege it will be for the world to have the real truth concerning martyrs to the cause
We who have come into closer contact with Pastor
Russell, and who knew him as he was, are privileged by the Lord to know these things in
advance of the world. Happy is our lot to thus be favored of God.
Lives of great men stand as monuments in the earth.
Silently they beckon to those who are hurrying on in the mad rush of human affairs, and
say, Stop and learn wisdom. The greatest man that has lived since the Apostle
Paul has passed from the earth. We have come aside this evening from the busy rush of this
great city to pay tribute to the memory of Pastor Russell. Let us in calmness and sobriety
seek to know why this man was great, why we say with such assurance that he had the
approval of God.
Gods laws are fixed and unchangeable. To all of
his intelligent creatures he says, Obey My Laws, and receive My approval and
blessing. Take a different course, and you will fail to receive My blessing. Pastor
Russell walked with the Lord in harmony with his law.
PASTOR RUSSELLS SEARCH FOR TRUTH
Nearly sixty-five years ago, a child was born in
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. his parents christened him Charles Taze Russell. His
parents loved God and sought to obey him. The parental influence was good for Charles.
They trained the small twig; and it grew in the direction of the Lord. Early he became a
But like other good, honest, conscientious Christian
men and women, his parents had been taught the man-made creeds of the church nominal.
Young Charles was taught that God is great and good, yet that He had made all men
inherently immortal, and had provided a lake of fire and brimstone in which he would
eternally torment all except a few whom He had predestinated should be saved. The honest
heart of the lad revolted against such a horrible thing; and he in substance said, I
cannot believe that there is a just and wise God who would do such a thing to a poor,
unfortunate human being.
Forthwith he forsook the religion of the creeds; but
while he was investigating other religions, his mind was turning to the Lord in an
inquiring manner. Then he said, I will study the Bible, and see whether or not it
teaches that God has such an arrangement.
True to his inborn character, he honestly and
prayerfully searched the Scriptures. To his astonishment and joy he found that the Bible
is Gods great word of truth; that God has a great Plan of Salvation, provided by him
before the foundation of the world, which shall ultimately result in the blessing of
human-kind. From the Bible he learned that God created the father of the human
raceAdam, the first mana perfect being, gave unto him a perfect wife, placed
him in a perfect home under perfect conditions, and advised him that obedience to the
divine law would enable man to maintain this condition of perfection; that Adam violated
the law of God and was sentenced to death; that he
was then driven from his perfect home into the unfinished earth; that God permitted him to
live for 930 years after he had been sentenced to death; that while undergoing this
sentence, Adam for the first time exercised his power and authority to beget children;
that by the law of heredity all of his children were born in sin and shapen in iniquity,
and hence all came under the effects of the just penalty that had come upon the
fatherthat as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, so
death has passed upon all men, for all are sinners; that ultimately the whole human
race would perish from the earth (death meaning destruction;) that man is a soul;
that he does not possess one; that the soul consists of the body and the breath of
lifethe life principleand these being separated, the soul is dead.
HIS SEARCH REWARDED
Then he learned that God had lovingly provided a Plan
of Redemption of man from this condition of deaththat God so loved the world that He
gave his Only-Begotten Son, that whosoever would believe in him should not perish, but
have life everlastingthat Jesus, having a pre-human existence as a spirit being, was
made human and grew to manhoods estate, in order that He, by the grace of God, might
give his own perfect life whereby the purchase price would be provided for the redemption
of Adam and all his racethat He died upon the cross and provided this price
that He was raised from the dead, no longer a man, but now divine, and that He ascended
into heaven, there to use the merit of his human sacrifice according to the will of God
for the blessing of mankind.
Furthermore, he learned from the Scriptures that the
Lord Jesus would return and establish a kingdom for the blessing of mankind; that in the
interim between his resurrection and his second coming, God has been and is holding an
election for the purpose of selecting from amongst men those who shall be associated with
Christ Jesus as members of the royal family, and who, together with their head and
Master, will be the instrument through which Jehovah will
bless all human-kind with the privileges of life,
health and happiness; that the terms of this election are that everyone who desires to run
for such a Prize must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and consecrate his lifehis
allto the service of the Lord; that those who would prove faithful, true and loyal
unto death would participate in the first or chief resurrection, and be made kings and
priests unto God and unto Christ and reign with Christ for the blessing of mankind.
This wonderful story of the love of God thrilled the
heart of young Russell. He readily and joyfully consecrated his all to the service of the
Lord, and continued faithful in that service even unto death.
Charles Taze Russell loved his fellow-men. Seeing the
great truths contained in the Bible, he said, I must preach these to my
fellow-creatures; I must use all my power to lead the people out of darkness, that they
may see the love of God. Vehemently he declared, If the Bible does teach that
eternal torture is the fate of all except the saints, it should be preachedyea,
thundered from the house-tops weekly, daily, hourly; if it does not so teach, the fact
should be made known, and the foul stain dishonoring Gods holy name removed.
With a strong physique, a fertile brain, and a brave
heart, wholly devoted to the Lord, he consecrated and used all of his power to teach man
the great Message of Messiahs kingdom and the blessings which it will bring to the
Early in his manhood he possessed a fortune of no
mean size. He spent it all that the minds of men might be enlightened and their hearts
made glad. Early in his battle for righteousness he spent, out of his own private fortune,
forty thousand dollars in this great city of New York for the publication and free
distribution of a booklet setting forth clearly the truth concerning the doctrine of the
Hell of the Bible, that all might learn that Jehovah is a God of Love.
Other Christian people, sadly aware of the fact that
they were not receiving spiritual food in the various churches to which they had attached
themselves, had the eyes of their understanding opened by reading their Bibles in the
of the explanation thereof given by Charles Taze
Russell. Gladly they began to support him and the righteous work in which he was engaged.
Without solicitation or invitation, they joyfully brought forth their money and said,
What can we do to have part in this glorious work which you have begun?
More than thirty years ago, a congregation of
Christian people formed at Pittsburgh, Pa., selected Charles Taze Russell as their Pastor;
and he served that congregation continuously as Pastor to the end, being able, however, to
visit them only occasionally since the removal of the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY
headquarters to Brooklyn several years ago. He wrote and published a series of books
STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURESin six volumes, which turned a great flood of light upon
Gods word. Millions of these have gone into the homes of men throughout the earth,
bringing gladness to their hearts. For more than thirty years he edited and published a
semi-monthly journal, THE WATCH TOWER AND HERALD OF CHRISTS PRESENCE, wholly devoted
to the cause of Messiahs kingdom. Be it known that this is the only publication on
earth that has ever announced the presence of our Lord. The Lord Jesus promised that at
his second coming, which should be invisible to human eyes, He would have one wise and
faithful servant whom He would make ruler over all his goods to give meat to the Household
of Faith in due season. Christians throughout the world who are familiar with the work of
Pastor Russell readily recognize that he has long been that wise and faithful servant of
The work grew to great proportions; and desiring that
it might be conducted in a systematic manner and perpetuated after his death, he organized
the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETYa corporation, the charter of which was
written by his own hand and is admitted, by men who know, to be a most remarkable
Through this channel he has promulgated the message
of Messiahs kingdom to all the nations of the earth. Branches of this Society have
been established and are maintained in the countries of Great Britain, Germany, Finland,
Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, France, South Africa,
Australia, and in many other parts of the world. his
publications have been translated into thirty-four different languages, and millions of
copies have been supplied free to the people by means of money joyfully contributed by
those with him who love the Lord and his cause of righteousness and who are looking with
joy to the establishment of Messiahs kingdom.
Pastor Russell traveled and preached to the people
throughout the world. He was elected Pastor of the Congregation at this Temple, and of the
Brooklyn Tabernacle, of the London Tabernacle, of the Temple Congregation at Washington,
D.C., the Congregation at Pittsburgh, the Auditorium Congregation at Chicago, the
Congregation at St. Louis, Los Angeles, and those in many other parts of the world. These
he visited at regular intervals, to encourage and comfort and help them. During the past
few years his sermons have not only been heard from the platform, but have been published
in approximately four thousand papers; and in practically every home of the United States
and Canada Pastor Russell is known. He did a greater work for the cause of Messiahs
kingdom than did any other man that ever lived on the earth.
HIS DYING HOURS
A few weeks ago he started on a trip to the Pacific
Coast, preaching every evening, and traveling throughout the remainder of the night and of
the day. His last sermon he preached to the Congregation at Los Angeles; and being too
weak to stand, he sat throughout the discourse. He left Los Angeles Sunday evening on his
return to Brooklyn, and rapidly grew weaker. Seven hours before his death, addressing his
traveling companion, Brother Menta Sturgeon, he said, Make me a Roman toga.
Using the bed sheets, Brother Sturgeon made a toga,
which Brother Russell put on himself. He stood erect for a moment, and then lying down on
the couch in his Pullman drawing room, closed his eyes, thus in symbolic language speaking
of death. A great deal of the Bible is written in symbolic language, and it was quite
appropriate that he should speak his last message in symbols. It is interesting here to
know what a
Roman toga symbolizes: Augustus Poet Laureate,
said, It is by the toga that the royal nation is recognized. The word toga
means a covering garment (white robe). It was the official robe of higher
magistrates, priests and of persons discharging vows, and was worn on special occasions,
such as celebrating a triumph.
We are reminded of the last experiences of the
Apostle Paul, who traveled with his beloved companion Timothy, whom he called his
sonnot a natural son, but, as St. Paul stated, he had begotten this young man in the
spirit. Likewise Pastor Russell begot Brother Sturgeon in the spirit, in that he brought
Brother Sturgeon to a knowledge of the divine plan. Shortly before St. Pauls death
he wrote, I am now ready to be offered up, and the time of my departure is at hand;
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth
there is laid up for me a Crown of Righteousness, which the Lord, the Righteous Judge,
shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his
appearing. (2 Timothy 4:6-8) Our dear Brother Russell not only loved the appearing
of the Lord Jesus, but above all men on the earth he declared the presence of the
Master. Brother Russell was a very modest man and never exalted himself. It was
exceedingly difficult to get him to speak of himself.
He chose, therefore, a symbol which we could
afterwards interpret to speak practically the same thing spoken by the Apostle Paul. By
wearing the toga Brother Russell in effect said, I have fought the good fight; I
have triumphed and shall be received as a member of the royal family of heaven.
What a wonderful example and inspiration for the
other members of the body of Christ this side the veil to earnestly strive to receive the
approval of the Lord! This evening we see here lying, silent in death, the body which he
so faithfully used to the last. But he is not dead! St. Paul wrote, Behold, I
show you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in
the twinkling of an eye. (1 Cor. 15:51,52) Gods word points out that the
resurrection of the saints would take place at the presence of the Lord and before the
inauguration of his kingdom; and the Scriptures clearly teach
that this resurrection is now in progress; that our
dear Brother and Pastor sleeps not in death, but was instantaneously changed from the
human to the divine nature, and is now forever with the Lordglorious reward for a
true and faithful servant. It has been announced that he was to speak in this Temple
tonight. God had directed otherwise!
Brother Russell had prepared a sermon to preach to
you, and I am sure you will be glad to hear it. The lips of the body he used on earth are
silent, but his words yet are spoken. By Gods grace it is my privilege here to be
used, and to speak forth to you the message which he left. My friends, give heed, if you
please, while I read this message to the church and to the world. Behold, how appropriate
PASTOR RUSSELLS SERMON
THE MORNING COMETH, AND A NIGHT ALSO
The Night Was LongIts Sorrows And Tears Were
ManyGods Promises Alone Illuminated ItThe Morning Here At LastA
Wonderful DawningThe Day To Be Still More WonderfulProofs All About Us
ConsideredA Brief NightOf Trouble Settling DownAlready Begun In
EuropeAfter It A Glorious Sunburst.
Watchman, what of the night?...The morning
cometh, and a night also.Isaiah 21:11,12.
The literature of the world shows that
intelligent men have refused to believe that the divine Purpose in the creation of our
earth has yet been attained. Continually we find references to the morning of the
new day, to the Golden Age, etc., etc. Yet not to the longings of
mens hearts, but to the promises of our God, do we look for real instruction on this
subject. The Bible most emphatically declares that the entire period of human history thus
far has been a night time.
The Prophet David explains, Weeping may
endure for a Night, but joy cometh in the morning. (Psalm 30:5) Thus prophetically
we are assured that there will be a morning whose glory, brightness and blessings will
compensate for all the dark shadows of the Night time
past. Our text is another prophecy along the same line. The message of the Lord is,
The morning cometh. St. Paul writes that up to his time the world had been
under a reign of sin and death, not under a reign of Righteousness and Life. (Romans 5:21)
He points out also that the day of the Lord will come, and will come gradually,
stealthily, taking the world unawares as a thief in the night.1
All of the Apostles assure us that it is not
Gods purpose to permit the reign of sin and death to continue forever. They tell us
that the divine program is that Messiah, in the Fathers appointed time, will take to
himself his great power and reign King of kings and Lord of lordsputting down sin
and every evil thing, uplifting humanity and granting a divine blessing where for six
thousand years there has been a divine curse.
The Bible writers explain that this does not signify
a change in the divine purpose, but that God had planned this thing in himself from before
the foundation of the world; and that although He had permitted sin to enter and death to
reign, He had made fullest provision for the Redeemer to die for our sins and eventually
to become the Restorer and Life-giver to Adam and his raceto as many of them as will
accept everlasting life on the divine terms.
The Apostles tell us that during the
night time, since Jesus death, God has been doing a special work
selecting from mankind a special class, a saintly few the church of the
first-borns, whose names are written in heaven. These are not taken from any one
nation or denomination. This little flock, to whom it is the Fathers
good pleasure to give the kingdom (Luke 12:32), is composed of all the saintly followers
of Jesus, who walk in his steps in the narrow way during this Gospel age. Their
experiences are to qualify them for association with their Redeemer in his Messianic
kingdom. Their trials, their obedience and their sufferings for righteousness sake
are to work out for these a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Suffering with
the Master for the truths sake in the present life, they are to share his glory,
honor and immortality in the
life to come. They are to be his joint-heirs in his
kingdom. Galatians 3:29; 2 Timothy2:11,12.
THE KINGDOM SUNRISE NEARING
Amongst the Lords people even, few yet
understand that Jesus distinctly teaches that the Sun of Righteousness, which
will arise with healing in his beams and whose light will constitute the new day, will be
composed of the church of Christ glorified changed from human to divine nature by
participation in the first resurrection. Our Lord Jesus tells this in the parable of the
Wheat and the Tares. He declares that in the end of this Gospel age all of the wheat class
will be gathered into the heavenly Garner, and that then shall the righteous shine
forth as the SUN in the kingdom of their Father. (Matthew 13:43) We must not think,
however that this signifies the church without the Redeemer, but must remember that Jesus
is the head over the church which is his body.Ephesians 1:22,23.
How wonderful, how beautiful, how appropriate
are the word-pictures of the Bible! No one but the Lord knew of the great divine plan. No
one but him, therefore, could give these pictures of its development. In various terms and
figures of speech the Bible attempts to give us a little glimpse of the glorious
conditions of that day. The new day and the kingdom will be the desire of all
people. In that day the righteous will flourish, and evil-doers will be cut off from
life. During that thousand-year day of Messiahs kingdom, Satan is to be bound,
that he may deceive the nations no more. (Revelation 20:2,3) Landlordism will
come to an end; for they shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant
and another eat the fruit thereof, but shall long enjoy the work of their
The earth is to yield her increase. (Psalm
67:6) Streams are to come forth in the desert; the solitary places are to be made glad.
The entire earth is to become like the Garden of Eden. It is Gods footstool, and He
declares that He will make it glorious. It is not to be burned up with literal fire, as
once we supposed. It is to abide forever. (Ecclesiastes 1:4; Psalm 104:5)
it not in vain; He formed it to be inhabited.
Isaiah 45:18; 66:1; 60:13; 35:1,7.
WONDERFUL FOREGLEAMS OF LIGHT
The most wonderful thing that the Bible tells
us respecting that new day is that it will bring great intelligence and enlightenment to
every creature. The light of the knowledge of the glory of God shall fill the whole earth
as the waters cover the face of the great deep. (Isaiah 11:9; Habakkuk 2:14) And
they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know
the Lord; for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest, saith the
Lord. (Jeremiah 31:34)
Ultimately every knee shall bow and every tongue
shall confess, to the glory of God. Philippians 2:11; Isaiah 45:23. What an
enthusing prospect the Bible holds out before the church and before as many of the world
as can exercise a measure of faith to believe! The world indeed sees to some extent that
great blessings are coming; but just what these are and how they are to come mankind know
not; for the world by wisdom knows not God. (1 Corinthians 1:21) The worldly
wise have rejected the Bible, and do not trust it as a Revelation from God. Thus the wise
are caught in their own craftiness. (1 Corinthians 3:19) Their boasted wisdom ensnares
them and blinds them to the divine revelation.
Nevertheless, some of our greatest
thinkersMr. Edison and othersare rapidly seeing that the world is just on the
verge of the most wonderful inventions and knowledge, which will transform the face of the
earth and the people thereof. They are corroborating the Bible unwittingly; for they
believe it not and know not the character of its messages.
THE DAWNING BEGUN IN A.D. 1874
Let us not stop now to discuss the darkness of
the Night and its weeping. Let us awake, and take note of the fact that the dawning of the
new age is already here. For the past forty-two years we have been in it and enjoying many
of its blessings. But those blessings came so stealthilylike a thief in the
nightthat few recognize their import.
Some few have been calling attention to the fact that
we have been in the millennial dawn ever since 1874.
Bible chronology quite clearly teaches that the
six thousand years since Adams creation have endedsix great days of a thousand
years each, mentioned by St. Peter a day with the Lord is as a thousand
years. (2 Peter 3:8) Now the great seventh day, also a thousand years long, has
commenced. We have been enjoying its dawning. It is to be a grand day! What wonder if the
dawning be remarkable!
It may surprise some to be told that the past
forty-two years mean more to the world in increase of education, increase of wealth,
increase of all manner of labor-saving inventions and conveniences, increase of safeguards
and protections for human life, than did all the six thousand years which preceded
themmany times over. The world has probably created a thousand times as much wealth
during these forty-two years as during the entire six thousand years preceding. Yet these
changes have come so gradually that few have noticed them.
FULFILMENT OF PROPHECY EVERYWHERE
Forty-two years ago man labored from sun to
sun; today we are rapidly approaching an eight-hour day. Forty-two years ago nearly all
the labor of the world was done with sweat of face; today it is nearly all accomplished by
machinery. Forty-two years ago the sewing-machine was just reaching perfection; today it
is everywhere indispensable. So with the thousand household conveniences. So with nearly
all of our sanitary and plumbing arrangements. So with farming implements. Reapers and
binders, mowers, automobiles, gas engines, etc., etc., all belong to these forty-two
years. In our cities the modern conveniences are wonderful. Solomon in all his glory never
even dreamed of such things as the poorest human being in America may enjoy!
Prophecies respecting streams in the desert and
the wilderness blossoming as the rose are having fulfilment not miraculously, but in
harmony with the divine order of an increased intelligence amongst men. Artesian wells are
being drilled, irrigating canals constructed, not only in the Western part of the United
States and Canada, but also in
far-off Mesopotamia. The results are marvelous. Land
previously not worth fencing is valued at $500 per acre today. The increase of knowledge
has been supplemented by governmental arrangements for the distribution of that knowledge
amongst the people.
The soils of various localities are being analyzed at
public expense; and the tillers of the soil are given knowledge as respects what kind of
fertilizers are required to bring satisfactory results.
Under these conditions it does not surprise us
to know that as much as 156 bushels of corn have been raised to one acre, and that 600
bushels of potatoes and over are not an uncommon record. Is not the Bible being
fulfilled? Who can dispute these facts? What do they signify? We answer that they exactly
corroborate the divine declaration which describes our day: Many shall run to and fro;
knowledge shall be increased; the wise of Gods people shall understand; and
there shall be a Time of Trouble such as never was since there was a
nation.Daniel 12:4,10,1; Matthew 24:21.
INCREASE OF WORLD-WIDE DISCONTENT
We are in the morning of our text. Ah, what a
glorious morning! How changed the human conditions from those of our grandfathers! How
thankful the whole world should be! Paeans of praise should be rising from all the people
of the favored lands of civilization; and helping hands should be outstretched to carry
the same blessings to heathen lands. But is it so? Are the people happy and rejoicing? Are
they appreciative of the new day?of the gifts of divine providence?
No! In proportion as the blessings of God have
come, the discontent of humanity has increased; and unbelief, not only in respect to the
Bible as the divine revelation, but in many instances in respect to the very existence of
an intelligent Creator.
Notwithstanding the great increase in the
worlds wealth, and the fact that there are some noble souls who are using their
share of the wealth in a praiseworthy manner, nevertheless the general operation of the
law of selfishness prevails; and all the legislation which has been enacted, or can be
enacted, fails to restrain the
giant institutionscorporations of our
day, fails to hinder them from exploiting the masses in the interests of the comparatively
Did God know all these things? What will He do
about them? Will He bring in the millennial blessings, and risk that men shall take for
granted that they have won the secrets of nature by their own wisdom and perseverance, and
forget God entirely? Will they become more discontented? Would a Millennium of discontent
be advantageous? What will God do about it?
THE DARK NIGHT ALREADY SETTLING
According to the Bible, God foreknew the
conditions of our day as we are now reviewing them; and in our text He gives a key to the
situationelsewhere in the Scriptures made very plain. Through the Prophet, God tells
of the dark Night coming after the morning dawn had been well ushered ina dark
storm-cloud just at sunrise.
This dark hour is described in the prophecy of
Daniel, and also in that of our Lord Jesus, to be a Time of Trouble, such as never
was since there was a nation.
Bible students see this great Time of Trouble
already beginning in the letting loose of the winds of strife in Europe. In the light of
the Bible they perceive that the result of this present war will be the great weakening of
the nationsof the governments of the earthand increased knowledge and
discontent amongst the people.
The next phase of the Trouble, according to the
Bible, is to be the great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth,
so mighty an earthquake, and so great. (Revelation 16:18) This is not a literal
earthquake, but a symbolic onerevolution.
Then the third phase of the calamitythe darkest
of allwill be the symbolic fire of anarchy, which will utterly destroy our present
civilization. Then, in the midst of that most awful Time of Trouble, Messiah, the great
King, will take his great power and will exercise it, with the result that the raging
waves of the sea of human passion will all be quieted, the fires of anarchy will all be
extinguished, and the reign of Righteousness and Peace will begin.
MESSIAH WILL MAKE ALL THINGS NEW
Cannot we see the wisdom of the great
Creators Program? He has determined to permit mankind to convince themselves
of their own impotency, of their need of a God, and of the fact that there is a God, and
that his glorious purposes for humanity are revealed in his word. Ah, it is no wonder that
the Bible speaks of that revelation of the Lord as the still small voice of
God, speaking to mankind through Messiahs kingdom!
No wonder the Lord declares that then He will
turn to the people a pure Message, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to
serve him with one consent!
St. Peter gives us a vivid picture of the new
order of things in Messiahs kingdom. He says, The day of the Lord will come as
a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the
elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also, and the works that are therein,
shall be burned up;...the heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved....Nevertheless we,
according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth
righteousness. 2 Peter 3:10,12,13.
The new heavens will be the
glorified church, consisting of Jesus the head and his bride class, selected from the
world during the past eighteen centuries. The new earth will be the new social
order under the control of the new heavens. There will be no patching of present
institutions, but a clean sweep of them by the fire of divine wrath preceding the
establishment of the new order, wherein only that which is righteous, just, equitable,
true, will be recognized.
We recognize that such glorious things are
coming even though the world must necessarily reach them through the tribulation of
the time of trouble. Happy are those whose eyes and ears of understanding are open now,
and who are in such heart relationship with the Lord that he can make known to them in
advance something of the riches of his grace, and show them how the coming troubles will
work out blessings for the human family.
PASTOR RUSSELLS CHARACTER
In this dark hour upon the nations let the peoples of
the earth hear this message and heed it as one from the Lord. For forty years Pastor
Russell has set forth in his writings that this dark hour would come soon. He reached this
conclusion based upon the word of the Lord. Behold, it is fully confirmed by the events we
see. Let the Christian people of the earth, therefore, awake to the importance of the hour
and heed the message
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND!
Arise and shine; for thy light is come and the
glory of the Lord is arisen upon thee.Isaiah 60:1.
Enemies? Yes; he had someGod pity them!
Jesus had enemies who relentlessly persecuted him. I would not mar this occasion by
reference to the enemies of Pastor Russell, but I know that he would be glad for me to
speak anything that would help to open the eyes of understanding of those who are blinded
to Gods purposes. Blind prejudice, based upon false accusations of enemies, has
tended to keep some in the dark.
Truly it can be said that Pastor Russells
character was and is without blemish. He was the cleanest, purest and best man I ever
knew. his enemies sought to make him of no reputation. By insinuationthe most cruel
of weaponsthey sought to destroy his power and influence, and hence his work. They
utterly failed. I feel constrained, under the circumstances, to read to you a paper signed
by Pastor Russell.
In the year 1911 he was starting on a trip around the
world. At that time the fiery darts from the enemy were coming thick and fast. He wrote
out this instrument, made oath to it, and placed it in my hands, saying, You may
make it as public as your judgment dictates. It reads:
In view of my soon departure for a foreign
shore, and in view of the increasing virulence and threats of my enemies, and under the
assumption that they may await my absence to make a fresh attack, by advice of my counsel
I make under oath the following sweeping statement; namely, THAT I never was
guilty of immorality toward any person.